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Welcome to -- An Online Mystery Magazine

This non-profit website is sponsored by The Sam and Marilyn Sheppard Foundation is an online magazine that serves as an educational forum, enabling interested groups and individuals to explore all the facts of this case and come to their own conclusions. Our regular visitors include people who are passionate about solving murder mysteries, journalists, true crime fans, lawyers, criminal investigators and other professionals as well as students in law enforcement, forensic science and criminal justice. Whatever your interest, you are always welcome. Please return often, and we cordially invite you to become a member.

Who are we?

We are the second generation -- sons and daughters impacted by Marilyn's murder and the injustice leading to Sam's conviction. We could simply go on with our lives (as we have done for the past 55 years), but the Internet has given us opportunity to speak directly to you. We want to provide all the facts of this case as we understand them and enable you to make up your own mind about who killed Marilyn Sheppard. And we believe it is time to heal. That means naming it, telling the story, and forgiving those people whom we have blamed for decades.

Dr. Sam's son Samuel Reese Sheppard attempted to identify his mother's real killer with new DNA evidence in a civil suit in 2000, but the State of Ohio kept that important evidence out of court. Now young Sam and his cousins are taking all the evidence and our story directly to the public through this website in the form of an interactive mystery magazine. We hope you will join our website, which gives you access to our monthly mystery magazine.

Click here to join

Who was Dr. Sam Sheppard?

Mrs. Marilyn Sheppard, Chip and Dr. Sam SheppardOn July 4, 1954, Dr. Samuel Sheppard (a young Osteopathic neurosurgeon) found his wife Mrs. Marilyn Reese Sheppard bludgeoned to death in their family home in Bay Village, Ohio. Dr. Sam was accused of the crime by the county coroner before any investigation was carried out. The local newspapers dedicated hundreds of front-page headlines portraying Sam Sheppard as the prime suspect and demanding his arrest.

Dr. Sam was a dedicated physician, a caring husband and father . . . and a womanizer. He had his faults, but that did not make him a murderer!

Marilyn, Chip (Sam Reese Sheppard) and Sam Sheppard circa 1950 >

Sam always insisted he did not kill Marilyn, and he never wavered from his vague story about what happened the night she was murdered. But he lied about his extra-marital affairs. That conduct in 1954, combined with a strangely biased analysis of the crime scene, set the stage for his conviction. The State of Ohio asked for the death penalty, but the jury sent him to prison for life.

The 1954 trial -- influenced by an overzealous press and later described as a "mockery of justice" by a higher court -- was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Dr. Sam Sheppard was declared "Not Guilty" by a jury of twelve in his first and only fair trial in 1966. He was released from prison after serving 10 years in the Ohio Penitentiary.

Although Dr. Sam attempted to resume his medical practice, his life was forever altered, and he died four years later of liver disease at the age of 46.

Who was Marilyn Reese Sheppard?

Marilyn was a beautiful young woman, pregnant and in the prime of life, raped and murdered in her bed by what Carol Lee Flinders has identified as an "enforcer of patriarchy." (Please refer to the article listed below as an excerpt from author Flinders' profoundly insightful book, At the Root of This Longing.)

Unfortunately, most people know more about Marilyn in death than in life. Her life was cut short by the kind of violence perpetrated against women every day -- violence that is encouraged through subtle messages about women as doled out by movies, television and advertising. Marilyn lived her 30 brief years of life with a sincerity and compassionate vitality that quickly attracted people -- all kinds of people -- into her circle of influence.

Excerpts from Marilyn's unpublished biography, researched and written by Melissa Reese Weigle (the daughter of Marilyn's favorite cousin) will be included in our FREE e-bulletin, "Who Speaks for Marilyn."

The Sam and Marilyn Sheppard Foundation

As a nonprofit organization, the Sam and Marilyn Foundation works toward solving three primary issues: On-going violence against women, assisting victims of homicide and injustice, and 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