Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ninja Murder Case

Closing In

Detectives had established that Stewart and Neil were at their homes when the killings happened; so having another name to go on gave their investigation more steam. They discovered that Homick had flown out from Las Vegas two days before the murders and had returned the day after. He had rented a car and received $28,000 wired from Neil.

Phone records showed Homick placing numerous calls to his brother, Robert, an attorney. One call was two days before the murders. Immediately after that call ended, Robert called Stewart. Stewart called his aunt and then the phone calls were returned in the opposite order. Holder discovered that Stewart had called his aunt at that time to find out if his parents were attending the Yom Kippur supper.

In addition, a witness reported seeing a man parked in a car near the victims' condominium the night of the murders. He had sat there for hours and appeared to be casing the area. When shown a picture of Robert and his car, the witness positively identified him.

The detectives had now put together enough pieces to posit a murder-for-hire scenario with the Homick brothers as the assassins and the Woodmans as their clients. Such a complicated scenario can often take years to solve. Yet on March 11, 1986 — just five and a half months after the murders — Holder and Crostley enlisted the aid of the FBI and Las Vegas police to arrest five people in connection with the conspiracy and murders of Gerald and Vera Woodman.

Michael Dominguez
Michael Dominguez

Robert was at home; Steve Homick was at a friend's apartment in Los Angeles; Stewart was on his way to work, and Neil was already at work. Another man, Michael Dominguez of Las Vegas, was arrested for what proved to be a minor role. A search of Robert Homick's home yielded a pair of bolt cutters with microscopic amounts of metal that matched the cut chain link at the Woodmans' condominium complex.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Daryl F. Gates
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Daryl F. Gates

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Daryl F. Gates held a press conference and disclosed that search warrants had been served at seven locations in Nevada including Homick's home to gather information about the recent robbery and murder of three people in the house of a Las Vegas real estate broker.


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