William Mentzer (1 Viewer)


William Mentzer

Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Contract killer with ties to drug syndicates - Also named by David Berkowitz as participant in satanic cult murders
Number of victims: 2 - 5 +
Date of murders: May 13, 1983 / June 29, 1984
Date of birth: 1949
Victims profile: Roy Alexander Radin (New York movie producer) / June Cassandra Mincher (a Madam)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: California/New York/Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison without parole in California in 1991

William Mentzer

Killer jailed for murder of impresario Roy Radin, who was suspected of being the head of the Son of Sam cult. Mentzer was an associate of Charles Manson and also implicated in the killing of Arliss Perry, a devout Christian slain in North Dakota.

Mentzer is suspected as being the person identified by David Berkovitz, the man convicted of the Son of Sam slayings, as Manson II. Los Angeles Police openly acknowledged Mentzer's membership in "some kind of hit squad". The Process Church of the Final Judgement has been associated with both the Manson and Sam slayings, and has been said by some commentators to be the operation running such a hit squad.

This man could be Frisco's fiendish Zodiac Killer

September 29, 2003

The notorious San Francisco Zodiac Killer, who mysteriously dropped out of sight almost 30 years ago after a bloody reign of terror that left five dead, may have been "hiding" in plain sight - locked away in prison for two unrelated murders.

A Post investigation unearthed "compelling" links between 54-year-old killer William Mentzer - who's serving life without the possibility of parole - and the police profile of the Zodiac Killer, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office says.

The dramatic new information has been turned over to the San Francisco Police Department, which for 35 years has searched for the fiendish killer.

"There appear to be some compelling parallels here," said Mark MacNamara, the public-information officer for the San Francisco DA. "We have given the information to the police inspectors for their review."

The Post developed the information after more than 20 hours of interviews with Mentzer at the California state prison in Lancaster.

The Post discovered two dozen links between Mentzer, who is from Los Angeles, and the Zodiac Killer.

For example:

* Investigators say the Zodiac had military training. Mentzer served in the Marines during the Vietnam War and claims 10 kills.

* The Zodiac's murders began in December 1968, shortly after Mentzer returned to California from Vietnam.

* In September 1969, the Zodiac stabbed two of his victims with a bayonet-like knife carried in a handmade sheath fastened with rivets. Mentzer said he had a job making rivets at an aerospace company around CB>the same time of the attack. He also said he carried a bayonet in Vietnam.

* The Zodiac wrote letters to the media taunting the police. Mentzer said, "It was fun to f- - - with them."

* In the letters, the Zodiac drew a diagram of a bomb and threatened to blow up a school bus. Mentzer, who once had a job driving a bus, told The Post he had military training in demolition and kept plastic explosives.

* A survivor of a Zodiac attack said the killer spoke in a slow, monotone with a slight drawl. Mentzer has the same speech pattern.

The Zodiac randomly killed five people and severely wounded two others during his spree, which began in the Bay Area in the late '60s, police said.

But in letters and cryptograms sent to the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times, the Zodiac boasted that he had committed more than 30 other murders.

He congratulated police for uncovering a 1966 murder in Riverside, Calif., about 45 miles east of L.A. But the Zodiac ominously said, "There are a hell of a lot more down there."

He also threatened to "pick off" children as they came bounding out of their school bus.

The psychotic killer mysteriously dropped out of sight in 1974, after a final letter to the press.

Mentzer is serving a life sentence for the savage L.A. murders of New York theatrical producer Roy Radin in 1983 and of prostitute June Mincher in 1984.

Radin was shot more than 20 times in the head. Mentzer then put a small stick of dynamite in Radin's mouth, lit it and blew off his face.

When Mentzer was asked if he shot Mincher seven times in the head, he told The Post, "No, I think it was eight."

One week after the initial interviews, The Post confronted Mentzer with the information linking him to the Zodiac Killer.

"I am not the Zodiac," he fumed. "I am not some crazed killer, but I think I know who he is."

Mentzer said he met the Zodiac while they were incarcerated at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi in the early '90s. He described the Zodiac as a 240-pound black man. Police say the Zodiac is white.

After Mentzer was handed the Zodiac links, he began to read the document as his forearms pulsated. He spent about 15 minutes reviewing the information accusing him of being the Zodiac Killer, and made five minor corrections and one significant change.

Mentzer noted that in 1966, he was based at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif., which is near Riverside.

The Riverside killing mentioned in the Zodiac letter took place a few months before Mentzer left for Vietnam. There were no reported Zodiac murders until Mentzer returned to California about two years later.

SFPD dismisses claims on Zodiac killer's ID

Oct. 1, 2003

The identity of the notorious Zodiac killer remains as elusive as ever after the San Francisco Police Department dismissed evidence provided by a New York tabloid implicating a California prisoner.

The New York Post two months ago presented the San Francisco District Attorney's office with a dossier on William Mentzer, 54, a convicted murderer serving a stretch at a state prison in Lancaster.

The Zodiac has been a morbid fascination in the public's imagination since he killed five people and wounded two others around the Bay Area in the late 1960s.

The killer, who shot strangers in their cars and threatened to blow up children on a school bus, led police on a fruitless chase with a series of cryptic letters sent to San Francisco newspapers and phone calls to the department detailing his crimes.

Despite initial startling parallels between events in Mentzer's life and the serial killer's cold-blooded spree, homicide investigators said Monday that they had discarded physical evidence presented to them.

"It's a non starter," San Francisco Police Homicide Inspector Kelly Carroll said.

"There does not seem to be, on the face of it, any compelling evidence; the physical evidence has been discounted to this point in terms of making a connection," he added.

"It appears not to support any reasonable suspicion of probable cause that the suspect is our Zodiac."

Carroll declined to elaborate on the nature of the physical evidence but said that the circumstantial evidence provided by The Post was no more compelling than the hundreds of dud leads offered to police throughout the past 35 years.

The Post claimed to have unearthed around 24 similarities between Mentzer and the presumed background of the Zodiac. These included both sharing a military background and Mentzer living in California at the time of the killings.

In September 1969, the Zodiac stabbed two victims with a bayonet-like knife contained in a sheaf fastened with rivets, and the Post pointed out that Mentzer was making rivets at an aerospace company around the time of the attacks.

The Zodiac claimed responsibility for a 1966 Riverside killing and The Post points out that the killing took place before Mentzer left for Vietnam. The Zodiac did not commit any further murders until Mentzer returned to California two years later.

In taunting letters to police at the time of the killings, the Zodiac threatened to blow up a school bus. Mentzer had a job driving the bus and experience working with demolition and plastic explosives, The Post said.

According to the newspaper, a survivor of a Zodiac attack described his speech pattern as a "slow monotone with a slight drawl." The newspaper claims Mentzer has a similar speech pattern.

Mentzer himself has remained an enigma, initially strenuously denying the charge, and pointing the newspaper to another potential suspect, then making corrections to a document drawing links between himself and California's famed killer.

But Carroll said that over the years police had received thousands of tip-offs of potential suspects with backgrounds in the military and training with explosives.

"Many of them were very unsavory characters capable of committing heinous crimes, but there's a big difference between a very bad guy and the actual bad guy that did those terrible crimes," he said.

Carroll added that many tips about possible suspects have included "interesting circumstances in their background, like a background in the military, familiarity with code breaking ... but they don't come close to reaching the level of probable cause."


DATE(S): 1974-88

VENUE: Calif./N.Y./Fla.

VICTIMS: Five+ suspected

MO: Contract killer with ties to drug syndicates; also named by DAVID BERKOWITZ as participant in satanic cult murders.

DISPOSITION: Life without parole on two counts in California, 1991.

William Mentzer in court.

William Mentzer mugshot.


Short Bussed
Associate of both Manson and Berkowitz, and a possible Zodiac suspect. Wow.
This guy sure gets around.

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