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Bonny Lee Bakley

Murder Victim

Born: 7 June 1956
Died: 4 May 2001 (murder)
Birthplace: Morristown, New Jersey
Best known as: The victim in the Robert Blake murder case
Bonny Lee Bakley was married to actor Robert Blake when she was shot to death in a car outside a Studio City restaurant on 4 May 2001. Blake was nearby, having returned briefly to the restaurant where they had just dined; he denied involvement in her death. (Blake was carrying a gun but the murder weapon, another handgun, was found in a dumpster nearby.) Investigation by police and journalists revealed complicated and peculiar details. Blake reportedly first met Bakley at a local nightclub and they began a casual romantic relationship; they married in 2000 only after paternity tests confirmed that Blake was the father of her infant daughter Rose. (Bakley also had been carrying on an affair with Christian Brando, son of actor Marlon Brando). Bakley was said to have had a starstruck history of pursuing actors and other famous people; she also had a record of arrests for small-time crimes, and apparently made money by wheedling money by mail from men she met through lonelyhearts newspaper ads. Los Angeles police investigated nearly a year before arresting Robert Blake on 18 April 2002; they charged Blake with murder, saying they believed the actor had pulled the trigger himself. After many delays, Blake's trial began late in 2004, and the jury acquitted Blake of the murder charge on 16 March 2005. Later that year Bakley's children brought a civil suit against Blake.
Extra credit: Bakley was shot with a Walther PPK, the same model of gun favored by fictional secret agent James Bond... Bakely was shot outside Vitello's Restaurant, a favorite haunt of Blake's... Blake's bodyguard and handyman, Earle Caldwell, was also charged with conspiracy in Bakley's death, but was cleared of the charges in 2003.

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More on Bonny Lee Bakley from Infoplease:

  • Bonny Lee Bakley - Biography of Bonny Lee Bakley, The victim in the Robert Blake murder case
  • Robert Blake, - Robert Blake, actor, was acquitted by a California jury in March of the 2001 murder of his wife, ...
  • Robert Blake - Biography of Robert Blake, The Baretta star who was accused of killing his wife
  • Robert Blake, - Robert Blake, actor, was arrested in April and charged with murdering his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, ...
  • O.J. Simpson - Biography of O.J. Simpson, The NFL Hall of Famer charged with murder in 1994

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