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October 20, 2014

High profile Katie Poirier case revisited in television documentary

It was a horrifying case that involved grainy surveillance video, a grisly find in a fire pit and a small town girl. The Katy Poirier kidnapping and murder case began in 1999 and kept kept Minnesota law enforcement officers busy for months.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that key participants in the crime will be the focus of the 100th episode of “On The Case with Paula Zahn” on the Investigation Discovery Channel at 9 p.m. today. The episode is scheduled to be repeated at midnight and again at 4 a.m. Monday.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist interviewed Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler, Poirier’s brother, Patrick, and Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp, who was an investigator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation at the time of the murder.

Donald Blom, of Richfield, Minn., was charged with abducting Poirier from a Moose Lake convenience store where she worked. He strangled her on his Carlton County vacation property, then burned the body. After identifying Blom as a suspect following tips, witnesses, tipsters and a video from the store, Hodapp tracked him down at a campsite near Alexandria. Extensive work done in a lab that linked the evidence to Blom convinced a jury of his guilt.

Blom is serving a life sentence at a maximum security prison in Pennsylvania. He’s a suspect in several unsolved murders and disappearances dating back decades, and Hodapp still holds out hope for a confession.

“We’ll keep sending guys down there to see if he wants to talk,” he said.