Famous Trials

Dr. Sam Sheppard Trials

 1954 and 1966
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Did Sam Do It?
Dr. Sam's
Dr. Sam Sheppard and his wife, Marilyn, enjoying the new sport of waterskiing
Press Attacks
on Sam
Crime Scene

Trial Transcript 

"The Bushy-Haired

Dr. Sam Sheppard Trials
  • by Douglas Linder (c) 2006

  • Dr. Sam Sheppard
    On July 4, 1954, the wife of a handsome young doctor, Sam Sheppard, was brutally murdered in the bedroom of their home in Bay Village, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie.  Sheppard denied any involvement in the murder and described his own battle with the killer he described as "bushy-haired."
    Did Sam do it?  It's rare for a murder mystery to endure for over half a century.  Almost always, if the the mystery is not fully resolved at the trial, subsequent admissions, previously uncovered clues, or more sophisticated forensic tests reveal what the trial did not.  Not so with the Sam Sheppard case.  Facing two different juries, twelve years apart, Sam Sheppard was found guilty by one jury, not guilty by the next.  Even over the past few years, partisans continue the debate.  In 2001, a book on the Sheppard case concluded that Sam was clearly innocent.  Two years later, another book on the case argued just as forcefully that the first jury got it right: Sam was guilty as charged.

    Apart from the large unanswered question of guilt, the Sheppard case deserves to be considered among the nation's most famous because it produced a landmark U. S. Supreme Court decision on fair trial rights and launched the career of a flamboyant young defense attorney named F. Lee Bailey.   [CONTINUED]

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