In 1981-82, I was a teenager growing up in Rhode Island doing the teenage stuff. Rhode Island never really made the national news for anything until Claus von Bulow and his two infamous trials in Newport came along.
Claus von Bulow is a Danish aristocrat and playboy. He lived in one of Newport's famous mansions with his second wife Sunny. In 1981, von Bulow alledgedly put Sunny in a coma by injecting insulin into her while she slept and Claus was arrested for attempted murder. He was found guilty in the first trial, but won his appeal for a second trial saying that he wasn't given a fair trial because he was rich. At the second trial, in 1982-83, von Bulow was defended by Alan Dershowitz, the famous defense attorney and Harvard professor. This time, von Bulow was acquitted and ran off to London to live in exile with his mistress. Sunny von Bulow has been in vegetative state ever since and is in a hospital in New York.
It is said that von Bulow tried to kill Sunny with insulin because he wanted her inheritence and to live with his mistress. The famous black bag was found in his bedroom by a maid and was supposed to be the weapon and smoking gun.
Von Bulow's trial put Rhode Island and Newport in the news and von Bulow became a sort of folk hero around New England. My mom and I were at the veterinarian with our dog Klaus (born in 1974 and named for the German Santa Claus) one day during the trials, and our veterinarian, Dr. Teide said that he was seeing many people with puppies or kittens named Claus for von Bulow.
The movie "Reversal of Fortune" starring Jeremy Irons in his Oscar winning role as Claus and Glenn Close as the unfortunate Sunny was based on this famous incident and trial. I highly recommend "Reversal of Fortune" and enjoy Jeremy Irons hissably delicious turn as the villianous von Bulow. "You have no idea!"