Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

LA Forensics: Where There's Smoke...

More Forensic Evidence

Forensic scientists at LAPD's Scientific Investigation Division also compared the tires on the Olds to the tread mark left at the crime scene. "They were a match," Barron says. "The SID people made the match. It was just icing on the cake."

The crime lab also had good news about the roll of duct tape Barron found in the trunk of Kacey Ephriam's Buick Electra.

"The tape that was found on the victim came from the roll of tape found in the suspect's vehicle," says SID's Doreen Hudson. "The likelihood of having a physical match between two different rolls is...it's almost nonexistent."

But murder is about killing, not rolls of tape or strands of hair. According to the autopsy report, Lon Kim "sustained multiple injuries consisting of multiple blunt force trauma, a gunshot wound of the right back, and extensive thermal burns with smoke inhalation after being bound, gagged and probably sodomized. The gunshot wound...resulted in perforation of the right lung leading to...his death."

Of all the terrible injuries Lon Kim suffered, it was a gunshot from a .38-caliber pistol that killed him, and Detective Patrick Barron had found in Kacey Ephriam's closet a JLG .38-caliber revolver, a brand well-known to detectives.

Detective Mike DePasquale
Detective Mike DePasquale

"It's cheap," says homicide Detective Mike DePasquale. "It's what we call a Saturday night special. Those are guns you can buy anywhere. You don't have to buy them at a gun store. Some of those guns are fifty to a hundred dollars."

SID test fired the JLG .38 and then used a comparison microscope to do a side-by-side examination of the test bullet and the one found at the crime scene.

They matched.

According to the Firearm's Unit, the gun found in Kacey Ephriam's closet fired the bullet that killed Lon Kim.

 

Watch this story and many others from the case files of the LAPD's Scientific Investigation Division, which solves crimes using cutting edge forensics. Only on Court TV. Learn more.

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