Document Type

Witness Statement



Box Number


Item Number



John P. Eaton, Sam Sheppard, J. Spencer Houk, Sheppard home, bedroom, Marilyn Sheppard, Marilyn's body, Huntington beach, green bag, Sam's watch, Sam's clothing


John P. Eaton, Chief of the Bay Village Police Department, stated that he was summoned to the Sheppard house around 6am on July 4 with a report of a murder. He did not speak with Sam Sheppard at that time. He went upstairs to confirm that Marilyn had been murdered and then returned downstairs to hear mayor Houk's version of events. He told one of the other police officers to contact the Cleveland Police Department for assistance.

While surveying for evidence, he noted wet footprints coming up the stairs from the beach and some people fishing on the Huntington pier. He also found a pair of canvas gloves, a brown leather glove, and a green bag that contained Sam's watch, his fraternity ring, and a key chain (bag discovered by Larry Houk, son of mayor Houk). He also noted that Marilyn's watch was strewn with some tools.

Eaton received Sam's clothes from Dr. Gerber and inventoried them. He stated that the house and grounds were searched multiple times for a murder weapon and that they had a team of professional divers search the bottom of the lake, an unsuccessful endeavor.



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