2 items from 2010
The headline-grabbing Playboy model portrayed by Tatum O'Neal in TV movie Woman On Trial: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story has died at the age of 52.
Laurie Bembenek passed away on Saturday due to complications from hepatitis C and kidney failure, according to the New York Post.
She quit modeling and became a police officer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but hit headlines again when she was convicted of murdering her then-husband, Milwaukee Police Department detective Elfred 'Fred' Schultz's ex-wife, Christine Schultz, in 1981.
Bembenek escaped prison in 1990 with the help of an incarcerated boyfriend and was on the run for three months until she was captured in Canada. She was nicknamed 'Bambi' by the media during the chase.
Bembenek always maintained she had been framed by the Milwaukee Police Department, allegedly so that her ex would no longer have to pay alimony.
Following her prison release, she wrote a book about the ordeal, entitled Woman on Trial.
In 2002, the story took a bizarre turn when TV psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw agreed to conduct a DNA test on evidence from the case.
She was holed up in an apartment to prevent her from talking to other press, but Bembenek suffered a panic attack while in hiding and tried to escape by climbing out of a window. She fell and injured her foot so badly it had to be amputated.
Bembenek is survived by two sisters, Melanie and Colette. »
Laurie "Bambi" Bembenek, whose murder conviction and subsequent escape from prison made national headlines and became the subject of a TV movie, has died.
Bembenek, 52, died Saturday (Nov. 20) of liver failure at a hospice facility in Portland, Ore.
Bembenek briefly worked as a waitress at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wis., and was briefly a Milwaukee cop before being fired for falsifying a report on a fellow officer's arrest. In the summer of 1981, she was charged with the murder of Christine Schultz, the ex-wife of her husband, Milwaukee police officer Fred Schultz. After a sensational trial, Bembenek was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1982.
She seemed like a model inmate -- until she escaped from prison in 1990 with the help of her fiance, Dominic Gugliatto, and fled to Canada -- spawning a cottage industry in Milwaukee of people selling "Run, Bambi, Run" T-shirts and bumper stickers. »
2 items from 2010
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