American celebrity lawyer that was component of the ‘dream team’ that safeguarded OJ Simpson during his murder trial


F Lee Bailey in 2014. Hanging top top the wall is a photo showing OJ Simpson, centre, reacting to his no guilty decision in 1995, v Bailey, left, and Johnnie Cochran. Photograph: Robert F Bukaty/AP
F Lee Bailey in 2014. Hanging on the wall surface is a photo showing OJ Simpson, centre, reacting to his not guilty verdict in 1995, v Bailey, left, and Johnnie Cochran. Photograph: Robert F Bukaty/AP

High-profile defence lawyers have often come to be celebrities in the US, starting with Daniel Webster and also Abraham Lincoln and also boasting ever an ext flamboyance since the days of Clarence Darrow.

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F Lee Bailey, that has passed away aged 87, was among the most aggressively self-promoting contemporary celebrity lawyers, achieving fame then maintaining it v the defence of notable clients. In the mid-1960s Bailey attractive headlines by win a reversal for Sam Sheppard, a physician convicted of the killing of his wife in one of US’s most essential murder trials; one that noted the impetus for the hit tv show and film The Fugitive. He went on to represent, not constantly successfully, clients as infamous as the Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, or as controversial together the heiress Patty Hearst.

But Bailey is now finest remembered for his last significant defence, as component of the so-called “dream team” defending the gridiron star turned gibbs OJ Simpson, accused of murdering his previous wife Nicole Brown and also her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. Together Simpson explained, Bailey “was may be to simplify everything and also lay down what the case’s strategy was going to it is in ... And it turned the end to it is in true.” Bailey’s “simplicity” was an ability to determine the weak allude in the prosecution case, then attack it relentlessly, complicating and also confusing the concern as much as possible.

He was an intimidating cross-examiner, through the an abilities of one actor as he took juries with testimony. By the moment Bailey finished defending note Gerard, a vet accused in 1977 the switching horses to create a 57-1 betting coup, his obfuscating weaving the breeding, registration and also medical testimony caused the jury’s recognize Gerard no guilty, reportedly out of relief.

His method reflected an idiosyncratic approach to the law, which Bailey concerned through his desire to be a fighter pilot. He was born in Waltham, a suburb the Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Francis Lee Bailey Sr, was a newspaper advertising salesman, his mother, elegant (nee Mitchell), a teacher. Bailey Jr attend boarding colleges after his parents divorced when he was 10. He graduated from Kimball Union Academy in brand-new Hampshire prior to matriculating in ~ Harvard. After 2 years, in 1952, he left university to enlist in the united state navy, eventually becoming a marine Corps pilot. In ~ Cherry point Marine air base in north Carolina, he began handling legal instances for his fellows, eventually becoming the base’s legitimate officer.

He reverted briefly to Harvard in 1956 before being admitted to Boston University regulation school, which embraced his maritime experience in lieu of an undergraduate degree. Beginning his practice in Boston, he came to be a polygraph expert, which caused his defending, in 1960, George Edgerly, a mechanic who had failed a lie detector test when accused the murdering and dismembering his wife. Challenging the test to help create reasonable doubt, Bailey winner his acquittal. Edgerly was later on accused that rape and also finally judge of an additional murder.

Bailey took the Sheppard case in 1966. The Cleveland osteopath asserted to have been awoken by a housebreaker struggling with his wife, and to have been knocked unconscious after the thief had actually killed her. Bailey won a reversal that the verdict based upon the judge’s prejudices (he had asserted Sheppard guilty in a pre-trial interview) and the influence of pre-trial public on the jury. The then winner a not guilty verdict in the retrial, winning nationwide attention because that his ideal courtroom performance.

That carried him to DeSalvo, charged v the “Green Man” collection of rapes and assaults in Boston. DeSalvo confessed come Bailey the he was in fact responsible as well for the crime of the Boston Strangler, who had raped and killed 13 women. Bailey used the confession to controversy DeSalvo’s insanity; the move failed and DeSalvo was sentenced come life. The was killed in prison before his Boston Strangler insurance claims could it is in proved, though later on DNA evidence attached him to among the murders.

Bailey briefly hosted a TV talk show in 1967. In 1970 he to be censured by a Massachusetts judge for his “philosophy of excessive egocentricity”; the next year he to be disbarred because that one year in new Jersey for public disclosures native a case. The year Bailey composed (with Harvey Aronson) The Defense never ever Rests, followed by because that The Defense (1975, with John Greenya).

His notoriety grew nationwide. He conserved Capt Ernest Medina from court martial in the 1971 attempt of the soldiers responsible for the my Lai massacre in Vietnam. Medina’s subordinate, Lt wilhelm Calley was the only officer convicted.

Then he represented Hearst, the newspaper heiress walk away in 1974 by the self-proclaimed Symbionese Liberation Army, who participated in 2 robberies, including a financial institution robbery in which a customer was killed. Hearst claimed she had actually been forced to, in are afraid for she life; she testified versus the rather in return because that Bailey’s acquiring the fatality penalty removed. However Bailey failed to establish her innocence, and Hearst, citing his spilling a glass of water on himself throughout closing arguments, accused that of gift drunk throughout the trial.

Bailey released a novel, Secrets, in 1978, and went top top to stand for victims of the korean Airlines flight 007 shot down over Russia in 1983; he i was withdrawn from representing households of victims of Pan to be 103, swollen up over Lockerbie in 1988, after travelling to Libya to talk about defending two guys accused the participating in the bombing.

The Los Angeles celebrity lawyer Robert Shapiro had actually won Bailey’s acquittal ~ above a drink-driving charge, spawning Bailey’s publication How to safeguard Yourself against Cops in California and also Other Strange areas (1982). For this reason Shapiro lugged him come the Simpson team, whereby he faced down, “marine to marine”, mark Fuhrman, the LAPD detective who found the bloody designer gloves that was a crucial piece of proof in the case. Recording Fuhrman in a lie about using the N-word, and also helped by the Bailey-esque distortions the DNA evidence, Bailey set the stage for Johnnie Cochran to exclaim, in closing: “If that does no fit, you have to acquit.” The jury go acquit Simpson, despite he was uncovered responsible because that the deaths in a succeeding civil case.

In 1994, Bailey represented Claude DuBoc, accused that drug-dealing in Miami. As component of the plea cheap Bailey negotiated, DuBoc was claimed to forfeit his assets, yet Bailey had transferred almost $6m right into his very own accounts, and also refused come surrender them. He to be disbarred in Florida in 2001 and, reciprocally, Massachusetts adhered to suit in 2003. His later on appeals to be admitted come the bar in Maine to be unsuccessful, and he asserted bankruptcy there in 2016.

Bailey’s later books included a compendium on spouse-killers and a overview to cross-examination, both co-written with Jean Rabe, and The Truth about the OJ Simpson psychological (2021), co-written with Jennifer Sisson. In 2016 he was played by Nathan lane in the TV miniseries The world v OJ Simpson and also was a vital interview topic in the documentary OJ: do in America.

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Bailey was divorced three times. His fourth wife, Patricia Shires, whom he married in 1985, died in 1999. The is survived by two sons, Bendrix and also Brian, indigenous his first marriage, to Florence Gott, and a son, Scott, from his second, come Froma Portney.