Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Switchblade Kid: The Life and Death of Sal Mineo

Scene of the Crime

Sal Mineo poses in a pool
Sal Mineo poses in a pool
(Corbis)

"Oh, my God! No! Help me, please!"

On February 12, 1976, at 9:30 p.m., nine-year-old Monica Merrem heard a man's terrified shouts coming from the parking area below her bedroom window. She was not the only one in the apartment block on Holloway Drive in West Hollywood, California, to hear the cries for help. Several other tenants who also heard rushed into the alleyway behind the garage of the complex and found Sal Mineo lying on the ground curled up on his side. He was bleeding heavily from an unseen wound beneath his shirt. Roy Evans, one of Mineo's neighbors, noticed his labored breathing and attempted to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but to no avail. Evans felt Mineo give a long exhale and he knew then that "he was gone." Shortly after paramedics arrived 37-year-old Broadway and Hollywood screen star Sal Mineo was pronounced dead from a single stab wound to the heart.

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