Porn Producer Artie Mitchell was Shot and Killed by his Brother - 1991

Feb 27, 2014 - 0 Comments

by Michael Thomas Barry

On February 27, 1991, pornographer Artie Mitchell was shot to death by his brother Jim at his Marin County, California, home. When police responding to a 911 call by Artie's girlfriend arrived at the house they found Jim wandering aimlessly outside carrying a .22 rifle. Artie had been shot multiple times in the chest and head and was already dead.

The Mitchell brothers were ground breaking pioneers in the adult film business and also owned several popular strip clubs in San Francisco. They produced some of the most successful porn films of the 1970s that included Behind the Green Door (1972), starring Marilyn Chambers. Despite their success and lavish lifestyle, the brothers were constantly fighting. Jim Mitchell claimed that his brother's death resulted from one of these altercations. However, the prosecution argued that the murder was not from passion but had been premeditated. At the trial, prosecutors sought to introduce an animated video that reconstructed the murder. This video showed Jim shooting Artie with a final shot to the head. The defense attorneys vehemently objected to this evidence, maintaining that it was impossible to know which shots came at what time. Despite this major problem with the re-creation, the judge admitted the video. Although the video was shown to the jury, the defense attacked the prosecution's forensic experts and forced them to admit that pure speculation was at the heart of the video presentation. In the end, the jury convicted Jim Mitchell of manslaughter, instead of first degree murder. He was sentenced to six years in prison. 

Michael Thomas Barry is the author of numerous books that include Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California, 1849-1949. The book can be purchased at Amazon through the following link:           

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