December 10, 1992 |
Convicted killer Lawrencia (Bambi) Bembenek's long fight to prove that she was an innocent victim of a conspiracy ended Wednesday when a judge reduced her life prison sentence to 20 years and she was released. The former police officer and Playboy Club waitress struck a deal with prosecutors in which she pleaded no contest to a reduced charge in the 1981 slaying of her then-husband's ex-wife. In exchange, Bembenek gave up her right to appeal her new conviction.
May 13, 1993 |
Through most of the 1980s, Lawrencia Bembenek, a former Milwaukee model and onetime police rookie, was a convicted murderer, guilty of the sensational, execution-style killing of her husband's first wife. But the woman often referred to as "Bambi" in the tabloids steadfastly proclaimed her innocence, and while she persuaded many people, Wisconsin authorities remained just as firmly convinced of her guilt. So was a jury: She received a life sentence in 1981.
January 10, 1992 |
The case of Lawrencia Bembenek, now in its 11th year, has from its outlandish beginnings been ripe for true-crime miniseries treatment. The gist of the story to date: - Bembenek, a pin-up model and sometime Playboy Club waitress, is convicted of the brutal, execution-style murder of her husband's first wife in a tract house hard by a Wisconsin interstate while the victim's two young sons scream in the next bedroom.
December 21, 1992 |
Comeback Kid: Tatum O'Neal will play convicted killer Lawrencia (Bambi) Bembenek in an upcoming NBC TV miniseries, "Woman on Trial: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story." In her first major role since she married John McEnroe in 1986, O'Neal will play the ex-Playboy bunny, ex-policewoman and ex-fugitive who was convicted of killing her husband's ex-wife in 1981. Filming of the four-part miniseries begins next month; it will air in May.
July 16, 1990 |
Lawrencia Bembenek, a former model and Milwaukee police officer serving a life term for the 1981 murder of her husband's ex-wife, escaped from prison through a laundry room window, officials said. Footprints indicated Bembenek fled into a wooded area east of the Taycheedah Correctional Institution, Warden Nona Switala said. She was discovered missing during a bed check Sunday night.
April 17, 1992 |
Fugitive murderer Lawrencia (Bambi) Bembenek is expected to be deported to the United States from Canada within the next day, her lawyers said. Bembenek, 33, was serving a life sentence for killing her husband's ex-wife when she escaped in 1990. The extradition follows reassurances from Milwaukee authorities that they would not impede an application for a retrial based on fresh evidence and would not bring new charges related to Bembenek's flight from the United States.