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LAPD chief: Few clues in death of actor's wife

Parks asks media to use caution in reporting

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks said Wednesday police are working all the leads they have in the killing of actor Robert Blake's wife, but there are not many clues to go on.

"There are very few clues, yes. It's a 'whodunit,'" Parks said in a news conference.

He said police do not have enough evidence to point to a suspect in the May 4 shooting death of Bonny Lee Bakley, 44. She was found shot in the head in her husband's car in a parking lot near a Studio City restaurant, where the couple had just dined.

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CNN's Charles Feldman reports on audio recordings made by Bonny Lee Bakley (May 12)

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Blake, 67, told police he was inside the restaurant at the time, retrieving his own gun that he had carried at Bakley's request. He said he returned to find his wounded wife in the car.

The actor has been interviewed as a witness to the crime. Police have twice searched his home.

Chief critical of speculation

Parks said police are still interviewing people, collecting evidence and waiting for the results of several forensic tests carried out in the investigation.

He cautioned the media to use common sense in its reporting about the facts and evidence in the killing.

"We have to be in a situation that understands the importance of some of this evidence," Parks said. "There may be clues that alert the suspect that we know."

The chief said the police would depend on evidence and clues to solve the case, "not all the speculation by friends, relatives, prior employees that have some judgment about individuals that may or may not be involved."

Parks was referring to comments by, among others, Blake attorney Harland Braun. Blake's attorney began raising questions about Bakley's past almost immediately after the slaying, saying it might hold clues to who killed her.

Last week, Braun released to the media tape recordings of telephone conversations Bakley had, detailing her interest in celebrities and the Hollywood lifestyle. The lawyer also turned over what he called evidence about Bakley's background to police.

Blake attorney defends tactics

Braun defended his tactics, saying police were not doing their job. He has said several times that the couple had a troubled relationship and that Blake had only married Bakley because she became pregnant with his daughter.

Braun dismissed the suggestion that Blake was responsible for the crime. He raised the possibility of a "professional hit" and said a lonely-hearts club "scam" that Bakley ran could lead to her killer.

Cary Goldstein, an attorney who used to represent Bakley and who now represents her sister, Marjorie, criticized Blake's attorney for "trashing" his client, "revealing to the public skeletons from her closet, from her past, things that are totally irrelevant."

Meanwhile, Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Investigations Unit said Bakley's body would be released to the Armstrong Mortuary in Los Angeles, and then transported to a funeral home in New Jersey.

The mortuary said it expects to receive the body sometime Wednesday. A private funeral for Bakley will be held soon in New Jersey.







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