Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.









Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Motive unknown
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 12, 1994
Date of birth: ???
Victim profile: Kenneth Rankine
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in 1995

John Wayne was convicted of murder in the first degree and criminal conspiracy to kill Kenneth Rankine.

The evidence presented at trial revealed the following details concerning the shooting of Kenneth Rankine on the night of August 12, 1994.

Jacqueline Brown testified that on the evening in question, she was standing on the sidewalk outside her home in Philadelphia at 11:30 p.m. Jacqueline Brown was with her cousins, Kenneth Rankine and Neville Bobby Hill, and her boyfriend Paul Green.

While this group was assembled, three individuals approached them simultaneously. Two unidentified men approached together from the direction of 52nd Street as John Wayne approached from 53rd Street and Warrington Avenue.

Wayne engaged Bobby Hill in conversation for about fifteen minutes. This was a private conversation between Wayne and Bobby Hill and did not involve the other persons present. Jacqueline Brown did not observe any interaction between Wayne and the two unknown individuals.

Jacqueline Brown spoke to one of the unknown men, commenting on his boots. When the unknown man acknowledged Jacqueline's compliment by modeling his boots, he turned his body and Jacqueline observed that he possessed a gun.

Jacqueline advised her boyfriend, Paul Green, of the gun. Paul directed Jacqueline to go into her house. Jacqueline retreated to the enclosed porch of her house from where she continued to observe the persons on the street.

Kenneth came onto the porch and Jacqueline advised him that one of the men was carrying a gun. Kenneth walked through Jacqueline's house out the back door to the street, then retraced his steps and returned to the group on the sidewalk.

When Kenneth returned to the street, Jacqueline observed Wayne "grip up" Bobby Hill and walk him across the street.

At that same time, the two unknown men began shooting at Kenneth. Kenneth fell to the ground. Bobby Hill ran away from Wayne and the two unknown men shot at him as he was running.

The two unknown men and Wayne all ran from the scene in the same direction. Immediately following the shooting, Jacqueline identified a photograph of Wayne at the police station.

Jacqueline also made a positive identification of Wayne at trial. Jacqueline Brown testified that on the night of the shooting Wayne had a distinctive gold tooth. Jacqueline acknowledged that at the time of trial Wayne did not have a gold tooth, however she remained positive in her identification of Wayne as the man she observed on the night of August 12, 1994.

Bobby Hill testified that when Wayne first approached, he recognized him from a previous meeting. Wayne's conversation with Bobby was casual; they discussed a nearby party.

Bobby Hill observed Kenneth go to his car. When Kenneth came back to the group, Bobby overheard Kenneth and the two unknown men exchange bitter words. Kenneth and the two unknown men were standing behind Bobby Hill and John Wayne.

Bobby heard sounds indicative of wrestling. He turned and observed one of the unknown men pointing a gun at Kenneth. At that point Wayne grabbed Bobby and held a gun to his head, forcing him across the street towards Bobby's car.

Bobby did not see the gun but he felt the muzzle against his head. Bobby heard a click, which he believed was the gun firing, but realized the gun had not fired at the same time he heard the gunfire behind him from the direction of Kenneth and the two unknown men. Bobby fled; hearing shots being fired in his direction as he ran.

Officer Napoli of the Philadelphia Police Department was the first officer to arrive at the scene of the shooting. Officer Napoli observed a gun in Kenneth's right hand. The officer identified the gun as a .380 semi-automatic handgun.

A short time after the arrival of Officer Napoli, a criminal evidence specialist for the mobile crime unit of the Philadelphia Police Department arrived at the scene and retrieved two nine-millimeter cartridge cases and four .380 cartridge cases from the scene.

Doctor McDonald the assistant medical examiner for the City of Philadelphia performed the autopsy on Kenneth. The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.

Dr. McDonald identified six distinct gunshot wounds: 1) in the back of the head, 2) the back of the neck, 3) the left upper back, 4) the left middle back and traveling through the aorta, 5) the left lower back and traveling into the aorta and the liver, and 6) the right lower back traveling through the intestines and the abdomen.

Dr. McDonald testified that three of the six wounds were fatal as they struck a vital part of the body.

Officer O'Hara of the Philadelphia Police Department testified as a firearms expert. Officer O'Hara testified that the gun found in Mr. Rankine's hand had not been fired. Officer O'Hara testified that the .380 cartridges found at the scene did not come from Mr. Rankine's gun.

The evidence presented was sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Wayne entered into a conspiracy with two unidentified men on the night of August 12, 1994 to kill Kenneth Rankine.

Although Wayne and the two unknown men approached Bobby Hill and Kenneth from different directions, the fact that they all arrived simultaneously leads to the logical inference that their joint appearance was planned. While Wayne engaged Bobby Hill in conversation, the two unknown men did not interact with any of the other persons present.

Jacqueline Brown testified that she attempted a conversation with one of the men by commenting on his boots, but the two men made no attempt at further conversation. In fact, Jacqueline walked away from the group on the sidewalk when the gun one of the men was carrying aroused her suspicions.

The sequence of events leads to the logical inference that Wayne engaged Bobby Hill in a meaningless conversation to distract him from the intentions of the two unidentified men.

When the two unidentified men began shooting at Kenneth, Wayne forcibly removed Bobby from the center of the melee. Wayne held a gun to Bobby's head and attempted to use that gun on Bobby, however, the gun malfunctioned and Bobby was able to escape, even though his flight was followed with a hail of bullets from the two unknown men. Wayne was observed fleeing the scene of the shooting in the same direction as the two unidentified men.

The record presents sufficient information from which the jury could reasonably infer that Wayne was a co-conspirator of the two unidentified men who actually inflicted the fatal wounds on Kenneth. There are still appeals pending and this execution is not likely to take place on this date (1999).



home last updates contact