A deputy lands on death row

rogerswebA Kern County deputy is sentenced to death, March, 1988. Kern County sheriff’s deputy David Keith Rogers hated prostitutes, and his position of trust gave him the mechanism to act on that hatred. Rogers is said to have despised prostitutes so much that he once took his teenage son on a tour of Bakersfield’s underbelly to point them out and show them what “scumbags ” they were. As a deputy who patrolled that same underbelly, Rogers knew the game and had easy access. He was convicted of murdering two: Jeanine Benintende, 21, found on February 21, 1986, and a 15-year-old pregnant teen, Tracie Clark, found on February 8, 1987. Both victims were shot multiple times with a .38 caliber handgun that Rogers later admitted owning; it had been stolen from a local tavern, and both bodies were dumped in the same canal. Rogers had a history as a bad cop, but sadly attempts by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office to fire him were overturned. He was fired by the KCSO in March, 1983 for taking pictures of a nude prostitute in a local cemetery. The state Civil Service Commission overturned his termination when the prostitute failed to show up for his hearing. She has never been heard from since. Prosecutors believe she was likely another of Rogers’ victims, but without a body, they could not charge him. He returned to work in June of that year. Rogers was assigned to the county jail, and was accused of beating up an inmate in April , 1984, but the charges were ultimately dismissed. He returned to active patrol in June 1986. Rogers was convicted of second degree murder in the killing of Benintende and first degree murder in the killing of Clark. His wife wept in the courtroom as the verdicts were read. He was sentenced to death by Judge Gerald Davis, and his death sentence was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 2006. I shot this photo on the day he was arraigned. (This information was compiled from “An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers – Hunting Humans” by Michael Newton, and The Los Angeles Times.)


4 thoughts on “A deputy lands on death row

  1. The state of Californiania should be REQUIRED to maintain a public, searchable website with photos and criminal conviction data for EVERY cop convicted of felonies.

  2. Hello John, I hope you’re well. I’m a researcher working for a British television production company and we’re very interested in purchasing the licence to use this image, and any others you may have on this case, in a documentary. Please may you get in touch via email?

    Many thanks,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s