Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Blue on Blue: Murder, Madness and Betrayal in the NOPD


Orleans Parish Criminal District Court
Orleans Parish Criminal District Court

Rogers LaCaze went on trial in July 1995. He testified in his own defense. It was a bad move.

Against his attorney's advice, LaCaze, a high school dropout with an IQ later measured in the low 70s, pitted himself against lead prosecutor Glen Woods. Woods is a soft-spoken contemplative man, but he has a mind like a scalpel, which he had used to slice people apart on the witness stand. In the battle of wits with Glen Woods, Rogers LaCaze was severely outmatched.

In the end, LaCaze was reduced to blubbering on the stand and begging the jury to spare his life. "I did not pull no trigger and kill them people," he pleaded. "I don't even know them people."

Them people. They had names, and Glen Woods knew them well: Ha Vu, Cuong Vu, Ronnie Williams. Seeking justice for them was one of the defining moments of Woods' career. "They were people, they had a life, they had aspirations, they had dreams," he says.

The jury convicted LaCaze of murder and recommended he be put to death.

Antoinette Frank went on trial two months later. After prosecutors Woods and Elizabeth Teel rested the state's case, Frank's attorneys threw in the towel. Although they'd subpoenaed nearly 40 witnesses, they didn't call a single one.

The jury took just 40 minutes to convict Frank of three counts of first-degree murder. They recommended the death penalty.

After hearing the recommendation from the jury, Woods said, "It would have been a mockery of justice if Antoinette Frank was to walk away without getting the death penalty."

In October 1995, Judge Frank Marullo sentenced Antoinette Frank to death by lethal injection. LaCaze got the same.

A month later, a dog found the remains of a human skeleton buried beneath Frank's house. It was the same house she once shared with her father. Frank reported her father missing a year-and-a-half before the murders at the Kim Anh restaurant.

There was a bullet hole in the skull.