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Antilles

Dr Sam Shepard

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http://crime.about.com/od/history/p/sheppard_sam.htm

Marilyn Sheppard was brutally murdered while her husband, Dr. Sam Sheppard, slept downstairs. Dr. Sheppard was sentenced to life in prison for the murder. He was eventually freed from prison but the scars of the injustices he had to endure were permanent. F. Lee Bailey fought for Sheppard's freedom and won.

I don't think Shepard murdered Marilyn and I believe he was wrongly imprisoned. He ended up as a professional wrestler which led to his early death.

Someone broke into the Shepard house in an early morning in 1954 and beat Marilyn Shepard to death. The crime scene photos are particularly gruesome. There was never any reasonable point put forward for Shepard's wish to murder his wife because there was none. He was railroaded.

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In the early 2000's Dr. Sheppard's son was finally able to clear his late father via DNA testing. If I recall correctly the blood evidence matched some handyman that had worked at the Sheppard home. A very sad case indeed.

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The DNA tests confirmed that a third person was in the house. The blood did not match Dr. Shepard or his wife. The police, at the time, also completely overlooked the fact that Marilyn had been raped. The handyman, who is the prime suspect, did provide a court ordered dna sample and the results concluded that he could not be ruled out as a suspect, but didn't say that he was the killer either. I believe he most likely was, but that is just my opinion.

Mike

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One of my favorite case, Ant. :tu:

I have a very interesting documentary about this case on DVD ( Crimes of the Century, available on Amazon.com ).

Richard Eberling is a very interesting suspect. Eberling himself admitted that he was in the Sheppard home many times( to clean windows ), and that he didn't liked Marilyn. A ring that had belonged to Marilyn was allegedly found in his possesion, and both a fellow convict and former co-worker of Eberling said he confessed to the crime. Sadly the credibility of both witnesses was seriously called into question during the 2000 civil trial.

I am convinced that Sam Sheppard did not kill his wife, however I think it's possible that he could have paid somebody to commit the murder, perhaps Eberling. Eberling allegedly told an inmate that Sam Sheppard promised him 1500$ if he could kill Marilyn. Again, difficult to know the truth, but I believe it's highly possible that Sheppard hired somebody to do the job for him. Back then getting a divorce was possibly the worst humiliation somebody could suffer, and I always find it strange that the murder of poor Marilyn happened right when the couple was talking about getting a divorce. So in my opinion Sam Sheppard hired somebody to kill his wife. To him her death was more acceptable than getting a divorce. Sad but true.

However I agree that the evidences against dr. Sheppard are very weak.

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Shepard paying a hitman to kill Marilyn.That's a really interesting idea Jon and I've never thought about that.

This is a great site about murders in general.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/sheppard/Sheppard.htm

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.

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This is the report of the patrolman who 1st visited the scene of the crime. I think this is where the suspicion about Shepard 1st set in.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/sheppard/sheppardreports.html

He stated that he saw a form, the top of which was white at the bed side of where Mrs. Marilyn Sheppard was found - but did not discern any positive description of this form.

Q: Did he state how he sustained his injuries?

A: Yes, he stated that on entering the room where this form was he thought he had been struck from behind as he lapsed into unconsciousness, shortly thereafter he regained consciousness and found himself in a sitting position with his wallet in front of hill and the badge that was in the wallet reflecting light.

Q: Did he hear a noise downstairs while getting up off the floor?

A: Yes, he immediately ran down stairs and went into the living room and in the door way he made out a figure, he chased this figure down the stairs to the beach where he encountered him and had a brief struggle and he again lapsed into unconsciousness on the beach - he regained consciousness lying face down on the beach with the water wallowing back and forward.

Q: What was his answer when you questioned him relative to his ascending the stairs after he had regained consciousness on the beach?

A: He stated that he went up stairs to Mrs. Sheppard's room and covered her because at her modesty, he did not know the exact time but it wall almost day light.

Q: What was his reply when you stated you did not think a stranger could run down these steps in the darkness?

A: He said he did not know.

Q: At the time that you arrived at the Sheppard home can you state whether or not the Doctor's hair was wet or was there any indication that he been in the water any time?

A: No, I did not observe that.

Q: Do you recall whether or not there was sand in his trousers?

A: No, I do not know.

Q: Do you recall asking him whether or not the person he allegedly pursued had a weapon in his hand?

A: He said he did not see anything.

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Thanks for sharing, Ant. Great job, as always. :)

I agree that the evidences against dr. Sam are really weak, and that therefore he should'nt have been found guilty of the murder. However the timing of Marilyn's death is, to me, the biggest evidence that Sam Sheppard might have been involved in her death. I really believe that it was more easy for Sam to accept the death of his wife than going throught a divorce. I think it's highly possible that Sam hired somebody to murder his wife for him. Highly possible.

There isn't much videos about the case on Youtube. However I found one.

One of my favorite show, in fact one the first show who got me interested in criminology, was TLC'S The Ultimate 10 Unsolved Crime Mysteries, produced in 2001. Here's part 2 of this great countdown. The part about the murder of Marilyn Sheppard begins at 4:06 of the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny7YH6SvTFk

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This is from the ukmc site.

***************************************************************************************

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OHIO

STATE OF OHIO

CASE NO. CR 64571

Plaintiff

-vs.-

SAMUEL H. SHEPPARD

Defendant

PETITION FOR DECLARATION OF INNOCENCE AS A WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED INDIVIDUAL

Now comes Alan J. Davis, Special Administrator of the Estate of Samuel H. Sheppard, through undersigned counsel, and hereby petitions this Honorable Court for an order, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2743.48, to declare Samuel H. Sheppard a wrongfully imprisoned person, for the reason that said Samuel H. Sheppard was convicted of second degree murder of his wife, Marilyn Sheppard, in 1954, spent nearly ten years in prison as a result of this conviction, and, as the evidence will show by clear and convincing proof, was actually innocent of this crime.

This Court, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.02:

“... has exclusive, original jurisdiction to hear and determine an action or proceeding that is commenced by an individual who satisfies divisions (A) (1) to (3) of section 2743.48 of the Revised Code and that seeks a determination by the court that the offense of which he was found guilty, including all lesser included offenses, either was not committed by him or was not committed by any person."

The basis for this Petition is as follows:

1. Dr. Sheppard was indicted for murder in the first degree on August 17, 1954 in connection with the death of his wife, Marilyn Sheppard.

2. His trial ended with a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree on December 21, 1954, and on January 3, 1955, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

3. After a lengthy appeals process, the United States Supreme Court in 1964, reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial based on the unfairness of the trial and the prejudicial role of the media.

4. On November 16, 1966, Dr. Sheppard was subject to a re-trial and found not guilty of the murder.

5. Dr. Sheppard was incarcerated for nearly ten years in Ohio prisons.

6. At the time of his arrest, Dr. Sheppard was a practicing physician, with a successful career, the father of a young son, age seven, and a prominent member of the community. The conviction and incarceration essentially ruined his life and caused irreparable suffering for his son and other members of his family. Dr. Sheppard, a once healthy and athletic man, died on April 6, 1970 at the age of 46, due in large part to the years of physical neglect, abuse and mental anguish arising from this prosecution, imprisonment, separation from family, society and career.

7. Despite his acquittal in 1966, the State of Ohio, through the various law enforcement agencies involved in this case, never seriously entertained the notion of finding the actual killer of Marilyn Sheppard. While the case was technically open and unsolved, these agencies did little more than filing reports of new information that would come to their attention, yet take no serious investigative action.

8. Between 1990 and 1995, Samuel Reese Sheppard, son of Dr. Sheppard; Cynthia Cooper, a journalist-author; investigators from AMSEC, a professional investigative firm; and undersigned counsel conducted a comprehensive and massive review of every aspect of this case. Witnesses, many of whom were never contacted by law enforcement, were interviewed. Police reports, forensic reports, and witness statements never provided the defense at trial, nor disclosed since, were obtained through Public Records Act requests and litigation. Contemporary forensic experts were consulted to review scientific evidence in the case, measuring the significance in light of modern forensic science.

9. The result of this investigation leads to the conclusion that Dr. Sheppard is innocent of the murder of his wife, Marilyn, and that an individual named Richard Eberling currently incarcerated for the murder of another woman, is the likely murderer.

10. The critical evidence in support of Dr. Sheppard's innocence will be presented in the course of these proceedings; however a few major disclosures should be mentioned at this juncture:

(A) The killer of Marilyn Sheppard left a trail of blood from the murder room throughout the house, blood that could only have come from the oozing wound of the murderer. A newly disclosed police report reveals the existence and even collection of samples from this blood trail, but no testing was ever done for blood type. Dr. Sheppard was immediately examined, and although he had serious neck and back internal injuries (as a result of his being assaulted by the killer), no open wounds were found on his body. Marilyn Sheppard's teeth were pulled out in a way that indicated she bit the person who was attacking her. Blood from a third person was found in the murder room after testing by renowned criminalist Dr. Paul Leland Kirk, who conducted an exhaustive search of the crime scene in 1955. Richard Eberling, when arrested for a series of burglaries and thefts in 1959 (including the theft of Marilyn Sheppard's ring from the home of Dr. Sheppard's brother), disclosed that he had cut his hand washing windows at the Sheppard home, but gave conflicting times and dates as to when that supposedly occurred. In 1990, investigators tracked down a co-worker of Eberling who insisted that he, not Eberling washed the windows at the Sheppard home in the days before the murder. Incidentally, Eberling was not interrogated by police at the time of the murder, and in 1959, when Eberling was in custody, police were told to drop the matter by Coroner Gerber, Dr. Sheppard's principal accuser, as well as John T. Corrigan, the County Prosecutor.

(B) A Scientific Investigation Unit report, also never disclosed by the prosecution, reveals that there was fresh evidence of forcible entry through the cellar door. The finding was significant enough to require a plasticine impression of the damaged doorway. Yet, the prosecution's most powerful argument against Dr. Sheppard was that there was no evidence of a break-in, and that Dr. Sheppard was the only one in the house at the time of the murder. That theory can now be debunked because the killer entered through the basement, an entry only known to a small number of people, including Eberling.

11. The re-investigation focused on Richard Eberling as a suspect, who is now serving a life imprisonment for the murder of Ethel Durkin. Eberling has a long and documented history of psychosis and psychopathic symptoms, beginning with neurological impairment as a child. His medical, psychological, and behavioral patterns are consistent with those of disturbed and even serial killers. The investigation reveals other unsolved killings of women, including the sisters of Ms. Durkin and others, with striking similarities to, the Sheppard murder. Eberling was obsessed with Marilyn Sheppard as indicated by his focus on owning her ring. He was a jewel thief and burglar, and on the' night of the murder, jewelry and cash were taken from the home. He was jealous of the Sheppard’s and their success in life, and the family he never had. He hated Dr. Sheppard for his athletic accomplishments, and two athletic trophies were smashed to the floor on the night of the murder, evidence of hostility and hatred. Eberling had a remarkable knowledge of the description of the property and the furnishings, and as of 1992, was able to draw an architecturally accurate drawing of the property. He cannot truthfully account for his whereabouts at the time of the murder. He fits all the available descriptions of the killer, including the build, the height, the large head, and the use of wigs. The police drawings derived from eyewitnesses who saw a man near the Sheppard home that evening, reveal a similarity to Eberling. Finally, Eberling, who granted a number of interviews and corresponded with Cynthia Cooper since 1992, has been obsessed with the Sheppard murder case and Marilyn Sheppard herself, and has made statements such as "why do women fight back when they are raped?" or "I'm looking at her now and she doesn't look pregnant." There is evidence that Marilyn Sheppard was sexually assaulted, as inferred by her nightgown pushed above her abdomen, yet this aspect was never pursued by the police.

12. The evidence will show that Eberling had motive, opportunity, identity, and access to kill Marilyn Sheppard.

13. A review of all the evidence demonstrates that Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard could not have murdered his wife, had no reason to murder his wife, and was a victim of a misdirected, overreaching prosecution.

WHEREFORE, it is urged that this Court undue this momentous injustice, declare Dr. Sheppard innocent, and enter a determination that he is a wrongfully imprisoned individual.

Respectfully submitted,

TERRY H. GILBERT (0021948)

Attorney for Petitioner, Special Administrator

of the Estate of Samuel H. Sheppard

1700 Standard Building

1370 Ontario Street

Cleveland,OH 44113

(216) 241-1430

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

A copy of the foregoing has been hand-delivered, this 19 day of October, 1995, to Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, at her office, Justice Center, 1200 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.

Sheppard Trials Homepage

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That is awful. There has been so many cases that have blamed the wrong people and their lives are ruined, not to mention the suffering they feel by losing someone they love.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for sharing, Ant, but I don't agree at all with some of the points of this petition.

I agree that Eberling is a very good suspect ( I shared the infos about him in my first reply ), and I agree that he could have been the murderer.

However whoever wrote this petition have absolutely no evidences that Sheppard had no reason to murder his wife. In fact I think this statement is ridiculous: Sam Sheppard indeed had reasons to kill his wife. Their marriage had hit rock bottom; Sam had a mistress for the past 3 years, and from all accounts he wanted to marry this girl. Sam was out of love for Marilyn, and he could have easily paid somebody to get her out of the way. Again timing is everything, and it's really strange that Marilyn died when the couple's relationship was at its lowest point.

And what about the statement that Eberling was offered 1500$ by Sam Sheppard to kill Marylin ?? Of course this petition say nothing about it. Of course not.

I agree that there's no solid evidences showing that Sam Sheppard was guilty, but I am sorry: There's no solid evidences showing that he was 100% innocent of this crime.

Anyone who read about this case knows that Sam Sheppard had "reasons" ( only in his mind, but still ) to kill his wife. Again the timing of the whole thing is really, really suspicious, and it's difficult to believe Sam Sheppard had nothing to do with this horrible event.

Yes: Eberling had motive, opportunity, identity, and access to kill Marilyn Sheppard. But the same goes for Sam. Sad but true. And if you want my opinion: Sam had more reasons to kill Marylin than Eberling had. I'm just saying....

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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That is awful. There has been so many cases that have blamed the wrong people and their lives are ruined, not to mention the suffering they feel by losing someone they love.

Imagine the ones we don't know about. Imagine the lives ruined all in the name of money.

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Thanks for sharing, Ant, but I don't agree at all with some of the points of this petition.

I agree that Eberling is a very good suspect ( I shared the infos about him in my first reply ), and I agree that he could have been the murderer.

However whoever wrote this petition have absolutely no evidences that Sheppard had no reason to murder his wife. In fact I think this statement is ridiculous: Sam Sheppard indeed had reasons to kill his wife. Their marriage had hit rock bottom; Sam had a mistress for the past 3 years, and from all accounts he wanted to marry this girl. Sam was out of love for Marilyn, and he could have easily paid somebody to get her out of the way. Again timing is everything, and it's really strange that Marilyn died when the couple's relationship was at its lowest point.

And what about the statement that Eberling was offered 1500$ by Sam Sheppard to kill Marylin ?? Of course this petition say nothing about it. Of course not.

I agree that there's no solid evidences showing that Sam Sheppard was guilty, but I am sorry: There's no solid evidences showing that he was 100% innocent of this crime.

Anyone who read about this case knows that Sam Sheppard had "reasons" ( only in his mind, but still ) to kill his wife. Again the timing of the whole thing is really, really suspicious, and it's difficult to believe Sam Sheppard had nothing to do with this horrible event.

Yes: Eberling had motive, opportunity, identity, and access to kill Marilyn Sheppard. But the same goes for Sam. Sad but true. And if you want my opinion: Sam had more reasons to kill Marylin than Eberling had. I'm just saying....

That's OK Jon. We don't have to always agree. :yes: We do both agree that Shepard didn't kill Marilyn. You think Shepard ordered a hit on her. I think Eberling was a freaking psycho hellbent on revenge.

In the clip you posted it pointed at a couple, the man belted Shepard and the woman killed Marilyn. That one I find difficult to believe.

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Thanks for sharing, Ant, but I don't agree at all with some of the points of this petition.

I agree that Eberling is a very good suspect ( I shared the infos about him in my first reply ), and I agree that he could have been the murderer.

However whoever wrote this petition have absolutely no evidences that Sheppard had no reason to murder his wife. In fact I think this statement is ridiculous: Sam Sheppard indeed had reasons to kill his wife. Their marriage had hit rock bottom; Sam had a mistress for the past 3 years, and from all accounts he wanted to marry this girl. Sam was out of love for Marilyn, and he could have easily paid somebody to get her out of the way. Again timing is everything, and it's really strange that Marilyn died when the couple's relationship was at its lowest point.

And what about the statement that Eberling was offered 1500$ by Sam Sheppard to kill Marylin ?? Of course this petition say nothing about it. Of course not.

I agree that there's no solid evidences showing that Sam Sheppard was guilty, but I am sorry: There's no solid evidences showing that he was 100% innocent of this crime.

Anyone who read about this case knows that Sam Sheppard had "reasons" ( only in his mind, but still ) to kill his wife. Again the timing of the whole thing is really, really suspicious, and it's difficult to believe Sam Sheppard had nothing to do with this horrible event.

Yes: Eberling had motive, opportunity, identity, and access to kill Marilyn Sheppard. But the same goes for Sam. Sad but true. And if you want my opinion: Sam had more reasons to kill Marylin than Eberling had. I'm just saying....

I don’t know much about this case other than that which has been posted on this thread and a little research I did into Eberling’s history last night but the odd’s of shepherd having murderous intentions and then meeting with someone who seems to me to have been a pre-existing borderline serial killer seems a little far fetched to me.

Plenty of people have affairs….plenty of relationships break down….i don’t see such as a primary motive for murder.

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Posted (edited)

I dont know much about this case other than that which has been posted on this thread and a little research I did into Eberlings history last night but the odds of shepherd having murderous intentions and then meeting with someone who seems to me to have been a pre-existing borderline serial killer seems a little far fetched to me.

Plenty of people have affairs….plenty of relationships break down….i dont see such as a primary motive for murder.

I do agree. There is such a thing as divorce and as far as I'm aware there was never anything in Shepard's history that would suggest violence towards Marilyn, certainly nothing that would suggest he would contemplate murdering her.

This was a terrible miscarriage of justice. The Cleveland cops got Shepard in their sights and they never let him go. They had tunnel vision. They just could not accept that there was another explanation.

Edited by Antilles

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Posted (edited)

In the clip you posted it pointed at a couple, the man belted Shepard and the woman killed Marilyn. That one I find difficult to believe.

Same here, it's simply not a very credible theory to me.

Plenty of people have affairs….plenty of relationships break down….i don’t see such as a primary motive for murder.

I disagree. Back in the 40's and 50's a lot of people saw a divorce as the ultimate humiliation, even more if, like Sam Sheppard, you were a very respected and important member of the community. I have read about plenty of old cases were the husband or wife was more open to the idea of killing their partner instead of getting throught the humiliation of a divorce. Sad but true. I agree that there's not a lot of evidences to back up my theory, but some of the facts are true: Sam had a mistress for years, he was out of love for Marilyn, and it's very logical to me that he would have prefered to see her dead instead of getting a divorce or instead of having to live with a woman he simply didn't loved anymore. Only what I think.

We also have to remember that Marilyn was pregnant when she was killed. Since the couple was having trouble it's a possibility that Sam simply didn't wanted another child with Marilyn. There you have another motive for Sam to kill his wife. Sad, but true.

This was a terrible miscarriage of justice. The Cleveland cops got Shepard in their sights and they never let him go. They had tunnel vision. They just could not accept that there was another explanation.

Even if I don't believe Sheppard was innocent I agree that he shouldn't have been sent in jail based on the evidences the authorities had against him. The evidences against him were too weak to sent him in jail, so I agree that it was a case of miscarriage of justice. However I'm waiting for evidences showing me that Dr. Sam was really innocent.

Edited by JonathanVonErich

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Yes, Sam Did It

1. "Sam's confession": the big "Yes"

Sam Sheppard autographed a copy of his book, Endure and Conquer, for Phyllis Moretti, a beauty salon owner. In addition to his autograph on the cover page, Sam scrawled a big "YES" under the heading "DID SAM DO IT?" on the teaser page. A handwriting expert concluded that the "Yes" was Sam's. This seems to be a bold admission of guilt to a good friend.

BUT: THE WORD "YES" APPEARS ABOVE THE WORDS "EVEN THE MOST ANTI-SHEPPARD READER WILL FIND SOME DOUBTS." WHY WOULD SHEPPARD SUDDENLY REVEAL HIS GUILT TO SOMEONE HE DIDN'T KNOW THAT WELL? IT'S ALSO SUSPICIOUS THAT MORETTI CONSIDERED WRITING HER OWN BOOK ON THE SHEPPARD CASE.

2.The dog that didn't bark

The Sheppards had a dog, Koko, that one might have expected to have barked at the sight of a nighttime intruder. The barking presumably would have woken Sam in time to prevent the attack on Marilyn. But Sam said he never heard the dog bark.

BUT: EBERLING SAID THE DOG DIDN'T BARK AT HIM WHEN HE WENT TO THE SHEPPARDS' HOME TO WASH WINDOWS.

3. Lack of forced entry

Police discovered no sign of forced entry into the Sheppard home, making the intruder theory implausible.

BUT: THE AHERNS, WHO SPENT THE PREVIOUS NIGHT WITH THE SHEPPARDS, COULD NOT REMEMBER WHETHER OR NOT MARILYN LOCKED THE KITCHEN DOOR.

4. Where's Sam's T-shirt?

Sam said he wore a T-shirt on the night of the murder. Presumably, if he was the killer, the T-shirt would contain many blood spots from the brutal murder. Asked by police about the shirt, Sam said, "Maybe the man I saw needed one. I don't know." His explanation was weak at best.

BUT: A TORN T-SHIRT THAT MATCHED SAM'S SIZE WAS EVENTUALLY FOUND A FEW YARDS FROM THE SHEPPARD PROPERTY LINE. THE T-SHORT WAS NOT FOUND TO HAVE BLOOD ON IT.

5. The delay in reporting the murder and inconsistencies in story

Sam's first call after the murder, at 5:40 A.M., was to his friend, Spencer Houk, not the police. Autopsy results put the time of the murder at between 3:00 and 4:00 A.M., and Sam's watch stopped at 4:15. Why the delay in reporting the crime? Sam says he was knocked out by the killer, but the couple of hours between the murder and reporting the crime also could have allowed Sam to clean off blood and fingerprints, hide or destroy his T-shirt, and make the home look like it had been burglarized.

Several comments made by Sheppard on the morning of the murder are, at best, odd and most likely deceitful. For example, after the Houks arrived, Sheppard remarked, "Someone should do something for Marilyn" even though he had to have known she was dead....He also added details to his story in each of his first few retellings.

6. Signs of a staged sex crime and robbery

There is evidence that steps were taken to make the crime look like a murder-burglary, when in fact it was only a murder. For example, police found desk drawers pulled open, but evenly and without missing items. Sam's doctor's bag was overturned, but nothing was missing.

Also, Marilyn's top was pulled up, exposing her breast, and her pajama bottom pulled down, exposing pubic hair. Yet, there was no sign of forcible rape.

7. 27 blows: a sign of passion?

"Twenty-seven times. Is it a burglar or an enraged husband? That's the question...before you."--William Mason, Attorney for the county in civil suit.

The murder scene suggested overkill--not the act of a burglar.

Various theories have been offered as a motive for the murder. For example, it was suggested that Sam went to Marilyn's bed seeking sex, and when she resisted, he flew into a rage and killed her.

8. Sam's infidelity and troubled marriage

Sam Sheppard had more than one affair during his marriage to Marilyn, including his relationship with Susan Hayes, a California lab technician, which he originally denied at Coroner Gerber's 1954 inquest. He also had an affair with Bay Village resident Julie Lossman shortly before the murder. At least some of his relationships were known to Marilyn, who clearly resented them.

9. Sam's thumbprint on the headboard

Sam's thumbprint was discovered on the headboard of his wife's single bed. The thumbprint is in a place one might expect to find it if Sam were there murdering, or getting ready to murder, his wife. No fingerprints of anyone other than Sam or Marilyn were found in the bedroom.

BUT: THERE IS NOTHING TERRIBLY SUSPICIOUS ABOUT FINDING A HUSBAND'S FINGERPRINTS ON HIS WIFE'S HEADBOARD. THERE ARE MANY INNOCENT EXPLANATIONS FOR ITS BEING THERE.

10. Sam's bloody watch

Sam Sheppard's bloody watch (above) was found in a green bag on a bluff above Lake Erie. The watch had stopped at 4:15 (suggesting that it had become waterlogged at that time) and later went forward another 45 minutes before stopping at 5:00. Sam said the water under the crystal got there when he golfed in the rain or "inadvertantly water-skied" with the watch on. He claimed the blood got on his watch when he took his wife's pulse. Sheppard suggested that the murderer took the watch off his wrist when he lay unconscious on the beach, then put it in a bag with a couple of other items (class ring, key chain) and then dropped it or threw it away. Oddly (if the murderer was also a burglar), Sam's wallet was still in his pants pocket. Prosecutors suggest that the blood on the watch came from blood spray at the time of the murder.

BUT: DEFENSE EXPERTS CONTEND THE BLOOD SPOTS ON THE WATCH WERE NOT MADE BY FLYING BLOOD.

11. The missing table lamp?

A witness testified he repaired a metal lamp for the Sheppards and place in on the table next to Marilyn's bed. After the murder, there was no lamp on the table--an obvious place for a lamp. At the civil trial, lawyers for the county argued that the pillow stain is consistent with the U-shaped bow that surrounded the bulb and supported the shade, suggesting that the table lamp might have been the murder weapon. (At the first trial, the coroner described the bloody imprint as resembling "a surgical instrument.")

BUT: THE STAIN COULD SIMPLY HAVE COME FROM THE PILLOW FOLDING OVER ON CLOTTED BLOOD. ALSO, A BADLY DENTED FLASHLIGHT WAS DISCOVERED IN LAKE ERIE NEAR THE SHEPPARD HOME, AND MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE MURDER WEAPON.

12. No type A blood

Richard Eberling was found to have type A blood. No type A blood was discovered in any testing of blood stains coming from the Sheppard bedroom.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/sheppard/evidence.html

This is the evidence against Shepard.

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This is the evidence for Shepard's innocence. Same source.

No, Sam Was Innocent

1. Sam's hard to self-inflict wounds

Dr. William Fallon, the director of a trauma center, described Sheppard's neck and other injuries as serious "and almost impossible to self-inflict."

BUT: IT'S CONCEIVABLE THAT MARILYN, UNDER ATTACK FROM SAM, CAUSED SAM'S INJURIES.

2. Marilyn on his lap

On the evening before the murder, Sam and Marilyn seemed to be getting along fine. They had a meal with friends, and then watched the movie Strange Holiday on television. As they watched the movie, Marilyn sat on Sam's lap. This affectionate behavior doesn't suggest that of someone seriously thinking about killing his wife.

3. Sam's lack of previous violence

Most husbands that kill their wives have assaulted them at previous times in their marriages. There is no evidence that Sam previously assaulted Marilyn--nor had Sam ever been charged with any other act of violence.

Also, Marilyn's body was found by police spread-eagled with nipples and pubic hair exposed. Defenders of Sheppard suggest that exposing a wife in that way for others to see is "not something husbands do."

4. The damaged trophies

The police search turned up trophies that seemed to have been scratched or in other ways damaged. There is no reason why Sheppard, proud of his athletic prowess, would have damaged his own trophies. The damage would more plausibly have been caused by a killer who hated the Sheppards and was jealous of Sam's accomplishments.

BUT: IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT THE TROPHIES WERE DAMAGED ON THE DAY OF THE MURDER. THE DAMAGE MIGHT HAVE BEEN INFLICTED BEFORE THEN.

5. Where's all the blood on his pants?

The pants worn by Sheppard on the morning of July 4, 1954

The blood spattered on the walls of the bedroom suggests that Marilyn's blood was flying in all directions when she was killed. If Sam was the killer, one would expect to find Marilyn's blood spots in numerous places on Sam's pants. Sam's pants, except for one significant stain, were blood free. Also, his shoes, socks, and belt were without blood stains--and blood stains are hard to wash off.

Moreover, according to DNA expert Dr. Mohammed Tahir, the blood stain on Sam's pants did not come from either himself or Marilyn--but, presumably, from the killer.

BUT: IF SHEPPARD FOUGHT THE KILLER, WHY DIDN'T HE HAVE MORE BLOOD ON HIS PANTS? ALSO, THE BLOOD STAIN FOUND ON THE PANTS WAS TYPE O (AS WAS MARILYN'S) AND EBERLING HAD TYPE A BLOOD.

6. DNA analysis of the closet blood stain

According to DNA expert Dr. Mohammed Tahir, only 1 of out of 42 people have a DNA profile consistent with a large blood stain found on a closet door near Marilyn's bed--and Richard Eberling is one of those rare persons.

BUT: THE DNA TESTED WAS OLD AND BADLY DETERIORATED. THE RESULTS AREN'T RELIABLE.

7. Sam's apparent lack of motive

The prosecution never really offered a clear motive for the murder. There isn't any. Marilyn knew about Sam's affairs (and seemed resigned to the situation), they had a pleasant evening the night before with friends, they had a young son sleeping in a nearby room, and talk of divorce was sometime in the past. Why would Sam, suddenly in the middle of the night, trot up the stairs from the daybed on which he was sleeping and brutally murder his wife? It doesn't make sense.

BUT: SOME MURDERS DON'T SEEM TO MAKE SENSE. WE HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING WHAT MIGHT HAVE TRANSPIRED IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF JULY 4. SAM, FOR EXAMPLE, MIGHT HAVE DEMANDED SEX AND BEEN REFUSED BY MARILYN, SENDING HIM INTO A RAGE. AT THE VERY LEAST, WE KNOW THAT SAM'S AND MARILYN'S MARRIAGE WAS TROUBLED. HE HAD REASONS FOR WANTING HER OUT OF THE WAY.

8. If he did it, he'd have a better story

Sam was a reasonably smart guy with sometime to come up with a story. Why couldn't he have a more plausible story than the one he gave? Possibly, the very implausiblity of the story--getting knocked out by the killer TWICE, the murderer taking his wallet from his pants and then leaving it in the living room, wrestling with the murderer on the beach, Sam's description of the killer as a "bushy-haired" man--makes it more likely to be true.

BUT: COME ON!--GETTING KNOCKED OUT TWICE?

9. The sperm in Marilyn

Dr. Mohammed Tahir, a DNA expert, determined that one small sample of sperm found in Marilyn did not come from Sam.

BUT: SO LITTLE SPERM WAS FOUND THAT IT SUGGESTS CONTAMINATION OF THE SAMPLE WAS THE SOURCE.

10. Sam's refusal to confess

Most criminals, subjected to the gruelling hour-after-hour interrogation that Sam Sheppard faced, might be expected to confess. Sheppard never did. Publicly at least, he maintained his innocence until his death. Even his own lawyers, to whom he might have been expected to confide his guilt, were never told by Sam that he was guilty.

BUT: SHEPPARD, LIKE ANY MURDERER, HAD A STRONG REASON NOT TO CONFESS. IN ADDITION TO TRYING TO AVOID PRISON, HE MIGHT HAVE HAD AN INTEREST IN PROTECTING HIS SON FROM HAVING TO LIVE WITH THE ADDITIONAL BURDEN THAT HIS FATHER WAS A MURDERER. ALSO, HIS "YES" (SEE 1 TO LEFT) MIGHT BE SEEN AS A CONFESSION.

11. Eberling stole Marilyn's ring and admitted bleeding in the Sheppard home

Arrested in 1959 for larceny, Richard Eberling, a former window washer for the Sheppards, was found to be in possession of a cocktail ring owned by Marilyn Sheppard. Questioned about the Sheppard murder by police, Eberling said that he had bled in the house just days before the murder after he accidentally cut himself. He also knew of an obscure basement entrance to the Sheppard home.

BUT: F. LEE BAILEY CONCLUDED THAT EBERLING WAS NOT THE MURDERER, BASED ON EBERLING APPARENTLY PASSING A LIE DETECTOR TEST. HE ACTUALLY CALLED EBERLING AS A DEFENSE WITNESS IN THE 1966 TRIAL--SAM SHEPPARD, A FEW FEET FROM HIM AS HE TESTIFIED, NEVER SUGGESTED "THAT'S THE GUY I SAW THAT NIGHT!"

12. Eberling's alleged "confessions"

Kathy (Wagner) Dyal, a former nurse's aide to Ethel Durkin, who was murdered by Eberling, testified at the civil trial that Eberling revealed to her that he killed Marilyn Sheppard: "He told me that he had killed her and that he hit her husband on the head with a pail and that 'the b**** bit the hell out of me.'"

In 1998, shortly before his death, Eberling in an interview with James Neff, the author of a book on the Sheppard murder mystery, described finding himself in the bloody Sheppard bedroom. "My God," Neff reports him saying, "I had never seen anything like it. I got out of there."

BUT: EBERLING APPARENTLY PASSED A LIE DETECTOR TEST SHOWING THAT HE DID NOT KILL SHEPPARD. MOREOVER, EBERLING HAS GIVEN MANY IMPLAUSIBLE ACCOUNTS OF THE SHEPPARD MURDER, SOME OF THEM DEMONSTRABLY FALSE.

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The night Marilyn Shepard died, Sam had worked a very long day.

He'd done a full day of surgery, had lost a child on the operating table and had been called in earlier to set a child's broken leg.

adam-ross.com

I can't copy the addy site so I've written it.

Marilyn's 4 months pregnant. She's waved bye to their guests. He's already fallen asleep while Marilyn and their guests were watching TV. Understand that completely. She's gone upstairs to bed and left him there.

The assailant enters and sees Sam asleep, goes upstairs either to rob or to rape, finds Marilyn, rapes her then beats her to death.

Sam wakes up, grapples with the intruder, is knocked out.

Up to this part I have no problems believing his story.

It's the 2nd time he is knocked out that has always given me concern but...

I don't believe Sam killed Marilyn and I don't believe he was an accessory.

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Thanks for sharing Ant.

Funny that you bring this thread back. Yesterday I received a new book, one that I ordered from Amazon 2 weeks ago. I am Innocent !, written in 2008 by Jay Robert Nash, is an Encyclopedia about wrongly convicted persons. This Encyclopedia highlight more than 500 cases, including the Sam Sheppard case ( in fact Sam is on the cover of the book ). One of the most interesting book I have ever bought. I have now 93 books about True Crime, and this one is already one of my favorites :)

For more info: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JZWWMQ/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i03

51%2B2pBDjf9L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

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Wow. I've never studied this case, but I know the story because I've read about it, and I have seem programs profiling the case and then in the subsequent years, the son's efforts clear his father's name, and I never before recognized the interesting similarities between this case and the Jeffrey MacDonald case. I mean, I also recognize there are differences, too (the son unharmed is the most obvious), but the similarities are very interesting.

The husband was a well-thought of, well liked physician.

Although I think he denied it, he might have been a womanizer.

The wife was pregnant at the time she was murdered.

There was claimed to be more than one assailant.

The attack occurred during the night.

Husband claimed to have been asleep in another room other than the bedroom.

Husband claimed to have been woken up by shouting.

Husband claimed he was assaulted and lost consciousness as a result.

Husband showed (I think) questionable injury- certainly minor, compared to the wife's injuries, and the vicious nature.

No evidence of forced entry.

Scene appeared staged. (In this case, no evidence of burglary.)

Though innocence was maintained, husband never escaped scrutiny. (of course, in MacDonald's case, he was convicted, and is still in prison.)

I've always had problems believing Sheppard's account.

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Posted (edited)

Well, I spent a good part of my day reading about this case.

Yeah. I believe he murdered his wife.

Here's a link for excellent analysis of the crime scene.

http://www.trutv.com...d2/index_1.html

Edited by regi

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I grew up 2 miles from Bay View Hospital. I had my tonsils removed there and my sister worked there as a nurse. We passed it weekly if not daily and it was an eerie looking castle-like place and always overshadowed by the tragedy.

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I grew up 2 miles from Bay View Hospital. I had my tonsils removed there and my sister worked there as a nurse. We passed it weekly if not daily and it was an eerie looking castle-like place and always overshadowed by the tragedy.

How?

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How?

How? Shepherd worked there and it was a sensational murder for our little burb. The hospital was linked to him in the back of people's minds.

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I grew up 2 miles from Bay View Hospital. I had my tonsils removed there and my sister worked there as a nurse. We passed it weekly if not daily and it was an eerie looking castle-like place and always overshadowed by the tragedy.

That does NOT look like any hospital I've ever seen!

I'd forgotten that Sheppard was a D.O.

Thanks for bringing that very interesting, historical place to our attention!

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