CrimeDivas

Female White-Collar Crime Divas-Mordern Day Thieves

She Didn’t Burn That House!

afire

     When we read about house fires we rarely think about insurance fraud, especially when we hear about a death. This is one of those cases and it is very complex. I am only posting it due to its connection to white-collar crime-insurance fraud.

     Unfortunately, today’s CrimeDiva, Linda Campbell Blackwell, 58, of Nelson County, VA, was convicted on two counts of arson and three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. The jury recommended she serve 11 years and three months in prison.  She was found not guilty of first-degree murder and arson in connection with a fatal fire at her Lovingston home, but was convicted of arson in two other blazes.

According to the records, the prosecutor stated that Linda Blackwell, a former county court services employee, intentionally set the fires to collect insurance money.

The records show, there was a serials of fires starting as far back as 2009. A fire started at about 1:25 a.m., Ms. Blackwell testified she couldn’t find a phone and rushed to the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office nearby to get help while her husband, David Blackwell, and James Shelton Sr., a longtime friend staying at the home, exited the structure. Shelton reentered the building and David Blackwell went in to pull him out. David Blackwell was injured in the blaze. None of the experts who testified could pinpoint a cause of the fire. According to experts the scene was destroyed and, for reasons not explained in court, the investigation dropped. In February 2012,  the second fire at Blackwell’s home broke out in the kitchen while she was at a doctor’s appointment in Lynchburg. The third fire in May 2013, began in an upstairs room. The prosecutor stated it was suspicious that Linda Blackwell took her dog to the garage, which she hardly ever entered, and stayed there for a while, before the fire was noticed and reported. Martin said several times during the trial her suspicious actions gave the fires time to burn.

Arson investigations are difficult to prove as most fires are presumed accidental.

Wow, what are the chances that a person can be connected to three house fires? I guess with Ms. Blackwell those chances were very high and unfortunately a man lost his life. Ms. Blackwell however, was not convicted of any connection to that death, but was convicted of insurance fraud.

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Check-pointDecember 31st, 2016
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