Marilyn Sheppard, four months pregnant and mother of a toddler son, was bludgeoned to death in her Bay Village, Ohio, home in the early morning of July fourth, 1954. The cause of death was 27 blows to the head with a heavy instrument. Who took her life so brutally has been the subject of much controversy and debate for over half a century. Was it her husband, Dr. Sam Sheppard, who was convicted in what was then called "the Trial of the Century", in the case that helped inspire the TV series and the movie The Fugitive? Or was the killer, as Dr. Sam claimed, a "bushy-haired intruder"? Or could it have been Richard Eberling, the window washer who worked for the family, as the Sheppard's son, Sam Reese Sheppard, believes? Dr. Sam spent 10 years in prison before the US Supreme Court overturned the initial verdict in an important legal decision, determining that the doctor did not receive a fair trial due to excessive press coverage.
Defended by F. Lee Bailey in his second trial in Cleveland, Sheppard was found not guilty of his wife's murder. And then in 2000, in what has been referred to as "the Retrial of the Century", Sam Reese Sheppard attempted to prove in a civil trial, while suing the State of Ohio for millions of dollars, that his father had been wrongly incarcerated.
This volume presents a comprehensive and final analysis of this controversial case from the perspective of the prosecutors. Jack DeSarion, together with co-author William D. Mason, the chief attorney for Cuyahoga County, Ohio, provides all the facts, evidence, expert testimony, both old and new statements of the principals in this case, which concluded in April 2000. The jury unanimously found that Dr. Sheppard was not innocent.
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Absolutely. I thought it was very well written and it was a different take on the trial than other books I've read on the subject.
I really enjoyed hearing the prosecutor's side of the story and how they built their case and defense.
Fascinating case, but -
This is a fascinating case. It's unfortunate that the book was so poorly edited. There is a great deal of repetition and unnecessary detail to wade through, and it's the first time ever I wished I'd had an abridged version (which I normally avoid like the plague). The reader is careful to articulate clearly, but is pretty bland. This is, nevertheless, an interesting document of the case from the point of view of the prosecution. If this story interests you, you'll hang in there as I did just to sift through the facts, which are not organized for literary value, but do give you plenty of info with which to form your own opinion on whether the guy was guilty or not. And it is good to see someone step up and speak for the real victim of this awful crime.