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Sam Sheppard

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Title: Sam Sheppard  
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Subject: James Neff, Cleveland Press, F. Lee Bailey, Continuance, The Fugitive (TV series)
Collection: 1923 Births, 1970 Deaths, 20Th Century American Trials, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 20Th-Century Physicians, American Male Professional Wrestlers, American Neurosurgeons, American Physicians, Burials by Mausoleum, Burials in Ohio, Case Western Reserve University Alumni, Deaths from Organ Failure, Hanover College Alumni, History of Cleveland, Ohio, Neurosurgeons, Osteopathic Physicians, People Acquitted of Murder, People Convicted of Murder by Ohio, People from Bay Village, Ohio, People from Cleveland, Ohio, Professional Wrestlers from Ohio, University of California, Irvine Alumni
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Sam Sheppard

Sam Sheppard
Born Samuel Holmes Sheppard
(1923-12-29)December 29, 1923
Cleveland, Ohio
Died April 6, 1970(1970-04-06) (aged 46)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Cause of death Liver failure
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens (1970–1997)
Knollwood Cemetery
Other names "The Killer" (wrestling name)
Occupation Osteopathic physician, professional wrestler
  • Marilyn Reese (m. 1945; murdered 1954)
  • Ariane Tebbenjohanns (m. 1964; div. 1969)
  • Colleen Strickland (m. 1969)
Children 1

Samuel Holmes "Sam" Sheppard ((1923-12-29)December 29, 1923 – April 6, 1970(1970-04-06)) was an American osteopathic physician and, toward the end of his life, a professional wrestler. He was convicted in 1954 of the brutal murder of his pregnant wife, Marilyn Reese Sheppard, at their Bay Village, Ohio, home. He spent almost a decade in prison, mostly at the Ohio Penitentiary, before a retrial was ordered, where he was acquitted in 1966. To his death, he maintained his innocence of the murder.

The murder of Marilyn Sheppard and the controversial murder trial of Sam Sheppard in 1954 drew widespread, nationwide attention from the media, creating what the U.S. Supreme Court later described as a "carnival atmosphere" which denied Sheppard his right to due process.

In 2000, Sheppard's son, Sam Reese Sheppard, who was seven at the time of his mother's murder, sued the state of Ohio for his father's alleged wrongful imprisonment. After a ten-week trial, a civil jury returned a unanimous verdict that Sam Reese Sheppard had failed to prove his father had been wrongfully imprisoned.


  • Early life and education 1
  • The murder of Marilyn Reese Sheppard 2
  • First murder trial 3
    • Media 3.1
    • Prosecution's theory 3.2
    • Defense strategy 3.3
    • Verdict 3.4
  • Appeals and basis for retrial 4
  • Retrial and acquittal 5
  • Professional wrestling career 6
  • Remarriage and death 7
  • Civil Trial for Wrongful Imprisonment 8
    • The other murder suspect 8.1
    • The defense 8.2
    • Verdict 8.3
    • Invalidation of wrongful imprisonment claim 8.4
  • Records from the case 9
  • In popular culture 10
    • In literature 10.1
    • Television 10.2
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • Bibliography 13
  • External links 14

Early life and education

Bay View Hospital

Sheppard was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the youngest of three sons of Dr. Richard Allen Sheppard. He attended Cleveland Heights High School where he was an excellent student and was active in football, basketball, and track; he was class president for three years. Sheppard met his future wife, Marilyn Reese, while in high school. Although several small Ohio colleges offered him athletic scholarships, Sheppard chose to follow the lead of his father and older brothers and pursued a career in osteopathic medicine. He enrolled at Hanover College in Indiana to study prepositional courses, then took supplementary courses at Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Sheppard finished his medical education at the Los Angeles Osteopathic School of Physicians and Surgeons and was awarded the D.O. degree. He completed his internship and a residency in neurosurgery at Los Angeles County General Hospital. A few years after marrying Marilyn Reese on February 21, 1945, in Hollywood, California, Sheppard returned to Ohio and joined his father's growing medical practice at Bay View Hospital.

The murder of Marilyn Reese Sheppard

On the night of July 3, 1954, Sheppard and Marilyn were entertaining neighbors at their lakefront home on Lake Erie (since demolished) at 28944 Lake Road[1] in Bay Village, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, just west of the city. The property itself abutted the shore of Lake Erie, near the west end of Huntington Reservation. While they were watching the movie Strange Holiday, Sheppard fell asleep on the daybed in the living room. Marilyn walked the neighbors out.

In the early morning hours of July 4, 1954, Marilyn Sheppard was bludgeoned to death in her bed with an unknown instrument. The bedroom was covered with blood spatter and drops of blood were found on floors throughout the house. Some items from the house, including Sam Sheppard's wristwatch, keychain and key, and fraternity ring, appeared to have been stolen.[2] They were later found in a canvas bag in shrubbery behind the house.[2] According to Sheppard, he was sleeping soundly on a daybed when he heard the cries from his wife. He ran upstairs where he saw a form in the bedroom and then he was knocked unconscious. When he awoke, he saw the person downstairs, chased the intruder out of the house down to the beach where they tussled and Sheppard was knocked unconscious again. He awoke with half his body in the lake.

At 5:40AM, a neighbor received an urgent phone call from Sheppard who pleaded for him to come to his home. When the neighbor and his wife arrived, Sheppard was found shirtless and his pants were wet with a bloodstain on the knee. Authorities arrived shortly thereafter. Sheppard seemed disoriented and in shock.[3] The family dog was not heard barking to indicate an intruder, and their seven-year-old son, Sam Reese "Chip" Sheppard, was asleep in the adjacent bedroom during the whole ordeal.[4]

First murder trial

A public inquest was held on July 22, 1954. Sheppard faced trial which began on October 18, 1954.


The murder investigation and the trial are notable for the extensive publicity. Some newspapers and other media in Ohio were accused of bias against Sheppard and inflammatory coverage of the case, and were criticized for immediately labeling Sheppard as the only viable suspect. A federal judge later criticized the media, "If ever there was a trial by newspaper, this is a perfect example. And the most insidious example was the Cleveland Press. For some reason that newspaper took upon itself the role of accuser, judge and jury."[5]

It appeared that the local media influenced the investigators. On July 21, 1954, the Cleveland Press ran a front-page editorial titled "Do It Now, Dr. Gerber" which called for a public inquest. Hours later, Dr. Samuel Gerber, the coroner investigating the murder, announced that he would hold an inquest the next day.[6] The Cleveland Press ran another front-page editorial titled "Why Isn't Sam Sheppard in Jail?" on July 30 which was titled in later editions, "Quit Stalling and Bring Him In!".[7][8] That night, Sheppard was arrested for a police interrogation.[9]

The local media ran salacious front-page stories inflammatory to Sheppard which had no supporting facts or were later disproved. During the trial, a popular radio show broadcast a report about a New York City woman who claimed to be Sheppard's mistress and mother of his illegitimate child. Since the jury was not sequestered, two of the jurors admitted to the judge that they heard the broadcast but the judge did not dismiss them.[10] From interviews with some of the jurors years later, it is likely that jurors were contaminated by the press before the trial and perhaps during it.[11]

The U.S. Supreme Court later called the trial a "carnival atmosphere".[12]

Prosecution's theory

The high-profile nature of the case proved to be a boon to lead prosecutor John J. Mahon, who was running for a seat on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas as the trial began. Mahon won his seat, and served until his death on January 31, 1962.

Prosecutors learned during their investigation and revealed at trial that Sheppard had carried on a three-year-long extramarital affair with Susan Hayes, a nurse at the hospital where Sheppard was employed. The prosecution argued that the affair was Sheppard's motive for killing his wife. The prosecutor Mahon made the most of the case in the absence of any direct evidence against the defendant, other than that he was inside the house when Marilyn Sheppard was killed. Mahon emphasized the inconsistencies in Sam Sheppard's story and that he could not give an accurate description of the intruder in his house. Other issues brought up involved why there was no sand in his hair when Sheppard claimed to have been sprawled at the beach, and that Sheppard's missing T-shirt which Mahon speculated that there was blood on it, despite not being found or presented as evidence. Also as part of the prosecution's case is why would a burglar first take the belongings in the canvas bag and then ditch them in bushes outside the Sheppard house, which Mahon openly speculated that Sheppard staged the crime scene himself.

The lack of a murder weapon posed problems for the prosecution, but Cuyahoga County Coroner Samuel R. Gerber nearly circumvented this discrepancy by testifying that a blood imprint found on the pillow beneath Marilyn Sheppard's head was made by a "two-blade surgical instrument with teeth at the end of each blade" such as a scalpel. Inexplicably, Sheppard's lawyers left this vague assertion unchallenged.

Defense strategy

Sheppard's attorney, William Corrigan, argued that Sheppard had severe injuries and that those injuries were inflicted by the intruder. Corrigan based his argument on the report made by neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Elkins, M.D., who examined Sheppard and found that he had suffered a cervical concussion, nerve injury, many absent or weak reflexes (most notably on the left side of his body), and injury in the region of the second cervical vertebra in the back of the neck. Dr. Elkins stated that it was impossible to fake or simulate the missing reflex responses.

The defense further argued that the crime scene was extremely bloody, and the only blood evidence on Sheppard was a bloodstain on his trousers. Corrigan also argued that two of Marilyn's teeth had been broken and that the pieces had been pulled out of her mouth, suggesting she had bitten her assailant. He told the jury that Sheppard had no open wounds. (Some observers have questioned the accuracy of claims that Marilyn Sheppard lost her teeth while biting her attacker, arguing that her missing teeth are consistent with the severe beating Marilyn Sheppard took to her face and skull.[13]) However, as criminologist Paul Leland Kirk later pointed out,[14] if the beating had broken Mrs. Sheppard's teeth, the pieces would have been found inside her mouth, and her lips would have been severely damaged, which was not the case.

Sheppard took the stand in his own defense. He testified that he had been sleeping downstairs on a daybed when he woke to his wife's screams.

I think that she cried or screamed my name once or twice, during which time I ran upstairs, thinking that she might be having a reaction similar to convulsions that she had had in the early days of her pregnancy. I charged into our room and saw a form with a light garment, I believe, at that time grappling with something or someone. During this short period I could hear loud moans or groaning sounds and noises. I was struck down. It seems like I was hit from behind somehow but had grappled this individual from in front or generally in front of me. I was apparently knocked out. The next thing I knew, I was gathering my senses while coming to a sitting position next to the bed, my feet toward the hallway.... I looked at my wife, I believe I took her pulse and felt that she was gone. I believe that I thereafter instinctively or subconsciously ran into my youngster's room next door and somehow determined that he was all right, I am not sure how I determined this. After that, I thought that I heard a noise downstairs, seemingly in the front eastern portion of the house.[15]

Sheppard ran back downstairs and chased what he described as a "bushy-haired intruder" or "form" down to the Lake Erie beach below his home, before being knocked out again. The defense called eighteen character witnesses for Sheppard, and two witnesses who said that they had seen a bushy-haired man near the Sheppard home on the day of the crime.


On December 21, 1954, after deliberating for four days, a jury found Sheppard guilty of second-degree murder.[16] He was sentenced to life in prison.[17] On January 7, 1955, shortly after his conviction, Sheppard was told that his mother, Ethel Sheppard, had committed suicide by gunshot.[18] Eleven days later, Sheppard's father, Dr. Richard Sheppard, died of a bleeding gastric ulcer and stomach cancer.[19] He was permitted to attend both funerals but was required to wear handcuffs.[20]

In 1959, Sheppard voluntarily took part in cancer studies by the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, allowing live cancer cells to be injected into his body.[21]

On February 13, 1963, Sheppard's father-in-law, Thomas S. Reese, committed suicide in an East Cleveland, Ohio motel.[18][22] [23]

Appeals and basis for retrial

After the conviction, Sheppard's attorney William Corrigan spent six years making appeals but all were rejected. On July 30, 1961, Corrigan died. Months later, F. Lee Bailey took over as Sheppard's chief counsel and continued the appeal process.

Bailey's petition for a writ of habeas corpus was granted by a United States district court judge on July 15, 1964 who called the 1954 trial a "mockery of justice" that shredded Sheppard's Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process. The State of Ohio was ordered to release Sheppard on bond and gave the prosecutor 60 days to bring charges against Sheppard, otherwise the case would be dismissed permanently.[24] The State of Ohio appealed the ruling to a U.S. Court of Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit, who on March 4, 1965 reversed the federal judge's ruling.[25] Bailey appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court who agreed to hear it in Sheppard v. Maxwell. On June 6, 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court, by an 8-to-1 vote, struck down the murder conviction. The decision noted, among other factors, that a "carnival atmosphere" had permeated the trial, and that the trial judge Edward J. Blythin,[26] was clearly biased against Sheppard because Judge Blythin had refused to sequester the jury, did not order the jury to ignore and disregard media reports of the case, and when speaking to newspaper columnist Dorothy Kilgallen shortly before the trial started said, "Well, he's guilty as hell. There's no question about it."

Sheppard served ten years of his sentence. Just three days after his release, Sheppard married Ariane Tebbenjohanns, a German divorcee who had corresponded with him during his imprisonment. The two had been engaged since January 1963. Tebbenjohanns endured her own bit of controversy shortly after the engagement had been announced, confirming that her half-sister was Magda Ritschel, the wife of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. However, Tebbenjohanns emphasized that she held no Nazi views. On October 7, 1969, Sheppard and Tebbenjohanns divorced.[27]

Retrial and acquittal

At his new arraignment on September 8, 1966, Sheppard loudly pleaded "not guilty!" with his attorney, F. Lee Bailey, by his side. Jury selection got under way on October 24, and opening statements began eight days later. Media interest in the trial remained high, but this time, the presiding judge, Francis J. Talty, kept the jury sequestered from the public. The prosecutor, John Corrigan, led witnesses through essentially the same story which made their case 12 years earlier. Bailey aggressively discredited each of the prosecution witnesses during cross-examination. When Coroner Samuel Gerber testified about the lack of a murder weapon which he described as a "surgical weapon", Bailey led Gerber to admit that they never found a murder weapon and had nothing to tie Sheppard to the murder. In his closing argument, Bailey scathingly dismissed the prosecution's case against Sheppard as "ten pounds of hogwash in a five-pound bag".

Unlike in the original trial, neither Sheppard nor Susan Hayes took the stand, a strategy that proved to be successful. After deliberating for 12 hours, the jury returned on November 16 with a "not guilty" verdict. The trial was very important to Bailey's rise to prominence among American criminal defense lawyers. It was during this trial that Paul Kirk presented the bloodspatter evidence he collected in Sheppard's home in 1955 which proved crucial to his acquittal.

Just three weeks after the trial, Sheppard appeared as a guest on George Peppard (who played Sheppard in a TV movie), that Sheppard had told him during this conversation that had he been found guilty, he would have shot himself in court.

After his acquittal, Sheppard helped write the book Endure and Conquer, which presented his side of the case and gave insight into his years in prison. He also returned briefly to medicine in Youngstown, Ohio. He was sued twice for medical malpractice by the estates of dead patients.

Professional wrestling career

Sam Sheppard
Birth name Samuel Holmes Sheppard
Born (1923-12-29)December 29, 1923
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died April 6, 1970(1970-04-06) (aged 46)
Columbus, Ohio, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Sam Sheppard
Billed weight 195 lb (88 kg)[28]
Trained by George Strickland[28]
Debut August 1969[29]

Sheppard's third wife, Colleen Strickland Sheppard, was the daughter of [29]

Sheppard wrestled over 40 matches before his death in April 1970, including a number of tag team bouts with Strickland as his partner.[30] Sheppard's notoriety made him a strong draw.[31]

During his career, Sheppard used his anatomical knowledge to develop a new submission hold, the "mandible claw". The mandible claw was popularized by professional wrestler Mankind in the late 1990s.[32]

Remarriage and death

Six months before his death, Sheppard married Colleen Strickland.[33] Towards the end of his life, Sheppard was reportedly drinking "as much as two fifths of liquor a day" (1.5 liters).[34] On April 6, 1970, Sheppard was found dead in his home in Columbus, Ohio.[35] It was later determined that Sheppard died of liver failure.[36] He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Columbus, Ohio.[37] His body remained there until September 1997 when he was exhumed for DNA testing as part of the lawsuit brought by his son to clear his father's name.[38] After the tests, the body was cremated, and the ashes were inurned in a mausoleum at Knollwood Cemetery in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, along with those of his murdered wife, Marilyn.[39]

Civil Trial for Wrongful Imprisonment

Sheppard's son, Samuel Reese Sheppard, has devoted considerable time and effort towards attempting to clear his father's reputation.[40]

In 1999, Alan Davis, a lifelong friend of Sheppard[41] and administrator of his estate, sued the State of Ohio in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for Sheppard's wrongful imprisonment.[42]

By order of the court, Marilyn Sheppard's body was exhumed, in part to determine if the fetus she was carrying when she was killed had been fathered by Dr. Sheppard. Terry Gilbert, an attorney retained by the Sheppard family, told the media that "the fetus in this case had previously been autopsied", a fact that had never previously been disclosed. This, Gilbert argued, raised questions about the coroner's office in the original case possibly concealing pertinent evidence.[13] Due to the passage of time and the effect of formaldehyde on the fetus's tissues, paternity could not be established. Gilbert was assisted by John R. Hargrove of Florida, who was a classmate of Sam Reese Sheppard at Culver Military Academy.

The other murder suspect

During the civil trial, Plaintiff Attorney Terry Gilbert presented that Richard Eberling, an occasional handyman and window washer at the Sheppard home, was the likeliest suspect in Marilyn's murder. Eberling found Marilyn attractive and he was very familiar with the layout of the Sheppard home.[43]

In 1959, detectives were questioning Richard Eberling on various burglaries in the area. Eberling confessed to the burglaries and showed the detectives his loot. Among it, were two rings that belonged to Marilyn Sheppard. Eberling stole the rings in 1958, a few years after the murder, from Sam Sheppard’s brother’s house, taken from a box marked “Personal Property of Marilyn Sheppard”. [44] In subsequent questioning, Eberling admitted his blood was at the crime scene of Marilyn Sheppard. He stated that he cut his finger while washing windows just prior to the murder and bled while on the premises.[45] As part of the investigation, Eberling took a polygraph test with questions about the murder of Marilyn. The polygraph examiner concluded that Eberling did not show deception in his answers, although the polygraph results were evaluated by other experts years later who found that it was either inconclusive or Eberling was deceptive.[46]

In his testimony in the 2000 civil lawsuit, F. Lee Bailey, who was Dr. Sam Sheppard's attorney during the 1966 retrial, stated that he rejected Eberling as a suspect in 1966 because “I thought he passed a good polygraph test.” When it was presented to Bailey that an independent polygraph expert said Eberling either murdered Marilyn or had knowledge of who did, Bailey stated that he probably would have presented Eberling as a suspect in the 1966 retrial.[47]

DNA evidence, which was not available in the two murder trials, played an important role in the civil trial. DNA analysis of blood at the crime scene showed that there was presence of blood from a third person, other than Marilyn and Dr. Sam Sheppard.[48] With regards to tying the blood to Eberling, the DNA analysis that was allowed to be admitted to the trial was inconclusive. A plaintiff DNA expert was 90% confident that one of the blood spots belonged to Richard Eberling but according to the rules of the court, this was not admissible. The defense argued that the blood evidence had been tainted in the years since it was collected, and that an important blood spot on the closet door in Marilyn Sheppard's room potentially included 83% of the adult white population. The defense also pointed out that the results in 1955 from the older blood typing technique, that the blood collected from the closet door was Type O, while Eberling's blood type was Type A.[49]

Throughout his life, Richard Eberling was associated with women that had suspicious deaths and he was convicted of murdering Ethel May Durkin, a wealthy, elderly widow who died without any immediate family. Durkin's 1984 murder in Lakewood, Ohio was uncovered when a court-appointed review of the woman's estate revealed that Eberling, Durkin's guardian and executor, had failed to execute her final wishes, which included stipulations on her burial. Durkin's body was exhumed and additional injuries were discovered in the autopsy that did not match Eberling's previous claims of in-house accidents, including a fall down a staircase in her home. In subsequent legal action, both Eberling and his partner, Obie Henderson, were found guilty in Durkin's death. Coincidentally, both of Durkin's sisters, Myrtle Fray and Sarah Belle Farrow, had died under suspicious circumstances as well. Fray was killed after being "savagely" beaten about the head and face and then strangled; Farrow died following a fall down the basement steps in the home she shared with Durkin in 1970, a fall in which she broke both legs and both arms.

Though Eberling denied any criminal involvement in the murder of Marilyn Sheppard,[50] Kathy Wagner Dyal, who worked alongside Eberling in caring for Ethel May Durkin, also testified that Eberling had confessed to her in 1983.[51] A fellow convict also reported that Eberling confessed to the crime. The defense called into question the credibility of both witnesses during the 2000 civil trial.

Eberling died in an Ohio prison in 1998, where he was serving a life sentence for the 1984 murder of Ethel May Durkin.

The defense

Steve Dever led the defense trial team for the State of Ohio, which included assistant prosecutors Dean Maynard Boland and Kathleen Martin. They argued that Sheppard was the most logical suspect, and presented expert testimony suggesting that Marilyn Sheppard's murder was a textbook domestic homicide. They argued that Sheppard had not welcomed the news of his wife's pregnancy, he wanted to continue his affairs with Susan Hayes and with other women, and he was concerned about the social stigma that a divorce might create. They claimed the evidence showed that Marilyn Sheppard may have hit Sam Sheppard sparking an angry rage that resulted in her bludgeoning. Boland evaluated evidence that had been considered by fifty years of investigators, journalists and others, and during the trial he was the first to suggest that the murder weapon used by Sam Sheppard was a bedroom lamp.

The defense asked why Sheppard hadn't called out for help, why he had neatly folded his jacket on the daybed in which he said he'd fallen asleep, and why the family dog — which several witnesses had testified (in the first trial in 1954) was very loud when strangers came to the house — had not barked on the night of the murder (recalling the famous Sherlock Holmes remark about "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time", with its implication that the dog knew the criminal).


After ten weeks of trial, 76 witnesses, and hundreds of exhibits, the case went to the eight-person civil jury. The jury deliberated just three hours on April 12, 2000, before returning a unanimous verdict that Samuel Reese Sheppard had failed to prove that his father had been wrongfully imprisoned. Some jurors were later interviewed and stated emphatically that their verdict represented their belief that Sam Sheppard had murdered his wife.

Invalidation of wrongful imprisonment claim

On February 22, 2002, the Eighth District Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the civil case should not have gone to the jury, on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired, and that a claim for wrongful imprisonment abated with Sam Sheppard's death.[52] In August 2002, the Supreme Court of Ohio declined to review the appeals court's decision.[53][54]

Records from the case

In 2012, William Mason, then Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, designated the Cleveland–Marshall College of Law Library at Cleveland State University as the repository for records and other materials relating to the Sheppard case.[55] The law school has digitized the material, consisting of over 50 boxes of photographs, recordings and trial exhibits,[55] and posted it online through the school's institutional repository.[56]

In popular culture

In literature

  • The 2010 novel Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross features Sam Sheppard as a New York City detective investigating a woman's death and recounting the details of his wife's murder.[57][58]
  • Edward D. Hoch created his famous detective Dr. Sam Hawthorne after him.[59]
  • The novel Crooked River Burning by Mark Winegardner features the Sheppard murder trial and ends with an epilogue of Sheppard's wrestling days and death.[60]
  • Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry several times compares the media fanaticism of the Manson Family murders trial to that of the Sheppard case.


  • The television series The Fugitive and the 1993 film of the same name has been cited as being loosely based on Sheppard's story. This claim has always been denied by their creators.[61]
  • The TV series American Justice produced an episode based on this case.
  • An episode of the Cold Case television series titled "Schadenfreude" is also based on this case.
  • George Peppard, is a television movie about this case.
  • The Law & Order television series episode "Justice" is based on Sam Reese Sheppard's mission to clear his father's name.
  • My Father's Shadow (1998), starring Peter Strauss, is a television movie about this case.
  • The TV series The New Detectives aired an episode about the forensic testing of the evidence in this case, both at the time of Sheppard's indictment and during the later efforts to vindicate him.
  • The TV series Notorious produced an episode about this case titled "The Sam Sheppard Story".
  • The Nova television series episode "NOVA: The Killer's Trail – The Story of Dr. Sam Sheppard" evaluates the clues and – according to the Product Description that accompanies the DVD version of the episode – comes to a conclusion that "overturn[s] previous assumptions about the killer and point[s] to an entirely new, still unknown, suspect."[62]
  • The educational television series, Our Living Bill of Rights produced by Encyclopædia Britannica Films, covers the Sheppard trial in the episode "Free Press vs. Trial By Jury: The Sheppard Case" (also called "Free Press vs Fair Trial By Jury"). The program contains documentary film footage, interviews with Sam Sheppard and F. Lee Bailey and a dramatization of the activity in the Sheppard home at the time of the murder. The program may be viewed on this site: (the opening and closing title sequences are omitted, and is entirely in black and white - the original contained some color footage).[63]
  • The BBC Four documentary series Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story episode (S01E02; 2015) "Traces of Guilt" examined the case, with particular regard to bloodstain evidence and bloodstain pattern analysis.

See also


  1. ^ "History Q & A: Where was the Sam Sheppard house?". The City of Bay Village. 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-12-28. 
  2. ^ a b Evans, Colin (2003). A Question of Evidence: The Casebook of Great Forensic Controversies, from Napoleon to O. J. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 106–107.  
  3. ^ Neff, James (2001). The Wrong Man. New York: Random House. pp. 5–9. 
  4. ^ Butterfield, Fox (March 26, 1996). "After Life of Notoriety and Pain, Son Tries to Solve His Mother's Murder". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ Neff 2001, p. 230
  6. ^ Neff 2001, p. 85
  7. ^ The Sam Sheppard Case
  8. ^ Wrong Man' makes case for Sheppard's innocence"'". USA Today. November 8, 2001. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ Neff 2001, p. 101-102
  10. ^ Neff 2001, p. 151-152
  11. ^ Neff 2001, p. 166-168
  12. ^ Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333, 358 (1964) (U.S. Supreme Court)
  13. ^ a b "Body of Sam Sheppard's wife exhumed in Ohio". October 5, 1999. Archived from the original on 2004-09-19. 
  14. ^ Affidavit of Paul Leland Kirk, filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Branch, No. 64571
  15. ^ DeSario, Jack; Mason, William D. (2003). Dr. Sam Sheppard on Trial: The Prosecutors and the Marilyn Sheppard Murder. Kent State University Press. p. 345.  
  16. ^ Warnes 2004, p. 252.
  17. ^ DeSario & Mason 2003, p. 6.
  18. ^ a b Tanay 2011, p. 175.
  19. ^ Warnes 2004, p. 219.
  20. ^ Perper & Cina 2010, p. 38.
  21. ^ Neff 2001, p. 193, 218.
  22. ^ Warnes 2004, p. 220.
  23. ^ "Sheppard Tragedy Goes On and On". Beatrice Daily Sun. February 18, 1963. p. 2. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  24. ^ Neff 2001, p. 226-230
  25. ^ Neff 2001, p. 238
  26. ^ "The Media and the Trial". Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. 
  27. ^ Court TV Online – Sheppard
  28. ^ a b Andrews, Kenai (August 11, 1969). "People".  
  29. ^ a b "Osteopath Sam Sheppard Now Wrestling".  
  30. ^ Jonathan Knight (1 December 2010). Summer of Shadows: A Murder, a Pennant Race, and the Twilight of the Best Location in the Nation. Clerisy Press.  
  31. ^  
  32. ^ Sitterson, Aubrey (June 21, 2011). "Wrestling Innovators - The Origins Of Your Favorite Moves".  
  33. ^ "". 
  34. ^ Sam and Marilyn Sheppard
  35. ^ "Dr. Sheppard Is Dead". The Owosso Argus-Press. April 6, 1970. p. 7. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Sam Sheppard Died of Natural Causes". Herald-Journal. April 15, 1970. p. 30. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Sam Sheppard's son to talk about exhumation". The Bryan Times. September 16, 1997. p. 8. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  38. ^ Sam Sheppard's remains exhumed for DNA testing, CNN, September 17, 1997
  39. ^ "Sheppard's son inters ashes, begins death-penalty march". The Bryan Times. September 19, 1997. p. 2. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  40. ^ Sam Reese Sheppard: Seeking the Truth
  41. ^ McGunagle, Fred. "The Case of Dr. Samuel Sheppard: Who Killed Marilyn?". CrimeLibrary. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  42. ^ McGunagle, Fred. "The Case of Dr. Samuel Sheppard: The Third Trial". CrimeLibrary. Retrieved February 16, 2015.  After Davis's death in 1999, Charles Murray, who was appointed by the Franklin County Probate Court as the new administrator for the estate, was substituted as plaintiff. Davis v. State, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Case No. CV96-312322, Plaintiff's Motion for Substitution of Party (Feb. 17, 2000). Retrieved Feb. 16, 2015.
  43. ^ Linder, Douglas O., “Dr. Sam Sheppard Trials”, The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
  44. ^ Cleveland Police Department, "Plaintiff's Exhibit 0022: Eberling Statement" (1959). Sheppard 2000 Trial Plaintiff's Exhibits. Book 113.
  45. ^ Tompkins, James R., "Plaintiff's Exhibit 0020: Bay Village Police Report re: Eberling" (1988). Sheppard 2000 Trial Plaintiff's Exhibits. Book 114.
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  48. ^ Chakarborty, Ranajit, "Chakraborty Report on DNA Typing Involving Richard Eberling, Sam Sheppard, and Marilyn Sheppard." (2000). Blood Evidence and DNA - Sam Sheppard Case. Book 17.
  49. ^ Neff 2001, p. 364-367
  50. ^ Sam Sheppard Case
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  52. ^ Murray v. State, Cuyahoga App. no. 78374, 2002 Ohio 664 (Feb. 22, 2002). Retrieved Feb. 16, 2015.
  53. ^ Farkas, Karen (September 28, 2012). "Sam Sheppard's murder case files and exhibits given to Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law". Northeast Ohio Media Group. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  54. ^ Murray v. State, Ohio S. Ct. no. 2002-0626, (Aug. 7, 2002) (docket). Retrieved Feb. 16, 2015.
  55. ^ a b Farkas, Karen (September 29, 2012). "Sam Sheppard's murder case files and exhibits given to Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  56. ^ "The Same Sheppard Case 1954-2000". Clevland State University. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  57. ^ Ross, Adam (2010). Mr. Peanut. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.  
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  59. ^ [Introduction, Diagnosis : Impossible. The Problems of Dr Sam Hawthrone]
  60. ^ Winegardner, Mark (2001). Crooked river burning. New York: Harcourt.  
  61. ^ Cooper, Cynthia L.; Sam Reese Sheppard (1995). Mockery of justice: the true story of the Sheppard murder case. UPNE. pp. 4, 329.  
  62. ^ "". March 22, 2005. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  63. ^ "Historic Films Stock Footage Archive: F-3122". Historic Films. 


  • Cooper, Cynthia; Sheppard, Samuel Reese (1995). Mockery of Justice. Lebanon, N.H.: Northeastern University Press.  
  • DeSario, Jack P.; Mason, William D. (2003). Dr. Sam Sheppard on Trial: Case Closed. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press.  
  • Neff, James (2001). The Wrong Man. New York: Random House.  
  • Perper, Joshua A.; Cina, Stephen J. (2010). When Doctors Kill: Who, Why, and How. New York: Copernicus Books.  
  • Tanay, Emanuel (2011). American Legal Injustice: Behind the Scenes With an Expert Witness. Lanham, Md.: Jason Aronson.  
  • Warnes, Kathy (2004). "The Sam Sheppard Case: Do Three Trials Equal Justice?". In Bailey, Frankie Y.; Chermak, Steven M. Famous American Crimes and Trials. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.  

External links

  • "The Sam Sheppard Case: 1954-2000". Engaged Scholarship. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  • Trials of Sam Sheppard
  • Nova: The Killer's Trail Complete transcript of the 1999 Nova program and resources.
  • FBI file on Sam Sheppard
  • FBI file on Marilyn Sheppard
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