You watch too much television, he remembers being told. The call was from a technician at the crime lab. Nels didnt know the ex-girlfriends name, but he knew she was a Los Angeles police officer. Because many more people within the LAPD and the D.A.s office were now aware of where the investigation was headed, concern was growing that word could leak at any moment. I am honored to serve the people of Boston as part of the historic Kim Janey administration, said Garrett-Stearns. The jurywhich included Kahns little retired guyvoted to convict. Both victims had been raped and strangled, their bodies left beside out-of-the-way footpaths. The two detectives who were ultimately chosen, Greg Stearns and Dan Jaramillo, were selected in part because they did not know Lazarus well, and had no bias for or against her. Just five years after a potential juror had confidently informed Lisa Kahn that DNA stood for Does Not Apply, it had become a household term. For what it's worth, at the end of the day I do agree with Tom Bucy's assertion that Stephanie Stearns is compulsive liar and sociopath who is responsible in In Nelss mind, she was a prime suspect. Burglars must have entered through the unlocked front door. Stearns was acquitted. Six years later, a corroded chest was found partially buried in a lagoon at Palmyra. And toward the end it becomes a horror fiction book, too. She and Walker turned up in Honolulu later with the repainted and renamed 38-foot ketch Sea Wind, which belonged to the Grahams. As Stearns and Jaramillo would know, but Lazarus could hardly suspect, the moment she ended the interview and walked out of the room, she would be arrested, regardless of what she had told them. Nuttall recalls, I said, Nels, if you can reschedule it, you may want to reschedule., At 6:40 a.m. on June 5, 2009, Jaramillo stopped by Lazaruss desk. Detectives are gossipy, he explains. Still, Stephanie couldnt run without pain. WebOthers named Stephanie Stearns. Because no bodies were found, they were initially prosecuted only for the yacht theft and convicted in August 1975. In the end, they decided to stage the interview at Parker Centers Jail Division, located on the floor directly below the Robbery-Homicide Division and the Art Theft Detail. Her new trial, which was to have begun June 9, has been delayed until October. I knew from experience that there was probably nothing left from earlier than 1960, Lambkin says. For years, her parents, Nels and Loretta, did everything possible to keep the case alive. Its the number by which their performance is judged, both within the unit and up the chain of command. Bugliosi professing his belief in Stearns innocence is duped by his client. WebStephanie lied about the scuttling of the Iola until she was confronted with a photograph that showed both the Iola and the Sea Wind outside the channel into the western lagoon of Reserved. She pleaded not guilty at her arraignment April 2. There was a hole in the temple of the skull. The prosecutor in his case was Lisa Kahn, a deputy in the district attorneys Van Nuys officethe same branch that would have handled the Rasmussen murder a few years earlier, had a suspect ever been arrested. The Grahams sailed into Palmyra July 2, their vessel luxuriously outfitted with cold storage lockers and a large amount of tinned meats and other foods. Declaring herself shocked, the veteran detective stood and walked out, 68 minutes after shed sat down. Detectives have a third way to get a suspects DNA sample without running afoul of the Fourth Amendment: collect a voluntarily discarded sample. I dont know a lot about this stuff, he told Lazarus. SAN FRANCISCO -- The defense today attacked the federal murder case against Stephanie Stearns for a 1974 killing of a San Diego socialite in the remote According to other sailors who visited the island in that period, and who testified in the 1975 trials, the two couples became enemies over the two months when they lived in their boats at anchor in the Palmyra lagoon. This is a digitized version of an article from The Timess print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. She also said she lied about taking the yacht and failed to report the Grahams disappearance to authorities in order to protect Walker, who was then a fugitive on drug charges. There were some coincidences, but there was nothing definitive for us at this point. The chief decided that Bubs unit could hang on to the case until the DNA sample was obtained. He escaped from McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary in Washington State in July 1979 and is still at large. The two couples met at Palmyra Island, an uninhabited atoll 1,000 miles south of Honolulu. She has been married to Zach Dulli since December 10, 2006. Outside of Bub and the three men in his unit, the lieutenant was the first person in the department to learn that an LAPD detective had become a cold-case murder suspect. As it happened, just a few months before, California voters had overwhelmingly approved Proposition 69, a ballot measure co-authored by Lisa Kahn. In 1986, a young nurse named Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in Los Angeles. The first criminal suspect ever subjected to forensic DNA testing was thus exonerated by it. It indicated that shortly after 2 p.m. that Sunday, Lazarus had walked into the lobby of the Santa Monica Police Department, identified herself as an LAPD officer, and told the clerk that her car, parked near Santa Monica Pier, had been broken into. It is doubtful whether the Iola was sufficiently seaworthy either for a return voyage to Hawaii That is how I found out about Tom Bucy's book. But no matter how hard they pushed him, the boy refused to confess to the first murder. When Ruetten rushed inside, he found his wifes body in the ransacked living room. Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space., I am committed to building a cabinet that is as talented as the city we serve, said Janey. At midnight on December 31, when the LAPD closed the books on its 1986 homicide statistics, Sherri Rasmussens murder was indelibly recorded as one of 293 unsolved cases. As we prepare for this transition, I am tremendously grateful to Nick Martin. By coincidence, Bub followed it in March 2008, when he accepted a transfer to run the Van Nuys homicide unit, which had just lost its supervising detective and two others to retirement. Garrett-Stearns is a volunteer and board member for several nonprofit organizations, including the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC), the Boston Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. An active member of Union United Methodist Church in the South End, she lives in West Roxbury with her husband and daughter. Walker told her terrible stories about his term in San Quentin prison at the age of 19 for armed robbery. Alas, poor Muff, her bones at the time of publishing, languish in the care of the FBI, forty years after her torture and murder by Stearns and Walker, still not at rest, forlorn and forgotten. During those 39 years, 23,713 murders took place in Los Angeles. Stephanie? he asked. Under questioning by her attorney, Vincent Bugliosi, Stearns described Walker as a very strong person, domineering, a person who liked to have his own way. Why did Cory Williams divorce Stephanie? After considerable political machinations, the LAPDs new Cold Case Homicide Unit went operational in November 2001. When the dust settled, the squad consisted of Bub and three other detectives: Pete Barba, Marc Martinez, and Jim Nuttall. About that time, Nels again mentioned the ex-girlfriend to the Van Nuys detectives. But as far as motive was concerned, the information that we had was that [Lazarus and Ruettens] relationship had been over since the previous summer. He was wearing a wire. The metal box was wired shut and thrown into the lagoon, where it was expected to keep its grisly secret forever. We had kicked around the idea of doing it ourselves, doing surreptitious DNA, Bub says. All over the world, newspapers hailed the breakthrough and marveled at the ways DNA forensics might revolutionize detective work. Thats the nature of being a detective: we all want to know.. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. Her attirerobe, T-shirt, and pantiessuggested she had not been expecting visitors. Submit a letter to the editor or write to When she arrived at the interrogation roomone equipped with recording equipment to videotape the interviewthey would shift gears and gradually turn to the Rasmussen case. Hearing the shots, the downstairs burglar probably fled, ditching the video components. Get the day's top news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning. A housekeeper in the unit next door later said shed heard a scuffle and a scream, but no gunshots. We explained that this could still turn out not to be her, Bub says. She was acquitted Friday by a federal court jury. From the interrogation room, Lazarus was taken to Lynwood, the Los Angeles County jail facility for female prisoners, where she has been held ever since on $10 million bail. The jawbone was identified as Mrs. Graham's. A careful reading of FINAL ARGUMENT answers these, and many more questions that should have been asked, but were not. Few people could have predicted in early 1986 that the science of police work was about to take an epochal leap forward. At a time when public trust is paramount, our communications team will be a key link between City Hall and the residents of Boston as we work to create a stronger, more equitable city., An alumna of The Partnership, Inc. Next Generation Executive program for professionals of color, Garrett-Stearns also completed the Business Management Institute at Cornell University. This book is both interesting and clumsily misleading. LOS ANGELES, Nov. 25, 2010 -- New details on a Los Angeles cold case that led to the murder arrest of During their trials they both said that they and the Grahams had become close friends. Nels replied that he had a doctors appointment. The decision, People v. Castro, sent shock waves through the criminal-justice system. He received no reply. Eleanor Graham was either shot or clubbed, then her body was placed in a metal chest and set afire, according to prosecution experts. Where is Stephanie stearns now? In all, Rasmussen had been shot three times in the chest, the bullets piercing her heart, lungs, and spine. The results stunned everyone. Stearns received a two-year Since her arrest, Lazarus has steadfastly maintained her innocence. A week went by before the coroners office could locate the missing evidence. It was during that time that he planned to flee Hawaii on his own boat, and Stearns decided to go with him. During the summer of 1974, Stephanie Stearns and Buck Walker sailed to the island in an old sailboat. They could also have asked Laudenberg to submit a sample voluntarily, but that would have alerted him that he was a suspect. Inside were human bones, including a skull. Phillip Stearns was born on June 2, 1984, in Bloomington, Illinois, USA. Because a burglary murdersomeone is going to have broken into the place, spent some time there. All concernedprosecutors, defense lawyers, forensic scientists, judgeshad to raise their game. If Lisa Kahn was the district attorneys resident DNA geek, that role in the LAPD was filled by Detective David Lambkin. When he was charged with drug sales in 1973, he swore he would never return to the California prison. In 2009, for instance, the LAPDs Olympic Division recorded seven new murders, but its detectives were able to solve a total of 15, giving the unit an eye-popping clearance rate of 214 percent. When Mayer learned that one of them had brandished a gun, these unidentified burglars became the focus of his homicide investigation. Mayor Kim Janey announced today that she is appointing Senior Advisor Stephanie Garrett-Stearns as Chief Communications Officer. He pleaded guilty and 10 other criminal charges were dropped. He told acquaintances that he won the boat in chess games with a friendly millionaire, according to evidence presented at the trial. Bugliosi's careful analysis of the tides revealed Stearns was lying about her activities purportedly occurring on the 30th and 31st of August 1974. Webstephanie stearns today Nationally and in San Diego, the trials made headlines. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelors degree in human resources management from Michigan State University., Janeys appointment of Garrett-Stearns is her latest move to build one of the most diverse cabinets in the Citys history. WebStephanie Stearns was convicted, after a jury trial, on two counts of theft of personal property within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, violations of 18 U.S.C. No one was forced to participate in the blooding, as the DNA dragnet came to be called, and few expected that the killer would volunteer himself. Soon after, a couple arrived to Hawaii on board the Sea Wind. The detectives returned to Los Angeles and dove back into the case with Stearns and Jaramillo. In court, Robinson cut a respectable figure. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. He removed the stopper and carefully swabbed the impression left by the assailants teeth. She would bebut only technically. The jury deliberated 2 1/2 days. Select this result to view Stephanie Stearns's phone number, address, and more. Two months after the Grahams vanished, Stearns and Walker sailed the Grahams yacht into Hawaii, 1,100 miles away; they were later sentenced to prison for stealing the yacht. On September 19, DNA analysis was requested on evidence from the 1986 murder of Sherri Rasmussen. He also testified that Mr. Graham told him that night, referring to Mr. Walker and Miss Stearns: ''I guess they're going to declare a truce. New evidence has led to a murder charge against her. We didnt have anything to establish there was any animosity.. He moved to the island of Hawaii in 1972 and took up with Miss Stearns. In February 2003, a year and a half after its formation, the cold-case unit made its first arrest, solving the 1983 murder of a young nurse and mother named Elaine Graham. The team had by then moved to a new, slightly more spacious squad room on the fifth floor of Parker Center, the LAPDs legendarily decrepit headquarters, but it still didnt have enough space for all the murder books that it had accumulated. 661, and on one count of transporting stolen property in interstate and foreign commerce, a violation of 18 U.S.C. Feb. 20 a Federal grand jury handed down an indictment accusing Miss Stearns and Mr. Walker of killing Mrs. Graham in ''an attempt to perpetrate a burglary or robbery.'' In the past, Stephanie has also been known as Stephanie L Beshears, Stephanie Stearns, Stephanle L The accused killer of a San Diego woman on a tiny Pacific atoll told a U.S. District Court jury that she never harmed anyone in my life.. Walker, 48, was convicted of killing Eleanor Graham in 1985 and was given a life sentence. Garrett-Stearns will serve as lead communications strategist and advisor for the Janey administration. Murder charges were added only after Mrs. Grahams skeletal remains were found in a metal box on Palmyra in 1981. What happened to the Grahams has been a mystery, except for the story told by Mr. Walker and Miss Stearns, but the juries that convicted them refused to accept their explanation of how they gained possession of the Sea Wind. However, Stearns murder plot was masterful. On June 8, 2009, she was charged with the murder of Sherri Rasmussen. Simpson was soon linked to the crime by forensic evidencein particular, a blood-soaked glove that a detective named Mark Fuhrman reported finding on Simpsons property. In October 1998, the FBI launched a DNA database called the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, which gave detectives the ability to compare DNA samples collected at crime scenes with the DNA profiles of legions of potential suspects. Soon, all that either of them find is trouble. Robinson emerged from prison a changed man. In late October, the Los Angeles Times ran a story on the now eight-month-old case, reporting that the Rasmussens were offering a $10,000 reward for any information regarding the suspects in their daughters murder, whom Mayer described in the article as two Latino men between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 6 inches tall. You can kind of talk to him. He said he could find no sign of the couple and that he had brought their boat back to Honolulu to keep it from being destroyed by the weather. The inescapable conclusion for both police and terrified residents was that a serial predator was hiding among the local population. Its been nearly two years of hell, not knowing who did this to Sherri or why, he told the assembled reporters. A woman who worked at a bakery in Leicester had been gossiping with co-workers at a pub when one mentioned that he had agreed to take the blood test on someone elses behalf. Given how many suspects Lazarus had arrested herself over the years, she was undoubtedly well aware of her rights to silence and to legal counsel. When King asked jurors to consider whether further deliberation would be unproductive, the verdict to acquit was returned less than an hour later. Lazarus and John Ruetten had become close friends at UCLA, where theyd lived in the same dorm. But he wasnt the boy whom police had in custody. Beside that it is full of useless repetitions and after a while that was a real pain in the ass. Chief Bratton didnt want anybody approaching her when she had a gun or access to a gun, Nuttall explains. In 1990, when the lifts were uploaded to a fingerprint database, the computer reported a match with a previously unknown suspect named Vernon Robinson. She told of her extreme aversion to guns. She said that when Walker brought guns to their home on the island of Hawaii she fought with him over it. When confronted, Pitchfork confessed to the killings, and DNA analysis later confirmed that he had raped both girls. Heres this woman who never said two words to me, Nuttall says. Back at the squad room, the detectives prepared for two possible outcomes: if Lazaruss DNA matched the sample from the swab, RHD would assume responsibility for the case; if it didnt match, the Rasmussen case would be designated investigation continued and shelved yet again, probably forever. Yet she couldnt find the swab in the rape kit or anywhere else. Miss Stearns surrendered and was freed on $100,000 bond. Its been grueling, Stephanie Stearns told reporters after hugging her tearful parents, who sat in the front row throughout the trial. The Grahams left Hilo June 24. Now, using the new fingerprint and ballistics databases that had come online, Lambkin found he was able to clear some old homicides fairly easily. Several months and thousands of blood samples later, the police received a curious tip. The plan was for the RHD detectives to request Lazaruss help interviewing a jailed suspect who claimed to have information on an art-theft case. Forensic scientists and legal historians refer to the late 1980s and early 90s as the height of the DNA wars. As DNA evidence was accepted state by state, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, defense attorneys were initially helpless against the highly credentialed scientific experts called by prosecutors to testify. On July 1, 1974, they sailed, along with their three dogs and very little food, in a leaky boat for Palmyra Island. Serological testing that the police had expected would link the boy to the victims had come up negative, but, in light of the other evidence, they discounted the results. The police were certain that he had killed both girls. The detective turned him down. "FINAL ARGUMENT" was written in response to VINCENT BUGLIOSI'S best seller "AND THE SEA WILL TELL" (ATSWT) which recounts the brutal murder and torture of MAC and MUFF GRAHAM on PALMYRA ISLA8ND August 29, 1974. The two men agreed to talk by shortwave radio at 7 P.M. on Mondays and Wednesdays. A warrant could have forced their suspect to give them a sample, but they werent sure they had enough evidence to get one. Unfortunately, because of Enoki's refusal to allow Bugliosi's tidal data into the trial, the jury was deprived of this information. A $300-million (minimum) gondola to Dodger Stadium? The police said they found him using another alias in a hotel on the north edge of Hawaii Island. WebStephanie Stearns was born on September 15, 1976 in Houston, Texas, USA. Im Dan Jaramillo. Lazarus got only as far as the jails hallway, where she was stopped by other RHD detectives and placed in handcuffs. - Kindle edition by Bucy, Tom. In mid-April, just over two months into the new investigation, that DNA report came back negative. Miss Stearns and Mr. Walker were convicted in 1975 of stealing a sailing yacht that belonged to Malcolm Graham, 43, and his wife, LaVerne, 40, of San Diego. Her mother fought with her over the plan to flee and flew to Hawaii to convince her daughter not to make the trip with Walker. Mayer made a note of the ex-girlfriend in the case file but apparently never followed up. This mystery profile did not return a CODIS hit, which meant the suspect was not in the FBIs DNA database. But that began to change in 1989, when two lawyers, Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck, convinced a New York judge that poor laboratory procedures warranted exclusion of DNA evidence that had been introduced against their client. task force to tackle the citywide backlog. As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. A woman acquitted on charges that she helped her boyfriend murder a yachtswoman on a remote Pacific atoll in 1974 says her faith in the American judicial system has been reinstated.. WebThe best result we found for your search is Stephanie Stearns age 30s in Hilo, HI in the Paukaa neighborhood. 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