Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robberies
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1997 / June 25, 1998
Date of birth: December 24, 1967
Victims profile: Doris Bertsch, 70 / Ramona Jean Williamson, 66
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Kenton County, Kentucky, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on July 8, 1999. Re-sentenced after an appellate reversal

FURNISH, FRED, DOB 12-24-67, was sentenced to death on July 8, 1999 in Kenton County for the murder of Ramona Jean Williamson.

On June 25, 1998, Furnish entered into Mrs. Williamson’s Crestview Hills home, strangled the victim to death. This killer murdered a 66-year-old woman in Kenton County in 1998 by strangling the victim.  The victim was found by her housekeeper immersed in the water in her bathtub. 

After killing Mrs. Williamson, Furnish used her debit cards to withdraw money from her bank accounts. The jury also found Furnish guilty of robbery, burglary, theft and receiving stolen money by fraud.

Furnish, who had several convictions for theft and burglary, spent nearly a dozen years behind bars in Kentucky and Indiana. Each time he was released, he soon returned to prison for another burglary. By the time he was released in April, 1997, he had hit a prison guard, adding an assault charge to his record.


Fred Furnish

Fred ruthlessly murdered Ramona Jean Williamson and Doris Bertsch.  "Freddy Boom Boom" as he called himself, was first sent to Death Row in 1998 for killing Jean Williamson.  After DNA evidence linked Furnish to the brutal murder of Doris Bertch, Fred plead guilty.  Since Furnish was already on Death Row, the decision was made to allow him a Life sentence, thereby avoiding another lengthy and costly Capital Murder trial.   In 2002, the Kentucky Supreme Court vacated Furnish's death sentence, remanding the case back for only a sentencing retrial: a first in Kentucky.    The Kentucky Attorney General's Office turned to veteran trial attorney Luke Morgan for the task.  Together Luke and Wayne successfully re-tried Fred in 2003, who was again sentenced to death.  Today, Fred sits on Kentucky's Death Row.


Fred Furnish—white, age 29 (re-sentencing after an appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in Kenyon County, Kentucky

By: A jury

Date of crime: 1998

Prosecution’s case/defense response: Furnish committed a home invasion burglary/robbery during which he strangled 66-year-old Ramona Jean Williamson. He also pleaded guilty in another case to a home invasion burglary/robbery/ strangulation of 70-year-old Doris Bertsch.

Sources: Cincinnati Post 7/20/02, 6/3/03; Cincinnati Enquirer 3/25/04


Furnish gets death penalty a second time

Home-invasion killer heads back to death row

By Travis Gettys - The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thursday, March 25, 2004

A Kenton County jury sentenced Fred Furnish to death for a second time Tuesday for the 1998 home-invasion murder of Ramona Jean Williamson.

Furnish was convicted in 1999 of strangling and robbing the 66-year-old Crestview Hills widow. But in the time between her murder and Furnish's conviction, the General Assembly created the penalty of life in prison without possibility of parole.

A judge did not allow jurors in that trial to consider the new penalty. The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned Furnish's sentence in 2002 and granted him a new sentencing hearing, to include the new penalty.

Jurors were not required to find Furnish guilty again, because the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the conviction. After 21/2 hours of deliberation Tuesday, the jury agreed with the original sentence.

While on death row in 2002, Furnish pleaded guilty to the 1997 strangling murder of Doris Bertsch, 70, of Kenton Hills.


Fred Furnish



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