People Who Posed As Cops To Commit Horrible Crimes

The 2014 movie Let's Be Cops depicts police officer impersonation as a hilarious, almost carefree folly that comes with no real consequences. In reality, though, impersonating a cop is a federal crime and one that real law enforcement officers don't take lightly. The suspects involved in most police impersonation cases aren't doing it to get girlfriends or whatever was going on in Let's Be Cops. Their goals are far more sinister. Most cop impersonators pretend to be officers in order to commit other criminal activity and to perpetrate downright repugnant acts. These true crime stories of criminals posing as police officers will definitely not make you laugh. Instead, they'll probably leave you wondering whether or not the guy pulling you over is a total fake.

Photo: Donn Dughi / State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

  • A Fake Cop Murdered A Woman In A Church

    In April 2016, a man dressed as a cop broke into Creekside Church of Christ in Texas and murdered fitness trainer Missy Bevers. According to police, the assailant was wearing a black helmet, black gloves, and a vest marked "POLICE" when he forcibly entered the church and found Bevers. The man seemed to be looking for something, although whether it was the mother of three was unclear.

    After reviewing the surveillance video, Sergeant Nick Harp said, "He certainly doesn’t display the characteristics of somebody who is trying to burglarize a place. He’s taking his time, walking slowly around.” 

  • Infamous Killer Ted Bundy Impersonated Cops And Other Authority Figures

    If you're so inclined, reading about Ted Bundy and his crimes is a veritable rabbit hole of the gruesome and macabre. In addition to feigning injury, Bundy loved to impersonate authority figures as a means of intimidating and coercing his victims. This included posing as police officers, as he did when he abducted Carol DaRonch in 1974.

    Bundy identified himself as "Officer Roseland" and told DaRonch he was responding to a report her car had been broken into and asked if she would accompany him to the station. She initially trusted Bundy, who was said to be quite charming and persuasive. However, DaRonch soon realized Bundy was not a real police officer, and when she attempted to flee his car, he slapped a pair of handcuffs on her. Luckily, Bundy only managed to manacle one of DaRonch's wrists, and she narrowly escaped one of the most notorious serial killers in history.

  • A Man Essentially 'Became' A Cop To Commit Crimes

    Henry Terry's behavior sounds like that of a method actor preparing for a role as a police officer, only with goals far more sinister than an Oscar bid. Not only did Terry utilize realistic uniforms, handcuffs, and a car equipped with flashing sirens, he apparently also had his own fake police station. According to an Associated Press writer, Henry set up "a personal police station where he kept records of possible crimes and sometimes interrogated 'suspects' who were handcuffed to a chair."

    One of Henry's motives for this elaborate ruse was robbery. He would extort cash from his "suspects" in exchange for their release. But his actions were far more extreme than this, and he was ultimately charged on numerous counts of rape and at least one count of extreme animal cruelty. According to the New York Daily News, Terry allegedly set a neighbor's cat on fire, then promised to "solve the crime."

  • A Man Impersonated A Cop To Get Out Of Swapping Insurance

    Mark Monterroso was arrested in Blanchar, OK, in April 2016 after a road rage incident, reported News 9 in Oklahoma City. When the victim of the incident attempted to get Monterroso's insurance information, Monterroso sped passed his car on the shoulder, an action that kicked up rocks that broke his windshield. After this, Monterroso identified himself as a police officer and threatened the victim with a baton.

    It is possible that Monterroso was involved in a series of other police impersonation incidents in the area, whereby the accused had been targeting unaccompanied women.

  • A Man Posed As An Officer In A String Of Horrific Nationwide Prank Calls

    David Stewart of Fountain, FL, was accused - but ultimately acquitted - of making a prank call to a McDonald's in Mount Washington, KY, where he claimed to be a police officer and wielded his "authority" in a sadistic game of manipulation. Three people were involved with the hoax - the restaurant's manager, her boyfriend, and an 18-year-old employee.

    Stewart allegedly told the manager that the employee had taken merchandise from the McDonald's and instructed the manager to strip-search the employee. At some point during the phone call, the manager's boyfriend arrived to continue the strip search and, apparently at Stewart's insistence, forced the employee to perform oral sex on him. The entire ordeal lasted three and a half hours.

    As there was no hard evidence to convict him, Stewart walked. The manager and her boyfriend, however, were convicted for their own roles in the crime, as the McDonald's surveillance footage provided more than enough evidence. It is believed Stewart made similar prank calls in Idaho, Oklahoma, and other locations, using payphones and calling cards to cover his tracks. Whether or not Stewart was actually guilty, the crimes have apparently stopped since his arrest and trial.

  • A Serial Killer May Have Posed As An Officer To Lure His Victims

    William Suff, also known as the Riverside Prostitute Killer, was convicted of assaulting, mutilating, and murdering 12 sex workers between 1989 and 1991. Often, his victims' bodies were discovered posed in lewd positions.

    Police know Suff lured women into his van, but it has often been rumored - though never confirmed - that he would impersonate a police officer to intimidate his victims into cooperation.