New Mexico Police Corruption Series: APD Officer Matt Griffin aka The Ninja Bandit Part 3

I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again – I HATE POLICE CORRUPTION.

While researching a couple of New Mexico cases, I discovered significant amount of corruption and cover-ups in the Albuquerque New Mexico police department, beginning at least 30 years ago and may be currently going on as I write this. Many victims of homicide have never received justice because their killers were protected. In addition, several people turned up missing during this reign of crap and certain officers within the APD are either responsible OR know who is and refused to do their jobs as cops. The latter is partly true for the fact that some of these cops were into the drug trafficking business and protected the perpetrators.

Because of what I learned, I am currently writing a series of posts about corrupt cases that occurred in New Mexico. I started with Linda Daniels. There are so many victims who were betrayed by the people who were supposed to serve and protect them that it is just ridiculous.

While the majority of posts will be cases out of Albuquerque, I will have some from other areas of New Mexico.

This is Part 3, and the last on APD Officer Matt Griffin.

Part 2‘s post left off with the murder of Peter Klunck at the hands of three APD officers, including Griffin.

After Peter’s Klunck’s murder, Griffin’s days of murder and mayhem were finally coming to an end.

On April 3, 1989, APD Officer Matt Griffin shot and killed Michael Howard, who resided at Cibola Village Apartments. Apparently, from what little I found on this case, Howard caught Griffin in the parking lot trying to steal his car. Griffin was going to use it for a robbery as his getaway car. So, of course, Griffin shot Howard. Makes perfect sense, does it not? 😉

Two weeks later, on April 18, 1989, Griffin/Ninja Bandit robbed Sun County Savings a second time.

But Griffin’s luck would finally run out on July 10, 1989 when he was revealed to be the “Ninja Bandit” and was arrested for five bank robberies and the slaying of Michael Howard.

I could not find anything stating how he was exposed as the “Ninja Bandit” or how it was proven that he killed Howard. I also could not find any info on the total amount of money Griffin stole or what happened to all of it. (Griffin and APD probably used it for hooker parties lol)

Ultimately, Matt Griffin was sentenced to about 80 years in prison for the murder of Michael Howard and robbing the five banks.Now, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to think that the prison boys had a LOT of fun with this now former police officer. It actually makes me quite happy. I’m not gonna lie – I hope he got it up the ASS a hundred times over.

I do have some satisfaction, though. In 1992, Griffin was stabbed by several inmates and put in solitary confinement. I think the system should have just let the inmates do what they wanted to do and screw protecting this MORON.

But even prison life couldn’t keep this man from thinking he was Mr. Tough Guy. Apparently, he liked to assault prison guards. Because of this, he was moved to another prison. But how they transported his sorry ass is what is absolute b.s. In 2008, Mr. I-think-I-am-God Griffin actually flew FIRST class on the state’s Cessna Citation jet at a cost of nearly $6,000.

*eyes bugging out*

I told you it was b.s. It seems to me that New Mexico likes protecting and pampering its rogue cops.

Now if all of that wasn’t enough CRAP for ya, I leave you with this:

In 2011, Griffin – you’re going to be so shocked that I hope you are sitting down – SUED the state of New Mexico and WON. Griffin claimed that New Mexico Department of Corrections prison guards beat him up – boo hoo – after a fight they said HE started. The state lawyer claimed that Griffin pulled out a razor blade and slashed a guard in the face.

Years ago, Griffin swallowed a razor blade and attached it to his tooth with a string to regurgitate it so he could assault the prison guards.

This guy is not normal.

Griffin even acted as his own lawyer behind bars. I think part of him wanted to be Ted Bundy. 😉

The state decided to settle, forcing tax-paying citizens to front the bill for the alleged incident.

“The reason that we settled the lawsuit is that it was a reasonable business decision,” said state attorney Jim Brewster.

Brewster said settling the suit cost taxpayers less than going through with a trial, and he’s not just talking about court proceedings.

“It would have been thousands of dollars to get him here (and) thousands more in litigation costs and fees,” he said.

Pardon me while I vomit.

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

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Author: truecrimediva

True crime blogger

  • fcuellar

    Griffins partner who was a straight cop got suspicious because Griffin was the first cop on the scene of all the bank robberies that is how he was eventually caught

  • fcuellar

    Griffins partner, who was a straight cop got suspicious because Griffin was always the first one on the scene of the bank robberies. That’s how he was eventually caugh.

    • Jonny Joe

      Griffin was off on the days of the bank robberies, so he could not have been at the scene while on duty, let alone the first responder. Griffin got caught because he owned a Camaro, Just liked the ones he was stealing as get away cars, and since he was a cop, he knew police procedures, and used the police issued walkie to monitor PD response during the heists. He killed Howard because Howard caught Grifhin trying to steal his Camaro. Griffin would drill a hole under the driver side, side view mirror to gain access. The alarm went off and Howard accosted Griffin. The FBI pieced it together, had to be a cop or former cop, and they did a vehicle search on cops with Camaros. Griffin told a fellow cop one day, that he caught the FBI trying to put a bird dog on his Camaro. The cop told him, “well, you have a car just like the robbery cars, maybe they think you are the Ninja BR” He just looked at the cop and laughed. The cop also saw numerous uncashed city paychecks in Griffins PD Cruiser.

  • Kaydenyo

    You have done such an amazing job compiling and exposing these unbelievably mind blowing instances of police corruption and ensuing cover-ups. Seriously, you should start a website entirely dedicated to exposing corruption state by state. If the public was aware that things like this can and do happen in their own backyards, they would be way more cautious of the trust they place in the authorities. And as soon as the authorities realize that the public no longer sees badges as magic moral good guy stamps, and that they no longer can cloak this shit under the publics naive assumption that all police/soldiers/lawyers/judges/preachers etc are these super non-human, moral beings, incapable of doing anything wrong, then they’d actually have to put a little effort in hiding any fucked up shit they do.
    Its amazing the automatic trust that comes with a job title, specially when those jobs come with a bigger reason to hide. I don’t know if it’s all naivety or intentional ignorance, but either way you can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge.

    • Thank you, but I can’t take the credit for exposing them as I did not. However, I had no problem writing about it! 🙂 It just blows me away how bad it is out there.

  • Steve Latham

    where is Griffin now?

    • He is in an out-of-state prison for the rest of his life. I do not know exactly where. He was transferred from New Mexico in 2008.

      • Tom Wolfe

        Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, NC