Chronology of a Murder
Newspaper headline signals the end of what until then was one of
the most protracted criminal trials in U.S. history.
Part 4 | Back to Part 3
December 21, 1954
Jury returns verdict of guilty in the second degree, ending what was until then
one of the longest criminal trials in American history.
Sheppard, incarcerated since his arrest, is sentenced to life imprisonment.
Five volumes of newspaper clippings from Cleveland are collected from trial and
Sheppard home returned to family.
January 7, 1955
Ethel Niles Sheppard, Dr. Sheppard's mother, commits suicide by shooting
January 18, 1955
Dr. Richard Allen Sheppard, Dr. Sam Sheppard's father, dies of a hemorrhaging
gastric ulcer and suddenly worsened stomach cancer.
January 22, 1955
Dr. Paul Leland Kirk, California criminalist, visits Cleveland and Sheppard
blood stains in the Sheppard's bedroom helped convince Dr. Paul Leland Kirk
that a third person was involved.
Dr. Kirk returns a report that discusses evidence of a third person, blood
spatter, and other items.
Hearing on motion for a new trial, in which affidavit of Dr. Kirk is presented;
motion taken under advisement and then denied.
Dr. Sheppard moved from jail in Cleveland to maximum security prison near
Columbus, Ohio, one of two in which he will stay until 1964.
July 13, 1955
Dr. Sheppard's appeal to the state court of appeals is rejected, and the denial
is upheld in subsequent appeals, including one to the U.S. Supreme Court,
despite commentary by every reviewing court criticizing the conduct of the
trial and the media.
Richard Eberling shortly after his arrest for larceny in 1959.
Richard Eberling arrested for larceny, including theft of Marilyn Sheppard's
ring from her brother-in-law's house.
William Corrigan, original defense attorney for Dr. Sheppard, dies; F. Lee
Bailey of Boston takes over defense within the next year.
Publication of The Sheppard Murder Case by Paul Holmes, questioning the
conviction of Dr. Sheppard.
February 13, 1963
Thomas Reese, father of deceased Marilyn Reese Sheppard, commits suicide with a
April 13, 1963
F. Lee Bailey files a new habeas corpus petition in U.S. district court;
prosecution represented by John Corrigan (no relation to William Corrigan,
prior defense attorney).
"The Fugitive," a highly popular television series inspired by the Sheppard
case, according to most observers, begins on ABC.
Continue: July 16, 1964
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