Police: No One Ruled Out as Suspect in Killing of Robert Blake's Wife
LOS ANGELES – Investigators have not ruled out any suspects in the killing of actor Robert Blake's wife, a police commander said Wednesday.
"There has been much talk about who is or who is not a suspect," said Capt. Jim Tatreau, commander of the department's robbery-homicide division. "We have not ruled anyone out as a suspect in this case and information that indicated that we had is ... wrong."
Police also defended their investigation following criticism from Blake's attorney. Harland Braun has suggested police didn't thoroughly search the home of Bonny Lee Bakley, 45, and left behind boxes of documents, casting suspicion on Blake while the killer might be someone from Bakley's past.
"We're approaching the case as it should be investigated, following leads, ... conducting interviews," Tatreau said. "There is evidence that we will not be talking about, or the results of examination of that evidence."
Blake, 67, was in seclusion at an undisclosed location to avoid the news media spotlight that has surrounded his Studio City home since Friday night's killing.
Bakley, 45, was shot in the head as she sat in a car about a block from a restaurant where she and Blake had just dined. Blake returned to the restaurant to retrieve a gun he'd left behind -- a gun he was carrying because Bakley had told him she was in danger, Braun said.
Bakley's half-brother, who lives in Tennessee, said Bakley told relatives that Blake had threatened her.
Investigators have a number of people to interview and have not yet received scientific reports on such things as whether there was gunpowder residue on Blake's hands, Tatreau said.
The coroner's report in the case remains sealed.
Braun said that on Thursday police plan to interview a man who works as Blake's bodyguard and assistant, and accompanied the couple on recent trips to Las Vegas and Sequoia National Park.
Braun and others have painted an unflattering picture of Bakley as a schemer who tapped lonely men for money through a mail-order business and the sale of nude photos, and Braun suggested the killer might be found in Bakley's past.
"It could be a business associate that hates her. It could be someone she took advantage of. If he didn't do it, it's someone from her past. And I don't think he did it," he said.
Friends and relatives have described Bakley as celebrity-obsessed. She claimed to have a daughter by rock 'n' roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis and initially thought the father of Blake's baby was Christian Brando, son of Marlon Brando. DNA tests proved Blake was the father, and the couple married.
Jerry Lee Lewis' business, JKL Enterprises Inc., which is run by his wife, Kerrie Lewis, issued a statement Wednesday in which Lewis denied fathering Bakley's baby.
"I want to make it clear that I have never fathered a child by Mrs. Robert Blake," the statement said, describing Bakley as "an avid fan" who harassed his family "in the hope that I would leave my devoted wife ... and marry her, which was merely a figment of her own imagination."
A different view came from Cary Goldstein, a lawyer who once represented Bakley.
"In my dealings with her, she was nothing but honest and honorable," he told the Los Angeles Times. "She was never deceptive."
Robert Moon, Bakley's second husband, told the TV tabloid show "Extra" on Wednesday that Bakley ran a similar mail operation during their 1985-87 marriage.
"I told her years ago ... somewhere down the road, someone's gonna kill her ... 'cause she's playing everybody," he said.