Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Who Murdered Bonny Lee Bakley?


On June 1, 2001, it was revealed that Robert Blake and his attorneys had dispatched a team of investigators to various locations across the country to further investigate Bonny Lee Bakley's past, as well as her relative's pasts. They were sent to New Jersey, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi to try and uncover whatever they could, scandalous or not, that might help the LAPD focus their investigation in a direction other than toward Blake. Cary Goldstein said that he, as well as Bonny's relatives, could not understand why Blake "is devoting so much effort to further trashing his deceased wife."

"Blake's private investigators are here in New Jersey (and other states) speaking to anyone who has known Bonny or I," one of Bonny's relatives said. "The investigators have spoken to two people that I know of... and all these guys are concerned with is digging up any or all things I have done in my past to present, as well as Bonny's two adult children and basically any relative."

Harland Braun defended his and Blake's actions by saying that it was necessary because the LAPD is focusing its murder probe solely on Blake.

"The LAPD is doing the Robert Blake part of the investigation," Braun said, "but is refusing to look anywhere else. We're supplementing it with our own investigation."

On June 4, 2001, a month to the day that Bonny was murdered, Robert Blake returned to his home in Studio City after being in seclusion at an undetermined location since the weekend of Bonny's death. It was generally believed that he had been staying at his daughter's home in Hidden Hills.

"He's going to go about his business as normally he would and ignore the press," Braun said. "If he didn't, he'd become a prisoner himself."

Although many months have passed since Bonny's slaying, her murder remains an unsolved mystery as investigators continue to struggle with evidence and leads that might point them toward the perpetrator.

"The reality is that murder cases aren't wrapped up in a hurry," said Sergeant John Pasquariello, LAPD spokesman. "It takes a long time to put all the pieces together. This is certainly not a closed investigation. But this is a case with a lot of little bits and pieces and it may take awhile.  We're plodding along."

"We're doing a parallel investigation," Braun said. "They're investigating Robert and we're investigating everything else. We're not letting the trail go cold. Maybe we'll get lucky."

Finally, it should be remembered that Robert Blake, though being investigated in his wife's murder, has not been charged with any crime relating to her death and as such should be afforded the same presumption of innocence that would be afforded someone who had been charged with a crime. For now, this story has no ending.

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