DNA Leads Cops in Murder Case to One of Own

"I think, I mean, obviously all professions -- whether it's doctors, police officers -- they all have a, have this fidelity to each other to some degree," said Beck. "But that degree does not extend to murder with the Los Angeles Police Department, and it never has."

Defense attorney Mark Overland say the prosecution's evidence is old and full of flaws.

"When you have a [police] department that says, 'Trust me now, I got it right, but don't trust what we did 23 years ago because we got it wrong' -- that causes some concern," said Overland. "An investigation closer to the time would seem to be more reliable than one that happens 23 years later.

"When people think of DNA they think it is infallible. DNA typing is a very complicated process. ... This is a sample that has been stored in numerous locations. And there's issues of decomposition, there's issues of contamination. There are many questions that are raised when you have such a sample and that's just the initial step."

Many of those close to Lazarus remain faithful to their friend and neighbor.

"I think the two words that come to mind are caring and warm," said neighbor Jim Hudson. "It just doesn't seem like she would ever do something like that over a man."

His wife, Sue Hudson, agreed. "I am convinced she's innocent," she said. "I cannot imagine anything else."

Stephanie Lazarus: Unanswered Questions

Beck said the community was still processing the accusation.

"I think a lot of people were very, very shocked, I mean she [Lazarus] is a very outgoing, well-liked person, do you know, that had a long, long history with a lot of people here," he said. "I think a lot of people felt very bad. And, and are still coming to grips with it."

A July 21 hearing is scheduled on a prosecution motion to get dental impressions from Lazarus.

For Rasmussen's parents and friends, this could be the beginning of a healing process after two decades of unanswered questions.

"The overwhelming thing that they have is relief," said Taylor. "They feel that it's been solved, but they're still processing."

For another family, it's the start of a lengthy legal ordeal that may not bring resolution -- but may instead lead to a dark revelation.

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