Yesterday, a Manhattan judge ordered former NYPD officer Bill Phillips released from prison on parole. As Voice reporter Sean Gardiner wrote in August, the former corrupt cop turned whistle-blower had been denied freedom by the parole board every odd year since 1999.
Phillips, 76, had been behind bars for three decades. In recent years, he had suffered from a stroke, cancer, and diabates. Yet the parole board continued to characterize him as a dangerous criminal, until the judge yesterday overruled them. Phillips had been sentenced to 25 years to life for killing a prostitute–the so-called Happy Hooker–and her pimp. He continues to deny the charges, and some think he was set up for testifying against other corrupt cops in the NYPD. Gardiner writes:
[I]n the most savage twist to Bill Phillips’s crazy career as a cop gone bad—and then worse—the detective who put Phillips behind bars for the murders may have pursued Phillips as revenge for a fellow cop’s suicide. The cop killed himself because he thought Phillips was going to out him during the Knapp Commission. In fact, Phillips never did.
It’s an amazing story worth reading again.