A former Pasadena police lieutenant who disappeared around the holidays only to turn up dead under an Irwindale overpass is the subject of another piece in the Pasadena Weekly by reporter Andre Coleman.
The story, headlined “Body of Evidence” contains a pretty explosive lede:
A former Pasadena police officer thought to have committed suicide suffered a broken jaw sometime shortly before his death. Further, police sources have told the Pasadena Weekly that the head wound suffered by retired Officer David Richter was on the left side of Richter’s head, though Richter used his right hand to carry and fire his weapon, separate sources with knowledge of the case and Richter told the newspaper.
There is also this curious sentence:
The sources used in this story are either high-ranking police officials or former police officials who all spoke on condition of anonymity.
The either/or construction is striking — I’m still trying to parse it as we follow the story.
As for the balance of the story. It is possible that Richter could have held the gun to his lower left jaw; fired the gun so that it broke his jaw and (at the same time left an entrance wound on the “left side of Richter’s head”).
I don’t think this is some magic bullet theory, simply a possibility that is probably being addressed at some level.
I think the possibility is likely given the phrase “sometime shortly before his death.”
Medical examiners typically use terms like “post mortem,” meaning after death, and peri-mortem, meaning around the time of death. I’ll be curious to see how the broken jaw is classified.
All-in-all, Andre’s done a nice job of reporting on this case. These are just my questions.