Larry Avrech, a young San Diego Police Officer, uncovered a scandal in his department. In August of 1984, his careful investigation revealed that the Commander of the Prostitution Enforcement detail was involved with a prostitute named Donna Marie Gentile.
He became her “Sugar Daddy” and routinely paid for boarding her horse, co-signing for bail, paying her hospital bill when injured, and giving her cash twice to pay attorney’s fees.
On a normal street stop, she told Avrech she had a Lieutenant in her hip pocket and was tired of being harassed. Suspecting corruption, Avrech befriended her in an attempt to obtain more information. He would be punished again and again for simply doing his job.
When Gentile realized exposure of their cozy little relationship would shut down her money connection, it was a race to see who would get to Internal Affairs first. Gentile beat Avrech to the punch with trumped-up allegations.
When the story leaked to San Diego media, she not only lied to Internal Affairs but she was also interviewed by every news station in town. For years the story was splashed all over the front pages of the newspaper, destroying Avrech’s integrity and reputation.
Eight months later, Avrech was terminated for Gentile’s lies. In the process, the young officer lost everything — his career, his home, and later his children.
But that wasn’t enough punishment for Avrech’s “sin” of investigating corruption. After his termination, San Diego PD continued threatening him in an effort to destroy him. To make matters worse, Gentile was a Police Informant, a fact the department tried to keep quiet.
Gentile testified against Avrech at his civil service hearing. Six weeks after she testified, her nude, lifeless body was discovered. Avrech became an instant murder suspect. But who really killed her? How was he to prove his innocence?
In the spring of 1986, Avrech got a call from a high-ranking Deputy District Attorney who had followed the case and said he could prove Avrech was set up by the San Diego PD.
For the next seven years, Avrech secretly worked with the Attorney. No one breathed a word to law enforcement or the media. Avrech provided the Deputy with a suspect completely off law enforcement’s radar and helped solve a string of 14 serial “Dump Death” killings of mostly prostitutes. He was also linked to six attempted murders of other women.
Finally, the true story is told. This exciting, detailed book reveals what really happened in San Diego behind the sensational headlines and how a corrupt Police Department covered up the truth for decades.