true stories Sadistic Criminal Cops Who Were Arrested for Heinous Crimes  

Christopher Shultz
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Police officers are meant to serve the public and protect citizens, and that's exactly what the majority of them do. But there are some cops out there who grossly abuse their positions of authority for their own gain. Even more disturbing, however, are the law enforcement officials who commit truly heinous acts (either on the job or off), utilizing their specialized training to evade capture. Throughout world history, we've seen several instances of cops who tortured people, officers found guilty of multiple rapes and assaults, and even serial killer cops who score as high on the sadism scale as murderers like BTK (Dennis Rader). The rapists, tortureres, and killer cops on this list were all convicted of unsettling crimes.
Daniel Holtzclaw, Serial Rapis... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Sadistic Criminal Cops Who Were Arrested for Heinous Crimes
Photo: Oklahoma City Police Department/Ion News One/Fair Use

Daniel Holtzclaw, Serial Rapist


This is one very, very bad cop. Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was found guilty of 18 charges, including "sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and rape," reported CNN'S Michael Martinez. Holtzclaw committed these crimes while on-duty, targeting one of Oklahoma's poorest neighborhoods, and assaulting exclusively black women. While his defense resorted to victim-blaming, the evidence against Holtzclaw was overwhelming, and the jury sentenced him to 263 years in prison.
Mikhail Popkov, AKA the Werewo... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Sadistic Criminal Cops Who Were Arrested for Heinous Crimes
Photo: File Photo/The Siberian Times/Fair Use

Mikhail Popkov, AKA the Werewolf


The monstrous nickname "the Werewolf" suits Mikhail Popkov, a former Russian police officer who used his uniform and cruiser to prey upon intoxicated women. Providing them with a false sense of trust and safety, Popkov would lure these women into his car, drive them out to the woods, and then viciously attack them with "a slipknot, knife, awl, screwdriver or an axe which he used up to 17 times on some victims," wrote Siberian Times.

Following his attack, the Werewolf would sexually assault his victims, then kill them — though in some cases it is believed that he murdered his victims first, then engaged in necrophilia. Popkov eventually confessed to 24 of the murders, claiming that the only reason he ceased his activity was because he was impotent from syphilis and could no longer enjoy murder on a sexual level. Police suspect Popkov is responsible for at least five other killings, though the number could be far higher than that.
Gennady Mikhasevich, Volunteer... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Sadistic Criminal Cops Who Were Arrested for Heinous Crimes
Photo: NTV Still/Murderpedia.org/Fair Use

Gennady Mikhasevich, Volunteer Killer


Gennady Mikhasevich served in the Voluntary People's Druzhina, a volunteer police force in the Soviet Union. He assisted in the investigation of several rapes and killings that took place between 1971 and 1985. Unbeknownst to his fellow volunteers and members of the regular police force, the crimes were not random and unconnected as many believed, but were in fact perpetuated by one man: Mikhasevich. When Nikolay Ignatovich, a young investigator, began sharing his serial killer theory, Mikhasevich sent an anonymous letter to police in hopes of derailing their investigation. However, as the letter was handwritten, investigators compared it to writing samples of people in the area, and matched the letter to Mikhasevich's hand. He was executed in 1987.
Gerard John Schaefer, Torturin... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Sadistic Criminal Cops Who Were Arrested for Heinous Crimes
Photo: Martin County, Florida Sheriff's Office/Murderpedia.org/Fair Use

Gerard John Schaefer, Torturing Cop


Pulp writer Jim Thompson wrote of a remorseless deputy sheriff in his 1952 novel The Killer Inside Me, apparently based on a particularly unnerving police officer Thompson encountered in real-life. However, even the writer's fictional creation isn't as brutal and sadistic a figure as Gerard John Schaefer, who was only convicted of the torture and murder of two teenage girls (but very likely killed far more than that), all while serving as a deputy for the Martin County, Florida sheriff's department . Even more bizarre: while in prison, Schaefer began a relationship with true crime writer Sondra London who published several volumes of Schaefer's fiction. What did he write about? Deranged cops torturing and killing women and girls.