LA Forensics: The Keystone Diamond
A Great Facade
William had worked hard to make a living as a car salesman, and he had done a pretty good job of it. Many people in that business scraped by, living in apartments and going job to job. William had a single story house with a pool in an artsy Studio City enclave that is home to professionals in the entertainment business. You wouldn't have to look hard to see comic Jay Leno, for example, riding in one of his vintage cars down Ventura Boulevard, the main drag in Studio City.
Although William wasn't nearly as wealthy as some of his famous neighbors, he liked to pretend that he was. Every day he wore a large diamond pinky ring, a Rolex watch and a gold chain, giving the impression that he had lots of money. It was all part of the façade of selling cars in Los Angeles.
But with the pretentiousness of being well off came the inevitable battles over money: a pending divorce with a wife who wanted more of his assets than he was willing to give; a nephew who sued him over some sort of a land deal, claiming he didn't get his fair share; and a 19-year-old grandson with a drug problem who wanted money and a free college education. His grandson, Noel Scott, lived with William for a few months shortly before the murder. William refused to pay for the tuition, saying he said he couldn't afford it.
One thing was for sure — Ramsdell didn't have a shortage of suspects.