Bruce Blackwood, the Brooklyn brownstone landlord who vanished in 2006, had his story retold on an episode of A Stranger In My Home this week. The Investigation Discovery (ID) television show spotlights cases of landlords who have been murdered by a tenant or an employee. The episode entitled, “Brownstone With Good Bones,” aka “Good Bones,” will recreate the events in the life and death of a landlord who disappeared into thin air and was never seen again. It will also highlight how police finally solved the cold case. The killer, Luis Perez, a talented construction worker and handyman, was arrested for Blackwood’s murder in 2015, and is currently sitting in a New York State correctional facility, according to the New York Daily News.
‘Just like I was slicing chicken’: LUIS Perez thought he had committed the perfect murder, and he nearly got a… http://t.co/iE6AIGV15o
— Okezone (@okezonews) September 30, 2015
Mostly a local story, the Bruce Blackwood case didn’t make many newspaper headlines when he first went missing. The small article that did appear in the New York Post about his disappearance read this way.
“Bruce Blackwood (above), 55, was last seen at his home on March 4. It’s unknown what the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Blackwood was wearing. He has salt and pepper hair and a mustache, and he may be wearing glasses. Cops say Blackwood frequents South Jamaica and Maspeth, Queens, as well as Brownsville, Brooklyn. Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man wanted in connection with a stabbing at an Astoria subway station.”
Blackwood disappeared from his Queens brownstone apartment building just after calling in to work, stating that he had fallen in the shower and was unable to make it in to work.
His friends and coworkers thought the call sounded strange but didn’t begin to worry until several days had passed with no world from the 55-year-old man. The police and the victim’s brother were contacted after his female friend saw a man driving Bruce Blackwood’s vehicle — something that everyone said he would never allow.
The person driving the car turned out to be a Hispanic man named Luis Perez, an employee and building manager of Bruce Blackwood. When confronted by police, Perez stated that he had permission to drive the car and had no idea where Bruce was.
A police check into Luis Perez’s background showed that he had done about 10 years in prison for kidnapping his daughter and stabbing a state trooper. They also learned that Bruce Blackwood met Perez and wanted to help him by giving him a construction job managing site projects at a Brooklyn brownstone that he wanted to fix up. Financial records showed that Luis Perez had written several fraudulent checks on Blackwood’s account because he felt that he was not getting paid enough or was not receiving what Blackwood had promised him and another worker named Martin Fernandez.
It was then that detectives were sure that Perez had something to do with the missing landlord’s disappearance. A search of Bruce Blackwood’s apartment turned up no bones or DNA evidence. The case eventually went cold, until a local New York City newspaper decided to publish a follow up article about the case years later. That’s when authorities say they were contacted by Luis Perez’s daughter, who had an audiotape of her father confessing to the murder. In the recordings, police detectives were able to hear a blow-by-blow description of what happened to Bruce. In a taped confession, Luis Perez told his daughter that he snapped Blackwood’s neck after he threatened to go to the police about the stolen money. From there, he dismembered the body in the bathtub and put the pieces in different garbage bags — bags that were eventually discarded by the city, according to the New York Post.
“I used garbage bags to put the body in. I put everything in garbage bags. I cleaned the area, I bleached everything. It wasn’t something I planned. He told me the police were going to come and arrest me.”
Bruce Blackwood’s brother, Ed Blackwood, never gave up trying to find out the truth about what happened to his brother. Luis Perez’s daughter, Irene Perez, was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony against her father.
[Image via Twitter]