Dr. Sam Sheppard on Trial: The Prosecutors and the Marilyn Sheppard Murder

By Jack P. Desario; William D. Mason | Go to book overview

Two

An Unlikely Setting for Murder

Late one warm summer night, at around ten o'clock, Bill Mason worked alone in his office in the Justice Center. He stood at the window looking out at the dark night brightened only by a few twinkling streetlights below. In the reflection of the window he caught a glimpse of his office. Once orderly, it was now overflowing with piles of pictures and stacks of folders and binders filled with reports, timelines, and testimony. He had set the task of immersing himself in the intricacies of Marilyn Sheppard's murder. He still had so many questions. What was Marilyn like? What was her emotional state at the time? What was the Sheppard family like? What could have been a motive for murder? He picked up the first folder and began reading.

Bay Village, Ohio, in the 1950s was a reflection of that era of great affluence, and adjustment, in U.S. history. A charming upper-middle-class Cleveland suburb of some 8,000 residents idyllically situated high above the Lake Erie shoreline, it was a community that enjoyed prosperity, family values, optimism, and conservative mores. Dominated by single-family households of working husbands, stay-at-home wives, children, and pets, this small town was a safe haven of gracious homes on spacious lots with well-manicured lawns and beautiful trees. It offered its residents a safe, snug haven. Violent crime was something that happened in big cities, not Bay Village.

The village seemed ideally suited to the needs of a young family like that of Dr. Sam and Marilyn Sheppard. Sam and Marilyn embodied the “All- American” image of good looks and youth and boundless possibilities. Marilyn Reese was beautiful and intelligent. At 5'7` and a lithe 124 pounds, with dark-brownhair and hazel eyes, she was popular throughout her years

-13-

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Dr. Sam Sheppard on Trial: The Prosecutors and the Marilyn Sheppard Murder
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Dr. Sam Sheppard the Prosecutors and the Marilyn Sheppard Murder on Trial *
  • Contents *
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments x
  • Prologue 1
  • One - The New Prosecutor Faces an Old Controversy 5
  • Two - An Unlikely Setting for Murder 13
  • Three - Did Sam Murder Marilyn? 38
  • Four - Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle 57
  • Five - Final Trial Preparation: the Emergence of the Prosecutor's Strategy 71
  • Six - Opening Statements: Setting the Stage 80
  • Seven - The Sheppard Team Presents Its Case 99
  • Eight - Science and Suspects: the Plaintiff and Efforts to Raise Reasonable Doubt 142
  • Nine - The Prosecutor Speaks 200
  • Ten - Dr. Sam Sheppard— Portrait of a Murderer? 232
  • Eleven - Closing Arguments and a Verdict: the End of a Legal Era 309
  • Appendix A 328
  • Appendix B 336
  • Appendix C 340
  • Appendix D 342
  • Appendix E 354
  • Appendix F 360
  • Appendix G 363
  • Appendix H *
  • Appendix I *
  • Appendix J 373
  • Appendix K 377
  • Index 380
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