The Mistress of Hollywood: June Cassandra Mincher
Mincher was the primary suspect in a fire-bombing that had damaged Antonelli's car in November, as well as in an arson incident at his father's store. She also sent Antonelli photos of himself which he'd once sent to her when he thought he loved her, but she'd mutilated them by carving out the heads. She'd filled the return envelopes with rose petals.
That's when Michael Pascal's security company was hired and Antonelli's father sent Antonelli to live in Phoenix. The police apparently could not locate Mincher for questioning at that time. Yet if Antonelli had truly been so afraid, why had he made two calls to Mincher from Phoenix? His defense attorneys did not explain.
Two separate witnesses, including Pierce, identified Antonelli as the driver of the getaway car, and while the attorneys disputed this, they could not prove that Antonelli did not fly to LA for the evening of the incident and then fly back. They could only say he was with a girlfriend in Phoenix. However, the prosecutors were speculating as well; they had no records to prove their version, only witnesses. Pierce, not the best witness, claimed that he'd seen a man who looked like Antonelli in a car outside Mincher's apartment just before they were shot, and that he was talking to another man who resembled the shooter. However, he'd earlier said he could not identify the driver.
Despite the apparently solid circumstantial case against Antonelli, along with a credible motive, things fell apart. One witness had said he was no longer so certain about his identification because he'd been using cocaine, and SID had been unable to link the shell casings from the scene to either of Antonelli's guns. The prosecutor had nothing else to offer, and the jury decided the case against Antonelli was not convincing.
He was acquitted. By court order, the bullet casings were destroyed.
The murder of June Mincher was now officially unsolved and soon it grew cold. Nearly a year passed after the trial before another lead raised the possibility of a new suspect.