Did a successful accountant hire a hit man to kill his wife?

Anita Green

Composite of the man on the motorcycle

CASE DETAILS

Anita was found dead in her car

On October 25, 1990, Anita Green was shot once through the head while waiting in the parking lot of her husband’s accounting firm in North Hollywood, California.  After two days in a coma, she died.  Now Anita’s friend, Michele Samit, who has written a book about Anita’s murder, believes the same man has targeted her:

“The knowledge that this guy’s out on the streets terrifies me every day, whether it’s the person I think did it or not, because any person who did it knows that I know a lot about this case that they don’t want me to know.”

This is a chilling story of two innocent women—one of them murdered, the other apparently stalked.  The saga began in 1974 when Anita Green met her husband.  At the time, Anita worked as a bookkeeper in Mel Green’s accounting firm. Both were married to other people. After nearly seven years, they left their spouses to wed one another. Michele Samit was shocked—not only because Mel weighed more 500 pounds, but also because he convinced Anita to sign an outrageous prenuptial agreement:

“Basically, there was a provision in it that he wore the pants in the family and he was the supreme boss, the god, the absolute ruler.  And if they ever had a disagreement, he’d automatically win just because of that rule.”

A witness saw a man shoot Anita

The marriage was difficult for Anita and she became active at her synagogue as a much needed refuge.  Most of the time, Anita made excuses for her husband.  But according to Michele, she occasionally let her guard down:

“She’d say she was afraid of her husband, but then she said, ‘Oh, you know Mel’s just a loudmouth.  He likes to hear himself talk.  He’s a blowhard.  He’s not really going to do anything to me.’  She had all the classic symptoms of an abused woman—thinking they were in control, thinking they knew what they were doing, but really frightened and scared.”

Eventually, Anita was elected president of the synagogue.  As a result, she and her rabbi spent a lot of time together, eventually becoming romantically involved.  When Anita asked Mel for a divorce, he was furious.  But despite his bitterness, Mel Green insisted that Anita continue to work at his accounting firm.  Anita’s attorney, Janis McDonald, handled their divorce proceedings:

“Mel was inconsistent. One minute, ‘I don’t need you.  You’re not worth anything.’ The next minute, he’d absolutely be insistent she had to work for him.”

Throughout the divorce proceedings, Green bombarded Anita and her lawyer with threatening letters.  Only after Anita was murdered were the letters turned over to the Los Angeles Police Department.  Detective Ray Hernandez was the lead investigator on the case:

“Melvin Green did send some letters where he threatened to kill Anita Green. In my mind, it gave more credence to him being involved in her shooting.”

Detective Hernandez found three different witnesses to Anita’s murder.   One was a man who worked across the street from Green’s firm.  According to Detective Hernandez, the witness observed Green emerge from the building minutes before Anita drove up in her red Corvette:

“That’s a door that is not used very often.  So it was unusual to this witness across the street to see this. After he observed Melvin Green looking, he observed Anita Green turn the corner closely followed by a motorcycle.”

Melvin Green was tried and convicted

A second witness was working on a nearby roof.  According to Detective Hernandez, this person saw even more:

“And what caught his attention was he heard a motorcycle arrive, parked on the wrong side of the street. He observed the individual approach Anita Green, fire one shot, immediately ran to his motorcycle, and at a high rate of speed, go northbound on the street.”

Finally, a third witness helped police come up with a composite drawing.  The witness had seen the motorcyclist without his helmet on just after Anita’s murder.  Investigators now began to suspect that Green had hired a hit man to kill his wife.  Their suspicions increased when they heard about Green’s behavior at the hospital.  Only moments after Anita died—with her body still in the room—Mel reportedly had a bizarre exchange with Anita’s friend, Phyllis Baltin:

“He was talking about how much weight he had lost and how good he looked. It was absolutely nauseating. There was not one moment of remorse, not one tear shed. He was as talkative as if she was wide-awake and sitting there watching us.”

The day after Anita was shot, Detective Hernandez tried to interview Green at his office. Green refused to cooperate but the investigation continued.  According to Detective Hernandez, the scenario of Anita Green’s murder began to gel:

“We were able to piece together the fact that Melvin Green specifically controlled the date and time Anita Green was supposed to be at his office. That would allow Melvin Green to have somebody hired to follow her and shoot her, and that’s how Anita Green was shot.”

Ultimately, Mel Green was arrested for conspiring to kill his wife, even though there was no physical evidence that he had hired someone to shoot her.  On March 4, 1992, a jury convicted Green of first-degree murder and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  In May of 1992, Michele Samit visited Mel Green at the Los Angeles County Jail, where he was awaiting transfer to a state prison.  Against his lawyer’s advice, Green had agreed to be interviewed for her book.  Michele conducted the interview with an open mind:

“I started to listen to him. And for the first weeks of our visits, I wasn’t certain of anything anymore.  But as our visits continued, Mel himself made me more certain of his guilt than ever before.”

Michele continued her investigation, but one thing nagged at her.  How and when had Mel paid the hit man?  Michele claimed she uncovered evidence that Green sold off a $30,000 coin collection just three weeks before Anita was murdered.  Michele told the police about her discovery and continued to interview Green.  Then, according to Michele, one of their subsequent interviews was interrupted by an unusual visitor:

“Mel had visitors come every day during our visits. My visits were all day long. Mel had never asked me to leave during his visits before, and that alone I thought was unusual. And I went downstairs and went into my car. I knew I’d have about a half hour until this guy came out. My mind started to run away with me that this guy looked a lot like the police composite of Anita’s shooter.”

According to Michele, when the visitor left, he got on a motorcycle which fit the description of the one driven by Anita’s killer:

“When I went back to the jail, I made a very stupid mistake. I said to Mel, ‘I’ve got this theory.’”

Michele claimed that when she told Green her suspicion that he hired the motorcyclist to kill Anita, Green threatened her:

“I knew Mel liked to talk like that. This is just a blowhard, just a man talking. Then I realized, ‘God, how stupid can you be, Michele?’ That’s exactly what Anita said, and she’s dead.”

The next day, June 17, 1992, Melvin Green was transferred to a prison east of San Diego.  From there, he sent a stream of frightening letters to Michele:

“He’s threatened to harm my children. He’s threatened to hurt me. But I couldn’t stop because I knew I had the potential to find the answer.”

Michele said that over the next few months, someone began to stalk her. The front gate to her house was ripped from its hinges.  The house itself was vandalized.  And finally, Michele says that an unidentified man hit her in the face, breaking her nose:

“A lot of that has stopped now that the book has come out. But of course, you always live your life fearing what you’ve uncovered might lead to some potential danger for your family.”

Michele Samit believed the man she saw visiting Green in jail was the same man pictured on the police composite.  He had blond hair, dark eyes, a muscular build, and may own a red or maroon Suzuki motorcycle. Investigators think Michele’s theory concerning the gunman has merit and they are anxious for new leads about his identity.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season six with Robert Stack and in season five with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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15 Comments

  1. Kenneth

    I knew Melvin Green. He prepared my taxes for many years. He was friendly and enjoyed discussing personal issues during professional visits to lighten things up. I spoke with Anita many times in her capacity as office manager. Shortly after the murder he sent a long rambling letter to us clients. It was filled with guilt and regret about non-specific mistakes he had made but it was obvious that his overwhelming guilt was about what happened to her.

    Reply

  2. Glinna

    Okay Unsolved….so did the police follow up on the log? Track down the make and color of the motorcycle? Check surveillance tapes? Dust for prints at the writers house? Did they give up since they convicted Mel? How did Mel die in jail? Did they follow up on anybody paying a house or trailer off with a large amount of money? Answers please…..

    Reply

  3. The French Criminologist

    I didn’t find when Mel Green is deceased. Is that normal ?

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    Yes, it seems the jail would have a sign in log. Was it checked?

    Reply

  5. Mean mystery

    And the answer to everyone’s questions, drumroll please…because she’s lying (the author that is). She’s writing a book. She wanted to drum up publicity and put herself in the story to sell books so she made up a story about how she became the target of Mel’s furor. The hitman wouldnt be stupid enough to visit Mel in jail and Mel wouldn’t be stupid enough to let him visit. Mel, that loud mouthed choad, still had hopes of being acquitted so he wouldn’t want the hitman identified either. The hitman couldn’t be dumb enough to visit and he couldn’t be dumb enough to do it while driving the same bike which he used in the hit. All of your suggestions are good but also obvious and I am certain LE would have followed them up. If the author was telling the truth I am sure LE did what you’ve all suggested and either cleares the visitor or just couldn’t connect him.

    Reply

  6. Brett

    How and when did Melvin Green die?

    Reply

  7. krulls house

    Man. So interesting.

    Reply

  8. Johnny

    This should be a solvable case. The guy had an eyewitness description plus only so many people have motorcycle licenses. It’s a shame Anita Greene died shortly from the shot. She could have provided more of a description. This suspect will be caught 1 day. Might be in prison now for another offense.

    Reply

  9. A smart black woman

    I’ve been watching unsolved mystery for some time and I seem to have questions about a lot of this stories in this is one of them like it was said why didn’t the police check the log? Now my suspicions are right a lot of these stories is just to entertain and that is what TV does entertain us.

    Reply

  10. mariah

    Very good detectives in the unsolved mystery audience it seems. All those ideas are good. Mel made the comment his “best friend” was a homeowner because of him. Mel’s gold coins $30K “disappeared” and title can search for homes bought with that amount of down or cash and narrowed to single white male. Also could have identified through Mels other friends who his “good friend ” was. Eerie he is still out there and he knows he got away with murder. Hopefully he will not “get mad” at some unsuspecting girlfriend.

    Reply

  11. Max

    It’s very odd and irritating they didn’t get that guy. That shooter drove around on that motorcycle, so there’s no reason the cops couldn’t have spotted him at some point knowing his description

    1. checked visitors log?
    2. Why didn’t that lady get his licence plate#?
    3. surveillance cameras in prison?
    4. stake out woman’s home and hospital?
    5. Did they search Mel’s home for info?

    Reply

  12. stu

    Didn’t the prison have the guy on the motorcycle sign in

    Reply

  13. Nick

    Why didn’t police check his visitor logs for the date she saw the killer with Melvin Green they be able to figure out some type of alias he’s using or his name

    Reply

  14. Trevor

    Was the person who shot Anita Green ever found and is Melvin Green still in prison?

    Reply

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You, as the data subject, have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the Member State of your habitual residence, place of work, or place of the alleged infringement, if you believe that the processing of your personal data does not comply with legal requirements.

In the event we determine the occurrence of a data security incident, we will notify you by email, US mail, telephone, or other means as permitted by law.

If you have questions, comments, or complaints concerning our privacy practices or if you wish to change, access, or remove your Personal Data, please contact us as indicated below.  We will attempt, where practical, to respond to your requests and to provide you with additional privacy related information.

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. is the owner of this Website and retains all ownership rights to the information collected at this Website. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. reserves the right to change, modify, add, or remove provisions of this Privacy Statement. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted here, and we encourage you to check back from time to time. In addition, Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. will notify registered users of changes as they occur.

We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit networkadvertising.org. Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.