Thursday, May 30, 2019

Obituary: Claus von Bulow

Claus and Alan:  Two sleazy peas in a pod


One of the most infamous would-be killers or, as it really turned out, killers,  of recent times, Claus von Bulow, has died, it was announced.  He was a mere 92 years old.  Claus was a reality television superstar of sorts when he first came into the public eye in 1980.  He was known for being accused of trying to bump off his filthy rich wife, "Sunny" von Bulow, by giving her an overdose of insulin, thus causing her to remain in a "vegetative state" for the rest of her life.  He actually killed her, as she died 28 years after he put her in a coma, in 2008.

Of course, he was a golddigger who married the heiress wife for the money.  He had 75 million reasons to want her dead. When he got tired of her, thanks to having a mistress on the side who made demands on him to leave his wife, he decided to bump Sunny off.  However, he didn't succeed, as she not only survived, but he was tried and convicted of attempted murder.  He was sentenced to a 30-year prison term.  However, von Bulow had oodles of his wife's money, and he wasn't going to sit back and take the sentence.  He found one of the sleaziest appellate attorneys in the United States who also moonlighted as a Harvard Law School professor, Alan Dershowitz, to defend him.  Dershowitz knew how to manipulate the legal process and got the conviction overturned.  Von Bulow got tried again in 1985, found a different lawyer, and managed to get the jury to feel sorry for him and acquit him.

Money does buy justice.  As for Sunny, she never got justice at all despite her immense wealth.

As the article notes, Sunny had two attempts on her life.  The first time she had a coma in 1979.  She recovered from that only to go through it again, and she never recovered from it.

Von Bulow spent the rest of his life in relative obscurity.   He divorced Sunny in 1988, as if she had any awareness of the situation.  Dershowitz became a superstar of sorts defending all kinds of guilty people in trial and especially on appeals.

It's important to note von Bulow was trained as a lawyer:

Mr. von Bülow was born Claus Cecil Borberg in Copenhagen on Aug. 11, 1926, the son of Jonna and Svend Borberg. His parents divorced when he was 4 years old. His father, a theater critic, was an admirer of the Third Reich, and when World War II ended, he was arrested in Denmark as a Nazi collaborator. He was sentenced to four years in prison, was released on appeal after he had served 18 months, and died a year later.

During the early years of the war, young Claus was spirited out of Denmark by way of Sweden and sent to Britain to live with his mother, who had taken up residence there. He adopted the name of his maternal grandfather, Frits Bülow, a former Danish minister of justice. The “von,” usually used only by members of noble families, was added later. Mr. von Bülow told Mr. Dershowitz that his wife was the one who had insisted he add it.

Mr. von Bülow entered Cambridge University when he was 16 and graduated in 1946 with a law degree. He then spent a year in Paris attending classes at the École des Sciences Politiques. On his return to London, he worked in banking before joining the law offices of Quintin Hogg, a noted British barrister who later became Lord Hailsham.

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