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tv   2020  ABC  July 5, 2019 9:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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♪ robert, are you innocent? >> of course i'm innocent. so you think i'm a monster too? bipolar? i was tripolar. i was quadpolar. who the hell knows what kind of polar i was. >> he said, he is the shooter, and he said without missing a beat, robert blake. >> robert blake. >> and the winner is -- robert blake. >> let the good times roll. >> new wife, dare i say, washed up movie star, carrying a gun on the same night. >> he had a gun. he must have done it. >> donnie lee bakley.
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>> she was a professional con artist. >> robbing lonely men of money with the promise of sex. >> someone said you should put a bullet through her head. >> many people think he is in jail, he is convicted. >> i'm still here, you bastards. >> a witness in the case thinks he knows who the killer really is. >> smoke that! ♪ >> let me tell you about hollywood. when something bad has to happen, like a husband or a wife has to be eliminated, or an executive has to be eliminated -- and believe me, show business, there's a lot of strange things that happen. but the way they happen is like,
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i would talk to my lawyer, now that's confidential. he talks to somebody else, who talks to somebody else, who talks to somebody else. and then the word comes back to me. robert, get out of here, with your family. that's all you have to do. and somehow or other, something happens. and nobody can trace it back to anybody. that's what hollywood is about. that's what high end stuff is about. that's why millionaires never get arrested for anything. millionaires don't commit crimes. things happen. >> so it's los angeles, 2001. there's no twitter. there's no netflix. there's no facebook. there's no real internet for that matter. george w. bush is the president. it's before 9/11, and it's a couple years after the o.j. trial, so things are going along
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in the culture rather quietly. >> and that's when the robert blake murder case happens. >> the wife of actor robert blake was killed friday as she sat in the couple's car. >> the victim, blake's wife of less than a year, lee bonnie bakley, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head last friday night. >> actor robert blake, star of the 1970 tv series "baretta," finds himself in the middle of a real-life mystery. >> it was a big, big story in a very slow news month. >> here we go, it's like o.j. >> echoing in every mind were two letters -- o.j. >> it was huge. monumental. this was a true hollywood story. >> in los angeles today, police have acknowledged that the actor robert blake is considered a possible suspect in the murder of his wife. >> it sounds like a made-for-tv murder mystery, but this whodunnit is all too real. >> who was robert blake? >> robert blake was a star. he had been a child star. he had had a successful series
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called "baretta." this is someone who had been famous for decades. so many generations of people knew him. >> the public found out almost immediately that blake and his wife did not have an ordinary marriage. and that she was a lifelong con artist. >> he was a figure that hollywood was familiar with. she was like a figure out of a raymond chandler novel. she was a woman with a past. like someone out of a film noir from the 1930s or '40s. >> the circumstances surrounding the shooting of his wife were unusual. >> mr. blake and ms. bakley went to mr. blake's favorite restaurant for a meal. >> and they were chatting, laughing, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. >> they had walked down the re, car. >> then blake realized he had forgotten something in the restaurant -- his gun.
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>> so he left his wife in the car and went back to vitello's to pick up his handgun. >> and he came back and bonnie was dying. she had been shot. >> blake had run to a nearby house and asked a man to please call 911. >> address and emergency. >> my name is sean stanek. >> i heard a loud banging on the door. i open the door, i see him and i go, "robert blake?" i was stunned. i had no idea what was going on. he was just yelling, "you gotta help me!" he was manic. >> is she conscious, robert? >> no! >> she's not conscious. >> is she breathing? >> is she breathing? yeah, they're coming, they're coming. >> is the gentleman there who reported it? >> it's robert blake's wife. >> new wife. movie star, carrying a gun on the same night. yonastt rso for both, to try to figure out, did he have a motive, was he involved in her death? >> the police were very suspicious. >> who forgets a gun in a restaurant?
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>> blake said bonnie, his wife, was afraid she was being followed. >> blake has a concealed weapons permit and was carrying a weapon because his wife feared for her life. >> but the explanation for his gun just raised more questions. >> if he was worried for his wife's safety, why did he park a block and half away on a dark street? and that was something that did raise a red flag. >> police suspected blake from the very beginning. whave not r as a suspect in this case. >> they thought it was likely that he shot his wife himself or hired someone to shoot her. >> i was worth $40 million. i would hire somebody to shoot my wife in a car while i was out taking a pee or some [ bleep ] thing like that? i've been in hollywood all my life. >> this investigation lasted over a year. the police said it was the most extensive investigation in lapd history. >> it seemed like he must have done it, right?
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the wife was dead and he had a gun. he must have done it. well, it wasn't that gun. >> the murder weapon wasn't the gun blake was carrying on the night of the killing. and they could not trace the gun that was used back to blake. but two retired stuntmen had come forward and they said that blake had tried to hire them to kill his wife. and the police thought that would be enough to nail blake. >> this is robert blake under arrest. >> this is the bodyguard of robert blake now being arrested here in the burbank area. >> we're here today to announce that the bonnie lee bakley case is solved. >> he was booked on two counts of soliciting murder with special circumstances. >> in california, if you're charged with a homicide with special circumstances, potentially you're not going to get bail. >> i think the l.a. d.a.'s office would prefer that a high profile client would be in custody than be out arguing, pleading his case in public. >> we return to the top story, the arrest of actor robert blake. he'll be put in isolation, and
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authorities say that's standard operating procedure for high profile arrests. >> when we had celebrities in jail, we had to keep them out of the general population for their safety and the safety of other inmates. everybody wants to be a star, and all it would take is, is one inmate to think, "hey, if i beat that celebrity up, i'll be in the 'national enquirer' or some other publication." and we couldn't take that chance. >> months went by. blake is behind bars. and he really wants to talk to the press. he's an actor. he figures he can sway public opinion. but his lawyers wouldn't let him do it. >> robert's too volatile. he might have said something could have hurt him or maybe misinterpreted. >> for some reason that i don't understand, he feels that he wants to talk to america. >> blake kept trying to set up an interview while he was in jail awaiting trial. >> i ended my relationship when he made a deal behind my back to go on a television interview. i thought that was just a breach of trust. so i said, "you better get
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yourself another lawyer." and he got a very good lawyer. he got tom mesereau. >> i was against mr. blake giving any public interviews. >> this was the interview to get. everyone wanted it. >> barbara walters landed the interview with robert blake, of course. what did he have to say and what would happen when a highly skilled interviewer would confront him, as so many people wanted him to be confronted on what this relationship was and where he was at the time of the killing. >> i'm glad to see you. >> hi. i'm okay. >> good. what had you been doing today until i came? >> i used to do this for a living. >> i know you used to do this for a living. i'm going to sit here, and you're going to sit there. and we're going to have to put a microphone on you. let's start, gentlemen. >> boy, you're a boss. no question you're the boss.
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>> well, they're used to me by now. robert, you've been in jail now for almost a year, how are you doing? >> i'm a prisoner. i'm in a cement box in a jail. >> when you came back to the car and found your wife shot to death what did you think? what did you feel? te in a storm devastated area. a family pulled up. it was a mom and her kids. everything they had had been washed away. the only thing that brought any kind of solace was the ability to hand her a device so she could call her family and let them know that she was okay. (vo) there for you when it matters most. join us and get up to $650 when you switch. that's verizon. marie could only imagine
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when we asked robert blake for an interview, he said no, but he invited us over to his home and said that we could interview his friend. and this is what happened. the way that robert blake came into this world is very unusual. he came into the world despite the odds against him. his parents wanted to abort him. they didn't want him to be born because he was the result of an affair that the mother was having with his uncle. am i getting this right? >> he's going to tell you. >> he's there. >> i know he's going to tell you. >> this is getting too [ bleep ] difficult.
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>> okay. >> just keep everything rolling. >> okay. >> i'm just going to jump in here. i didn't know that you were going to start getting this heavy. this is the bottom line truth. >> let's fix your earplug. the wire's sticking out. >> i thought that was a part of my brain. because there's about three quarters of my brain that i would be happy to get rid of. >> okay, are we good? >> okay, nutley, new jersey. my grandmother and grandfather had a bunch of kids. tony was one of the brothers and jimmy was one of the brothers. and my mother married jimmy, although she was in love with tony. and started sneaking over to see tony and she eventually got pregnant by him and he left. she hated what was in her stomach because it belonged to
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tony and tony had deserted her. and jimmy hated what was in here because he knew it was tony's. and i knew both of them hated me. >> so you have this incredibly dysfunctional family. and what do they do? they go to hollywood to try and make it in the movies. >> hollywood, california, became the movie capital of the world. huge movie studios sprang up and began to turn out millions of feet of entertainment a year. >> i was 4 1/2 years old, and my lunatic father packed up the family with all the possessions and all that junk and we drove for eight days and eight nights across the country. >> and they start working as extras in the studios. most notably, at mgm. and that's how blake got discovered. >> he is really cute. he is really adorable and he's good at what he does because he does lots of little things, and
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you just sense that he is doing exactly what they want him to do. >> blake may have been unwanted in his own family, but the camera loved him and he loved the camera. so very quickly, blake starts getting speaking parts. >> but first, we're going to make some dynamite. >> if you talked, everybody on the set paid attention to you, which i interpreted as love. >> at the studio, he was supporting his entire family at home. he says his father was beating him badly. >> i was his punching bag. i wish i could talk nicely about him. it would be like me trying to talk nicely about the cops that put me in that cement box for a year. to this day i hate them. i'm still here, you bastards. i'm still here. i didn't die in that box. you got it? i'm still here. i'm 85 years old, i'm beat up all to hell and gone, but i'm still here and you're still pounding a beat. smoke that.
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so anyway, they were going to make me a star. >> hello, everybody. >> mgm saw him as a new star. and proof of that is they change his name from mickey gubitosi to bobby blake. >> we honestly believe that bobby blake is as great a boy actor as jackie coogan in "the kid." >> they cast him in his first feature film in the title role as mokey. >> good night, son. >> now i got my own mother. >> when donna reed hugged me, that was the first time that i felt loved. >> in mokey, he showed a range of emotions that impressed the studio.
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young bobby is on the brink of stardom, and then his father completely blows it by picking a fight with the head of the studio. >> and louie b. mayer had him physically thrown off the lot, and that's the end of the story. >> so blake leaves mgm and ends up going to make kind of low budget westerns. he gets loaned out though to other studios where he does get to meet hollywood legends. >> he worked with humphrey bogart in "the treasure of the sierra madre." >> beat it. i ain't buying no lottery tickets. beat it. >> 1,000 pesos is a good price. >> get away from me, you little beggar. >> and his mentor was john garfield. >> when i played john garfield as a boy in a picture called "humoresque," i had this scene where i had to start crying. well, i was dry as the mojave desert. there was nothing. i just couldn't get going. but garfield came around and he started talking about himself,
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and while he's talking, he starts crying, and i start crying. and then he said the best line that i ever heard in my life about acting or art or music or anything. he said, "life is a rehearsal. your performance is real." >> he played cowboys. he played neurotic thugs in "b" movies like "the purple gang." >> get out of here, you hear me? just leave me alone! >> in 1960, robert and i played drug addicts in a play called "the connection." and robert played a guy called ernie who was angry about his life and what was going on. his monologue was so real you felt he was going to crack any moment.
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>> he married actress sandra kerr and they had two children, noah and delinah. >> his big break is in 1967 when he plays perry smith in the film version of "in cold blood." blake reached down into himself, into his own experiences to create this character who was vulnerable and also murderous but who you, as a viewer, ended up having mixed feelings about. >> i guess the only thing i'm going to miss in this world is a poor old man and his hopeless dreams. >> his performance was acclaimed, and he was offered everything after that. >> you would have thought that on the basis of this he'd be a star because this is a star making performance. but it doesn't seem to happen that way. >> he turned down "the wild bunch." he turned down "midnight cowboy." the same role ate ar out of dustin hoffman. ngere! >> what's amazin he followed a big success with a
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string of failures. sometimes spending years before the next important project. >> some of the movies that i've made have been what i consider just fun, a lark. elliott gould was a big star, he was a giant star. and i didn't have a job and elliott gould was going to make this movie called "busting" about two cops. >> and robert blake i felt had a lot more experience than me and i thought, "he would be a great partner for me." >> he was funny and he loved to improvise. there was a scene where we both get beat up. >> i understand that vitamin "e" will clear this up almost overnight. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> that's funny.
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>> so by 1975, he's off hollywood's radar. he's not being thought of for any kind of big roles. >> then he was offered the role that fixed him forever in the public's imagination as a tough guy. the image led to fame, fortune and jail. still fresh... ♪ unstopables in-wash scent booster ♪ downy unstopables
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in the 1970s, the cop show was king and every network had to have its own cop show or shows. >> you had "mannix." "starsky and hutch." "the streets of san francisco." "kojak." and of course, there was "baretta." >> everybody my age, if you say the word "baretta," they break into song. ♪ >> you'd watch those promos -- . >> so "baretta" was one of those
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police shows where the cop breaks the rules to make sure that the bad guys are caught. >> i'll cut you a little. >> it was very much in time and in feel with the 1970s, right? this is the new kind of cop. >> it was a hit. >> and the winner is robert blake, "baretta." >> the show earned robert blake an emmy award in 1975. >> ah, let the good times roll. >> i saw him in "baretta." >> i watched "baretta" as a kid. >> what i liked about it, i liked his style. and he was a fighter. >> baretta had a lot of quirks. the man lived with a cockatoo. >> what was the deal with the cockatoo? >> i love you. >> he was brilliant. he was called la-la. there were five or six birds, and all of them did something else. but la-la was the genius. and he also was a troubled animal, because he was trapped in being a bird. he should've been a person. and if he got mad at you, you
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could see that he had that look in his eye, and he would grab your finger, and he'd look at you like, "you want to argue with me?" >> say good-bye. >> hello. >> so he was kind of nuts half of the time. but you could get him to do anything. he understood the camera. >> baretta was tough and certainly not afraid to use his fists when required. but he had a good heart and he was almost on the side of the weak and the vulnerable. > i designed baretta as my ideal self. it was a lot of things that i wanted to be. but people thought that was me, and they expected to find that when they met me. and it just -- it wasn't true. >> in the hierarchy of hollywood, movies are number one. tv is number two. >> blake considered a tv series a big step down for him. but he poured his heart and soul into it. >> he would come in in the morning knowing his dialogue to
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a "t" because he had rewritten it the night before. and it would be better. >> i never met a man i didn't like and i don't like you. >> he was a perfectionist. if he read a script and didn't like it, he would come into the office and throw it down on the table and say, "who wrote this [ bleep ]." >> jimmy garner, who was a dear friend, he said, "you can't be a perfectionist on television. stop trying to make it in cold blood, because you're not going to get that done." but i wasn't built that way. and i drove myself crazy. every script had to be better. every direction had to be better. every casting had to be better. i'd hire and fire people right on the spot in front of the camera. >> it was too much for blake and he ended the show. >> blake took several years off. he stayed in the public eye by appearing on "the tonight show"" he was on a total of 150 times. >> welcome robert blake.
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robert blake. >> robert blake on "the tonight show" was famous for shooting from the lip. >> it was nobody around to stop me. wasn't nobody could have stopped me anyway. >> you killed him. >> i was going -- i knew i wasn't going to hit him. i was looking at his throat and i was thinking, "wouldn't it be nice if i had his adam's apple in my hand." i say, "hey, jim, you can't talk no more." >> i said, "look at him. look at him. they think he's really like that." he's acting. >> his image as a troublemaker became cemented thanks to "the tonight show." >> and i did "helltown." >> "helltown" was about a priest who saves souls on the gritty urban streets of los angeles. >> heavenly father, let us go among them. >> i wrote it. i produced it. i directed it. and i was responsible for the money and all kinds of things. and it was about a priest. i thought i was doing god's work.
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it was just -- i was crazy. and i had a nervous breakdown on camera. and i walked off the set. and i walked off the show. i was always at least 50% self-destructive but when i wasn't working, i couldn't stand what i felt. bipolar? i was tripolar. i was quadpoalr. who the hell knows what kind of polar i was. i had 35 different feelings in 5 minutes. i was nuts when i was away from the camera. >> blake went through a messy divorce. and he went back into therapy. he quick acting for eight years and got into politics. supporting cesar chavez and working against nuclear power. >> i didn't need a lot of money. i was already a millionaire. but i was lost. i was lost in life. >> so by the late '90s, blake is acting very, very rarely. he works out.
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he plays his guitar. he goes to jazz clubs. he's a figure on the periphery of hollywood. but he's not working at all. so one night, he went to a night club, chadney's, and this blonde woman approached him. and it turns out her name is bonnie lee bakley. it would have been a good night to have stayed home.
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bonnie lee bakley. she was a professional con artist. she was involved in pornography. she had over 50 aliases. she had been married countless times. ten times? 11 times? >> i heard 8 or 9 times. >> six, ten. >> bonnie wanted to be famous, or be married to somebody who was famous. >> the word grifter was always attached to her. this con artist who just moves from place to place, basically robbing lonely men of their money with the promise of romance and sex.
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>> bonnie lee bakley always wanted to be in show business. she tried to sing. she tried to dance. at one point, she went into a studio and made a record. >> hello, my name is leebonnie. i'd like to tell you my story. >> unfortunately, bonnie was not blessed with any noticeable talent. when bonnie found that she was not succeeding in show business, she decided to put ads in swinger magazines. she would use different names and different professions, and come up with a variety of reasons as to why she needed money. there was one ad that said, "my name is julia, and i'm a nursing student, and i need money to pay for tuition." she'd send them sexy pictures of heo come omery meager beginnings anso many well known men?
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>> bonnie grew up in rural new jersey. and actually her mother gave her to her grandmother to raise. >> my father was an alcoholic. my mother had given up other children for adoption. it just was not a good environment. >> she said that at just 10 years old, she was already having sexual experiences with men. >> growing up, bonnie lived near a nudist colony, which one day a week, it was known in the neighborhood, had a day that you could swim with your clothes on. when she was 11, she and her sister margerry went there, only to find out that the day they'd gone was in fact the day they had to take their clothes off. margerry never went back, but bonnie went back all the time after that. >> bonnie was swimming there a lot. that's where bonnie got her start in the taking of photos. she was under age, people were taking photos of her and selling them. >> at 21, bonnie married her first cousin, a guy named paul.
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and they had a daughter holly and a son. >> bonnie's children didn't mind what she did for a living. her daughter holly did an interview with barbara walters at one point, and of course, barbara asked about it. >> describe her as a mother. >> she was everything to me. she was my best friend. she supported me in anything i wanted to do. she allowed us to grow into anything we wanted to. >> your mother was described in the press as a con woman. >> yes. >> help me with that. >> she did do things that most people wouldn't approve of. but it wasn't all that she did. she was a shrewd businesswoman. she ran the business. >> what was the business? >> well, for the most part, she sold pictures of naked women, a little bit of pornography. and she'd spend time on the phone, asking for plane tickets, or just whatever she wanted. >> what'd you think of your mother? >> i thought she was great. i love her.
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>> i will tell you that her kids loved her. she was a hell of a mom. >> so as bonnie gets older, her cons become more elaborate. >> she would lure lonely older men into a trap where they would put her on their will, where they would put her on life insurance policies. and once she had bilked them of whatever she could get from them, she would disappear. >> one of her involvements was with a retired lawman. he discovers that there's case after case, man after man of people who've been fleeced and hoodwinked by her from all over the country. the cases fill 400 pages of a manuscript he puts together and that he entitles, "ubiquitous bonny: mistress of sham, of lust, greed, and deceit." >> he told his niece that at some point, someone was going to put a bullet in her head. >> to establish her different aliases, bonnie starts stealing
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credit cards and forging drivers license. this ends up in her getting charged with fraud in 1998 in arkansas. one of bonnie's stranger hobbies was that she would record her telephone conversations. >> if you were talking to bonnie, you were being recorded. it was an obsession. i don't exactly know why, but she always figured she could use them later. >> i got three years probation just for having different ids, you know? and it wasn't even like i was really using them for anything totally, you know, too, too illegal, either, you know. >> in the 1990s, bonnie moved to memphis because she wanted to be jerry lee lewis' girlfriend. ♪ >> jerry lee lewis recorded "great balls of fire." he was a killer.
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he was one of the great rock-and-rollers of all time. >> bonnie lee was very, very determined. she just had her way of working her way in. she was just everywhere. bonnie lee as far as i know never had a physical intimate relationship with jerry lewis. >> bonnie wouldn't have been with him if they weren't sleeping together. >> bonnie was going around saying she was pregnant with jerry lee lewis' love child as they call it. we all laughed because we knew better. it would have been a miracle for it to be his baby. trust me. >> he was sterile. he couldn't have any children. >> a subsequent dna test proved that he was not the father. but she told the world that jerry lee lewis was the father of her baby and, in fact, named the child jeri lee. >> after jerry lee lewis, bonnie decides to set her sights higher. and she picks up stakes and
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leaves memphis, and moves to hollywood. >> she started stalking dean martin. >> he's an older guy. he's 78 years old. he ends up dying before she can actually get close to him. >> so bonnie focused on someone she'd been pursuing for a while, christian brando, the troubled son of marlon brando. bonnie had been interested in christian brando since 1991 when he'd been convicted of shooting his sister's boyfriend in the face. >> what she did was, she sent nude photos to him, fedexed them to him while he was in jail. and then they met when they got out, when he got out of jail. and that was it. that's all it took. ♪ >> so christian brando isn't the only person that bonnie has her sights on. >> she was about to meet robert blake. >> on that first night, robert blake had no idea who bonnie really was. >> she will be famous, but not for the reasons that she ever, ever would have wanted.
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you met bonnie lee bakley in 1999. what was your life like when you met her? >> i had no real life going on. i was in some sort of a strange transition. my kids were grown and gone. i had plenty of dough to last me the rest of my life. >> okay. so in comes this woman, bonnie bakley, whom you met where? >> a jazz -- jazz club. >> describe her to me. >> ah, she was pretty. what i used to do, this sounds pathetic, i used to go out at night to jazz clubs, once in a while.
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i was particularly lonely, i was still italian. i would meet a woman, and we would have sex. and i probably never saw her again. >> is this bonnie? >> yeah. i didn't know her name, i didn't know anything about her. >> while she was seeing christian brando, she was also seeing robert blake. >> and she was using an ovulation prediction kit because she wanted to get pregnant. so of course, she did get pregnant. she wrote in a letter to robert blake, "i hate to tell you this, but the pill did not work for me." >> blake did not want her to have that child. >> it's just going to make it all so much more difficult. all the way down the line. >> what about if -- couldn't i just maybe give, like, temporary custody to my mother or something? >> i beg your pardon? >> couldn't i just have it and give temporary custody to my mother or something like that? >> have the baby and give it to
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your mother? >> temporarily, yeah. >> i'd rather you didn't have it. >> she frankly was telling both the men that it was their child. >> she can't decide whether or not she wants the baby to be robert blake's or christian brando's. christian brando is good looking and handsome. but robert blake has more money. brando, of course, is also someone who went to prison for shooting someone in the face. >> i wanted to know if the baby was healthy and if the baby was mine. she said, the baby is healthy, and you're the father. that's all there is to it. >> that's what, how come she said later that it was christian brando's? >> because bonnie said a lot of things at a lot of times. >> when the baby was born, bonnie lee bakley named the baby christian shannon brando. >> so robert doesn't know if he, in fact, is the father of the child. so he convinces bonnie to bring the baby to los angeles. and that's when he sees the baby for the first time. and that's when his heart, basically, opens up and he falls in love with his child. >> the first time i touched rosie, she was my daughter.
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and right then and there i named her. i said you are rosie lenore. >> you were 66 years old. this is a baby -- >> at least, yeah. >> from a woman that you are not in love with. you had grown children. why did you want this baby so badly? what did she mean to you? what did she mean to you? >> you're not serious. >> well, this is a baby that you weren't sure was yours. >> no, this was my baby. >> you just knew that. >> this was my daughter, i knew, of course i knew that. of course i knew that. so you think i'm a monster, too? >> no. >> that i can't pick up my own baby and know that she's mine? >> no, robert. >> i knew the second i put my hands on her. and i asked god to take care of her right at that minute. it doesn't matter whatever happens for the rest of my life, i've never asked him for the time of day. she was my baby. you were my daughter. >> dna tests proved it was blake's baby.
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blake did not want bonnie raising the baby. >> who would trust bonnie bakley to be the mother of their child? robert blake didn't trust her at all. >> they both, like, were highly suspicious of each other. >> at one point, bonnie taped robert blake in a telephone conversation, where she tries to bait him into saying that he wanted to sell the baby for money. why? so that, perhaps, she can use it later on to extort money out of him. >> the following tape is just to prove that robert blake wants to sell my baby. i have no intentions of doing so. i'm just trying to prove it in case it's necessary. >> i don't know how to describe it. she just creates fiction out of whole cloth. >> you told me about those people who wanted to, you know, buy the baby for 100,000. >> what people? what baby? what are you talking about? >> i'm just telling you, you know, what i know. and, you know, i was like thinking it over and i didn't have time to think.
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>> i don't know what the [ bleep ] you're talking about. >> well, i was all stressed out and i didn't have time to think about it. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> the baby. you said that the -- >> i would never sell my child. what are you, crazy? what are you, [ bleep ] nuts? >> why did you ask me then to do it? >> i never asked you jack [ bleep ]! what? >> okay, never mind, forget it. >> boy, you are really getting weird. >> anyone who knows robert would know he would never do that. a little baby girl? he's going to sell his baby? >> robert grew to love the baby very much. and he accepted responsibility as a father. he married bonnie. i think he was fearful of, you know, if he wasn't constantly in rosie's life, what might happen to her. >> he was resigned to the fact that he had to live with her, but she was living in the back house, so she wasn't really involved in his life and he was just doing his own thing. >> around this time, blake starts noticing a black pickup truck parked on his block at odd
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times. inside is a guy with a crew cut. >> blake became concerned that this man was someone who had been victimized by bonnie and was looking to cause harm to bonnie. >> bonnie was an agent of chaos. she left a trail of broken hearts and angry men. one of those men was christian brando. and she kept telling him the baby was his even though she knew it was blake's. eventually he found out. >> it's not my kid, you know that? >> no, i don't know that for a fact. >> so why don't you come out and [ bleep ] say it? >> no, i don't know that for a fact. >> why does it all end up in the "national enquirer"? you're making up a bunch of [ bleep ] up that winds up there in the "national enquirer." what the [ bleep ] is the deal with that? it really [ bleep ] bugs me. >> i don't know. >> you have no idea what you do to people with this [ bleep ]. no idea. it's -- you know what? you know what?
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it sounds like a made for tv murder mystery. but this is too real. >> you bastards. i'm still here. i didn't die in that box. you got it? i'm still here. >> robert blake was a star. >> the wife of actor robert blake was killed on friday. >> she would be famous but not for the reasons she could have ever, ever wanted. >> robert blake and bonnie lee bakley had been married for just five months. >> it would so appear that bonnie had achieved her goal of marrying a celebrity, but this would not be a traditional marriage. they wouldn't live together. >> she married him because he was a celebrity. he married her because she had his baby. >> he took her out to dinner at vitello's, which was his favorite italian restaurant.
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>> he goes there so often that there's even a dish on the menu named after him. >> they had a pleasant evening according to him. >> they pay for their meal and they walk out together. >> blake would tell police that he would go back to vitello's, because he forgot something at the restaurant. >> and he came back and bonnie was dying. she had been shot. she was sitting in the passenger seat with blood on her head. >> on may 4th, 2001, 9:30 at night, i heard a loud banging on the door. when i opened that door, i was stunned to see robert blake. he starts going into a tirade of "you've gotta help me. you've gotta help me. you've gotta get an ambulance. you gotta call 911." >> my name is sean stanek. do you know who the actor robert blake is? >> yes. >> he walked up here and he's screaming severely. i know him from the neighborhood
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here. >> okay. >> he was in my house and he was pacing back and forth and his eyes, they looked black and dilated. >> get an ambulance here. >> is she conscious? >> is she conscious, robert? >> no! >> is she breathing? >> is she breathing? yeah, they're coming. they're coming. >> i thought we were gonna go out together and try to help and he leaves. and i go, "where are you going"" he says he's gonna go get help. i open the door, i sit in next to her and there's just a massive amount of blood everywhere. it's probably about a minute or two minutes before he came back. when i saw robert blake had a gun, i thought to myself, we're in deep [ bleep ]. >> wife of actor robert blake. >> wife of actor robert blake. >> was killed friday as she sat in the couple's car. >> police had several suspects in the days following bonnie's murder. including christian brando, marlon brando's son. who was apparently irate after
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learning he wasn't the father of bonnie's baby. the police zero in immediately on robert blake. police eliminate brando, and focus on robert blake. >> then suddenly word spread that something was happening and he was going to be charged. and the police called a press conference. i was there. >> this morning detectives secured arrest warrants for robert blake. >> and i raised my hand, and i said, "who was the shooter?" >> who do you believe was the shooter? >> and he said, without missing a beat -- >> robert blake shot bonnie bakley. >> they announced to the world they were going to hidden hills to arrest me and there were thousands of people around. >> you're looking at a live picture there. >> they're coming to arrest him.
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>> reporters galore. cameras galore. >> that would be mr. blake being loaded into the car right now. >> he was booked on two counts of soliciting murder and murder with special circumstances. >> the lapd had been blamed by many people for the loss of the o.j. case. >> they wanted to make up for the public perception that they had blown the o.j. simpson case. >> over the strenuous objections of his lawyers, blake decides to do that interview with barbara walters. >> your hands are okay now, you don't have that -- >> yeah. >> there's nothing like a televised interview of someone who hasn't spoken before accused of a crime. because it's as if the nation is now the jury. they can look at this guy and say i believe him or i don't. and that's a thrilling television experience. >> you made almost a dozen movies in which you either played a murderer or somebody in jail. >> you give me my lawyer, you hear me? >> do you think that today there are people who say, "he is that
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tough guy?" >> no. the cops invented that person and shoved it down the press' throat and the press loved it. they walked up and down the streets saying $15,000 for anything bad about robert blake. >> i think the police and the prosecutors were mixing performance and theater and film with reality. no longer a big star, robert blake admits to barbara walters that he's effectively a pariah. >> i moved to hidden hills, a gated community, where i had lived 20 years before and i had lots of friends and i went there and nobody would talk to me. people crossed the street when they saw me coming. the kids next door wouldn't play with rosie.
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i would go have coffee with her and people would get up from the seats they were sitting in and move someplace else. >> while blake is in jail, his older daughter delinah takes care of baby rosie. >> do you think of killing yourself? >> no, i think about dying. and i think that it would be better if i was gone. you know what scares me? if i walk out of here, barbara, where do i go? where do i go? i feel like the people who love me are better off without me. >> you could see rosie. >> yeah, that would be good for me. i'm not sure it would be good for her. here's a little girl that's got a good life now and am i gonna come in and confuse her? >> when i went to see him, he was quite distraught about being apart from the little girl, who he had become very close to. rosie had become his life. >> robert, you did this interview because you wanted to talk to your daughter.
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>> yes. >> what do you most want her to know? talk now to rosie. >> there is something in me and something in every person, including you, rosie, that's special, that is a gift from god. >> he does not look like someone who intentionally set out to kill his wife. >> robert, are you innocent? >> of course, of course i'm innocent. of course, i'm innocent. >> what if you are found guilty? >> what are they gonna do to me? what are they gonna do that they haven't already done already? they took away my entire past. they took away my entire future. what's left for them to take? they gonna take my testicles and make earrings out of them? >> when you think of him, think >> next time you see me, you're gonna die. >> and then in the 21st century, the person the person he was
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97.1 klsx, the fm talk station. now, here's your host, eric dubin. >> what is happening, southern california? good morning. >> eric dubin used to do a radio show out of orange county. i was listening to the show. >> welcome to "legally speaking," your chance to ask questions of a high powered trial attorney. >> that's how marjorie bakley found me, she liked my aggressiveness, my tone, the fact that i was fearless. >> so eric dubin becomes the lawyer for the bakley family. he files a wrongful death suit. >> typically in a criminal case, a defendant is simply trying to get a not guilty verdict.
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but in this case, robert blake was also facing a civil case. it puts him in a really tricky spot. >> in a civil trial, you could be deposed. you could be called as a witness. >> the problem is that prosecutors or other lawyers can twist what you say. this was a disaster. eric dubin showed up for the deposition. >> there's nothing stopping mr. blake from telling the truth today. >> they bring this man behind the plexiglas, and it was robert blake. i think my first thought was, "oh, my god. it's baretta." >> as any good attorney would do, tom mesereau was insisting that blake not say a word. >> i have previously announced in open court in this proceeding that i'm not going to permit mr. blake to respond to any questions. i am going, to on behalf of mr. blake, assert all of mr. blake's constitutional rights and privileges under the united states constitution and -- >> wait a minute. >> and the california constitution. >> wait a minute. >> blake wanted to testify, because he felt he had nothing to hide.
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>> it's my general understanding that i was going to talk, and when there was a question that you didn't like, you were going to object to it. >> no, mr. blake. i am not going to permit you to respond to any questions in this deposition. >> you have blake sort of fighting with his own lawyer, which is just legal bizarro world. >> mr. mesereau, can we just start with the depo before you make your record. >> mr. blake, i'm not going to allow you to respond to any questions in this deposition, and if plaintiff's counsel keeps interrupting me i'm going to terminate the deposition. >> we haven't even started the deposition yet. >> i got rather abusive with mr. dubin, to put it mildly, and i wouldn't let him speak. >> tom mesereau and i got into a huge fight. >> mr. dubin, i'm not -- mr. dubin, don't touch me, i'm not gonna be lectured by you on the law. >> at one point, so many people are talking over each other that the court reporter can't keep up. >> i'm sorry, i cannot take both of you, you are both speaking at the same time.
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i'm sorry. >> mr. mesereau, you can't keep cutting me off. >> mr. dubin, you're not going to lecture me on the law. >> i can't, i can't, i'm sorry. i just i can't get both of you. i can't get what you're saying, sir. >> what are you so afraid of, tom? >> i'm not afraid of anything. this is a circus and a clown show that you've put on to get publicity. >> mr. blake's lawyers terminated the deposition. mr. mesereau would not let him say anything. >> in the end, the civil case is delayed, and now robert blake can focus exclusively on the criminal case. >> today is the first day the american public gets to hear about the case in a court of law. >> the preliminary hearing is the prosecution's effort to demonstrate they have enough evidence to take the case to trial. >> part of the prosecution's evidence will be a tape-recorded phone conversation between robert blake and bonnie lee bakley. >> i know who you are and i know what you are. >> but you're wrong. >> yeah, i'm wrong. you didn't get deliberately pregnant, you didn't lie to me, you didn't double cross me. that was all. i'm supposed to forget about
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that? >> i didn't think they incriminated mr. blake at all. i mean, she became pregnant. she was two-timing him with christian brando. it was not evidence that somebody was a murderer or had a motive to kill. it was ridiculous. >> prosecution's case was that they had two stuntmen. and he wanted them to say he hired them. >> gary mclarty was a very respected, successful stuntman in hollywood. >> gary mclarty did the stunt of riding up the stairs in "animal house." >> what did he say to you? >> that somebody at night could come in while she was sleeping, and somebody could go in there and dispose of her. he said he wanted to pay $10,000. >> the other stuntman is ronald
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"duffy" hambleton, whose most famous stunt was in a george lucas movie called "thx 1138." >> we wanted to know basically what it would cost for my services. obviously i had no intention of giving him a figure. >> today, blake's attorney thomas mesereau continued to try to break the credibility of the witnesses. >> my strategy was to thoroughly eviscerate them on videotape. we discovered that there was a history of drug abuse with the two stuntmen. >> you've used cocaine for years, true? >> not years, i have used it. >> when did you last use it? >> a few months. >> didn't you say this morning you never did any drugs? >> i've experimented with drugs, and i've used regular store bought drugs, those prescribed. >> is methodrine a prescription drug? >> it possibly could be. i don't know. >> did you get it with a prescription? >> no, i didn't. >> in these situations,
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typically, far more likely than not, that it goes to trial. >> your motion to dismiss is denied. >> not surprisingly, the judge decides that the case is gonna go to trial. the standard is relatively low. but what is surprising is what happens with bail. in a murder case you don't typically get bail. >> i am going to set bail at a million and a half dollars. >> all you have to do is look at his facial expression when he's given bail to know how miraculous that this was for him. >> with those words robert blake looks stunned. it took a few seconds to sink in and then his eyes filled with tears. after almost a year in jail it appears he will be out on bail. >> tom mesereau managed something that was almost a miracle which was getting him out of jail on a murder charge on bail. >> i'm going to go sleep for three or four days. i never thought i'd make
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11 months in a cement box, but i'm here. >> so this preliminary hearing is televised. it made tom mesereau into a star. >> tom mesereau quits and ends up representing michael jackson. >> mr. blake and i had a falling out. >> he's a few months away from a trial, his lawyers just quit. a lot of the public thinks he did it. this is not where robert blake this is not where robert blake wants to be right now. my copd medicine... ...that's why i've got the r of 1 2 3 medicines with trelegy. the only fda-approved 3-in-1 copd treatment . ♪trelegy. ♪the power of 1-2-3. ♪trelegy 1-2-3 trelegy. with trelegy and the power of 1 2 3, i'm breathing better. trelegy works 3 ways to... airways,... ...keep them open... ...and reduce inflammation... ...for 24 hours of better breathing. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. trelegy is not for asthma. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure
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the '90s and early 2000s were the era of court tv. that's where i got my start. it was one higprilca after anhe and one high profile lawyer after another. when tom mesereau left the case, robert blake could hire just
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about anyone he wanted. and he ended up hiring someone who was not particularly well known. >> the first 25 years at least of my career were representing poor people getting paid next to nothing, but that was meaningful. i never thought i would represent robert blake. who am i? i believed in his innocence the first time i met him. >> more than three years after his wife was fatally shot opening statements are set for -- >> the trial of actor robert blake is finally under way. >> blake could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of first degree murder in this case. >> the case was almost entirely circumstantial. it was based on two witnesses, highly unreliable, it was based on very little actual hard evidence. >> deputy district attorney
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shelly samuels told jurors that blake killed his wife bonnie lee bakley because he wanted their baby rosie but he didn't want her. >> the evidence will show that the defendant became obsessed with the child and with keeping the child away from bonnie. >> i could have sued her for child custody. i could have done a lot of things. and i would probably have won. i didn't have to marry her. it was the very best thing to do for rosie. >> the prosecution says blake solicited two stuntmen to murder bakley. >> prosecutors introduce evidence that duffy bought a prepaid phone card so he could talk to blake, and the conversations couldn't be traced. >> there was a calling card that linked him to two of the men with like 30-plus calls leading up to the day of the murder. >> so blake says, "yeah, i reached out to the stunt men, but not to kill bonnie." he wanted them to chase away a guy that he thought was stalking him and bonnie. >> i was getting really worried
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about what was going on in front of my house. now it's true i had a gate, and it was locked, and all like that, but a truck started showing up regularly. sometimes during the day, sometimes during the night. it was during the day when i walked out there, they drove away. and i said, "what's going on here?" i figured it had to do with bonnie because she burned a lot of people. why not let the pros handle i? i hired them a lot of times, to do a lot of work. duffy hambleton worked for me a lot. gary mclarty doubled me on "baretta." so why not? >> and the defense had a witness who could help back it up. mclarty's own son, cole. >> cole mclarty gets up on the stand and testifies that gary mclarty comes to him a few days after talking to robert blake and says robert blake's gonna pay me $10,000 to rough up this stalker and i want you to help me. so then cole goes and tells his mom, and his mom is like, "what? what?
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why are you -- no! what are you getting involved in this criminal act for?" >> that's important because it backs up blake's team's defense that yes, robert blake had contact with mclarty, but no, it wasn't about killing bonnie lee bakley. >> the other stuntman, duffy hambleton, admitted to using a little meth, but the defense dug up a lot more evidence. >> duffy lived in a house in the desert in san bernardino county. >> he had meth laying all around his house, in a china hutch, in a kitchen cabinet and in a bowl beside a bowl of some jellybeans in his dining room. although he denied it, duffy was using so much meth that he once hallucinated that 20 armed men had invaded his house, and he actually called the police for help. >> so the witnesses are a problem for the prosecution, but the bigger problem is they can't link blake to the murder weapon. >> there's this gun that was
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found in the dumpster that is the murder weapon. >> the murder weapon was found in a dumpster right near the car. it was a walther p38. >> blake admits he had a gun with him that night, but it was a completely different gun. he had this one for protection. he says he went back into the restaurant to get it, and that's when bonnie gets shot. >> two guns, one scene, lots of confusion. >> prosecutors didn't believe he ever went back to the restaurant. >> nobody saw blake go back into vitello's including the cashiers, and the host that he would have to walk by. >> but the defense said it's possible for blake to have returned to the restaurant and not have been seen. >> you can see right here the booth that robert had dinner. so if there's not somebody at the front counter, he runs back into the restaurant, grabs the gun and is back out of the restaurant within 15 seconds. perhaps less. >> the testimony that you're
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gonna hear in this case about gunshot residue is gonna indicate that mr. blake was not the shooter. >> in this case, the gun residue was a very, very big part. why? if robert blake is firing that gun, you expect him to have a lot of gun residue on him. if he doesn't, then it stands to reason that he didn't fire the gun. >> we had our lab, forensic analytical, test fire the murder weapon. >> when fired twice, there were 737 particles of gunshot residue on the hands of the person who fired the gun. bonnie was shot twice, robert had no gunshot residue on him. >> he had minutes to go behind an alley and wash his hands. >> there was no sink near the car, at the time she was killed. there was no soap available for him to wash his hands. and the entire area was examined. there were no gloves in the vicinity, anywhere. >> it would have been physically
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impossible. conclusion is he never fired that weapon. >> then there was the barbara walters interview. the prosecution brought up the barbara walters interview early in the case and that opened the door for the defense to use it to really humanize robert blake. >> from the second i touched rosie, it was all about her. >> what its significance was, was extraordinary because robert was able to sound incredibly honest and emotional. >> robert, how are you feeling? >> fine, thank you. >> robert blake was confident as he walked in with his legal team. >> with the cast of characters straight out of central casting the people have proven what they have promised. >> if you do justice, you will end this nightmare for mr. blake, and you will give him back his life. >> as to the verdicts then, would you please hand them to the bailiff. ...i wondered, is another one around the corner. or could it be different than i thought?
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the robert blake murder trial. a verdict expected any day now. >> if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. >> the most terrifying moment of a trial for me is when the jury comes in to render a verdict. >> we the jury in the above and entitled action find the defendant, robert blake, not guilty of the crime of first degree murder of bonnie lee bakley. >> what was it like when they said, "not guilty?" it was just enormous relief. >> robert blake found not guilty. >> a jury acquitted the actor robert blake in the murder of his wife. >> the people who weren't following the case that closely were shocked. but the people who were watching the trial every day were not that surprised. the lack of physical evidence,
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the problems with the stuntmen's credibility was too difficult for the prosecutors to overcome. >> why did you decide robert blake did not kill his wife? >> they couldn't put the gun in his hand. >> as the jury foreman said, they couldn't put the gun in his hand. and that was the gunshot residue. >> l.a. district attorney steve cooley is calling that jury, quote, "incredibly stupid." >> the district attorney made the mistake of going on camera saying he thought the jury was stupid. >> you have offended me by even thinking for one second that i'm stupid. >> coming on the heels of the o.j. verdict, they just couldn't accept it, that they had lost. >> barbara walters, god bless you, darling. i'd have never gotten out of the joint without you. i promised her in jail. you get the first interview afterward. and so i was acquitted, they put me on a plane and i did barbara's show. >> buckle up, folks.
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robin roberts with a very special guest host this morning. >> have you changed as a result of all of this? >> people right now either love me or hate me. the other day i went to the farmer's market and everybody was hugging me and stuff. but there were people on the outside saying, murderer, murderer. but it's hard to go from being saddam hussein to seabiscuit and try to catch up with it. >> you do have a way with words. >> i've never been a tough guy in my life. my bark was out there to keep people away from me 'cause i was scared. and what i was really scared of is somebody hugging me. >> and now? >> now it's just the opposite. i'll hug people that don't even like me. >> when you heard the verdict, you said i am blessed. if you could have one blessing, now, just for you. >> i want the same thing you want. i want a date for new year's eve.
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and she said, "happy new year, robert." and i said, "happy new year, barbara." and we went out and had breakfast. >> that great mood didn't last for long because the civil trial then begins within a few months. >> the 71-year-old actor arrived for the beginning of jury selection in his wrongful death lawsuit. >> i think you've got enough entertainment around here without me. there isn't a ping-pong tournament? there isn't a pool game, nothing for you guys to cover on the planet? >> attorney eric dubin who represents bakley's heirs turned down an offer from blake to settle the case before trial for about $250,000. >> i'm only thinking a couple of days to pick a jury. it shouldn't be that difficult. >> the defense lawyer was a guy named peter ezzell who i believe at the time was on super lawyer magazine. and someone told me he hadn't lost a case since 1970. >> i have confidence in the judge and the system. it should be no problem. >> for a criminal case, the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt.
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for a civil case it's a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower standard. >> in the criminal trial he didn't have to testify. in the civil trial he did have to testify. and you could see this from his deposition. this is a guy who can fly off the handle. >> don't get cute with me. i'm not going to tell you again. i never instructed anybody to harm bonnie in any way. >> okay, we'll get to that. >> no, we got to it right now. i never instructed anybody to harm bonnie in any way. >> isn't it true that you hated bonnie at the time of her murder? >> that's a lie. >> i'm asking you. >> i said that's a lie. >> when robert blake testifies in the civil trial, he goes off. >> colorful and combative exchanges as robert blake told his side of what happened the night his wife was shot and killed. >> he was baretta on the stand, essentially. >> the fiery actor frequently raised his own objections to questions and even attempted to take over for the judge by
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sustaining his own objections. >> he just dug himself deeper in a hole. >> blake was yelling at everybody and threatening everybody and the jury got to see who robert blake was. >> jury deliberations are expected to begin in robert blake's civil case. >> the jury deliberated for eight days and returned a verdict which stunned everyone. >> this is robert blake as he walked into court this morning before the verdict. >> the first question was did robert blake kill bonnie lee bakley? and they said yes. >> blake looked stunned as the juror said his liability is $30 million. >> i'll take a check, cashier's check, or cash, i'll leave it at whatever he wants to do. >> the numbers were good and the jury got that right. >> the appellate court cut the damages in half. >> eventually we settled for a confidential amount. >> i think what was interesting about this jury is they didn't seem to have unanimous agreement on what actually happened involving robert blake. >> did you as a jury believe
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that he pulled the trigger, or do you just think that he caused her death? >> to this point, who knows. i mean -- >> we're not sure. >> there was outrageous juror misconduct in the civil case. one of them was relying on the bible. there was a juror who had a hearing impairment. he was being told by other jurors what the evidence was. >> there were some jurors who talked about deciding the case beforehand. >> a lot of the jurors didn't like blake to begin with. it was, "i don't like blake," "he left his wife in the car." it was constant before even the testimony began. >> it was just the way he was acting. i mean, you know, he could have been a lot better. a lot nicer to people. >> they hear about robert blake and they think about o.j. simpson, because there's a public perception that o.j. got away with murder. >> they all agreed that this is sending a message out to the world, just 'cause you're famous you can't get away with it. >> i received a telephone call
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from a lawyer who said he had a client. >> he gave me significant information that suggested that someone completely unrelated to robert had been involved in the murder. >> there's a witness in this case who thinks he knows who the killer really is. but not when to use it. do i use aflac when the kids get slime in the plumbing? no. that's home owner's insurance. slime in my motorcycle. no. that's motorcycle insurance. slime everywhere? ughhh nooo, there's no insurance for that. do they help when i have bills health insurance doesn't cover? yeah! that's it! aflac! gross guys. get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover. get to know us at one of mcdonald's most popular mozsandwiches in canada.ich, to try one, you'd normally need a passport. but for a limited time, all you need is to get to your neighborhood mcdonald's now. mcdonald's worldwide favorites.
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there had always been two theories of this case. for the prosecution it's that robert blake ambushed his wife and killed her. for the defense it was that somebody from bonnie's dark past killed her. >> bonnie had been scamming men for literally decades. so there were a lot of guys out there who might be pretty angry about the way that they'd been treated.
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>> so one of the guys who was angry with bonnie was marlon brando's son christian and he was angry because bonnie had told him that he had fathered her daughter rosie but he hadn't. >> while the defense was preparing for the criminal trial, a woman who knew christian brando came forward -- dianne mattson. >> the so-called bombshell witness set to testify at blake's trial about a conversation she overheard between duffy hambleton and christian brando. one where brando allegedly said about bonnie bakley, "someone ought to put a bullet in that bitch's head." >> diane mattson worked for christian brando. she was his assistant. and she overheard a lot of his calls because he always used a speakerphone. >> she was present when christian brando was having a phone conversation on speakerphone. they talked about the fact that ms. bakley had played mr. brando and at one point mr. brando said, "somebody ought to put a bullet through her head," and everyone agreed. >> he's on this phone call with a couple different guys, including a guy named duffy. the same duffy who accused robert blake of soliciting him
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to kill his wife. >> but when the police asked christian if he knew duffy, he denied it. >> why was christian brando denying that he knew a retired stuntman by the name of duffy? why would he deny it? unless he thought it was going to incriminate him in the murder. >> so blake's lawyers are very intrigued by the connection between christian brando and duffy. but they don't know exactly what the significance is until some guy named brian allan comes forward and he starts to connect the dots. >> in my neighborhood of willow glen, in laurel canyon, is a cast of characters, from wealthy behind-the-scenes movie people, to some celebrities, as well as some people that would be considered undesirable. and they did drugs, they did meth and did whatever. i realized that i had some information that i felt was very relevant to the murder. i knew a man named mark jones who was one of these individuals that there was no question he had a drug abuse problem.
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>> mark jones was a transient who lived on the same street that brian allan lived on. he was a meth addict. he was a very handy guy and brian used to have him do handiwork around his house. >> in early 2001 i saw mark jones carrying a gun that i later learned was a walther p38 and fit the exact description of the murder weapon used against bonnie lee bakley. >> in the weeks before bonnie's death, brian allen says that he had seen that gun in mark jones' hand several times. and he also realized that he had seen duffy hamblton on his block looking for mark jones. >> well, once i realized i could identify that mark jones had possession of a weapon that looked, to me, the same as the picture, i could identify duffy hamblton as being part of these cast of characters that visited willow glen. i then realized that there was
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more to give to the police. so months went by and i was a little surprised to not hear further from the police department, but then i got a call from a private investigator from the defense team. >> i was excited because i thought brian had credibility. but i thought, "my goodness. how are we going to prove this"" >> so the defense starts digging and they find that other people have seen a gun that looks like the murder weapon in the possession of duffy hambleton. >> and duffy's son had seen some of his father's guns, and one of them looked exactly like the murder weapon. >> duffy hambleton was known to have a gun that looked like the murder weapon. mark jones was seen with a gun that looked like the murder weapon. and mark and duffy knew christian brando. >> so when you combine all that, it's hard not to see how this evidence creates reasonable doubt. >> it was pieces of a puzzle that fit together. what at first seemed bizarre to me ended up being a very, very
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credible story that strongly suggested that either christian brando or someone associated with christian brando had been involved in bonnie's murder. >> the defense put all of this stuff in a motion and brought it before the judge, tried to get it into the criminal trial. >> so, you've got to bring a motion asking for permission from the court to introduce this evidence. the evidence has to be strong enough to create reasonable doubt for the court to admit it. >> but the judge denied our motion. >> brian allan did testify in the civil case but it didn't impact the verdict. >> we know that christian brando used meth, that duffy used methamphetamine. it's certainly possible that the plan to kill ms. bakley, and it had so many holes in it. it was so flawed that it could have been contrived by people who were tweaking on methamphetamine. >> i've come to believe that duffy hired somebody to kill her.
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he either did it at the instruction of christian, or to gain favor with christian. >> i'm curious about who you think killed bonnie bakley. >> i do believe that mark jones was the shooter. mark jones became a different person shortly after bonnie lee bakley's murder. he said he was very depressed about some things. >> and then mark ends up committing suicide after bonnie's killed. >> the suicide happened only four weeks after the murder. now looking back, i could see somebody who had tremendous remorse, and the fact that he committed suicide seemed to further validate that. >> in 2009 christian brando died of pneumonia. a few years after that duffy hambleton died of natural causes. so the people who might know what happened are now dead. and in the end, we may never find out what really happened on that night. >> the other unanswered question is what happened to that little girl robert blake loved so much,
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he did it. he was angry and he did it. >> i think some people if you ask them where's robert blake, they'd say in jail because they thought he was convicted. >> gonna take a sentimental journey to leave old memories. >> after the civil trial, he ended up living in a simple
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two-bedroom apartment in the valley. >> this i stole from universal. i built that over there. all this [ bleep ] i built. that doesn't mean it's anything fancy. >> it cost him all of his money and he went into bankruptcy. i believe he lives off his pension. his life is a far cry from his glory days. rosie was adopted by his older daughter delinah and her husband. she's 18 now and has been brought up out of the public eye. amazingly, he still makes news. >> congratulations on the recent years of your marriage. >> tmz tried to interview robert blake after married an old girlfriend, and they divorced after a year. ♪ >> he hasn't worked as an actor in over two decades. >> i'm compulsively creative. you can see this crazy house
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that i live in because i can't stand for two pieces of furniture to match or a fork and a spoon to match. i can't think for anything to match. i have to invent stuff. that's what i have to do. that's the only thing i'm good at. i could have gone on the road. everybody out there still knows me and still loves me. >> good morning, mr. blake. how are you doing today? >> they might be in wheelchairs but they're still my people. and i can go out there. i can go out there tomorrow. i get offers to go out and do plays. i can go out and do captain queeg anytime i want, but it hurts. it hurts what happened to me. >> he was innocent, and it is a tragedy that his remarkable career and reputation has been ruined. >> even though he was acquitted, for many people, a cloud of guilt still hangs over him. >> sometimes people's exteriors
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belie who they really are. who they really, really, under layer, layer, layer are. that little boy that went through all that stuff, with that insidious father, and all the experiences he had at mgm and how he is today. >> i'm not giving up. i ain't sticking a gun in my mouth. i'm not juicing. i ain't taking dope. they say, well, why don't you work? 'cause i'm half dead. >> it's a real tragedy that he hasn't acted all these years. it's hard to tell if that's because of the way the world is or because of the way robert blake is. >> i keep waiting for god to jump in but he doesn't owe me anything, because i've been paid in full 1,000 times over. if you live to be 1,000, you'll never be anybody with more miracles in their life than me.
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gonna take a sentimental journey, sentimental journey home.
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