The O.J. Simpson Trial: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mr. F. Lee BaileyYou're Wrong About
- 1,473 views
- 5 Apr 2021
Bob Shapiro is on a mission from God, F. Lee Bailey joins the Dream Team, and we get in our DeLorean to meet two of the most notorious Florida Men of the '60s: Carl Coppolino and Murph the Surf. Digressions include Linda Evangelista, Patty Hearst, "The Commitments" and the upside of peaking in your 50s. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseSupport the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Economically, like it was once necessary for some women to become serial killers, I don't think we really want to address that.
Welcome to your all about the podcast that tells the story of F. Lee Bailey trying to keep his client out of jail. Oh, not anything.
That's something that is truly something. That's my worst work on the show. No, that's your best that this is the shining jewel.
OK, do you know what I want to do for us? Introducing ourselves? OK, let me see if this works. OK, I'm M. Andrew Hobbs.
Oh nice. I'm S and Marshall.
And if you want to support the show or hear our bonus episode on Megan and Harry and Oprah, you can find us on a patriot at Patriot Dotcom Slash.
You're wrong about or you can find Sarah on why our dads and me on maintenance phase or as we call the solar system of our programs.
Why are maintenance wrong phase dads about. Yes, and today we're talking about F. Lee Bailey. Right. So, yes, set us off there. What's what's the story we're telling?
What is the story we're telling Mike? Why are we here?
I mean, we're talking in great length and great detail about O.J. Simpson, who went on trial for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994.
Nineteen ninety five. Oh, shit. This is this is good, though. I like to remind people, like, by the way, they were in pretrial for eight million years. The murders happened in mid-June. They go to trial late January of nineteen ninety five. Oh, right.
OK, so we are in 1994 now, but the trial begins in nineteen ninety five. Yeah.
Which is why there is so much time for antics.
OK, and we're currently in the antics stage of the story where O.J. is compiling his legal team.
Yes. Who did we talk about last time. Because these are directly related. We're having kind of a one in one out scenario here today.
We talked about Howard Weitzman and Bob Shapiro and relay race grabbing of the baton that went from one to the other.
Yeah. And how did that happen?
Basically, O.J. blamed Howard Weitzman for all of the scrutiny that he was under by the police, even though most of it was actually due to his own incompetence and his own overconfidence, that he could sort of talk his way out of suspicion by the cops. And when he started to realize that the cops were actually taking him seriously as a suspect, he transferred a lot of that guilt onto Howard Weitzman, his existing attorney. And then he found this sort of savior figure in Bob Shapiro, his new lawyer, who was going to rescue him from all of this.
Yeah, and so he kind of ghosted on Weitzman and moved over to Shapiro. Yeah.
He really ghosted him. Yeah. It feels like he's blaming way it's been for the fact that, like, his ex-wife was murdered and there's blood all over his house. It's like, I don't know, like, how is that? Your lawyer's right.
But this is classic abuser behavior. Yeah. Everything is somebody else's fault.
And I feel like a few months ago I would have found this metaphor kind of like cute or trying too hard. But now it feels very real to me that he's treating his lawyers the way that he also treats women, which is that like the allure of the unknown. Yeah. Is always more exciting than like someone who has served you very well and will probably do, like, clearly has a skill set that you need going forward. But who has the bad luck to be known by you?
Right. That is the allure. And Bob Shapiro is just like this nonentity to O.J. in a way that's kind of sort of baffling that he would choose someone who he has no history with, to not just represent him, but to start assembling this dream team for him. Right as he's up against the wall in this way that he never has been before. But like in that context, it does make sense to me.
Yeah. In that it's like finding a new mistress when you've been married to somebody for years.
It's the same kind of sense of spark and excitement. Bob Shapiro is Paula Barbieri just with lustful hair? Yes. And Bob Shapiro, I guess, is also a killing because he brings with him the promise of this whole fleet of new people. Right? Right. And one of them turns out to be F. Lee Bailey. Oh, OK. Yeah. Do you know about the Shapiro Bailey connection?
No, I literally know nothing about F. Lee Bailey. I can't even imagine him from the Ryan Murphy Show who played him.
OK, you're going to be kicking yourself in a second, OK? Nathan Lane.
Wait, what. Really? Yeah. Singing Ask Nathan Lane. Yeah. He didn't sing in the show. Unfortunately, I wish he did.
I have like the look now he's like a round short dude, you know, like French bulldogs.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
But take a moment to just delete that from your mind and I want you to Google F. Lee Bailey sixties. Okay.
Because to understand F. Lee Bailey, we must understand how F. Lee Bailey sees himself. Oh yeah.
I've never seen him at this age before.
What are you seeing? Tell me. He looks like Philip Seymour Hoffman. There's one where he's like smoking a cigar. He does look like Philip Seymour Hoffman. Yeah, this is the photo I'm thinking of when I ask you to Google that. Tell me about the cigarette photo.
Yeah, he just, like, look like a badass. He looks like he's in a gangster movie or something. Yeah. Smoking a cigarette. And he's looking off screen and he's got some sort of manly drink in front of him and like manly Ritz crackers.
He loves manly drinks, man, and he's smoking a cigarette with this sort of like I don't give a fuck kind of attitude.
He is a stone fox in this photo. Like, I would like to stick my fork in that tomato and like, this is just a photo of like a man in command of himself. And like, it is hard to overstate how on top of the world he was for a period. Yeah. Yeah. Jeffrey Toobin, who does not like him rights and the run of his life that he, quote, invented the contemporary practice of criminal defense law.
Oh, wow. He used to commute by helicopter. He, before he turned 40, got a million dollar fee out of a client, which reminds me of that, like I think Linda Evangelista quote about how we don't get out of bed for less than ten thousand dollars. Yeah, he was for a time like magic.
There's something I feel like very millennial about these kinds of figures where it's like, you know, them as famous for one thing.
And then you're like, oh, they were already famous for this other thing. Yeah. It's like finding out Ina Garten was a nuclear analyst, a barefoot nuclear analyst.
I hope her memoir about her early years should be called The Shot Analyst.
I also I don't want to linger too long. And how hot F. Lee Bailey is.
I feel weird going into this, but like, I just want to specify.
He looks like Richard Burton.
Yeah. Sort of like a burly confidence. Yes.
And then you can see his time and Newsweek cover is. Do you have that? Yeah. I was just going to ask you about these. He's on the cover of Newsweek and Time at various points, just like Bruce Springsteen. All it says is defense attorney F. Lee Bailey.
Oh, and Patty in court. So I guess there's the Patty Hearst angle.
Yes, he defended Patty Hearst. And that was kind of a turning point for his career because he failed to defend her adequately.
Basically what he was known for initially, what he made his reputation on, he could defend a man accused of murdering his wife. This was almost his specialty. And like out of these sort of little ticky tacky pieces of doubt could amass something that he could use to persuade a jury that he could take cases where the defendant looked very bad and somehow find a way for the jury to to see the defendant the way Bailey saw him, which was, you know, with the true benefit of the doubt, like with true belief and a possible scenario of innocence.
The way I would put it very simply is that F. Lee Bailey going into Patty Hearst had a pretty amazing track record of defending men who looked very bad, and he failed to defend the young woman who looked kind of bad.
Yeah, that says something about the criminal justice system as well. It says a lot of things about a lot of things. I think. I think it yeah. It says something about juries. It says something about about the system at the time about media coverage. Because, you know, we know that like, certainly the media didn't go very soft on her either.
Right. Women doing bad things reflects on their character and their worth in a way that men doing bad things doesn't necessarily we always see it as a deviation from who they are, whereas with women we see it of revealing as who they are.
Yeah, that's interesting.
I mean, I'm just copying what you've told me on this show so many times. This is and Marshall Insight's being reflected back to you.
Excited, satisfying to say. Is F. Lee Bailey a really you know, you've got to work on that. But OK, saying look at my outline here.
So the top item I deem this the most important thing to hit was once hot, hot bullet point.
Then, quote, He invented the contemporary practice of criminal defense law. That's number two, OK, which basically means that, like, he made it not a reputable profession, but an exciting one. I like the idea that it was something that you could you could make a lot of money at. Right. That was also kind of an F. Lee Bailey joint like that. It was an area in which you might proudly set out your shingle.
Well, I mean, as we have more of these media sensation trials, and I suppose especially as trials become more widely televised, we need like a whole ecosystem around them.
Right. We need these places and we need F. Lee Bailey's and we need all kinds of commentators and entire TV channels dedicated to this. So it makes sense that the sort of the rise of the sensational true crime story would also kick off these, like, media archetypes.
Yeah, and you're right. And Bailey also like he came about at exactly the right time to spend his entire professional life and the media. He was born in nineteen thirty three. So when he rises to prominence in the 60s, he's in his 30s, TV is taking off. Right. It's like he's perfectly poised to, like, have his hotness be known.
And he's and it's interesting, too, because, like, he's definitely a showman, like he's known for this commanding deep voice. He knows how to be commandingly theatrical and cross examinations. But he's also like this little terrier for the details, like he knows how to, like, find every little inconsistency, every little area that can cast some testimony into doubt. That's him at his best. And one of the areas where he's proven himself in the past to be quite good, which I find especially exciting, I guess, based on how much expert testimony we know to be like people playing a little bit fast and loose.
Bailey is great at poking those little holes and medical testimony, a tactic that he seems to like to find a way to use if he can is to get someone to contradict something that they said in a textbook they wrote.
That's actually a total nightmare, like a literal nightmare that I've had of being created with my written work and people being like, do you still agree with this?
And I'm like, yeah, I would put it differently. Now that's F. Lee Bailey, baby.
I mean, all of this is still less important than the fact that he was once hot, but I'll take it.
Do you think it's important to know? Oh, it's like everyone's hot in their own way. But some people you look at a picture of them when they're young and you're like, oh, I see why you've been so cocky for your entire life, because it worked really well for a while. Absolutely.
And also people who go through life hot like in their 20s versus people who go through life hot in their 50s. I feel like you just have different bearings as they go through the world. Yeah.
And another thing about F. Lee Bailey is that he was not hot in his 50s because he was a very hard drinker. This is one of the things that affected his ability to defend Patty Hearst effectively. He he had his hot years early. Yeah. And that can be hard. I'm still waiting for mine. You're going to peak in your fifties like Stanley Tucci. Yeah. OK, so this is from Lawrence Schiller and James Woolworth. American Tragedy, which, as we've talked about before, is kind of the defense teams I view of the proceedings and introducing Bailly.
We learned that at this stage when he gets his call from Bob Shapiro on June 14th, he has relocated to West Palm Beach. He is trying to get work that believes that lawyers in Miami are telling people interested in getting his services that he is retired, which he is not OK, but whether or not he is being conspired against, he feels himself to be OK, the book tells us. Now, Bailey had remarked to more than one listener, I appear to have lived longer than I should have.
Oh, wow. These are the words of a man who is no longer hot. So he's kind of washed up. Yeah. And, you know, he's had he had this fantastic winning streak and then he has a loss in the Patty Hearst trial. He moves to Florida in nineteen eighty five. He kind of disappears from the circles that he used to be part of. He's not relevant. Like he was super relevant to the sixties and the sixties are like so over.
This is how I feel after every time I do an episode of the show that I'm proud of, I'm like, that was good. I'm obviously never going to do anything that good again.
You're like, I'm going to cause Patty Hearst to go to prison next time and it'll all be over. But I'm like, I've lost it.
This is like six hours after we published whatever else, sweetie, and then we go on.
Bob Shapiro had come into Bailey's life in the late 70s when they worked on a case in Hawaii. He was now a dear friend and they talked regularly. In nineteen eighty three. Bailey was tried in San Francisco for driving under the influence. He asked Shapiro to be local counsel and Shapiro could rightly take some credit for the acquittal. Of course, Bob called from time to time to seek advice on his cases. When Bailey visited Los Angeles, he stayed at his home.
In fact, Bailey was godfather to one of Bob's children. Yeah, that's fascinating. Why do you find that interesting?
You like to think that there's some sort of robust process behind these, like, historical events, but like, no, it's just like I knew a guy and so I brought him in.
Yeah, it's like how Jennifer Aniston got cast on Friends because she bumped into the president of NBC at a gas station. Really? Yes.
I guess they had worked on some project before and after they bumped into each other and chatted. He like went to the casting director and he's like, hey, have you thought about this Jennifer lady? And they brought her in to audition. Wow.
And that's why Leah Remini had to be on King of Queens sliding doors. Yeah, right. Well, I feel like one of the kind of the cultural moments that we're living through is people who are coming of age now or who are young adults now being like. It seems to me like the last sanctuary to say nothing of the preceding ones, let's just talk about the most recent one was just a bunch of white guys that our friends. Yeah.
Like, we shouldn't do that anymore. And then all the white guy friends are like, but that would put me out of this specific job that I like. Yeah.
Isn't this discrimination against people who can glad hand their way into opportunities for decades on end?
Yeah, someone has been given more responsibility than I ever earned at any time in my life.
I'm all for it. OK, back to Bailey now. Bob called. He had been retained to defend O.J. Simpson with Bailey. Help Bob speak was controlled as always, confident, even a bit snobbish. But Bailey could sense his excitement. He wanted Bailey's reaction to what he had already done. It's interesting. It's like he's excited about this thing that he has. And then his response is to bring his famous friend onto that. Yeah, it's an interesting form of ego, I guess.
Is there a specific reason he's bringing on F. Lee Bailey? Like, do they do specialized things? Is he bringing him on for, like a specific task?
Arguably, he's bringing him on partly because he's the cross-examination guy. OK, like, that's his area. That's where he really shines. And like, he will bring that to the trial and it will be pretty effective at times. So, you know, there's definitely objective reasons why he would make up an important part of the team. And like Bob Shapiro is not a big cross-examination guy. He's a settle before trial type of a guy. And he is a team put together kind of the guy.
He's like Jimmy in the Commitments. Right. So but, yeah, he pretty much immediately calls F. Lee Bailey and offers him a slice of the case. And Bailey's into it because he doesn't want people to think he's retired.
Yeah. He's got these Miami lawyers breathing down his neck. Yeah. And so Bailey says yes. And he immediately starts he starts theorizing what to do on the case. And his first contribution is, you know, what we really need to do is hire an investigator to go to Chicago and talk to anyone who is on the plane with O.J. who saw him after he got off the plane. Anyone specifically who can testify to his demeanor? Because we want to show that like after he was picked up by a limo at his house the night of the murders, flew to Chicago, was there for a few hours and then flew back to L.A. the following morning.
We want to show that during that time frame, he was not exhibiting the demeanor of someone who had just killed two people.
So you're saying like this is what he does. He finds sort of this is not the way that a murderer would act and juries find this convincing or just like things of that size, like discrepencies of that scale, basically.
And it almost feels like if you have a jury that is ready to believe your story, even like these are the kinds of little bits that can kind of catalyze doubt. If you don't have that, it won't do anything. But if you do have that, like somehow it could start to seem bigger and bigger. Right.
I guess reasonable doubt. You want to just give people these little footholds. And now that you're saying and I'm feeling like one of the other reasons that Shapiro delegates to Bailey is I think he grasps that he Bob Shapiro is like not a very detail oriented guy, which like you can kind of tell by the fact that he's hired and then immediately starts hiring other people and just like. Right. Creating a headache for himself in the form of a team that he has to manage before he really knows his way around what's going on.
I mean, I don't know how to how to mount a massive legal defense.
You go on Mechanical Turk and, you know, in Bailey, he has brought on someone who knows how to construct cases out of like a million little bits of doubt. Right.
And these and honestly, like the O.J. truthers today, like people who still argue sincerely that O.J. Simpson is innocent, like they do bring up some of these Bailey defenses. They do bring up the fact that his demeanor seems normal when he was on the plane and that he seemed calm, that he didn't seem like he just killed anybody. So it's like it's interesting. Like, I think he really traffics in little bits of evidence that makes sense if you kind of want them to make sense.
And also to a population addled with media stories of murderers and convinced that they know the way that a murderer is, quote unquote supposed to act.
Yeah, because we've seen them in movies and we know what they like in movies.
I hate this stuff because none of us have no idea how we would act after we killed somebody. None of us have any idea how other people would act because we've never met O.J. Simpson. So we have no idea what behavior is a deviation from pattern versus a pattern. We're talking about somebody who killed someone. And so killing someone is far more extreme than pretending to be chill after killing someone.
It's also weird because, like. This idea that you can't be calm after you've killed someone or conversely, that you can't be calm after your wife disappears, right. Any piece of information that takes multiple days and nights to, like, metabolize that it really happened. It's just weird to me. It's like what? Like how is he supposed to be acting as a plausible murderer, like he's supposed to be like, hello? And I'm checking in and I'm a murderer.
Right? Like, what is he supposed to be doing?
I feel like it comes from this idea that what you're really doing in these cases is you're counting up the number of pieces of evidence for each side for he's innocent versus he's guilty. Whereas to me, the most convincing evidence that he did it is that this is part of a long, very well-established pattern of abuse. And then in that he didn't do it. Collum it's these like things that are numerous, but not all that significant.
But he seemed fine at the airport. And yet, OK, so this reminds me of a concept that I think Jeffrey Toobin talks about and the rest of his life, which is the Goudeau defense. OK, and the idea is that you take what seems to be a really strong argument and use its apparent strength to create weakness. OK, so I'm going to try and do this with your argument. OK, so if I'm F. Lee Bailey, then I can be like the fact that he allegedly abused his wife means that he has no chance at a fair trial because everyone is so prejudiced against him, because everyone always says based on that history or that alleged history, that he must have done it.
And so you, the jury, are being bamboozled into thinking that the prosecution has a stronger case than it does. Right.
You're discriminating against O.J. Simpson just because he may or may not have abused his wife?
Yeah, it's you know, this is a really interesting point that I think this team of men like the Shapiro Bailey, like the top guys, truly didn't understand murder as like the eventual and sometimes inevitable escalation of abuse. You know, this idea that if you're bringing an accused wife murderer to trial, there is this idea of like this is different from hitting your wife. Right? Because if that's bad and that's on a continuum with murder, then like, oh, no.
Like, it's unfair to bring that in or like then we all have to have a big think about our entire gender. Right. No one wants to be a murderer. They're like, note like it's inhuman to be a murderer, but like. But brutality is OK, right? Yeah. Yeah, OK. But I want to talk about a Bailey case from the past. This is a really strange case. F. Lee Bailey defended Dr. Carl Capilano in the 1960s who was accused of murdering his wife.
OK. And that sounds relatively straightforward, but the way it breaks down is that Carl Capilano was a relatively young doctor and who also, like many men who are like who were in the 20th century, accused in a very hard line, getting trial of murdering their wives like slept around. This also seems to be something that men like to put other men on trial for. Like I sleep around, but not like that. Yeah, not like a murderous amount, because the stated motive is often like.
And then he killed his wife so he could be with his mistress. And it's like ask anyone who's had an affair with a married man, like they are not that eager to end their marriage.
So he gets into hypnosis, which I promise will be relevant later. And eventually he starts having an affair with a woman named Marjorie Farber, who goes by Marge. And Marge is married to a man who goes by the colonel. And what happens is that at some point after Carl Capilano and Marge Farber start having an affair, the colonel dies. And what Marge and Carl say at the time is that he had a heart attack and Carl wanted him to go to the hospital and the colonel didn't want to go to the hospital.
And then he died and Carl actually wrote a statement basically describing the situation and have Marge sign it.
So this is before Carl's wife is killed. Yes. These are just two people having an affair. Her husband dies and they're like, let's get down in writing what actually happened just in case.
Yeah, they were like, OK, he died of natural causes. He refused to go to the hospital. Cool. OK, and then Carl makes a mistake, which is that he breaks things off with Marge and he starts seeing some 38 year old floozy. These young kids, I guess, enjoy accusing someone of being thirty eight.
So anyway, guess what happens to Carl Copelin, his wife?
Does she die also? Yeah, she dies of an apparent heart attack. They're like, yeah, sometimes young women just have heart attacks out of No. Where it's totally a thing, so he had his first mistress and now he has his 38 year old mistress and his wife dies of a heart attack. Yes, OK. And neither she nor the colonel are initially autopsied. You know, whatever authorities are finally involved here, like, that's cool. And then according to Marge Farber, she's like, hey, Carl, did you murder your wife?
And he's like, no.
And then he marries his thirty eight year old mistress, Mary Gibson, a couple of months later and basically wants to move on. And Marge is kind of the thorn in his side. And what she keeps telling people, like she talks to the doctor who signed Carl's wife, Carmela Lenos death certificate. And by way of explaining why she has this expertise and why she thinks perhaps that Carl killed his wife, she's like, I think that Carmela was killed with an injection of a chemical used by anesthesiologists that relaxes the muscles of someone undergoing surgery.
And Carl would have access to that because he used to be an anesthesiologist. And I know that that's what he would have used because he gave it to me last year to inject into my husband.
No way. This is like an Erin Brockovich movie. It's like the mistress investigating the murder of her lover's wife.
Yeah, well, someone raped that white lady domestic thriller.
So what happens? Well, I'm going to mispronounce some stuff, probably. So the chemical that Carl is accused by Marge Farber of using and both of these murders, these alleged murders is called succinylcholine chloride. OK, and so the rub here is that it is made out of Senik acid. The issue is that if you suspect someone of injecting somebody with this chemical heartattack use in order to determine whether that has happened, what you're looking for is evidence of acid.
OK. However, it's already present in the human body anyway, like it's something that exists like Senik.
Acid exists inside of us. Right. So it's going to test positive no matter what. Right. So what F. Lee Bailey recognizes about this with his little like terrier brain is that it's much weaker as an argument to say this woman was poisoned because there's more of this thing in her body than there would have been normally, as opposed to this thing exists in her body and it wouldn't have been there unless she was poisoned.
Right. It's not like she tested positive for cyanide or something. Yes. It's like she has 25 milligrams of this thing when she's only supposed to have 15 or something. So it's just a harder case to make.
Right. And it's the kind of thing where Bailey can be like. So really, like, you can't be sure. Right. And the doctor can be like, well, I'm pretty sure. And he can be like, but you're not sure.
Yeah. And that's like most of his career.
So is it the case that the wife and Margie's husband both have higher levels of heart attacks in their system?
Yes. So Carmela Capilano, his organs are examined by a chemist named Dr. Charles Umberger. I am going to be reading to you from Ashley Bailey's book with Jane Rabe, which is called When the Husband is the Suspect. OK, Umberger was not able to detect any succinylcholine chloride and Carmella's organs, so he attempted to compare the amount of acid in them with organs from other embalmed cadavers. Umberger determined that there was an acid in some of Carmella's tissue, which she could not detect in the samples from other cadavers, OK.
He also said he could not detected in Carmela's tissue around the injection mark because there was an injection mark in her buttocks, I believe. Right. Like it had been someone injected her with something that killed her. It could mean she was giving herself V12 injections. Right. So it would be nice to find six Senik acid in the vicinity of an injection. Mark, why isn't it there? Wouldn't you think it would be there? Like, if your thing is true, why isn't it there?
Right. So I think I think another Ophélie strength is like he knows what he does and doesn't have to prove. And like he is willing to basically take any discrepancy in the prosecution's case and just fixate on it to the point where it does seem potentially as big as like how how incredibly bad his client looks.
But it's also it's one of those things where it sounds sort of scientifically proven. But like I don't know if you would expect an acid to cluster around an infection site or if it dissipates throughout the body pretty quickly. Yeah.
Remember in the Terri Schiavo episode how we talked about, like, she hasn't received a gynecological exam in two years and then her husband points out people in.
Persistent vegetative states do not receive gynecological exams, and it's actually not out of the ordinary at all, but like to a layperson, you're like, oh, two years.
Mm hmm. And it could be the same thing here. Like, I don't understand how injections work. Most people don't come to think of it.
I haven't gone to the gynecologist in two years now, so that's great.
Yeah. Someone's trying to kill you, Sarah. Yeah. Again, like, I feel like this is like the detail oriented lawyer tool kit apparently is like fine things that if you do understand the context, you understand that they don't sound bad. But if you don't understand this area, then they do sound bad. Yeah. So Capilano gets two trials. He first goes to trial in New Jersey for the murder of the colonel and then his next trial is to be in Florida for the murder of his wife, Carmela.
And so and the New Jersey trial, Farber is given immunity. The prosecution has deemed her necessary to tell her side of the story about how she knows Capilano to be guilty. But unfortunately, in telling that story, she has to talk about how they were having an affair. If her story is true that Capilano decided to kill her husband so he would get out of their way, then it's also true that she helped him kill her husband. Right.
What she says is that she held her husband's arm while, oh, Capilano injected him with the juice, with the bad juice.
So it's like, I know he's guilty because I helped him do, because I helped him kill him.
Yeah. And then she stood by as he he smothered her husband. That's what she says happened. This goes to trial. The New Jersey trial happens in nineteen sixty six. So picture that row of Mad Men people. And then like, how do you go after this woman?
I mean, I would probably use the time honored tactic of implying that she's promiscuous, either promiscuous or ambitious. One of those two, those are the fastest ways to discredit women of like maybe you did this because you wanted to get a job.
I give her the old Meghan Markle.
Yeah, well, the old Meghan Markle is deciding to destroy someone's life because they had a drink with you and then met their husband later that night.
So but and like, this might have been the most helpful thing to have.
Marge Farber was like and also I was hit in ATI's and that's why I helped him murder my husband. I was in a trance.
Oh, no, sweetie, don't throw that out there.
And Bailey was like, guess what? I'm going to get some experts to say that that's nuts, because frankly, my dear, it is.
And the jury was like, yeah, that that doesn't that, you know, like, OK, I believe that these two people who are having an affair, this guy who is interested in hypnosis, this murder that arguably plausibly took place, I can see him like putting her in a trance. Yeah. That seems like something a couple would do in the sixties, honestly, but like, it's not relevant.
Yeah. It's a bit like back masking this, like, sort of mystical power of these sort of otherworldly tactics or whatever. It's like I don't think people are amenable to mind control in this like, very direct one to one way.
Well, and speaking of hypnosis, like it's one of those terms that kind of means a few different things at this point. But, yeah, the best description I've ever heard of what it is, is that it's like your mind is like highly focused on one thing or a few things and is able to really forget a lot of other stuff. So like I mean, it's a little bit like meditation. It's a little bit like being high. It is a different way of inhabiting your brain.
But like our interest in this kind of like Manchurian Candidate, like sleeper agent conditioning, like that's never really been represented in reality. Right. So F. Lee Bailey makes mincemeat out of Marge.
Yeah, she got out over her skis. That's too bad. Bailey says her convenience is slipping in and out of hypnosis is exceeded only by the convenience of her forgetful memory. Her story is an agony of contradiction, he says. This trial at the New Jersey trial, and it works. He's acquitted. Yeah, after four hours of jury deliberations. So. Well, OK, so we have an additional trial that he then has to go through because then he has to go to trial in Florida.
Oh, right. For murdering his wife. And this is a really interesting verdict because he is found guilty of second degree murder. Oh. Which basically what that means is that there's no premeditation. But what F. Lee Bailey points out is that, like, there's no such thing as an unpremeditated poisoning murder.
Yeah, exactly. Like this doesn't make any sense to me because you have to procure the heart attack juice, which presumably is difficult. So that in itself, it's not like you just have this any cocktail of stuff. Sitting around your house. Yes, and here's what Bailey says about that. He writes, The jury returned a verdict of murder in the second degree, which under Florida law and the law of practically every other state was a legal impossibility.
Second degree murder involves an intentional and deliberate killing, but without premeditation to kill with succinylcholine, one must inject the victim in stand by and watch him or her suffocate. If the culprit is a doctor than he or she would know that artificial respiration could probably save the day. And thus the premeditation must be ongoing and continuous in the case of an intramuscular as opposed to intravenous injection. The culprit would have to hang out for 20 minutes waiting for the drug to take hold.
While Cappuccino's conviction remains today as the only case of second degree poisoning on record. Had he not decided to drop his appeals in the hope of an early release, he served 12 years and appellate court might have ruled, as the US Supreme Court once had, and a second degree arson murder conviction that since the killing could have only been first degree, the jury had in fact acquitted the defendant by finding him not guilty on that charge we heard.
What does that say to you? That feels like some like, I don't know, rich people just to see stuff where it's like they maybe didn't want to get him, like life imprisonment or the death penalty. And so they're like, let's knock his charge down one level. That's the only thing I can think of.
Yeah. Like, my only guess is that, like and the way that juries do sometimes there was some kind of a compromise. Yeah. Yeah. Or it's like a way of being like we're really not sure.
Like if he did it then that's really bad.
If he's innocent then it would suck to send him to prison for life based on the testimony of the scorned hypnosis victim. Right.
So it's so weird because if he did it, it is like a really chilling crime.
I mean, it is premeditated and it is purely for personal gain.
Yeah, it is actually a really bad crime.
So part of me feels like, oh, he's a doctor, can we really blame him for this? Like, I think there's probably some of that going on on juries generally in the 1960s.
Yeah. And I feel like this makes the defense harder and may actually make the wife defense harder. We're like maybe if he were defending him against a charge of something like she was strangled and like without saying that he did it, fellows who among us, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. Like, I feel like that is an undertone that you could have with with male jurors at that time.
It's a lot harder to be like who among us hasn't wanted to systematically and and with premeditation, stand above our dying wife and watch as she fights for her life very slowly.
So do you think that he did it? What's your hunch? What does your gut tell you? You know what? Like my position on all of these is that it's just not my business. Yeah, right. I mean, it's funny because I look at that.
I read Bailey's account and like, there's a part of me that's like that doesn't look good, I think. Yeah.
But also I just feel like it's just not my responsibility to form an opinion on these things. Like I like F. Lee Bailey, do not enjoy building coherent stories as much as I enjoy punching a bunch of tiny holes and one. Right. And then looking at what shines through.
And as with so many of these crimes, as we've learned from like responsible true crime nonfiction, oftentimes no theory of the crime makes any sense.
Yeah. And there's going to be gaping holes in any scenario. And like, we all just have to live with it and.
Yeah. And we're like, well, and I will get it right or something.
Or it's probabilistic. It's like sixty five percent chance he probably murdered his wife. But there's also like a pretty significant chance he didn't murder his wife. Yeah, that's as good as it's going to get in a lot of these cases. Right.
And it's like men tend to murder their wives, but also most of them don't. So hard to say.
Not all men. Sara, you've been listening to people, not all husbands. So, OK, I want to take us on a little tangent journey before we conclude, because this is like a fun little cul de sac for me, and I think it will be for you also.
Oh, yes. Take me down Wisteria Lane.
Love it. So, yeah. So just pretend that I've just taken you on like F. Lee Bailey going like did did didn't write down memory lane. And now he's like on the phone with Bob Shapiro and Bob Spike Lee. Right. And he's telling him to hire a private investigator in Chicago to figure out what's okay. State of mind. And so we're going back to American tragedy. The book tells us both men assumed the prosecution would produce expert witnesses to explain how a man who had just killed two people might behave.
The defense needed to know every detail of Simpson's behavior failings. Lead investigator was a former New York City detective named John McNally, famous during his days on the force for tracking down a jewel thief named Murph the surf. OK, so are those words inspiring to you?
Because they are to me, I'm just going to say it's such Saratov. Just the words of the search, I go, yeah, you find a funky name and a weird obscure case. Yes, I am digging into this.
Yes, I did. And I didn't have to dig very far because this is Mirtha. Surf was like the toast of the town in the nineteen sixties. Oh yeah. So yeah, he was a surfer and general cool guy about town. And in the 60s he still committed the single largest jewel heist in New York City history. No way. And stole a bunch of jewels from the American Museum of Natural History.
Stealing from a museum is a bold move. Yeah, although significantly less bold at the time, it turns out. Oh, yeah. And so the New York Times story about him after his death, which was last September, the headline which I want you to remember is Jack Murtha, SIRF Murphy Heist Mastermind Dies at eighty three. Heist mastermind. I'm listening.
It was not that the job was so well planned. Rather, security for the fourth floor Hall of Gems was just terrible. Burglar alarms had long ago stopped working. Windows at night were left ajar for ventilation and there were only eight guards for the museum's dozens of interconnected buildings for the museum.
If you were a white guy wearing a nice hat and the sixties life was just an endless, almost consequence free smash and grab and like murder bonanza, I guess that's what people are mourning.
Now, this reminds me when thieves stole the scream, you know, the famous painting, the home alone painting, they stole it from this museum in Oslo.
And afterwards, journalists were like, well, why didn't you have an alarm that got tripped when they stole it? And the museum director was like, oh, that would bother the other patrons of the museum. It would be too loud.
So we just went in and left priceless piece of art with no effort whatsoever.
So steal from the Norwegians hot tip.
Basically, all of Scandinavia is just they leave a penny, take a penny trust system.
So in the 60s, Murf is surfing around in Miami. He meets Alan Cune, who's a scuba diver, and they begin stealing together. So first they're stealing art from houses on the waterfront and they got away by boat. Then in nineteen sixty four, they go to New York City. They threw parties. They just robbed people that are at bars. They're doing a lot of small scores. And then here's at The New York Times says at the JPMorgan Hall of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History, they noted lax security and shocked at what they found there.
The star of India, a five hundred and sixty three carat oval shaped blue sapphire, two point five inches long. A golf ball is one point six eight inches in diameter. That along star Ruby at one hundred point thirty two carats and one hundred and sixteen carat midnight star, one of the world's largest black sapphires. And so they have another coconspirator named Clark. He's their lookout. And on the night of October twenty nine, Mr. Murphy and Mr. Kyun, carrying a coil of rope, scaled a tall iron fence behind the museum, climbed a fire escape to the fifth floor and inched along a narrow ledge.
And so they get in. They go in through the woods. Yeah, it's great. And these glass cutters on the gem displays and put duct tape over that and then they just smash and grab.
So less sophisticated than the first five minutes of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Yeah, much less. And so they get twenty two pieces and they go back out the window. And this is my favorite part. They climbed down and walked away, encountering several police officers on their beat. Good evening, officers. Mr. Murphy said they gave him a nod and come.
Walking clink, clink clink again since I don't know, I guess like the world of the suspects. I mean, this is like now we have all agreed to live in a general state of surveillance is the main difference. Right. So they get caught almost immediately because they're staying in a hotel. A clerk tips off the police because this, of course, makes news everywhere because you don't get a ton of jewel heists. And here's another quote in the penthouse, investigators found a museum floor plan brochures on its chem collections and sneakers with glass shards in the soles.
The search was interrupted with Marcia Clark walked in. He admitted the theft and said Mr. Murphy and Mr. Keown had taken the gems to Miami. A day later, all three were in custody. Nice.
They all spend about two years at Rikers.
Oh, well. And then are released. And then what happens after that is that Murph, as the press knows him, Murph, the surf continues basically trying to find angles, trying to find ways to steal. And so he and a guy named Jack Griffith embark on a plan to conspire with. Two young women named Terreri Frank and Aniline Môn, who are secretaries who have stolen the equivalent of five hundred thousand dollars worth of stocks and bonds from the brokerage where they work in Southern California, white collar stuff.
Yeah, they're getting into white collar stuff. And what happens next is that Terry, Frank and Adelman take their stolen goods to Florida to divvy up. They go out on the water with Murph and his new coconspirator. This time, they apparently argue about how big of shares everybody is going to get. Oh, yeah. And Myrth and Griffeth, kill them both.
Oh, wow. What? Yeah. Oh, yeah. That's bad. It's bad. He and an Griffeth both basically accuse each other of the murders. They both go to prison. Murf is like Capilano is also released after less time than he would serve if he were sentenced today, I think. Oh yeah. And actually something that he said near the end of his life in a Sports Illustrated article about the murders is it's a nightmare. I remember everything.
Oh, wow. Yeah.
I mean, is that a statement of remorse?
I think you could take it either way. I feel like what I like about it is that it feels to me like there is an honesty of like I feel like when someone is asked to describe a murder that they committed, you could very easily be like, I regret it every day, which I'm sure is true. But like, that's kind of a given. Like there's a lot of kind of dead language that is sort of reassuring people that you regret murdering someone.
Right. I feel like a lot of my initial interest in kind of people who end up in true crime stories comes from the fact that, like, the worst thing I can think of is like hurting someone or killing someone and then having to live with yourself after or like being dangerous and not being able to help it. Yeah, that seems awful to me. Yeah, I guess I like that. He's like I killed people and I remember it and it's awful.
I made a girl cry at the bus stop in seventh grade and I probably think about it once a month.
Like, I mean, not that like my primary sympathy is with him rather than her, obviously, but like. Yeah, these these things that you do sort of echo in your mind for decades.
Yes. Like the greater sympathy belongs to the person who didn't deserve to be murdered, as no one does. And like, OK, what I find most interesting here and like as a parallel to O.J. is like Murf, the surf is like not that well known, but like people do know that name, like he was big for this burglary. And people who remember him, like I think tend to remember him fondly. Like if there's name recognition, then I think it's along the lines of, like, murf, the surf.
Yeah. Fun guy who stole all those jewels as opposed to like the guy who if he didn't kill anybody he like helps kill people. It feels like we have just not metabolised that at all. And like, he he's not that big a part of culture, you know, he hasn't been since nineteen sixty five. But like the fact that he can sort of like that his legacy is sort of secure as, like a fun loving jewel thief who like also maybe committed a double homicide, but it's like there's no room for that because the jewel thief part is so fun and we really want to keep that alive.
It feels relevant because of the same thing that we want to keep this happy, go lucky football player in our minds.
Yeah, and just the like. When you have a prior idea of somebody, it's like weirdly easy to ignore someone having committed a murder. I guess, like we're actually like if we're incentivized to do so, we can kind of accept that and move on, apparently, at least with a public figure.
I wonder if this is how people who knew her as a nuclear analyst feel about Ina Garten. I can't metabolize this new information.
And you brought us home. So we have covered a single phone call.
I think that's a new record of, like, slowness for this year.
Maybe we barely got a phone call. And at the end of this episode, he is on the phone still.
And he's I mean, I guess he's joined the team, right? Like he's now part of the dream team. Oh, yeah. He's into it. He's like, oh, yeah. Like he like he basically starts working on the phone call about hiring him because Shapiro was like, do you want to work on this trial? And he's like, yes, why don't we hire an investigator to go to Chicago? How about the murf, the surf guy?
OK, that is the single sentence that we we manage to get and we covered.
What does that seven words. We covered seven words.
Very proud of myself. So what did we learn that Bailey used to be hot.
Yes. I haven't moved on from that piece of information. I'm sorry. Now Mavor. So coming up, we are going to talk a little bit more about some of Bailey's past triumphs, because I want to and because it's also going to leave us nicely poised to talk about some forensic junk science history. Oh, yay.
Yeah, that's my favorite kind of junk science history. So, yeah, just live your life with the confidence of someone who looked like Richard Burton not so long ago.
And if you need to steal anything, they would have no way.