Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Interview of Gregg McCrary

The Murder of Marilyn Sheppard Fifty Years later

Marilyn Sheppard
Marilyn Sheppard
On the 50th anniversary of the murder of Marilyn Sheppard, former FBI profiler Gregg McCrary offered his reflections.  He was involved as an expert witness for the State of Ohio in the civil suite brought by Sam Sheppard Jr., which constituted the third trial for the case.

Samuel Reese Sheppard
Samuel Reese Sheppard
Unlike many who have gotten involved in the Sheppard case to prove something, McCrary had no particular theory about it.   If anything, he said, I was initially on the other side of the camp.  With all the programs that had been on television about it, I had heard that there was DNA evidence, so if I had any bias at all, it was to believe in the DNA evidence that implicated a suspect. 

Yet that would change.  Late in 1999, Dean Boland, with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors office in Cleveland, invited him to make an analysis, and several years later, McCrary described his findings in The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators among Us.

My role, he explains, was to try to pull all the disparate facts into some cohesive sense of what had occurred in that crime, to put the pieces of the puzzle together.  I was there to show what was more likely to have occurred than not.

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