LOS ANGELES – It was nearing midnight when Terie Evans called police in Irvine with a hunch: An ex-Los Angeles police officer named Christopher Dorner might have killed a young Irvine woman and her fiance a few days earlier.
Evans, an LAPD sergeant who had trained Dorner, conceded that her theory was a long shot. But Dorner’s name had suddenly surfaced the day before in a strange phone call. And she knew he had a connection to the woman who had been killed. It seemed too much to dismiss as a coincidence.
It wouldn’t take long for Irvine detectives to realize just how valuable Evans’ tip was.
Before dawn they were looking into Dorner. An investigator uncovered a rambling manifesto Dorner allegedly posted online, in which he expressed fury over his firing years earlier and laid out his plan to exact revenge by killing officers he blamed for his downfall and their family members.
The discovery sent Evans and about 50 other LAPD officers and their families either into hiding or under the protection of heavily armed guards as a massive manhunt for Dorner unfolded across Southern California.
For the eight days that Dorner eluded capture, Evans remained silent and laid low, while Irvine and Los Angeles police officials kept secret her role in identifying the suspect. Evans had been Dorner’s training officer and was at the center of the incident that led to his dismissal from the force. Authorities worried it might enrage Dorner further if he knew she had once again played a lead role in determining his fate.
On Thursday, Evans spoke to The Times about what happened, and police confirmed her account. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he believes Evans’ actions saved lives, helping detectives identify Dorner before he carried out more surprise attacks.