Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Mistress of Hollywood: June Cassandra Mincher

Turning Point

Rider asked who had paid for the hits and was told it was a woman named Laney Jacobs.  Mentzer said Laney had wanted to punish Radin for a cocaine theft and for cutting her out of an important Hollywood deal.  She had given all the directives.

After leaving the job with Flynt, Rider ended up working again in Texas with Bob Lowe, and it was then that he learned about yet another killing.  Lowe had been the driver for this one and he described how he'd yelled at Mentzer to get back in the car after Mentzer did the hit.  Mentzer had shot another victim as well, although that one —a man— had survived.  Rider recalled Mentzer borrowing his .22 Stern Ruger semiautomatic pistol, equipped with a sound suppressor, around that time for a job for Pascal and realized that this had been the job.  Mentzer had returned it a couple of months later.

Upon hearing about these conversations, the detectives realized that Rider was giving them the solution to two of their more notorious cold case killings.  But they had a problem: no corroborating evidence.

Rich Maruoka test fires a gun.
Rich Maruoka test fires a gun.

They asked Rider what he could do to prove that Mentzer was responsible for Radin's demise and he said he still had the gun that Mentzer had used.  He turned it over so the Firearms Identification technicians could run some tests.  At this point, one officer from LAPD's Cold Case Unit, Rick Jackson, and one from the LA Sheriff's Department, Bill Stoner, began to work together.  They had an informant common to both cases, as well as at least one suspect, if not more.

"When we went through the files," says Stoner, "we realized that back in 1984 the original investigators had run Mentzer's name in the state computer system...and realized that he had been named as a possible suspect Radin's killing.  That case was being handled by the LAPD and the original investigators...started comparing their notes to see if there was anything they could use to build a double case against Mentzer."

They worked so well together on these parallel investigations they became like partners.

 

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