Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Million Dollar Murder

A Kinky Kind of Love

Jacques Mossler fell ill from a respiratory infection that lingered for much of 1962. He traveled alone to Europe for treatment at mineral springs and began spending more time on Key Biscayne, breathing the healthier ocean air.

At the same time, Candy began to develop a very close relationship with her nephew. Before long, they crossed a moral - and legal - taboo. Mel and his Aunt Candy became lovers.

Candy, twice Mels age, would visit his bedroom at night, after the children and servants were asleep. They exchanged torrid love letters and stole away for trysts.

During their trips together, Powers often would introduce Candy as his wife, although he sometimes acknowledged her as a distant relation seeking succor from a bad marriage.

Powers also bragged to acquaintances that Candy had fallen under his sexual trance because he had a knack for pleasuring her through oral sex. He performed in bed, Powers said, and Candy treated him to anything he wanted, thanks to her wealthy husband, whom he referred to - ironically enough - as the old mooch.

Candy and Mels relationship eventually became an open secret around the Houston mansion. In the late spring of 1963, about 14 months after Mel moved in, Jacques Mossler learned of his wifes incestuous affair, apparently after he was tipped off by a servant, then read her diary.

Mossler paid a secret visit to the Harris County district attorney to see about bringing criminal charges against Powers for breaking up his home. The authorities apparently dissuaded him, warning of the potential for scandalous publicity.

On June 20, Mossler told an executive to fire Powers from his job at the financial firm. That same day, a pair of investigators from the prosecutor' s office visited Powers. They ordered him to vacate the mansion or face arrest. Powers did not go quietly. He railed against Jacques Mossler and vowed to return one day as master of the mansion.

A disgusted Mossler retreated alone to Europe. He eventually returned to the United States, but was too embarrassed to live in Houston, where rumors of the incest tittered through high society. Mossler opted for life in Key Biscayne, in a modest two-bedroom unit at the luxurious Governors Lodge apartment complex.

  His relationship with his wife certainly was strained. But neither Mossler nor Candy made legal moves to separate or divorce. Each had financial motivation not to.

Candy would receive only $200,000 if she sued for divorce under terms of a contract she had signed with Mossler before marriage. And Mossler knew she could get half of his fortune if he sought the divorce. So they suffered one another from afar for a year after the affair was revealed - Jacques in Florida, Candy in Houston.

Mel Powers had gone into business selling mobile homes in Texas, with financial backing from Candy. He took an apartment in Houston, which served as a love nest when Aunt Candy came calling.

Dominic Dunne's Power, Priviledge and Justice