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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    WI - Barbara Blackstone, 30, Lyndon Station, 9 July 1987

    At 1:40 P.M. on the afternoon of Thursday July 9th, 1987, 30 year old Barbara Blackstone stopped at a gas station near the Interstate 90 exit at the central Wisconsin town of Lyndon Station. She filled up her car and a five gallon gas can for her lawn tractor, then headed back to the rural home she shared with her husband Tom. Barbara, a Business Ed and computer teacher in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, was mowing an area of their property for a family picnic. When Tom Blackstone returned home from his lawn service job about 6 P.M. he found the car with the keys in it parked by a shed, but Barbara was not home.

    There was no note or any other indication as to why Barbara was gone, so Tom started calling the neighbors. When that turned up nothing, he called the Juneau County Sheriff's Department about 9:30 P.M. For the next two days, volunteers on foot, on horseback, and in four wheel drive vehicles searched the area. They were joined by bloodhounds and a National Guard helicopter. But no clues whatsoever turned up. For all intents and purposes, Barbara Blackstone had simply vanished.

    Likely Abduction

    Authorities believed that it was possible someone followed Barbara home from the gas station to her rather isolated home located on a dead end road. There were no signs of struggle, but the sheriff believed it was "highly unlikely she left willingly" and was abducted. If she was surprised at gunpoint, she would have had little recourse but to go along with the abductor. Tom Blackstone offered a $10,000 reward for information about her whereabouts, and Barbara's father offered an additional $5000. About all the authorities had to go on was a witness who drove past the Blackstone property at about 2:30 that day. The witness reported seeing Barbara's car parked near the shed, but Barbara herself was not there. The time of abduction was believed to be between 1:45 and 2:30 on July 9th.

    During the summer of 1987, two other women were abducted and in both cases brutally murdered in central Wisconsin, and it was feared that a serial killer was on the loose. However, none of the three were related, as two separate men were eventually caught and convicted of those murders. But doors were locked, and sales of firearms were brisk that violent summer.

    Body Found

    On August 4th, a hunter scouting some woods two miles southwest of Blanchardville, Wisconsin came upon a decomposing body. Through dental records, it was determined that the body was the remains of Barbara Blackstone. She had been dead 25 to 30 days according to the autopsy. The body was located roughly 75 miles south of the Blackstone home.

    Mystery

    At first glance, it would appear that the killer wanted to hide the body well away from the scene of the abduction. What makes the case more mysterious is the fact that Barbara Blackstone grew up on a farm near Argyle, Wisconsin--less than 10 miles from where her body was found.

    It would be an unlikely coincidence that the killer would dump the body so close to where Barbara grew up. There is no direct route between Lyndon Station and Blanchardville. Barbara's father speculated that she may have told her abductor about a savings account she still had in an Argyle bank in the hopes of having her life spared.

    Barbara Blackstone was a popular teacher who apparently had no enemies. There were no suspects, no witnesses, and almost no evidence in the case. The trail was cold.

    Case Reopened

    In 2009, authorities reopened the 22 year old murder case. Marc Andreessen, a former student of Barbara Blackstone at New Lisbon High School who went on to help create the Netscape web browser and other innovations in computers, offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer.

    Two years after reopening the case, it remains unsolved and no suspects have been publicly named. Was it a transient serial killer who just happened to be passing through Lyndon Station on the interstate at that time? Or someone more local? Perhaps someone someday will come forward with information that will finally solve this murder, or perhaps the killer himself is already dead and has taken the secret to his grave.

    Sources:

    Blackstone Family's 'Living Hell' Ends. The Capital Times, August 7th, 1987.

    Family Waits for Missing Woman. Wisconsin State Journal, July 17th, 1987.

    Got Murder? The Shocking Story of Wisconsin's Notorious Killers by Martin Hintz Madison, Wisconsin: Trails Press, 2007.

    Lyndon Station Woman Missing, No Clues Found. Wisconsin State Journal, July 12th, 1987.

    Police Suspect Woman Abducted. Wisconsin State Journal, July 14th, 1987.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    I am new to the New Lisbon Community and I wanted to find a case close to home so I can do actual ground work and not have to travel cross country. Tho I do know that traveling may become apart of this in the future, the likelihood of this happening is slim.

    I have already talked to the local library about getting some archives from 1987. I am hoping to find some answers there. I know the woman was married and the man moved back to Ohio after her case went cold, but I am hoping to find out if they ever had children. I know that both of Barbara's parents are deceased.

    I am fairly new to WS and I am hoping that others will join this case and help point me in the right direction to get pertinent information that I would not have otherwise known about.

  3. #3
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    I found a new piece of info on Barbara, she was found nude or partially naked but I am nit sure of the Credubility of the author.

    . "A month later, on July 9, schoolteacher Barbara Blackstone vanished from her home in nearby Lyndon Station, leaving her purse behind, her keys in the ignition of a car parked just outside. Her nude and decomposing body was retrieved on August 4 from Lafayette County, sixty miles due south of the Wisconsin Dells that had become a madman's hunting ground. " Copyright 1995-2005 by Elisabeth Wetsch

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I hope everyone had a safe, fun and Happy 4th of July

  5. #5
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    Nov 2010
    Location
    in Wisconsin
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    ok, some few facts I managed to find out about Barbara, her husband's name's Tom Blackstone. she has sisters, 3 I believe. Two of the sister's names are Gail and Judy but I do not know their last names yet. I am trying to dig up as much as I can on Barbara and her family.
    one of her former students could be a potential suspect..... one never knows

    If anyone can give me a few pointers in digging up info, I would appreciate it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    I would search news archives for similar crimes and use Latterday saints website for ancestry details.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    1,341
    Use this to find more reports on Barbara

    Blackstone not shot
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...ackstone&hl=en

    Lots of info here, use the page arrow at the top, article starts on page 1 and continues on page 21.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...ackstone&hl=en

  8. #8
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    Nov 2010
    Location
    in Wisconsin
    Posts
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    Thank you so much for the news articles Robin. from reading the articles, she had no children, I am glad in a way, since there are no children to mourn her loss, I know how hard it is to lose a parent, especially a mother. mine died 3 years ago the day before mother's day.
    it is usefull to know that the one sister's last name is Strutt, Judy. I will see if I can contact her.

    I don't know how you found all this out but thank you again. I have searched articles and found the same few over and over again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    I'm sorry to hear of your loss, my father died New Years day many, many years ago but it always casts a shadow even now.

    If you go on the Latter day saints site it's possible to see if Judy Strutt married/changed her name etc.

    The search facility on the news archive site may help you to look up other crimes. You could try 'missing woman' or the name of the school where she taught and even search out 'Strutt' to see if there's anymore background info.
    I have been working on the Lonnie Jones thread, news archive gave us lots and lots of info which helped immensley.



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