Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Mistress of Hollywood: June Cassandra Mincher

New Developments

Sergeant Bill Stoner
Sergeant Bill Stoner

In early 1987, LA County Sheriff's deputies, Sergeant Bill Stoner and Detective Charlie Guenther, on a cold case assignment, looked over the documents from the Radin case and saw the picture.  By this time, Mentzer had gotten a divorce — the type of development cold case investigators count on. 

"Detectives have solved scores of cold cases," says Dr. Richard H. Walton in Evidence Technology Magazine, "by exploiting two primary solvability factors: changes in relationships and changes in technology."  Sometimes former spouses are angry and want to talk, or might at least provide more information than they had previously.  Perhaps they've grown less afraid, become religious, or distanced themselves from the crowd with which they once ran.  In any event, people close to a crime often loosen up as years pass.

Evidence Technology Magazine cover
Evidence Technology Magazine cover

In this case, Mentzer's ex-wife was able to identify and provide information about the two men in the photos.  One, whom she believed to be aggressive and dangerous, was Alex Marti.  The other, she said, was Bill Rider.  She viewed him as a gentleman, very professional.  He was even a former cop, and he'd been part of a security firm that had once employed Mentzer.  That was good news for the investigators.

Rider had moved out of state, they learned, and when he was asked to return to Los Angeles for an interview, he resisted.  He said he had a family now and did not wish to put himself or them into harm's way.  Rider knew that Mentzer was dangerous because he'd heard Mentzer and his cronies make claims about murder.  If he participated, he'd have to have a lot of security. 

After a few months of discussions, Rider agreed to be flown back to Los Angeles to tell the detectives what he knew.  He'd been a cop once, after all.  As long as they assured him protection, he would do what he could, although he insisted he would not testify.  His cooperation proved to be the break the detectives both cases.