The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin on July 11, 1965 · Page 44
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The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin · Page 44

Racine, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 11, 1965
Page 44
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Page 44 article text (OCR)

J^amily IVecJcIy / July n, 1065 Paid Holmes, member of the bar and newspaper reporter, is author of The Sheppard Murder Case and coauthor with Dr. Stephen Sheppard of My Brother's Keeper, a first-person account of how a noted medical family fought murder charges brought against the youngest member. O N JULY 18, Dr. Sam Sheppard and his wife Ariane will celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Whether the handsome 41-year-old neurosur- ereon spends the second year of his marriage with his blonde German wife or behind prison bars is something federal courts are now deciding. Doctor Sam, a member of a prominent Cleveland medical family, was convicted of the bludgeon murder of his pregnant wife Marilyn in 1954. But he always contended he was innocent. Last year he was released from prison by a U. S. district judge who found his celebrated trial "a mockery of justice." The State of Ohio disagreed, however, and in May, 1965, the U. S. Court of Appeals ordered Doctor Sam back to prison. A series of legal maneuvers has resulted and is expected to end only in the U. S. Supreme Court. Two days after his contested release, Doctor Sam married the German divorcee who had fallen in love with him by mail and had traveled from Diisseldorf to meet him in prison and then fight for his freedom. I was the man who, at the request of the family, set up the mechanics of their Chicago marriage—blood test, license, magistrate, bridal suite, and that sort of thing. I could not prevent the event from turning into a carnival of flash bulbs and blinding television lights, however. At the time, I was asked what I thought the couple's chances of happiness were. I hesitated to answer. Certainly they faced extraordinary problems: they had met only once in a prison interview 18 months before; then the State of Ohio barred further visits or correspondence. Now they were to live in hourly fear of a call or knock on the door which would send Doctor Sam back to prison. I feel that only now can I answer the question of the Sheppards' chance for happiness. A year's close association with them and a recent chat with Doctor Sam have -given me a good picture of the couple and their life together. First let me say that the married life of Sam and Ariane has been singularly private in contrast to the intense publicity of their mail romance and spectacular marriage. Second, they are much more in love with each other now than they were a year ago. They exist for each other to such an extent that they have become a single entity. With Sam, it is always "w«." With Ariane, it is always "Sam," coupled with her interpretation of what is best for him, an interpretation he never disputes. They are both strong-willed persons, yet they have melded their wills as a upit. At a press conference a day after Sam was ordered back to prison, Ariane was asked what she would do if he actually were to go back. "I guess I will just go to our home and wait for him,"' she said. Then she added brightly, "Unless, of course, they will give me a room in the jail. Then I will go along with him." To report on this front-page marriage, I had to begin somewhere, so I asked Sam whether Ariane was a good housekeeper. Ariane was at the hairdresser's, so he could talk freely. "Ariane is quite a good cook," he said. "She is especially good with her salads. She uses dill a lot over our salads, and I love it." "And the housekeeping?" I persisted. "We have no maid or cleaning woman," said Sam, "but Ariane has plenty of help—that's me." He is a willing volunteer for any household task in which he thinks he can be helpful. "We are together in almost everything we do," he said. "We do all our shopping together and all our visiting together—not that we do much." Sam said he and Ariane are on excellent terms with their neighbors but haven't mingled much. "Witli prison lianging ovar my hoad, we haven't felt like socializing," he said. "They understand and greet us warmly." Sam's son, also named Sam, slept soundly through the tragic night in 1954 when his mother was beaten to death in a next-door bedroom. Now, at 18, he has just finished his senior year at Culver Military Academy. He has been a frequent weekend visitor with Sam and Ariane and spent the Christmas holidays with them. Young Sam, who adores his father and stepmother, will see little of them while the courts are having their last say. He is following his graduation with a one-year educational cruise around the world. The cruise ship is a floating schoolhouse for lads his age. "It will be better for him to be away," Doctor Sam said. "We feel about him much as we do about Ariane's daughter Iris. We would like to have her with us now, but it would not be fair. As soon as my troubles are over, she will join us, I hope to adopt her." Iris, 17, is Ariane's daughter by her first husband, Olaf Tebbenjohanns, a member of a Dusseldorf steelmaking family. They were divorced in 1957. The girl is with Ariane's mother and stepfather in Duisberg, Germany. "I have become very well acquainted with Iris The reporter who covered Sheppard's murder trial and arranged his marriage to a woman he barely knew tells of the couple's year together —and how they face the possibility of Sam's return to prison 12 MONTHS OF FREEDOM The Strange Marriage of Doctor Sam and Ariane Bv PAUL HOLMFS Family Weekly, July ll,J9tiS

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