What is your most "wtf" moment with regards to how police handle a case?

Hey guys, so im relatively new to the true crime scene, and loving podcasts and books.

One thing i can't get my head round is how the police fail so misserably with such basic things in a case.

I recently listened to a podcast on Robert Lee Yates, Jr. and the police officer writing "Camaro" not "Corvette" when he pulled him over absolutely blows my mind. Quite literally the reason he pulled him over was because they were looking for a white corvette, and he writes Camaro, which leads to Robert Lee Yates being ignored as a suspect allowing him to kill 9 (i believe?) more people!

What is your most "wtf did the police do" moment with a case?


When Tracy Edwards escaped Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment and the cops just let him take him back because it was "gay stuff" the Milwaukee police didn't want to deal with.


I thought it was Konerak Sinthasomphone that escaped and was returned. His brother was also assaulted by Jeffrey before this happened.


You're absolutely right. It was Konerak Sinthasomophone.


It has always stuck with me, how young he is and the circumstances with his brother.


His age is another part of the overall WTF on police returning Konerak naked, bleeding, and disoriented from being drugged to Dahmer. Konerak was only 14, and IMO he certainly looked like a young boy. If the responding officers' homophobia was so great as to cause them to fail to protect an underage youth, that's some serious WTF.


Homophobia, racism, and just not caring about poor people. It's so bleak.


That cop got many promotions, and became President of their police union


14 with a hole drilled into his skull. And two women of color trying to defend him and keep him from Dahmer.


The two girls were teenagers themselves too (17 and 18 iirc). Just a few years older than the poor boy.


I can't begin to imagine how that traumatized them too. They were advocating harder for a victim than the police. Which I guess shouldn't surprise me, but damn.


That police department was notorious for all kinds of discrimination - it was absolutely rotten from top to bottom and this was just one of many awful things they did. It was so bad that when I was in college taking criminal justice classes, we had whole chapters in our textbooks devoted to that one department, as examples of everything you should NOT do in policing.


That whole thing was such a horrible mess. I cannot get over how they failed to help him. And the neighbor was even telling them something was wrong. it's shameful


It’s insane how two brothers were victimized by jef, what are the chances to come across each siblings at random time, do they live nearby? Do they go out at the same time? Or just bad luck?


This whole incident kills me. Situations like that are the reason we have police. They completely failed that boy


That one still freaks me out. He got away from a serial killer and the cops gave him back.


One of those cops went on to become president of the local police union




They should never have worked again. I hope that boy haunts them every fucking day, but I doubt they think about it.


The best part about that is one of those officers is now a sheriff up north.


Far too many cases where someone goes missing and the police say 'oh they probably just ran away'. Especially common with teenage girls. Like what the fuck dude.


Alissa Turney is the one that hurts me the most. The fact her dad set up hidden cameras around the house, constantly filmed her at work and stuff, and had her sign that contract saying he never abused her. He claimed she ran away, LE didn’t look into her disappearance until her sister wanted answers. Edit- spelling (on mobile)


Do you listen to Voices for Justice? It's her sister Sarah Turney's podcast. Absolutely fantastic advocacy work she's doing.


That very first phone call she shared with him have me chills. You could tell how manipulative and just bad he was.


Agree. Also the cases, usually of sex workers, where police marked DNI ("Do Not Investigate"). WTF.


Yeah. I was livid when I learned that.


Along these lines I'd add MMIWG (in Canada too eh) and police turning a blind eye to reports of SA in a diocese, esp. back in the day (see PA and Baltimore reports of grand jury investigations of the CC). The whole idea of the "less dead" and that some are more exempt from police scrutiny than others.


I’m Native American and it’s the way other native women are treated when they go missing that motivated me to tell multiple people in my life that I would NEVER “run away”. If I ever went missing, something bad definitely happened. I could not imagine putting my loved ones through that if I could avoid it. Half the time these girls aren’t even known drug users or from abusive homes, so why on earth would they voluntarily disappear like that?


That was basically how Dean Corll racked up the toll that he did - the houston pd simply did not give a single damn about missing kids and just shrugged it off when their parents would report it.


I was just going to say that. So many teen / young adult boys go missing - oh, another run away. It's just incomprehensible. No one saw a pattern?


The one that gets me is the Waldrop brothers that corrl killed - two brothers killed at the same time. [This article talks about the experience their father had](https://www.texasmonthly.com/true-crime/the-lost-boys/): >Although the Waldrops’ home was only half a mile from the church where Jimmy and Danny disappeared, the police still did not investigate. The Waldrop brothers’ father, Everett, a burly, divorced construction worker, later told the Houston Chronicle that he filled out missing persons reports at the police department, then “camped on that police department door for eight months. I was there about as much as the chief was. But all they said was ‘Why are you here? You know your boys are runaways.’”


I hadn't heard this. Heartbreaking.


Thank you for the link to this in depth article. I had read or watched a video on YouTube about this evil man and his accomplices but nothing as in depyh as this article. My heart absolutely breaks for these families. I also have a bit of anger toward LE for not investigating the disappearances of all these young boys much more than that of just being a "runaway." Idk if that's just how things were then or if LE just didn't want to spend any time trying to figure out where these young beautiful souls were.


Same with John Wayne Gacy. The police just could not be bothered. It’s heartbreaking for the families.


I know 2 girls who went missing. One was 18 and one 19. The police did nothing because they were of legal age, but everyone knew there was foul play. One of the girls, her body was never found. The other, a part of her body was found not too many weeks after she went missing.


I truly don’t understand the logic behind refusing to search for a runaway. Even if it was a case of a teen wanting to leave home, how the fuck do they expect a kid as young as 13 to just fend for themselves? They’re extremely vulnerable to foul play! They still need to be found.


St Louis Jane Doe. Sent the only piece of evidence they had, the clothes she was wearing, to a fucking psychic who lost them.


The irony of a psychic losing something is hilarious. The police would have been like 'just use your powers to find it!'


I believe it was lost in the mail, but yeah.


There was a documentary released within the last few years about her that suggested the sweater wasn’t lost in the mail, and was returned but then went missing after someone in the PD signed for it.


Never heard of this. Wow


Know far too many of them. Like one from 2006 where Ryan Waller’s girlfriend was shot to death, and when police arrived they didn’t believe Ryan got shot in the face, saying: ‘you’d be dead’. They questioned him for 6 hours. Medics finally showed up and immediately confirmed he was, indeed, shot in the face. Ryan got an infection, lost part of his brain, left eye and lived the rest of his life with seizures. He died in 2016 as a result of a seizure.


I just learned about this case a couple days ago because I was recommended his interrogation video on YouTube. I was shouting at the tv the whole time like “WTF HE’S OBVIOUSLY DISORIENTED AND INJURED!” I can’t imagine being shot in the head twice, being so out of it I just wander around my own apartment with my dead partner on the sofa, FOR TWO DAYS, before the cops finally find me and then hold me for six hours and accuse me of shooting my own partner before finding medical help. I feel so bad after watching this one.


This one. Them cops were idiots


Phoenix PD is flat out incompetent. They were also involved in the Alissa Turney investigation. Ryan's and Alissa's case both infuriate me. I've heard a few other cases from Phoenix but the names escape me right now.


Dam I clearly remember this one , after looking into the documentary about it I was legit sad for Ryan.


I've never heard of this. That's insane. Did he sue?


Ryan died. His family sued but I don't know how successful the suit was. The detective who interviewed and ignored Ryan's injuries retired and skipped off into the sunset.


The woman who was kidnapped, and her father is a cop in the area, and multiple witnesses called 9-11 while she was alive in his car screaming for help, and SHE called 9-11 in his car on his phone while he was distracted, He drove past multiple vehicles while his vehicle was currently BEING LOOKED FOR because the police departments didn't communicate with each other, and a tip was ignored because a dispatcher forgot to write it down, And the guy shot her in the head and buried her and was caught 20 minutes after instead of 20 minutes before.


I just listened to this story on Dark Topic yesterday. Jack Luna is by far my favorite true crime Podcaster. This story is as frustrating as Susan Powell and her children. I can't imagine the soul crushing terror Denise felt. The worst part is that she fought so hard and maybe even had hope that someone would come save her, only for everything to fail.


Do you know which episode it is?. I can't find it


denise amber lee


I hate this story SO much.


That one hits my gut so deep everytime I see the dateline on. It literally brings me to tears. Soooo many opportunities to save that girl and they caught him right after he had killed her and left her body. Like right after. And her dad was the chief of police I believe, or something to do with the one county sheriff department. That case stuck so hard with me! And the way she left so much evidence in the car, and even called 911 herself from his cell phone while he was driving her somewhere to kill her.


Jaycee Lee Duggards kidnapper was literally under police surveillance with an ankle bracelet, while he was holding Jaycee captive in the backyard.


He was even reported to the police for having a little girl in his back yard. His parole officer followed up by asking him if he did. And then asked if he could enter the premises. When he was declined he accepted that and never looked further into it


Fucking hell


Papa’s gotta have his donut. Maddening how that cop did the absolute minimum.


I thought I read in her book that they searched the backyard but the shed she was in was in a hidden section up the back. It looked like the yard ended but there was more property


That’s peak insanity. I only know a few people who’ve been on probation for felonies, but every single one of them got their houses searched from top to bottom at some point as a random search while they were out on probation. It’s absolutely insane to me that a kidnapping victim was living in the backyard and the probation officer never searched the home. I know they were never held accountable but that officer should’ve been fired and never allowed to work on the force again.


Top notch surveillance they had..


I'm not saying the cops were complicit in covering up the murder of Alonzo Brooks, a Black man who was murdered in a sundown town, but.


*whispers* the cops were definitely complicit in covering up Alonzo Brook’s murder.


JonBenet case immediately stands out.


LE: "Gosh, it is so nice neighbors and friends of the family are coming over to clean house in this trying time." /s, but a total WTF.


I’ve always said that when I die, if I get to ask one question, it’ll be what the hell happened here.


OT, but as a child, I believed that the first thing you got to do when you died and went to heaven was get answers to all the questions.


And also, you get to see what dinosaurs really looked like.


And by "get to see," you mean "ride around on."


I mean who knows, maybe you can


That be nice. I have quite a list.


I'm counting on it.


I came here to say this. What absolute utter fools. It is 98% the Boulder PD’s fault that we still don’t know what happened to her.


I was living in Boulder in 1996. I was a student. I got an underage drinking ticket and my friend actually got taken away in a paddy wagon at a party. It always chapped my hide the police force was in full effect for tipsy 20 year olds, but letting everyone and their families and lawyers walk around a fucking crime scene.


In the Delphi investigation, they had video evidence of the perp right before he committed the murders, with his voice. They had the perp come in for an interview immediately following the murders admitting to being on the bridge that day in those clothes. And due to a clerical error of some sort, he was completely lost/forgotten about until 5 years later. After years of hemming and hawing and grandstanding and an entire building dedicated to the case and no movement. Over those 5 years they likely lost out on the opp to gather critical evidence. Now they have various gag orders in place so that people don’t talk about their incompetence .


This, but they didn't have him come to the police station for an interview. The way it is worded is that Richard Allen (not convicted as the perp as of yet btw) volunteered to meet with a Conservation Officer in the parking lot of a grocery store to offer up the details of his trip to the trail that day. The date of this interview hasn't even been disclosed, so it may have happened after the girls were missing but before their bodies were found, we don't know yet. His next court appearance is coming up soon, June 15th.


But what we do know is that he was asked what he was wearing, he told them AND THEN the video came out of their murderer wearing exactly what he described. This still did not put up any red flags for anyone.


No, we do not know that. If you read his PCA, you will see that it was in his October 2022 interview that he described what he was wearing. It does have details from his 2017 "interview", but it does not state that he was asked nor volunteered any information as to what he was wearing that day.


This !! Still blows my mind


[Savana Graziano](https://www.newsweek.com/anthony-john-graziano-savanna-graziano-shot-police-fontana-california-1747054). 15 year old girl kidnapped by her estranged father. Police pursue his vehicle, corner it, engage in a firefight, and when the girl jumps out of the father's truck and runs to the police the gun her down. What. The. Fuck.


*heroically and bravely gun her down, because their lives are more important.


It's the staggering stupidity and indifference to life that gets me. They KNEW she was in the car. They KNEW she was a 14 year old girl. How the fuck could they possibly confuse a 14 year old girl (even if she was wearing tactical gear) with anyone else. There were only two people in the vehicle. The kidnapper (a grown man) and the kidnapped (a 14 year old girl). This just infuriates me.


the uvalde school shooting :|


I had to scroll way too long to see this. YES.


Police incompetence is just so common it is so hard to pinpoint an exact case.


Exactly, and that's not even counting the times they blindly go after the wrong person.


Simon Whistler podcast the casual criminalist is pretty great. In the beginning he had a lot of confidence in the police doing their job, after doing a crime podcast now for a few years his confidence in police has plummeted. It is amazing how many cases could have ended way sooner if police did just the barest of the bare minimum of their duties


The west Memphis three was an absolute dumpster fire. In the 90s, three small boys found dead and bound in a creek in the woods. Police blamed 3 teens without having any evidence and then proceeding to make shit up about them being satanists. One major "evidence" they went off on was a questionable confession from one of the teenage boys, Jessie. The 17 year old was held and questioned for HOURS without his parents present and only around 30 minutes of it was on tape. He was pretty much told by the police what to say. Edit: Jessie was also of lower IQ and had mental disability. What's most insane is that one of the other three teens, Damien (they accused of being the leader of an imaginary cult), actually had death penalty on the table.... This case is absolutely mental.


This was my thought too. And they’ve been even worse since Damien, Jessie, and Jason were released! Their attorneys asked for DNA testing of some of the evidence previously collected to which the department stated “sorry, they were lost in a building fire”. When pressed on when the fire occurred, how it occurred, etc., they backtracked their story and said there was no fire. The court system still REFUSES to proceed with the DNA testing that these convicted boys’ attorneys are requesting be tested. There is ZERO reason to deny these requests! The three convicted men deserve to have their names cleared, but even more importantly, those three poor little boys deserve justice.


And he had a learning disorder, from what I understand. Shades of Brendan Dassey.


And the fact that Jessie was mentally disabled adds to how fucked up it was. Also the fact that when they were trying to get themselves exonerated the state lied to them and said all the evidence had burned in a fire, which they miraculously found later.


If I’m not mistaken this case was a huge influence on the creation of Eddie Munson from Stranger Things.


you're not wrong, and while the west memphis three are probably the most well-known example, there are, sadly, tons of cases of young people who are into counterculture being unfairly targeted as suspects in crimes they didn't commit.


The case of Philip Shue. He was receiving letters saying that his ex wife and her husband were planning to kill him to cash in on his life insurance policy. He gets up to go to work one morning, doesn’t make it in. Two hours later, he’s seen driving erratically before crashing his car into a tree, causing his death. When his body was removed from the car, they found that his hands and ankles had been bound with duct tape, the tip of one finger was missing as well as his earlobe and his nipples had been cut off. He had a 6 inch gash on his torso that didn’t appear to be caused by the crash and his shirt had been cut from navel to chest. The police determined it was a suicide and his ex wife successfully cashed in the million dollar insurance policy


Suicide??? Just how?


Why was the exwife still the beneficiary of his policy?


I’m not sure. His current wife filed a lawsuit after his death to attempt to prevent the ex from collecting, but the judge ruled in favor of the ex wife.


It’s more slapstick than “wtf,” but the DC Snipers case is full of police blunders that sound straight out of Reno 911. The DC Snipers left a note at one crime scene saying if their demands weren’t met by 9am the next day, they’d kill again. The police did not read the note until after 9am. Earlier in the case, the DC Snipers tried to call the police; it took them 4 tries to get through and when they finally did, the dispatcher cut them off mid-speech and told them they had the wrong department and needed to hang up and call a different number. It’s a sad case, but the increasingly frustrated notes and call transcripts as they repeatedly tried and failed to contact the police are hilarious. Like their crime scene notes went from purely ominous threats to a negative Yelp review


John Wayne Gacy had several victims that escaped of the course of a decade, all disbelieved, downplayed, or ignored because they were gay (or thought to be gay). The last one went to the hospital, reporting rape and abduction and bleeding from his anus and face covered in chloroform burns, and the police dismissed it out of hand because they just assumed that was no big deal for gay men. The guy remembered enough details to stake out the neighborhood himself and actually tracked Gacy back to his house. Half a dozen other people were murdered before the cops bothered doing anything.


Jesus Christ, I stay away from learning about Gacey, because it's too nauseating, but of fucking course there's a Dahmer-like story of pathological homophobia.


Bundy's second escape from custody in CO. He had already proven himself a flight risk (the first escape itself something of a WTF). The second escape from a CO jail was facilitated by a skeleton staff that didn't check up on him -- supposedly asleep, but actually books under a blanket -- for 17 hours, by which time he was in Chicago. Ultimately, he made his way to FL and committed the 3 FSU murders that got him the electric chair.


I was going to comment this if it wasn’t here. The fact that he escaped - not just once but - TWICE is absolutely insane. His victim count would be a fair bit shorter if people just did their damn jobs


Police giving Lori Vallow Daybell advice on how to avoid her mental health assessment


When did this happen, i wasnt aware of this incident. Gosh charles vallow even complained to the police and they did nothing, and the arizona police - dont know how they let alex cox walk free


Charles went to JJs school to meet Lori and get the police to take her in for a mental health examination (don’t know the exact wording) anyway Charles takes her purse so she can’t leave before the police get there but she has a spare car key and drives off. A little later she goes to the police about Charles having her purse and that’s where it takes place. [video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n856Yrvzmo)


Recently, the missing girls found with an entire family dead in Oklahoma.


I’m in OK and it’s still being run on the news. The dad of one of the girls talking about how they went in to the house after LE left and they found so many things that were left behind like the girls cellphone, drugs, handcuffs chained to the floor and various bdsm stuff.


Oh , which case is this?


Maybe [this?](https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/02/us/henryetta-oklahoma-seven-bodies-found-tuesday/index.html)


Yes it is that case. I'm from the same county and it's incredibly messed up. Also, last year, same area, 2 men were killed, dismembered, and dumped in a river. But the sheriff s doesn't think there's a crime problem.


Stephen Port, serial killer in London. He wrote a suicide note for one of his victims, Daniel Whitworth, where, in the note, he had Whitworth "confess" to one of Port's other murders. Also included in Whitworth's suicide note was a bit that said: ”BTW Please do not blame the guy (Port) I was with last night, we only had sex then I left, he knows nothing of what I have done." Police thought that all sounded legit and just accepted the suicide note and didn't follow up on a timeline. Probably also related to not wanting to deal with anything related to men being together. I was watching The Barking Murders and had to Google the note because I couldn't believe that the police would just accept something like that, but they certainly did.


Easily when Milwaukee’s PD returned Konerak to Dahmer. The entire city was outraged.


And not only did those officers NOT face any real consequences, one of them went on to become head of the Milwaukee police union. Makes me furious.


And I think the other went on to be a police chief for another town. Fuck do I hate MPD.


The first recent one that popped into my head was Gabby Petito from that bodycam footage




All evidence pertaining to Kurt Cobain’s death was promptly destroyed within a month of his death. Im not a crazy conspiracy theorist and I’m not sure if I believe he was murdered but that still seems very very odd to me. Watch the documentary soaked in bleach, might be on Netflix. Super good and covers this


I think Elliott Smith was murdered by his then girlfriend. She was in the apartment when he died with two stab wounds to the chest. She claims to have been in the shower at the time. He wrote his suicide note on a sticky note. The coroner didn’t find any hesitation wounds that are typical of people who commit suicide that way.The autopsy report doesn’t list suicide as the cause of death, and the police investigation is still pending. The girlfriend later sued his family for 15% of his earnings claiming to have worked as his manager for years. She lost the suit.


I'm with you on this one. When it happened I was in college so of course everyone was listening to his music and we all thought she did it despite his melancholia. The fact that there were no hesitation wounds and that there were *two* of them is what convinced me.


That was a really good documentary, if I’m remembering correctly, with the amount of drugs in his system there was no way he wouldve been able to shoot himself. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it but I remember blaming Courtney love for his death


When the cops let John Ramsey search for his daughter alone in the unsecured and contaminated crime scene


The Long Island serial killer case.


Some of those who work forces... are the same that burn crosses


Absofuckinglutely this


Paul Bernardo-Karla Homolka for sure


Every time they didn't bother to even do the minimum to look for missing black sex workers, because apparently nobody cares about them. And you know, all the other rampant racism.












I watched a youtube video about the Manson case. Apparently, a cop ruined a bloody fingerprint on a button to a gate, saying, "Well I needed to get out."


I have to say all the ignored calls from concerned neighbors in the Jeffrey Dahmer case are pretty high up there


I’m going to say Charles Vallow in AZ. They determined that his death, perpetrated by his Brother in Law, was self-defense. At the time of the murder, no charges were filed. Despite, three “witnesses” with three conflicting statements. Charles was on body cam saying he feared for his life and that his wife was going to kill him. It wasn’t until THREE more murders happened that they decided to indict one of the coconspirators was in jail. The shooter, Alex Cox, was dead. Alex also shot at his niece’s husband’s car. Again he wasn’t charged. Brandon recognized the shooter as Alex. He was seen driving a jeep that was registered to his previous victim, Charles Vallow. I believe Tylee, JJ, and Tamny Daybell would still be alive had LE had done their jobs.


Look up Lester Eubanks. Sentenced to death for murdering a 14 year old. When in jail put on a program for good behavior inmates who get to leave jail without police escort. He escapes. Years later an police officer looks him up in the warrant database to see if he’s maybe been picked up on another charge and realizes that after he escaped from jail there was a clerical error and a warrant was never put out for his arrest. In other words police hadn’t even been looking for him and any officer that ran his ID wouldn’t have seen he was wanted. He escaped in the 70’s and is still at large Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries has an episode on him


The Millbrook twins disappearance where the case was closed and then the officer closed the case and took them of the NCMEC database.


Amanda Knox and the Perugia cops.


When the LAPD covered up the murder of Sherri Rasmussen for decades to protect the cop who murdered her.


In the murder of Bonnie Neighbors, a beautiful young North Carolina mother 50 years ago, police identified a prime suspect and kept him in focus for more than four decades. Suddenly, he was dismissed from further consideration and a black, homeless man living on the streets of Bradenton, Florida was identified by DNA and fingerprints and arrested. He languished in jail for nearly three years and died of lung cancer before a trial was held. Charges against him have been dismissed. The story is told in a recently published book: "A Wrong Turn Ends in Murder and Becomes 50-Year Mystery. Available on Amazon. Reward offered for solving the chase and bringing someone to a conviction.


Police fouled up investigations of serial rapists with forensic knowledge a lot. Depressingly so. The "unbelievable story of rape" incident and the toy-box killer come to mind. Central Park Five was also pretty bad.


West Memphis 3


Police in the Yorkshire Ripper case ignored Sutcliffe as a suspect a few times, partly due the hoax tape and his accent not being the same. Stephen Port was also a massive failure for the Metropolitan police.


Fucking Phillip Garrido. Fucking Ariel Castro.


Fucking Anthony Sowell.


When the woman, who was trying everything in her power to get singer Ian Watkins locked up for his crimes against children, got arrested for having illicit pictures of underage children on her phone that Watkins sent to her. She tried 4 times to take all evidence to police and they brushed her off. I was livid.


Uvalde Police on their phones in the school hallway while kids were getting killed in the classroom. Fuckin' insane!


Betsy Faria, Kristin Smart (although I guess that was more on campus security), Tamla Horsford, JonBenet Ramsay, Rachel Barber, and Ellen Greenberg


ryan waller’s interview


the italian police in the amanda knox case absolutely destroyed any possibility of knowing what really happened.


Rudy Guede did it and the police basically gave him immunity/lighter sentence.


Always felt like the Cheshire/Petit family murders was a great example of poor police work. They just chilled outside for a while asking the severally concussed husband a bunch of questions while his wife and daughters were sexually assaulted and killed inside. Then they managed to somehow let the killers get into a vehicle and flee before they crashed and were subdued. Just a bunch of cops staring at the sky while a family gets ripped to shreds 40 feet away from them.


serial killer Bruce McArthur case in Toronto - Gay Village community knew their own people was missing but cops wouldn't do anything...eventually they caught Bruce with a victim chained up on his bed. At the same time in the same damn neighborhood, a separate case with a victim Tess Richly who was killed by a date and not even far away from where she was last seen. Cops proclaimed they "looked". Her own family came to Toronto and actually found her body..which is quite disgusting when you think about it. Toronto cops are notorious for being a massive problem for minorities groups and we recently got a report from the TPS confirming that they are lacking with training and controlling their bias..No shit Sherlock.


There are some really great ones mentioned (especially Dahmer). Three others that come to mind: Rebecca Zahau, The Cheshire Murders, and..darn it, I completely forgot the third while I was reading everyone’s replies. Not my original choice, but I guess I’ll go with Christopher Neal.


I spent 2 months in juvie and 3 months in boot camp for vandalizing a church in the 90s. You would think me being already locked up when it occurred for being out after curfew would have been a good alibi but noooo. FWIW I did put a 50’ roundup pentagram in the church yard after I got out. Had to do the crime after doing the time. My early thoughts on cops was they just got their rocks off beating up minors.


This isn't a famous case, but the police department is known for their incompetent investigation team.. The same police department that couldn't decide which guy who wasn't in the state at the time of the murder was the one to pin it on, when the murderer was the last person who the victim was with and who lived in a tent a hundred feet from where the body was found (that case was solved by a p.i the victim's mom hired, not the police, btw). For me it was when my hometown's police department declared that an 11 year old snapped her own neck cleanly by hanging (in the lower middle of her neck) with a retractable Chihuahua leash, while standing in a low-ceiling closet, and was untied by ??? before being found. 70lbs soaking wet and nearly five foot tall, hung herself with enough force from a four-foot-high clothes beam to snap the middle of her own neck. With all the ligature around her collar, not at the jaw like what happens with hangings. With an incredibly narrow cord rated for up to 25lbs. And untied herself post-mortem to boot. No eyes batted when the guardian gave police a phone that hadn't even been activated and buried the one she used with her. Not even when the guardians had the girl exhumed so the phone could be retrieved and wiped. No questions asked when the guardian called her son an hour before police after "finding" the corpse. Nary a peek made into all the reports of the guardians physically and sexually abusing all the children in the house but specifically her (the oldest) or the guardian's history of marrying child-predators and calling the kids liars even after the predator is brought to justice. Nevermind the amount of changes the story of finding her underwent. Totally a suicide. /s


Making a Murderer.


The aftermath of the Boston marathon bombing has got to be up there in terms of flubbing at every step.


I’m sure Watertown PD would have liked to know that the carjacking suspects were the marathon bombers *before* engaging them and having bombs thrown at them! Danny Meng made it very clear to police and 911 that they were!


Yup. - Pretty much every aspect of the extremely dangerous Watertown shootout, from Boston PD not sharing that vital information, to Watertown PD popping off all their ammo in a residential area - Having Tamerlan on the FBI radar already, but instead of figuring that out releasing photos to the public - Not checking the very big and obvious covered boat during the lockdown + sweeping operation - Shooting up the boat?!?! There is more, I'm sure.


My now former husband, my little boy, and I were in Watertown that night. The sound of gunfire woke us up. The next day there was the lockdown. It was fucking madness. It was so crazy and scary I don’t ever really even talk about it. Colossal fuck up by the police.


In the U.K. for me it's always going to be Operation Edzell following the murder of Rachel Nickell in July 1992. A complete and utter fuck up. It's debatable that had they not focused so much on Colin Stagg, an innocent man, they may have identified the real killer, Robert Napper, who tragically went on to murder Samantha Bisset and her four year old daughter Jazmine in November 1993.


the investigations into colin stagg were incredibly unethical with the ‘love letters’ and all of that, incredibly poor police work


Murder of Meredith Kercher. "Wow, this broken 2nd story window is a bit too high for a burglar. It had to have been staged, so one of her roommates murdered her." "Well, the American roommate texted her boss just before the murder. That's suspicious, right?" "Sure is! Bring her in and lean on her." *one unrecorded midnight interrogation later* "Well, after yelling at her and hitting her, we told her she had repressed the memories and would go to prison if she didn't remember. In the end she said she might have seen her boss in the flat." "Good enough for me! Go arrest her boss then parade them through the streets." "Shouldn't we wait for forensics?" "Nah, we're good." *one week later* "Ok, so the boss has an ironclad alibi, the American immediately recanted her 'memory' and all we have on her is a possibly contaminated knife that doesn't fit the victim's wounds." "Bummer!" "But we caught a serial burglar, known to enter through 2nd story windows. He fled the country after the murder, his prints are in the room and his DNA on the victim and inside her. Oh, and he confessed to have been in the flat to a friend and said the American wasn't there." "My God, man, do you know what this means?" "The burglar did it and we coerced a confession out of an innocent girl?" "The burglar and the American must have been in league and did it together!" "Wow, fantastic thinking! That's why Perugia's law enforcement has such stellar rep!"


The most horrific case I remember is of that one school girl who was held captive by a group of boys and tortured and raped for months before finally dying due to her wounds. To this day the boys parents have said it was her fault, and have desecrated her grave for 'ruining their children's lives' cause most went to prison for a short period of time. The negligence came from when I believe she was able to contact the police, or they were tipped off so they went to the house she was held captive at, and when asked if they could search the house they were told it was ok. The police officer thought that since the family agreed, they couldn't possibly be hiding anything, and left without searching The other is the girl that kept reporting to her campus police that she was being stalked and harrased, and they did nothing. I think they even threatened to arrest her if she brought it up again, and eventually the man killed her


Junko Furuta.


Watching shows like the first Lt. Joe Kenda show (forget the name) you’d see cops doing things really half-asses sometimes. And this was on a show that’s very pro-cop, which makes me wonder just how bad things were sometimes. The problem is you have a bad mix of qualified professionals out there doing the job the right way and a lot of barely graduated high school types with chips on their shoulders.


Angie Barlow. Got murdered by a girl who was jealous of her, set her up to come to her apartment, shot and killed her, Angie’s body wasn’t found until 8 months later. Raven, the girl who shot her, literally has become IG famous for her trashy raps about killing Angie. And she’s never been arrested. In fact, she’s out there thriving.


Ryan Waller's case has stuck with me since I heard about it. Dude was clearly unwell, but they interrogated him for 6 hours (!) while he had a gunshot wound in his face!! He actually had a total of 2 gunshot wounds to the head. When they finally noticed he wasn't well, not that he was being simply uncooperative, they finally got him some help. But there was some significant damage.


Cops also held him in their car for 4 or 5 hours while they investigated, further delaying medical care. Did I also mention they didn't get an answer and the door after Ryan's family called them, and they couldn't be bothered to break the door down even though they had signs that all was not well? They instead waited for a locksmith to get there to pick the lock?




How the Portuguese police handled the Madeline Mccan case. I honestly believe we would be farther in answers if they had not touched it at all and left it to another department / bureau


When the police didn’t search Josh Powell’s vehicle immediately after Susan went missing. I listened to the excellent Cold podcast about this case and felt like I had been punched in the gut when I learned that it took the police so long to get around to doing the search. I can’t help but wonder if those poor little boys would be alive today if the police had handled the case better.


In the Alex Murdaugh trail alone, there were dozens of WTF moments. They let more than a dozen friends and family members view the crime scene and walk around the periphery of the crime scene on the night of the murders, never sealed off his home, let his friends and family clean up his home before they superficially searched it for evidence, and they even let the group stay inside while they conducted the search.


If you like podcasts and are interesting in LE incompetence, I strongly recommend “Small Town Murder.” The two hosts are comedians who, in most episodes, absolutely roast the small town police forces for their incompetence.


Why was the whole world allowed to come in and traipse all over the Ramsey house?


Arresting grieving husband Russ Faria. It only got worse from there, and Pam Hupp was $150,000 richer and free to kill again and again!


The first cop's discussion with OJ - basically talking about everything but never flat out just asking hey did you do it/hey what do you know about it". Just mishandling it in deference to his "celebrity" status.


When a woman who was handcuffed and stabbed by Robert Pickton, showed up at the same hospital as him with the key to her cuffs in his pocket. He was never charged for attempted murder because she was a drug addict, therefore her statement was "unreliable". The woman had stabbed wounds. And she had stabbed Pickton in the neck in self defense. She survived.


The number of times John Wayne Gacy was reported to the cops and never arrested or even questioned is insane.


How Ellen Greenberg, who was found dead by her boyfriend with a dozen stab wounds to the BACK of her head and neck, was presumed to have committed suicide and the apartment was never fully processed for evidence of homicide. It was almost immediately cleaned. And they allowed the boyfriend’s lawyer uncle to come and take evidence like her computer before turning it in to police. By the way, the boyfriend called that uncle before calling 911.


False confessions — especially as so many armchair detectives still cling to the completely wrong idea that ”no innocent person would ever confess to a crime” — sigh. Also people often fall for the police/prosecution narrative and decide “guilty” when they haven’t taken a single look at the evidence. At this point with dna exonerations etc showing that these things do in fact occur it is depressing to see the same garbage repeated again and again — especially with certain famous cases (Meredith Kercher/Amanda Knox — Rudy Guede assaulted and murdered Meredith Kercher in a type of violent crime women experience far too frequently — his guilt was always obvious and he served prison time for her murder yet very few people posting that “Knox is guilty” because they believe the corrupt prosecutor and a rabid English tabloid even know his name — or the facts — his dna, his bloody fingerprints, his poop in the toilet, his attempt to flee the Italian justice system by running to Germany right after he committed the crime, his ridiculous claims that Meredith had consensual s\*x with him and that Amanda showed up somehow and summoned Satan and made him kill Meredith etc, his long criminal history that included robbery and threatening people with knives when he robbed houses, all evidence that pointed directly to his guilt. Amanda’s absurd “confession” should have been dismissed from the start). Another case in which a rabid prosecutor convicted the wrong person is of course the murder of Betsy Faria, who was murdered by the now infamous Pam Hupp yet initially Betsy’s husband Russ was falsely convicted and every bit of his life was torn apart. One of the false confession cases that affected me deeply is the 1991 case of Thomas Cummins and his cousins, Julie Terry and Robin Kerry, who were assaulted, tortured, the two young women were SAd, and then all three were forced to jump off a high bridge by a group of young men who attacked them on the bridge. The sisters died and Thomas barely survived. The police refused to believe Thomas and physically assaulted him into “confessing“ — forcing him to state that he was “attracted” to Julie and had tried to SA her and so the sisters jumped — it is horrible. Only a lucky discovery of a key piece of evidence saved him from life in prison.


I can not remember any names, but wasn't a girl (like a teenager) kidnapped by this dude and the police knew he did it because of witnesses. They go to arrest him like an hour or so later after they find him, and end up shooting and killing him. The girl was supposed to be in the trunk of his car or something and she wasn't there? So he's dead and no one knows where she is to this day. They thought shooting him was okay because they were saving her or something. It wasn't like they just walked up and shot him, he may have had a gun or something.


Pearl Pinson.


Well, there’s the whole Boulder Police Jon Benét Ramsey debacle.


Not a case of police incompetence, but rather corruption and collusion. Are y'all familiar with the death of 18 year old Grant Solomon? If not, check it out. He died under suspicious circumstances with points leading to his own father as the murderer, but Grant's death was categorized by LE as an accident. His father, Aaron Solomon, is very rich and is clearly active in the Old White Boys Club of Tennessee. Here's just a tidbit: Grant's younger teen sister, Gracie, has been reporting to all the authorities she can think of that her father has been SA'ing her for years, but no one believes her because her father denies it. There have been no investigations into it, LE just refuses to believe the girl and support the father. Grant had just turned 18 which is legal adult age, and was planning on doing everything he could to convince the courts that Aaron was (is still?) attacking Gracie on a regular basis. And then Grant showed up suspiciously dead with his father the only other person present at the "accident". OMG, this case makes me incredibly angry. I learned about it from Kendall Rae on YouTube.


I just heard about this one today, but the Kristine Constantino/Christopher Sky Richardson murders and the Sheriff’s “response” to the 911 call…he sent a civilian couple into a double murder scene without all the facts. Truly insane.


The school shooting. I don’t remember the name, but the police waited for hours while the guy locked himself in a class full of kids. Most of them are dead because the police waited for instruction I think


Israel Keyes. When he kidnapped Samantha Koenig from the coffee drive thru, it looked like MAYBE she went willingly so they weren’t pressed about finding her. But the cops never watched the entire security footage until several days later! And if they had they would have known it was kidnapping (Keyes alone comes back to rob the place) and they might have acted with more urgency and actually found her alive. Like they had a few pieces of evidence and the tape was one and they never even watched the whole thing. Insane. For those interested, this is all in Maureen Callahans book American predator.


Yorkshire Ripper - the phony “I’m Jack” tape that they took as gospel. Original Night Stalker - not taking seriously enough that he was the Visialia Ransacker when the evidence was compelling. Dahmer - letting him go when they had him dead to rights handcuffing that 14 year old kid in the streets. Night Stalker - not getting the car fingerprinted and saying they were tied up by red tape. Really? Also not catching him at the dentist office.


The case of the Angarsk maniac in general. Russian police system as a whole works against people (the "stick" system, taking into account the percentage of solved/unsolved cases, due to which many crimes are not recorded at all), but in Angarsk it is at some new level. The operational-search "maniac" group was hindered by local police because of close ties in local organized crime groups, so they were forced to gather to work secretly outside the offices. They themselves described the experience as "we were like spies in a foreign country". But that's not what I wanted to talk about. When the maniac was finally caught, one of the investigators began to help him, giving, for example, a map with the places where the victims were found, which showed how many murders the police knew about. Why did he do that? He was later seen having an affair with the maniac's wife, that's why.


The boys on the tracks. More a cover up than incompetent. But still, so very sad!


I recently watched the interrogation of Ryan Waller and was both frustrated and devastated by the incompetence of everybody involved. They held the victim that had been SHOT IN THE HEAD for SIX HOURS. The footage is nauseating: he is slurring his speech, confused, falling asleep, and VERY CLEARLY mentally incapacitated, meanwhile the detective continued to grill him for nonsensical answers. They failed him and his poor girlfriend :( I had to exit the video it was too much to bear.


The new Netflix doc, Victim/Suspect is about how young women report their own rapes to police, the police DON’T EVEN INTERVIEW the accused young men, then turn around and arrest the woman for false reporting. Then they can close the case because of arrest… even though they arrested the victim.


The fact that in a modern-day society, a thing like "statute of limitations" exists. Sure, you can r@p€ a minor and not go to prison. You can even admit to doing that crime and not go to prison. Just stay under the radar long enough. What the hell...