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Charles Montaldo

'Run Bambi Run' Suspect Dead at 52

By November 22, 2010

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The former police officer and convicted killer of "Run Bambi Run" fame has died in an Oregon hospice of liver failure at age 52. Lawrencia Bembenek, who later changed her name to Laurie, died after a battle with hepatitis C, liver and kidney failure.

Bembenek became national known and a Milwaukee folk hero when she escaped from prison in 1990.

Colette Bembenek, Laurie's sister, said her sister's health declined rapidly in recent weeks.

"It went real fast. I'm glad she didn't linger," Colette Bembenek told reporters. "I knew it was inevitable that she probably would be expiring early in life."

Convicted of Murder in 1982

Bembenek, who worked briefly as a Playboy Club waitress and a Milwaukee police officer, was charged with killing the ex-wife of another police officer with whom she had a relationship, even though the victim's daughter originally described the killer as a man.

She was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to live in prison. With the help of another inmate's brother, she escaped from Taycheedah Correctional Institution and fled to Canada.

After her escape, she gained support from many in the Milwaukee community. T-shirts and signs were printed with "Run Bambi Run," a rally was held at which everyone wore Bembenek masks and one nightclub held a Bembenek look-alike contest.

Tried to Clear Her Name

She was captured three months after her escape in Thunder Bay, Ontario. A 1992 investigation into her case found that mistakes had been made in the original police investigation. Her conviction was set aside and in a complicated plea deal, she was allowed to plead no contest to a charge of second-degree murder in exchange for a sentence of time served.

She wrote a book about her experience, "Woman on Trial that was published by HarperCollins and Tatum O'Neal starred in a movie about the Bembenek case called, "Woman on the Run: The True Story of Lawrencia Bembenek.

Bembenek insisted that she was innocent from the beginning and worked through the years to clear her name, but all of her appeals were denied. She was in the process of applying for a pardon at the time of her death.

See Also:
Laurie Bembenek Dead at 52
Ex-Playboy Bunny Convicted of Murder Dies in Ore.

Read the Book:
Woman On Trial

Watch the Movie:
Woman on the Run: The True Story of Lawrencia Bembenek

Photo: © Getty Images The former police officer and convicted killer of "Run Bambi Run" fame has died in an Oregon hospice of liver failure at age 52. Lawrencia Bembenek, who later changed her name to Laurie, died after a battle with hepatitis C, liver and kidney failure.

Bembenek became national known and a Milwaukee folk hero when she escaped from prison in 1990.

Colette Bembenek, Laurie's sister, said her sister's health declined rapidly in recent weeks.

"It went real fast. I'm glad she didn't linger," Colette Bembenek told reporters. "I knew it was inevitable that she probably would be expiring early in life."

Convicted of Murder in 1982

Bembenek, who worked briefly as a Playboy Club waitress and a Milwaukee police officer, was charged with killing the ex-wife of another police officer with whom she had a relationship, even though the victim's daughter originally described the killer as a man.

She was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to life in prison. With the help of another inmate's brother, she escaped from Taycheedah Correctional Institution and fled to Canada.

After her escape, she gained support from many in the Milwaukee community. T-shirts and signs were printed with "Run Bambi Run," a rally was held at which everyone wore Bembenek masks and one nightclub held a Bembenek look-alike contest.

Tried to Clear Her Name

She was captured three months after her escape in Thunder Bay, Ontario. A 1992 investigation into her case found that mistakes had been made in the original police investigation. Her conviction was set aside and in a complicated plea deal, she was allowed to plead no contest to a charge of second-degree murder in exchange for a sentence of time served.

She wrote a book about her experience, "Woman on Trial that was published by HarperCollins and Tatum O'Neal starred in a movie about the Bembenek case called, "Woman on the Run: The True Story of Lawrencia Bembenek.

Bembenek insisted that she was innocent from the beginning and worked through the years to clear her name, but all of her appeals were denied. She was in the process of applying for a pardon at the time of her death.

See Also:
Laurie Bembenek Dead at 52
Ex-Playboy Bunny Convicted of Murder Dies in Ore.

Read the Book:
Woman On Trial

Watch the Movie:
Woman on the Run: The True Story of Lawrencia Bembenek

Photo: © Getty Images

Comments

November 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm
(1) bzemom says:

Christine Schulz did not have a DAUGHTER. She
had two sons. It was the son who originally said the
intruder was a man.

June 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm
(2) Teresa says:

I am reading the book now. So many people lied were the jury dumb or what? I couldn’t believed it.

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