Birthday: June 7, 1956
Died At Age: 44
Sun Sign: Gemini
Born in: Morristown, New Jersey, United States
Famous as: Actor
Height: 1.60 m
Spouse/Ex-: Evangelos Paulakis (1971; divorced), DeMart C. Besly (1988; annulled), E. Robert Telufson (1994; annulled), Glynn H. Wolfe (1), Joseph Brooksher (1992; annulled), Paul Gawron (1977–1982; divorced), Robert Moon (1984–1987; divorced), William Webber (1993; annulled)
father: Edward J. Bakley
mother: Marjorie Lois Bakley
children: Glenn Paul Gawron, Holly Lee Gawron, Jeri Lee Lewis, Rose Lenore Sophia Blake
Died on: May 4, 2001
place of death: Studio City, California, United States
Cause of Death: Assassination
U.S. State: New Jersey
Who was Bonnie Lee Bakley?
Bonnie Lee Bakley was the wife of American actor Robert Blake. She had appeared in a few Hollywood flicks like ‘Radio Days’ and ‘Turk 182’, but what really brought her in the spotlight was her reputation of being a con artist. She was obsessed with celebrities and often lured rich and famous people with dirty talk and subsequently used them to earn money with fraudulent pregnancy claims. Bonnie was jailed many times as she was involved in several illegal activities like drug peddling, sex scams, illicit pornography business, usage of fake identities etc. She married several times, only for profit. Bonnie had a troubled childhood which reflected on her later years. She was shot dead by someone and her husband, actor Robert Blake, was charged with the crime. But further investigation revealed that Robert Blake was innocent and he was eventually exonerated. Bonnie had four children from her marriages.
Childhood & Early Life
Bonnie Lee Bakley was born in Morristown, New Jersey on June 7, 1956. Her father, Edward J. Bakley, was an arborist and her mother, Marjorie Lois Bakley, was an entrepreneur. She grew up along with her siblings, Margerry Lisa Bakley and Joe Bakley.
Bonnie’s mother was always busy with her antique business at 6 Kossuth Street in Wharton. So she moved in with her grandmother and started living in Glen Gardner, New Jersey. Bonnie was always interested in the showbiz and aspired to become a model.
After dropping out of high school, Bonnie headed to New York with hopes of becoming a star. She enrolled herself at Barbizon Modeling and Acting School. She registered her name as Lee Bonnie and managed to bag some minor modeling jobs. She even worked as an extra in a few movies.
But her dream of becoming a star was not materializing and hence, she began to look for ways that would make her rich and famous. Perhaps, the fact that she was a victim of sexual abuse and her difficult childhood seeded in her the desire to become noteworthy. In order to accomplish her goal, she manifested a blind obsession that eventually turned her into a criminal.
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During her struggling days, it was difficult for her to survive with the little money that she had with her. Bonnie then started a mail-order business that focused on ripping money off from lonely men. She had brilliant marketing skills and her good looks were an added advantage.
Bonnie started mailing nude photographs of different women to male clients and in exchange she charged them a bomb. She later started an agency called Lonely Hearts that offered intimate conversations to men. In no time, Bonnie became the owner of several properties.
Bonnie’s address book was always filled with names, mostly of famous and rich celebrities. Names, such as Robert De Niro, Sugar Ray Leonard and Jimmy Swaggart were also on the list. Her business furthered when she started publishing her advertisements in well-known pornographic magazines.
She later claimed herself to be tri-sexual, meaning she would experiment with any kind of sexual act and that her preference was sadism, masochism and bisexuality. This statement turned out to be her USP, which she used to the fullest to deceive men.
Bonnie also involved herself in drug peddling and supplied various illegal drugs to her clients as a complimentary service.
Marriages for Profit
Bonnie was first married to an immigrant, Evangelos Paulakis. He wanted to stay in the US and was advised by his lawyers to marry a US citizen. He approached Bonnie and offered a hefty sum in return.
But Bonnie had other plans. Soon after their marriage, Bonnie flew away with all his wealth and Evangelos was eventually deported to his hometown.
She then went on to marry one of her distant cousins, Paul Gawron, with whom she had two children, Glenn and Holly. She then divorced him in 1982.
Due to her obsession with stars, Bonnie started stalking musician Jerry Lee Lewis. She stalked him for several months before finally meeting and becoming friends with him. Their friendship came to an end in 1984, after she had made false claims of carrying Lee’s child. The issue then snowballed and caught media’s attention when Lee’s wife came forward saying that she was threatened by Bonnie. The child, whom she had claimed to be fathered by Lee, was later sent to live with her ex-husband.
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Bonnie simultaneously dated two actors – Robert Blake and Christian Brando. Bonnie and Blake first met at a local nightclub and they began a casual romantic relationship. While dating Blake, Bonnie became pregnant but she named Christian as the father of her unborn child. But it was later revealed that Blake was the father of the child in question and they eventually married in November 2000.
Bonnie was arrested in 1995 for writing fraudulent cheques and was sentenced to three years in a penal farm. She was also fined a sum of 1000 US dollars.
In 1998, she was arrested in Arkansas for carrying over 30 fake identity cards and was placed on probation.
On 4 May 2001, Blake and Bonnie visited Vitello's Italian Restaurant, a place where Blake was a regular customer. After enjoying a sumptuous dinner, the two walked towards their car. According to Blake, while walking out he realized that he had left his revolver in the restaurant and hence went back to get his gun.
When he came back, he found Bonnie lying in a pool of blood after being shot in her head. He then called out for help but it was too late to save her.
The first investigation report suggested that Blake had committed the crime and that he was helped by his bodyguard. Further investigation revealed that the revolver Blake was carrying and the one used for the murder were different. The latter was retrieved from a landfill site nearby.
The Los Angeles police department investigated for nearly a year before arresting Robert Blake on 18 April 2002. Two years later, Blake’s trial resumed and he was found guilty. On March 2005, a jury of twelve members was deployed to study the case. The panel gave its verdict in favor of Robert Blake and he was exonerated of all the charges.
Ubiquitous Bonnie: Mistress of Sham
Bonnie married Demart C. Besly, a widower from Montana, who was one of her Lonely Hearts clients. He proposed marriage to her which she readily agreed since Demart was a wealthy man. Unfortunately, Demart too met the same fate as Evangelos.
The heartbroken Besly was so hurt after he was ripped off by her that he decided to pen down his feelings which resulted in a manuscript of 400 pages. The manuscript was used in the investigation and was later published with the title, ‘Ubiquitous Bonnie: Mistress of Sham’.