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

Edward Humes, Author Dutton Books $23 (464p) ISBN 978-0-525-93498-1
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.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 512 pages - 978-0-451-40402-2
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