Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Lazarus Files: A Cold Case Investigation, by Matthew McGough

The Lazarus Files: A Cold Case Investigation, by Matthew McGough

On sale today from Henry Holt, Matthew McGough’s long awaited book, The Lazarus Files: A Cold Case Investigation.

A Journey

I first met author Matthew McGough over seven years ago on February 14, 2011 when I was looking for a new case to cover and decided to attend pretrial hearings in the Stephanie Lazarus murder case. LAPD Detective Stephanie Lazarus was charged with the 1986 murder of Sherri Rasmussen. Over the following year of pretrial hearings, I got to know Matthew and we became friends.

I have so many memories from this journey. 

Becoming fast friends with Matthew on day one of the trial. Saving seats for each other and trading notes, etc. All the sushi lunches we went on at our regular sushi spot near the courthouse. The trip to the desert to the Federal Archives in Perris, California searching for documents in the Catherine Braley civil trial. This is where we photographed thousands of pages one by one.

When this trial started, I remember Sherri Rasmussen’s sister, Teresa Lane bringing Matthew some blue chicken eggs from her hens to court. They were for Matthew’s twin boys, who were five and-a-half years old at the time. They will become teenagers this year.

For the past seven years, 

I went along with Matthew on his journey and the excitement as he shared the latest twists and turns in his investigative research. 

Lately, people have been telling me to write a book about my own experiences covering high profile murder trials. However, I know from my friendship with Matthew, what a daunting task it is to write a non-fiction book. I saw up close how much time and effort went into Matthew's research and how important it is to get the facts right. I don’t know if I have the mettle for such a task.

I have been covering murder trials since 2007. No case has impacted my life as much as Sherri Rasmussen’s. I’ve made life long friends in Nels and Loretta Rasmussen, Jayne and Michael Goldberg and several others.  

Having read Matthew’s book, I believe it will be recognized as the definitive account of this historic murder case.

Order the book at www.TheLazarusFiles.com

Book Synopsis
On February 24, 1986, 29-year-old newlywed Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in the home she shared with her husband, John. The crime scene suggested a ferocious struggle, and police initially assumed it was a burglary gone awry. Before her death, Sherri had confided to her parents that an ex-girlfriend of John’s, a Los Angeles police officer, had threatened her. The Rasmussens urged the LAPD to investigate the ex-girlfriend, but the original detectives only pursued burglary suspects, and the case went cold.

DNA analysis did not exist when Sherri was murdered. Decades later, a swab from a bite mark on Sherri’s arm revealed her killer was in fact female, not male. A DNA match led to the arrest and conviction of veteran LAPD Detective Stephanie Lazarus, John’s one-time girlfriend.
The Lazarus Files delivers the visceral experience of being inside a real-life murder mystery. McGough reconstructs the lives of Sherri, John and Stephanie; the love triangle that led to Sherri’s murder; and the homicide investigation that followed. Was Stephanie protected by her fellow officers? What did the LAPD know, and when did they know it? Are there other LAPD cold cases with a police connection that remain unsolved?

"The Lazarus Files is crime writing at its finest. Matthew McGough’s deep dive into one of the most controversial cases in Los Angeles history is expertly researched and recreated in exacting and haunting detail. I was riveted.”   --Michael Connelly

The Lazarus Files chronicles one of the most fascinating homicide cases in the history of the LAPD. Matt McGough does a herculean job of research and reporting in order to track down the many serpentine threads in this coldest of cold cases. This is a thrilling story of justice long delayed―but justice finally served.”   --Miles Corwin, author of the national bestseller The Killing Season and Los Angeles Times bestseller Homicide Special

April 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm (Pacific)
The Last Bookstore, 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Matthew McGough, author of The Lazarus Files: A Cold Case Investigation, discusses the book and the case with LAPD detective Jim Nuttall and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (Seven).

May 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm (Pacific)
Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101
Matthew McGough, in conversation with Michael Connelly and Miles Corwin, discusses and signs The Lazarus Files: A Cold Case Investigation

May 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm (Pacific)
DIESEL, A Bookstore, 225 26th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90402
DIESEL, A Bookstore in Brentwood welcomes Matthew McGough to the store to discuss and sign The Lazarus Files: A Cold Case Investigation on Sunday, May 19th at 3:00 pm. Please note that this event will take place in the lower outdoor courtyard adjacent to our store.