Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Home-care attendant - Robberies - Crack addict
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: August 8/22, 1986
Date of arrest: September 1986
Date of birth: 1959
Victims profile: Loretta O'Flaherty, 85 / Edna Fumasoli, 68
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: New York City, Bronx County, New York, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty on July 6, 1987. Sentenced to 50 years to life in prison

Once employed by a home health care service on Long Island, New York, 28-year-old Annette Washington was discharged from her job in July 1986. 

A single mother with a 9-year-old son to feed, she was also supporting her boyfriend's drug habit on the side. Embittered by the loss of employment, she devised a scheme to solve both problems simultaneously, by the grim expedient of killing off her former patients.

Loretta O'Flaherty, age 85, was the first to go, found dead in her Bronx apartment on August 8, 1986. 

Two kitchen knives had been employed to cut her throat before her flat was ransacked for cash and other valuables. 

Two weeks later, 68-year-old Edna Fumasoli was killed at her home, stabbed 90 times by a frenzied assailant. Similarities in the two crimes led detectives to begin a background search for links between the victims. 

The name of Annette Washington surfaced in due course, and police learned that both victims had been terrified of robbery, establishing a "knocking code" to let them know a friend was at the door. Suspecting that their "friend" had been a Judas in disguise, authorities arrested Washington in mid-September and secured her confession to the crimes. 

Pleading guilty on two counts of murder, plus assault and weapons charges, she received a prison term of 50 years to life in July 1987. At this writing, her unnamed male accomplice is still at large.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans


Home worker guilty in killing of two women

By Robert D. McFadden - The New York Times

July 7, 1987

A 28-year-old former home-care attendant pleaded guilty yesterday to the murder of two elderly, infirm women found slashed to death in their Bronx apartments last year. The victims had both been in her care.

The defendant, Annette Washington, of 75 West 190th Street, admitted helping a man kill and rob the two women for money to support a crack habit. She faces 50 years to life in prison when sentenced July 27 by Justice Richard L. Price in State Supreme Court in the Bronx.

Miss Washington pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault and weapons charges in the deaths of Loretta O'Flaherty, 85, of 2910 Grand Concourse in the Bedford Park section, and Edna Fumasoli, 68, of 3900 Greystone Avenue in Riverdale.

The Bronx District Attorney, Mario Merola, said the police were still searching for an accomplice, whose name was not released because his identity was unconfirmed. Mr. Merola said Miss Washington told the police that the man slashed the women and that her role was to help him enter the victims' apartments.

A Code of Door Knocks

Until last July, Miss Washington, the mother of a 9-year-old boy, worked for Progressive Health Care Service of Oceanside, L.I., as a home-care attendant. In that capacity, she aided Ms. O'Flaherty and Ms. Fumasoli for several months in 1985 and 1986, doing shopping and other chores.

Edward McCarthy, a spokesman for Mr. Merola, said that because the women were afraid of being robbed at home they had worked out with the attendant a code of door knocks. Mr. McCarthy said that, after quitting her job, Miss Washington went to the women's apartments with her accomplice and used the codes to get the victims to unlock their doors.

On Aug. 8, Ms. O'Flaherty, who used a walker, was found dead in the foyer of her apartment. Her throat had been cut with two kitchen knives, according to detectives, who said that her apartment had been ransacked.

On Aug. 22, Ms. Fumasoli, who used a wheelchair was found dead in her ransacked apartment. She has been stabbed 90 times, Mr. McCarthy said.

Police investigators, noting similarities in the two crimes, sought common factors in the backgrounds of the victims and learned that Miss Washington had served both as a home-care attendant. The suspect was arrested last September and has been held without bail.

In a confession, Miss Washington said that only small sums of money had been taken from the victims' apartments and that the money had been used to buy crack, the highly addictive and smokable form of cocaine that has been linked to thousands of crimes.



November 16, 1989


Judgment, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Richard Lee Price, J.) rendered July 27, 1987, convicting the defendant-appellant, after a plea of guilty, of six counts of murder in the second degree, four counts of robbery in the first degree, two counts of robbery in the second degree, four counts of burglary in the first degree, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, and sentencing the defendant-appellant to concurrent terms of 20 years to life, 8 to 24 years, 4 to 12 years, 8 to 24 years, and one year, respectively, unanimously affirmed.

Counsel for the defendant has submitted a brief on this appeal contending that the 20 years to life sentence was excessive, and that this Court should exercise its discretion to reduce appellant's sentence.

The defendant took advantage of the knowledge she gained as a home health care attendant. With a male accomplice, in two separate incidents. With a male accomplice, in two separate incidents, she was a party to the stabbing deaths of two elderly former patients. While she denied actually doing the stabbing, she admitted handling the knives to the male accomplice and participating in the theft of property.

Counsel for the defendant-appellant contends that she is now contrite and had no criminal record and had waived her alleged defense of duress by the male accomplice.

There is absolutely no merit to this appeal. Not only did the defendant plead in exchange for the promised sentence, but there are no extenuating circumstances. If this were a matter of first impression, we would impose a sentence of 25 to life rather than 20 to life.

Order filed.



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