The Tale Of William Leasure

William Leasure, a former police officer, has been in lockup for 38 years, twice as long as he served with the LAPD. At 77 years old, he has been labeled as the city’s dirtiest cop, responsible for orchestrating the contract murders of a beauty shop employee and a jazz bassist. Despite numerous parole hearings, Leasure has been unsuccessful in securing his release, with Gov. Gavin Newsom reversing the parole board’s decision twice due to his lack of insight into his crimes.

Leasure’s arrest in 1986 was a shock to his fellow officers, as he was known as a “nice guy” who never used his service weapon during his years on the force. The discovery of his involvement in a yacht theft ring, along with illegal gun silencers and other stolen items, left many in disbelief. However, the investigation soon revealed a darker side to the officer, resulting in two counts of second-degree murder.

According to testimony from Dennis France, a close friend of Leasure’s who was granted immunity in exchange for his cooperation, Leasure was the mastermind behind the two murders. France claimed that Leasure paid him and arranged the killings, stating that he was “terrified” of going against Leasure’s wishes. Despite the evidence against him, Leasure has maintained his innocence and blames his actions on “greed” and “low self-esteem.”

During his parole hearings, Leasure has received criticism for his lack of remorse and insight into his crimes. He has consistently denied involvement in the two murders, instead referring to himself as “the nicest, quietest, and mildest guy” one could meet. His behavior during these hearings has been described as “monotonous” and lacking emotion. While he has admitted to other crimes, such as yacht theft and insurance fraud, he has been reluctant to take responsibility for the more serious offenses.

Despite his lack of remorse, Leasure has kept himself busy during his time in prison. He has attended 12-step programs and obtained a paralegal certificate. He also has a job offer at a law firm if he is ever released. However, the parole board has been hesitant to grant him parole due to his unwillingness to take responsibility for the murders he is charged with, and his perceived lack of understanding of the impact of his actions on the victims’ families.

Anthony de los Reyes Jr., the son of the jazz bassist Leasure is accused of killing, has testified at multiple parole hearings to ensure his father is not forgotten. He describes Leasure as a “born liar” and is frustrated by his lack of insight and remorse. De los Reyes Jr. believes that if Leasure showed true remorse for his actions and accepted responsibility, he may have had a chance at parole many years ago.

Retired LAPD detective Addison “Bud” Arce has dedicated much of his retirement to attending Leasure’s parole hearings and ensuring the parole board is aware of the details of his crimes. Despite his knowledge of the case, he admits that Leasure’s motives remain unclear. He believes that Leasure may have orchestrated the killings to gain power and control over others, as he enjoyed the sense of power and superiority his position as a police officer gave him.

As Leasure’s parole hearing approaches in September, tensions are high for both supporters and opponents of his release. While some believe that he has served enough time and should be given the chance to prove himself as a reformed individual, others argue that his lack of remorse and insight into his crimes make him a danger to society. As the hearing approaches, both sides prepare to once again make their case before the parole board.


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