Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

LA Forensics: The Keystone Diamond

An Unconventional Witness

Shortly after returning to bed, Dennis heard the sound of a car backfiring. He went back to sleep. Around 8:30 the next morning, Dennis went to check on William to find out what had happened the night before. A horrific sight greeted him.

William was lying on his left side on the floor near the door, where Dennis had seen him the night before. Blood covered his head. His face looked like it had been used as a punching bag. He was obviously dead.

Detective Richard Ramsdell
Detective Richard Ramsdell

A medical examiner would do an autopsy the following day and find that William had been shot three times in close proximity behind the right ear. The killer had been standing so close that the wound area was covered with smoke, soot and stippling. In addition to a smashed nose and cut up face, William had bruises and abrasions on his neck, shin, right elbow, right hand and both shoulders.


Someone had beaten William senseless and then wanted to be certain he'd never live to talk about it. One witness had seen the whole thing and he wouldn't be saying anything. Dante had let the attack happen without even a single bark.  

Los Angeles police Detective Richard Ramsdell would start looking for a suspect among those in William's inner circle, because they would also know the dog.

"There's not a yelling or screaming for assistance," Ramsdell said. "That dog didn't attack anybody. I believe the victim would've called out, be more in fear of his life, if an intruder unknown to him would have been in that room."

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