In 2007, Mississippi resident Esther Pilgrim found herself in a financial hellhole when she was scammed for thousands of dollars by former rapper Tim Blair. Interestingly, as the case progressed, Esther realized that Tim, who also went by his stage moniker, Tim Dog, had scammed numerous women, including a single mother from The Netherlands. Hence, determined to bring him down, she banded together with the ladies and began accumulating evidence. Likewise, ‘Dateline: The Perfect Catch’ takes the viewer through Tim’s scams and even portrays how he was eventually brought to justice. Well, let’s delve into the details surrounding the case and find out if Tim is dead or alive, shall we?
Who Was Tim Blair?
Known better by his stage name, Tim Dog, Tim Blair was an Atlanta, Georgia, based rapper who earned quite a bit of fame in the 1990s. However, even though a few of Tim’s tracks were well-received by the public, he gradually slipped out of prominence and was considered to be a former star by 2007. Incidentally, it was around this time that he met Mississippi resident Esther Pilgrim on an online dating site and began getting acquainted with her. Meanwhile, Esther, a single mother of two, was convinced by her friends to join a dating site in order to get over a tough divorce. Hence, she was initially wary when Tim began showing a bit of interest but eventually warmed up to him.
As a matter of fact, the show mentioned that Esther even traveled down to Atlanta and spent an incredible weekend with the rapper, which strengthened their relationship. Yet, Tim had other plans, and Esther had no idea the connection would lead to financial doom. One day, while talking on the phone, Tim mentioned that he was looking to get back into the music industry. Yet, he claimed the money was hard to come by and asked Esther if she wanted to earn a bit of profit by investing in his upcoming box set.
Subsequently, once the mother of two agreed, Tim asked Esther to send over $25,000 and even convinced her to let him acquire several credit cards in her name. While Esther initially believed this to be a sound investment, she soon began doubting the scheme and even called the record company to double-check the deal. However, Tim claimed the call made the record company suspicious, and they were not willing to work with him any longer. On top of it, he even asked for the remaining money Esther had promised to invest, even though the profits were nowhere to be seen.
As days passed, Esther began uncovering the scam and learned how Tim maximized the credit cards he took in her name. Moreover, there was no way to control the damage, and at one point in time, Esther admitted that she was financially drained. Nevertheless, she refused to give up on her fight for justice and connected with Noelle Stelling, who had also been scammed online in 2007. Together, the two women reached out to several of Tim’s victims, including Danielle Selhorst of The Netherlands and Whitney Trust of Ohio. Yet, despite the evidence, law enforcement authorities were not ready to take a step.
Is Tim Blair Dead or Alive?
Determined to end the scams, Noelle put up her profile as bait and even wore a wire when meeting Tim to gather evidence. Thankfully, this evidence was admissible in court, and Tim was finally charged with fraud. However, before he could be put on trial, the former rapper pleaded guilty to a single charge of grand larceny in 2011, and the judge sentenced him to 5 years of unsupervised probation. On top of it, he was also asked to pay Esther $19,000 in $100 monthly installments.
Surprisingly, on February 14, 2013, about two years after Tim’s grand larceny conviction, news reports mentioned that the rapper had passed away from a diabetes-induced seizure at 46 years of age. However, despite the media publicizing the news, investigators could not find a public death record, which led to rumors of him faking his death to stop the court-ordered payments going to Esther.
These rumors were further fueled when a Mississippi prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for the rapper, and numerous independent organizations, including ‘Dateline’ began a nationwide hunt for Tim Blair. Yet, after a thorough investigation, including a visit to two homes in Fairburn and Decatur, detectives discovered that Tim had actually passed away on February 14, 2014, while under medical care at Hospice Atlanta in Dekalb County, Georgia. Moreover, it is reported that he was cremated in a private ceremony, paid for by the county.
Read More: Esther Pilgrim: Where is She Now?