Chronology of a Murder
week after the killing, a Cuyahoga County official filled out this evidence
Part 2 | Back to Part 1
July 10, 1954
Sheppard voluntarily gives a formal statement, taken at the Cuyahoga County
Sherrif's Office, with several officers in attendance.
July 20, 1954
Front-page editorial: "Someone Is Getting Away with Murder"—part of the
unabated editorial attack calling for Dr. Sheppard's arrest and conviction.
July 21, 1954
Front-page editorial: "Why No Inquest? Do It Now, Dr. Gerber."
Dr. Gerber calls inquest.
July 22, 1954
Beginning of three-day inquest staged in local school gymnasium to accommodate
large crowds, reporters, live television and radio crews; Dr. Sheppard searched
in full view of crowd; Dr. Sheppard's lawyer is not permitted to participate
and is ejected altogether when he tries to introduce evidence.
July 23, 1954
In the years since the murder,
Ohioan police officers who collected evidence at the crime scene have
repeatedly come under attack for purportedly shoddy work.
Cleveland police formally takes over the investigation of the murder from Bay
Village police and, for the first time, sends out its scientific investigation
July 26, 1954
Headline: Police Captain "Urges Sheppard's Arrest."
July 28, 1954
Editorial: "Why Don't Police Quiz Top Suspect?"
July 29, 1954
Vern Lund joins service, reports to basic training in Florida.
July 30, 1954
Dr. Sam Sheppard shortly after the murder. Notice his neck
brace and swollen right eye—consequences, he told police, of his battle with
his wife's bushy-haired killer.
Front-page editorial: "Why Isn't Sam Sheppard in Jail?"
Dr. Sheppard arrested and taken to suburban city hall, where hundreds of
newscasters, photographers, and reporters await his arrival.
Massive press coverage, including cartoons, editorials, rumor, innuendo.
August 16, 1954
Judge finds no evidence and releases Dr. Sheppard on bail.
August 17, 1954
Dr. Sheppard indicted for murder. Grand jury foreman Bert Winston complains
that members of the grand jury were under enormous pressure. Dr. Sheppard is
rearrested—his last day of freedom for nearly ten years.
Continue: October 9, 1954
Chronology of a Murder |
Science in the Courtroom
Create a DNA Fingerprint |
3-D Mug Shot |
Cleared by DNA
Editor's Picks |
Previous Sites |
Join Us/E-mail |
About NOVA |
Site Map |
PBS Online |
NOVA Online |
© | Updated November 2000