Authorities have arrested a California television producer for allegedly killing her deaf and partially blind sister years ago and then staging the murder to look accidental, Mercury News reports.
Police on Thursday took Jill Blackstone into custody in Baltimore on a murder warrant, according to Los Angeles police. Blackstone has helped produce popular television shows such as “The Jerry Springer Show” and “Family Court with Judge Penny.”
Investigators believe she drugged her 49-year-old sister, Wendy Blackstone, and then put her and three dogs in a garage before setting it ablaze to make it look accidental. At least one dog died.
Jill Blackstone’s lawyer had notified police that she had checked into a hospital voluntarily for an undisclosed condition; she was subsequently taken into custody. Prosecutors have filed a single count of murder in addition to three charges of animal cruelty against Blackstone, who remains in Baltimore and is awaiting extradition to California.
The sister’s body was found in March 2015 in the garage of a Studio City home. Authorities had arrested Blackstone before in connection with her sister’s death, but she was released because of a lack of evidence.
Police and fire officials proceeded to conduct independent probes that involved significant research, evidence analysis and travel.
“It’s a murder case; we continue to work on murder cases until they are solved,” Los Angeles Police Department Detective Dave Peteque said. “It doesn’t matter how long it takes.”
Blackstone faces life in prison if convicted, although she could be eligible for parole. Public documents indicate that she was plagued with debt and had filed for bankruptcy three years before her sister died.
Anyone with additional information can call police at 805-750- 7888, or to remain anonymous, contact L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800- 222-TIPS or at www.lacrimestoppers.org.
[Feature Photo: Jill Blackstone/LAPD]