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Gerber's Inner Circle
A startling view behind the scenes explains why Coroner Gerber was so quick to decide Sam Sheppard murdered his wife and why the Cleveland newspapers pilloried the entire Sheppard family. (More)
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The Sam and Marilyn Sheppard Foundation

Founded by Janet Sheppard and Samuel Reese Sheppard in 2009, the Sam and Marilyn Sheppard Foundation, a project of Trust Counselors Network, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working toward solving three primary issues.

Issues of Concern

Violence Against Women. Boys raised in abusive and violent households (like the psychopath who murdered Marilyn) can grow up believing that normal behavior includes control of women and children with violence. Our culture -- via television, movies and various forms of advertising -- reinforces the idea that men have authority and a hierarchical right to dominate women. The combination can turn abused boys into violent men and even murderers. Our foundation supports early intervention programs that help troubled and abused children understand that violence perpetrated against women and children is not acceptable. 

Victims of Homicide and Injustice. The victims of homicide include family members and friends who know and love the person who was murdered, and the trauma inflicted by that murder reaches deep into their hearts and psyches. Compounding the problem, children and families of accused persons (whether innocent or guilty) almost always find themselves ostracized and attacked by certain segments of society because their names link them with the person accused of a crime. Our foundation supports psychological and trauma counseling for children and families related to homicide victims and persons accused of violent crimes.

Criminal Justice Reform. The Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of the press, and it staunchly defends every citizen's right to due process and a fair trial. The United States Supreme Court landmark decision regarding Dr. Sam's trial (see Sheppard v. Maxwell 1966) gives defendants legal precedent for appeal when news media overstep the boundary between free expression and yellow journalism.

Dr. Sam Sheppard's ordeal helped safeguard your right to a fair trial, but if the criminal justice system makes a mistake - as it sometimes does by convicting innocent men and women - it lacks a clear process for reversing its gears and restoring that innocent person's good name. We believe this needs to change. We also believe that the death penalty adds violence to an already violent culture. The Sam and Marilyn Foundation supports organizations working toward criminal justice reform. 

Our Mission: 

  • To make life safer for women by supporting early intervention for troubled and abused children.
  • To assist children and families victimized by homicide and injustice. 
  • To create an informed public perception and understanding of this case and to use its lessons to further improve our country's criminal justice system.

Please join our quest! Click here.

". . . there is a personal Power, God, equally available to rich and poor, to Jew and Gentile, to men and women, to the wise and the foolish, to the just and the unjust."

-- Howard Thurman, The Inward Journey