Busted by Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker

Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love
Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker
Harper Collins
March 11th, 2014

Philadelphia Daily News reporters Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker won a Pulitzer Prize for their series of articles, “Tainted Justice,” investigating police corruption. Their book, Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love, is based on these articles. It reads like something out of a Michael Connelly crime novel where they behaved more like a pair of detectives.

The story begins in 2009 when a law enforcement source of Wendy’s sent over a drug addict informant, Benny Martinez, to talk about the illegal activities he had conducted with Philadelphia narcotics officer Jeffrey Cujdik. Readers soon realize that the search warrants become the key that opened up the investigation. With Benny’s help Jeff would fabricate search warrants in order to enter a suspected drug dealer’s house illegally. Search warrants were also used to bust into retail shops owned by legal immigrants under the guise of selling drug-related supplies. After the narcotics team disabled security cameras they would steal cash and merchandise. A third scandal was discovered in the course of the investigation, how one officer sexually assaulted women. He chose women who were large breasted, demure, poor, and would not fight back.

Unfortunately none of these officers involved have been fired. These officers still collect their paychecks, the same salary minus the overtime. Although they have been taken off policing on the streets and now are on desk duty they have yet to face any criminal charges, including Tolstoy. The police commissioner’s excuse is that he is waiting for the FBI to make a decision to indict or not. What is ridiculous is this “holding pattern” is now over four years.

Busted is a riveting account of how a few bad cops can tarnish the good deeds done by so many police officers. It explores the drug underworld and exposes how some bad cops became corrupt and thought they were above the law, completely unafraid of getting caught.
Elise Cooper