A former “Jerry Springer” producer is accused of doing something worthy of one of the show's lurid interviews: Killing her sister and two dogs dogs and staging it all to look like a suicide.
Jill Blackstone, 55, allegedly drugged and murdered her deaf and partially blind younger sister out of frustration over having to care for her, police said.
Police found Wendy Blackstone, 49, and two of her dogs dead inside a garage in Studio City, California in March 2015. Police believe Blackstone set the garage on fire to try to stage her sister’s death as a suicide, according to NBC Los Angeles. A suicide note was found in the garage, according to TMZ. Police believe Blackstone wrote it and tried to make it look like her sister's. Its contents have not been revealed.
"Homicide detectives believe the motive was Jill's frustration of being forced to provide Wendy long-term care, as well as the associated financial hardship," the Los Angeles Police Department wrote in a statement about Blackstone's arrest.
The former TV producer, who worked on "Jerry Springer" as well as “Divorce Court,” "The Tony Danza Show" and "Family Court with Judge Penny," was arrested Friday in Maryland while getting treated at a hospital for an unrelated ailment, more than three years after the incident.
A warrant was issued for her arrest in late March for one murder charge and three counts of animal cruelty. The sister's third dog was not killed but was placed near her body with the other dogs.
The LAPD said it took a significant investigation to determine that Blackstone allegedly committed the crime.
“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,” police said.
Blackstone’s bail has been set for $2 million and she’s expected to make a plea on Thursday, according to KABC-TV in Los Angeles. Her attorney Daniel Davis said Blackstone's sister died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while barbecuing in the garage.
[Photo: Los Angeles Police Department]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.