Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Torture
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 11, 1991
Date of arrest: April 3, 1991
Date of birth: December 30, 1944
Victim profile: Irene Katuran, 45 (his ex-lover)
Method of murder: Multiple stab wounds and blunt neck injury
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on February 19, 1993

The United States District Court
For the District of Arizona

memorandum of decision and order

Date of Birth: December 30, 1944
Defendant: Caucasian
Victim: Caucasian

Gulbrandson and the 45-year-old female victim operated a photography business, and also were involved in an intimate personal relationship.

The victim ended their personal relationship in January of 1991, and Gulbrandson physically assaulted her on February 14, 1991. The victim sought and obtained a protective order against Gulbrandson as a result of this assault.

On March 9, 1991, Gulbrandson threatened to kill the victim during a telephone conversation. Sometime late in the evening of March 10, 1991, or early in the morning of March 11, 1991, Gulbrandson entered the victim's home, and brutally tortured and murdered her while her two children were sleeping.

Despite the victim's intense struggle, Gulbrandson inflicted 33 incision-type injuries all over her body, a puncture wound to her liver, and at least ten blunt force injuries. In addition, he cracked the victim's teeth, fractured her nose and seven of her ribs, embedded part of a wooden salad fork in her leg, and attempted to burn her by lighting her hair on fire.

Gulbrandson killed her by either strangling her or by inflicting a blow to her neck which caused her to suffocate.

Gulbrandson left the victim in the master bedroom clad only in her panties, with her ankles and one wrist bound with electrical cords, and he left three knives, one razor knife, and one pair of scissors, all of which were bloodstained, in the kitchen sink. Gulbrandson left the scene in the victim's car.

Gulbrandson's fingerprints were found at the scene, and bloody clothing was found at his residence. The victim's car was located in Montana on April 1, 1991, and Gulbrandson was arrested there 2 days later.


    Presiding Judge: David L. Grounds
    Prosecutor: Michael Morrison
    Start of Trial: November 30, 1992
    Verdict: December 15, 1992
    Sentencing: February 19, 1993    

Aggravating Circumstances:

    Especially heinous and depraved

Mitigating Circumstances:

    None sufficiently substantial to call for leniency


    State v. Gulbrandson, 184 Ariz. 46, 906 P.2d 579 (1995).



David Gulbrandson



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