Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Football Player and the Millionaire: Deadly Love Triangle

The Prime Suspect

  

As the interview continued, Naposki was asked if he owned any guns. He denied this at first, then stated he had a .380-caliber pistol that was lent to his father for protection. Later he volunteered: "Oh you know, I had a 9 mm earlier in the summer, but I loaned it to a guy and it got stolen," according to court files. Detectives had their first solid piece of evidence: they had never publicized what type of weapon was used in the shooting. Naposki said the weapon was given to friend Joe Jimenez, who worked with him at the Thunderbird nightclub.

Detectives began to look closer into Naposki. The drove the route from the soccer game and found out it took about 40 minutes — plenty of time to commit the murder. And they learned that Naposki was working the night of the murder, but showed up late for his 9 p.m. shift. A discussion with Jimenez revealed that Naposki did indeed lend him a gun, but it had been a .380-caliber, not a 9 mm, and contained bullets that were the same brand used to kill McLaughlin.

Then police traced the new house keys to a hardware store near Naposki's home. The store manager said he remembered Naposki because the football player had asked him to construct a silencer for a 9 mm pistol in October.

"He said it was for a movie," the manager recalled.

Next, detectives talked to the realtor whose card was in the day planner. It turned out that Naposki and Johnston had been shopping for homes in the exclusive Turtle Rock area of Irvine even though neither had any real money of their own.

"They came in and appeared to be a couple — they stated they had four children and that they were looking for a home in the $1-million range with the ideal of moving in the springtime of '95," the realtor told police.

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