In March 1980, Bembenek began training at the Milwaukee Police Academy.

While still a trainee, an anonymous tipster reported that Bembenek was seen smoking marijuana at a party.

Bembenek's subsequent dismissal from the police department on August 25 stemmed from her involvement in filing a false report on Zess' arrest.

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Her two sons, then 7 and 11 years old, found her face down on her bed and bleeding. At the time of her murder, Christine and Fred Schultz had been divorced six months.

The older boy, Sean, had seen the assailant and described him as a masked male figure in a green army jacket and black shoes. Fred Schultz initially stated he was on duty investigating a burglary with his partner, Michael Durfee, at the time of the murder, but years later he admitted they were actually drinking at a local bar.

Upon winning a new trial, she pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and was sentenced to time served and ten years probation in December 1992.

For years after, she sought to have the sentence overturned.

She further claimed that female and minority officers were routinely subjected to harassment and abuse during training.

Bembenek stated that when females and minorities trainees became members of the police force, they were often severely punished or fired for minor infractions during their probationary period while white male officers went unpunished for more serious offenses.The prosecution claimed that Bembenek was the only person with the motive, means and opportunity to carry out the crime.The strongest evidence was two human hairs found at the crime scene, which matched ones taken from the hairbrush of the defendant.Bembenek denied the charge which was investigated but never substantiated.Bembenek later said she believed the accusation was made by the wife of a Milwaukee police officer who confronted her at a party about her clothing and accused Bembenek of leading her husband on.In November 1981, Bembenek and Schultz were remarried after a judge ruled that the couple's marriage was invalid because Schultz had violated Wisconsin law by not waiting six months after his divorce from Christine to remarry.