The famed lawyer whose cases ranged from the Boston Strangler and O.J. Simpson to Dr. Sam Sheppard has died.
F. Lee Bailey was 87.
Citing Mr. Bailey‘s oldest son, Bendrix Lee Bailey, TMZ reported Thursday afternoon that the famed lawyer died in hospice care in Georgia.
The younger Mr. Bailey said his father died Thursday morning, probably of old age. He said the death was not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Bailey may have defined the “celebrity lawyer” as a type for the TV and mass-media era, also taking on such cases as the court martial of Capt. Ernest Medina in the My Lai Massacre and the armed-robbery charges against newspaper heiress Patty Hearst.
Ironically, for a lawyer who thrived on TV and publicity, one of his most famous and lasting cases was the Sheppard trial.
Mr. Bailey persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to grant the Cleveland-area surgeon, who’d been convicted of murdering his wife in 1954, a new trial over prejudicial press coverage. He then won an acquittal in the second trial in the case, which loosely inspired the TV series and movie “The Fugitive.”
But perhaps his best-known case was of the most already-famous person to be accused of murder in an American courtroom — Mr. Simpson.
It was Mr. Bailey who conducted the first cross-examination of detective Mark Fuhrman, in which the Los Angeles cop claimed he’d never used the n-word.