F. Lee Bailey, controversial defense lawyer in high-profile trials, has died
(NY POST) – F. Lee Bailey, the famed attorney who represented some of the most notorious defendants in US history — including O.J Simpson and the “Boston Strangler” — died Thursday in Georgia. He was 87.
His death was confirmed to the Boston Globe by his former law partner, Superior Court Judge Kenneth J. Fishman.
The high-profile criminal defense attorney was best known for being part of Simpson’s legal “Dream Team” — and helped to acquit the football legend of double-murder in 1995.
“F. Lee Bailey was a great guy… he was great, he was smart. Sharp as ever,” Simpson, 73, said in a video on Twitter Thursday.
“Maybe the best lawyer of our time, of his generation,” Simpson added. “You’ll be missed by me.”
Known for his flamboyant style and bulldog courtroom tactics, Bailey’s cadre of high-profile clients also included the Boston serial-killer Albert DeSalvo, heiress Patty Hearst and neurosurgeon Sam Sheppard, whose arrest for his wife’s murder inspired the 1993 blockbuster “The Fugitive.”
A Waltham native and Boston University Law School graduate, Bailey also made a name for himself as a celebrity in his own right. In the 1960s, he hosted “Good Company,” a celebrity interview show, and was also the frontman of “Lie Detector,” another TV-series that aired in the 1980s.
He wrote several best-selling books, appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek and wrote a novel, “Secrets,” in 1978.
The ego-driven attorney was behind one of the key moments of Simpson’s “trial of the century” for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman.
His blistering cross-examination of LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman made it clear that the former cop had used racial slurs and sowed doubt in the jury’s mind.
But Bailey said he was snubbed by his peers and persecuted after he defended “The Juice.”
“Among the rednecks of America, which there are many more than people seem to realize, it was terribly damaging,” he once said in reflecting on the trial. “I got blamed for O.J.’s acquittal.”
Bailey was disbarred in Florida and Massachusetts in 2001 and 2003 for misconduct while defending Claude Louis DuBoc, an accused marijuana dealer. He declared bankruptcy in 2017.
He was last known to live in Maine, where he worked as a consultant in an office above his longtime girlfriend Deborah Elliott’s beauty salon.