Laurie Bembenek also known as Laurie Bambi Bembenek, a former Police Officer, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy bunny, was convicted for murder, escaped from jail and surrounded her life with one scandal, she died just recently at age 52. Follow us into the life, secrets, crimes and controversy that follow this starlet to the grave, there are also great photos and video after the jump.
Run Bambi Run became a famous slogan after Laurie escaped from jail, but on August 15th, 1950 the day that she was born she was known simply as Lawrencia Bembenek the youngest daughter of Virginia and Joseph Bembenek her other siblings are her big sister Collette and middle sister Melanie Bembenek . In 1980 Bambi Bembenek became a Milwaukee police officer.
In August 1980, just 5 months after she arrived at the Police Department Laurie was fired. She engaged an ugly suit against the department where she said she had been the victim of sexual discrimination, but Police reports said that the decision to fire her came after she signed a false report on behalf of her friend and police officer Judy Zess, who was arrested for smoking marijuana in a public place. She never won that claim. After some time she was wearing a new uniform, this time it was a lot more revealing after all she was the new waitress as the Playboy Bunny at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
It was while she was a Police trainee that she met Police Detective Fred Schultz, who she married. Fred had been married and recently divorced from his first wife and mother of his children, 30 year old Christine Schultz, who on On May 28, 1981 was found shot to death on her bed, the gun used to belong to her ex husband and Laurie’s husband who said he was on duty, but later it was found that he was allegedly bar hopping, one of Schultz’s kids said he saw the suspect that killed his mother who he described to be a man wearing a long coat and had a ponytail in his red hair.
When police started investigations it was found that the killer’s gun was indeed Fred’s but it was his off duty gun that had been at his house, the same house he shared with Laurie, where she could also have access to her hubby’s ex apartment key. Laurie was convicted in 1982 to life in jail at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac. After that her husband said he believed Laurie allegedly killed her ex because she kept complaining about the alimony he gave his ex, he then filed for divorce. Once in jail she met Dominic Gugliatto’s sister another inmate, Bambi and Gugliatto became engaged, she stayed there until 1990 when she escaped and flew to Canada. It was during her escape that the famous slang we know today Run, Bambi, Run started, her fiancée was recaptured three months later while Laurie resisted extradition until she turned herself in two years later.
Laurie Bembenek pleaded no guilty for second-degree murder (she got 10 years probation). After her release from jail in November 1992 she relocated with her parents to Washington. Her father was very ill and her mother died in 2000.
After some time when she left her past behind she decided to write her story in a book titled “Woman on Trial” her story got so much attention that they made it into movies, in 1992 Jerry London directed Lindsay Frost as Laurie Bambi Bembenek in his television film Calendar Girl, Cop, Killer? The Bambi Bembenek Story the next movie “Woman on Trial: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story was released the following year directed by Sandor Stern and as Laurie, Tatum O`Neal took the leading role.
With more attention on herself Dr. Phil invited her to his show, she decided to attend to set the record straight, but she said that Dr. Phil allegedly held her hostage in a two story apartment so the only thing she claimed left to do was for her to jump out the window, causing her to break her leg which was later so damaged that it had to be amputated from the knee down, Laurie then sued Dr. Phil.
In 2004, ten years after she finished her parole and at age 44 she wanted to clear her name from the crime she said she did not commit, she was seeking DNA testing to find her innocence, she was sure the gun reports said was used to kill Schultz was not Fred’s also there was semen and blood found she wanted that tested as well. While she served her parole she used to be John Walsh’s (America’s Most Wanted) consultant.
Besides her book, there was also another one Run, Bambi, Run written by Kris Radish, MSNBC’s Headliners and Legends television show took part of the action in 2004 and released Laurie’s biography although she didn’t take any part on it. Some years later it was released by Laurie’s friend Ira Robbins who said that she was near death and was suffering from Hepatitis C, alcohol abuse, liver-and-kidney failure. Her ex husband and still closest friend Marty Carson said she had liver cancer affecting her brain. He took her to hospice care in Portland, Oregon where on November 21st Laurie Bambie Bembenek was found dead. Her cause of death was liver failure. She was 52 years old.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family. What do you think of this story? About Laurie? Do you think she was innocent? Would you like to send a message to her family? Check the photos and video below.