'The Fugitive, Part 3: Exhuming Mrs. Kimble'

The son of the real-life Richard Kimble will let prosecutors dig up his mother for DNA samples.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Mrs. Fugitive is now a witness for the prosecution. Sam Reese Sheppard, son of the Ohio doctor whose trial for the murder of his wife inspired the "Fugitive" TV series and movie, has relented and will not contest the exhumation of his mother's body by state prosecutors. "It is emotionally wearing," Sheppard said Monday, complaining of the 45 years prosecutors have had to investigate this case and of the further delays the exhumation will pose for his $2 million suit for the wrongful imprisonment of his father. But after a 10-year fight to clear his father’s name, Sheppard and his lawyer figure they’ve got little to lose. Said attorney Terry Gilbert: "We feel it's going to confirm our case or not determine much of anything, frankly."

Prosecutors want to use DNA samples from Marilyn Sheppard to prove they were right all along — that Dr. Sam Sheppard was the killer, not the bushy-haired intruder Sheppard claimed knocked him unconscious when he came to the aid of his screaming wife. (Sheppard died in 1970; his remains were exhumed for DNA samples in 1997 at his son's request.) But Sheppard’s son claims that the intruder was a very real window-washer, and calls the exhumation just another stall tactic by the prosecution. When poor Mrs. Sheppard is unearthed — no date has yet been set — what clues will her body yield? Not much, probably. She may help investigators clarify their picture of the crime scene, or indeed help keep Sam Sheppard’s son in a state of frustration for a few more years. Unless she’s got some bushy hair pinched between her thumb and forefinger...