Good Cop, Bad Cop

Also see:
The Lazarus File by Matthew McGough
The Atlantic, June 2011

At 6:40 a.m. on June 5, 2009, Jaramillo stopped by Lazarus's desk. He was wearing a wire. "Stephanie?" he asked. "Do you know me? I'm Dan Jaramillo. I work over here on the other side." He explained that he was working on a case and had a suspect in the jail who was talking about stolen art. "I don't know a lot about this stuff," he told Lazarus. "You can kind of talk to him. You can see if he's for real."

When Lazarus arrived in the interrogation room, Stearns and Jaramillo abandoned the story of a suspect talking about stolen art, and explained that her name had come up in a case involving an ex-boyfriend of hers, John Ruetten. ... Stearns and Jaramillo interviewed Lazarus for more than an hour, coming at her in an oblique manner that left it unclear whether they were speaking with her as a possible witness or a criminal suspect. The conversation meandered, but every digression led back, inevitably, to the murder of Sherri Rasmussen.

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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