Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Necrophilia
Number of victims: 9
Date of murders: 1973 - 1974
Date of arrest: September 12, 1974
Date of birth: 1948
Victims profile: Theresa Jordan, 39 / Kate Lewisohn, 65 / Mable Hartmeyer, 60 / Yeria Vishnefsky, 79 / Winifred Miller, 47 / Blanche Vincent, 71 / Martha Carpenter, 69 / Eleanor Platt, 64 / Pauline Spanierman, 59
Method of murder: Strangulation / Suffocation
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Status: Sentenced to 18 consecutive life terms, 1975

Despite it's name, the Park Plaza Hotel was nothing close to high society. It was located in a crime-ridden section of New York and catered to older, poor people. In 1973 it became the hunting ground of small-time criminal turned slayer Calvin Jackson.

The youngest victims was first. Theresa Jordan, 39, was found suffocated in her room in April, 1973. Next was Kate Lewisohn, 65, found bound on her bed and strangled with head injuries. It wasn't until April 24, 1974 that the third victim was claimed. Mable Hartmeyer, 60, had been raped and strangled. Just days later Yeria Vishnefsky, 79, was found bound with her own stocking with a butcher knife lodged in her back. On June 8, Winifred Miller, 47, was killed and eleven days after, Blanche Vincent, 71, was suffocated to death.

July brought the killing of 69-year-old Martha Carpenter. On August 30. Eleanor Platt, 64, was suffocated to death. Finally Jackson broke pattern and struck at a nearby building, killing Pauline Spanierman, 59. She had been strangled, and like all the others, raped. Her television was found in another room of the building. That room was occupied by Calvin Jackson, who was living there temporarily. When it was found that Jackson also worked at the Park Plaza Hotel, police knew they had their man.

Jackson confessed quickly and was tried for the string of homocides. Evidently, after killing his victims Jackson enjoyed raping their corpse and sitting down to a meal before taking advantage of the situation and stealing some valuables. He was sentenced to eighteen consecutive life terms.

Serial Killers A-Z


Jackson, Calvin

A small-time thief who sold his loot to buy narcotics, Calvin Jackson might have been ignored in New York City, ranked with thousands like himself and hastily forgotten, if his petty crimes had not accelerated into rape and brutal murder. As it was, complacent homicide investigators failed to recognize a pattern in his crimes for better than a year. Before they ran their man to earth, he claimed nine lives. West 77th may fairly be classified as one of New York's mean streets. It is better than some, worse than many, and no prize by any standards. In spite of its pretentious name, the Park Plaza Hotel, on West 77th, was a flea-bag catering to middle-aged and older women, scaling its facilities and rates to accommodate fixed incomes. Death was not the most unusual means of checking out, considering the average age of tenants, but in 1973 and '74 a lethal specter stalked the Park Plaza's corridors, driving the mortality rate sky-high. 

Theresa Jordan was the first to die, on April 10, 1973. The youngest of the killer's victims at age thirty-nine, she was discovered, raped and suffocated, in her tiny room. From all appearances, a thief had torn the place apart. Kate Lewisohn, age 65, was murdered on July 19. A caller found her trussed up on the bed, her small apartment looted. After being raped, she had been strangled, with her skull bashed in. Police examining the crimes in search of a pattern soon lost interest, when the killer took a nine-month leave of absence. His return, on April 24, 1974, was nearly overlooked, authorities ascribing 60-year-old Mable Hartmeyer's death to arteriosclerosis. A second, closer look revealed the victim had been raped and strangled, with assorted items missing from her room. 

On April 28, Yetta Vishnefsky, age 79, was found dead in her room at the Park Plaza. She had been raped, bound with her own nylon stockings, a butcher knife plunged to the hilt in her back. Items of clothing and jewelry were missing, along with a portable television set. As spring gave way to summer, terror descended on the lonely tenants of the Park Plaza Hotel.

Winifred Miller, 47, was strangled, raped, and robbed on June 8. Eleven days later, Blanche Vincent, 71, was suffocated and raped in her room, with death initially blamed on "alcoholism."

Martha Carpenter, age 69, was suffocated and raped July 1. The death of Eleanor Platt, 64, on August 30, was initially dubbed "suspicious," without known cause; autopsy results confirmed she had been suffocated and raped after death. In each case, the murderer stole radios, televisions, or similar items worth a few hundred dollars. On September 12, 1974, the slayer left his chosen hunting ground for the first time, striking one block away, on West 77th. 

That morning, Pauline Spanierman, 59, was found dead in her apartment, raped and strangled, with her television missing. A neighbor recalled seeing a man on the fire escape, lugging a TV set, around three o'clock in the morning, and detectives started searching door-to-door. They soon turned up the missing television, in a nearby flat, and were informed that it belonged to Calvin Jackson, who was staying with the tenants temporarily. Police knew Jackson as a junkie-mugger, with a record of arrests for robbery and assault. His latest bust had occurred in November 1973; charged with burglary and felonious robbery, Jackson had bargained down to a misdemeanor, serving only thirty days. In retrospect, detectives wondered if they might be looking at a partial explanation for the killer's "vacation" during the winter of 1973-74. 

The clincher came when officers discovered that their suspect, 26 years old, was employed as a janitor at the Park Plaza Hotel. In custody, Jackson readily confessed to all nine murders, stating that he often lingered with his victims for an hour or more, eating food from their refrigerators, watching carefully to make sure they were dead. When victims were molested, Jackson said, he always raped them after death. In testimony at his six-week trial, Calvin testified that his crimes were all committed to support his habit, leading prosecutors to inquire why it was necessary for his victims to be killed, their corpses violated. "Well," he told the court, "I guess I kind of broke wild there, you know?" 

Convicted on an epic list of charges, Jackson was sentenced to eighteen consecutive terms of life imprisonment. With time for good behavior, he will theoretically be eligible for parole in the year 2030 A.D.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers



MO: Addict rape-slayer of women age 39-79, all but one killed at hotel where he worked as a janitor

DISPOSITION: 18 consecutiva life terms, 1975



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