Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial Killers Who Surrender

Unfulfilled Promise

Katie Poirier
Katie Poirier

In August 2000, Donald Blom claimed he was innocent as he was driven from a Virginia, Minnesota, courthouse to go serve a life sentence. He was referring to the 1999 abduction and murder of Katie Poirier for which he'd been convicted. "I have never killed anyone," he insisted.

However, the 51-year-old Blom had actually confessed to this very crime. He had said that he had abducted Poirier, strangling her and burning her body in a fire pit on his vacation property nearby. He later recanted, claiming he made a false confession because of the stress of solitary confinement and from medications he was taking. Poirier's body has never been found, although human bone fragments were removed from Blom's fire pit. DNA tests were inconclusive.

In addition, during the summer of 2006, Blom appeared to be offering more. He had told investigators that he was about to change his story. In a letter, he said, "It is time to talk," and Bloomington Police Sergeant Mark Stehlik said Blom had supposedly been willing to answer questions about some local homicides. They had suspected that Blom not only had killed someone but also that he was a serial killer. They believed that when he contacted them, he was trying to clear his conscience.

Apparently Blom wanted to deal. He hoped that in exchange for information he'd be moved to a prison that would place him closer to his relatives. Investigators agreed to the deal and arranged for the transfer. Then they went to see him in the hope of closing cases from as long ago as 30 years.

Donald Blom
Donald Blom

During his days as a criminal, Blom often changed his looks, his name, and his general presentation, so he was a slick con artist. For example, he was once a registered sex offender living under the name of Donald Pince. That made him a suspect in the sexual assault and murder of a 19-year-old student, whose corpse was left in the woods near where Blom lived. In another murder in 1983, Blom had already admitted being at the scene, and he also said he might have killed a man whose body was never found.

However, when the police arrived with the transfer letter, the expected confession never materialized. Instead, Blom talked about other matters. He did this for three days, effectively canceling the deal as well as dashing hopes for case resolutions. But he has advocates who agree that he's innocent. It's often difficult to know in such cases when a killer is lying or telling the truth.


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