- Money troubles may have been the motive behind what police and friends believe was a shocking suicide pact between Jill Blackstone and her sister
- Wendy Blackstone was found dead by asphyxiation along with three dogs
- Bankruptcy papers show Jill owed $27,000 on her Chase MasterCard, $3,850 on her CitiCard MasterCard, and nearly $4,000 on PayPal accounts
- The sisters ran the non-profit Thumping Tails animal rescue and Jill owed over $9,000 in veterinary care
- Jill claimed she was disputing a $300,000 debt owed to Mad Men hair stylist Lucia Mace
By LYCIA NAFF-STUDIO CITY, CA FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 15:53 EST, 3/24/2015
Money troubles may have been the motive behind what friends believe was a shocking suicide pact that saw Jerry Springer producer Jill Blackstone survive after the death of her disabled sister, Wendy and their three dogs.
Blackstone was deep in debt and filed for bankruptcy just three years ago, court papers uncovered by Daily Mail Online reveal.
And Jill owed Wendy Blackstone, the deaf and blind sister who died of asphyxiation on March 14, more than $122,000 for a loan, the papers reveal.
Blackstone was recently forced to sell the three-bedroom, two-bath house that she and her sister had called home for eight years, although they continued to live in it as the new owners awaited permission to demolish and rebuild.
‘She couldn’t get the money she wanted,’ one neighbor told Daily Mail Online exclusively. ‘So she listed the house for less — under a million — and when it sold, I imagine that’s when she became desperate.’
Public records reveal that Blackstone put the single story house in Studio City, in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, on the market in November for $950,000. It sold within a month for the full asking price. She had bought the house in 2007 for $930,000.
Papers filed in her 2012 bankruptcy reveal she was paying $5,055 a month in mortgage payments — more than 60% of her total income.
Shimon Ben, an agent for the new owners, refused to talk to Daily Mail Online about whether the sale of the house was connected to the apparent suicide pact. ‘Don’t ask me questions, do me a favor,’ Ben said before hanging up the phone.
Blackstone, 52, was arrested after her sister was found dead in the garage of the Landale Street house. Police told TMZ they believe Jill intended to kill herself along with Wendy and their three dogs.
Paramedics arrived at the scene to find Wendy and the dogs dead. They were killed by carbon monoxide fumes coming from a barbecue grill placed at Wendy’s feet.
Attempts to resuscitate Wendy, 49, who was grasping a handwritten suicide note believed to have been written by her sister, failed.
But Jill apparently woke up and had a change of heart about killing herself. She called a friend who then dialed 911. Jill Blackstone was hospitalized for two days with carbon monoxide poisoning.
After treatment she was charged with first-degree murder and held on $1 million bail, but she was released from custody on Wednesday of last week and the charges were dropped.
Police told Daily Mail Online the investigation into Wendy’s death is still ongoing and would not comment on whether her money woes were part of the probe.
Jill was spotted returning in tears to the home where her sister died on Thursday.
The neighbor says she and others on the small cul de sac where many homes are being demolished and rebuilt are angry at what they believe to be Blackstone’s actions. ‘That was not the answer to her problems,’ she told Daily Mail Online.
‘She was trying to find a foundation that would help them and help financially take care of her sister, but I don’t think she got very far.
‘No-one had to die over money. There had to be other options.’
The neighbor said the two women always looked depressed. ‘You could see it in them whenever they were outside in the yard or walking the dogs. These were not happy women.’
Papers entered in court in support of her bankruptcy showed Jill Blackstone was $1.4 million in debt when she filed in August 2012. Her total assets were listed at only half that figure.
She claimed she was disputing a $300,000 debt owed to Mad Men hair stylist Lucia Mace and her husband from a 2010 injury claim. However, when Daily Mail Online contacted the three-time-Emmy winner, Mace said: ‘I have no idea what you are talking about,’ claiming she had never heard of Blackstone. She then hung up.
The sisters continued to live in the home as new owners awaited permission to demolish and rebuild
The papers showed Jill Blackstone owed Wendy $122,126.33 for a 2010 loan. She also owed another relative $4,000.
Her bankruptcy papers show that Blackstone was drowning in debt, constantly spending more each month than she was bringing in. She said she earned $7,431 a month after tax with a further $826 coming from her disabled sister’s social security.
Blackstone, who had produced episodes of the Sally Jessy Raphael Show and the Rosie O’Donnell Show as well as The Jerry Springer Show, listed total monthly expenses at $8,967 — $709 more than she earned.
She said her cash in hand at the time came to just $40, with her two bank accounts containing a mere $904.31.
And her debts, many from store credit cards, were mounting. She owed $520 on her Banana Republic card; $798 on her Barneys New York card; $103 on her Bloomingdale’s card and $172 on her Gap card.
But those debts were tiny compared to bank credit cards. She owed more than $27,000 on her Chase MasterCard, the court papers reveal, a further $3,850 on her CitiCard MasterCard, $1,800 on her Credit One MasterCard; $7,400 to GE Care Credit, and nearly $4,000 on two PayPal accounts.
Medical bills too were piling up as she detailed more than $2,800 owed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a further $13,000 to UCLA Medical Center, $4.300 to a New York orthopedic surgeon, $2,000 to a dentist and $400 to endodontist along with a further $560 owed to the Jules Stein Eye Institute.
Other debts included nearly $5,500 to her accountants, $12,000 for a loan on her 2010 Toyota Prius and more than $1,000 to her lawyer.
The two sisters ran the non-profit Thumping Tails animal rescue, which they operated from their home — and that too was proving costly, Blackstone’s bankruptcy papers reveal. She owed more than $4,800 to the Northridge Animal Hospital and a further $4,300 to the Veterinary Medical Center in Studio City.
The neighbor said the fact that Blackstone rescued pets and found them good homes made the decision to take her dogs’ lives along with her sister’s even more unexplainable.
Through tears, the neighbor said: ‘The dogs didn’t have to die.
‘That was the most selfish, evil things she could have done. Her neighbors are just furious. I’m so angry I’m spitting bullets.
‘She loved her dogs desperately. They were her world. So why would she do that? It breaks my heart, it really does. It sickens me.’
The court papers show Blackstone’s bankruptcy was discharged on November 13, 2012, three months after she filed.