Robert Blake’s wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, was found dead from a gunshot to her head in her husband’s Dodge Stealth on May 4, 2001.
The Dodge Stealth was parked outside an Italian restaurant in the Studio City section of Los Angeles, where the couple had just dined.
In the initial days after the murder, Mr. Blake said he was not there when his wife was shot.
According to him, he had returned to the restaurant to retrieve the gun he allegedly left in the booth they were sitting in.
Fortunately for him, that gun was not the murder weapon in this case. Another firearm found in a nearby dumpster was.
By April 2002, the police had gathered enough evidence to charge Mr. Blake with “murder with special circumstances,” a capital offense.
He was also charged with soliciting movie stunt performers to do the killing on his behalf.
After he pleaded not guilty to all charges, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced that it would not seek the death penalty.
Mr. Blake was initially denied bail and spent 11 months in jail until March 2003 when he was granted bail, set at $1.5 million, which he posted, allowing him to remain free for almost two years while he awaited trial.
Robert Blake passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 9th, 2023, at 89.
According to his niece, Noreen Austin, the cause of his death was long-term heart disease. Blake’s film and TV career began with “Our Gang” comedies and was highlighted by a performance as a mass killer in “In Cold Blood.” But he led a very tumultuous life.
He insulted producers, punched a director, fought with fellow actors, abused alcohol and drugs, and sometimes went for years without work.
He nonetheless became a television star in the late 1970s as Baretta, a detective who lived in a run-down hotel, had a pet cockatoo named Fred, and used disguises to chase bad guys. His catchphrase, “You can take dat to da bank,” earned much fame.
Robert Blake’s wife was one of the unluckiest women to grace the earth’s surface. Despite her death, Mr. Blake continued to live a very controversial life, and his reputation was severely tainted.»Issues surrounding Robert Blake’s wife death«