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 a 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 6 months of marriage, she was murdered. It took a year to bring her husband to trial. He was acquitted of her murder but found responsible for her death in a civil trial.
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.