Murder in the Heartland examines the tragic death of Christina Ross at the hands of Thomas Blake in Neenah, Wisconsin, in 2004.
Christina’s parents notified the police after they heartbreakingly found the body of their 20-year-old daughter in the trunk of her car, which was located in a grocery store parking lot. Her remains had been wrapped in a sheet, and her ankles were bound, and she had been strangled.
Christina’s mother had a note from her daughter which read that she was going to see “T.J.” at his apartment. T.J. was later identified as Thomas J. Blake.
When the cops went to Blake’s apartment, his roommate, Rusty Lucht, told them Blake regularly spoke about killing people. The investigators also found a journal in the apartment where Blake had written: “My thirst for killing won’t go away.”
Blake’s neighbors also reported seeing two men on the night of the murder “carrying a large object down the stairs clumsily” and then saw the men place “something large, wrapped in a blanket, into the trunk” of a silver car.
Thomas Blake admitted to killing Christina Ross
When the police finally caught up to Blake, he admitted to killing Christina. He explained to the police that he had asked Christina if she had wanted to try something kinky, and when she said yes, he wrapped an extension cord around her neck four times and strangled her to death.
Blake said that Christina had struggled for about ten minutes, during which time he continued to strangle her. He then, chillingly, said he held the extension cord tightly around her neck for a further half-hour to make sure she was dead.
Blake and a 15-year-friend then put Christina’s body into the trunk of her car and drove it to the grocery store parking lot.
Blake’s lawyers subsequently urged him to plead guilty to the murder, and he agreed to do so. However, he later attempted to withdraw the plea and argued that the murder had been an accident. He claimed Christina’s death was the result of a sex game gone wrong.
However, the court refused to allow Blake to withdraw his plea and he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. An appeal was denied in 2019.
More from Murder in the Heartland
Follow the links to read about more murders perpetrated in America’s heartland.
David Malinski was a physical therapist from Valparaiso, Indiana, who developed an unhealthy obsession with his colleague Lorainne “Lori” Kirkley. Malinski abducted the nurse from her home and then tortured and murdered her.
At first, the cops suspected that David Weedman had killed himself with a gunshot to the mouth. However, further investigation revealed that he had been murdered by his so-called friend, Randal Coalter, who had killed him in a jealous rage.
Murder in the Heartland airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.