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Man Confesses To Killing Wife 26 Years Ago

June 22, 1991

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (AP) _ A 48-year-old man was arrested after telling his stepdaughter that he killed his first wife 26 years ago in South Dakota, police said.

″In South Dakota, I murdered my wife. I shot her with a pistol,″ Fairfield police said Dennis D. Blanchfield told his stepdaughter. The stepdaughter’s name was not disclosed.

Blanchfield had confessed the killing earlier to his current wife, said Fairfield police Sgt. Len Cimino.

The stepdaughter told police Blanchfield intended to confess to her. Detectives set up electronic listening devices and monitored the conversation from the next room, Cimino said.

Blanchfield was arrested Thursday and booked into the Solano County Jail pending extradition to Yankton, S.D.

Newspaper articles show that Blanchfield’s former wife, Susan Marie Blachfield, died from a gunshot wound to the head on July 27, 1965.

Blanchfield told authorities then that he was in the basement of his Yankton home when he heard a gunshot upstairs.

He said he found his wife in the bedroom with a wound from a .22-caliber handgun he kept in a dresser drawer. He said the couple’s 18-month-old son, Daniel, was beside his mother.

An inquest concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone and attributed the death to an accidental shooting by the boy.

″I blamed it on Daniel,″ Blanchfield told his stepdaughter.

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