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Robert Blake: Slain wife was 'con artist,' had many enemies

Two stuntmen testified that the "Baretta" star asked them to kill Bakley two months before she was slain on May 4, 2001, as she sat in Blake's car near Vitello's, the Studio City restaurant where they dined before the shooting. In the end, Blake's attorney undermined the stuntmen's credibility and prosecutors were unable to link Blake to the murder weapon.

Robert Blake, in a combative interview on CNN this week, said his slain wife had many enemies and suggested one of them might have killed her.

Blake was acquitted in 2005 on charges of murder in the death of Bonnie Lee Bakley, 44, who had been fatally shot outside a Studio City restaurant four years earlier. The 73-year-old former "Baretta" star was found responsible for Bakley's death in a separate civil action later in 2005.

In 2008, an appeals court upheld the civil judgment but cut in half a $30-million award to Bakley's family.

On CNN, where Blake was promoting a book, he described his late wife as a "con artist."

"Bonnie had people that she burned. How bad I don't know," Blake told CNN host Piers Morgan on Thursday. "Did she steal everything from them? We'll leave that alone. But nobody really knew where Bonnie was. She had 15 ID cards. She had 15 credit cards. She had different places where she lived and nobody could ever find her if they were looking for her."

"But one day somebody opened the paper and saw that Bonnie just married Robert Blake and where does Robert Blake live. And, what, a couple of weeks later she was dead. I want you to chew on that for a bit."

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Robert Blake during his murder trial. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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