I-Team: Prisoner Richard Bailey claims he was in love with missing heiress Helen Brach

May 15, 2013 5:34:24 AM PDT
In Tuesday's mail was a package from prison - the Florida prison where a man named Richard Bailey is serving a 30-year sentence for swindling Helen Brach.

Bailey was never charged with the actual murder of Mrs. Brach, although in 1995 the judge said his lengthy sentence reflected Bailey's involvement in the conspiracy to kill her.

Over the years Bailey's involvement in Brach's disappearance has become cloudy, and in his letter to the I-Team, Bailey says he wants out.

In the late 1970's, Richard Bailey looked the part of the gigolo that federal authorities said he was: a confidence man who had embraced wealthy candy heiress Helen Vorheis Brach.

Not for companionship - as she thought - but for the fortune left by her late husband.

The law enforcement theory was that Bailey had Brach killed when she threatened to blow the whistle on his horse fraud.

But in a package from prison that arrived Tuesday, Bailey paints a different picture of himself, claiming that this is the start of his autobiography, "The Golden Tongue."

In it, Bailey maintains he was nothing more than a sweet talker, who actually fell for Helen Brach.

In a letter to ABC7's Chuck Goudie that accompanied the manuscript, Bailey states: "The truth is, I had nothing to do with Helen Brach's disappearance and murder."

Brach vanished on a cold day in 1977, after returning to her home in Glenview after a checkup at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Her body has never been found, and neither has her killer - although crooked horsemen, insurance schemers and Chicago mobsters are all believed to have had a hand in her Jimmy Hoffa-style disappearance.

Also in the package from prison are the results of a lie detector test from 2010 that suggest Bailey had nothing to do with Brach's murder.

And Bailey promises to donate any proceeds from his autobiography to a Helen Brach animal welfare fund because - as Bailey writes - that is what the love his life would have wanted.

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