Daniel Blank, Louisiana

 

Update: Monday, March 14, 2016 11:52 am EST

Daniel Joseph Blank was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Monday, March 14, 2016, at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. His execution has been stayed. Fifty-three-year-old Daniel is convicted of murdering 41-year-old Victor Rossi, 58-year-old Barbara Bourgeois, 71-year-old Lillian Philippe, 76-year-old Sam Arcuri, 69-year-old Louella Arcuri, and 55-year-old Joan Brock between October 27, 1996, and November 14, 1997. Daniel has spent the last 16 years of his life on Louisiana’s death row.

On Wednesday, February 17, 2016, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued a stay of execution for Daniel Blank. His execution was stayed in part because the Louisiana Department of Corrections has announced that they do not have the drugs to carry out Daniel's execution. Daniel has also not completed his appeals.

Daniel was one of eight children growing up. He dropped out of school following the 8th grade. After being struck by a vehicle while riding a bike when he was 12, Daniel was diagnosed with a mild brain dysfunction.

On April 10, 1997, Lillian Philippe failed to pick up her sister-in-law so that the two could attend a religious retreat together. When another family member went to check on Lillian, around 8:30 am, Lillian’s vehicle was discovered in the driveway. The door to the house was unlocked and the alarm system had been deactivated. The family member, sensing something was wrong, called the police, who upon arrival, discovered Lillian’s body at the foot of her bed. A broken trophy was discovered near her head and bloody knife next the bed. Lillian murder was the latest in a string of murders in the area. The murders were all believed to be related.

 

On July 7, 1997, a burglary was attempted at the home of Leonce and Joyce Millet. The couple was able to provide police with a sketch of the intruder. Police and an FBI task force believed that the man in the sketch was also the man who had been committing the rash of murders.

 

Two individuals called the police upon seeing the sketch and identified Daniel Blank as the possible perpetrator. Police attempted to contact Blank at his last known address and discovered that he no longer lived there. The woman living at the address was the mother of Blank’s girlfriend and told police that she would pass along a message to Blank.

 

Blank contacted police a short time later and police asked him to come meet with an officer the following week. During their investigation into Blank, police discovered that he frequented casinos, losing money that he did not appear to have. Despite not having a job, Blank had also recently purchased a mobile home in Texas. Police also discovered that his spending habits correlated to the time of the crimes and that he had previously known three of the victims.

 

Blank failed to show up for his meeting with police. The FBI task force tracked Blank to his place of employment, an automotive shop, where Blank agreed to accompany the officers to a police station for questioning. Blank initial denied involvement in the murders.

 

Eventually, Blank confessed to the murder of Joan Brock on May 14, 1997. He then also confessed to the murder of Victor Rossi, Barbara Bourgeois, Lillian Philippe, and Sam and Louella Arcuri. Blank also confessed to attempting to murder Leonce and Joyce Millet. His confessions for the murders was quite detailed.

 

Blank killed Victor on October 17, 1996, in Victor’s St. Amant home. Blank had worked at Victor’s car repair shop. Blank killed Barbara on March 18, 1997, insider her Paulina, Louisiana, home, which was less than a quarter mile away from Blank’s home. Blank killed Lillian on April 9, 1997, after having previously bought car parts from the store started by Lillian’s husband. Blank killed Sam and his wife Louella on May 9, 1997, inside their LaPlace, Louisiana home. Blank killed Joan on May 14, 1997, in her LaPlace, Louisiana home. Blank had worked for Joan’s husband in his car repair shop.

 

Blank was separately sentenced to death for the murders of Lillian and Joan. He received to irrevocable life sentences after pleading guilty to the murder of Sam and Louella.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Victor Rossi, Barbara Bourgeois, Lillian Philippe, Sam and Louella Arcuri, and Joan Brock. Please pray for strength for the family of Daniel Blank. Please pray that if Daniel is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Daniel may come to find peace through a personal relationship with the Lord, if he has not already.

 

 

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