Murderer with a Badge: The Secret Life of a Rogue Cop

Overview

In this gripping true-crime account of violence, illicit sex, and cold-blooded murder for hire, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Buried Secrets tells the riveting story of the mild-mannered traffic cop who led a sinister double life as a professional killer. Nicknamed "Mild Bill" by his fellow LAPD cops, William Leasure whiled away his career writing traffic tickets and working auto accidents. He was a low-key, unassuming man who had never even used his service revolver in the line of duty. Married to a Los ...
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Murderer With a Badge: The Secret Life of a Rogue Cop

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Overview

In this gripping true-crime account of violence, illicit sex, and cold-blooded murder for hire, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Buried Secrets tells the riveting story of the mild-mannered traffic cop who led a sinister double life as a professional killer. Nicknamed "Mild Bill" by his fellow LAPD cops, William Leasure whiled away his career writing traffic tickets and working auto accidents. He was a low-key, unassuming man who had never even used his service revolver in the line of duty. Married to a Los Angeles prosecutor, he was nobody's idea of a criminal mastermind. But behind his bland mask, Bill Leasure was literally getting away with murder - as many as three murders, in fact, each carefully and professionally planned. He was also a modern-day pirate, accused of stealing a string of luxury yachts worth $2 million. Stolen cars sat in his garage, insurance frauds filled his diary. Yet for a decade, he remained above suspicion. Leasure has been called the most corrupt policeman in the scandal-plagued history of LAPD; and yet so effective was his disguise that even when he was caught aboard a stolen boat, hard-bitten cops had trouble believing he was dirty. To this day Bill Leasure denies his guilt, and his own "explanations" of the charges against him are woven throughout this incredible chronicle of deception and betrayal. Murderer with Badge also chronicles an epic criminal investigation, one that shook the entire Los Angeles Police Department - a chilling prelude to the videotaped beatings and citywide riots that have thrust LAPD into an uncomfortable national spotlight. Based on meticulous research and exclusive interviews with Leasure, and including many never-before-seen photographs, Murderer with a Badge is a stunning recreation of a rogue cop's secret life and the surprising, often bizarre, events that finally exposed him.

The explosive true story of a killer cop. Pulitzer Prize-winner Humes, the first to break the story, conducted exclusive jail-cell interviews with convicted LAPD officer Bill Leasure to give an enthralling account of his chilling crimes. Movie rights sold to HBO. 8-page insert.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One can hardly imagine a a more unlikely criminal than William Leasure: bland and passive, the Los Angeles Traffic Division cop who never fired his gun on the job and usually gave lectures rather than tickets was nicknamed Mild Bill by his fellow officers. But from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s he masterminded at least three contract killings, played a major role in the theft of several yachts and made off with vintage Corvettes. When he was arrested in 1986 aboard a stolen yacht, his co-workers simply could not believe him guilty of theft, and when his seedier associates tied him to the murders, they were absolutely staggered. Humes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, relates the obviously complex case lucidly and dramatically, combining painstaking research and hair-trigger pacing. Like his Buried Secrets , this book is a noteworthy contribution to the true-crime genre. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Complicated is a word used throughout this work. There are three murders. There are boat and car thefts and insurance fraud reaching into the millions of dollars. There is a key witness who is an obvious liar and another who is dead before trial's end. And at the center is William Leasure, a mild Los Angeles traffic cop who prefers issuing warnings to tickets and has used neither gun nor baton in a long police career, yet who is charged with living a double life of contract killer and thief. Humes walks a fine line as he presents the complexities of the case and the enigmatic officer lest his audience be overwhelmed, and in the end most readers will agree with the findings--but beyond a reasonable doubt? Recommended for most public libraries.-- Jim Burns, Broward Cty. Lib. System, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451404022
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/1/1993
  • Series: True Crime Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Humes
Edward Humes

Edward Humes is the author of eight critically acclaimed nonfiction books, including the bestseller Mississippi Mud and, most recently, Monkey Girl. He has received the Pulitzer Prize for his journalism and is a writer-at-large for Los Angeles magazine. He lives in California.

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