June 19, 1939
Bronx, New York
Virginia Bender (18) is stabbed and strangled by a former boarder in her family’s home

Three weeks before, Bender had rejected Blazek’s affections. This resulted in an argument and Frank Blazek (29), a boarder, moving out of the Bender family’s home. On the day of the murder, Bender was two weeks from her wedding day and was about to leave for a vacation “to become acquainted” with her future in-laws. When Blazek paid her a visit, Bender agreed to talk with him and the two went to her room (pictured) to converse undisturbed. Blazek returned a few minutes later, said his goodbyes to the family, and left.

When Virginia’s 14-year-old brother went into Virginia’s room a few minutes later to get a book, he found her laying on the bed with a towel over her face. He called their mother who found Virginia had been stabbed in the heart with a penknife. It was later determined the towel over her face had been used to strangle her to stifle her screams as she was stabbed.

Blazek, an immediate suspect, was apprehended quickly. He confessed to the murder and was executed on September 12, 1940. An hour before being electrocuted, he remarked, “I didn’t realize what I was doing. I don’t deserve such a terrible end.”

Virginia Bender. From the Daily News (New York, NY) June 20, 1939

From the Daily News (New York, NY) Sept. 14, 1940

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