Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ninja Murder Case

The Scene of the Crime

Within minutes, Los Angeles Police Department patrol deputies arrived. They were soon joined by Holder and his partner, Richard Crostley, and, of course, the media. One of the deputies spoke with the witness and then radioed to the dispatcher that everyone should be on the lookout for a tall man dressed in a ninja garment. A news reporter at the scene heard this and suddenly this crime had a name: The Ninja Murder Case.

Inside of the car
Inside of the car

Holder looked at the carnage. He was struck by what the killer left behind: the Woodmans had a substantial amount of cash and were wearing expensive diamond and gold jewelry. This was no robbery. "We figured it was some kind of a hit," Holder said. In fact, it looked similar to an assassination that might be carried out by the Mafia.

Autopsy report showing Vera's wounds
Autopsy report showing Vera's wounds

The perimeter of the complex was bordered by an iron fence with a gate secured by a heavy chain. A link in the chain had been cut, and the gate was open.

The detectives went up to the Woodmans' apartment and looked around. As they had expected, nothing was amiss. The home had not been ransacked. This made the process of going through their personal belongings for clues that much easier.

Holder and Crostley had been sorting through paperwork for a while, engrossed in the silence that enveloped them. All that could be heard was the rustling of papers. Suddenly they heard a noise. "We jumped up with our guns drawn, it was coming from the balcony," Holder said. "It turned out to be Mr. Woodman's little dog, it was locked outside." They didn't know it at the time, but "Tiger," a Yorkshire terrier, would turn out to be a very important clue indeed.


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