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University of California Report, 1991

The Investigation

We found and carefully looked into all available pieces of information. We moved the investigation forward despite the system being resistant for many years. We obtained the original police reports, press reports, and accounts of what happened. We found startling new information on all of the individuals involved in this horrible crime. Most significantly, the physical evidence has been assembled and re-evaluated with important new discoveries and determinations. The analysis of physical evidence, and substantial other information, has come to a consistent and conclusive set of findings that account for all of the many aspects and elements of the murder.

Relatives of the victim were told for over 58 years that there is no evidence and there is nothing that can be done. On many occasions, police officials were harshly critical of Richard for persistently, continuously, and not always courteously, seeking answers on behalf of his family. He was less than respectful on many occasions, but he was clear in issuing many reminders that he would continue to insist upon attention to the unsolved murder of his father. He frequently complained that police have been disingenuous in failing to earnestly work the case.

Investigating the Officials: Buchanan and Hill's Involvement in Organized Crime

We looked back and examined every detail. In charge of the investigation in 1961 was then Chief of Detectives (later Sheriff) T.A. Buchanan and Homicide Captain (later Chief of Detectives) Manson Hill. They were the same lead officials in the case of Danny Goldman (March 1966) and many other cases included on the “ Linked Deaths ” page on this site. The volunteers’ discoveries prove connectivity of persons and events – there are no “coincidences” here.

Buchanan and Hill faced indictments of their own late in 1966. They were protected because of their knowledge of an extensive, corrupt criminal operation and its participants. Actually, they had more than mere knowledge; they were involved. They were never brought to trial or convicted. We established that their extensive illicit activities were known to federal and local authorities, but not to the public. As we have discovered, they were part of, rather than in opposition to, organized crime activity in South Florida.

Although the victim’s widow, Frances DiMare, 33, gave a story that was acceptable to high level police officials, we have seen ample reason to conclude otherwise. The volunteer citizens’ team found significant information, evidence that was previously ignored, and details never before available to the victim’s family or to the public.

Here is our summary, comparison of statements, and evaluation of evidence in the case:

Statements Of Frances DiMare

Multiple news reports repeated Frances’ story. She asserted as follows. She and her husband had left their Keystone Point home to go to dinner; she was driving their Cadillac Fleetwood and he was in the passenger seat. They stopped at an intersection at the south exit from Keystone Point just west of the Broad Causeway at a red light. Two men jumped into the sedan. One of the men pushed a pistol to the back of her head and forced her to drive to a nearby empty lot in Sans Souci Estates. When her husband looked back he was smashed in the face with a pistol butt. She screamed and was also hit with a pistol.

As reported by the Miami Herald, she said that the gunmen ripped off her jewelry. When she disobeyed an order not to turn around, one of the bandits in the back seat hit her with his pistol and knocked her out. When she came to several minutes later, she said the attackers had fled and her husband was slumped against the car door, blood flowing from his head. In a moment of panic, she said she raced through the brambles, bushes and over sharp rocks to a nearby Phillips 66 service station. Police were called.   

According to news reports, Frances “said the gunmen beat her with his pistol when she became hysterical as they sought to strip her of her jewelry. She lost consciousness and when she came to found her husband had been shot.”   

Another Herald article reported that Frances got to the gas station and told Norman Logan, son of the owner, that “two men had gotten into the car, one in the back, one in the front. The man in the back told him not to turn around but he did and the guy hit him on the head.”

Frances soon gave an “exclusive interview” to the Herald and explained: “When we reached the Causeway-Bayshore intersection, two men jumped into the back seat. I didn’t see where they came from. There was a car behind us, but none was coming up or down the Causeway. I was driving and one of the men held a pistol and told me to do exactly as he said. He told me to drive straight ahead – to the Sans Souci Estates. He ordered me to take a right hand turn off Bayshore Drive, after about a block. My husband asked the men what they wanted. One of them answered that they want his money. They told us to keep our heads to the front, but Joe kept looking back at them, trying to struggle with them. He turned once and one of them smashed him in the face. He turned to me and said “I’m bleeding”. Then he turned back again and they hit him again. That’s when I started screaming. They hit me twice – seemed to know just where to hit because it knocked me out the second time. The next I remember I was lying outside the car on the gravel. They’d taken all my jewelry – about $5,000 worth. Joe was carrying about $400 cash on him, and I learned they got that, too. I’m confident the men were not amateurs. They were calm and methodical. I never got a good look at them, but they didn’t talk like hoodlums. They didn’t talk like college educated men, either. I kept thinking it was a terrible mistake, they men called my husband Frank instead of Joe for some reason. I think that either they mistook Joe for someone else, or they just wanted to rob us. I don’t think they were trying to kill us.”

Physical Evidence and Witness Accounts

The murder weapon was a .25 caliber Sata, an Italian auto pistol. It was owned by and registered to Frances DiMare, purchased for her by Joseph DiMare. Casings and projectiles in the car and in Mr. Dimare’s head matched a casing and projectile previously fired from that weapon by Mr. Dimare’s son, Richard, who had kept them.

A box of ammunition of the same brand and caliber was found, right after the murder, in the glove compartment of Dimare’s other vehicle, the one used by Frances, a Cadillac convertible parked at the house in Keystone Point.

At the time of the murder, Mr. DiMare was in the front passenger seat. Frances DiMare was in the driver’s seat, a few feet to the left of the victim.

Mr. DiMare was hit by four .25 rounds. Two rounds were fired from in front of the victim’s face, into the mouth. Two more rounds were fired from the left into the areas immediately in front of and behind his left ear. All four shots were fired a extremely close range, each one leaving gun powder around the wound.

There were nine abrasions or contusions on the victim’s head. The victim had contusions on his left arm and right index finger. Blood was found on the front seat, on the back seat, and on the exterior of the car, flowing down the window and out of the door bottom.

As we were able to confirm again in late 2019, blood was not found on the driver’s seat, on the steering wheel, or on the driver’s door. There was no blood spatter beyond the center of the front seat.

On the exterior of the car, streaks of blood were noticeably swept backward. The blood flow was substantial, reflecting the severity of the wounds and the time involved in bleeding following the shots.

Blood was not found in the victim’s lungs. A faint redness was found on the victim’s jaw. Medical investigation postulated that these findings could indicate that an arm was around the victim’s neck when he was shot, closing off the airway; or alternatively, that the killing shot caused an immediate cessation of respiration.

The victim’s gold ring and diamond cufflinks were not taken from him, he was wearing them when found in the car.

Two men were fishing about 200 yards to the east of where the car was found. They heard nothing, no shots, no commotion.

Frances had no cuts on her feet. Her shoes were found near the car. They appeared to have been “placed”, not strewn about.

When a female deputy was later asked to remove her shoes and run through the course that Frances said she had used to get from the car to the gas station, the deputy’s feet were cut and bruised in numerous places.

The first person that Frances spoke to at the gas station was Norman Logan; according to Logan, “she never once said he (her husband) was shot”. 

Patrolman Ben Scola, North Miami Police Department, was the first officer on the scene. “I saw her at the gas station. She didn’t look too messed up. There were some scratches on her face and some specs of blood on her dress. The scratches looked as though she had made them herself by running her hands down her face. She told him that she was either knocked out or unconscious somehow, and that she did not see the shooting. 

Shell casings were found in the back seat of the Cadillac. We have photographs that also show, upon enlargement, that there were at least two unfired rounds also sitting on the back seat.

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