John Woodhouse Blast was a retired art dealer and descendant of famed painter John James Audubon. A resident of Siesta Key, Florida, he also operated an illegal wildlife smuggling ring, trading in animal furs, ivory and rhino tusks. He was small, fussy man with pale skin and a pencil mustache.Blast, Audubon's great-great-great-grandson, spent twenty years pursuing the infamous Audubon painting called the Black Frame; as Audubon's descendant, he considered the painting—and any profits resulting from its discovery—the be his birthright. His search found him in direct competition with Helen Pendergast, who baffled him during their only meeting by explaining she only wanted to examine the painting, not own it.
Years later, Blast was visited by Special Agent Pendergast and Vincent D'Agosta, who were searching for the Black Frame as part of their investigation into Helen's death. When Pendergast threatened to expose his smuggling operation, Blast shared his interaction with Helen, along with the reasoning for his belief that the painting no longer existed. Afterward, he began shuttering his wildlife operations, and hired private investigator Frank Hudson to tail Pendergast in hopes of finding the painting.