Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man In Shadows

A "Smoking Gun"

Demonstration of cycling A, experts compared extractor marks.
Demonstration of cycling A, experts compared extractor marks.

At Szabo and Galeria's request, SID firearms experts compared the extractor marks the tiny scratches a semiautomatic pistol makes when it kicks a shell out of the firing chamber on the spent shells from the crime scene to the unfired cartridges taken from Leighton's house.

Demonstration of cycling B, cartridge is extracted.
Demonstration of cycling B, cartridge is extracted.

They matched.

At some point in the past, the bullets at Leighton's house had been loaded into and cycled through the same Sig Sauer 9mm pistol used to shoot Jamie and April.

It was enough for the D.A.

On June 3, 1999, seven months after the vicious ambush in a driveway in West Hills that left Jamie Navaroli and April Mahoney dead, Detectives Szabo and Galeria arrested Kenny Leighton for their murders. The detectives also executed another search warrant at Leighton's new home and found more 9mm cartridges that SID later linked to the murder weapon.

When Szabo and Galeria got those SID firearms reports they felt vindicated. They had suspected all along that Leighton had been behind the killings.

"The results were absolutely exciting," Szabo says, "because now we had some physical evidence to connect Kenny Leighton to this crime."

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