A prison inmate who publicly denied he was responsible for the murder of Dr. Sam Sheppard's wife, the crime that helped inspire "The Fugitive," claimed privately before his death that he was the killer, according to a fellow inmate.

Richard Eberling said he was the "bushy-haired intruder" who Sheppard maintained beat his pregnant wife to death in 1954, according to fellow inmate Robert Lee Parks.Assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor David Zimmerman said Wednesday that Parks approached his office in March saying he heard Eberling confess to the slaying.

But Parks has said Eberling told two stories: one that he killed Marilyn Sheppard and another that he was hired by the doctor to kill his wife for $1,500.

Sheppard served nearly 10 years in prison before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that reckless media coverage had violated his rights. A second trial in 1966 ended in acquittal.