Bonnie Lee Bakley
American fraudster
Bonnie Lee Bakley
Bonnie Lee Bakley was the wife of actor Robert Blake. Bakley was fatally shot while sitting in Blake's parked car outside a Los Angeles-area restaurant in May 2001. In 2002, Robert Blake was charged with Bakley's murder, solicitation of murder, conspiracy and special circumstance of lying in wait. In March 2005, a jury found Blake not guilty of the crimes.
Bonnie Lee Bakley's personal information overview.
News abour Bonnie Lee Bakley from around the web
Scott Bridges: Taste the Desert
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Mark your calendar now for May 31. That's the launch date of Palm Springs Restaurant Week (a misnomer, not only because it includes the surrounding cities of La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Cathedral City and Indian Wells, but also in that it runs through June 16, still, it has a better ring than Restaurant Two and a Half Weeks). With several dozen restaurants and local businesses getting involved, it would take too long to list the participants (especially when that list can easily be found here.) Instead, I'd like to shed some light on a few of the highlights of the experience, which I recently had the pleasure of checking out. So, in no particular order, here are a few ideas to help you plan out your trip. Cello's Modern American comfort food is superbly represented by the husband-and-wife team of Tom Steferak and Bonnie Barkley. The duo will offer a $26 prix fixe menu featuring choice a wide array of choices. Among the entrées is the signature limoncel ...
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Huffington Post article
Pleading Insanity: Why Robert Blake Now Acts Crazy For a Living
The New Republic - over 4 years
Did you see Robert Blake on the “Piers Morgan Show” last week? You can catch up with it on the CNN website, even if it’s now become a series of bites or takes, with bleeps here and there. It was the movie of the week, where you couldn’t take your eyes off the screen and didn’t know what to believe. What more can you ask for? First, the contestants: Piers Morgan is 47, six-feet-one and barely shy of 200 pounds, I’d guess. He has a plush, self-satisfied poker face, not too far from David Cameron. Rupert Murdoch appointed him editor of the News of the World, and he then moved on to run the Daily Mirror. In 2011, CNN brought him to America to fill the Larry King slot. He is smart on live television, and tougher than his the pretty-boy face would suggest. But he doesn’t know whether he is Edward Murrow or David Frost. He may guess how that dilemma crushed Frost, but still he can’t make up his mind. Blake v. Morgan was not a fair fight. Blake is 78, five-feet-four, maybe 150 pounds and h ...
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The New Republic article
Robert Blake: Slain wife was 'con artist,' had many enemies
LATimes - over 4 years
Robert Blake, in a combative interview on CNN this week, said his slain wife had many enemies and suggested one of them might have killed her. Blake was acquitted in 2005 on charges of murder in the death of Bonnie Lee Bakley, 44, who had been fatally shot outside a Studio City restaurant four years earlier. The 73-year-old former "Baretta" star was found responsible for Bakley's death in a separate civil action later in 2005. In 2008, an appeals court upheld the civil judgment but cut in half a $30-million award to Bakley's family. On CNN, where Blake was promoting a book, he described his late wife as a "con artist." "Bonnie had people that she burned. How bad I don't know," Blake told CNN host Piers Morgan on Thursday. "Did she steal everything from them? We'll leave that alone. But nobody really knew where Bonnie was. She had 15 ID cards. She had 15 credit cards. She had different places where she lived and nobody could ever find her if they were looking for her." "But ...
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LATimes article
Late Night: Robert Blake goes berserk on 'Piers Morgan Tonight'
LATimes - over 4 years
On Wednesday, actor Robert Blake stopped by “Piers Morgan Tonight” to promote his new self-published memoir, “Tales of a Rascal,” but the appearance descended almost instantly into a meltdown of “Tiger Blood” proportions. In 2005, the “Baretta” star was acquitted of killing his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, but was later found liable for her death in a civil suit. Given the high-profile nature of the case, it wasn’t so unreasonable for Morgan to broach the subject, but Blake didn’t seem to agree. Over the course of the hour – Blake was the only guest on last night’s show – the actor unleashed a tidal wave of invective aimed at a number of people, including, but not limited to: Morgan, whom he repeatedly called “Charlie” or “Charlie Potatoes”; the cops who arrested him for his wife’s death; the guy in Morgan’s ear (presumably he meant the show’s producers); his parents; and his late wife. It’s hard to isolate the single craziest moment, but we’ll do our best. In the clip above, Blake gets ...
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LATimes article
Blake: Bakley was a con artist
CNN - over 4 years
Actor Robert Blake talks to CNN's Piers Morgan about his murdered wife Bonnie Lee Bakley and says she was a con artist.
Article Link:
CNN article
Robert Blake to Piers Morgan: 'Nobody Tells Me I'm a Liar'
blank - over 4 years
Jul 11 ( - Robert Blake erupted at Piers Morgan on Wednesday when the CNN primetime host questioned whether Blake was telling the truth about the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley.
Article Link:
blank article
Vitello's Offers History Lesson in Resilience -
Google News - almost 6 years
The Bonnie Bakley incident would not be the first time a celebrity-related murder took place at a San Fernando Valley Italian restaurant. "Ventura Boulevard was a hang-out for the LA mafia in the Fifties and Sixties," says historian Kevin Roderick
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Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bonnie Lee Bakley
  • 2001
    Age 44
    On May 4, 2001, Blake took Bakley to an Italian dinner at Vitello's Restaurant on Tujunga Avenue in Studio City.
    More Details Hide Details Afterward, Bakley was killed by a gunshot to the head while sitting in the car, which was parked on a side street around the corner from the restaurant. Blake claimed that he had returned to the restaurant to collect a gun which he had left there, and was not present when the shooting occurred. The gun that Blake claimed he had left in the restaurant was later determined not to have fired the shots that killed Bakley. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills Memorial Park in Los Angeles. On March 16, 2005, Blake was found not guilty of the murder of Bonnie Lee Bakley, and of one of the two counts of soliciting a former stuntman to murder her. The other count of solicitation was dropped after it was revealed that the jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of an acquittal. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, commenting on this ruling, called Blake a "miserable human being" and the jurors "incredibly stupid."
    Bakley was fatally shot while sitting in Blake's parked car outside a Los Angeles-area restaurant in May 2001.
    More Details Hide Details In 2002, Robert Blake was charged with Bakley's murder, solicitation of murder, conspiracy and special circumstance of lying in wait. In March 2005, a jury found Blake not guilty of the crimes. Seven months later, Blake was found liable in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against him by Bakley's children. Officially Bakley's murder remains unsolved. Bonnie Lee Bakley was born in Morristown, New Jersey to arborist Edward J. Bakley and his wife, Marjorie Lois Bakley. Bakley had three siblings: Margerry Lisa Bakley, Joe Bakley, and her half-brother Peter Carlyon from her mother's second marriage. She was raised by and lived with her grandmother in Glen Gardner, New Jersey while her mother operated an antique business at 6 Kossuth Street in Wharton, New Jersey. Bakley dropped out of high school at age 16 and decided to go to New York City to pursue a career in modeling and acting at the Barbizon School of Modeling. She was married at 21 to her first cousin Paul Gawron and had two children with him: Glenn and Holly.
  • 2000
    Age 43
    Bakley and Blake were married in November 2000.
    More Details Hide Details Although they were married, the couple never lived together. Bakley and Rose lived in a small guest house beside Blake's house in Studio City of the San Fernando Valley. The relationship was reportedly rocky; Blake was distrustful of Bakley and hired a private investigator to find more information about her. Blake later found out that Bakley had continued to operate her "lonely hearts" ad scam during the marriage. Before her marriage to Robert Blake, Bakley was married nine times (many of the marriages were short-lived with one lasting a single day). She had four children, a son and a daughter with her second ex-husband Paul Gawron; a daughter named Jeri Lee Lewis (born July 28, 1993, whose father remains unknown); and daughter Rose Lenore Sophia Blake (born in 2000 and initially named Christian Shannon Brando) with actor Robert Blake.
    Eager to marry Blake, she ignored her attorney's advice and signed the agreement on October 4, 2000.
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    In June 2000, she gave birth to her fourth child, a daughter she named Christian Shannon Brando.
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  • 1999
    Age 42
    While Bakley was involved with Christian Brando, she was also dating actor Robert Blake whom she met at a jazz club in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details After the birth of daughter Christian Shannon Brando, Bakley told Blake that she was unsure of the child's paternity and that he might be the father of the child. Blake insisted on a paternity test which later determined that Blake, not Brando, was the father of Bakley's youngest child. After paternity was established, the child's name was legally changed to Rose Lenore Sophia Blake. Blake agreed to marry Bakley under the condition that she sign a temporary custody agreement. Under the agreement, Bakley agreed to monitored visits with Rose and to get written permission for her friends and family to visit Blake's property. The agreement also stipulated that if either spouse decided to end the marriage, the other spouse would retain custody of Rose. Bakley's attorney advised her not to sign the document because he thought it was "lopsided".
    In 1999, Bakley discovered she was pregnant and initially thought that Brando was the child's father.
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  • 1996
    Age 39
    After his release in 1996, Brando and Bakley began a romantic relationship.
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  • 1993
    Age 36
    In 1993, Bakley claimed that the daughter she gave birth to, Jeri Lee, was Lewis' child.
    More Details Hide Details However, DNA tests later disproved her claim. After Jeri Lee's birth, Bakley decided to relocate to California. She left Jeri Lee with her first husband to raise, but continued to financially support the child.
  • 1991
    Age 34
    While in California, Bakley pursued other celebrities including Dean Martin, Frankie Valli (Bakley claimed they dated when she was a teenager. Valli denied the claim), and Gary Busey. In 1991, Bakley became interested in Christian Brando.
    More Details Hide Details Christian, the eldest son of Academy Award-winning actor Marlon Brando and actress Anna Kashfi, became a media fixture when he was tried for the murder of his half sister's boyfriend Dag Drollet. Brando pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to ten years in prison. While he was in prison, Bakley began writing him and sending photos.
  • 1990
    Age 33
    In 1990, she moved to Memphis and began pursuing singer Jerry Lee Lewis.
    More Details Hide Details Bakley eventually did meet Lewis and even became close friends with Lewis' sister Linda Gail Lewis.
  • 1989
    Age 32
    In 1989, she was arrested in Memphis for drug possession and fined $300.
    More Details Hide Details In 1995, she was arrested for attempting to pass two bad checks from an account of a Memphis record company. Bakley was fined $1,000 and sentenced to work on a penal farm on weekends after she plea bargained down to lesser charges. In 1998, she was arrested in Little Rock, Arkansas for possessing five driver's licenses and seven Social Security cards with different names. She used the IDs to open various post-office boxes in order to run her "lonely hearts" scam. Bakley had a history of pursuing celebrities. Her friends and relatives described her as "celebrity-obsessed." Tapes of Bakley's phone conversations reveal that she was starstruck and determined to marry someone famous. "Being around celebrities," she once said, "it makes you feel better than other people."
  • 1982
    Age 25
    The couple divorced in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details In an effort to support herself, Bakley began a mail-order business sending nude pictures of women, including herself, to men. She also ran "lonely hearts" ads in magazines advertising for a "male companion." After communicating with the men who answered her ads, she would ask for money for rent or travel expenses. Bakley's business and scams eventually afforded her enough money to buy several houses in Memphis and a house outside Los Angeles. She was unsuccessful, however, in her Hollywood career as a singer and actor under the stage name Leebonny. Due to the nature of Bakley's mail-order business and other dealings, she was arrested several times.
  • 1956
    Born on June 7, 1956.
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