Prisoner of Love

What's a nice British tourist doing on our death row?

By Frank Rubino
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 8 | Posted May. 14, 2008

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So the couple mailed documentation to a mosque (Blakeney is a Muslim) and settled for a no-show Islamic union.

Of course the operative question regarding their pairing isn't whether. It's why.

Young insists she harbors no ulterior motive. For example, she isn't hoping marrying an American will help her attain citizenship here, something she doesn't even want.

"This is a lovely country to visit," she says, "but I'd never want to live here."

She's convinced Blakeney isn't using her either.

"Neither of us was looking for a [romantic] relationship," she says. "When we met he was as cautious as I was. I didn't know him; he didn't know me. He's always been completely honest with me, and he's never asked me for anything."

So with exploitation out of the picture, is this true love? Young says it is, although she knows not everyone hearing of it is going to get choked up.

A call to Marsico's Harrisburg office confirms the latter. Upon learning a journalist is writing about someone who's fallen in love with Blakeney, the woman who's answered the phone goes silent for 15 seconds before remarking, "I'm sorry. But that's so messed up."

Young thinks Blakeney's conviction is messed up. But her theory about what transpired inside a Harrisburg apartment on Feb. 2, 2000, is a tough sell.

To cut to the chase, Young fervently believes Blakeney's contention that Harrisburg police officer William Vernouski actually slit 14-month-old Basil Blakeney's throat early that morning.

"The cop did kill the baby," she asserts.

Marsico and the state have never bought it.

What's clear is that Herbert Blakeney, who lived in the apartment with his then-wife Sacha, their four children and little Basil (whom another man fathered), argued with Sacha the day before the murder, and she threw him out.

Intoxicated, he returned early on Groundhog Day, cutting phone lines, tussling with Sacha's babysitter (Sacha wasn't home) and stabbing her. When Vernouski and several other cops arrived, Blakeney picked Basil up and held the baby in one hand while wielding a knife in the other.

Vernouski shot Blakeney three times, once in the face, after Blakeney slit Basil's throat, the ex-cop and two others testified at trial.

But Blakeney has always maintained that Basil was unharmed when Vernouski fired, and that the cop, fearing he'd killed Blakeney, murdered the infant and blamed Blakeney to justify the shooting.

Young points out that only a minute amount of the baby's blood was discovered on Blakeney's clothing afterward. "It doesn't make sense," she says. "Wouldn't his jacket and boots be soaked with blood?"

She says there are other discrepancies too.

While acknowledging that little of Basil's blood was found on Blakeney's clothing, Marsico characterizes the couple's fingering of Vernouski as "ludicrous," adding that "Blakeney is a cold-blooded killer of an innocent child, in my opinion."

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Comments 1 - 8 of 8
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1. Bill said... on May 13, 2008 at 09:46PM

“She is a total joke, albit a sick one at that. Looking for her 15 minutes of fame and a way to make a buck. There are a bunch of books out there about this sort of relationship and why people get into them. Some article need to be done on that also.”

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2. chad said... on May 13, 2008 at 09:52PM

“stupid ugly cow.”

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3. Bill said... on May 14, 2008 at 05:03AM

“The more I have thought about this article the more disgusted I have become. My family has lived in Philadelphia since the 1700's and I am embarrassed that any paper would put this "story" on the pages.”

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4. Shantia said... on May 19, 2008 at 08:35AM

“Linda reminds me of so many other naive woman in the world. She allowed this man to manipulate her and cloud her brain. He's led her to believe that he's an innocent man and I do believe he is using her. From her own admittance, she's doing things that she would not usually do or even think of doing. I also believe that this murderer, who may have the gift of gab, has impaired Linda's judgement.”

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5. Moonbeam said... on Jan 22, 2010 at 04:33PM

“There seems to be so many of these women who see themselves as saviours of "poor, badly treated, misunderstood" murderers. I do feel that it's a lack of self esteem that allows these women to sit and wait for each love letter from her "man", who has nothing else to do but write letters and draw pictures and give their full attention.

There is nothing to do with this mans case that could remotely lead to a belief he is innocent.”

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6. Anonymous said... on Mar 23, 2010 at 05:43PM

“Perhaps 'these women' have the education and understanding to see through the sham that is called US justice. Perhaps 'these women' have the brains enough to see through the diabolical lies and miscarriages of justice, prosecutorial misconduct, racism and biased judicial system on which the 'great United States of America' rests. Perhaps 'these women' have heart and faith and clear vision, to see through the vile and barbaric death sentence that is all too frequently given out with no thoughts to the consequences of executing an innocent man. Justice must be seen to be done! And in 'The Great United States of America' it is done regardless of the persons guilt or innocence. Justice is supposed to be served 'so as not to undermine the foundation on which society is built' What could undermine society more than a promise to kill an innocent person by a legal regime. It could happen to any one of you... Or 'those women'...”

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7. armeka mclaughlin said... on Nov 7, 2010 at 12:52PM

“you are a stupid bitch you know nothing about mr.blakeney you just want to be seen you need to stop all these dum ass interviews cause he is not gettin out and dont you every say again that you need to talk to a lawyer before my baby can talk to her dad bitch get a life because you are the reason my baby dont like her dad now oh and stop sayin your gonna meet his kids one day because your not dum white bitch

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8. Anonymous said... on Sep 6, 2012 at 10:49PM

“Vernouski the cop killed 2-3 dogs without justification on 2-3 occasions during his time as an officer and is trigger happy for sure. He should take a polygraph.”


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