BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A television producer has been arrested in Baltimore for the death of her deaf and partially blind sister.
Known for producing shows including “The Jerry Springer Show” and “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” Jill Blackstone is now in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
She was arrested in Baltimore on Thursday for the murder of her sister in 2015.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, a two-year investigation revealed Jill Blackstone drugged her disabled sister, Wendy Blackstone, and placed her and three dogs in the garage of their North Hollywood home.
Authorities say Jill Blackstone then set the garage on fire, killing her sister and two of the dogs before staging it as an accident.
Detectives say they believe a likely motive was frustration and financial hardship associated with taking care of her sister.
A warrant for Jill Blackstone’s arrest on murder and animal cruelty charges was issued last month.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police tracked Blackstone to a home in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Police later found that Jill Blackstone was at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Her attorney told detectives that she had checked herself in due to a medical condition.
On the Los Angeles coroner’s office website, Wendy Blackstone’s manner of death is listed as “undetermined,” but it says she died of the “combined effects of inhalation of combustion and alprazolam” — better known as Xanax.
The L.A. Times reports that Wendy Blackstone, who was blind and required hearing aides, was also found with a suicide note in her hand that was written by Jill Blackstone.
Several end-of-life instructions and orders not to resuscitate were found near Wendy Blackstone, but none were signed by her, according to the L.A. Times.
In the autopsy report obtained by the L.A. Times, it notes investigators considered Wendy Blackstone’s death “very suspicious” and “possibly staged.”
Jill Blackstone was initially arrested back in 2015 after her sister’s death, but was later released.
Our sister station, CBS Los Angeles, spoke to police at the time.
“She was arrested for murder at that time based on the evidence that we had, and it was submitted to the district attorney’s office and at this time they chose not to file,” an official said.
Jill Blackstone is currently in custody in Baltimore while she awaits extradition to Los Angeles.