It’s been a pretty rough year for the police — but then, it’s also been a pretty rough year for people who had to deal with the police. While many cops are good, honest people who join the force to help their communities, others are — and let’s be frank here — sociopaths who are bad people in uniform and out. In this feature, we’ll spotlight 10 police officers who took the law (or the lack of it) into their own hands when they were off duty and ended lives because of it.

Philip Seidle
Domestic violence is a big issue in the police department, and when you’re authorized to use deadly force in your day job, sometimes things go wrong at night. Philip Seidle was a New Jersey cop who was divorced from Tamara Wilson-Seidle. Obviously the emotional wound was still raw, because when he found out his ex-wife was living with another man, he rammed her car and discharged a firearm a dozen times into it…in front of their seven-year-old daughter, who he was taking to a father-daughter dance! After the murder, he sent a text message to his other children, telling them, “Your mother is dead because of her actions.”

Norbert Poehlke
The thing about being a cop is that you’re exposed to crime every single damn day, and as a result you come to feel like you know how to do it better than ordinary criminals. That’s what inspired German police officer Norbert Poehlke, who moonlighted as the notorious “Hammer Killer” for several years. In a series of robberies, the masked Poehlke would murder people, steal their cars and then use them as getaway vehicles in bank robberies. When police discovered his uniform in a train station locker, he realized the jig was up and murdered his wife and children before taking his own life. Posthumously, his pistol was found to be the same weapon used in three killings.

Stephanie Lazarus
It’s not just male cops who snap and kill people; the fairer sex can be just as dangerous. Stephanie Lazarus was a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department who, in a fit of jealousy, murdered her ex-boyfriend’s new wife Sherri Rasmussen. After brutally beating the hapless woman, Lazarus shot her multiple times. The crime went unsolved for a staggering 23 years, despite Lazarus having threatened Rasmussen in public. Finally, the cold case unit discovered DNA evidence in a bite on the victim’s arm that linked it to Lazarus. She was allowed to retire from the LAPD before her indictment, and in 2012 she was convicted of murder in the first degree.

Richmond Phillips
The police are empowered to enforce the laws of the land, but sometimes they feel like those laws shouldn’t apply to them. Richmond Phillips was a D.C. police officer who fathered a child with his girlfriend Wynetta Wright and didn’t want to pay child support. Instead of heading to court to contest it, he met Wright and his daughter in a park, shot his girlfriend and drove her and the child to an isolated location, locking the baby in a car where temperatures reached 125 degrees and leaving her to die. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Shannon Kepler
When your day job lets you use deadly force, it’s not surprising that you take that problem-solving method home. So when Oklahoma police officer Shannon Kepler decided that he didn’t like the dude that his daughter was dating, it was a short drive to homicide. In 2014, Kepler’s daughter Lisa was walking with boyfriend Jeremey Lake when Shannon Kepler pulled up in his car and discharged his firearm at the happy couple. Lake was killed and Kepler is currently standing trial in what prosecutors believe will be an open and shut case.

Frank James Coppola
Some of these murders are so petty and pointless that it boggles the mind. Frank Coppola was a Virginia police officer who, in 1978, broke into the house of a woman named Muriel Hatchell. With an accomplice disguised as a flower delivery person, Coppola tied Hatchell up with blind cords and brutally smashed her skull into the floor, killing her. The take from this grisly crime? A mere $3,100 and a few pieces of jewelry. Police tied him to the crime quickly and he was sentenced to death in the electric chair, still proclaiming his innocence with his last breath.

Antoinette Frank
We talked about this a little earlier, but the line that separates police and thieves is a pretty blurry one. That’s gotta be what inspired New Orleans cop Antoinette Frank to kick over a Vietnamese restaurant in a bloody robbery that left three dead, including a fellow officer. Frank was a 23-year-old rookie on the force when she teamed with boyfriend Rogers LaCaze to rob the Kim Anh eatery. Using a stolen key, the duo entered the building but were stopped by Officer Ronald Williams, who worked security there at nights. They shot him as well as two of the Vu family members who worked there. Survivors reported the incident to police, who arrested Frank and LaCaze. The crooked cop was put on death row, where she remains at press time.

Drew Peterson
The thing with cops is that they can be very good at concealing crimes. Illinois officer Drew Peterson cheated on his first wife and abused his second, so when his third wife Kathleen Savio was found dead in a bathtub, people were naturally suspicious. There wasn’t enough evidence to pursue an investigation, but when Peterson’s fourth wife mysteriously disappeared things started getting weird. A new investigation revealed that Kathleen Savio had died after a struggle, and Peterson was found guilty of her murder. While in prison, he added insult to injury by trying to pay a hit man to have the state’s attorney who put him away murdered as well.

Tore Hedin
Sweden is widely regarded as a pretty peaceful nation, but there’s always a bad apple. Tore Hedin was a Kävlinge cop who had been a secret criminal since his teens, when he burned down a brewery. He killed his first civilian in 1951, robbing and murdering a friend after a poker game and again setting fire to the crime scene. A year later, after his girlfriend broke up with him, Hedin went on a terrifying murder spree. First he slayed both of his parents, burned their house down and then went to the retirement home where his ex worked and killed her with an axe before barricading the doors and setting fire to that building, too. Police started a manhunt and found his corpse in a lake. He had left a suicide note, in which he confessed to all the above crimes.

Manuel Pardo
One of the highest body counts on this list belongs to Florida cop Manuel Pardo, who was let go by the Sweetwater police department just a few months before he embarked on a murder spree that would leave nine people dead. Pardo’s police career was checkered at best, with brutality charges dogging him, but things would only get worse in 1986. No longer able to “punish the guilty” at his day job, he proceeded to start a vigilante crime wave against drug dealers, shooting them to death and robbing them. He was caught because he shot himself in the foot and used one victim’s credit cards. Prosecutors noted that despite Pardo’s vigilante claims, he was on the payroll of a competing drug dealer and was just taking out the competition. He was put to death by lethal injection in 2012.

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