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Robert BLAKE



Baretta Star Murder Case


Actor Robert Blake (pictured in this 1993 photo) is charged with murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley,
and is facing life in prison. Prosecutors say Blake killed Bakley to end his 'marriage of convenience.'

The defense says prosecutors have the wrong guy.



Blake, who started acting as a child in the "Our Gang" series, reached the height of his career
in the 1970's playing a cop on the television series "Baretta." He also won acclaim
for his role as a killer in the film adaptation of Truman Capote's, "In Cold Blood."



Bonny Lee Bakley had a history of pursuing celebrities and a checkered past that included
a criminal record and, authorities said, a career of running a lonely hearts scheme.



Christian Brando, son of actor Marlon Brando who met Bakley after serving a prison sentence
for manslaughter, was initially thought to be the father of Bakley's fourth child.



DNA tests proved that the baby girl, originally named Christian Shannon Brando, was not Brando's
daughter but Blake's.
She was renamed Rosie.



After the paternity test, Blake and Bakley married in November 2000, but not before signing a custody agreement stipulating Bakley would have to give up her "business." Blake and Bakley are seen here on vacation at Sequoia National Park.



On May 4, 2001, Blake and Bakley went to dinner at Vitello's, an Italian restaurant Blake frequented several times a week. After dinner, Blake said he went back inside the restaurant alone to retrieve a gun, but that when he returned to his car he discovered Bakley had been shot.



Paramedics arrived at the scene to try to save Bakley, who was still breathing. An ambulance
rushed her to a Burbank hospital, but she died less than an hour later.



In the aftermath of the shooting, Blake's lawyer at the time, Harland Braun, publicly discussed Bakley's checkered history and said there were many people from her past who could have wanted her dead.



The victim's family has spoken out against Blake in the media. Half-brother Peter Carlyon said in an interview that Blake told Bakley there was a "bullet with her name on it." Brother Joseph Bakley (pictured) appeared on ABC's "20/20" to talk about his slain sister, but was arrested on a fugitive warrant stemming from a parole violation in Florida.



At her funeral, Blake thanked Bakley for bringing Rosie into the world. Bakley's family
boycotted the service, saying they believed Blake was responsible.



Blake claims he hired bodyguard Earle Caldwell to protect Bakley, alleging a mysterious man with a buzz cut had been stalking her. Caldwell is facing conspiracy charges in her death and is free on $1 million bail paid by Blake.



On April 19, 2002 eleven months after Bakley's shooting Robert Blake was arrested
at his Studio City, Calif., ranch and charged with murder.



The jailed actor finally got to tell his side of the story on national television to ABC's Barbara Walters. The interview, however, came after two of Blake's lawyers quit representing him when the actor refused to listen to orders to stay silent about the case.



Robert Blake, known for playing stony, tough-talking types as an actor, strayed from type when
the "not guilty" verdict was announced March 16, 2005, in his murder trial.



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