Famous murder trials
Famous murder trials
In the high-profile murder trial of young Florida mother Casey Anthony who is charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, prosecutors brought in forensics experts to testify. As Anthony awaits a verdict, we take a look at some of the most infamous murder trials in history.
Lincoln assassination trial
Richard Hauptmann trial
Who was on trial: A vehement critic of the Lincoln administration, John Wilkes Booth, and a group of co-conspirators.
The verdict: The seven-week trial, by a military tribunal, ended in death sentences for Mary Surratt, David Herold, Lewis Powell and George Atzerodt. Samuel Arnold, Samuel Mudd and Michael O'Laughlen were sentenced to life in prison, while Edmund Spangler was imprisoned for six years.
O.J. Simpson murder trial
Who was on trial: German ex-convict Bruno Richard Hauptmann.
The verdict: Hauptmann was sentenced to death in 1936 for the murder and kidnapping of the son of famous aviators Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Leopold & Loeb murder trial
Who was on trial: Retired football player O.J. Simpson.
The verdict: After nine months of what was called "the trial of the century," Simpson was acquitted in 1995 on charges that he murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. In a later civil trial, he was found guilty and ordered to pay the victims' families several million dollars in compensation.
Lindy Chamberlain murder trial
Who was on trial: Two wealthy University of Chicago students, Nathan Freudenthal Leopold Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb, better known as "Leopold and Loeb".
The verdict: Said to be motivated to commit the perfect crime, the young men murdered 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks. Defense attorney Clarence Darrow's legal maneuvers spared them the death penalty, and the pair was sentenced to life in prison. Loeb was murdered in prison, and Leopold was released on parole after 33 years.
Ted Bundy murder trial
Who was on trial: New Zealand-born mother Alice Lindy Chamberlain.
The verdict: Chamberlain was convicted of murdering her baby daughter while on a family vacation in Australia and sentenced to life in prison. She spent four years behind bars before police found new evidence that a dingo had probably killed the infant. She was released in 1986.
Claus von Bülow murder trial
Who was on trial: Notorious '70s serial killer Ted Bundy had two murder trials: one for the killing of sorority sisters, the second for the murder of Kimberly Leach.
The verdict: Bundy was convicted of kidnapping and murdering numerous women and sentenced to death in 1979. While on death row, he admitted to killing more than 30 women in several Northwestern states. He was electrocuted in 1989.
Dan White murder trial
Who was on trial: British socialite Claus von Bülow.
The verdict: In the '80s, Bülow was convicted of attempting to kill his wife and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He appealed the verdict and won. Bülow now lives in London.
Dr. Sam Sheppard murder trial
Who was on trial: Former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.
The verdict: Using a controversial strategy now known as the "Twinkie defense," White's lawyers got his conviction charge reduced from murder to manslaughter in the killing of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. White committed suicide in 1985 after his release from prison.
Leonard Peltier murder trial
Who was on trial: Osteopathic doctor and neurosurgeon Dr. Sam Sheppard.
The verdict: Sheppard was convicted in 1954 of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his pregnant wife. He was acquitted in a retrial after serving 10 years in jail. The real killer was never found.
Who was on trial: Native American activist Leonard Peltier.
The verdict: In 1977 Peltier was sentenced to two life terms in prison for the murder of two FBI agents during a 1975 shootout on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He continues to appeal his case. His last parole request, in 2009, was denied.