Statements Made to Ivestigators by Dr. Samuel Sheppard in Connection with the Murder of His Wife, Marilyn
Subject: Interview with Dr. Samuel Sheppard at Bay View Hospital (July 8, 1954)
Dr. Sam Sheppard stated that sometime in the middle of the night he was awaken by his wife Marilyn calling Sam, Sam. That he got up, thinking that it was another convulsion from which she had been suffering from since she had become pregnant. He went up stairs and at the head of the stairs he could see a form, the upper part of which was white, standing at the foot of the bed in the room in which Marilyn and he occupy. Marilyn was making little gurgling noises. As he entered the room, he felt that he must have been struck. The next thing he knew was that he was looking at his badge, which he carries in his wallet, that it was reflecting light from some place. He picked it up and stood up. He then looked at Marilyn and examined her be taking her pulse at the throat. He was stunned and dazed but realized she was dead. He then went to Chip's room (Sam Jr.) and looked in at Chip. He didn't touch him but was aware that he was alright. He heard a noise downstairs and went down entering into the living room. As he went towards the dining area he saw a dark form outlined by the door leading to the porch on the Lake side of the house. He chased this form out of the house and down the steps to the beach. As this form, which was in dark clothing, and was taller than he with bushy hair seemed to slow down on the beach and wait for him he came upon it with intentions of "really letting him have it". The next thing he knew he was wallowing in the surf with his face towards the beach.
He got up and went upstairs to the house and on upstairs to Marilyn’s room where he looked at her and covered her a little with a sheet because it came to him that she was always modest and it wasn't right for her to be like she was. He then went downstairs and tried to think of who to call, Mayor Houk was the only number he could think of so he cal1ed him. He could not recall where he was when the Houks arrived. He could not stated if it was 1ight or dark when this took place but outside there was light from someplace, enough that he could distinguish objects.
He was told that he was a suspect and that he would have to explain many things. He could not explain about his "T" Shirt or why his watch was found on the bank the way it was. He was asked to submit to a lie detector test which he refused because of his knowledge of it, and how it operated, that he would have a reaction because of his nearness to the tragedy.
This interview lasted 3 ½ hours.
Interview at Sheriff's Office on July 10, 1954 (11:40 A.M.)
County of Cuyahoga
Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard, you are now being questioned and may be charged with the crime of Murder at a later date. The law gives you the right to make a statement if you so desire. Anything that you may say here may be used either for or against you at the time that you are brought to trial in court. Now that you understand these facts, do you wish to make a statement telling us the truth about the facts that caused your questioning at this time?
Q: Has any drug or medicine been administered to you within the past twelve hours?
A: Just about twelve hours ago I did have a grain and a half of seconal which is a short acting barbiturate and should have no effect on me at this time.
Q: Is there any doubt in your mind but what you can sit here and give us a true statement of what you know that occurred in your house on the night of July 3rd, 1954? At 28924 Lake Road, City of Bay V1l1age, Ohio?
A: I feel that at this time I can tell all that I know.
A: After having a difficult morning and early afternoon at Day View Hospital where I am in charge of the accident room and the head of the Department of Neurosurgery, I made a couple of visits and then proceeded home. I arrived home at a time later than five o'clock, realizing this because I had hoped to work in the yard with my family and found that it was too late to do so. My wife informed me that we correction - that she had planned to get together with Mr. & Mrs. Ahern that evening. We were to go to their home for a drink before dinner and then return to our home for dinner. We realized that there were a couple of business matters involving vouchers that we should record and we did this before leaving the house. We compared notes and my wife recorded the material on the Sheppard Clinic vouchers. We soon thereafter went down to the Ahern's and drove our larger car as I recall. The Ahern's were both working in the yard with their children and we instructed them not to stop but to continue with their work as we chatted. My son was playing with youngsters in the yard. Mrs. Ahern insisted on going inside shortly thereafter and Mr. Ahern instructed his young son how to continue the lawn mowing with their power mower. We shortly went into their kitchen and some type of mixed drinks were prepared. I am not absolutely clear in regard to the exact nature of this drink since we often have done this in the past and I could confuse one incident with another. Shortly thereafter, or after being there for a short time, I received a telephone call from the hospital in regard to a youngster that had broken his femur which is the thigh bone. I had received this call as a result of reporting their number to the hospital in regard to my whereabouts. The type of fracture was described to me and I decided that I had best go to the hospital and evaluate the situation. I asked Mrs. Ahern to find me a clove so that I could put this in my mouth and overcome any slight odor. I got into the car and proceeded to the hospital where I examined the youngster and the X-rays that had been taken. This youngster, as I recall, was visiting here and lives in an area near Youngstown. I believe it was the father with the youngster but I am not absolutely sure. I explained that the youngster should be treated in the hospital and we hoped could soon be transported to the Youngstown hospital which I attend in the capacity of neuro-surgeon and traumatic surgeon. I then got in my car and returned toward my home, passing it since I did not see signs of the Ahern's, my wife and the children. So I returned to the Ahern’s home. Mrs. Sheppard shortly left to start the dinner. I and the Ahern's followed soon thereafter. I believe the children went with us but they may have run over by themselves. I really don't know. At our home Mr. Ahern and I chatted and the children played while the girls prepared dinner. The youngsters somehow evinced interest in my punching bag in the basement so I took them downstairs and placed a bushel basket under it so that they might reach the bag in order to hit it. I spent a moment or two with them showing them how it should be properly struck. I recall now that the children were fed in the kitchen before we ate. Shortly thereafter we four adults had dinner on the porch. It was quite breezy, the wind coming from the north generally, it may have been northeast or northwest but since the porch was cool, sweaters and jackets were in order and I put on my brown corduroy jacket. The others I am not sure of what they wore. I remember that my wife had baked pie which is my favorite dessert. The other types of food I can't truly remember.
After we had completed a leisurely dinner, Mrs. Ahern made some mention of a movie but we recognized that it was too late to attend a movie so we kiddingly suggested the television movie. The girls must have cleaned up the dishes while Mr. Ahern and I went into the front room. I am not clear on anything from dinner to the time we watched television together, but the dishes were cleared up. I think Mr. Ahem took his children home am put them to bed and my youngster must have been put to bed by my wife but I don't remember. Mrs. Ahern, my wife and I started to watch the television movie or program. I think it was a movie and as I recall now, Mr. Ahern sat over in the northwest corner of the room, that's the side toward the Lake, with a small radio turned on just loud enough for him to hear it and listen to a ball game which was in progress. The three of us watched the movie and Mr. Ahern reported the progress of the game a couple of times. He then either turned the game off or it had terminated and he came over to sit and watch television with us. My wife and I were sitting quite close in one chair and that is the last time I recall her in a relatively normal state, clearly. Mrs. Ahern seemed to be stimulated by our apparent affection and she sat on Mr. Ahern's lap for a short while.
Some time within the next few minutes, my wife moved to the chair I next to me because the cramped position as a result of the two of us in the chair, she said strained her back. Mrs. Ahern also moved either before or after that. We chatted as the program progressed and I became tired, relatively drowsy. I moved to the couch in the living room, situated on the west wall of the staircase and the east wall of the L portion of the living room which protrudes to the road. I lay down with my head toward the television in a prone position, holding my head and watching television. The television is on the north side of the room. My head was nearer the television set than my feet. It was toward the television set. There may have been a pilled helping to hold my head. I evidently because very drowsy and fell asleep. I recall wearing summer cord trousers, a white T shirt moccasin type loafers with no shoe strings, I am not sure of' the socks. I don't know whether I had removed my brown corduroy coat that I had put on earlier, or whether I did at this time or not. The next thing that I recall very hazily, my wife partially awoke me in some manner and I think she notified me that she was going to bed.
I eventually continued to sleep. The next thing I recall was hearing her cry out or scream. At this time I was on the couch. I think that she cried or screamed my name once or twice, during which time I ran upstairs, thinking that she might be having a reaction similar to convulsions that she had had in the early days of her pregnancy. I charged into our room and saw a form with a light garment, I believe.
At the same time grappling with something or someone. During this short period I could hear loud moans or groaning sounds and noises. I was struck down. It seems like I was hit from behind somehow but had I grappled this individual from in front or generally in front of me. I was apparently knocked out. The next thing I know I was gathering my senses while coming to a sitting position next to the bed, my feet toward the hallway.
In the dim light I began to come to my senses and recognized a slight reflection on a badge that I have on my wallet. I picked up the wallet and while putting it in my pocket, came to the realization that I had been struck and something was wrong. I looked at my wife, I believe I took her pulse and felt that she was gone. I believe that I thereafter instinctively or subconsciously ran into my youngster's room next door and somehow determined that he was all right, I am not sure how I determined this. After that, I thought that I heard a noise downstairs, seemingly in the front eastern portion of the house. I went down stairs as rapidly as I could, coming down the west division of the steps, I rounded the L of the living room and went toward the dining table situated on the East wall of the long front room on the lake side. I then saw a form progressing rapidly somewhere between the front door toward the lake and the screen door, or possibly slightly beyond the screen door. I pursued this form through the front door, over the porch and out the screen door. All of the doors were evidently open, down the steps to the beach house landing and then on down the steps to the beach, where I lunged or jumped and grapped him in sane manner from the back, either body or leg, it was something solid. However, I am not sure. This was beyond too steps an unknown distance but probably about ten feet. I had the feeling of twisting or choking and this terminated my consciousness.
The next thing I know I came to a very groggy recollection or being at the water's edge on my face, being wallowed back and forth by the waves. My head was toward the bank, my legs and feet were toward the water. I staggered to my feet and came slowly to some sort of sense. I don't know how long it took but I staggered up the stairs toward the house and at some time came to the realization that something was wrong and that my wife had been injured. I went back upstairs and looked at my wife and felt her and checked for a pulse on her neck and determined or thought that she was gone. I became or thought that I was disoriented and the victim of a bizarre dream and I believe I paced in and out of the room and possibly into one of the other rooms. I may have reexamined her, finally realizing that this was true. I went downstairs; I believe I went through the kitchen into my study, searching for a name, a number or what to do. A number came to me and I called, believing that this number was Mr. Houk's. I don't remember what I said to Mr. Houk. He and his wife arrived there shortly thereafter. During this period I paced back and forth somewhere in the house, relatively disoriented, not knowing what to do or where to turn. I think that I was seated at the kitchen table with my head on the table when they arrived but I may have gone into the den. I went into the den as I recall, either before or shortly after they arrived. The injury to my neck is the only severe pain that I can recall. I should say the discomfort in my neck. I didn't touch the back door on the road side to my recollection. Shortly after the Houks arrived, one of them poured half a glass of whisky as they knew where we kept a small supply of liquor and told me to drink it. I refused, since I was so groggy anyway, I was trying to recover my senses. I soon lay down on the floor. Mr. Houk and Mrs. Houk went upstairs, I am not sure of their actions. Mr. Houk called the police and the ambulance; this is in my recollection, and also my brother Richard. I am pretty sure that Mr. Houk called the police station from my study because he said "bring an ambulance"- correction - he referred to the need of an ambulance and maybe two. He also called my brother Richard. I remember my brother, Dr. Richard, speaking with me for a moment and looking at me. I believe Officer Drohnken spoke to me and asked how I had been injured. I can't recall my reply for sure. Soon thereafter I was on the floor trying to give my neck and head some support, when Dr. Stephen Sheppard examined me some time thereafter. Dr. Stephen Sheppard assisted me to his car, which I think was his station wagon, which as I recall, was just behind the Bay Village ambulance. I remember no other specific vehicles. I was transported to Bay View hospital.
I related some of the incidents to mayor Houk and one or more of the Bay Village police officers. Later in the morning I was questioned by Dr. Gerber and at another time by two officers of the Cleveland Police Department, Officers Schottke and Gareau. Later, I believe, later in the day, I was again interviewed by Officers Schottke and Gareau the presence of Chief Baton of the Bay Village Police Department. At this time I was asked to explain some things that I had no explanation for. I was shown a green bag; a green cloth bag looked like heavy cloth. I thought it was eight or ten inches long and five inches wide. I was asked to identify it. It looked to me like a bag that is used to carry motor boat tools. This was similar to the bag, if not the same bag, that accompanied my Johnson outboard motor vehicle I purchased it. I was also shown a watch that I identified as mine and questioned why there was blood on the band and crystal and why it had been found in this bag with some other articles in the weeds behind my house on the bank. I am not sure but I believe Officer Schottke said that there was also a ring and keychain, also in the bag but I don’t believe that he showed me these articles. I told him, as I recall, that I had attended stock car races two or three days previously with my wife, Otto Graham and his wife and I didn’t mention the children as I recall and was caught in a drenching rain, at which time I wore no coat or jacket but I don't think I explained this at that particular time. I since recall having inadvertently this at that particular time. I since recall having inadvertently water-skied with my watch on in the past few days and had noticed a great deal of moisture in the crystal. I had commented on this to my wife and some other people, I am not sure who. My wife planned to take the watch to Halle Brothers in the near future where she had purchased it.
A: I was subjected to a period of questioning, all of which I can’t recall at this time but was reminded of this morning and then the officers left.
Q: How long had you known your wife Marilyn?
A: Since we were in Junior High School, approximately fifteen years, or slightly more, in 1937 or 1938.
Q: From the time you met her until you were married, did you see one another quite frequently?
A: I would say yes, however, there was a period when she entered high school that I remained in Junior High School, that we saw each other very seldom for being sweethearts. In other words, we were not going together but still giving each other and liked each other…
Q: When did you first begin to keep steady company with her?
A: When we were in Junior High School, when she was in the ninth grade and I was in the eighth grade. She was a year and a half ahead of me in school. We had a so-called affair which, as I say, became inactive when she went to high school, but was revived when I reached high school and was able to assert myself. This continued throughout high school. She as I saw, was a mid-year but; she took extra courses in order to stay in high school until June of 1941. Some time during my sophomore year, I had joined a fraternity and Hi-Y and I offered her my Hi-Y pill and eventually my fraternity pin, which at that time signified going steady. During the following spring and summer she displayed the intent to have dates with other fellows. She was staying with her grandparents out at Mentor-on-the Lake. Early in the fall the following year, which was 1941, we resumed our former relationship. The following year I was a junior in high school and she went to Skidmore College. From that time on we considered ourselves engaged although it was not publicly announced und the fraternity pin was the only representation of this fact. This was a high school fraternity but a national organization and part of the laws of the fraternity insisted that only mothers, sisters and engaged sweethearts should wear the pin other than the active member himself. My freshman year in college, I joined a national college fraternity and she got that fraternity pin as soon as it was available.
Q: When and where were you married?
A: In 1945, I believe, February 21st, in Hollywood, California, First Methodist Church.
Q. Where did you take up residence after you were married?
A. In a small apartment on Sichel Street in Los Angeles.
Q. How long did you live there?
A. We lived there on that same street until the spring of 1951.
Q: During the time that you lived in California, did you and your wife, Marilyn have a misunderstanding whereby either one of you thought it best to part or separate?
A: During and following my wife's pregnancy up to approximately two years following the birth of the youngster, my wife became quite jealous. This was consistent with the termination of my didactic school work and the initiation of my work as a physician, which included contact with many women, both patients and fellow workers. This jealous reaction improved steadily until she became seemingly much more tolerant than I would consider the average female to be.
Q: Did she ever consult an attorney in reference to your domestic difficulties?
A. Not that I know of.
Q: Is it true that some members of your family communicated with her, asking her to be tolerant and reconsider her action?
A: Not that I know of, but I think that some members of her family, however, may have.
Q: Since your removal to the State of Ohio, what has been your home life?
A: Well, I considered it to be ideal in that she seemed to make it her business to be agreeable, tolerant and I should say, livable. Forever, there were times when this little jealous streak would show up but I would always reassure her and she seemed to need no further support.
Q: Did she ever directly or indirectly accuse you of having an affair with someone else?
A: She indirectly may have in questioning me about my whereabouts at various times and in the form of reassurance I often took her with me, when possible on visits to nearby cities or even the hospital.
Q: How would these inferences affect you?
A: Well they affected me in the direction of reassuring her what seemed to satisfy her and thereby produce a reversed action, whereby she would encourage me to be friendly with other women at social gatherings whereas at other times she might have resented the same action which she had encouraged before.
Q: Is it true, Doctor, that on several occasions when you were discussing your marital troubles, that you flew into a rage?
A: Absolutely not, never.
Q: Did you ever have an affair with a Sue Hayes?
A: I wouldn't call it an affair but we have been good friends for some time, which was known to my wife.
Q: Had she been employed at Bayview Hospital?
A: Yes. I don't know the exact dates. She was employed there when I initiated my work at the hospital and she terminated her work there some time last winter or early spring in 1953. She returned some time later in that year and terminated her work again at the hospital some time early in 1954. She went to California.
Q: In what capacity was she employed at the hospital?
A: Laboratory technician.
Q: While at work you had considerable contact with her didn't you?
Q: To what extent?
A: She did a great deal of the technical laboratory work on all of the doctors' patients in the hospital and was the only technician practically that readily answered emergency calls on accidents or emergency surgical cases. I might also add that she was considered during her stay one of the authorities when special work was necessary.
Q: Is it true that you socialized a lot with her?
A: In the hospital, yes. I wouldn't call it socialized. We talked we became good friends.
Q: Nothing more than good friends?
Q: What was the occasion for you purchasing a wrist watch for her?
A: She was in California at the time. I was there in March of 1954 and I had asked her with some of her friends to accompany me with a group of doctors and wives to a dinner, at which time or during the evening she lost her wrist watch. I paid the check for the dinner which, incidentally amounted to more than the wrist watch was worth and knowing this she could not afford to purchase another one, I purchased one for her which was consistent with the one that she had lost, in price range.
Q: Did your wife Marilyn know that you were contemplating purchasing this wrist watch or did she know immediately thereafter?
A: My wife didn't know of this until in casually discussing the trip some time during our trip home, that is, me and my wife, or after we had reached home shortly, at which time she became some what upset, failing to understand the intent. I wish to add, I told her of this voluntarily.
Q. Do you own a Jaguar Sport car?
Q: Where did you purchase it?
A: I purchased it from M.G. Motors, which was at that time located on Lorain Road and has since been moved to Detroit Road.
Q: Do you recall the salesman name that negotiated the transaction?
A.: The only real salesman is the boss and that is Mr. Robert Lossman.
Q: Did you have occasion to meet his wife, Julle Lossman?
A: I took care of her as a patient about a year and a half ago when they were involved in an accident.
Q: Did you become very well acquainted with her?
A: As a doctor-patient relationship, yes.
Q: Now, is it true that a very close friendship resulted from this meeting?
A: I would say a close friendship with both the husband and the wife.
Q: Isn't it a fact that it developed into a love affair?
A. No, not on my part certainly.
Q: Of your own knowledge, do you know whether or not there had been a discussion between Mrs. Lossman and her husband and you and your wife Marilyn that there had been such an affair existing between you and Mrs. Lossman?
A: That is difficult to answer. My wife and I were present at a time when Mr. Lossman and his wife discussed some of their marital problems. He at this time did mention the belief that she had shown particular like to me. We merely attempted to act as referees, my wife and I.
Q. How did this affect your wife Marilyn?
A: She thereafter felt that it would be best that we not arrange frequent social affairs with the Lossman's and I agreed.
Q: How long ago was it that you decided not to see the Lossman's so frequently?
A. That was last summer in 1953 after the middle of the summer.
Q: Isn't it a fact that you have contacted Mrs. Lossman by telephone since then?
A: I never contacted Mrs. Lossman by telephone. She contacted me always in regard to some medical problem in regard to her little girl or herself. I saw Mr. Lossman frequently at the car agency and I saw them both infrequently at gatherings of the Sports Car Club, which is it club that I am not very active in but attend functions of occasionally here in the city.
Q: Isn't it a fact that you dated Julle Lossman on several occasions?
A: Absolutely not. I know there was some rumor to that effect but it is not true.
Q: Did your wife Marilyn know of this rumor?
Q: How did it affect her?
A: She made it known to me and I reassured her and agreed that we should minimize our social contacts with the Lossman's and that was all there was to it. She had no particular objections as long as we kept it on a very infrequent basis.
Q: Since this agreement with Marilyn about the contacts with the Lossman's, did your wife Marilyn show any coldness toward you?
Q: Your home life was like an average normal couple's, had no bickerings or any petty quarrels?
A: No, because she respected my decisions on all matters.
Q: Directing your attention to the night of July 3d, 1954, at which time your wife was murdered, are you directly or indirectly involved in this crime?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: Do you know of any reason why someone else would take her life?
Q: Will you state the possibility?
A. Well, I don't know but I have heard of individuals who are maniac enough that when they start something, an act like that, it becomes a compulsion, a means of satisfaction like the ordinary man has from an orgasm or something of that nature. She has spurned lovers, potential lovers.
Q. How many of those potential lovers did she have?
A: Three that I know of and I am pretty sure, more. I am certain that there wore more.
Q: Have you told the police about these three and revealed their identity?
Q: The night of July 3rd, 1954, when you reached the top of the stairs, after you heard Marilyn's outcries, you say you saw someone standing beside the bed occupied by your wife, were they standing or stooping over the bed?
A: I don't recall seeing anything from the head of the stairs, it happened so rapidly, it must have been when I entered the room and I don't know whether they were standing or stopping.
Q: Immediately upon entering this room, did you have an opportunity to make some examination of your wife?
A: Because as I told you, I seemed to be immediately engaged in grappling, with someone.
Q: Do you know what portion of the body of this person you were grappling with that you had hold of?
A: I don't recall holding any portion of the body in the bedroom.
Q: You stated that you were assaulted from behind when you entered the room or immediately thereafter?
A: I felt that I was engaged from a direction somewhere within 180 degrees in front of me and you seemingly were struck from behind as I stated above.
By Detective Robert Schottke:
Q: At the time you were assaulted on the beach, what was the condition as to light or darkness?
A: As I related before to Mr. Rossbach, it was just lighter than dark, it was not as dark as darkest night. There was a light seemingly starting, about the best way I can put it, as though daylight was just barely beginning.
Q: At the time when you and this man were tussling or fighting on the beach, about how many feet of beach was there?
A: I don't know.
Q: At the time when you were fighting with this man, could you feel any water in which you were fighting?
A: I can't say for sure but it seemed like the bench was firm, as though it had been washed over and packed somewhat.
Q: At the time when you woke up, will you explain your position on the beach as to this retaining wall, how many feet you were from this retaining wall?
A: I don't know, I can't say, but I think I can say that I was between the easterly and of that retaining wall and the steps, but I cannot say how far I was north-south wise.
Q: At the time when you woke up on the beach, will you tell us as to the condition of the wind and the waves?
A: It seemed that it was somewhat windy and the waves were moderately high. I’ll say too high to water ski and not too high to fish, not real high but moderately high.
Q: Is there anything else that you can tell us about this, Doctor?
A: Not that I can think of now. I wanted to say that I have come here of my own free will to help you in every way that I can to solve this tragedy and I hope that you will give me the opportunity to give you any additional information when and if I shall be able to remember it or find it.
Q: Have you been treated fairly during the course of this questioning?
A: Yes, absolutely.
Q: Have you read the above statement and is it the truth?
A: Yes it is true.
Signed Samuel H. Sheppard
Robert F. Sehottke, Det.
Patrick A. Gareau, Det.
Carl Rossbach, Dpty.
Arthur E. Petersilge
This statement was taken by Gertrude Bauer and concluded at 4:15 o'clock P.M. Saturday, July 10th, 1954.