26 May 2004 – John Richard Blackwelder

John Richard BlackwelderImagine you’ve got your heart set on the death penalty, but you’re stuck with parole-less life instead. How are you meant to go all the way? You kill a fellow convict, of course – at least that was Florida prisoner John Richard Blackwelder’s not-so bright idea.

This brings us neatly to our second slash-an-inmate story this month. The first featured Christopher Newton who was racked with chess-maddened rage, but Blackwelder’s crime was altogether more premeditated.

Death wish

You see, he was in for paedophilia, having molested a 10-year-old girl, and because he’d chalked up previous crimes ranging from sexual assault and battery to federal charges for threatening to kill Dan Quayle if he didn’t get $10 million, he didn’t have a hope of getting anything less than life. And because his last crime was so heinous, the judge saw fit to strip him of his rights to parole too, just as he’d stripped a girl of her innocence.

Faced with incarceration and no hope of a get-out-of-jail-free card, Blackwelder needed another out. But as a Christian, maybe he didn’t fancy suicide, or maybe he didn’t have the bottle. Either way, the State had to do it. Indeed he was to admit to the media that he had manipulated and engineered his own death, even though he ironically opposed the penalty itself.

He’d even tried to manipulate a missing persons centre in a bid to secure his death – he tried to assert that he’d murdered 60-odd men and even gave fictitious details of the murders. He was later to admit he lied.

Hideous kinky

Hellbent on achieving the outcome, he gradually collected bits of rope knowing that a fellow inmate would come round to his cell in search of sex.

And sure enough he bagged himself a victim in the shape of Raymond D Wigley. Indeed the soon-to-be dead man allowed himself to be tied face-down to the bed, kinkily thinking his luck was in. But Wigley was so wrong. For Blackwelder had reserved one piece of cord and this he tied round Wigley’s neck and pulled tighter and tighter.

Life for a life

It took a full 10 minutes to strangle Wigley, who apparently pleaded for his life all the way. But Blackwelder could almost taste his lethal injection and there was no way he was going to let up.

Job done, he called the guards and sure enough, Blackwelder secured his longed-for penalty. Just four years later the 49-year-old was hooked up to his very own gurney and his share of the toxic concoction seeped into his bloodstream.

You may be wondering why he was so keen to quit this mortal coil. Well, Blackwelder believed he was heaven-bound, ‘I thank Jesus for saving me and allowing me to go home. Amen’. He should be so lucky.

Also on this day

26 May 1925 – Patrick Power
26 May 1868 – Michael Barrett

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3 Responses to “26 May 2004 – John Richard Blackwelder”

  1. Duane Alford Says:

    John Blackwelder was actually executed on May 25, 2004, not May 26th. It was a big deal here in Florida because he was executed on the 25th Anniversary of John Spenkelink’s execution.

  2. Thanks for your comment Duane. Nice one, we appreciate you taking the trouble to write to us.

    Originally his execution had been scheduled for 25 May and as you say that was the 25th anniversary of Spenkelink’s execution. However, according to newspaper reports, including the ‘Miami Herald’, there was a 24-hour stay of execution, because new uncertainties had emerged.

    ‘His execution was delayed a day after prison inmate William Demler wrote the state attorney general’s office to say another inmate told him that yet another inmate confessed to killing Wigley, 39, at Columbia Correctional Institution in May 2000.’

    Governor Bush had said ‘I felt in an abundance of caution that there should be extra work done, which was done overnight. That proved to my satisfaction that the accusation was not true.’

    If these sources are incorrect, please feel free to point us in the right direction and we’ll happily amend the post.

    In the meantime, cheers for your feedback. Hope you like the site.

    Mel

  3. Do state databases for inmates have any protocols for connecting to each other so as to not miss an inmate having crimes from state to state?

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