Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 23, 1916
Date of arrest: December 31, 1916
Date of birth: ???
Victim profile: Clyde D. Amour
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: New Mexico, USA
Status: Executed by hanging at Santa Fe on July 9, 1920

With the words "I have nothing to say," Elbert Blancett went to his death on the scaffold at 5:22 AM in Santa Fe, shortly after sunrise on July 9, 1920.  Only his right hand was handcuffed, his left hand being left free as it had been rendered useless in a previous suicide attempt.  Ten minutes later he was pronounced dead. 

The fall did not break his neck, but he was unconscious throughout the proceeding, evidently from the snapping of the knot of the noose against his head.  Blancett had gone to his death calmly, having read and written letters the whole of the night before.

At the scaffold, he nudged the noose and quipped, "When I am at the end of this it will all be over."  At the beginning of the reading of the warrant for the execution, he suggested, "We might dispense with that.  It will only delay the game."

The story behind Blancett's crime and execution is far too interesting for a brief summation - the reader is encouraged to investigate further. 

Briefly, Blancett was hanged for the murder of Clyde D. Amour, whose partially coyote-eaten body was not found until January 14, 1917, in an arroyo near Glorieta. 

An examination showed that Armour had been killed by a shotgun blast from behind, and an impressive feat of detective work revealed that Blancett had evidently impersonated his victim for a time after Amour's death on October 23, 1916. 

Blancett, who was traveling from Sioux City, Iowa to Fresno, California, then spent Amour's money gambling and upon other activities purportedly in an attempt to forget the incident.  He had even made telegrams to various parties including Amour's own mother seeking additional funds. 

Upon Blancett's arrest in Friday Harbor, California on December 31, 1916, he requested permission to go inside his mother's house to "say goodbye."  Once inside, he unsuccessfully attempted to end his life with a shotgun by shooting himself in the neck - but merely rendered his left arm practically unusable. 

Before his trial, he maintained complete silence regarding Armour's death, stating to Amour's brother that he had never seen Clyde Armour. 

At the trial, which was a local sensation, he maintained that the shooting was accidental. He claimed that he had been drinking shortly before the shooting, and that he feared that as a stranger to the locale he would be accused of murder, and therefore did not report the incident. 

Having been found guilty and incarcerated, he was subsequently baptized a Catholic.  Until his execution, Blancett continued to maintain that the incident had been an accident. 

Before his execution, the governor refused to set aside the court's verdict and denied a reprieve to Blancett's execution in order to make a sanity inquiry.  Framing the entire trial and execution, however, appears to be the issue of  'degeneracy' - both Blancett's attorney and priest maintained that he was not a degenerate. 

As to the subject of the supposed degeneracy, one can only speculate.  Perhaps the issue involved was that of homosexual propositions or activity; further research needs to be done with regard to this matter. 

Toward the end of Blancett's life, his mother, who had traveled from California to be with her son, visited every day; and his fellow prisoners raised the money for Blancett's funeral expenses.

Angelo State University -



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