New Mexico · Newspaper clippings

Man shoots another in back of skull and assumes his identity

October 23, 1916
New Mexico
Elbert Blancett shoots Clyde D. Amour in the back of his skull

Blancett shot Amour in the back of the head with a shotgun before stealing the dead man’s possession and assuming his identity briefly, going so far as to telegraph Amour’s mother to request money.

Blancett was arrested in California on December 31, 1917. He convinced the police to allow him to say goodbye to his mother before his arrest, whereupon he attempted suicide by shooting himself in the neck with a shotgun. The wound failed to kill him but immobilized his left arm permanently.

Amour’s body was recovered in January 1917 when a dog returned to its owner with a shoe, complete with a human foot inside. The body was identified by tailor’s tag and auto repair receipts found in one of the pockets. Blancett admitted he had shot Amour, though he claimed the shooting was accidental. He also claimed the reason he didn’t report the accident was out of fear that he, as a traveler, would be accused of murder. He was found guilty following a 12-day trial on April 25, 1917 and sentenced to hang. Blancett’s mother traveled from California to Santa Fe to be close to her son, and visited him every day.

On July 9, 1920, Blancett was hanged. As his death warrant was read, Blancett quipped “We might dispense with that. It will only delay the game.” When asked if he had any final words he replied “I have nothing to say.” Blancett was apparently well liked among other inmates who helped raise finances for his funeral.

Clipping: Albuquerque Journal. August 12, 1980

Sources:

  • Allan, Mark A. “Capital Punishment or Compassion – Executions in the State of New Mexico: The Death Penalty Since Territorial Days.” Angelo State University. Accessed: October 23, 2018. https://www.angelo.edu/services/library/librarians/mallan/capital-punishment-nm.php
  • Fitzpatrick, George. “The Case of the Missing Visitor.” Albuquerque Journal [Albuquerque, New Mexico]. August 12, 1980
  • “Elbert Blancett Hanged.” Leavenworth Post [Leavenworth, Kansas]. July 9, 1920
  • “Elbert Blancett to Be Identified by Santa Fe Citizens.” Albuquerque Journal [Albuquerque, New Mexico]. March 27, 1917
  • “Blancett the Man, Avers.” Sioux City Journal [Sioux City, Iowa]. January 23, 1917

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