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Sam Sheppard Trial
Transcript of Sam Sheppard Trial
Outline of Facts
Marilyn & Sam water skiing
Background of the Trial
US Supreme Court Decision on fair trial rights
Reversal of murder conviction because Dr. Sheppard wasn't allowed due process
"Virulent publicity" may have affected jury's verdict
Launched career of defense attorney F. Lee Bailey
Widely recognized because of notable figures
Dorothy Kilgallen – columnist & quiz show star
Otto Graham – NFL quarterback for the Cleveland Browns
Joseph Goebbels – chief Nazi propagandist
Associated with popular early 60's show,
Doctor wrongfully accused of killing wife escapes prison to search for real murderer
Dr. Sheppard's Motif to Kill?
Question of fetus' father?
Sam's 4 month old unborn child
Sam's extramarital affairs – Nurse Susan Hayes at hospital
Did argument & fight of affairs lead to Sam murdering his wife?
Sam denied affair
Hayes confirmed affair
Public viewed Sheppard as a liar with a motive to kill
People Involved in the Trial
Victim: Marilyn Sheppard (wife)
Defendant: Dr. Sam Sheppard
Judge Edward Blythin
State: John Mahon & Tom Parrino
Defense: Bill Corrigan & Frank Garmone
State: Attorney General William Saxbe
Defense: F. Lee Bailey
Judge Francis Talty
State: Leo Spellacy
Defense F. Lee Bailey
Outcome of Trials
Trial 1: Guilty of murder in the 2nd degree
Impact of Media Publicity
The Cleveland Press,
Seltzer accused Dr. Sheppard & family of thwarting investigation
Police response to media & public's requests
Defense requested a change of venue & later court date for the media and publicity to die down, but both motions were denied
Supreme Court: reversed Sheppard's conviction by the Sixth Circuit Court, 8:1 vote
Trial 2: Not guilty
Linder, Douglas. "The Dr. Sam Sheppard Trials (1954 Trial and 1966 Retrial)." The Dr. Sam Sheppard Trials (1954 Trial and 1966 Retrial). Doug Linder, Professor of Law, 2006. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. <http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/sheppard/samsheppardtrial.html>.
McGunagle, Fred. "The Murder of Marilyn Sheppard." The Case of Dr. Samuel Sheppard — — Crime Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. <http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/famous/sheppard/index_1.html>.
Home in Bay Village, Cleveland, Ohio
Sam - Osteopathic surgeon
Marilyn – homemaker
One son, Sam jr. (Chip)
July 3rd, Sheppard's host dinner for a neighborhood family
July 4th, 4:30 am Marilyn's time of death
6 am Sam Sheppard calls about wife's murder
July 5th, Sheppard murder headlines as the front page of all Cleveland papers
July 30, Sam Sheppard is arrested for the murder of his wife after
The Cleveland Press
headlines a story asking "WHY ISN'T SAM SHEPPARD IN JAIL?"
Normal night before
Sheppard slept on daybed downstairs, heard sounds & ran upstairs
Claimed he saw a "white, bushy-haired form" next to his wife's bed, he attacked the form, & was then knocked unconscious
Came to, checked wife's pulse, checked on son, went downstairs, found "form" and chased him to beachfront
Came to, without watch or t-shirt
Called friend, Bay Village mayor, Spencer Houk shortly after he returned home
Sam's "confession": Handwriting analysis confirmed
Lack of forced entry
Time & story inconsistencies
Signs of staged sex crime & burglary
Blood on watch
Lack of motive
1951: Rosenbergs sentenced to death
1953:Eisenhower becomes president
1954: Brown vs. Education: racial segregation banned from public schools
Influence of the Newspaper
"Doctor Calls Second Lie Test Refusal Final"
"Why No Inquest? Do It Now, Dr. Gerber"
"Why Don't Police Quiz Top Suspect?"
"Quit Stalling -- Bring Him In"
"Get That Killer"
"Says Doctor's Wife Wanted To Get Divorce"