Birds of a Feather (Trained in Thurston?)

Robert Glenn Ford

Robert Glenn Ford

Robert Glenn Ford (pictured), 56, was a controversial homicide investigator with the Norfolk Police Department of Norfolk, Va., who had helped arrest and convict over 180 murderers before retiring in 2007. He was known as a tough interrogator, sometimes perhaps too tough, who had solved Norfolk’s most difficult murder case in 25 years. In May 2010, Ford was indicted on charges of accepting money from suspects in criminal cases in exchange for obtaining favorable treatment for them within the court system. He is accused of taking money from eight such individuals between 2003 and 2007. According to the indictment, Ford allegedly testified under oath that a defendant had helped solve a homicide when in fact the defendant provided no such information. In other instances he is accused of talking to or testifying before prosecutors and judges on behalf of those who paid him to have their sentences reduced. If convicted Ford faces up to 20 years in prison for extortion. The trial began in October 2010.

Jim Broderick

Jim Masters, 15

Fort Collins, Colo. police lieutenant Jim Broderick suspected Jim Masters (pictured) 15, in the 1987 murder of Peggy Hettrick. Hettrick’s body had been found by a cyclist in a field not far from Masters’ home. She had been sexually mutilated in a surgical manner. Masters’ father reported seeing his son in the field on his way to school. The boy told police he had thought it was a mannequin and did not report it. They took him in for questioning. Police tried to build a case against him, but were unable to find any solid evidence. Finally they were able to convict him, arguing that he was a fan of horror movies and had made some disturbing drawings earlier in life. In order to secure the conviction, Broderick testified that he had had nothing to do with the case after 1987, but allegedly omitted mention of various failed attempts to catch Masters acting suspiciously from his testimony and the destruction of evidence connecting Dr. Richard Hammond, an eye surgeon and sex offender, to the crime. In 1999, Masters was convicted. It was not until 2008 that DNA evidence exonerated him and instead implicated one of Hettrick’s ex-boyfriends, Matthew Zoellner, who had been eliminated as a suspect early on. The city and the county paid $10 million to settle civil lawsuits by Masters, and the prosecuting attorneys were censured. On June 30, 2010, a grand jury indicted James Broderick on eight counts of felony first degree perjury for false material statements he made related to the arrest and conviction of Jim Masters. He is scheduled to appear in court on December 1, 2010.

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