Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Orlando BAEZ





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 6, 1987
Date of arrest: 1991 (4 years later)
Date of birth: 1961
Victim profile: Janice "Sissy" Williams, 22
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife 101 times
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Status: Sentenced to death, 1993

United States District Court
For the Eastern District of Pennsylvania


opinion - civil action


Orlando Baez was convicted of stabbing Janice "Sissy" Williams to death on Jan. 6, 1987. 

Williams' autopsy showed that she had been stabbed 86 times in the chest, back and torso; and 15 times in the face. She also had been raped and beaten, and would have been conscious while many of the wounds were inflicted, according to trial testimony. 

Her body was not discovered until Jan. 7, when a motorist stopped after finding Williams' two toddlers wandering outside their home in their pajamas. The children led the motorist inside the 1st-floor apartment to their dead mother's bloody body. 

The young woman's murder went unsolved for 4 years until a witness, Henry Gibson, came forward and told police he was in the apartment that night and saw Baez stabbing Williams. 

After Williams was dead, Baez and Gibson walked home, leaving the 2 children alone in the apartment with the mutilated body.  Gibson told police he kept quiet about the murder because Baez threatened to kill him if he talked. 

At first, Baez told police he didn't know Gibson. Then he said it was Gibson who stabbed Williams and he tried to help her.  There are still appeals pending and this execution is not likely to take place on this date.


Jailed local killer urges: Execute me

By Jack Brubaker -

Nov 12, 2008

In 1987, Orlando Baez brutally raped and murdered a young woman, stabbing her 100 times. Now, after years of appeals, the ill inmate wants to be put to death.

Orlando Baez has spent his 15 years on death row fighting his conviction for raping, stabbing, beating and strangling to death a 22-year-old mother of two young children.

But now Baez says he wants to die.

The Lancaster man, sentenced to death for the brutal 1987 murder of Janice "Sissy" Williams, has requested that he be executed immediately.

Baez, now 47, has asked Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas Judge Howard Knisely to grant "an immediate video conference hearing to address motion for an immediate execution."

An inmate of the state's Greene Prison in Waynesburg, Baez says he wants to discuss the matter by video so he doesn't have to return to Lancaster.

In a letter to the judge, copied to the New Era, he provides two reasons.

Baez says he does not want "to go through the mistreatment or the abuse which (he) had gone through in the 'hands' of the staffs/officials at the Lancaster County Jail" when he attended another hearing in May 2007.

He also says he is seriously ill and in chronic pain from lupus and "any unnecessary stress will create extra unwanting medical complication."

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that can affect various parts of the body. Its effects can range from mild to life-threatening.

Knisely said this morning that Baez earlier had asked for a hearing on his request for execution and that a hearing has been set for Dec. 15. The current request is to hold that hearing by teleconference.

Baez always has maintained his innocence and repeatedly appealed his 1993 conviction for killing Williams in her East King Street apartment.

He has said that another man was responsible.

But prosecutors maintained that Baez raped and tortured Williams and stabbed her more than 100 times. Her children were in the apartment at the time.

The Defender Association of Pennsylvania carried the case through various appeals. Baez claimed his lawyers were ineffective and the trial was unfair.

In 1999, Gov. Tom Ridge signed Baez's death warrant. But execution was delayed to permit an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which eventually refused to hear the case.

Three years ago, the state Supreme Court sent the case back to Lancaster County to decide whether Baez should have another hearing.

Judge Paul Allison was handling the case until illness intervened in the summer of 2007. Knisely eventually took over. He said this morning that the case is moving forward.

The state Attorney General's Office is prosecuting.



Orlando Baez



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