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This profile was last updated on 6/14/08  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Eugene Blake

Wrong Eugene Blake?
 
Background

Employment History

Education

  • degree
    Bethany College
45 Total References
Web References
Eugene Blake: A Killer Con ...
www.news-register.net, 14 June 2008 [cached]
Eugene Blake: A Killer Con Man
...
> Local News > Eugene Blake: A Killer Con Man
...
Mark Withers was murdered at this park in Bridgeport in 1982. Already serving a sentence for murder, Eugene Blake has been charged with Withers' death.';" style="cursor:pointer" /> > > > >
...
? March 3, 1982 â€" Blake is granted permission from his parole officer to move to Wheeling, where he works as the kitchen supervisor at Wheeling College.
...
? 1982-84 â€" Blake is manager of the Silver Fox, a bar on Market Street in Wheeling.? July 13, 1984 â€" Blake is arrested by Wheeling police for receiving stolen property.
...
? Oct. 18, 1985 â€" Blake is found guilty of the Helmbright murder.? 1995-96 â€" West Virginia Supreme Court orders new trial for Blake in the Helmbright case on a technicality.Blake agrees to plead guilty and accept a life with mercy sentence.He is eligible for parole in 2011.? June 4, 2008 â€" Belmont County grand jury indicts Blake for Withers' murder.
Article PDFs
Eugene Blake's Parole Files Editor's note: This is the final installment in a three-part series that details the freedom Eugene Blake was afforded while a convicted murderer in the West
Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville, how he used that freedom to gain his release from prison and how, once released, he killed again.
----------
On Dec. 12, 1978, the West Virginia Board of Probation and Parole determined Eugene Blake's release from prison was "not in the best interests of society."
The board changed its tune just two months later, however, paroling Blake on Feb. 21, 1979, with no explanation.He was released from prison on March 7, 1979.
This decision came despite several psychological evaluations of Blake, one of which was performed at the former Weston State Hospital.That evaluation indicated Blake "is to be considered extremely dangerous."
Three years after Blake's 1979 release, on March 19, 1982, Mark Withers was murdered at Gould Park in Bridgeport.
...
Blake also murdered Maryann Hope Helmbright of Wheeling on Oct. 24, 1984.
...
Parole board members who freed Blake from prison in 1979 were James R. Farrett, Linda Meckfessel and Janet M. Rader.
...
The move came after letters between Wheeling and Morgantown parole officers concluded Blake was commuting from Morgantown to Wheeling to work at the former Wheeling College as assistant manager of food services for the Marriott Food Corp.
Blake, a Huntington native, chose Wheeling as his home after spending nearly 10 years of his life in the West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville for the 1967 murder of Donna Jean Ball in Wayne County, W.Va.
...
Like any other soon-to-be-paroled prisoner, Blake was transferred to step-down facilities leading to eventual freedom.
Just as he had gained trusty status at the maximum security prison in Moundsville, Blake carried his "model prisoner" persona to Huttonsville, W.Va., when he was transferred in September 1978 to that medium security facility and, then, to the Grafton Work Release Center on Oct. 23, 1978.From Grafton, he would be paroled and become a Morgantown resident on March 7, 1979.
In an Oct. 20, 1978, letter to former U.S. Rep.Robert H. Mollohan, West Virginia Department of Corrections Commissioner W. Joseph McCoy wrote, "I am replying to your recent letter concerning one of your constituents, Eugene Blake, who has been a resident at the West Virginia Penitentiary and, more recently, at the Huttonsville Correctional Center.
...
It is my pleasure to report to you that Mr. Blake's good conduct and participation in our various programs at both institutions have warranted him being allowed to participate in our Work Release Program at Grafton, W.Va."
On Feb. 7, 1979, Grafton Work Release Center unit supervisor Ron Prince said in a letter to West Virginia Department of Corrections Management Director William E. McProuty, "Eugene has adapted well to the Work Release environment and is well thought of by our staff and residents.
...
If granted parole, Eugene plans to accept employment as chef and supervisor at the Morgantown Holiday Inn at a salary of $13,000 to start.Eugene has received maximum benefit from the Work Release Program and parole is recommended at this time."
While in Morgantown, Blake worked as kitchen supervisor at the Holiday Inn and Morgan Manor, a nursing home.
...
A local woman, who asked not to be identified, said Blake hired her to work for him at the college.
"I remember him well," she said.
...
Blake was arrested by the Wheeling Police Department on July 13, 1984.He was charged with receiving stolen property.
West Virginia state troopers arrested Blake for the Helmbright murder on June 28, 1985.He was found guilty on Oct. 18, 1985.
Prosecutors proved Blake had taken Helmbright from the Silver Fox Bar to Wheeling Island, where he shot her in the head and then transported her body to the Morgantown area.A hunter found it 75 feet off Chapline Hill Road.
Blake was again sentenced to life without mercy and, under West Virginia's three strikes law, he received yet another life without mercy sentence to be served consecutively after the first one.
Those sentenced were later vacated by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals because of trial errors and Blake was returned to Ohio County for a new trial.
Rather than face another jury, Blake pleaded guilty to the charge and, as part of the agreement, the life without mercy sentence was taken off the table and he was sentenced to 15 years to life.
As a result of that plea agreement, he is eligible for parole again in 2011.
Arthur McKenzie, who was warden of the state prison in Moundsville while Blake was there, was Ohio County sheriff when Blake was arrested for the Helmbright death.
...
Belmont County Prosecutor Christopher Berhalter said Blake is charged with three counts of aggravated murder in connection with the Withers case and, if convicted, faces the death penalty.
...
Hmm, seems as if "former resident" may be one of the folks who wrote a letter for good old Eugene.Feeling guilty, eh?
What I've gotten out of this report is that Eugene Blake received an extraordinary amount of privelege while in jail from the likes of Art McKenzie and others, to the point he was allowed to roam freely outside the prison.He evetually was freed after an apparent political favor was paid and then he killed two more people.
...
Is Blake what the media consider a hero or what?
Letters on Eugene Blake's ...
www.news-register.net, 13 June 2008 [cached]
Letters on Eugene Blake's Behalf
...
Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series that details the freedom Eugene Blake was afforded while a convicted murderer in the West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville, how he used that freedom to gain his release from prison and how, once released, he killed again.
----------
Most prisoners have one goal in mind , to get out of jail.
When Eugene Blake arrived at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville in May 1969 on a sentence of life without mercy, he wasted little time setting into motion a series of events that would help him reach his goal , he did everything right.
Blake stayed out of trouble, participated in prison educational programs, became a churchgoer and earned people's trust.He did all the things a parole board embraces and, in the process, charmed scores of local residents and community leaders who would later lobby for his freedom.
Arthur McKenzie, warden of the state prison from 1973-77, called Blake a "model prisoner."
...
While Blake may have been a model prisoner, he was anything but a model citizen.He received a life without mercy sentence for the 1967 murder of 18-year-old Donna Jean Ball in Wayne County, W.Va., and, in another crime, Blake received two life without mercy sentences for the 1984 murder of 13-year-old Maryann Hope Helmbright of Wheeling.
Also, a Belmont County grand jury last week indicted Blake for the 1982 murder of Mark Withers in Bridgeport.
...
Both the Helmbright and Withers murders took place after Blake received parole in 1979 for the Ball killing.According to state Department of Corrections documents, Blake was able to convince prison officials and local community leaders that he had been rehabilitated during his initial stay in the state prison.
From 1969-75, Blake, who was 24 when he arrived at Moundsville, won the confidence of prison officials and became what is said to be the first West Virginia Penitentiary inmate serving life without mercy to be granted trusty status.
...
Jay Rockefeller, in September 1977 asking that Blake be paroled.
...
? The Rev. Paul Hickey, prison chaplain and pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church, Moundsville , "In December 1970, Dr. Solloso, MD, the institutional psychiatrist, stated that if Eugene has ever been schizophrenic, it was in total remission.While Eugene was undergoing examination at Weston State Hospital and he escaped and, while on escape, he was allegedly guilty of stealing a vehicle and other thefts.Such activity is quite understandable in view of the sentence he was facing and his age at the time.In the future, if Eugene were granted a reduction and eventually paroled, appropriate housing and employment would be guaranteed by me."
? The Most Rev. James E. Michaels, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston , "It is my hope that Your Excellency would agree with the recommendation of Father Hickey, that is that executive clemency in the form of a reduction of Mr. Blake's sentence from life without mercy to life with mercy would be an appropriate response to the efforts of this unfortunate young man."
? Brother Richard G. Mullen, novice, Order of Saint Augustinian Fathers, New Hamburg, N.Y. , "Governor, I know Gene Blake.I have faith in him.I appeal to you, the chief executive of the state, holding a position of great trust and responsibility to the people you serve, to grant an executive clemency to Gene.Please give Gene a chance.Mercy is a virtue and not a weakness."
? Brother Mark McAlteer, the Passionist Monastery, Jamaica, N.Y. , "I came to know Gene well during the summer of 1974 when I worked at the prison as chaplain.Certainly, Gene has made a mistake in life.Yes, a tragic one which put him in prison.However, instead of punishing Gene any longer, why not forgive and release him."
...
? James W. Carty Jr., professor, chairman, Department of Communications, Bethany College , "I would like to recommend that you seriously consider extending executive clemency to Eugene Blake at the prison in Moundsville.
...
? William E. Cornforth, academic instructor, Education Department, West Virginia Penitentiary , Blake "has proven in countless situations that he is not a dangerous individual despite the circumstances of his murder conviction years ago.
...
? William and Christine Sampson, Wheeling , "Since meeting Gene a year ago while participating in a production at the Towngate Theatre, Wheeling, we came to know Gene as a warm, intelligent man with an unmeasurable motivation to become a productive member of society.
...
We feel that the penal system has met its objectives in the rehabilitation of Gene through encouraging the development of unquestionable ideals and a knowledge of self worth."
? James and Diana Halavonich, Wheeling , "Through Donna Marazita, we met Eugene Blake.
...
But, I am happy to have met and talked with Eugene.
...
On behalf of Mr. Blake and Miss Marazita, I urge you to consider either clemency or commutation of his sentence."
...
The Intelligencer this week contacted several of those who wrote letters in support of Blake.The only person to comment was McKenzie, who said, "I was tickled to death when the governor commuted Blake's sentence.
...
As for Blake's murder conviction in the Helmbright case and the pending charges in Ohio for the Withers murder, McKenzie said Blake deserves to be punished for his crimes.
...
"I hope they fry" him, McKenzie said of Blake.
...
It appears the one person most responsible for getting Blake released was Blake himself.
In his petition for clemency sent to Moore on Oct. 29, 1976, Blake submitted the support letters as leverage for having his sentence commuted.
...
Many letters will divulge knowledge essential to this decision and are written by persons who are in a position to have observed Mr. Blake; that many are written by prison officials themselves who are professionals in rehabilitation and many of whom have spent almost 10 years observing Eugene Blake."
In another part of the petition, Blake wrote, "your petitioner further represents that he has been ,A Model Prisoner' at the West Virginia Penitentiary, with a completely unblemished record during incarceration and has as an end result attained the respect and trust of the prison administration.Evidence of this can be seen by the fact that Warden Arthur McKenzie has recently recommended Mr. Blake in rather glowing terms for the executive clemency in a Special Report dated June 7, 1976."
...
The last article you EVER write on this animal should be titled: Blake, Under A Headstone.
joesr66
06-13-08 7:55 AM»Report AbuseLooks like the viticms didn't really matter in this case Mr. Blake kiss the right you know what as they say that get you no where but in this case it did but he back where he belong and hope he get what he deserves this time.
...
When I was a CO at WVP, Blake was a slimey POS.He had that air of sneekiness about him.You could just tell his mind was always up to something.I hope Ohio fries him!!
FormerResident
06-13-08 6:20 AM»Report AbuseSounds like Blake would make a great candidate for Governor at the next election!
Eugene Blake: A Killer Con ...
www.news-register.net, 13 June 2008 [cached]
Eugene Blake: A Killer Con Man
...
> Local News > Eugene Blake: A Killer Con Man
...
Letters on Eugene Blake's Behalf
...
Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series that details the freedom Eugene Blake was afforded while a convicted murderer in the West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville, how he used that freedom to gain his release from prison and how, once released, he killed again.
----------
Most prisoners have one goal in mind , to get out of jail.
When Eugene Blake arrived at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville in May 1969 on a sentence of life without mercy, he wasted little time setting into motion a series of events that would help him reach his goal , he did everything right.
Blake stayed out of trouble, participated in prison educational programs, became a churchgoer and earned people's trust.He did all the things a parole board embraces and, in the process, charmed scores of local residents and community leaders who would later lobby for his freedom.
Arthur McKenzie, warden of the state prison from 1973-77, called Blake a "model prisoner."
...
While Blake may have been a model prisoner, he was anything but a model citizen.He received a life without mercy sentence for the 1967 murder of 18-year-old Donna Jean Ball in Wayne County, W.Va., and, in another crime, Blake received two life without mercy sentences for the 1984 murder of 13-year-old Maryann Hope Helmbright of Wheeling.
Also, a Belmont County grand jury last week indicted Blake for the 1982 murder of Mark Withers in Bridgeport.
...
Both the Helmbright and Withers murders took place after Blake received parole in 1979 for the Ball killing.According to state Department of Corrections documents, Blake was able to convince prison officials and local community leaders that he had been rehabilitated during his initial stay in the state prison.
From 1969-75, Blake, who was 24 when he arrived at Moundsville, won the confidence of prison officials and became what is said to be the first West Virginia Penitentiary inmate serving life without mercy to be granted trusty status.
...
Jay Rockefeller, in September 1977 asking that Blake be paroled.
...
? The Rev. Paul Hickey, prison chaplain and pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church, Moundsville , "In December 1970, Dr. Solloso, MD, the institutional psychiatrist, stated that if Eugene has ever been schizophrenic, it was in total remission.While Eugene was undergoing examination at Weston State Hospital and he escaped and, while on escape, he was allegedly guilty of stealing a vehicle and other thefts.Such activity is quite understandable in view of the sentence he was facing and his age at the time.In the future, if Eugene were granted a reduction and eventually paroled, appropriate housing and employment would be guaranteed by me."
? The Most Rev. James E. Michaels, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston , "It is my hope that Your Excellency would agree with the recommendation of Father Hickey, that is that executive clemency in the form of a reduction of Mr. Blake's sentence from life without mercy to life with mercy would be an appropriate response to the efforts of this unfortunate young man."
? Brother Richard G. Mullen, novice, Order of Saint Augustinian Fathers, New Hamburg, N.Y. , "Governor, I know Gene Blake.I have faith in him.I appeal to you, the chief executive of the state, holding a position of great trust and responsibility to the people you serve, to grant an executive clemency to Gene.Please give Gene a chance.Mercy is a virtue and not a weakness."
? Brother Mark McAlteer, the Passionist Monastery, Jamaica, N.Y. , "I came to know Gene well during the summer of 1974 when I worked at the prison as chaplain.Certainly, Gene has made a mistake in life.Yes, a tragic one which put him in prison.However, instead of punishing Gene any longer, why not forgive and release him."
...
? James W. Carty Jr., professor, chairman, Department of Communications, Bethany College , "I would like to recommend that you seriously consider extending executive clemency to Eugene Blake at the prison in Moundsville.
...
? William E. Cornforth, academic instructor, Education Department, West Virginia Penitentiary , Blake "has proven in countless situations that he is not a dangerous individual despite the circumstances of his murder conviction years ago.
...
? William and Christine Sampson, Wheeling , "Since meeting Gene a year ago while participating in a production at the Towngate Theatre, Wheeling, we came to know Gene as a warm, intelligent man with an unmeasurable motivation to become a productive member of society.
...
We feel that the penal system has met its objectives in the rehabilitation of Gene through encouraging the development of unquestionable ideals and a knowledge of self worth."
? James and Diana Halavonich, Wheeling , "Through Donna Marazita, we met Eugene Blake.
...
But, I am happy to have met and talked with Eugene.
...
On behalf of Mr. Blake and Miss Marazita, I urge you to consider either clemency or commutation of his sentence."
...
The Intelligencer this week contacted several of those who wrote letters in support of Blake.The only person to comment was McKenzie, who said, "I was tickled to death when the governor commuted Blake's sentence.
...
As for Blake's murder conviction in the Helmbright case and the pending charges in Ohio for the Withers murder, McKenzie said Blake deserves to be punished for his crimes.
...
"I hope they fry" him, McKenzie said of Blake.
...
It appears the one person most responsible for getting Blake released was Blake himself.
In his petition for clemency sent to Moore on Oct. 29, 1976, Blake submitted the support letters as leverage for having his sentence commuted.
...
Many letters will divulge knowledge essential to this decision and are written by persons who are in a position to have observed Mr. Blake; that many are written by prison officials themselves who are professionals in rehabilitation and many of whom have spent almost 10 years observing Eugene Blake."
In another part of the petition, Blake wrote, "your petitioner further represents that he has been ,A Model Prisoner' at the West Virginia Penitentiary, with a completely unblemished record during incarceration and has as an end result attained the respect and trust of the prison administration.Evidence of this can be seen by the fact that Warden Arthur McKenzie has recently recommended Mr. Blake in rather glowing terms for the executive clemency in a Special Report dated June 7, 1976."
...
The last article you EVER write on this animal should be titled: Blake, Under A Headstone.
joesr66
06-13-08 7:55 AM»Report AbuseLooks like the viticms didn't really matter in this case Mr. Blake kiss the right you know what as they say that get you no where but in this case it did but he back where he belong and hope he get what he deserves this time.
...
When I was a CO at WVP, Blake was a slimey POS.He had that air of sneekiness about him.You could just tell his mind was always up to something.I hope Ohio fries him!!
FormerResident
06-13-08 6:20 AM»Report AbuseSounds like Blake would make a great candidate for Governor at the next election!
Mark Withers was murdered at this ...
www.news-register.net, 14 June 2008 [cached]
Mark Withers was murdered at this park in Bridgeport in 1982. Already serving a sentence for murder, Eugene Blake has been charged with Withers' death.';" style="cursor:pointer" /> > > > >
...
? March 3, 1982 â€" Blake is granted permission from his parole officer to move to Wheeling, where he works as the kitchen supervisor at Wheeling College.
...
? 1982-84 â€" Blake is manager of the Silver Fox, a bar on Market Street in Wheeling.? July 13, 1984 â€" Blake is arrested by Wheeling police for receiving stolen property.
...
? Oct. 18, 1985 â€" Blake is found guilty of the Helmbright murder.? 1995-96 â€" West Virginia Supreme Court orders new trial for Blake in the Helmbright case on a technicality.Blake agrees to plead guilty and accept a life with mercy sentence.He is eligible for parole in 2011.? June 4, 2008 â€" Belmont County grand jury indicts Blake for Withers' murder.
Article PDFs
Eugene Blake's Parole Files Editor's note: This is the final installment in a three-part series that details the freedom Eugene Blake was afforded while a convicted murderer in the West
Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville, how he used that freedom to gain his release from prison and how, once released, he killed again.
----------
On Dec. 12, 1978, the West Virginia Board of Probation and Parole determined Eugene Blake's release from prison was "not in the best interests of society."
The board changed its tune just two months later, however, paroling Blake on Feb. 21, 1979, with no explanation.He was released from prison on March 7, 1979.
This decision came despite several psychological evaluations of Blake, one of which was performed at the former Weston State Hospital.That evaluation indicated Blake "is to be considered extremely dangerous."
Three years after Blake's 1979 release, on March 19, 1982, Mark Withers was murdered at Gould Park in Bridgeport.
...
Blake also murdered Maryann Hope Helmbright of Wheeling on Oct. 24, 1984.
...
Parole board members who freed Blake from prison in 1979 were James R. Farrett, Linda Meckfessel and Janet M. Rader.
...
The move came after letters between Wheeling and Morgantown parole officers concluded Blake was commuting from Morgantown to Wheeling to work at the former Wheeling College as assistant manager of food services for the Marriott Food Corp.
Blake, a Huntington native, chose Wheeling as his home after spending nearly 10 years of his life in the West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville for the 1967 murder of Donna Jean Ball in Wayne County, W.Va.
...
Like any other soon-to-be-paroled prisoner, Blake was transferred to step-down facilities leading to eventual freedom.
Just as he had gained trusty status at the maximum security prison in Moundsville, Blake carried his "model prisoner" persona to Huttonsville, W.Va., when he was transferred in September 1978 to that medium security facility and, then, to the Grafton Work Release Center on Oct. 23, 1978.From Grafton, he would be paroled and become a Morgantown resident on March 7, 1979.
In an Oct. 20, 1978, letter to former U.S. Rep.Robert H. Mollohan, West Virginia Department of Corrections Commissioner W. Joseph McCoy wrote, "I am replying to your recent letter concerning one of your constituents, Eugene Blake, who has been a resident at the West Virginia Penitentiary and, more recently, at the Huttonsville Correctional Center.
...
It is my pleasure to report to you that Mr. Blake's good conduct and participation in our various programs at both institutions have warranted him being allowed to participate in our Work Release Program at Grafton, W.Va."
On Feb. 7, 1979, Grafton Work Release Center unit supervisor Ron Prince said in a letter to West Virginia Department of Corrections Management Director William E. McProuty, "Eugene has adapted well to the Work Release environment and is well thought of by our staff and residents.
...
If granted parole, Eugene plans to accept employment as chef and supervisor at the Morgantown Holiday Inn at a salary of $13,000 to start.Eugene has received maximum benefit from the Work Release Program and parole is recommended at this time."
While in Morgantown, Blake worked as kitchen supervisor at the Holiday Inn and Morgan Manor, a nursing home.
...
A local woman, who asked not to be identified, said Blake hired her to work for him at the college.
"I remember him well," she said.
...
Blake was arrested by the Wheeling Police Department on July 13, 1984.He was charged with receiving stolen property.
West Virginia state troopers arrested Blake for the Helmbright murder on June 28, 1985.He was found guilty on Oct. 18, 1985.
Prosecutors proved Blake had taken Helmbright from the Silver Fox Bar to Wheeling Island, where he shot her in the head and then transported her body to the Morgantown area.A hunter found it 75 feet off Chapline Hill Road.
Blake was again sentenced to life without mercy and, under West Virginia's three strikes law, he received yet another life without mercy sentence to be served consecutively after the first one.
Those sentenced were later vacated by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals because of trial errors and Blake was returned to Ohio County for a new trial.
Rather than face another jury, Blake pleaded guilty to the charge and, as part of the agreement, the life without mercy sentence was taken off the table and he was sentenced to 15 years to life.
As a result of that plea agreement, he is eligible for parole again in 2011.
Arthur McKenzie, who was warden of the state prison in Moundsville while Blake was there, was Ohio County sheriff when Blake was arrested for the Helmbright death.
...
Belmont County Prosecutor Christopher Berhalter said Blake is charged with three counts of aggravated murder in connection with the Withers case and, if convicted, faces the death penalty.
...
Hmm, seems as if "former resident" may be one of the folks who wrote a letter for good old Eugene.Feeling guilty, eh?
What I've gotten out of this report is that Eugene Blake received an extraordinary amount of privelege while in jail from the likes of Art McKenzie and others, to the point he was allowed to roam freely outside the prison.He evetually was freed after an apparent political favor was paid and then he killed two more people.
...
Is Blake what the media consider a hero or what?
Eugene Blake: A Killer Con ...
theintelligencer.net, 13 June 2008 [cached]
Eugene Blake: A Killer Con Man
...
> Local News > Eugene Blake: A Killer Con Man
...
Letters on Eugene Blake's Behalf
...
Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series that details the freedom Eugene Blake was afforded while a convicted murderer in the West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville, how he used that freedom to gain his release from prison and how, once released, he killed again.
----------
Most prisoners have one goal in mind — to get out of jail.
When Eugene Blake arrived at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville in May 1969 on a sentence of life without mercy, he wasted little time setting into motion a series of events that would help him reach his goal — he did everything right.
Blake stayed out of trouble, participated in prison educational programs, became a churchgoer and earned people's trust.He did all the things a parole board embraces and, in the process, charmed scores of local residents and community leaders who would later lobby for his freedom.
Arthur McKenzie, warden of the state prison from 1973-77, called Blake a "model prisoner."
...
While Blake may have been a model prisoner, he was anything but a model citizen.He received a life without mercy sentence for the 1967 murder of 18-year-old Donna Jean Ball in Wayne County, W.Va., and, in another crime, Blake received two life without mercy sentences for the 1984 murder of 13-year-old Maryann Hope Helmbright of Wheeling.
Also, a Belmont County grand jury last week indicted Blake for the 1982 murder of Mark Withers in Bridgeport.
...
Both the Helmbright and Withers murders took place after Blake received parole in 1979 for the Ball killing.According to state Department of Corrections documents, Blake was able to convince prison officials and local community leaders that he had been rehabilitated during his initial stay in the state prison.
From 1969-75, Blake, who was 24 when he arrived at Moundsville, won the confidence of prison officials and became what is said to be the first West Virginia Penitentiary inmate serving life without mercy to be granted trusty status.
...
Jay Rockefeller, in September 1977 asking that Blake be paroled.
...
? The Rev. Paul Hickey, prison chaplain and pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church, Moundsville — "In December 1970, Dr. Solloso, MD, the institutional psychiatrist, stated that if Eugene has ever been schizophrenic, it was in total remission.While Eugene was undergoing examination at Weston State Hospital and he escaped and, while on escape, he was allegedly guilty of stealing a vehicle and other thefts.Such activity is quite understandable in view of the sentence he was facing and his age at the time.In the future, if Eugene were granted a reduction and eventually paroled, appropriate housing and employment would be guaranteed by me."
? The Most Rev. James E. Michaels, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston — "It is my hope that Your Excellency would agree with the recommendation of Father Hickey, that is that executive clemency in the form of a reduction of Mr. Blake's sentence from life without mercy to life with mercy would be an appropriate response to the efforts of this unfortunate young man."
? Brother Richard G. Mullen, novice, Order of Saint Augustinian Fathers, New Hamburg, N.Y. — "Governor, I know Gene Blake.I have faith in him.I appeal to you, the chief executive of the state, holding a position of great trust and responsibility to the people you serve, to grant an executive clemency to Gene.Please give Gene a chance.Mercy is a virtue and not a weakness."
? Brother Mark McAlteer, the Passionist Monastery, Jamaica, N.Y. — "I came to know Gene well during the summer of 1974 when I worked at the prison as chaplain.Certainly, Gene has made a mistake in life.Yes, a tragic one which put him in prison.However, instead of punishing Gene any longer, why not forgive and release him."
...
? James W. Carty Jr., professor, chairman, Department of Communications, Bethany College — "I would like to recommend that you seriously consider extending executive clemency to Eugene Blake at the prison in Moundsville.
...
? William E. Cornforth, academic instructor, Education Department, West Virginia Penitentiary — Blake "has proven in countless situations that he is not a dangerous individual despite the circumstances of his murder conviction years ago.
...
? William and Christine Sampson, Wheeling — "Since meeting Gene a year ago while participating in a production at the Towngate Theatre, Wheeling, we came to know Gene as a warm, intelligent man with an unmeasurable motivation to become a productive member of society.
...
We feel that the penal system has met its objectives in the rehabilitation of Gene through encouraging the development of unquestionable ideals and a knowledge of self worth."
? James and Diana Halavonich, Wheeling — "Through Donna Marazita, we met Eugene Blake.
...
But, I am happy to have met and talked with Eugene.
...
On behalf of Mr. Blake and Miss Marazita, I urge you to consider either clemency or commutation of his sentence."
...
The Intelligencer this week contacted several of those who wrote letters in support of Blake.The only person to comment was McKenzie, who said, "I was tickled to death when the governor commuted Blake's sentence.
...
As for Blake's murder conviction in the Helmbright case and the pending charges in Ohio for the Withers murder, McKenzie said Blake deserves to be punished for his crimes.
...
"I hope they fry" him, McKenzie said of Blake.
...
It appears the one person most responsible for getting Blake released was Blake himself.
In his petition for clemency sent to Moore on Oct. 29, 1976, Blake submitted the support letters as leverage for having his sentence commuted.
...
Many letters will divulge knowledge essential to this decision and are written by persons who are in a position to have observed Mr. Blake; that many are written by prison officials themselves who are professionals in rehabilitation and many of whom have spent almost 10 years observing Eugene Blake."
In another part of the petition, Blake wrote, "your petitioner further represents that he has been ,A Model Prisoner' at the West Virginia Penitentiary, with a completely unblemished record during incarceration and has as an end result attained the respect and trust of the prison administration.Evidence of this can be seen by the fact that Warden Arthur McKenzie has recently recommended Mr. Blake in rather glowing terms for the executive clemency in a Special Report dated June 7, 1976."
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The last article you EVER write on this animal should be titled: Blake, Under A Headstone.
joesr66
06-13-08 7:55 AM»Report AbuseLooks like the viticms didn't really matter in this case Mr. Blake kiss the right you know what as they say that get you no where but in this case it did but he back where he belong and hope he get what he deserves this time.
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When I was a CO at WVP, Blake was a slimey POS.He had that air of sneekiness about him.You could just tell his mind was always up to something.I hope Ohio fries him!!
FormerResident
06-13-08 6:20 AM»Report AbuseSounds like Blake would make a great candidate for Governor at the next election!
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