A navy veteran and father of two, born in 1947, Rogers moved to Bakersfield, California, at age 30, finding employment with the Kern County Sheriff's Department a year later. He spent five years on beats where prostitutes were numerous, and he was fired March 22, 1983, for taking nude photographs of a hooker in a local cemetery. On appeal, the state Civil Service Commission reduced his punishment to a 15-day suspension, and Rogers returned to duty in June 1983. (The prostitute in question failed to appear at this hearing, and she has not been seen since.) Assigned to the county jail, Rogers was accused of beating up an inmate in April 1984, but the charges were ultimately dismissed. He returned to active patrol in June 1986. On February 21 of that year, the bullet-riddled body of Jeanine Benintende, a 21-year-old Los Angeles prostitute was fished out of a canal near Lamont, in Kern County. The fatal bullets were identified as .38-caliber hollow-points, often used by police, and the same weapon was identified a year later, on February 8, 1987, when Tracy Clark, a pregnant 15-year-old hooker, was found in the same canal. Arrested five days later, after background investigation revealed his "unusual interest" in prostitutes, Rogers admitted owning the murder weapon, reported stolen from a local tavern in 1982. Large quantities of pornography were discovered in Rogers's home, and detectives learned that he had once taken his teenage son on a tour of hooker-infested streets, to teach the boy that prostitutes were "scumbags." Prosecutors declared that the missing 1983 witness was "very much on the list" of potential victims , but Rogers was finally charged with two counts of homicide. Convicted on one count each of second-degree murder (Benintende) and first-degree (Clark), Rogers was sentenced to die on the latter charge.