MURDER USA: Julia Birch suffocated elderly sculptor who took her into her home; police say she has confessed twice

MURDER USA: Julia Birch suffocated elderly sculptor who took her into her home; police say she has confessed twice

KENSINGTON, MD. – Taking in a woman in need of a place to live appears to have fit well with the personality of a remarkable and talented sculptor who lived in Kensington, Maryland, and her murder by that recipient of a good gesture fulfills the old saying that no good deed goes unpunished.

A 26-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 92-year-old roommate.

Police in Montgomery County reports that at approximately 8:20 a.m. July 28, 2021, Montgomery County Police and Montgomery County Fire Rescue, responded to a residence at 4100 Spruell Drive in Kensington, Maryland, for a death investigation after receiving a 911 call.

Upon their arrival, Julia Birch told officers that she killed her 92-year-old roommate, Nancy Ann Frankel. Officers located Frankel in the home and notified the Homicide Section of a possible murder. Evidence recovered in the residence supported Birch’s statement and she was taken into custody and transported to Montgomery County Police Headquarters to be interviewed.

During the interview, police say that Birch admitted to killing Frankel and then calling 911 to report the death.

Birch was transported to the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit and charged with First Degree Murder. She is being held without bond in the county jail.

Frankel’s home, a modest rambler with a basement built in 1954 was deeded to her trust by her and Theodore Frankel in 2002 and is located in the Rock Creek Palisades neighborhood.

The Washington Sculptor: Featured WSG Member, Nancy at Ninety

This retrospective of seven decades of the work of Washington, DC sculptor Nancy Frankel will celebrate her ninetieth birthday in 2019. Working in various media since the 1950s—including wood, Plexiglas, Hydrocal, design cast, and steel—Frankel has explored a fundamentally geometric vocabulary, with moments of whimsy, the title of one of the works in this show. In addition to her freestanding works in three dimensions, a few of her many graphite drawings and tempera paintings will be represented, as well as a large wall relief.

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