Robert Blake, that was the prime doubt in Bonny Lee Bakley"s killing investigation, later lost a polite suit in i m sorry he was orderd to pay Bakley"s kids $30 million (reduced come $15 million) for "intentionally causing" her death.

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Fifteen years ago, after a four-month trial, a Los Angeles jury uncovered actor Robert Blake no guilty the murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, closing the publications on a instance “that affiliated revenge, fight men and also some Hollywood bit players,” together THR described it.

The death had developed in 2001 when Blake, climate 67, and also Bakley, 44, dined in ~ Vitello’s in Studio City. After leaving the restaurant and also walking to your 1991 evade Stealth on a next street, Blake double back, telling Bakley he’d left the pistol that legally lugged inside Vitello’s. When he went back to the vehicle, he told police, he found Bakley shoot in the head and dying in the prior seat. Indigenous the beginning, Blake was the element suspect, and also details of your odd marriage were splashed across headlines. He had actually been a son star (The treasure of the Sierra Madre), play a killer in 1967’s In Cold Blood and won one Emmy for his catchphrase-generating character on the 1970s detective present Baretta (“Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”). She had actually been married ripe times before, had actually run myriad sex-based con games, desperately wanted to wed a celebrity (one target was Jerry Lee Lewis) and was on probation because that fraud when Blake married her six months before her death. (She likewise had a 5-month-old daughter that she declared was fathered by Marlon Brando’s son, Christian; testing proved the infant was Blake’s).


“This to be the first celebrity killing after O.J. Simpson,” states Blake’s lawyer M. Gerald Schwartzbach. “The LAPD and also D.A. Wanted to consist of for the perception that they’d blown the case. They wanted a conviction and didn’t treatment how they gained it.” In a civil suit eight months later, Blake to be ordered to pay $30 million (reduced to $15 million) to Bakley’s youngsters for “intentionally causing” her fatality by conspiring to have actually her killed. The actor, now 86, resides in an apartment in the san Fernando Valley.

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This story an initial appeared in the in march 11 worry of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click right here to subscribe.