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California prosecutor: SWAT team saved 4th slasher victim

Ryan Scott Blinston
Posted at 11:53 AM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 14:58:08-04

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — UPDATE (11:08 PM): (AP) — When Ryan Scott Blinston was arrested last year, authorities say he was trying to smash in a door with a hatchet to finish killing a man whose throat he had slashed.

A prosecutor says the arrival of a SWAT team to make the arrest saved the man. Officials say he would have become the fourth victim of a man they call a serial killer.

Blinston was charged this week with killing three women last year in Butte and Tehama counties, north of Sacramento. He didn't enter a plea at his arraignment Thursday.

Authorities say they have no motive for the attacks.


A tree trimmer in rural Northern California has been charged in throat-slashing serial killings that left three people dead. Charges were filed Wednesday against Ryan Scott Blinston of the small city of Oroville.

Prosecutors allege Blinston worked for a tree-trimming service last May and June when he slashed the throats of an 88-year-old woman, an 82-year-old woman and a 57-year-old woman. He’s also accused of slashing the throat of one victim’s husband, who survived.

Blinston was arrested last June after he allegedly slashed the throat of an acquaintance, who survived. He's scheduled for arraignment Thursday.

It wasn’t clear if Blinston had an attorney to speak on his behalf.