Cops Suspect Talk Show TV Producer Staged Sister's Suicide
A Divorce Court and Jerry Springer Show producer was arrested and released in connection with the death of her sister after authorities found a suspicious suicide note.
TV producer Jill Blackstone, 52, was arrested on suspicion of first degree murder on Monday after her deaf and partially blind sister, Wendy Blackstone, 49, was found dead over the weekend, the L.A. Times reports.
According to TMZ, police were called by a friend of Jill Blackstone's who became alarmed when Blackstone called her and was slurring her words. The friend thought Blackstone had suffered a stroke and wanted someone to check on her.
When the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the sisters' home in the 12000 block of Landale Street in Studio City on Saturday at about 12:40 p.m., they found Wendy Blackstone unconscious in the enclosed garage full of carbon monoxide, as well as a dead animal. A BBQ grill was found at Wendy's feet, and a handwritten suicide note was found in her hand. Rescuers attempted to resuscitate Wendy Blackstone, but she was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene. Jill Blackstone, who told paramedics she had passed out but awoke later in her bed where she called the friend, was taken to a nearby hospital where she spent two days being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Jill Blackstone was arrested on Monday after recovering. Investigators deemed the suicide note suspicious, and thought the placement of the grill at her sister's feet was odd. However, Blackstone was released Wednesday afternoon with no charges filed against her as the investigation continues. The coroner's office is currently waiting on the results of a toxicology test.
Jill Blackstone's IMDB credits as a producer include Family Court with Judge Penny, Divorce Court, The Tony Danza Show and a 1993 episode of The Jerry Springer Show.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.