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The Yellow Car, Episode 4: Doubt

Did he use his gun to kill his estranged wife Effie? When pressed by attorneys, Mike said, "No, I didn’t. That’s absurd."

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Mike Entezari bought a gun for his protection in September 1988. He also picked up two types of bullets: semi-wadcutters for target practice, and hollow-points for self-defense. 

Mike usually kept the gun under his mattress, or in his car behind his passenger seat. He kept it unloaded in the car with the five bullets that fit in the cylinder right next to it. 

Fast forward to 1989 and detectives are searching Mike's car for the second time. They found the handgun next to five bullets under the floor mat behind the passenger seat. 

RELATED: New KGW podcast 'The Yellow Car' is out now. Here's how to listen to it

That’s exactly how detectives found things in the car: the gun, five bullets, and no spent cartridges.

When they searched Mike’s garage, they found a box of semi-wadcutter bullets. It was a 50 round box, and 44 rounds were inside. Four of the five bullets found in the car were from that box of 50. That means two bullets were missing.

Mike had answers for this. A few days after buying the gun, he wanted to try it out, so he test fired a shot into the crawl space of his home. He said the gunshot startled his dog, so he wanted to try again in a place where the noise wouldn’t bother anyone. A few months later, he went looking for an outdoor shooting range in Clark County, called English Pit, but Mike couldn’t find it. 

RELATED: The Yellow Car podcast: Why we picked this case

So he drove around for a while, and decided to stop at a state park. Mike described it as more of a hunting area where people go for target practice. He set up a makeshift target and fired one shot. 

Those were the only two times Mike admitted to firing the gun.

But did he use it to kill his estranged wife Effie? When pressed by attorneys, Mike said, "No, I didn’t. That’s absurd."

An FBI lab tested the gunshot residue swabs of Mike’s hands. They came back negative. Same with the sleeves of his jacket. Now, this isn’t completely surprising. Experts say it’s unlikely significant amounts of residue would remain on someone’s hands more than six hours after a shooting. Mike’s hands were swabbed some 16 hours after Effie’s murder. And the FBI lab went on to say that gunshot residue isn’t often left behind on a shooter’s clothing, which could explain why none was found on Mike’s jacket.

As for fingerprints, detectives took five prints at the crime scene: from Effie’s car and the truck parked next to her body. Four of the five prints weren’t enough for an identification, but one was. 

It was a palm print lifted from the door post of the pickup truck, closest to Effie. It didn’t match Mike’s or Effie’s prints. Of course, this could have come from anyone, at anytime — days, weeks or months before the murder. And if the shooter had gloves on, he wouldn’t have left a print. Mike’s gun and the five bullets found in his car were also tested for prints. None were found. 

You can listen to "The Yellow Car" now wherever you get your podcasts, including:

Apple Podcasts

Spotify

Stitcher

Do you have any tips or questions about the podcast? Email us at theyellowcar@kgw.com, or reach out to Ashley Korslien on Facebook or Twitter.