“Once I was shown what to do—making all this easy money with no repercussion from it, greed took over.”
Disgraced ex-cop Ken Eurell, who was memorialized in the 2015 documentary, The Seven Five, just published a memoir about his nefarious years as a police officer in one of the most corrupt police departments in the United States. The book, Betrayal in Blue: The Shocking Memoir of the Scandal that Rocked the NYPD, was co-written by Edgar Award winning author Burl Barer and journalist Frank C. Girardot Jr.
“It was like the heyday of crack,” said DEA special agent Mike Troster in the documentary. East New York in Brooklyn was a war zone, and according to Troster, “It was a hotbed for crime in New York City.”
In the late 1980s, the 75th precinct was the deadliest in the country. It handled the most homicides, including the most police shootings. “It was the highest murder rate in the country,” said Kenny Eurell, who worked there from 1982 to 1990. It was a time of 3,500 homicides per year in the city.
Eurell’s crimes escalated from drinking on the job to robberies, extortion, and selling cocaine after he’d retired on a cop’s pension. His book tells the story of being sucked into a world of crime and free money through his dirty cop partner, Michael Dowd.
While the doc focused mostly on Dowd, Eurell’s book reveals everything that was left out when much of the movie “ended up on the cutting room floor.”
The Fix landed an exclusive interview with the infamous criminal.
Eurell told us he wanted to set the record straight on his years of working with coked-out Dowd. Yes, they robbed unsuspecting citizens, moved on to selling cocaine and finally went into free-fall after ripping off drug dealers. “It was greed,” said Eurell, “pure and simple. The money was so easy to make. It was impossible to turn away.”
“I became a cop at age 20 and was on the job for seven years before being partnered with Mike [Dowd]. It never occurred to me to go on a burglary call and grab the stuff that the burglar missed. It was not in my mindset until I was partnered with Mike. I don’t want to say I was brainwashed, but let’s just say, I was introduced to a different way to do police work.”
I asked him why he’d used the word “brainwashed.” He said, “I say ‘brainwashed’ because when we got in the [squad] car together, Mike talked about making money about 98% of the time. The other 2% of the time he talked about women. Once I was shown what to do—making all this easy money with no repercussion from it, greed took over.”
Does Eurell have regrets about what he did? “I absolutely have regrets,” he said. “I wish I’d never took that first bit of money that Mike threw at me. I wish I had the courage to say to myself, ‘This is wrong. Don’t take the money.’ Even though that would’ve cut my own throat and ruined my career.”
He explained, “You can’t turn somebody in while you’re on the job because the word ‘rat’ will follow you around and destroy your career. There were guys when I was working—cops just suspected them of being a rat or a snitch—and every day, all the tires on their personal car would be cut. They go into work and their lockers would be in the shower, turned upside down, the locks broken open, all their stuff dumped out. Dead rats from the neighborhood were thrown onto the hood of their car. It makes a working situation absolutely impossible.”
“It sounds like the Mafia,” I said.
“Yeah,” said Eurell. “It’s that mentality.” Read more “the fix”…