Claus von Bulow, cleared in attempted murder of wife, dies aged 92

Mr von Bulow was convicted of attempting to murder his wife in 1982

British socialite Claus von Bulow, pictured on April 13th, 1985, was ultimately acquitted of charges that he tried to kill his wife by injecting her with insulin. Photograph: AFP/Getty

British socialite Claus von Bulow, pictured on April 13th, 1985, was ultimately acquitted of charges that he tried to kill his wife by injecting her with insulin. Photograph: AFP/Getty

 

Claus von Bulow, the British society figure convicted and later acquitted of killing his wife, has died aged 92.

Mr Von Bulow, who was born in Copenhagen, was convicted in 1982 of attempting to murder his rich American wife Sunny by giving her an overdose of insulin.

Three years later the verdict was overturned and the drama was made into a film, Reversal Of Fortune, starring Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons.

Riccardo Pavoncelli, his son-in-law, confirmed to the New York Times that Mr Von Bulow died at his home in London on Saturday.

Mrs Von Bulow spent 28 years in a coma after what prosecutors alleged were two murder attempts by her husband, and she remained in a vegetative state until her death in 2008.

Mr von Bulow was ultimately acquitted of charges that he tried to kill her by injecting her with insulin at their estate in Newport, Rhode Island.

His trials, in Providence, Rhode Island, were among the most sensational of the 1980s. At the first, in 1982, he was convicted of trying twice to kill her but that verdict was thrown out on appeal and he was acquitted at a second trial in 1985.

Prosecutors said Mr Von Bulow wanted to get rid of his wife to inherit a large portion of her wealth and be free to marry a mistress. But the defence depicted Mrs von Bulow, who suffered from low blood sugar, as an alcoholic and drug abuser who drank herself into a coma.

The film, which saw Irons win an Oscar, was based on a book by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz who handled the appeal and second trial. – PA