Alleged sex abuse victim says former NOPD detective used drowning death to threaten him

Alleged sex abuse victim says former NOPD detective used drowning death to threaten him

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - We have new information about former NOPD lead pedophile unit detective Stanley Burkhardt, who the NOPD confirms it’s now investigating for a sexual assault allegation dating back to the late 1970s. Richard Windmann who says he’s the victim, tells FOX 8 Burkhardt used to threaten him with a picture of a dead teen named ‘Eddie’ when he would refused to listen to Burkhardt.

A Times Picayune/States Item article from August 5, 1982, details the story of a teen, Eddie Wells, known as "Eddie Dirt." The article, written by Walt Philbin, states a dock worker discovered Wells' body floating in the Mississippi River near the Desire Street Wharf. The Coroner at the time classified the 17-year old's death as a drowning. But, the detective on the case, Stanley Burkhardt, told Philbin he was convinced Wells was murdered. Today the NOPD said while "the incident has not been reclassified as a homicide and, therefore, a suspect has not been named. Investigators are methodically gathering available evidence to determine whether any allegations are credible and can be substantiated."

Burkhardt was eventually removed from the NOPD pedophile unit. He was convicted of numerous sex crimes in the 1980s and 1990s, including possessing child porn and aggravated crime against nature for molesting a young female relative.

Windmann, who says Burkhardt sexually assaulted him, is the same man who also says Jesuit High School janitor Peter Modica raped him while priest and teacher Corneilius Carr watched. Windmann, says before that happened, he was one of the victims of a Boy Scout pedophile ring in the 1970s. Windmann confirmed to FOX 8 that he was a member of New Orleans Boy Scout 137 and says scout leaders raped him when he was a little boy.

Because of his involvement with the Boy Scout case, Windmann was introduced to Burkhardt, who was head of the NOPD Pedophile Unit. Windmann says Burkhardt was supposed to check in on him as part of the scout case, but instead, Windmann says Burkhardt started raping him.

Burkhardt was never prosecuted for Windmann's allegations. But, earlier this month, the NOPD confirmed the department is investigating new sexual assault allegations against Burkhardt, and they have spoken to an alleged victim. Again, Windmann says he is that victim.

According to court documents, Windmann was called to North Carolina as a witness in a 2011 federal case against Burkhardt. The court concluded Burkhardt was "a sexually dangerous person." And, in coming to that opinion, the judge cited significant events in Burkhardt's life, including that "while a police officer, he molested Richard Windmann, a young boy at the time." The opinion also says, "the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the testimony of Mr. Windmann is credible and that the denial by Mr. Burkhardt of this incident is not credible."

The judge also said, "we know that Mr. Windmann was a victim" and was victimized at least 40 times over a two- or three-year period. And, that it happened at the "police station, homes and hotels."

In that 2011 federal case, Windmann testified that when he was 13, Burkhardt took him into the evidence room and showed him child porn, then sexually abused him. Windmann also testified that after Burkhardt was arrested, he tried to come forward to the police department to report Burkhardt molested him but Windmann says police ignored him.

In his account of what happened with Burkhardt and Eddie Wells, Windmann told FOX 8, Burkhardt showed him a picture of Wells' body after he was pulled out of the Mississippi River.

"Stanley told me his name was Eddie," said Windmann. "He asked me if I knew Eddie, and I said that I did not. He told me that Eddie was a 'piece of sh#t' hustler in the French Quarter. Every time I didn't want to do something Stanley wanted, he would pull out that photo and tell me 'Do you want to end up like Eddie?'"

Windmann also said Burkhardt, "Always had that photo, and he always used it against me."

One day at his home on D'Hemecourt Street in New Orleans Windmann said he finally had enough.

"I told Stanley I was done, that I wasn't doing it any longer," said Windmann. "He picked me up by the throat, put me against the wall and put his service pistol in my mouth, and told me he would kill me."

According to the 1982 Times Picayune article, Burkhardt investigated Wells' death "as a homicide ever since Wells' body was found." It’s unclear what the status of that investigation is today.

Burkhardt served time in federal prison but was released in March of 2015. In February of this year, a Federal District Court judge in North Carolina ruled that Burkhardt was no longer required to wear his GPS tracking device. According to an online sex offender registry, he is now living and working in New Orleans.

We went to the address listed on Burkhardt's sex offender registry. A neighbor confirmed he lives there, but we were unable to reach him for comment.

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