Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man In Shadows

The Crime Scene

James Navaroli
James Navaroli

Three vehicles were parked in the driveway. The one closest to the street was a pickup truck. Both of the cab doors were open. Thirty-six-year-old James "Jamie" Navaroli lay on the ground beside the driver's door. He wore a blood-stained T-shirt with the word "Wilson" printed across the front, a pair of black jeans, white socks, and sneakers. He'd been shot four times the back, the left shoulder, the left arm, and the back of the head.

He was as dead as dead can get.

April Mahoney
April Mahoney

Beside the passenger door was a pool of blood. Szabo and Galeria soon learned that the second victim had been hauled by ambulance to Northridge Hospital, six miles away on Roscoe Boulevard. She was 25-year-old April Mahoney, Jamie's girlfriend and the mother of two of his children. She'd been shot through the neck. Medics suspected the bullet had struck her spinal cord.

A full moon and the vaporized glow from nearby street lamps lit the driveway enough for Detective Szabo to spot at least half a dozen 9mm shell casings on the ground. There were also several cigarette butts lying around. Jamie's wallet was still in his back pocket and April's purse was on the seat of the pickup.

It wasn't a robbery. More likely, the shooter had been waiting for the victims to get home. When they pulled into the driveway and got out of the truck, the killer stepped out of the shadows and shot them. The shooter had obviously wanted both victims dead. The bullet that struck Jamie in the head had entered the back of his skull four inches below the crown and half an inch to the right of the midline. The slug ripped through his brain and exited his right eye.

"It was an execution," Detective Szabo says.

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