Though he didn’t play in the game, Ray Lewis became one of the biggest stars of the 2000 Super Bowl in Atlanta between the St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans — for the wrong reasons.
Lewis, then a star linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, was in town to party for the game and was seen out and about in a cream-colored suit with a mock neck sweater and Stetson hat.
The Hall of Famer was seen wearing that suit, which prosecutors later alleged was bloody, while leaving a nightclub in the city’s Buckhead district in a limo following a pair of stabbings outside of the venue that left local residents Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar dead.
No one was convicted for, or confessed to, the fatal stabbings, but Lewis did eventually plead guilty to obstructing justice in the case. That plea did not include turning over the suit.
The plea did include Lewis agreeing to testify against his friends and former co-defendants, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, both of whom were charged with murder.
However, both were acquitted at trial, in large part because of missing evidence, including the suit.
“Why would it be gone?” said Greg Wilson, Baker’s uncle. “Why would that or anything else they had on them end up missing that night unless it was something that linked them to the murder?”
Prosecutors believe the bloodstained suit was discarded in the dumpster of a fast food joint close to the hotel where Lewis was staying but it was never recovered by investigators.
Although he has always maintained his innocence in the killings and doesn’t know what became of the suit, Lewis did reach confidential settlements with the families of both victims. In a 2015 book, he wrote he paid the families out of sympathy and love as opposed to guilt.