The caller to Oakland Police Department made a specific request for criminal defence attorney Francis Lee Bailey, who was previously hired by the brother of Sam Sheppard, found guilty in the brutal murder of his wife Marilyn in 1954. In 1966, F. Lee Bailey successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that Sheppard had been denied due process, winning a re-trial. A not guilty verdict followed. Was this the inspiration behind Eric Weill's choice of attorney and the name "Sam", both inextricably linked by a high profile court case a few years earlier. However, this was getting on for three years ago.
In August 1969, just two months prior to the Oakland Police Department and Jim Dunbar Show calls, Sam Sheppard debuted as a professional wrestler against Wild Bill Scholl - entering under the stage name of "Killer" Sam Sheppard. Therefore, it is quite ironical that the caller on October 22nd 1969 had asked for an attorney who successfully defended Sam Sheppard, who then identified as "Sam" on the Jim Dunbar Show as a replacement for the ominous "Zodiac Killer", just two months after Sam appeared in the "ring" as a "killer". You couldn't write the script.
Sam Sheppard wrestled over 40 matches before his death in April 1970, including a number of tag team bouts with professional wrestler George Strickland as his partner. His notoriety made him a strong draw.