On May 28th, 1981, Christine J. Schultz, the former wife of Police Detective Elfred O. Schultz, Jr. was murdered in her Milwaukee, Wisconsin home while in the presence of her 11-and 8-year old sons.
On March 9, 1982, Lawrencia (Laurie) Bembenek, the new wife of Detective Schultz, was convicted of that murder and sentenced to a life term in prison.
Both boys had stated that Bembenek did not murder their mother and that the perpetrator was a man. On December 9, 1992, faced with overwhelming evidence of Bembenek’s innocence, the District Attorney allowed her to plead “No-Contest” to 2nd degree murder and she was immediately released from custody. Throughout her entire life Bembenek maintained her innocence and that the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office continued to withhold evidence, falsify facts, and outright lie about her guilt. She died of liver and kidney failure in November 2010.
For more than 30 years, “Archangel” Ira Robins has collected overwhelming evidence that Bembenek was the victim of the unethical and criminal conduct of the police, District Attorney, and Wisconsin Crime Laboratory. Reviewing all of the evidence and information, “Archangel” Sal Rastrelli concurs that Bembenek was falsely convicted and was another victim of political corruption.
In 2002, Wisconsin enacted a cutting edge DNA law, which was specifically put in place to assist with criminal prosecutions and to exonerate the innocent. Knowing that false evidence was used to convict Bembenek and that there was evidence of sexual assault by a man, Laurie Bembenek’s attorney immediately petitioned the court for DNA testing. Bembenek’s experts now determined that unexplained male DNA had been collected from Christine’s body during the autopsy and that the crime lab analyst had falsely reported that there was no indication of semen from the body. Male DNA confirmed that the victim was probably sexually assaulted by a man in connection with her murder and not by Bembenek.
During the DNA testing procedure it became obvious that the State no longer possessed the test fired bullets that its experts had used to connect the slug removed from the Christine’s body to Detective Schultz’s off-duty gun. They had claimed it had been used by Bembenek to murder Christine. After delaying that disclosure for almost a year and a half, Assistant Milwaukee County District Attorney, Mark Williams, finally claimed that those test fired bullets were destroyed on September 26, 1986, by a flood that had allegedly occurred at the Regional Crime Laboratory.
In support of this false story of the evidence destruction at the crime lab, Williams presented to the DNA court a crime lab document which stated:
THIS FILE HAS BEEN WATER DAMAGED FROM A
FLOOD IN THE STORAGE AREA SEPT. 28, 1986.
On July 28, 2005, during questioning in a sworn deposition, Michael J. Camp, Supervisor of the Milwaukee Regional Crime Laboratory, admitted that he placed that false document in the crime laboratory file to verify the false statements Williams had told the court.
He also admitted that he and others at the crime laboratory had changed their own protocols to allow their experts to provide the false opinion of “inconclusive” instead of the true opinion of “no match.” A “no match” opinion at the time of the trial would have meant that Laurie Bembenek would not have been convicted.
Three days later they returned their protocol to the original state. It is the opinion of every legal expert “Archangels” has contacted that this conduct is criminal under Wisconsin law. “Archangels” has repeatedly requested criminal charges be issued, but no Wisconsin court will take the proper action.
Wisconsin prosecutors continue to use the same crime laboratory to prosecute others but conceal their criminal conduct from defense attorneys. “Archangels” can prove that the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory has falsified reports, committed perjury, and tampered with evidence in order to assist prosecutors in wrongfully convicting innocent people.
Maybe they should be the ones in prison.
Ira B. Robins and Salvatore E. Rastrelli have decades of law enforcement experience, both worked as police officers and private investigators and consultants. Their cases have frequently have been on national television and they continue to work for those who don’t have a voice and are often a victim of a system that fails to protect the innocent.