Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Mistress of Hollywood: June Cassandra Mincher

Not so Fast

SID had some bad news.  They were unable to make a comparison between bullet casings fired from Rider's gun and the casings picked up at the scene of Mincher's murder.  Apparently when Antonelli was acquitted, the casings had been destroyed. so there was no longer any physical evidence that could definitively tie Mentzer to the scene.  For the detectives, this news was disheartening.

But there was one piece of evidence that offered a shred of hope. 

In 1983, no one had thought to examine June Mincher's wig.  It just seemed like something that had flown off her head from the impact of the multiple shootings.  Then Pascal had offered the "missing" shell, so there had no reason to keep looking for it.

Edward Robinson examines bullets.
Edward Robinson examines bullets.

But there was nowhere else to turn, so SID took the victim's wig out of the evidence and room and examined it.  They went over it, tress by tress, probing the bloody areas where the initial bullets had impacted the skull before the wig flew off.  Then one technician felt something odd — a small, hard lump.  He worked it though the matted hair with his gloved fingers until he was able to identify it.  To his surprise, it was a shell casing from a .22.  Apparently, this was the seventh casing that no one had found.  It had been tangled in the wig.  Pascal, associated with Mentzer, must have shot another bullet from the murder weapon and presented it as a shell from the scene, in order to make the police think they had all the evidence.

This was a great relief to everyone involved.  Now they had a way to use a ballistics analysis to try to confirm a match.  Edward Robertson, the firearms examiner assigned, shot four or five test bullets with Rider's weapon.  Those who were waiting for the results could only hope that the quality of the mark on the recovered shell would be sufficient to make a solid comparison.


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