Bonny Lee Bakley was not an ethical or particularly law-abiding woman. Not someone you would want your daughter to model her life after. She was a con artist and groupie who used sex and deception to get money from men. When she was shot to death in May 2001, her husband at the time, actor Robert Blake, was charged with the crime, but there was a long list of other people with a motive.
As a young girl, Bonny’s dreams were similar to many other girls. She wanted to be rich and famous one day. Growing up in poverty probably helped to motivate her. Her desire to leave her hometown and begin her quest for stardom began early after she was sexually abused by her father. Fame became an obsession.
After high school, Bonny moved to New York. She started calling herself Lee Bonny. She got some small modeling jobs and worked as an extra in movies. But her goal of becoming a star was not happening. So, her focus switched from becoming a star to marrying one.
Her life was a life of scams: stalking celebrities, stealing credit cards, and eventually becoming pregnant with Robert Blake’s child and marrying him. After only 4 months of marriage, she was murdered.
This murder is officially unsolved and there are many questions remaining. One thing worth considering is whether Blake would have been convicted if Bonny had been a more sympathetic victim. Does our justice system have different standards for so-called good girls than it does for someone like Bonny, a woman with an objectively shady history? And then, of course, there is the celebrity factor. Join us at the quiet end as we discuss the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, the acquittal of Robert Blake, and the actual evidence in this case.
Tracey Richter's outrageous crime-filled life could be the basis for a horror film featuring an attractive, revenge-oriented narcissist willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants and hurt anyone who gets in her way. The only problem is, no one would believe it. And that may explain why she got away with it for as long as she did.
Tracey lied to, cheated on, stole from, and physically attacked her first husband. When they finally divorced, she falsely accused him of child sexual abuse, enlisting her own son to tell horrible lies about his own father. Although she would remarry, thus finding a new man to deceive, her grudge against her first husband would never leave her. Tracey made elaborate, cold-blooded plans and went through with them, killing an innocent young neighbor to set up her ex and retain custody of her son.
As we talk about the life and crimes of Tracey Richter, aka Tracey Pitman, aka Tracey Roberts, aka Sophie Edwards, we will examine how she managed to hurt so many people for so long before she was finally brought to justice.
Does tragedy run in families? In the case of the Augustine family, they seemed to have more than their own fair share of unexpected deaths. In August, 2012, 32-year old Dallas Augustine shot and killed her wife Jessie McCaskill before turning the gun on herself. Six years earlier, Dallas’s step-father Chaz Higgs had been accused of murdering her mother Kathy Augustine with a fatal drug overdose.
Chaz was a hospital nurse involved in the care of Kathy’s sick husband Charles Augustine when Charles died. Just weeks after his death, the marriage of Kathy and Chaz raised a lot of eyebrows. Kathy’s sudden death just three years into her marriage with Chaz had police suspicious not only that Chaz had murdered Kathy but that perhaps he had had something to do with the death of her husband.
This story received a lot of publicity, partially because Kathy had been a prominent politician in Nevada and she had undergone impeachment proceedings for violating state ethics laws. Chaz would claim that her political opponents were responsible for her death. By all accounts, Kathy was not an easy person to get along with. There were plenty of people who disliked her, but did anyone have more of a reason to want her dead than Chaz did?
Join us at the quiet end today for a story of murder too strange and complex to be fiction. In Tainted Love, we’ll learn about Kathy, Chaz, and the events leading up to their love affair and Kathy’s untimely death.
In Australia, about one person goes missing every 15 minutes. The majority are found within a week. Most missing persons cases take hours, days, or even weeks before an in-depth investigation is put into action. In the case of 43-year old mother of three Allison Baden-Clay, it took mere minutes.
Constables arrived at the Baden-Clay home at 8am, took one look at Allison’s husband Gerard, and strongly suspected foul play. He was dressed for a normal work day when he walked out the front door of his suburban home and greeted the officers. Right away, they took notice of the fresh gouges running down the side of Gerard’s face. Jagged and raw, they inflamed his cheek and trailed off at the edge of his jaw.
Those scratches told a story that didn’t match the story Gerard told them. He said he had cut himself shaving. They looked at this supposed concerned husband and long-standing pillar of the community and saw a killer.
In the days after Allison’s disappearance, investigators learned that her marriage was not what it appeared. Gerard had been unfaithful and his mistress was expecting him to ask Allison for a divorce. It could have been a case of a suburban mom who needed time alone. Maybe she would come walking up the driveway any minute. Or maybe they would find her injured on a walking path waiting for help. But they didn’t think so.
A former Miss Queensland beauty queen, Allison Baden-Clay seemed to be living a charmed life. Her husband was a successful and well-known real estate agent. Their three young daughters were healthy. Their home was in Brookfield, a very desirable suburb. So, what led to Allison’s body being found in a secluded creek?
Like thousands of women who suffer from domestic violence, Allison lived with underlying misery as she worked to present herself and her family in the best light. In our quiet end talk today, we’re looking into the development and destruction of Allison and Gerard’s relationship. What went wrong and did the punishment fit the crime?