Infamous TV Movie Subject, Bambi, Dead at 52
Laurie Bembenek was portrayed twice in dramatic daytime movies after being convicted for killing her husband's ex wife and escaping from prison.
Laurie Bembenek -- who was the subject of two made-for-TV movies after she was convicted of killing her husband's ex-wife and escaping from jail -- died Saturday. She was 52.
Bembenek, who suffered from hepatitis C and kidney failure, was played by Oscar winner Tatum O'Neal in a 1993 TV movie that still airs on Lifetime. Crossing Jordan's Lindsay Frost portrayed her in 1992.
Bembenek, a former Playboy bunny and Milwaukee cop, maintained that she was framed for murder (allegedly so her husband would no longer have to pay alimony) by the Milwaukee Police Department.
She went on to escape from prison in 1990 with help from an incarcerated boyfriend. While on the run for three months, was nicknamed Bambi by the media. She was captured in Canada.
After being released from jail, Bembenek wrote a book and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
In 2002, she was set to appear on Dr. Phil when the show agreed to pay for expensive DNA testing on evidence for the case. But while she was hidden away in an apartment by producers to prevent her from speaking to other media, she had a panic attack, climbed out of the window and fell. Her foot was so badly injured, it had to be amputated.