This Edgar Award finalist—one of Ann Rule’s top five true-crime picks—is a “gripping” definitive account of the Dr. Sam Sheppard murder case (The New York Times Book Review).
“My God . . . I think they’ve killed Marilyn!”
At 5:40 a.m. on July 4, 1954, the mayor of Bay Village, a small suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, received a frantic phone call from his neighbor Dr. Sam Sheppard. The news was too terrible to comprehend: Marilyn, Sam’s lovely wife, was dead, her face and torso beaten beyond recognition by an unknown assailant who had knocked Sam unconscious and escaped just before dawn. In the adjacent bedroom, Chip, the Sheppards’ seven-year-old son, had slept through the entire ordeal.
Almost immediately, the police began to suspect Sam Sheppard. The local press rushed to cast judgment on the handsome, prosperous doctor. After a misguided investigation, Sheppard was arrested and charged with murder. Sentenced to life in prison, he served for nearly a decade before he was acquitted in a retrial. Until his death, he maintained his innocence.
Culled from DNA evidence, testimony that was never heard in court, prison diaries, and interviews with the Sheppard family and other key players, The Wrong Man makes a convincing case for Sheppard’s innocence and reveals the identity of the real killer.
This ebook contains ten photographs not included in previous editions.
The brutal murder of Marilyn Sheppard in a Cleveland suburb in 1954 led to the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of her husband and precipitated a popular television series (The Fugitive), two hit films and the federal appeals case that made F. Lee Bailey famous. This is a story of "blood, violent death, mystery and sex," and Neff (Mobbed Up) brilliantly dissects the vital organs of the case, uncovering the terror and bureaucratic frustration Dr. Sam Sheppard encountered when faced with "a community, a court system, and a powerful press corps working in apparent lockstep to convict him." More importantly, he presents new case material, including blood evidence and unheard testimonies as well as Sheppard's prison diaries and interviews with those close to the investigation-all evidence that now points to the true identity of Marilyn's killer. Neff's illumination of Marilyn's unhappy marriage is careful and empathetic, while his portrayal of Sam's womanizing shows how easy it was for the prosecution to paint him as a killer. Neff's nose for news is no less powerful: he tracks the increasing public support of Sheppard's innocence, follows a pioneering criminologist whose career was nearly destroyed by Cleveland's political machine and sheds light on the historical shifts in the treatment of suspects since the Sheppard murder case. This brilliant, well-written story is one of the best true-crime volumes in years.