Murder of Sami Safar by police officer Karl Waldon investigated on Good Cop Bad Cop

Police tape

Good Cop Bad Cop is examining the particularly disturbing murder of Sami Safar, a business owner in Jacksonville, Florida, who was targeted by rogue elements within the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Safar’s killer was Officer Karl Waldon, who was part of a violent police unit that started out by stealing money and drugs from drug dealers but then moved on to robbing innocent civilians, which led to Safar’s murder.

In the 1990s, Officers Waldon, Aric Sinclair, Reginald Bones, and Jason Pough teamed up with drug dealer Daryl Crowden to create a criminal enterprise where they engaged in theft and drug running.

In 1998, Sinclair took a part-time job at a bank and noted that Sami Safar and his nephew Hassam Tahhan regularly withdrew large amounts of cash for their business of convenience stores.

In May, Sinclair, Crowden, and another man, Jeffrey Reed, stole $50,000 from Tahhan. Waldon heard about the heist and decided he wanted to do the same.

Sinclair refused to help Waldon with another robbery so close to the last, so Waldon recruited his brother-in-law, James Swift, and ex-convict Kenneth McLaughlin to conduct a new heist.

Killer cop Karl Waldon planned to arrest Sami Safar to steal his money

Waldon planned to use his patrol car to pull over Safar after he left the bank. The corrupt cop would pretend to arrest Safar, putting him in his car. McLaughlin and Swift would then swoop in, taking the money from Safar’s car.

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However, the plan failed because Safar refused to leave the money in his car. He gripped the cash while sitting in the back of Waldon’s police car while Waldon tried to figure out what to do.

Waldon rendezvoused with Swift and McLaughlin at a parking lot and told them they’d have to kill Safar because he could identify him. The trio argued, but Waldon won the argument. The killer cop then strangled Safar with a rope as he begged for his life.

The twisted trio dumped Safar’s body in a secluded location and divided up the cash between them.

Karl Waldon and the corrupt Jacksonville cops were sent to jail

However, the shocking crime spree couldn’t last forever, and the corrupt officers were eventually brought down. McLaughlin became a crucial part of the investigation when he confessed to the police about the Safar murder and other crimes.

Drug dealer Daryl Crowden also turned against his former partners in crime and testified against Waldon, Sinclair, Bones, and Pough.

In November 2002, a jury found Waldon guilty of killing Safar, and he was sentenced to life in prison. McLaughlin was sentenced to 19 years for his role in the murder, and Swift was sentenced to seven years and three months.

Former officers Aric Sinclair, Jason Pough, and Reginald Bones were also sent to jail for participating in the crime spree.

Good Cop Bad Cop airs Sundays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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