Life In Prison For Hebron Man’s Kidnapper

Posted On January 05, 2012

Willa Blanc

Boone County Sheriff’s Office



Walter Sartory

file photo


(Hebron, Ky.) – The story of one of the most disturbing crimes to ever happen in Boone County is slowly coming to a close.


Willa Blanc pleaded guilty last month in Boone Circuit Court to murder, kidnapping, knowing abuse or neglect of an adult, exploitation of an adult, tampering of physical evidence, and abuse of a corpse.


On Wednesday, Blanc, 50, was sentenced by a judge to life in prison without parole.


Blanc kidnapped 76-year-old reclusive millionaire Walter Sartory from his Hebron home in February of 2009. She raided his accounts as he was held in the basement of her Union home.


Investigators believe Sartory died there, bound by duct tape and drugged. Before his death, Sartory – a retired scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee who suffered from social phobia and schizophrenia – was forced to sign documents giving Blanc power of attorney over his estate and life savings.


Blanc and her son, Louis Wilkinson, allegedly burned Sartory’s body and disposed of it in a farm field south of Indianapolis. It would be found there in March 2009.


Commonwealth’s attorney Linda Tally Smith said in court Wednesday that Blanc has shown no remorse since her arrest two years ago.


Had she gone to trial, Blanc would have faced the death penalty.


Wilkinson, 28, is set to go to trial January 26 for his role in the kidnapping. He faces charges of complicity to murder, kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence, abuse of a corpse, knowingly exploiting an adult, and knowingly abuse or neglect of an adult.