On 22 January 1998, he killed James Cordell at an ATM in Lancaster, then pretended to be a witness. He called 911 for assistance, and waited with Cordell while the ambulance first reported to the wrong address, then finally made it to the victim. By that time Cordell was dead. When Crimmins was interviewed by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, he gave his name as James Noone with an address on Atoll Avenue in North Hollywood.
In April of 1998, Noone was still being viewed as a witness. He met with former FBI agent McCaleb and Los Angeles Sheriff's detective Jaye Winston to undergo hypnosis in order to better remember the vehicle and assailant he claimed he saw fleeing the scene of Cordell's murder. He feigned being in a trance and said he was unable to recall the shooter, but more clearly described the killer's Jeep Grand Cherokee and hat. This was misdirection intended to make McCaleb a suspect, and it worked.
However, McCaleb went to the address Noone had given, which turned out to be a warehouse that Crimmins had used as a satellite location for his murder spree.
The film also has a character named James Lockridge, who holds the same occupation held by James Noone in the book. He was played by Rick Hoffman.