Blue on Blue: Murder, Madness and Betrayal in the NOPD
A decade after the case that rocked the New Orleans Police Department and outraged the city and the nation, much has changed.
Under Chief Richard Pennington, the police department completely revamped its hiring practices. It weeded out bad officers and hired good ones. Under Chief Eddie Compass, the healing process continues.
Still, as bad as the old hiring system was, in the case of Antoinette Frank, it worked at least initially. The police department had a minimum of four glaring indicators of Frank
Lying on her application and pre-employment interview, two failed psychological evaluations, her disastrous interview with the department psychiatrist, her strange disappearance and half-hearted suicide note all were well known to NOPD before they offered Frank a job.
So, why did they hire her?
In the early 1990s, the department was severely short handed. They needed anybody who could fit into a police uniform. Crime was ripping the city apart. In 1994 the year before the Kim Anh murders
And in a city that often simmers with racial tensions, Antoinette Frank, as a black female, fit the profile they were looking for. Hiring her allowed the police department to chalk up one more hash mark for their nonexistent, never-talked-about quota system.
But a psychiatrist who examined Frank in 1995 and again in 1999 said she showed symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder with anti-social features. According to the psychiatrist, Frank exhibits a lack of empathy toward others, a feeling of entitlement, flies into rages, and is manipulative in relationships.
Rogers LaCaze has a simpler diagnosis. In a letter from prison, he said, Antoinette is crazy. Hell, she killed her own dad and buried him under her house.
After 27 years on the job, Eddie Rantz retired. He went to law school and has a spacious office on Poydras overlooking the Superdome. Sometimes he still thinks about the case and about Antoinette Frank.
She is, without a doubt, the most cold-hearted person Ive ever met, Rantz says.
Prosecutors Glen Woods and Elizabeth Teel are both in private practice. Teel says the LaCaze and Frank trials were the most traumatic of her career. Id be lying if I said it wasnt personal.
Mary Williams, wife of Officer Ronnie Williams, is busy raising their two boys, Christopher and Patrick. She has grown very close to the Vu family. They see each other often.
The Vus still own the Kim Anh restaurant.
As for those human bones unearthed beneath Frank
copyright - Chuck Hustmyre