When he died last year, did Melvin Lane Powers really have a photo of his aunt and former lover, Candace Mossler, enshrined on his living room mantel? Or is this foreclosure listing photo just some agent’s idea of a real-estate insider’s awkward joke? A tipster who’s sure the 3-bedroom, 5-and-a-half-bathroom property near the corner of Caroline St. and Wentworth was the real-estate developer and true-crime celebrity’s home for the last several years (both he and his estate are listed as former owners on the property’s county tax records) believes the fireplace pic — possibly the only home-decor item left in the house — is a portrait of Mossler, who died of a prescription-drug overdose in 1976.
After the end of his affair with Mossler, Mel Powers became well known in Houston as the developer — and flamboyant former penthouse resident — of Sharpstown’s Arena Towers. He staked a claim as the owner of the largest yacht in the western hemisphere (he added a section with a Jacuzzi tub and mirrored ceilings) — shortly before losing it all in a 1986 bankruptcy. But Powers and Mossler had achieved a greater measure of worldwide fame 20 years earlier when the River Oaks socialite and her live-in nephew were acquitted in the gruesome 1964 Florida stabbing death of Mossler’s extremely wealthy husband, Jacques.
Below are a few more photos of the large and forlorn 1925-vintage foreclosed-on home listed for sale earlier this year — presumably the same property where Powers was found dead on October 8, 2010 — and which is listed for $395,000. It sits on a 9,375-sq.-ft. lot directly next door to the Houston Museum of African-American Culture.
- 4813 Caroline St. [HAR]
- Developer who gained notoriety in 1964 murder case dies [Houston Chronicle]
- Melvin Lane Powers Is Dead at 68; Cleared of Murder With Lover-Aunt [NY Times]