Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Million Dollar Murder

A Crime of Passion?

The authorities considered various motives, including sour business relationships and revenge by someone who had suffered the repo mans hook. Mosslers wallet was emptied of about $500 during the deadly assault, so robbery was considered, as well.

But detectives kept coming back to the 39 stab wounds. Mossler was not merely slain. He was murdered with a vengeance. Often, such passionate overkill indicates an emotional or sexual connection between the attacker and victim. Naturally, suspicion fell on his wife and her lover.

Mossler left a record of the affair in his own diary, and he clearly understood the stakes. He wrote of Candy and Mel, ' ' If they don' t kill me first, I' ll have to kill them.' '

Tangible and circumstantial evidence implicated the lovers. Airline records and eyewitnesses said Powers had traveled from Houston to Miami before the murder, then back again in the hours after Mossler was killed. A palm print from Powers turned up in the Key Biscayne apartment.

A white Chevrolet spotted at the murder scene was identified as a rental that Candy had provided Powers during his visit to Miami. The car was located at the Miami airport, where it had been parked at 5:19 a.m. on June 29, a few hours after the murder and not long before Powers boarded a flight back home to Houston. Sixteen fingerprints from Powers turned up in the car, as did flecks of blood.

On July 3, the day of Jacques Mosslers funeral, Florida authorities issued a warrant charging Mel Powers with his murder. Texas Rangers picked him up that afternoon at his trailer business outside Houston. Police confiscated his clothing and found traces of blood on trousers he was wearing when he returned from Miami.

Percy Foreman, defense attorney
Percy Foreman, defense attorney
Candy Mossler and her sister, Elizabeth Powers, retained Percy Foreman, the famed Texas hired gun defense attorney, to defend Mel. Foreman demanded a $200,000 retainer, and Candy put up her jewelry box as collateral.

The gems included an emerald-cut blue and white diamond ring valued at $20,000, a canary tear drop diamond pendant worth $12,500, and various other gold and diamond frippery - all gifts from Jacques Mossler to his wife.

Mossler would have choked at the idea: He had paid for the defense of his accused murderer.

Dominic Dunne's Power, Priviledge and Justice

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