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Dr. Sam Sheppard

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Dr. Sam Sheppard, an osteopathic neurosurgeon, practiced at Bay View Hospital with his father, Dr. Richard Sheppard, in Bay Village, Ohio (approximately 15 miles west of Cleveland, Ohio.)  Approximately 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, 1954— several hours after guests left their annual Fourth of July celebration, Dr. Sam Sheppard went for a walk on the shores of Lake Erie behind their home, then fell asleep on the couch. He was awakened by screams upstairs and discovered a gruesome scene of a "bushy-haired man" attacking his wife. Sam Sheppard was struck on the head and, when he awakened, discovered his wife's bloody corpse. Years before this event, William O'Malley earned his real estate license and held an open house across the street from the Sheppard home later that afternoon. He didn't understand why the street was completely blocked with police cars, coroner’s wagon, and neighbors milling around the home. William decided to cancel his open house due to limited parking and the surge of activity in the neighborhood. The mystery was solved when he read the afternoon edition of the Cleveland Press and discovered the sensational story about the murder of Marilyn Sheppard. Her physician husband, Dr. Sam Sheppard, was the leading suspect.


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Bay View Hospital (locally referred to as Sheppard Clinic), was purchased in 1948 (pictured below) by Dr. Richard Sheppard (father of Dr. Sam Sheppard.) It served as an osteopathic medical center from 1948 until it closed on March 1, 1981.)

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Loosely based on Dr. Sam Sheppard’s story, Hollywood profited by creating The Fugitive, a television show from 1963 to 1967 starring David Janssen. A movie by the same name was made in 1993 starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. Two factual items were changed in both the TV series and movie: Dr. Sam Sheppard became Dr. Richard Kimble; instead of a “bushy-haired man”, the murderer became a one-armed man. Although justice was achieved in Hollywood, it never occurred in real life.

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