The most heinous crimes on the stateâ€™s list of convicted cops are some of the most notorious: 20 former officers turned up with murder convictions, from a hot-tub drowning to a jail-cell beating.
Blair Christopher Hall, a former San Bernardino police officer, was convicted of drowning his wife â€” who had an $800,000 life insurance policy â€” in the coupleâ€™s backyard hot tub.
New DNA technology and the discovery of a skull with a bullet hole buried in a lake bed helped convict former Placer County Sheriffâ€™s Sgt. Paul Kovacich of his wifeâ€™s murder 26 years after she disappeared.
LAPD detectives took down one of their own, Stephanie Lazarus, whose killing of an ex-loverâ€™s wife went unsolved for 23 years. Dayle William Long, a Riverside County Sheriffâ€™s deputy, was drunk and angry off-duty when he pulled his gun on a 36-year-old man during an argument inside a bar. Prosecutors said the man held his hands up in a â€œposition of surrenderâ€� but Long shot him four times.Â
California Highway Patrol Officer Tomiekia Johnson is serving 50 years to life for murdering her husband. At trial, Johnson maintained she grabbed the gun from her purse fearing her husband would grab it first and it accidentally discharged.
In a rare prosecution of an on-duty killing, Santa Clara County jail deputies Jereh Lubrin, Matt Farris and Rafael Rodriguez were convicted of second-degree murder for beating an inmate to death in 2015.
Bay Area Rapid Transit police Officer Johannes Mehserleâ€™s killing of Oscar Grant, an unarmed 22-year-old African-American, as Grant lay on a station platform, sparked protests. Mehserle claimed he meant to fire his Taser; not his gun. Prosecutors charged him with second-degree murder but a jury in Los Angeles convicted him of involuntary manslaughter, which brought more unrest to Oakland streets. He was released from jail after 11 months and never returned to law enforcement.
But the man who could turn out to be Californiaâ€™s most notorious criminal cop is still awaiting trial: Joseph DeAngelo, suspected of being none other than the Golden State Killer, is charged in a dozen murders and more than 40 rapes â€” some during his time in the late 1970s as a cop for the Auburn Police Department near Sacramento.
This story is part of a collaboration of news organizations throughout California coordinated by the Investigative Reporting Program at UCÂ Berkeley and the Bay Area News Group. Reporters participated fromÂ more than 30 newsrooms, including MediaNews Group, McClatchy,Â USA Today Network, Voice of San Diego, and Reveal from the Center forÂ Investigative Reporting. Click here to read more about the project. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.