Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Attempted rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 3, 1985
Date of birth: January 29, 1959
Victim profile: Mary Acoff, 26 (his neighbor)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on August 5, 1985

clemency report


On 3/3/85, Jerome Henderson murdered his neighbor, 26-year-old Mary Acoff in her Cincinnati apartment. Mary Acoff had fought her attacker and was beaten and repeatedly stabbed before her nude body was found by her 10-year-old daughter when she returned home.

Henderson broke into Mary's apartment, attempted to rape her, stabbed and beat her multiple times in the head, chest and neck and slashed her throat at least 13 times. 

DNA testing, conducted during federal appeals in 2003, identified Mary Acoff as the source of blood, and Henderson as the source of semen, found on Henderson's coat which was recovered from his residence three days after the crime. Henderson's blood-stained shoes also matched prints at the scene of the crime.

At the time of the trial, the jury learned that, based on the scientific technology available then, the semen found in Mary's body could have come from Henderson or from Mary's boyfriend.

Henderson was acquitted of rape, but convicted of attempted rape and all other counts he was charged with.

Henderson claimed he was innocent and wanted DNA tests when they became available years later, but the tests revealed that while the semen inside Mary's body could not have come from Henderson, the semen on Henderson's coat belonged to Henderson and the blood on the coat belonged to Mary Acoff.



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