Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Mistress of Hollywood: June Cassandra Mincher

Quick Revelations

Mincher had worked in the soft-core porn industry, and could be seen in several films that Russ Meyer had produced.  Apparently, she also ran a small house of prostitution in the area and had been arrested on several occasions.  Pierce was both a client and a friend of hers.  Mincher was considered a high risk victim, just from what she did, but additional facts would come to light that had brought danger right to her door.  Before that happened, there was a surprise from the autopsy.

The deputy medical examiner had removed what she estimated to be seven badly mangled .22 caliber bullets from Mincher's head.  She counted nine wounds to the body, two of which were to the left hand (one a grazing wound and the other a through-and-through). Four bullets had penetrated the skull and lodged in the brain, creating massive tissue damage. Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

But SID had only picked up six spent casings.  Either they'd overlooked a shell at the scene, a bystander had picked it up before they arrived, or the killer had grabbed it.  They went back to check more thoroughly, but found nothing.  They also asked the Latent Print Division to try to lift prints from the shells, just in case whoever had touched them had left a usable fingerprint, but no match

Given the nature of the quick-hit shooting, and the use of a .22, LAPD detectives believed that some enraged customer of June Mincher's had put a contract on her life.  The weapon of choice was consistent with those preferred by hit men, because they were easy to handle in a quick-hit situation. Mincher had been such a public figure, with such a risky lifestyle, it would have been a simple matter to gun her down and flee, and a good contract killer generally left no traceable evidence. 

Despite having several witnesses, this murder was shaping up like a crime that could be difficult to solve.  When detectives were able to question Christian Pierce, his memory was understandably blurred, but what he was able to say was consistent with what other witnesses had told them.  He didn't know who could have ambushed them, but he clearly recalled the weapon — a long-barreled blue steel handgun.  He thought he might be able to ID the shooter.

Then investigators caught a lucky break: Mincher had filed a police report a month earlier about three muscular men who'd attacked her at home.  They had broken in and beaten her. 

 

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