Monday, December 27, 2010
Part 11 - More Police Coverup
The most crucial piece of evidence used to convict Laurie Bembenek was the off-duty revolver of Milwaukee Detective Elfred O. Schultz, Jr. That statement was made on the record by the trial judge when he sentenced Bembenek to life in prison. Schultz was Bembenek’s husband at the time of the murder and the ex-husband of the victim, Christine Schultz. Investigative Consultant Ira Robins has long claimed the off-duty gun was not the murder weapon and has shown evidence that he is correct in preceding Parts 1 and 7 of this blog. But wait, there’s more.
In early 1985, after gaining access to most of the police reports, Robins found a reference to a meeting in the Inspector’s Conference Room. In a report written by Schultz’s partner, Detective Michael Durfee, it became evident that Schultz had met with high level commanders on the morning of the murder and that he had brought his off-duty gun into that meeting. (Exhibit 11-1) Robins felt that information might have been critical if more officers other than Schultz and Durfee had inspected the gun as they claimed. If that gun had, in fact, been inspected by high-ranking officers, and returned to Schultz as not being fired, Bembenek should have been notified and been able to question those officers at trial. Their testimony would have clearly shown Schultz’s gun had not been fired or recently cleaned and that he had turned in different gun 21 days after the murder.
In the summer of 1985 Robins submitted an open records request seeking information about the Inspector’s Conference Room Meeting. Exhibit (11-2.) On September 13, 1985 the Milwaukee Police Department answered his request by stating, “…we have no record of such a meeting as you described as taken place.”
In late 1990, Robins succeeded in obtaining an investigative article by James Rowan of the Milwaukee Journal Magazine. At that time, Robins asked Rowan to look into various areas including the mysterious Inspector’s Conference Room Meeting. On January 13, 1991, Rowan wrote that that meeting did take place and that Schultz’s gun had, in fact, been inspected and returned to him. (Exhibit 11-4) Apparently, the top level of the Milwaukee Police Department considered their possible embarrassment more important than disclosing the truth to Bembenek and allowed Bembenek to be wrongfully convicted of murder.
Posted by ira at 7:35 AM