Washington County man convicted of murdering his wife dies while serving 50 year prison sentence


A Washington County man convicted of killing his wife ten years ago has died while serving his sentence.

The Iowa Department of Correction says James Dean Blum was pronounced dead due to natural causes at 7:58 a.m. on Tuesday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He was originally an inmate at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. Blum was 81 years old at the time of his death.

In January of 2010 Blum called 9-1-1 saying he had “possibly killed his wife.”

Officers who went to Blum’s home on Highway 92 found 67-year-old Patricia Blum unresponsive. She was taken to Washington County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

James Blum told police that he wanted to kill his wife, held her face-down on the couch, then strangled her.

Blum had been serving a 50-year sentence for the crime of 2nd Degree Murder. His sentence began on February 22, 2011.