Jill Blackstone, a former producer for The Jerry Springer Show and other well-known television programs, is accused of murdering her disabled sister because she allegedly didn’t want the hardship of taking care of her anymore.
Blackstone was arrested in Baltimore Maryland and accused of staging the scene to make it look like a suicide. “Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations-Valley Bureau Homicide Detectives along with Baltimore Police Department have arrested Jill Blackstone for murder,” the LAPD revealed in a news release. According to TMZ, the victim, Wendy Blackstone, was blind and partially deaf.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Accuse Blackstone of Drugging Her Sister Before Killing Her & Two Dogs
The Los Angeles Police Department painted a disturbing picture of what they say happened to Wendy Blackstone and two dogs. On March 14, 2015, “Jill Blackstone drugged her sister Wendy Blackstone and placed her in the garage of their North Hollywood residence along with three pet dogs,” police alleged in a news release on April 12, 2018.
They said that Jill Blackstone tried to stage the scene. “Jill Blackstone set the garage on fire, killing Wendy Blackstone and two of the dogs; staging it as an accident,” the LAPD news release said. Previous reports had blamed a BBQ grill’s carbon monoxide for killing Wendy.
On April 11, 2018, police say, Jill Blackstone “was arrested by Homicide detectives and the Baltimore Police Department. She is currently in custody with Baltimore Police Department awaiting extradition.” Wendy Blackstone was 49 when she died.
Anyone with additional information is urged to call Detective Dave Peteque, Valley Bureau Homicide, at 805-750-7888. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.
2. Blackstone Was a Producer on Several Top TV Shows
IMDB lists a series of producing credits under Jill Blackstone’s name. She was listed as an executive producer on 105 episodes of Family Court with Judge Penny, and was also listed as an executive producer on shows including Pat Croce Moving In, The Tony Danza Show, Divorce Court, and Jerry Springer.
She was nominated for a CableACE award, the site reports. According to TMZ, Blackstone also worked as a producer on the Sally Jesse Raphael show.
Blackstone’s producing career extended back years. In 2005, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Blackstone would help produce the Tony Danza Show.
“David Perler and Jill Blackstone have been named executive producers for the second season of Buena Vista Television’s The Tony Danza Show. Perler will oversee all celebrity and comedy segments of the talk/variety daytime strip. Blackstone will focus on human interest features and topical segments on the show, which begins its sophomore year Sept. 12,” the entertainment newspaper reported.
3. Police Allege That Blackstone Was Frustrated By Having to Take Care of Her Sister
Homicide detectives allege a selfish motive for the homicide. They “believe the motive was Jill’s frustration of being forced to provide Wendy long-term care, as well as the associated financial hardship,” according to the LAPD.
Homicide detectives “worked in coordination with Los Angeles Fire Department Arson investigators, conducting independent investigations. The investigative follow up required for a successful prosecution included significant travel, research, numerous interviews, and additional forensic evidence processing which added time to this extremely complex and sensitive investigation,” the press release states.
According to KTLA, “Investigators believe Jill Blackstone set the garage on fire and tried to make it look like an accident. Officers found a grill and charcoal in the garage, but Blackstone told police it was used to roast marshmallows.”
4. Blackstone Checked Herself Into a Hospital
Jill Blackstone ended up in a hospital after the charges came to light.
“In March 2018, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed murder and animal cruelty charges and issued a warrant for Jill Blackstone. Homicide detectives were notified by Jill Blackstone’s attorney, that she checked herself into a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland due to a medical condition,” the LAPD press release further states.
According to TMZ, Blackstone’s sister, Wendy, “died in 2015 from a combination of carbon monoxide poisoning and Xanax. At the time it appeared she died by suicide that was facilitated by Jill…Jill herself suffered from severe carbon monoxide poisoning after the incident and spent 2 days in the hospital.”
5. A Suicide Note Was Allegedly Written by Jill & Cops Long Believed Her Story Didn’t Make Sense
TMZ reported as far back as 2015 that police didn’t believe aspects of Jill Blackstone’s story added up. For example, TMZ reported at that time, authorities believed that Jill, not Wendy, wrote a suicide note left at the scene.
“Jill had said she had no idea Wendy wanted to kill herself. As for how a Weber grill and charcoal got into the garage, Jill told police the Weber grill was for warmth and the coals in the trash can were for roasting marshmallows,” TMZ reported.
Police are trying to extradite Blackstone to Los Angeles from Baltimore.