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Barbara Villez

The irreparable case of Dr Sam Sheppard

Le Temps des médias n°15, automne 2010, p. 192-205.


In 1954 in the United States, Dr Sam Sheppard was tried and convicted for the murder of his wife despite his continued protests that he encountered an intruder who knocked him unconscious before he could discover his wife’s body. Sheppard’s story has given rise to two televisions series and a film. Just as the Common Law departs from a conflict between two parties to arrive at a general rule, fictions have found in individual stories a way to incite the public to reflect upon broader questions such as the myth of the innocent man who, alone, must fight against the judicial machine as well as the powerful media.

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