Follow TV Tropes


Killer Cop

Go To
You shouldn't have asked to see his stinking badge.

"The cop's the killer!"
Brian in Psycho Cop Returns (and probably everyone else on this page)

A member of law enforcement who also engages in murder. This person's motivations may range anywhere from monetary gain to exacting a form of street justice. Either way, expect this person to be much more dangerous than your average killer.

Note that despite the name, the Killer Cop isn't always an actual police officer. He (or she) may also be a civilian employee, such as a forensics expert or something. Also, if the Killer Cop is an officer, their murders are obviously committed for a reason other than to maintain a cover identity. (Well, at least one hopes an undercover officer doesn't go to those lengths.)

If the Killer Cop is a Serial Killer, the observant viewer may recognize the following signs:

  1. The crime scenes are jarringly devoid of any incriminating evidence. Either the killer is a forensics expert and cleaned up so thoroughly that they got rid of the evidence or they are a savvy police officer who has investigated many crime scenes and knows how to avoid leaving evidence in the first place. Note: This is not always a given, as a Serial Killer who isn't a member of law enforcement can avoid leaving evidence as well.
  2. If the killer is suspected to be copying the methods of another killer, the copy will be exactly like the original, even down to the details that only a member of law enforcement would know.
  3. If the killer is attempting to frame someone else for their crimes, the frame-up will be suspiciously thorough. The amount of evidence against the person will likely lead the viewer to two conclusions:
    1. That a calculating TV Serial Killer wouldn't be stupid enough to leave that much evidence against themselves, meaning the suspect isn't the killer and
    2. The real killer has such intimate knowledge of evidence and police work that they must be a member of law enforcement. Like the first sign, this isn't a given, as it is possible to research forensics.

In Crime Dramas, this may be used as a Twist Ending, especially if the cop is the Villain Protagonist.

See also Detective Mole. The inverse of a Cop Killer, although the two tropes sometimes overlap — the Killer Cop may target other cops, or may himself become the Asshole Victim of a Cop Killer. Often a subtrope of The Bad Guys Are Cops and Dirty Cop.

Please be cautious when listing Real Life examples.

Note: A character can qualify for this even if they don't use their position or expertise to help with their murders. However, if they appear in a murder mystery, they probably will.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Funimation Gag Dub of Crayon Shin-chan has a Killer Cop movie franchise. According to the creator commentary, all they do is increment the number that comes after the name "Killer Cop" each time they mention a movie, and occasionally reframe the in-universe TV shows as a cop killing somebody.
  • Light Yagami, the Villain Protagonist of Death Note, joins the police force specifically to work on the investigation of his own murders, and get close enough to kill the Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist trying to catch him. It doesn't work so well the first time he tries, but the second attempt is much better.
  • Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Stone Ocean: Ex-cop D an G believed in the Nostradamus prophecies and killed a few people he disliked in 1999, using his status as a cop to hide the evidence. When the world didn't end in 2000, he was arrested and sentenced to 20 years, landing him in Green Dolphin Street Prison where he would eventually antagonise the protagonists.

    Comic Books 
  • Americop from Captain America.
  • In Gotham Central, Dirty Cop Jim Corrigan ultimately became this, murdering Crispus Allen. The Not-Dirty Cop who became the Spectre after being murdered by gangsters was a completely different Jim Corrigan. Allen himself would also later do a turn as the Spectre. Given that the Spectre was one of the few DC Heroes who would intentionally kill criminals, often in rather gruesome ways, both of them probably technically count as well.
  • Green Arrow: Green Arrow fought a gang of cops known as the Vice Squad, who got together and used police equipment during their off-duty hours to eliminate what they saw as 'undesirable' elements off the streets. The leader made the mistake of assuming Green Arrow would agree with his crusade.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Wilson Priest, one of the judges featured in The Pit arc is this. He murders a suspect after he repeatedly gets Off on a Technicality and begins to do it more often. Given the legal structure in the Dredd universe, this overlaps with Hanging Judge.
    • The Dark Judges are an especially extreme version, as they enforce the law by simply murdering every potential criminal, believing life to be the source of all crime. Eradicate life, eradicate crime.
    • Several senior Judges used to be part of an extralegal killing squad known as the Citizens' Court, to kill criminals who fell through the cracks of the justice system.
  • The Punisher: In some continuities, Frank was a cop rather than a Vietnam veteran before turning to vigilantism (the Alternate Universe of Spider-Gwen is a complicated example: he was a Marine, then a mercenary (for Tony Stark, of all people), then became a cop and his increasingly-insane crusade to get the titular vigilante had him blowing up a significant chunk of New York). In "Six Hours to Kill", he ends up in Baltimore, where (among others) he faces a kill-team of corrupt cops.
  • Robin (1993): Roman Cavallo and Marcus Wise murdered two men to cover their tracks and try to kick off a turf war with the implication they weren't the blackmailing cops' first murders. They follow this up by hiring someone to assassinate Tim Drake in Red Robin when they think he's going to reveal their corruption during a public speech about community building in Gotham.
  • The police in Sin City (with the exception of Hartigan) are dirty as all get-out, but the ones sent after Marv are an out-and-out death squad that murdered one of their own simply because she'd talked to Marv about what's been going on.

  • Acts of Vengeance (2017): It turns out Strode, a police officer, murdered Valera's wife and daughter for revenge as Valera got the man who murdered his own daughter off, which left him free to murder her. He kidnapped them with the pretext of a traffic stop.
  • The killer in Bloody Murder 2 Closing Camp turns out to be the sheriff, who is really the father of the thought legendary camp boogeyman, Trevor Moorehouse.
  • Brooklyn's Finest: Sal, in the very first scene, shoots a criminal and steals his money. He then later kills some drug dealers to do the same thing before being shot dead himself.
  • Cellular: It turns out the hired mercenaries are controlled by the police to leave no witnesses about the murders they committed. Then it turns out that they are the police, having used their job to murder drug dealers and steal the crack.
  • Cradle of Fear: When Inspector Neilson's son is murdered, he snaps completely, knocks out his boss, and storms Fenham Asylum intending to kill Kemper personally.
  • Notably, the officer in the Australian thriller Dangerous Game (while obviously unhinged) only kills by accident and feels extremely conflicted about trying to murder the witnesses.
  • In Deadly Hero (1975), NYCPD cop Ed Lacy fatally shoots a surrendering extortionist who terrorized a beautiful music conductor. Afterwards, Lacy terrorizes the woman herself when she files a complaint about the excessive force he used in rescuing her.
  • Do the Right Thing has Danny Aiello's real-life son, Rick, playing another one of New York City's not so finest who chokeholds Billy Nunn's "Radio Raheem" to death during a riot towards the end.
two of the NYCPD's not-so-finest doing this.
  • The Nightingale Killer from Frequency is a serial killer of women who turns out to be a fairly respected cop and later private detective.
  • Detective Frank Divinci in Gang Related. He uses guns already tagged as evidence in other crimes to rob and kill drug dealers. Ironically, the one character he doesn't kill is his partner.
  • Heatwave (2022): Parker murders his own partner when the latter comes to suspect (rightly) that he'd been involved with the murder of Eve's husband Scott, covering it up.
  • In Holla If You Hear Me, it's revealed there's three killers, two brothers and one sister. One of the brothers is a detective.
  • In the Cut: Frannie suspects that Malloy is the serial killer who he's been trying to catch. She even outright asks him multiple times. It isn't him, but his partner Richard Rodriguez.
  • I See You reveals that the detective protagonist is the serial child abductor.
  • Near the end of Killer Workout, Lt. Morgan is convinced that he knows who the killer is but also knows he will probably never have enough evidence to convict, so he decides to play Judge, Jury, and Executioner and just kill them out of hand.
  • The police death squad from Magnum Force. They contrast with Cowboy Cop Harry Callahan by being willing to murder not only people acquitted of crimes and other people they feel are criminals but also anyone with them, guilty or innocent. They're also not above killing other cops who either get too close to their operation or they feel needed to be sacrificed. The vigilante cops' indiscriminate behavior disgusts Harry.
  • The eponymous characters of both Maniac Cop and Psycho Cop film serieses. The former is an honest cop turned into a deranged anti-cop, and the latter is a Serial Killer masquerading as a police officer.
  • Mindhunters: After searching the entire island with infrared sensors, the FBI trainees rule out anyone else being on the island and realize that the killer is one of their own.
  • Norman Stansfield from The Professional is a psychotic DEA agent who uses the law to threaten, extort, and kill whoever he wants. On a drug bust early in the film, Stansfield goes on a drug rush and along with his men, murders Mathilda's family, including their baby brother, only caring about how he'll explain their deaths to his superiors. When Mathilda confronts him later on, Stansfield plans to kill her — implying that he'll enjoy doing it — before he's stopped by the news of the death of one of his subordinates. He later leads a raid on Leon's apartment to try to kill both him and Mathilda and shoots Leon in the back as the latter tries to escape only to meet his end by a pack of grenades.
  • The Prowler turns out to be Sheriff George Fraser. The first two murder victims were his ex-girlfriend and her new love interest. The motive was apparently jealousy. The Prowler then became a serial killer, by going on a killing spree on the anniversary of the original murder. He was never seen as a suspect both because he was a respected authority figure, and because he supposedly had taken a vacation at the time of the spree. It was just an alibi.
  • NYCPD's Mike Brennan in Q & A under Homicide Chief Kevin Quinn's command to erase Quinn's past by murdering living members of Quinn's former gang so Quinn can run for state senate.
  • Shakedown (1988) has another one of New York City's not so finest mirdering a drug dealer who he robbed.
  • Suggested but ultimately averted in A Walk Among the Tombstones. It appears that the Serial Killers hunted by the protagonist, ex-cop turned private eye Matthew Scudder, are with the Drug Enforcement Agency because they have police radios and DEA files on their victims. However, Scudder says they're too crazy to have gotten into the DEA, and suggests they were civilian employees who briefly had access to the files. Later, Scudder discovers one of their victims was an undercover DEA agent who had the files on her.
  • In Wild Things, Ray Duquette murders Kelly and stages it to make it look like self-defense, and conspired with Sam to (supposedly) kill Suzie, just to get his hands on the money acquired from the courtroom scam. As it turns out, it's not the first time either, as Ray murdered Suzie's best friend several years ago. His superiors accept his explanation of Kelly's death (meaning he's free of any murder or manslaughter charges), but fire him because it looks very suspicious either way.

  • The Mercy Thompson offshoot series, Alpha and omega features CNTRP agent Les Heuter of the novel Fair Game. By day, Les is seemingly a normal member of the government policing organisation CANTRIP (Combined Nonhuman and Transhuman Relations Provisors) which is in charge of investigating criminal cases involving non-humans such as fae and werewolves. By night though, Les is a brutal Serial Rapist and Serial Killer who brutally preys on female fae and werewolves and takes much pleasure in it.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • FBI Agent Denton and his cohorts in Fool Moon have gone full Knight Templar and are now killing criminals who they believe have escaped justice.
    • In Battle Ground Rudolph's panicky nature and oft-derided gun safety finally create a fatal combination, for Murphy, who had just saved his life again and whose life he'd spent years trying to upend and make miserable for his own petty reasons.
  • In the Mario Puzo novel from which The Godfather trilogy was mined, Albert Neri starts as an incorruptible but viciously Rabid Cop. Then he gets sent on a call to bring in Wax Barnes, a pimp who just slashed one of his girls and her daughter — said call coming a few hours after Neri's wife has left him. Officer Neri thus earns his "promotion" to this trope.
  • The Hate U Give is built on this, the plot kicking off when an officer kills Starr's childhood friend, who was unarmed and wasn't breaking any laws when they got pulled over. He gets away with it.
  • Frank Ennunzio, FBI Forensic Linguist in Lisa Gardner's novel, The Killing Hour.
  • Robert Crais seems to like these: In L.A. Requiem, the killer who was framing Joe Pike turned out to be the guy who pushed the mail cart at police headquarters. In Demolition Angel, the person who murdered Charlie Riggio was his own partner on the Bomb Squad, Buck Daggett. In The Two Minute Rule, the man who murdered the four officers was William Cecil of the FBI Bank Squad.
  • In Richard Laymon's Savage, Roderick Whittle, aka Jack the Ripper, becomes a sheriff's deputy named "John Carver".
  • In Fred Vargas' This Night's Foul Work, Ariane, the medical examiner working with Adamsberg on his cases, is actually the one killing people and animals in the pursuit of a medieval ritual that will supposedly grant her immortality. Her cover-ups and misdirections may have even been intended to fool herself first and foremost since she appears to suffer from a case of Split Personality.
  • In the Tom Clancy novel Jack Ryan novel Without Remorse, a Corrupt Cop murders a drug dealer that his (criminal) boss suspected of being a security risk. He even manages to do it in a way that causes multiple witnesses - police officers themselves - to honestly believe that the victim was shot in self-defense when he attempted to resist arrest.
  • Norman Daniels in Rose Madder. He kills at least six people during the book (including two cops, three people who helped Rose, and a hooker), and while he's disposing of a hooker he strangled, he mentally comments it's not the first time, implying previous murders. He's also strongly suspected of killing an inconvenient victim of his own police brutality who was taking him and his department to court over it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Accused (2023): The FBI agent who handles Derrick murders him after the activists surrender so he can frame them for felony murder.
  • The Angel episode "The Thin Dead Line" featured a police captain suppressing crime in his district by raising recently deceased police officers as zombies and having them indiscriminately and violently harass people on the streets after dark. They end up committing several murders themselves.
  • In an episode of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, the protagonist of one story is a cop who discovers that he killed a young woman while sleepwalking. He is completely unaware of this until he compares the bullet found at the scene to one in his gun.
  • The Bill: Over the course of the show's 26 years, several officers in the show ended up committing murder. This began in earnest following the show's change into a Crime Time Soap:
    • 1998 - PC Eddie Santini, already a corrupt constable, murdered his girlfriend, a witness in a gangland case.
    • 2000 - DS Don Beech murdered his own colleague DS John Boulton when Boulton found out about Beech's corruption.
    • 2002 - PC Des Taviner was responsible for the first Sun Hill fire which killed six of his fellow officers:
      • Inspector Andrew Monroe
      • PC Di Worrell
      • PC Sam Harker
      • PC Ben Heyward
      • DC Kate Spears
      • DC Paul Riley
    • 2004 - PC Gabriel Kent was the show's first serial killer cop. He was the 'Sun Hill Sniper' and amongst others, gunned down PC Kerry Young
    • 2005 - PCSO Colin Fairfax was a deranged, racist officer who, after his dismissal from the force, drove a petrol-laden van into the station, starting the second Sun Hill Fire. The victims of this fire were:
      • SRO Marylin Chambers
      • PC Andrea Dunbar
      • DC Ken Drummond
  • On Bones, serial kidnapper (and also killer) The Gravedigger turned out to be United States Attorney and former FBI agent Heather Taffet, and chose self-representation during the trial.
    • Also Agent Kenton in "Two Bodies In The Lab."
  • The killer in The Bridge (2011) turns out to be an embittered ex-cop, foreshadowed by his knowledge of police procedure and access to uniforms.
  • Class of '09: In 2023, Poet is undercover working as a police officer with a corrupt department. Her partner murders a man who lets them into his house when they get called there over supposed gunfire, then he plants a gun by his side to excuse this. It's revealed he'd been an FBI informant whom they got rid of this way.
  • A recurring villain on Cold Case was a serial killer who worked as a civilian in the police department's records division, and used what he knew about the detectives to successfully deflect their interrogation techniques.
  • One of the 1970s-era Columbo mysteries involved the Police Commissioner himself trying to get away with committing murder.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • The first episode that features The Reaper leads you to think that this might be the case. The Reaper was a serial killer who had stopped killing for ten years, then started killing again. In the original run of murders, he had killed a bunch of people but left one victim alive. Ten years later, that victim was hiding from The Reaper by living at a number of different addresses and switching between them. At one of The Reaper's crime scenes, he left the victim's address numbers written on windows in blood, leading you to think that the lead detective from the local police department might be The Reaper. (Since he would've been one of the few people who knew the addresses, as they had been told to him by the victim.) However, this turns out not to be the case. In reality, the "victim" survived because he was The Reaper.
    • Another episode features a cop that stages shootings so he can be the first to "save" the victim. Occasionally those victims die, but he is honored as a hero cop. He tries to kill Penelope when he thinks she is on to him.
    • In "Broken Mirror", it turns out one of the local FBI agents helping with the investigation is the perp, while "A Rite of Passage" has a Sheriff's Deputy turn out to be "Santa Muerte."
  • CSI:
    • Paul Millander, the bathtub killer, is revealed to have a double life as a judge.
    • Ray Langston, at the end of season 11. Not a cop, but still a CSI.
    • Also Undersheriff Jeffery McKeen, who turned out to be a ruthless crime boss who killed Warrick Brown for getting too close to his secret and then continued to run things from prison after his arrest until he was found out and transferred to solitary in another prison.
    • Detective Vega turned out to be a killer as well.
  • CSI: NY had one of those, a cop that went dirty and murdered others to cover his tracks.
  • Detective Rick Messer, aka The Bearded Man in Damages, who acts as a hitman for a Corrupt Corporate Executive. Plays with this as it isn't revealed that he's a cop until late on.
  • Dexter:
    • Of course, Dexter is one of these, although he's a forensic examiner rather than a detective. He was also trained by his adoptive father, who was already a cop but couldn't bring himself to actually kill criminals who escaped justice. In season 2 Dexter is the subject of an ongoing investigation when the corpses of his victims are discovered, which he manages to avoid by making it look like another cop within the department had turned to serial killing.
    • Dexter also went after one in season four, a cop who'd killed her own husband and daughter and made it look like a robbery gone foul. She was a particularly hard target because her experience allowed her to suspect Dexter was up to something pretty early on.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: The final season's "Cool Hands, Luke and Bo" has police officers who – it is strongly implied – have killed inmates in the past at the Osage Road Prison, where Bo, Luke, Rosco, and Boss Hogg are being held on false charges.
  • The Equalizer had at least two episodes with officers as not so finest as such, "Lady Cop" and "Solo".
  • Forever: Detective Dunn in "Diamonds Are Forever" murders his partner in crime, and almost murders Jo.
  • On Frasier in That One Case which Martin has been working on for years, it turns out that the detective did it.
  • Hill Street Blues had at least its fifth season's three-episode "arc" about this with Michael Biehn as "Randall Buttman" as such in its episodes called "Rookie Nookie", "Fowl Play" and "Bangladesh Slowly".
  • Homicide: Life on the Street:
    • One arc had Pembleton assigned to investigate the police shooting of an unarmed suspect by a rookie cop to figure out whether it was justified or not while facing backlash from his fellow officers for even investigating. Even the usually reasonable Giardello pressures him to ignore leads that implicate the police and nearly frames an innocent man before he realizes what he's doing. Pembleton eventually discovers that the rookie was covering up for his commanding officer, who had shot the suspect in the back when he tried to run away.
    • Jake Rodzinski (played by guest star Bruce Campbell) is a cop who kills his ex-cop father's murderer for revenge when the murderer is sprung by a hung jury.
    • Bayliss becomes one in the series finale when he performs a Vigilante Execution on Luke Ryland after he got off on a technicality.
  • Law & Order and its various spin-offs have featured these on more than one occasion.
  • Manny Lopez in the MacGyver (1985) episode "Tough Boys". He uses the local youth center to recruit the eponymous gang to act as vigilantes in destroying crack houses.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Agent Carter season 2 begins with a subversion, as Detective Henry disguises someone else's murder as a previous serial killer's work. The trope is later played straight as he tries to abduct someone and gets shot by another Corrupt Cop.
    • Daredevil:
      • In season 1,Wilson Fisk has numerous cops on his payroll. Among them are Emergency Service Unit officers who are so dirty that they're willing to murder fellow officers who aren't on the take or become liabilities.
      • Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter in season 3 is an FBI agent. Over the course of the season, Fisk slowly manipulates him and corrupts him into becoming his top assassin, impersonating Daredevil to discredit the vigilante who took Fisk down. Dex ends up being responsible for both major character deaths in season 3 (Father Lantom and Ray Nadeem), as well as a bunch of minor character deaths/hospitalizations (including Mitchell Ellison and Jasper Evans).
    • Jessica Jones: Will Simpson is first introduced as a cop who is ordered by Kilgrave to attack Trish. After surviving an explosion, his sanity begins slipping, causing him to kill fellow detective Oscar Clemons and attack Trish and Jessica.
    • Luke Cage: Misty Knight's partner Rafael Scarfe is in Cottonmouth's pocket. He kills Chico Diaz when Chico prepares to snitch on Cottonmouth.
    • The Punisher: Carson Wolf "kills" David Lieberman by shooting him while claiming that David has a weapon. But he doesn't see that the bullet is stopped by the cell phone in David's breast pocket, and David subsequently fakes his death and goes underground.
  • Mouse (2021): Ba-reum is a policeman and a serial killer, and pretends to investigate his own crimes.
  • Narcos: some police officers in Bogota decide to round up young men from the slums they suspect working for the cartels, and just summarily execute them into a ditch.
  • The 1992 Australian mini-series Phoenix is about the investigation into a car bomb that exploded outside Victorian Police headquarters, killing a policewoman. The very first suspect the Major Crimes Squad is ordered to investigate is a police officer who allegedly made a threat to blow up the building. It turns out the whole thing was an argument blown out of proportion, and the officer had nothing to do with the bombing. Ironically the police rank-and-file are as willing to believe the rumor as anyone.
  • A subplot of Queer as Folk (US) has Debbie finding the body of a strangled prostitute in a dumpster. The investigation is suspended because of "lack of evidence" before the police can even identify the victim, and he becomes known simply as "Dumpster Boy". Later, it turns out that the killer was a cop who frequently solicited male prostitutes, and the reason the investigation was shut down so quickly was that the killer, in a state of panic after having committed a murder by mistake, goes to his ex-partner and long-time friend, Police Chief Stockwell, and begs for help.
  • Rizzoli & Isles had a detective who killed a bunch of women with the same names as the original Boston Strangler victims. His purpose in so doing was to frame the person he believed was really the Boston Strangler. He had worked the original murder case and didn't believe that the person who confessed was really the killer.
  • Vic Mackey in The Shield. He proves this when he shoots fellow officer Terry Crowley on a drug the FIRST episode.
  • Superior Court: Several episodes of this late-1980s courtroom drama addressed police misconduct, including brutality. One of those episodes had a police officer on trial for murder after killing a man during a domestic disturbance call. After denying his actions, he finally snaps during an intense cross-examination ... and in the process recounts some very dark childhood memories of an abusive father who was always drunk and often beat both him and his mother ... until the night the mother locked her husband out of the house (during a blizzard) and left him to freeze to death. The officer declares he decided to go into law enforcement and never would allow another domestic abuser to get away with his crimes again. A jury finds the police officer guilty of manslaughter.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: A 1997 episode "The Brotherhood" featured cops who – frustrated by the system – kill suspects before they've had their due process, and it results in an innocent man paying with his life after he had been wrongly accused of rape.
  • Wild Bill: Alex Blair, a police detective, committed multiple robberies, murdered a witness later, and framed another one for his crimes.
  • Your Honor: It turns out Michael's wife Robin was murdered for investigating gangland killings that were actually committed by cops. One of the cops involved did it to cover this up. It turns out some moonlighted in murder for hire while a Gang War went on. The one who'd murdered his wife tries to murder Michael while making it look like a suicide. Eugene gets shot by the other one, surviving both this and a later attempt to finish him off when he's in the hospital.

  • "Mirrors" by Eric Bogle is about Brazilian policemen who act as freelance death squads in Rio's slums.
    And the killers wear policeman's badges
    Kill to supplement their wages
    Earn their bloody bounty, with the gun and club and knife
  • Warrant's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" mentions two police officers dragging bodies into the forest and dumping them down a well.
  • In "Butcher for Hire", David Rovics expresses this opinion about Real Life police chief John Timoney, who was hired by multiple different cities (and the Rebulic of Bahrain) to conduct brutal crackdowns on civil disobedience.
    But someday he'll meet his end
    He's already halfway 'round the bend
    He'll take stock of what he's done
    Stare at the notches on his gun
    He'll look into the mirror and at his poor wife
    And say, "Oh my God — I've been a scumbag my whole life"

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance: At the end of the Petals to the Metal arc, Captain Captain Bane attempts to poison the party, presumably to steal the Gaia Sash.
    • Sherrif Isaak killed Jack for the Temporal Chalice in The Eleventh Hour.
  • The Magnus Archives:
    • The episode "A Father's Love" is about a girl's childhood living with her serial killer father, who was also a policeman.
    • Daisy Tonner is one of these, on account of her servitude to the Hunt. Elias' comments imply that many of Daisy's coworkers, especially those that are part of Section 31, are this as well.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Case 1-5 of the first game has former detective and current high prosecutor Lana Skye accused of murder. The real killer is not just a killer cop, but killer police chief Damon Gant.
    • Not to mention killer prosecutors Manfred von Karma, Godot, Jacques Portsman, the latter of which is also involved in an international smuggling ring and killer defense attorneys Calisto Yew and Kristoph Gavin.
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has Daryan Crescend, who started out with smuggling but then killed the Interpol agent looking into him.
    • Subverted in Dual Destinies with detective Bobby Fulbright, who is not even a real detective, but an international spy impersonating the real Fulbright, who is actually long dead.
    • In the third case of Spirit of Justice, it is revealed that the Kingdom of Khura'in had been employing a Secret Police and had them kill rebels with total impunity. Case 5 then tops it with Inga being a killer Minister of Justice, with Ga'ran also having killed during her tenure in the position.
    • The Great Ace Attorney tops it with a killer judge. Two of them, in fact. Seshiro Jigoku, the judge of the Japanese cases, killed Inspector Gregson, while Mael Stronghart, the current Lord Chief Justice of Great Britain (who serves as the judge for the final case), masterminded the Professor and Reaper murders.
  • Near the end of Disco Elysium, the Detective is thought to be an undercover assassin for a mob boss due to his nickname "The Human Can-Opener" note  and discovering the truth behind this becomes yet another quest. At the ending Harry's partner outright states that there's no way he could ever be a mob asset due to his rampant instability.
  • It's implied in Five Nights at Freddy's 2 that the night guard before Jeremy (currently working the day shift) is the man responsible for the Missing Children Incident mentioned in the first game. One of the killer's Atari-esque sprites in the random after-death minigames depicts him with what appears to be a gold badge (which he also has in his Easter Egg appearance in 4), the minigames depicting the murders are implied to have happened the week before the game, and on Night 5 Phone Guy all but states outright that the guard was arrested under suspicion. However, William Afton ended up not being charged and released due to the bodies never being found. Afton infiltrated the Freddy's location of 2 as a security guard despite his earlier falling apart with his fellow founder Henry and things rapidly escalated from there.
  • Hatred: The DLC has the Psycho Cop, an officer who survived the rampage of the Villain Protagonist but was disfigured and driven insane. He leads two other crusaders codenamed Widowmaker and the Recidivist in going out to kill as many people as possible before being killed themselves.
  • In Heavy Rain, it's eventually discovered that the Origami Killer is a retired police officer. Specifically, Scott Shelby.
  • Manny Pardo from Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has a penchant for slaughtering gangsters and innocents as the Miami Mutilator. It comes with the fact that he's based on Manuel Pardo, an actual cop who became a spree-killer.
  • In the Adventure Game Laura Bow 2: The Dagger of Amon Ra, the killer turns out to be Ryan O'Reily, the detective working on the case.
  • Kurtis Stryker of the Mortal Kombat series.
  • Master Detective Archives: Rain Code:
    • Due to Police Brutality, the Amaterasu Corporation Peacekeepers are unfettered, and are willing to turn to murder at a moment's notice if it's to their convenience. This is made the most clear when Yomi manipulates Yakou Furio to commit murder and, as shown in the final chapter, they have executed plenty of residents unaware they're homunculus clones already, as seen from the defects dumped into the restricted area by Makoto.
    • Chief Yakou of the Nocturnal Detective Agency is revealed as the culprit of Chapter 4, of whom was also manipulated into doing so by Yomi, who leads the aforementioned Peacekeepers.
  • Murder in the Alps: The Dada Killer, the Serial Killer obsessed with Dadaism, is revealed to be Oskar Havel, a constable of the Zürich police.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • Detective Adachi from Persona 4 qualifies as one of these. Bonus points for the supernatural powers that helped him avoid leaving evidence.
    • In Devil Survivor, a few rogue cops abuse their position and their possession of COMPs to kill innocent bystanders with demons.
  • In Yakuza 2, detective Jiro Kawara of the Osakan Police Department in the Foreign Affairs division grew a reputation for mercilessly gunning down foreign criminals, gaining the nickname "Killer Kawara". In truth, he was hunting down the remnants of the Jingweon Korean mafia to avenge his late wife, who was hunted down and murdered for abandoning their organization.

  • Shiver from Sidekick Girl. He was transferred from L.A. with a list of excessive force charges as long as his arm and has multiple "accidental" deaths in his past. Unfortunately, the fact that he's smart enough to confine his assaults to those technically guilty of a crime makes it very hard to actually convict him of anything.

    Web Original 

    Real Life 
  • There was a case once where the murderer turned out to be one of the cops working on the case. This was discovered after a visual reconstruction of the offender was created.
  • There was speculation that the Long Island serial killer was someone working for law enforcement. As of 2023 the suspect charged in several of the murders is an architect.
  • Serial Killers Gerard Schaefer and Norbert Poehlke.
  • Spree Killer Tore Hedin
  • Manuel Pardo of Florida who is the inspiration for the aforementioned Manny Pardo. Some say Dexter was inspired by him.
  • Woo Bum-kon, who was for a while the most prolific murderer in a single day. He killed 54 people one day in 1982 in South Korea and then blew himself up, along with his two final victims.
  • Drew Peterson, who was also The Bluebeard, and by the time of arrest a former cop.
  • New Orleans Police Department officer Antoinette Frank encountered a local drug dealer named Rogers Lacaze and found herself madly in love with him. The two became partners in crime, pulling people over and robbing them in her squad car. They eventually committed a violent robbery of a Vietnamese restaurant where Frank worked off-duty as a security guard. Lacaze shot and killed Officer Richard Williams, another NOPD officer moonlighting as a security guard for the restaurant, while Frank shot two of the owners' family, and tried to kill a third before other police arrived. Frank was convicted for her role in the triple-murder and was sentenced to death. After she was sentenced, evidence came up suggesting that she'd killed her father about a year before the robbery and buried his body under her house, but the authorities chose not to prosecute her since she was already on death row.
  • The East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer, a serial rapist who raped 50 women in Northern California between 1976 and 1979. He left the area after murdering a couple that caught him prowling their home. He took a year hiatus before striking in Southern California as the Golden State Killer. Not only would the man rape women, but he would also murder the couples he targeted. A total of 12 people were murdered by the GSK between 1980 and 1986. It took over a decade after his last rape and murder to connect the North California rapes to the South California murders. The unknown perpetrator would walk free for 42 years before being revealed as ex-cop Joseph DeAngelo, Jr. after the FBI matched the DNA found at the crime scenes to DNA found on an open-source DNA Search website. He was finally arrested on April 25, 2018, and sentenced to life in prison on August 21, 2020.
  • Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, a pair of NYPD detectives who were also hitmen for The Mafia. Several of Eppolito's close relatives (including his uncle) were made men in the Gambino crime family and his father was an associate, but he managed to hide this in order to become a cop...and demonstrated exactly why the NYPD wants to know about applicants' links to the Mafia.
  • Tyler James Peterson was a mass murderer who killed six people in a duplex building when off duty.
  • In 2018, Dallas PD Officer Amber Guyger murdered Botham Jean after she illegally entered his apartment. Since Guyger's 2019 conviction and sentencing, one witness for the prosecution received death threats and lost her job after her employer was harassed, and another prosecution witness was murdered.
  • In 1986, LAPD officer Stephanie Lazarus murdered Sherri Rasmussen, the wife of Lazarus' former lover John Ruetten, and staged the scene as a robbery gone wrong. Had it not been for the bite mark Lazarus left on Rasmussen's arm in the struggle, the officer could've very likely gotten away with murder.
    • A similar case is that of Shawna Nelson, although she was a police dispatcher rather than a proper police officer. In love with police officer Ignacio Garraus, she became enraged when he chose to end their affair in order to stay with his wife Heather and ended up shooting Heather execution-style at her workplace. Within the day, she was identified and arrested and was soon jailed for the murder.
  • Between 1987 and 1994, Italy was plagued by the White Uno Gang, so called due to their preference to use stolen white FIAT Uno cars (at the time an extremely common car in Italy) for their crimes, that include armed robbery, bank robbery, extortion, murder, and even ethnic terrorism. They got away with their crimes for so long due to their membership in the police allowing them to know the patrol routes and where the police would put checkpoints after their robberies and providing them with the training to pull off their crimes, plus the one caught by a security camera unmasked being above suspicion as the brother of a cop (also in the gang), up until the investigators caught on it in late 1994, quickly identifying the one caught on camera when he inspected a potential target in person that the investigators were surveilling and tracking the entire gang from him.
  • Huntsville police officer William Darby, who was convicted of fatally shooting a suicidal man who he was supposed to be trying to talk down.
  • Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who had a history of violence against black suspects, was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the 2020 murder of George Floyd, an African-American man who died of asphyxiation after Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
  • On April 4, 2015, Michael Slager, a police officer from North Charleston, pulled over Walter Scott for a broken taillight. Scott attempted to run away but was shot five times in the back by Slager. Slager was ultimately sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was killed on October 20, 2014, when police officer Jason Van Dyke shot him sixteen times in the back as he walked away. Ultimately Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.
  • The Murder of Jordan Edwards occurred on April 29, 2017, when police officer Roy Oliver fired into his car while responding to reports of drunkenness. Oliver would later be sentenced to 16 years for murder.
  • Somali-American officer Mohamed Noor was convicted of shooting and killing an unarmed woman named Justine Damond who got too close to his squad car.
  • The French serial killer known as the "pockmarked man" was ultimately found to be police officer Francois Verove.
  • The high-profile murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan London police officer, who falsely arrested her for breaking COVID containment rules. After kidnapping, raping, murdering her, and burning her body, he returned to his family like nothing happened. He received a whole-life sentence for his crimes.
  • State Trooper Jay Splain managed to rack up four kills, an unusually high number for someone patrolling areas of the Pennsylvania countryside with low rates of violent crime.
  • Australian police officer Roger "The Dodger" Rogerson, formerly one of the most decorated officers in the New South Wales Police Force, became infamous for his corrupt exploits and was implicated in, but never convicted of, numerous crimes, up to and including murder. He and fellow cop Glen McNamara were eventually convicted of murdering college student Jamie Gao in a drug deal gone wrong and sentenced to life in prison.
  • New Orleans police officer Len Davis was sentenced to death after being convicted of ordering the murder of a woman who had filed a Police Brutality complaint against him.
  • William "Mild Bill" Leasure was a soft-spoken LAPD officer who spent his spare time running a criminal underworld that stole rich people's vehicles, defrauded insurance companies and conducted contract killings. Leasure was implicated in three murder-for-hire cases and eventually pled guilty to second-degree murder in two of them, receiving a sentence of 15 years to life.
  • Stephen Smith, an officer with the San Antonio Police Department was linked to three murders (at least) with apparent vigilante motives in the 1980s, being ultimately shot by his own partner Farrell Tucker, and was explicitly called a "killer cop" by officials. It appears he also tried to murder his own superiors after they disciplined him as a result of him committing (non-fatal) Police Brutality. The film Vigilante Cop in 1991 (also known as Shoot First: A Cop's Vengeance) is based on the case.


Video Example(s):


Peter Prior

Peter gets to Liz's house, takes her pistol and shoots Otis since he's a known POI in the Annie Kowtok case.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / KillerCop

Media sources: