Editorial cartoon © 2012 by Thomas Broersma (firstname.lastname@example.org). All rights reserved by the artist. Full disclosure: This drawing is satire, not investigative journalism. It is unknown if CA inmate # WE4479 is a Vanity Fair subscriber.
Complete Series on Fact Checking Mark Bowden's Article HERE.
Continued from Part II...
I am not a famous writer. I don't have an editor, a fact-checker, or an unlimited budget.
I'm just a semi-retired housewife with a blog. However, I attended every hearing in the Lazarus case since February 2011. Watching the trial and getting to know many of the people impacted by Sherri Rasmussen's murder was an extremely intense and heart wrenching experience. I have such respect for the Rasmussen family, the attorneys, and all the LAPD detectives who worked on this case.
Since I published Part I and Part 2 of my review of Mark Bowden's article on the Lazarus case in the current issue of Vanity Fair, several T&T readers have asked if Mark Bowden attended the trial. As far as I know, Bowden did not attend a single court hearing between Stephanie's arrest in June 2009 and her sentencing in May 2012.
Robbery-Homicide Division Detectives Gregory Stearns and Dan Jaramillo are the stars of Bowden's article. As anyone who's watched the video knows, their interrogation of Stephanie Lazarus was masterful and truly one for the textbooks. Reading the article, I found it strange that Bowden repeatedly got inside Stephanie's head, but not Stearns or Jaramillo. Bowden does not quote either RHD detective, except off the video tape which Judge Perry released to the public in November 2010.
Given the curious absence of Stearns and Jaramillo's personal perspectives, I had to wonder: Did Bowden interview them about their experience that day? So I made a few calls.
I began with Detective Stearns. I can confirm that he was not interviewed for the Vanity Fair article.
I then decided to dig a little deeper, and can report to my readers that none of the following people were interviewed by Bowden:
- Robbery-Homicide Detective Dan Jaramillo.
- Detectives Rob Bub, James Nuttall, Marc Martinez or Pete Barba (the Van Nuys Homicide Unit that solved the case).
- Retired LAPD Detective Phil Morritt (who apparently checked out physical evidence in 1993).
- Anyone in the Rasmussen family: Nels, Loretta, or Sherri's sisters, Teresa and Connie.
- John Ruetten, Sherri Rasmussen's widower.
- Jayne Goldberg, Sherri's closest friend.
- Deputy District Attorneys Shannon Presby or Paul Nunez.
- John Taylor, the Rasmussen family attorney.
- Stephanie Lazarus' defense attorney Mark Overland.
- Stephanie Lazarus.
....Continued in Part IV....