‘The Execution of Bonny Lee’ examines a con artist’s story, a murder case, and the dark side of fame

True Crime June 29, 2022
Listen to ‘The Execution of Bonny Lee’

Bonny Lee Bakley had a long history of grifting and conning Hollywood’s men before she was found shot in 2001. Bonny longed for celebrity status so she set her sights on getting in with the in crowd and scamming her way to the top, resulting in fame, infamy, obsession, and love gone wrong. Before her death, Bonny gave birth to her daughter Rose Lenore, was convicted of identity fraud, swindled hundreds of men out of money, and married 9 times.

Of her many apparent conquests, Bonny married actor Robert Blake, whose credits included Our Gang (Little Rascals), 1967’s In Cold Blood, and TV series Baretta. After Bonny was found dead inside a car in North Hollywood, her husband became the main suspect, and the case drew widespread attention. Detective Ron Ito and the Homicide Special detectives raced to find evidence, and it took investigators 11 months to arrest Robert.

This Wondery podcast chronicles Bonny’s case and search for her killer, encouraging listeners to stream the 6-part series from the beginning. Learn all about Bonny’s backstory, the couple’s relationship, Robert’s challenging trial, the media firestorm, and if Bonny’s death was a murder-for-hire. “The Execution of Bonny Lee” is super-bingeable, with all episodes running less than an hour each.

Soon after 44-year-old Bonny was found dead in Robert’s car after dining in a restaurant, the murder weapon was located in a dumpster by the crime scene, prompting authorities to search Robert’s home. No evidence was found, and then Bonny’s sister Margerry made a startling revelation about Robert and Bonny’s relationship.

While Bonny was pregnant, she convinced the skeptical Robert that they were meant for each other. Robert dug into Bonny’s past and unearthed tons of bombshells. Before her death, the tabloids ran a shocking story that led Bonny to contact her former paramour, Marlon Brando’s son, Christian Brando.

During the investigation, Detective Ito believed those close to Robert were withholding information regarding the murder, and the press went wild. While Robert was later acquitted, this podcast delves into the many unanswered questions since his trial wrapped in 2005.

Fans of “Badlands: Hollywoodland” and “Disgraceland” might also enjoy “The Execution of Bonny Lee,” podcasts also dishing out celebrities’ crimes, scandals, and dark sides of every spotlight.

Tune in weekly for new episodes of “The Execution of Bonny Lee” over the next few weeks. Wondery subscribers get early access to new episodes.

Listen to ‘The Execution of Bonny Lee’

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