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 Sam Sheppard

Sam Sheppard

Original Name Samuel Holmes
Birth
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Death 6 Apr 1970 (aged 46)
Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Burial Mayfield Heights, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Plot Mausoleum North Wing Extension, Crypt 744E
Memorial ID 6938 · View Source
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Osteopath, Professional Wrestler. Sam Sheppard was tried and convicted of killing his wife Marilyn in a Cleveland suburb. It unleased a fifty year odyssey that shattered his prominent family and finally culminated in a foolhardy trial to force the State of Ohio to pay millions in compensation for false imprisonment. In a trial with world wide scrutiny and attention, he was convicted of second-degree murder and served ten years in prison before his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. A second trial won him an acquittal.. These events literally decimated his prominent Bay Village, Ohio family. Days after he was convicted, his mother shot herself to death and a few weeks later his father died of a hemorrhaging ulcer and finally Marilyn Sheppard's father committed suicide. Dr. Sheppard had to sue to get his medical license back and then when reinstated, numerous malpractice lawsuits resulted in cancelation of his coverage by Insurance companies. His livelihood was destroyed. He was born in Cleveland as Samuel Holmes Sheppard the youngest of three sons born to Dr. Richard Allen Sheppard. He attended Cleveland Heights High School where he was an excellent student active in football, basketball and track and was class president for three years. Although several small Ohio colleges offered him athletic scholarships, he chose to follow the lead of his father and two older brothers into osteopathic medicine. He enrolled at Handover College in Indiana to study prepositional courses and then took supplementary courses at Western Reserve University in Cleveland and finished his schooling at the Los Angeles Osteopathic School of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his internship, received his degree and became a resident as a neurosurgeon at Los Angeles County General Hospital but returned to Ohio and joined his father's growing hospital and family practice. Now married to Marilyn, the couple settled into a residence located on a cliff above the Lake Erie shore in fashionable Bay Village a Cleveland suburb. It became a murder scene and with Sam Sheppard's conviction of second degree murder of his four months pregnant wife Marilyn, he received a life sentence. He was an exemplary inmate at Ohio State Prison in Columbus while working in the prison hospital. Sheppard became involved in a long distance correspondence with a prison groupie from Germany. Upon release from prison on a technicality, he promptly married his German pen pal. His legal troubles began anew, he was retried for the death of his wife but this time a not guilty verdict was forthcoming. However, his life went quickly downhill. Although reinstated to practice medicine, he again lost the privilege. His German wife filed for divorce charging that while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, Sam had stolen her money and physically abused her. He settled in Columbus, Ohio and worked as a pro wrestler in an attempt to support himself. He married the 20 year old daughter of his wrestling manager but a year later was found dead in the couples home. The cause of death was ruled as cirrhosis of the liver. He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Columbus but this would prove to be only temporary. Prologue: Some forty years after the death of his mother, and some thirty years following the death of his father, Sam Reeve Shepherd's (Chip) filed a wrongful imprisonment civil lawsuit against the State of Ohio. The unemployed dental hygienist from Oakland, California had focused his life on clearing his father's name and solving his mother's slaying. The case was heard in Cleveland and his claim was unanimously rejected by an eight-person jury. Leading up to the trial, both of his parents were exhumed for tests. His father was taken to Cleveland for the autopsy and was then cremated with the urn being placed in the mausoleum crypt with his murdered mother at Knollwood Cemetery in Cleveland. All newspaper articles mentioned the Sam Sheppard Case was the inspiration for the 'Fugitive' and an accompanying movie. Its creator, screenwriter Roy Huggins, has vehemently denied this. Richard Eberling, a convicted murderer of an elderly woman, who was always mentioned as the true killer and was present in the murder house the day before washing windows, died in a prison hospital in Ohio always maintaining no involvement. Sam Sheppard, who died nearly penniless at age 46 went to his grave claiming the deed was the work of a "bushy-haired" man. Members of the Cleveland Police Department, the Prosecution spearheaded by County Coroner Dr Gerber, and the jury that convicted him all went to their graves believing that they had the right man.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 14 Nov 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6938
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sam Sheppard (29 Dec 1923–6 Apr 1970), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6938, citing Knollwood Cemetery, Mayfield Heights, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .