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In this podcast, I interview Stephanie Lazarus. She is a pioneer in content strategy and co-founder of Dopamine. She has studied people’s need for personalization and for context, and has helped her clients make changes to their websites and businesses as a result.
At one point, Lazarus threw Ruetten a surprise party on his 25th birthday, unaware that he had been dating other women or that he had developed a serious relationship with Rasmussen. When she learned he was seriously involved with Rasmussen, Lazarus was despondent. "I'm truly in love with John and the past year has really torn me up," Lazarus wrote to Ruetten's mother in August 1985. "I wish it didn't end the way it did, and I don't think I'll ever understand his decision." In her own journal, she wrote, "I really don't feel like working. I found out that John is getting married." Depressed, Lazarus visited Ruetten at his condo, and the two had sex—"to give her closure," Ruetten testified years later.‘ID’s People Magazine Investigates: Once Bitten’ provides an in-depth view of the real-life story of a convicted murderer, Stephanie Lazarus. The show focuses on the life of a newlywed couple – Sherri Rasmussen and John Ruetten, their love triangle with Stephanie Lazarus, and the tragic, untimely death of Sherri Rasmussen. Stephanie Lazarus was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Sherri Rasmussen in 2012.Stephanie was allowed to retire from the LAPD, and the bail hearing that was initially delayed to six months amounted to $10 million in cash. This was done to prevent her from fleeing the country or obtaining weapons through her husband, who was also a detective. The trial began in 2012 and received a lot of media attention due to the nature of the story – a love triangle and the accused being a police officer.In the 1980s, John Ruetten met another woman, 27-year-old Sherri Rasmussen. They instantly fell in love and were engaged with a year. But Lazarus still had feelings for Ruetten, evidenced by her journal. She did not take the engagement well. She called him over and begged him not to marry Rasmussen, revealing that she loved him. When Ruetten said he had to leave, she asked if they could have sex one more time, which he agreed to.
Stephanie believed she was in a love triangle but it was a fantasy. On February 24, 1986. Lazarus picked the lock on the Ruetten's home and entered when Sherri was home while John was elsewhere. When Sherri detected Lazarus' presence, the obsessive policewoman fired a shot from her .38 caliber revolver, hitting a window. Sherri ran but Lazarus ran after her. The two struggled in a fight to the death. Sherri was taller than Lazarus and strong, but Lazarus was a police officer trained for combat. She bit Sherri on the forearm, causing her to let go of a sleeper hold she had on Lazarus, who then smashed a vase on her head. Sherri stopped struggling after being struck in the head with the butt of her revolver. Lazarus then wrapped a blanket around the barrel of the revolver to act as a silencer and then fatally shot Sherri three times in her heart and face.In the 1980s, John Ruetten met another woman, Sherri Rasmussen, who is 27 years old. They fell in love immediately and were engaged for a year. But Lazarus still has feelings for Ruetten, and she did not take the engagement well. She calls him frequently and asks him not to marry Rasmussen, and reveals that she loves him. When Ruetten said he had to leave, then she asked if they could have sex again, to which he agreed. Lazarus went to Rasmussen’s hospital, where she revealed that she and Ruetten had a physical relation on the previous two nights. Rasmussen was afraid of Stephanie but forgave Ruetten and married him in November 1985.On February 24, 1986, John Ruetten came home from work to the condominium in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles that he shared with his bride of three months, Sherri Rasmussen. What he found inside the condo changed his life forever – and it also changed a lot of people’s perception of the Los Angeles Police Department. On the living room floor, still wearing the robe and underwear she had worn to bed the previous night, was the body of Sherri – her face beaten beyond all recognition, and the three bullets that finally ended her life. Little did John know then that it would take 23 years and a determined, unafraid LAPD detective to both solve the murder and expose a rotten corner of the department’s inner culture. It turns out that for several years Sherri Rasmussen had been stalked and terrorized by one of LAPD’s young superstars – then still a uniformed officer named Stephanie Lazarus. Lazarus had been friends with Ruetten when they first met in college and the two had been occasional sexual partners for a while after school ended. Problem was, Stephanie Lazarus was crazy in love with John and thought he belonged to her – and John had no such feelings for Stephanie. Instead, John fell in love with Sherri Rasmussen. And when Stephanie learned that John and Sherri were engaged, Stephanie lost it – and began stalking and threatening Sherri at home and at work. Unfortunately, Sherri and John never reported these events to the police – the only people who knew other than themselves were Sherri’s parents. So it was only natural for Sherri’s father, Nels, reported the stalking incidents and that his strong feeling was that Stephanie Lazarus had to be a prime suspect. To which the police promptly ignored any suggestion that Lazarus could have anything to do with the murder. And refused to even explore the possibility even when all other suspects were cleared. And this went on for over two decades, until a couple of reform-oriented new police Chiefs for LAPD, over the period of several years, a mysterious (and still unknown) whistle blower and a dedicated detective who would not cover up any misdoings finally put all the pieces together and finally put Stephanie on trial – and eventually behind bars for 20-to-Life. Join Melissa on her 200th episode as she retells this sad but enlightening story of jealous homicide, possible police cover-up and, ultimately, the strength of the family of a murder victim who would not sit down or shut up, but kept Sherri Rasmussen’s flame burning brightly. (Source: justthetipsters.libsyn.com)