Photo of the Day

Dr. Sam and Marilyn Sheppard on their wedding day.

Dr. Sam and Marilyn Sheppard on their wedding day.

Who Killed Marilyn?

The Sam Sheppard Case

In every decade of the twentieth century, there was one sensational murder trial that riveted public attention and at the time was called “the trial of the century.”

More than 40 years before the O.J. Simpson trial there was the Dr. Sam Sheppard murder case.

The victim at its centre was Marilyn Sheppard, the doctor’s wife, and the crime itself was so heinous and shocking, combining so perfectly extra-marital sex and violence, that it seized the country’s imagination and became an international media sensation. The trial was so polarizing it nearly tore apart the small community of Bay Village, Ohio, where the murder was committed, and its eventual verdict was so controversial that the appeals went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The repercussions of its conduct ultimately changed how juries and press-coverage of trials were handled in America, and the case itself was so compelling that it was thought to inspire the television show The Fugitive, as well as a movie, a docu-drama, a NOVA documentary, and numerous books.

At the same time, the case contained seeds of not only the dawning sexual revolution’s ecstatic explorations and moral hazards, but also the conflicts and ambivalences inherent in the nascent feminist movement: the competing roles women faced as professionals, spouses, and mothers in the second half of the twentieth century, seismic shifts in the changing expectations of both men and women that were already reverberating in movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Yet in spite of competing verdicts in three separate trials over the course of nearly fifty years, the Dr. Sam Sheppard murder case remains unsolved at worst, unsatisfactorily resolved at best. More immediately, to peer into it is to gaze on the darkest places of conjugal intimacy, to wonder at the limits and saving possibilities of matrimony, to question assumptions about a man’s capacity for fidelity as well as a woman’s tolerance of its lack, to ponder the degree to which, if at all, people are capable of change.

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Photo Of The Day

Allan Grant—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images June 1946, Marshall and Yolanda Jacobs kiss atop a flagpole, Coshocton, Ohio.

Allan Grant—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
June 1946, Marshall and Yolanda Jacobs kiss atop a flagpole, Coshocton, Ohio.

Love Atop a Flagpole

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Why is this a problem?

Ariel Castro hung himself in prison rather than face his life plus 1000 years behind bars. Now the liberals are having a moan about the fact he croaked.

From the Associated Press yesterday:

Ohio officials say two prison guards falsified logs documenting their observation of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro in the hours before he killed himself. A report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says video indicates no checks were done on Castro at least eight times the afternoon and evening before he died.

Falsified logs. Lack of supervision of an inmate. Lack of adequate staffing. Lack of communication. This is almost precisely what happened exactly one month earlier, in August, to Billy Slagle, the death row inmate who committed suicide just hours after his lawyers learned new information that might have spared him from execution. Here is the link to our Atlantic coverage of Slagle’s death. And here is the link to the “after-action” report in the Castro case.   Read more »

Real Clear Politics Moves Ohio to Leans Obama

Looks like my lunch with Leighton is a pretty safe bet. If Obama wins Ohio he has 265 votes, so only needs another 5 to win. That means Romney has to sweep the rest of the swing states except New Hampshire or he will lose.

Colorado (9)
Florida (29)
Iowa (6)
Nevada (6)
New Hampshire (4)
North Carolina (15)
Virginia (13)

We have already seen that Florida is leaning Obama. The maths doesn’t work for Mitt Romney.


Quote of the Day

Foreign Policy

Hard to fault the logic of this quote:

Indeed, the New York Times reported last week that when it comes to the economy, the all-important Ohio voters see Romney vs. Obama as an unpalatable choice between liver and Brussels sprouts.