Jablonski married his first wife, Alice McGowan, in 1968. She was his high school sweetheart. They were married after he came back from a military deployment. She testified when he returned, he was not the same man.
Jablonski’s story is being told on Investigation Discovery’s Serial Killer Week. It airs Thursday, September 3, at 9 p.m. EST.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jablonski’s Childhood Was Marked With Abuse & His Sister Testified He Attacked Her
Jablonski was abused as a child, including sexual abuse, according to testimony presented at his trial. His father abused Jablonski and his mother, and his sister said at his trial Jablonski abused her.
“Statements made by defendant’s sister indicated that defendant’s father was violent toward both defendant’s mother and defendant and that defendant had been sexually abused as a child,” the appeal said.
His sister testified that Jablonski once attacked her with a rope around her neck, and she feared he would rape her. She told her parents what happened, and their father beat Jablosnki, she said. At the time, she was only 14 and Jablonski was 16.
She testified he choked her and said “I’m going to get some of that off of you.” He suddenly stopped, and began apologizing and crying.
2. Jablonski’s First Wife, Alice McGowan, Testified He Abused Her & Nearly Drowned Her
Alice McGowan, Jablonski’s first wife, met him in high school and married him in 1968, after he returned from a military deployment. She testified at his trial that after he returned from his deployment, he was a different person. He had been a quiet man, but later became abusive.
She said he once tried to smother her with a pillow and choked her multiple times. One of those times, she was pregnant. She also said he tried to drown her when she was taking a bath. She left Jablonski after less than one year of marriage. Read more about her here.
“According to his first wife, Alice McGowan, when defendant returned from overseas to Fort Bliss, Texas, he was a changed man. Before, he had been a quiet person, but now he was ‘really mean’ to McGowan and she ‘wasn’t sure all the time whether he was really with it or not,'” said an automatic appeal filed in his case.
3. Melinda Kimball Was Jablonski’s Second Wife & First Murder Victim
Melinda Kimball and Phillip Jablonski were married under common law. They lived together and had a daughter together, Meghan. The two met in February, 1977, and by November of that year, they were already married. They also had their first child together in 1977. Read more about Kimball here.
Kimball, who went by Linda, told Jablonski she was leaving him after he attacked her mother. She took their child and fled, but she was murdered when she returned to collect things for the baby, according to an automatic appeal filed in his case.
“In 1978, defendant murdered Linda Kimball after she told him she was leaving him with their child. He told a Dr. Flanagan that he strangled and sexually assaulted Kimball because he did not ‘want to lose her.’ Kormos opined that by killing Kimball, defendant ‘took possession of her, and prevented her from being possessed by any other man.’ He described this as psychotic,” the appeal said.
4. Jablonski Murdered His Third Wife & Her Mother While He Was on Parole in the Death of Melinda Kimball
Carol Spadoni met the man who would become her husband and murderer when she responded to a personal ad he placed in the paper. They became pen pals, started a relationship, and married at the San Quentin Prison in 1982. He was serving time in the murder of his second wife, Melinda Kimball, and released for good behavior.
He planned to move in with Spadoni and her mom, Eva Petersen, at their home in Burlingame, California, but Spadoni decided to end the relationship. She told friends and Jablonski’s parole officer she was afraid of Jablonski. He was banned from living in or visiting Burlingame.
“[Jablonski] really butchered those two women,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told The Daily Journal.
Read more about Spadoni and the double murder here.
5. Jablonski’s Daughter, Meghan, Was the Daughter of His First Murder Victim
Jablonski had a child with his first murder victim, Melinda Kimball. The baby girl’s name was Meghan. She was born in 1977. Jablonski also had other children before Meghan with another woman, and after his brief marriage to Alice McGowan. Read more about Kimball here.
Kimball left Jablonski with their daughter after he attacked her mother. Kimball went back to their apartment to collect some things for the baby July 16, 1978. She was found later that day with her hands bound, strangled and stabbed.
Jablonski was arrested 11 days later in Arizona. They found him with a handwritten note, according to court documents filed in his case.
It said, “Killed to date, Linda Kimball, commonlaw wife. I told her she would never raise Meghan alone or leave me alive. She begged me not to kill her. You screamed but it was cut short.”