The tragic murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman and the highly publicized trial that let O.J. off the hook.
O.J. Simpson was a famous football player and actor who was charged with murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Despite the mountain of evidence implicating him as the murderer, O.J. was acquitted, thanks to his legal Dream Team and the incompetence of the LAPD.
*This is not an exact transcript, but rather an outline of my notes.
O.J. Simpson, aka “The Juice” was born Orenthal James Simpson on July 9, 1947. He was one of the greatest running backs ever. He played for the Buffalo Bills and was the first person to rush for 2,000 yards. He was super fast, he could run sideways faster than most people can run forwards. In 1985, he was Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He started acting in college and appeared in an episode of a drama series called Medical Center while he was negotiating his first contract with the bills. He went on to appear in the Naked Gun films, The Klansmen, Roots, Capricorn One, etc. He was famously a spokesman for Hertz rental car company. O.J. Simpson has to be one of the most famous people to be charged with murder in America.
O.J. was born and raised in San Francisco, CA to his mother Eunice Durden, a hospital administrator, and Jimmy Lee Simpson, a chef and bank custodian. Jimmy Lee left the family when O.J. was only 4 years old but remained present in his son’s life. When O.J. was a kid, he discovered that his father was a homosexual when he and his friend went to visit him, and Jimmy Lee opened the door with another man behind him, both wearing bathrobes. This friend was later quoted as saying “Back in our day that was the worst thing in the world that you could ever think about. An African-American man being a homosexual.” Another source was quoted as saying “Mama Simpson, as he was known to me, used to hang around the hotel where I lived and was frequently dressed in drag. Everyone knew he was O.J.’s dad. He got to be known as Mama Simpson because he favored young, butch white kids as boyfriends.”
Simpson's maternal grandparents were from Louisiana, and his aunt gave him the name Orenthal, which she said was the name of a French actor she liked. He was called "O. J." from birth and did not know that Orenthal was his given name until a teacher read it in third grade. O.J. had rickets as a child and wore braces on his legs until he was 5.
O.J. studied at USC where he played football and started acting. At age 19, he married his first wife, Marguerite, and they would go on to have 3 kids together: Arnelle, Jason, and Aaren.
Nicole Brown was born in Germany on May 19th, 1959. She was the 2nd of 4 daughters born to Lou and Juditha Brown. Her mom was German and her father was an American living in Germany. The family moved to southern California when Nicole was 4.
As a child, Nicole was known for being really headstrong. She was the type of person who would fall down and get right back up and face her challenges. Like, she had a couple of childhood injuries where she just kind of dusted herself off and got back up. Like one time she crashed her bike and went rear over handlebars and just got right back up like “I’m fine!”. Another time, she fell off a horse and her head started bleeding. Again, she ultimately recovered.
Nicole’s sister, Denise, was 2 years older and she was known as “the pretty one”. (Imagine a home where Nicole isn’t the pretty one.) She worked as a model and sometimes invited Nicole on work trips. Nicole decided to try modeling herself and when she graduated high school, she went to New York to work as a model.
Nicole turned 18 on May 19th, 1977. The very next day was the day she graduated high school. Shortly after graduating, she left her parents' home and moved to LA. Just 5 weeks later, she would meet her future husband, O.J. Simpson.
So 18-year-old Nicole had just moved to LA and got her very first job at a boutique. After two weeks at the boutique, the owner offers her a job as a waitress at a club he owns called The Daisy. A couple of weeks into her new job at the Daisy, O.J. Simpson came in. O.J. was actually still married to his first wife, Marguerite Whitely, who he had been married to for nearly 10 years. According to O.J., their relationship had been rocky for a while. Just before their 10 year anniversary, she sat him down and told him “this isn’t working, and I’m 5 months pregnant.” O.J. was shocked. He packed a bag and told her that he was going to go to the mountains for a couple of days to think things through. He stopped at a jewelry store and bought her an anniversary present before deciding to have breakfast at The Daisy, where he spotted Nicole. O.J. was a few weeks shy of his 30th birthday, and according to those who were with him that night, he saw 18-year-old Nicole and said “I’m gonna marry her.”
For the record, O.J.’s wife Marguerite says that he was never physically abusive with her. There are some sources that say that she was known to wear sunglasses indoors, but I found that to be difficult to verify. But I will say that when asked about why she and O.J. split, she said that it was basically his fame. She was a very private person and yet she couldn’t walk down the street with her husband without getting swarmed. She would also go on to support O.J. in his trial later on.
Nicole had actually never heard of O.J. Simpson when he came into The Daisy, but she agreed to go out with him. After their first date, she came home around 2 in the morning and told her roommate about her date. Her roommate, David, noticed that the zipper of her jeans were ripped from the seam, and he was like “oh my god, what happened?” And Nicole told him “He ripped my pants off.. but I really like him.”
Within the first couple of dates, O.J. told Nicole that he didn’t like her living with a male roommate, and so he got her a place of her own. As a result, she becomes financially dependent on him pretty quickly and stops working because she doesn’t really need to. This effectively meant that her life as an independent adult only lasted a couple of months. She had just moved out of her parents house, and then moved in with David, and now she was living under O.J.’s roof and depending on him.
By July 1977, O.J. went to Buffalo, NY to train with the Buffalo Bills, and then he went back to L.A. briefly for the birth of his daughter, Aaren (whose mother he is still married to). After he goes back to Buffalo, Nicole flies out there with her sister to watch him play. Nicole and Denise watched the game with a friend of theirs and O.J.’s named Mike Militello. When O.J. ran out onto the field, he looked up at Nicole and winked at her. She was absolutely swooning. They both seemed to be absolutely in love with each other. At the end of the game, Nicole thanked Mike for the great time and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Right at that moment, O.J. was trying to show his teammate who his girlfriend was and saw Nicole kiss Mike. When they got home, O.J. went ballistic and screamed at her, “How could you embarrass me like that?!” Later that evening they went to a party and had a great time. Nicole wrote the incident off and they moved on as if it never happened.
In 1978, O.J.’s wife, Marguerite, finally filed for divorce just after the birth of their daughter, Aaren.
O.J. began abusing Nicole pretty much right away. Eventually, it was found that Nicole had been keeping a safety deposit box where she kept diary entries and evidence of the abuse. Those close to her believe that Nicole might have been documenting the abuse because she knew deep down that he might one day kill her.
On Nicole’s 19th birthday, O.J. punched Nicole in the face and left her with a black eye. To apologize, he bought her a brand new Porsche with a giant bow on it. She said she felt like an idiot driving a Porsche with a black eye.
Nicole was staying at her parents house when this happened and they actually didn’t know that Nicole was dating O.J. Simpson until he delivered a Porsche to her at their house. Apparently, Nicole’s father was a little bit racist. Nicole’s sister, Denise, said “I think my father’s reaction was ‘well I guess if it’s gonna be a black guy, I’m glad it’s someone who’s not a bum.’ I know he thought that because that’s how he thinks.”
This is really interesting to me because it says a lot about how a lot of people viewed O.J. Simpson. A podcast I listened to made a really good point about this. (It’s called You’re Wrong About and they did a super-deep dive into this case.) What they said was that people will put aside their negative prejudice of black people if they suit their positive prejudice of rich people. This becomes so true later on when we see the police treating O.J. Simpson better than they’ve ever treated a person of color in history.
Also, Nicole’s dad is finding out for the first time about her daughter’s black boyfriend because he’s bringing an apology gift for beating the shit out of her, and her dad’s just looking at the Porsche going “well at least he’s not a bum.”
O.J. would lose his temper often, but those around him didn’t acknowledge his behavior as abuse. They talked about it like he was just blowing off steam. Nicole’s family made jokes about how when they argued, O.J. would grab Nicole’s family pictures and throw them down the stairs or out the window. Nicole’s mom even joked “Is my picture out on the front lawn?”
Not only did people kind of make light of it, but some people also said that Nicole instigated disputes with O.J., saying things like that she knew how to push his buttons. I read some accounts from their mutual friends saying that O.J. never said a bad word about Nicole, but Nicole was constantly talking badly about O.J. And when people say that she “gave him a hard time,” what that probably means is that she questioned him about cheating on her.
O.J. started cheating on Nicole pretty early on. One day during O.J.’s season with the 49ers, Nicole showed up unexpectedly at her parents house after fighting with him about his infidelities. She had driven 8 hours from San Francisco to Laguna and when she got there, she told her mom that he’s an asshole and she’s never going back. Her mom figured she would spend the night but then she got on the phone with O.J. and suddenly she was saying “I’ve gotta go back” and she was out the door. It turned out that during that phone call, O.J. had told her “If you don’t get back up here, I’m going to get another girlfriend and fuck the shit out of her.” So Nicole got in her car and drove back for another 8 hours, without stopping.
They continued their relationship into 1979. One day O.J. was at practice while Nicole was hanging out with friends at home when the phone rang. It was A.C., aka Al Cowlings who was O.J.’s good friend. They were teammates in high school, college, and the NFL. A.C. is also well known for having driven O.J. in the famous police chase in the white Bronco. A.C. was calling from a hospital in Santa Monica to deliver terrible news. *trigger warning, it’s about the baby.*
Aaren, the 23 month old daughter of O.J. and Marguerite, had fallen into the family pool and was in a coma. She had opened a side door while Marguerite was in the process of paying the babysitter. The baby went straight for the pool and fell in. According to a friend of Marguerite’s, O.J. accused Marguerite of having been negligent and shouted at her down the hospital halls “you murdered my baby!”
Shortly after this incident, O.J. and Marguerite officially signed a separation agreement. Marguerite was granted full custody of their two kids, Arnelle and Jason. She tried to get their Rockingham home in the divorce but O.J. would not give it up, even though it meant that his kids would be uprooted. The court let her stay in the house for a while but eventually, he was able to take possession of the house again. And he literally showed up and changed the locks to the place while she was in it.
O.J. and Nicole moved into Rockingham and their home became the place where friends and family came over for holidays and big events. A.C. was known to always be around. He became really close to Nicole and was even protective of her. If A.C. was present when O.J. and Nicole got into fights, he would always take Nicole’s side and tell O.J. to stop.
Over the years, O.J. grew increasingly abusive. He once beat her with a wine bottle and broke her ribs. And he’d often apologize with lavish gifts, like the Porsche. He also gave her a Ferrari after a fight. After another fight, he apologized by proposing to her.
Nicole "had really fallen for O.J. by then," Kris Jenner recalled. "The two of them were madly in love and had this obvious chemistry that you could feel when you were in the same room with them...they absolutely could not keep their hands off each other. He was already incredibly possessive of Nicole. Even when she would go to the bathroom, O.J. would wonder out loud when she was going to come back."
Nicole and O.J. married on Feb. 2, 1985, in the backyard of the Rockingham estate. Nicole didn’t really tell anyone about the abuse she was experiencing, but she did talk to her friends about him cheating on her and she really thought that once they got married, he would stop cheating.
By this point, Nicole was already pregnant with their first child. During this pregnancy, O.J. became really fixated on her weight. He expected her to gain only the weight of the baby and no more, and he believed that should be no more than 7 pounds. Nicole became pregnant with their son Justin in 1988. During these pregnancies, he was not only sleeping with random women, but he was also having a long-term affair with actress and model Tawny Kitaen. At one point, Nicole found a bracelet that she thought was intended as a gift for her until she later saw Tawny Kitaen wearing it.
Nicole started refusing to have sex with O.J. at one point, because he never wore a condom and he refused to get tested, so she started to worry about getting an STD.
Around fall or winter of 1985, just a few months after their wedding, Nicole drove home from lunch and O.J. began attacking her car with a baseball bat. Nicole, terrified, ran inside the house and called 911. The officer who showed up was named Mark Fuhrman. O.J. was able to convince the officer that this was just a marital spat, and he was really just taking a bat to his own car. Everytime the police are called to their home, O.J. convinces them that it’s just a husband-and-wife discussion and they have it under control. It doesn’t seem that they ever really asked Nicole what she wanted. They were also kind of starstruck. For a lot of people, O.J. was a sports hero and the police all kind of tried to be friendly with him.
Mark Fuhrman will come up again later during the trial. He was pretty racist and would later be accused of framing O.J. Simpson out of anger over a white woman being with a black man.
In 1988, Nicole and O.J. went on vacation in Hawaii with a couple of friends. There were a couple of guys sitting at a nearby table and they were seemingly homosexual. O.J. apparently had a problem with homosexual people. Nicole, who was holding little baby Justin, started chatting with them and at some point, one of the men kissed Justin on the forehead. This made O.J. livid and led to a big argument.
Shortly after returning from Hawaii, Nicole and O.J. went out on New Years Eve with their friend, Marcus Allen, a football player who was O.J.’s prodigy. Apparently Marcus flirted with Nicole a lot and she always shot it down, but she seems to have told her friends that she really liked him. So they all went to dinner and when they returned home, they got into a fight. O.J. told his friends later that they had been drinking and Nicole was upset about him getting the bracelet for Tawny Kitaen. But they started fooling around and when it came time for him to give him oral sex, she said no, and he became upset. They started arguing about her refusing to have sex, and what follows is what O.J. calls a “mutual wrestling” situation. According to Nicole, he beat her and punched her in the head.
At about a quarter after 3AM, Nicole calls 911. All that can be heard on the call is a woman screaming and being hit. Around 3:30AM, two police officers showed up at their home. The housekeeper told them that everything was fine and they were not needed. The police insisted that they would not leave until they spoke to the woman who made the call. As the officer is arguing with the housekeeper, Nicole comes running out of some bushes wearing only a bra and sweatpants, and had mud on the side of her leg. She was clearly injured, as she was covered in cuts and bruises and had a handprint on her neck. She ran across the driveway to a post with a button to open the gate, where she collapsed while pushing the button. She was yelling “he’s going to kill me!” As the gate opened, she ran into the officer’s arms repeating “he’s going to kill me!” He asked “who’s going to kill you?” and she said “O.J.”
He said “O.J. Simpson, the football player?”
Nicole told him that her husband, O.J. Simpson had beat her up, hit her with open and closed fists, kicked her, and pulled her hair. He also yelled “I’ll kill you!”
Nicole told the police “You never do anything about him. You talk to him and then leave. I want him arrested. I want him out so I can get my kids.”
Around this time, O.J. Simpson appears saying “I don’t want that woman sleeping in my bed anymore. I got two women and I don’t want that woman in my bed anymore.”
The police tell him that Nicole wants him arrested, and he tells them that he did not beat her up. He even says that “the police have been here 8 times before and now you’re gonna arrest me for this? This is a family matter. Why do you want to make a big deal of this? We can handle it.”
They allowed him to go inside and get dressed and he fled. By now, Nicole had filled out a report and had her injuries photographed which is way more than they had ever done.
Nicole also had Denise take photos of her injuries and showed them to her father. Apparently her father believed she could still make it work with O.J. Nicole starts confiding in Ron Shipp, an LAPD officer and friend of O.J.’s who’s becoming an ally to Nicole. Ron Shipp actually gave classes about domestic violence. Unfortunately, even though all of O.J.’s friends loved Nicole, they were kind of under O.J.’s spell and truly didn’t think he wanted to hurt her. Of course they didn’t think he would kill her. She told Ron that she had photos of the injuries that she was considering making public, but she kind of still wanted to make it work and was afraid of leaving. She also didn’t want him to lose any of his endorsements. She even called up the people at Hertz and told them that it really wasn’t a big deal and they shouldn’t take his endorsement away.
Since O.J. had such a great relationship with the LAPD, he got away with only having to serve 120 hours of community service and pay a $479 fine.
After this incident, Nicole started making real plans to leave O.J. He didn’t take it very seriously and told people that it was a phase. Nicole had previously signed a prenup that took 7-9 months to iron out, and the couple divorced in 1992. Nicole received child support, but O.J. kept most of the assets. Again, he insisted on keeping the main house.
Initially, O.J. was in denial of their split. He would call Nicole 10-15 times a day and would even go as far as to sit in the bushes to stalk and see what she’s doing. Nicole started spending more time with her friends and she met a guy named Kato Kaelin, who she would invite to come live in her guest house at a reduced rent in exchange for helping take care of the kids. It’s possible that having a male presence also made her feel safer. Kato was an actor and he was about 35 at the start of the trial. He was also a comedy waiter– like he told jokes as he waited tables in restaurants. He was kind of a goofy guy but really fit and handsome. He actually became kind of a celebrity because of his relation to this case. Nicole and O.J.’s kids loved Kato. So much so that they named their dog Kato.
When Nicole decided to move to a different house in Brentwood which didn’t have a separate guest house, O.J. told Kato that it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to keep living in the same house as Nicole. So he offered to let Kato live with him at Rockingham for free. Nicole never talked to Kato again. I think it was really frustrating for her to constantly see O.J. charm his way through things.
Nicole had a hard time cutting O.J. off altogether. She didn’t want to hurt his feelings, and I’m sure she was afraid of him escalating. She was able to distance herself and live on her own for about a year before she started telling her friends how she missed her home, and she and O.J. began to reconcile in early spring of 1993. By now, O.J. already had a new girlfriend named Paula Barbieri. There was actually a point in time where Nicole was the one calling him and he was ignoring her. She even made copies of their wedding video and sent it to him to remind him of their good times.
In April 1993, Nicole showed up at his Rockingham home and told him she wanted to get back together. So they reconciled and remained together off and on for the next year. O.J. kind of leaves his other girlfriend, Paula, hanging, but he would call her up whenever things got hard with Nicole.
On October 25th, 1993, Nicole called 911 again. This is the call that you can hear played on many documentaries about this case.
-911 call- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3C6OJRhOso
“The kids are up there sleeping and I don’t want anything to happen.”
O.J. is in the background saying “why does it matter if the kids are asleep, if she once gave a blowjob to a guy named Keith while the kids were sleeping upstairs?” He knows this happened because he was spying on her.
Kato Kaelin actually showed up during this altercation. At first, he tried to stay out of it but right before going into his guesthouse, he turned back to make Nicole was ok and saw that O.J. was still fully raging. He was screaming and getting closer to her, so Kato decided to go say something. As soon as O.J. saw Kato approaching, he tried to turn the situation around and act like he was the victim in all this. Kato stayed until the police came and he noticed that the police were pretty friendly with O.J. One of the officers said to O.J. “Yeah, I’m married too. I know what you mean.” Another officer asked Kato if he could fix the doors that O.J. broke down.
In April 1994, O.J. and Nicole went on vacation with some friends in Cabo. The couple was all mushy and all over each other, and Nicole told her friend Faye Resnick that she thinks this is it and that they’re back together for good. The next night, O.J. screwed it all up by openly flirting with another woman, right in front of Nicole and their friends. Nicole stayed silent, like she was blocking it out. The next day, the group went snorkeling and O.J. told them all about how Nicole had a huge fear of frogs. Most of them knew about this phobia and they knew it wasn’t something to tease her about. O.J. was telling them about it like it was hilarious, mentioning how ironic it was that his wife’s biggest fear was frogs and he was getting ready to star in a series called Frogmen. Then he said to Nicole “Hey baby, I’m the Frogman. Now what do you think about that?” After he walked away, she turned to her friend Faye and said “I don’t think that’s funny. He finds this to be funny. This is not funny at all, it’s cruel. I’m afraid this man will kill me some day.” The next day, O.J. flew to Puerto Rico for filming and Nicole told Faye ``That's it, I can’t do it. I can’t be with O.J. Seriously, it’s over. I feel that if we get back together, he’ll end up killing me. I don’t think he’s changed.”
After returning from Cabo, Nicole seems to be finished with O.J. On May 8th, she updated her will. On May 14th, they had their daughter, Sydney’s first communion, which O.J. didn’t attend. Nicole was really hurt by that. But then on the week of Nicole’s birthday (May 19th), she got pneumonia and O.J. decided to charm Nicole by stepping up as a parent by taking the kids to and from school (seems like a lot when you don’t do shit) and bringing Nicole candy. On May 22nd, after Nicole started feeling better, she broke things off with O.J, returning a bracelet he gave her and telling her friends that she told him she couldn’t be bought.
O.J. now tries to reconcile things with Paula Barbieri. In early June, Nicole told a few people that a key to her house was missing from her keychain and she was worried that O.J. took it. On June 5th, Nicole called up her friend, a realtor named Jeanne McKenna, and told her that O.J. had threatened to report Nicole to the IRS, because she had bought her apartment with her own money but she reported the Rockingham house as her primary residence. This would mean she would have to pay the IRS $90,000 which is all the money she has.
On June 7th, Nicole called Sojourn House, a shelter for battered women. She told them that her ex-husband had been stalking her and threatening to kill her. On June 10th, Nicole and Jeanne drove around the neighborhood near O.J.’s house seeing if there were any homes she could afford. When she couldn’t find anything, they went to Malibu where she found something she liked that was within her price range.
On June 12th, Nicole and O.J.’s daughter had a dance recital. O.J. arrived late and didn’t sit near the rest of the family. According to Faye Resnick, Nicole said to O.J. “fuck off, get away from us. Get out of my life. You’re not welcome with this family anymore.” Afterwards, O.J. tried to get the Browns to pose for a family photo in the parking lot, which doesn’t work out. The Browns went out to dinner and O.J. asked to join, but Nicole tells him he can’t.
At dinner, there’s a waiter named Ron Goldman who Nicole kind of knows. She mostly knows him because they have friends in common. There’s been a lot of speculation about whether Ron and Nicole were romantically involved. From what I gather, I don’t think they were involved at all. Nicole’s friend, Faye, says that Nicole had a crush on Ron. Anyway, Nicole saw him at the restaurant and said “hi”. When dinner was over, Nicole said goodbye to her family and took the kids to get ice cream on the way home.
At 9:30PM, O.J. and Kato went to McDonald’s, got their burgers, and went their separate ways.
Once home, Nicole put the kids to bed and then she talked on the phone to her friend Faye, and then she got a call from her mom telling her that she had left her glasses at the restaurant and wanted Nicole to pick them up for her the next day. Nicole’s house wasn’t far from the restaurant so she spoke to Ron Goldman and asked him to bring the glasses to her after work. Ron went home and changed his clothes and then headed to Nicole’s house with the glasses.
Around 10:00PM, Ron takes the glasses to Nicole’s house. Sometime between 10:15PM-10:30PM, Nicole’s dog, Kato, started making a loud moaning/wailing sound. Just a couple of hours later, at 12:10AM, Nicole and Ron’s mutilated bodies were found in front of Nicole’s townhouse. They were attacked outdoors, in front of Nicole’s house. Interestingly, nobody reported hearing any screaming. And remember, the two kids were actually upstairs sleeping while this was all happening in front of their house. I wonder if the kids may have been used to hearing their parents fight.
It’s believed that Nicole either heard a noise outside or heard a knock at the door, so she opened the front door and was attacked by O.J., who immediately silenced her. Nicole was stabbed 27 times in the head and neck. She also had defensive wounds on her hands.
I’m unsure if Ron arrived during the attack, or if he was already at Nicole’s house when it happened. He actually had a blackbelt in karate, but O.J. was a 6ft tall football Hall of Famer. The struggle was brutal, but ultimately, Ron wasn’t able to overpower O.J. O.J. stabbed him in the neck and chest before returning to Nicole, grabbing her by the back of her hair and putting his foot in her back while pulling her hair, and then slitting her throat from left to right. The wound was big enough to expose her larynx.
Nicole’s dog, Kato, was freaking out. We know that the neighbors heard him barking and wailing, and then some other neighbors found him wandering in the streets. One neighbor planned to take care of him for the night, but he literally pulled the man to Nicole’s house, and that’s when they came upon a river of blood, and upon further searching, they could see there were dead bodies on the ground.
The police were called to Nicole’s home and officer Mark Fuhrman shows up because he’s familiar with the place. They go to O.J.’s house at about 4:30AM to inform him of the death of his ex-wife, but he’s not there. Instead they find Kato Kaelin, who says that O.J. was in Chicago. He also said that he heard loud bangs outside of his guesthouse around 10:40 PM. The police reportedly went to investigate that area outside the guesthouse and there he found a glove covered in blood. They also found blood on his white Bronco and a trail from the Bronco to the front door.
O.J. had a flight that evening at 11:45PM. He was going to Chicago for a Hertz convention. He left his home in the limo at 11:15PM. (Can you imagine a rage-fueled O.J. Simpson walking around an airport or riding a plane, right after committing a murder? Or at the Hertz convention?)
He was notified of Nicole’s murder and got back on a plane home. By then, the police had obtained a warrant to search his home and they found more blood. When he got home, the police handcuffed him immediately, but only for a moment. He was able to O.J. his way out of the cuffs and then he went to the police station for questioning. The police questioned O.J. but they pretty much let him take the lead. They allowed him to ramble on without giving any concrete details. For example, if they asked him what time he did something, he’d say something like “Must’ve been around 7, 8:30.. Maybe 9:30.” Or the police would ask “What were you doing?” and he’d say “Oh just running around. You know, doing what I do.” And not a single person is asking him “what the hell does that mean?” He pretty much charmed his way out of everything and then the police let him go.
Enter Marcia Clark.
Marcia Clark was the Los Angeles County prosecutor at the time and she was just baffled at the way the police were handling things. To this day, she’s not over how the LAPD failed to question O.J. Simpson.
O.J. had a large cut on his hand and when the police asked about it, he told them he cut it in Chicago. Marcia was like “then how did the blood get on your Bronco in Los Angeles?” Ron Shipp, his cop friend, also heard numerous versions of what happened to his hand. O.J. told him, too, that he cut his hand in Chicago. But later on, Ron heard him tell someone else that he cut his hand while chipping golf balls. Then, he told someone else that he was getting something out of his Bronco when he cut his hand.
On June 16th, O.J. attended Nicole’s funeral with their kids, Justin and Sydney. He was clearly self-medicating with something, like maybe Xanax. Everyone was whispering, like “Oh my god, I can’t believe he came.”
He went to hide out at his friend Robert Kardashian’s house, as nobody knew where he lived. Rob Kardashian is an Armenian millionaire. He’s a former attorney and close friend of O.J.’s. He’s also the father of Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian. He was married to Kris Jenner at one point and she and Nicole were besties, so the four of them were pretty close and so were their kids. O.J. actually sleeps in one of Rob’s daughter’s rooms.
O.J. and Kardashian started putting together a team of lawyers that would become known as a Dream Team. It included Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, and Johnnie Cochran, and Kardashian renewed his license so he could also help. O.J. also asked Ron Shipp to be part of the team, but Ron was like “no way.” He said “I’m not on board. O.J. killed her.”
The police decided they were ready to arrest O.J., but Shapiro made a deal with them and agreed that he would take O.J. to surrender himself to the police in order to avoid a media circus. *Privilege*
He was expected to surrender himself at 11AM but he had other plans. The entire world thinks he’s being arrested and he bails. There was already a press conference scheduled and everything. Kardashian was even like “Hey man we should really get going.” and O.J. was just like “Why should I hurry? What can they do to me?”
Now, everyone’s like “Holy shit, he’s making a run for it.”
Meanwhile, Kardashian reads this letter at a press conference that was written by O.J. and it may or may not be a suicide letter. It like doesn’t directly read as a suicide letter but it sounds a hell of a lot like one. It could just be like a “goodbye” letter because he knows he’s going to prison. According to Bob Kardashian, O.J. really was talking about killing himself and was trying to find the right place to do it. He decided to do it at the church where he got married, and he asked A.C. (Al Cowlings) to drive him. Kardashian tried to talk him out of it and even tried stalling, but O.J. had his mind made. So Kardashian kind of accepted that it was in fate’s hands and decided that if a man wants to kill himself, he should be allowed to. So O.J. and A.C. left, and Kardashian fully believed his friend was off to kill himself.
Hours after O.J. is declared a fugitive, he’s seen in the back of his white Bronco, being driven by A.C. O.J. held a gun to his own head and told A.C. to drive or he was going to kill himself. The police were pursuing him, like 20 police cars. And this wasn’t like a police chase, as they were only going like 35 miles per hour. It looked more like a presidential motorcade.
There were news crews in helicopters broadcasting everything. There was actually a basketball game going on that a lot of people were watching. It was game 5 of the NBA finals and the Rockets were playing the Nicks, so literally 95 million viewers were just watching a game on TV when suddenly it was interrupted with news coverage of the Bronco chase. Also, because so many people were glued to their televisions during this, Domino’s Pizza had record breaking sales on that day. Fans were on the side of the highway cheering O.J. on. This “chase” would last about 45 minutes.
The police are trying to figure out where O.J. is headed and they figure out that he wants to go see his mother, who is back at Rockingham. Then O.J. called Nicole’s father who was at Nicole’s house and told him that he was going to stop by. Nicole’s father called the police so by the time O.J. and A.C. got there, the police were already there waiting. They spot them from a ways away and decide to avoid the area. Then they headed to Nicole’s grave, but again, there was too much heat. Bob Shapiro held a press conference pleading for O.J. to surrender, for the sake of his children. But in all honesty, he’s not even sure if O.J. 's alive right now. Like him and Rob Kardashian and everyone are back at Rockingham and kind of mourning O.J., having accepted that he was going to kill himself. Bob Shapiro spoke to O.J.’s kids Arnelle and Jason (from his first marriage), and gave them this whole talk about how their father loved them and wanted them to have everything they needed, and how he believed he was going to kill himself rather than turn himself in to the police. Jason ran away crying while Arnelle sat and cried silently. Suddenly a nearby relative turned on the tv and was like “Wait a minute, he’s right there!” Jason comes out and starts pleading “Come on Dad, Come on.”
At some point, the Bronco gets stopped in traffic. A.C. turns to the side and sees two officers pointing guns at him. They ordered him to cut his engine. He started screaming and swearing, shouting “no!” while pounding on his steering wheel hard enough for the Bronco to start shaking.
The police didn’t have any lights or sirens on and I don’t know if maybe that’s because O.J. had a gun. However, if this were any other person; in fact, if this were any other black man in 1994, would it have played out this way? I mean I kind of think that even if he had the gun, the police would turn their sirens on and force them to the side of the road. This was just 3 years after the beating of Rodney King, so why the special treatment for O.J.? Because he can run really fast while holding a ball?
Speaking of being a black guy in the ‘90’s, I bet A.C. was terrified to be running from the police. Like, his options were to defy the police and cross his fingers the consequence wouldn’t be too bad, or have his best friend blow his brains out in the backseat. So A.C. called 911.
Ultimately, A.C.’s like “let us make it back to Rockingham” and police are like “deal”. They’re meeting their demands. After all of this driving, like 60 miles at a snails pace, they’re like “let’s go back.” A.C. pulls into O.J.’s neighborhood but it was packed with news vehicles. They finally pulled into his driveway where a SWAT team was waiting for him. Jason runs out to the car upset and yelling at A.C. and a couple of officers pull him back. A.C. says to the police “don’t do anything stupid, he has a gun.”
LAPD has a negotiator speaking to O.J. on the phone and he demands that he wants to talk to his mom when suddenly, his phone dies. A.C. went inside to get another phone and when he came out, O.J. decided to get out of the car and surrender himself at 8:53PM. He collapsed into the officer’s arms and said “I’m sorry guys. I’m sorry I put you through this.” They let him go to the bathroom and drink some orange juice (ugh, that’s weird. O.J. drinking O.J.), and they let him talk to his mother. They asked him if he was ready to go, and he said “yes”, and then they handcuffed him. They made sure all lights were off so it would be too dark for him to be seen or photographed in handcuffs. *Again, privilege*. No one sees his perp-walk. He was booked and would remain incarcerated through the end of his trial, which would last 15 months.
And that’s where we’re going to end Part 1. In part 2, we’ll cover the trial from beginning to end. The trial is fucking berzerk. It was literally the trial of the century. It made the front page of the LA Times for 300 days. This is also around the same time that celebrity scandals and news started to cross over into each other. I think I briefly spoke about this when I covered Selena Quintanilla. This was the period in time when tabloids really became a thing. It became clear that celebrity news was getting high ratings.
Think about this: Nicole Brown died in June 1994. Kurt Cobain died in April 1994. Selena Quintanilla died in March 1995. These were all highly publicized cases, but you have to wonder if they might have overshadowed each other, having happened so close together. And the media was having a blast, getting their rocks off every time there was a new celebrity death to cover. Jay Leno did a segment on the Tonight Show, where he had a bunch of chorus dancers who looked like Judge Ito, and they did this little jazz dance with a Marcia Clark look alike (I’ll upload this to the website).
This next episode is going to cover the evidence and how the police mishandled it, the tactics the defense used to confuse the jury, the way Marcia Clark tried so hard but she just wasn’t hip like Johnnie Cochran, how the judge had a weird conflict of interest and they had to declare a mistrial and start all over. And then after this trial ends and he’s let off the hook, there’s still stuff to talk about, like the book O.J. wrote called If I Did It, and then his arrest in 2007 for stealing back his old Heisman trophy, ultimately landing him in prison.
I’m going to back track on something a little bit. Remember when I said that I felt pretty certain that O.J. was guilty? Well I’m not saying he’s not, but since researching, I’ve found a few things that I just can’t find answers to.
We left off on part one with the end of the Bronco chase. A.C. and O.J. drove back to O.J.’s home at Rockingham, where the police were waiting to arrest him. He was handcuffed in the dark so that no one could witness his perp walk and then taken back to the police station where he was finally booked.
O.J. peacefully surrendered himself to police and was booked on June 17th, 1994. At no point during his arrest or even before his arrest did he ask what happened to Nicole. Even when he was in Chicago and he got the phone call that the mother of his children was dead, he never asked “what happened to her?”
Marcia Clark was the prosecutor and she was kind of known for being bitchy and also kind of unfashionable. She got a lot of shit for her appearance and the public laughed at her and dismissed her at times. That seems like something totally irrelevant, but this entire thing was televised and unfortunately, the entire country was watching and forming these stupid little opinions about Marcia’s hair and shit. Also, the jury just straight up didn’t like Marcia. Marcia thought the case would be an easy win and she had always been pretty successful at talking to women and minorities, so she thought that she could just talk to them and get on their level and they would understand her. That didn’t happen. Surveys showed that most of the female jurors thought Marca Clark was a bitch.
Marcia often seemed grouchy as shit because she was fucking annoyed. Everyone was batting their eyes at O.J. after he just murdered two people. She was actually really annoyed because people at work, like police officers and lawyers, continuously called him “O.J.” As she pointed out, nobody calls Charles Manson “Chuck”. She kept a swear jar but for “O.J.”’s instead of swear words.
O.J. was arraigned on July 2nd, 1994. He pleaded “not guilty” and they scheduled the preliminary hearing for June 30th. The defense had to figure out how to deal with the physical evidence against O.J., which was overwhelming. There was a bloody glove found at the crime scene at Bundy, and the other glove to that pair was also bloody and found on O.J.’s property at Rockingham. These gloves had traces of blood and hair from Nicole and Ron, so whoever wore these gloves had to be the killer. We’ll find out later that O.J.’s DNA is on the gloves too. The defense realized that they couldn’t argue or deny the physical evidence, so instead, they planned to make that evidence seem unreliable. They tried a couple of things to make the evidence unreliable. First, they tried to convince the jury that the police had planted the evidence in order to frame O.J. Simpson. Then they would show that investigators mishandled the evidence. And ultimately, they were able to straight up confuse the jury who simply didn’t have a good understanding of DNA evidence.
The jury ends up having eight women and four men; eight black, one white, one Hispanic and two people of mixed race. Jurors were told that they were going to be sequestered and probably kept for 6 months. So both the defense and the prosecution need to approve the jury selection and after they do that and everybody’s walking out of the room, O.J. takes a look at the jury and says to his team “Guys, if this jury convicts me, maybe I did do it.” The defense sees the diversity of the jury and runs with the idea of turning the case into an issue of racism.
By the way, they allowed cameras in the courtroom, which had never been done before. So when the jury was sequestered, they weren’t allowed to watch any tv or talk to anyone who might tell them what they were learning about O.J. in the media. They also weren’t allowed to talk to each other about the case (outside of designated times when that was part of their duty). Meanwhile, on the outside, everyone in America is watching the trial.
The trial begins and at the very last minute, a new lawyer is added to the prosecution: Chris Darden, a black man. The prosecution was all white a moment ago, so when Darden shows up so suddenly, the black jurors are like “where the hell did this guy come from?” Right away, they begin to distrust the prosecution because they now have the impression that they brought in a black guy just because he’s black.
The defense has this plan to show the jury that Mark Fuhrman is so racist, that he planted evidence and set up O.J. Simpson to take the fall for Nicole’s murder. Proving that Mark Fuhrman was a racist was really, really easy. Fuhrman had at one point sued the LA pension board asking to be relieved as a police officer and receive pension because his mind was so poisoned by hatred of black people. He’s admitting that he’s a racist and he uses excessive force, he’s using the N word left and right. He’s documented as saying “I am too racist to do this job.” He also did an interview with a writer who had recordingS of him saying the N word many, many times, as well as discussing police brutality… enthusiastically.
In the documentaryO.J.: Made in America, Fuhrman describes the night when he was called to the residence after O.J. bashed Nicole’s car with a bat. He describes arriving at the residence and seeing O.J. holding a bat and telling him to put it down. He doesn’t listen, he just stares in rage, like he’s ready to go into battle. Mark tells him a second time and he still doesn’t listen. Finally, Mark says he pulls out his baton and tells him a third time “put the bat down.” Suddenly, O.J.’s whole demeanor changed and there was a sudden calm that came over his face, and then he said “Oh, I’m sorry officer.” Fuhrman says he then asked Nicole if she wanted to make a report , and she said no. And then Fuhrman tells the camera that he recalls feeling displeasure that she was allowing herself to be treated like that, and he told Nicole “it’s your life.”
The defense introduces to the court Mark Fuhrman’s file, and they want to present every single time he used a racial slur. The judge, Judge Ito, has to decide if all of this is going to be admissible. Chris Darden was the one to argue for the prosecution, and he argued that just hearing the N-word was going to blind the jury and make this all about race instead of focusing on the murder and the evidence. He tried to explain that the word carried too much weight. Then, Johnnie Cochran got up to refute this. He’s mad, and he says that Darden’s remarks are demeaning to African-Americans, saying they live with offensive words, looks, and treatment every day of their lives and to say they can’t think clearly in the presence of this word is outrageous and he is ashamed that Darden would become an apologist for Mark Fuhrman. Ultimately, Judge Ito allows it. F. Lee Bailey would cross examine Fuhrman and ask him if he’s ever used the N-word at any time in the previous 10 years. By the way, they’re not saying “n-word” like I am, they’re saying the actual word. Bailey says it multiple times and really fucking stings to hear today. Anyway, Fuhrman says “nope, I have not used that word.” Again, there are recordings of him saying it so we now know that he lied on the stand.
Marcia Clark had a problem here. Mark Fuhrman was the officer who found a bloody glove at O.J.’s home at Rockingham, so she kind of had to question him. If she didn’t, it would look really bad, like maybe he really did plant the evidence. So she’s kind of stuck, she has no choice but to put him on the stand and ask him questions about finding the evidence, even though nobody believes a word he says and she’s aware of that.
In February 1995, the jury was shown the contents of Nicole’s secret safety deposit box. Inside the safety deposit box were diaries and photos documenting the abuse, as well as a will that Nicole had prepared, dated September 30th, 1990. There were also news articles and letters that O.J. had written her that said things like “How did I get so crazy?” and “Let me start by expressing to you how wrong I was for hurting you. There is no acceptable excuse for what I did.”
Darden said “It appears to us what Nicole Brown was doing was leaving a trail for us of what happened in 1989.” These letters were shown in the courtroom on a big screen. The judge didn’t allow news articles to be entered as evidence and jurors weren’t shown the photos right away either.
The defense then questioned Ron Shipp, who was a friend of O.J. and Nicole’s and was a former police officer who had like given trainings for domestic abuse situations. Nicole confided in him about the abuse and then O.J. tried to hire him for his legal team, but he refused because he knows O.J. did it. Ron said, on the stand, that the day after the murders, O.J. confided in him that he had had dreams about killing Nicole. The defense tried to paint Ron Shipp as a starstruck, wannabe friend to O.J. who secretly had feelings for Nicole, but Ron stood by his account. Ron also said that he saw O.J. throughout the week after the murders, and he didn’t seem sad or to show any sense of loss or grief over Nicole. He did say that O.J. seemed angry as he watched the news and saw reports about himself being accused of murdering them, but never sad. During a break in questioning, Shipp turned to O.J. and mouthed to him across the room “tell the truth.” O.J. appeared not to notice and Judge Ito sternly told the jurors to disregard that remark.
On February 12th, 1995, the jurors take a field trip to the crime scene at Bundy and also O.J.’s home at Rockingham. Apparently these kinds of field trips are unusual but not completely unprecedented. But in this case, it would cost thousands of dollars in police overtime and literally halt traffic. The residents of Brentwood were basically forced to quarantine because all the traffic was making it impossible to leave their homes.
The reason they also went to O.J.’s house and not just Nicole’s was because they wanted the jury to consider whether O.J. actually could have time to get home from McDonald’s, go kill two people, and get back home in time for his flight.
The jurors were able to see the area where Nicole and Ron were killed, though the blood had been cleaned up and it was now just covered in police tape. They had traced outlines of the shoe prints for them to observe. Heading inside in groups of four, they then viewed the rooms where Nicole Simpson had drawn herself a candle-lit bath, left a cup of half-eaten ice cream, and put her children to bed before she was killed. Everything was labeled by signs so nobody would have to say a word to the jurors, and they were not allowed to talk to each other either.
There were requests made to hide things like trophies and statues of O.J., and a complaint was made that they should take down the photos of O.J. with his kids and new girlfriend, Paula, saying that it wouldn’t be fair for the jury to see that, but Judge Ito ultimately ignored the complaint.
On duty were hundreds of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department and sheriff’s offices, plus a bomb-sniffing black Labrador, the latest in a long line of dogs to play an active role in the case. Half of the entourage, including three cars flanking the unmarked car carrying Simpson, ferried policemen. Twenty policemen on motorcycles escorted it, while four police helicopters hovered overhead.
On March 29th, O.J.’s limo driver from the night of the murders, Allan Park, was questioned. Remember how O.J.’s flight was at 11:45PM but he didn’t actually leave his house until 11:15? Well the driver, Allan Park, actually arrived at O.J.’s house at 10:22PM and waited there for nearly an hour. He did not see O.J.’s Bronco in front of his house when he got there, nor did he see it 17 minutes later when he tried driving around to another entrance of the house. At about 11PM, Park saw a dark figure walk into the driveway, which he described as someone about 6ft tall and weighing 200lbs, and they appeared to be black.
“THAT IS WHEN I GOT BACK UP AND OUT OF THE CAR AND RANG THE INTERCOM. THIS TIME THERE WAS AN ANSWER, WHICH WAS MR. SIMPSON. HE TOLD ME THAT HE OVERSLEPT AND HE JUST GOT OUT OF THE SHOWER AND HE WOULD BE DOWN IN A MINUTE.”
O.J.’s neighbor testified that he did not see the vehicle when he walked his dog around the Simpson estate between 9:30 and 9:45 pm on June 12. He further testified that on June 13, at around 7am, he noticed the Bronco parked on Rockingham at a weird angle.
Allan Park also saw O.J. carrying a knapsack out of his house, but after they got to the airport and he unloaded his stuff, he didn’t have the knapsack anymore. It’s believed that the knapsack may have contained the murder weapon and his bloody clothes, and that he may have stashed the knapsack into a bigger bag before his flight. The prosecution called a witness who saw O.J. at the airport standing next to a trash can, reach down into his bag and grabbing something before throwing it away and then closing his bag again.
Now let’s talk about that physical evidence for a sec. The evidence is a bloody pair of gloves. One glove was found at the crime scene (Nicole’s house) and the other was found on the Rockingham property by Mark Fuhrman. The gloves had blood from Nicole and Ron, indicating that whoever they belonged to or whoever was wearing them was the killer. We’ll find out later that O.J.’s blood was also on them. There were trails of blood leading from the crime scene, down an alley, and into O.J.’s Bronco. The left glove was the one left at Nicole’s property and it’s believed that during the altercation, Ron Goldman may have grabbed O.J.’s hand and maybe the glove slipped off. And remember, O.J. got a cut on his left hand, so it’s believed that happened during the altercation with Ron after losing the glove.
The defense had a guy on their team named Barry Scheck who was super experienced in working with DNA, which was rare at this time. By 1994, DNA analysis was still pretty new and the common person didn’t really know anything about it. Shows like CSI didn’t start coming out until like 2000, so even when clear evidence was presented, a lot of people didn’t really understand it. It was kind of junk science at this point. Barry Scheck knew how to poke holes in the evidence and made it go from something concrete to something vague.
On April 11th, 1995, the defense brings LAPD criminologist Dennis Fung to the stand. They questioned him about how evidence is collected and what measures are taken to make sure it isn’t tampered with. Scheck was SO DETAILED in his questioning that everyone was getting kind of annoyed. He questioned him for 9 days about every little detail of how he did his job. He was on the stand longer than any other witness. Unfortunately for Fung, he did a number of things that would end up looking questionable. For one, he admitted that when collecting blood from the crime scene, he had missed a couple of drops but then went back later to get them. He also admitted that he did not wear rubber gloves while collecting the evidence, and also that he had to shoo the dog away from the DNA so it’s possible little Kato the Akita contaminated it too.
Fung had said in the past that he personally was the one who collected the leather glove that was left near Ron and Nicole’s bodies. However it’s discovered that Fung was supervising a trainee named Andrea Mazzola, and she was actually the one who collected the gloves and placed them into a bag.
"You did not tell the grand jury that Andrea Mazzola was the one who picked up the hat and picked up the glove?" Mr. Scheck asked. "You did not tell the grand jury about the existence of Andrea Mazzola at all? And the testimony you gave the grand jury was under oath?" Mr. Fung conceded all three points. "It wasn't a conscious decision," he said. "It's just the way I answered the questions." he would later say.
Andrea Mazzola admitted to a few mistakes at the crime scene while collecting evidence including using one swatch to collect blood from three separate spots in the Ford Bronco and occasionally not changing gloves when picking up different pieces of evidence. Then there was a vial of blood that they took from O.J. at the police station, and an officer named Vannatter drove 20 miles and hand delivered it to Fung, which is weird and shows there was an opportunity for police to frame O.J. Vannatter would also be accused of planting the bloody sock in O.J.’s bedroom. There was bloody evidence that was placed into plastic bags, even though Fung acknowledged that bloody evidence was placed into plastic containers and left in a vehicle from 11:30AM to about 6:30PM. This was June in California, so it was a hot day.
Also, at the crime scene, the police took a blue blanket from inside of Nicole’s house and used it to cover her body. Of course, the blanket could’ve had O.J.’s DNA on it which would now contaminate the crime scene. It was also discovered that Ron Goldman’s bloody shirt was placed in a bag while still wet and had developed an odor, so it was definitely not stored properly. The bloody sock from O.J.’s bedroom had a preservative in it and the defense tried to say that it had too much of the preservative.
This is a disaster. I mean, the prosecution is like “there is a trail of blood from their bodies to his car and into his bedroom.” but the police fucked up so bad with the handling of evidence that the defense could imply that who ever the real killer is, their DNA has been wiped clean by the police. Not only are they saying that the police framed O.J., but that their negligence is letting some other killer get away.
At no point does anyone ever ask who *else* the real killer could be, if not O.J. They asked Fung why they didn’t put police tape around the Bronco and he said “it wasn’t necessary, there was nobody around.” Later people would be seen touching the Bronco and photographing it. After 9 days, Fung finally leaves the stand and as he’s exiting the courtroom, he stops and shakes hands with O.J. and his lawyers. At this point the jury is also exiting the courtroom and it’s unclear how many of them saw that.
Earlier, Shapiro had handed out some fortune cookies and said “these are from Hang Fung restaurant.” It was supposed to be a joke, I guess. He would later apologize to Fung about that and it’s possible that Fung shaking hands with O.J.’s team was just a way to say “no hard feelings”. Still, it’s hard to know for sure what that was about.
By April 1995, the jurors are growing impatient and claustrophobic. A couple of the jurors were recused by this point, like Jeannette Harris who lied about whether she had been involved in a domestic violence situation. So they were replaced by alternates but the jury remained mostly people of color. There would be racial tensions among them. Harris said that she was kicked by a white juror and that the deputies treated the white jurors better than everyone else. She said that the jury was divided by race, and also said that the jurors were going against Ito’s instructions by talking to their family and to each other about the case.
They’re not allowed to talk to anyone and they can’t watch TV or have any kind of media that might influence their opinion in this case. The deputies were searching their rooms all the time and they felt violated. Ito had 3 sherriff’s reassigned and the jury was getting fed up. They refused to go to court one day until Judge Ito makes them, and when they finally appear, they’re all dressed in black as a protest. At this point the case is already at risk of a mistrial because the defense and the prosecution are constantly shooting down everything the other says and making objections to argue legal definitions and shit. It’s clear at this point that Judge Ito has completely lost control of his courtroom. So he was like “ok lets take a break for a couple of days” so he could talk to the jurors individually.
After a 4 day hiatus, they resumed with the testimonies. On May 1st, a black juror pleaded with Judge Ito that she couldn’t take it anymore, and he found “good cause” to excuse her from the jury. She was replaced by a Hispanic woman. There are 5 alternates left at this point. The jury now has seven blacks, three whites and two Hispanics. There are nine women and three men.
On May 2nd, a forensic chemist testified that a sample from a bloody trail near the spot where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were killed was found to be consistent with O.J.'s blood type. Blood and enzyme tests revealed that blood found alongside a trail of bloody shoeprints leading from the murder scene was the same type as O.J.’s blood. Only 0.5% of the population, or one person in 200 have that blood type. Tests on the bloody glove found at the scene as well as on the back gate showed the blood was consistent with Ron’s blood type. And of course there was blood on the front gate that was consistent with Nicole’s blood type.
Ron Goldman’s family filed a lawsuit against O.J. for wrongful death, seeking monetary damages and accused him of “outrageous savagery”.
On May 8th, a molecular biologist and DNA expert took the stand and explained how the testing used was the most accurate in existence at that time. She also explained that if evidence had degraded because of being improperly stored, it wouldn’t turn it into O.J.’s DNA. Cotton also testified that blood that was found on the bottom of Ron Goldman’s shoe was consistent with Nicole’s blood type. Then she said that judging from one of O.J.’s blood samples taken from Nicole’s driveway, his blood had an extremely rare bonding pattern. She said that the odds that blood found at the scene of his wife's murder could have come from anyone but O.J. were about one in 170 million.
Cotton did admit that putting bloodstains in plastic bags and leaving swatches in a locked truck without air conditioning would not be her first choice of procedure. She also suggested that real harm would only be caused if the evidence was treated this way for an extended period of time.
For days and days, Barry Scheck would question all of these scientists and DNA experts and throughout, he tried to prove that DNA testing can be imprecise and that the results are open to interpretation.
On May 19th, what would have been Nicole’s 36th birthday, the prosecution described in gruesome detail their version of how she was killed. They believe that Nicole opened the door expecting Ron, but instead encounters O.J. who immediately subdued her. Then Ron happened to walk up and see what O.J. was doing to Nicole. As he starts to run toward her, O.J. grabbed him from behind with his left hand and likely put the knife at Ron’s throat with his right hand. Ron may have tried to reach for O.J.’s left hand to try and free himself and ripped the glove right off of O.J.’s hand where it fell into some foliage. Assistant district attorney Brian Kelberg insisted that it was necessary for the jury to see the photos of the injuries so that they can see that it was done by someone in rage, like an abusive ex-husband.
Scheck questioned a criminologist named Collin Yamaguchi who admitted that he got a small stain of blood on his glove after having held a vial with O.J. Simpson’s blood. This presented a problem because Yamaguchi failed to record the exact times that he handled each piece of evidence. He also handled O.J.’s glove, but we don’t know if he handled the glove and then the vial, or if he handled the vial first and then transferred that blood onto O.J.’s glove.
More jurors were recused, mainly because they were talking about the case to each other or discussing book deals. With only 2 alternates left and months to go, everyone’s kind of nervous that this could end in a mistrial.
On June 6th, The jury and two remaining alternates heard medical examiner Dr. Sathyavagiswaran offer a detailed description of how Nicole Simpson and Goldman died. He graphically described a photograph that showed Nicole Brown Simpson's face above a gaping neck wound exposing a part of her spinal cord.
He said the photos helped prove the theory that Nicole Brown Simpson was probably knocked unconscious in a struggle before her assailant turned to Ronald Goldman and killed him. As Nicole Simpson lay face down on the ground, the assailant returned to her, yanked her hair to pull her head back, and slit her throat, according to Dr. Sathyavagiswaran's theory, which is based on autopsies. He concluded that Nicole tried to fight back, based on cuts and bruises on her hands. The blow to the head she received not only knocked her out, it bruised her brain, he said. When her neck was slit, he said, she was probably face down because she did not swallow blood through her air pipe. The fatal wound was probably inflicted by a right-handed person using a single-edged knife, he said.
Judge Ito repeatedly told the jury that they were allowed to take a break or excuse themselves if they were uncomfortable looking at any of the crime scene photos. None of them did. On June 8th, the court day ended upbruptly when a 37-year-old black woman who sits in the front row of the jury box, left the courtroom during the testimony of Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran. She had been seated immediately in front of the autopsy photos which showed Goldman's brutally slashed body.
Dr. Sathyavagiswaran testified the killer may have held a knife to Goldman's throat, slicing superficial, parallel wounds, while threatening him. He also testified that it could have taken a man of O.J. Simpson's strength and size less than a minute to inflict the wounds on Goldman. He believed the killer was holding Goldman from behind and sliced a knife lightly across his throat before inflicting a final gash that severed Goldman's jugular vein and damaged his aorta. Goldman's killer, he testified, could have slashed the victim in less than a minute, trapping him in a small gated area of Nicole Brown Simpson's condominium that left him nowhere to run. "If Mr. Goldman was confronted by the assailant in this confined area, he has no place to escape, especially if he is cornered between that railing and the tree and that sapling," the coroner said. "He's stuck there."
As he explains this, he keeps using Brian Kelberg, one of the prosecutors, like as an example. Like when explaining how he believed Nicole was killed, he grabbed Kelberg’s hair and pulled it back and acted out slashing his throat. And then when explaining Ron’s murder, he went up behind him and grabbed him while using a ruler to pretend to slash his throat. Like they’re doing this in the courtroom like “and then he grabbed her like this!” This seriously must have been such a fucking spectacle.
The coroner described more of Ron Goldman’s injuries. He had abrasions on top of bruises on his hands, that appeared to be caused by his hands flailing about and maybe hitting tree branches and the gate. The defense tried to claim that Ron had punched O.J., but the injuries on his hands were not those of a closed fist having hit someone, and O.J. had no bruises on him immediately following the murders.
On the anniversary of the murders, Nicole Brown’s father filed a wrongful death suit, just one day before the statute of limitations would run out, charging that O.J. "planned and prepared to assault, batter and murder Nicole Brown Simpson."
On Dr. Sathyavagiswaran’s seventh day of examination, he described three of the fatal stab wounds to Ronald Goldman: two gashes to the chest that cracked through a rib and punctured Ron’s right lung and a third that hit the aorta, the major artery leading from the heart. There was also a fatal cut across Ron’s neck. He told jurors that after slashing his throat, the killer may have poked him in the face at least four or five times with a knife to see if he was dead.
"They are all superficial punctures, and I have no way of knowing exactly why they were done," the coroner said of the red gashes on the right side of Goldman's face. "It could have been inflicted to check whether he was still alive or not. That would be one conclusion I would draw, also." He admitted that he had no way to know with certainty if the murders were committed by a single person. He concluded that based on Nicole’s stomach contents, she died between 10:00 and 10:30 PM on June 12th, 1994.
O.J. has like no money at this point so the judge allows him to offer autographs from jail for money. He would sign anything, like you could take a Cabbage Patch doll and get it autographed by O.J. Simpson.
The subject of the leather gloves comes back up and the prosecution shows photos and evidence that the gloves belong to O.J. Simpson. They were only like a handful of that specific glove being sold and only at Bloomingdales, and they were able to confirm that Nicole had purchased two of those pairs for O.J. Chris Darden had the bright idea to make O.J. try on the gloves to prove that they’re his. Marcia Clark was like “We’re not having him try the glove on, right? This is a terrible idea, it’s drunk, he’s probably been working out or something to make it his hand too big.” Not to mention that the glove is evidence, so he’d have to wear a latex glove first and then put the actual glove on top of it, and also the glove is covered in blood so it’s like stiff and shrunken, it’s not like a new glove. Darden was like “well I want to have O.J. try on the glove because if we don’t, the defense will.” and Marcia was like “then let them, and then we can show them why it was a bullshit experiment and how the glove’s fit today doesn’t matter, it would never fit anyway.”
F. Lee Bailey basically dares Chris Darden have O.J. try on the glove. To this day, F. Lee Bailey says that he emasculated Chris Darden, and Darden was like “let’s do this”. Johnnie Cochran has a little side bar with the defense team and he’s like “you guys, they’re gonna have O.J. try on the gloves. Nobody react, nobody cheer. This is GREAT for us.”
O.J. was hesitant about trying on the gloves, but his manager, Mike, was like “if you’re worried about he gloves fitting, you should just refrain from taking your arthritis medication and let them swell.” O.J. said “Mike, if I don’t take the medication, my hands will hurt like hell.” and Mike said “Why would they hurt like hell?” and then a light clicked in O.J.
O.J. was originally seated when putting on the first glove. As soon as it was clear that the glove didn’t fit, he stands up and kind of puts on a show. He’s like putting on this terrible performance of like “ope, oh no, guess it doesn’t fit” and like totally overacting. Johnnie Cochran told the jury that if the glove doesn’t fit, O.J. can’t be the killer and they must acquit him. This is where his famous phrase came: “If the glove does not fit, you must acquit.” This spectacle had a huge impact on the jury, and now the prosecution was scrambling to recover from their mistake. Glove designer Richard Rubin testified that leather gloves shrink when exposed to liquid. If severely saturated, they could shrink 15 percent. Rubin tried on the right-handed glove over a latex glove, and though the glove was marked extra-large, Rubin said it had shrunk to "a little bit above average of a large but well below an extra-large." Under cross-examination, Johnnie Cochran informed Rubin that the glove absorbed only three cubic centimeters of blood, which Rubin admitted was not enough to have an effect upon the glove.
On June 19th, An FBI expert testified that the person who killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman wore expensive Italian shoes that are the same size that O.J. Simpson wears– a size 12 pair of $160 Bruno Magli shoes. The exact shoes that left the footprints at Nicole’s house were never recovered and the prosecution had no proof that O.J. owned a pair of these shoes. Though there were two sets of shoe prints leading away from the crime scene, the shoe print expert said there was no evidence of more than one source for the footprints, supporting the state's theory that there was only one killer.
These shoes are extremely rare. Fewer than 300 size 12 pairs were distributed in the United States. Even though there was no proof that O.J. owned such shoes, he did wear a size 12.
On cross-examination, defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey suggested that anyone who could wear size 12 shoes could have left such footprints and that criminals are inclined to wear larger or smaller shoes to mislead investigators. Bodziak,the shoeprint expert, said this was possible but that he had only heard of this type of deception once in his 25-year career. Wearing ill-fitting shoes would also leave a criminal "stumbling all over the place" when fleeing a crime scene, he said.
. On June 21st, O.J. was asked to try on another pair a gloves. This pair was identical to the gloves found at the crime scene, same brand and size, but they were brand new. He also wore these over latex gloves, and they fit perfectly. "I think they fit quite well, declared glove expert witness Richard Rubin. "They appear to fit him snug and tight, pretty much the way the gloves were designed." But during cross-examination, Rubin conceded that he could not say whether the gloves were cut by the same person who cut the bloody gloves, or whether they were a perfect extra large, a snug extra large or an oversized extra large.
Prosecutors also called witnesses to discuss records of phone calls that Simpson made from the cellular phone on June 12, 1994 and the whereabouts of his girlfriend Paula Barbieri. This is so random. The defense was trying to argue that O.J. had a new girlfriend and was happy, and therefore was not obsessed with Nicole. The call records show that on that day, O.J. was calling both Nicole and Paula and the calls weren’t completed, meaning they either went unanswered or there was a busy signal. The problem with the story that O.J. was in a happy relationship with Paula, is that on the day of the murders, Paula had run off to Las Vegas with Michael Bolton.
O.J. called Paula at 10:03PM on the night of the murders, right around the time the murders were committed. O.J. does not have an alibi for this time, he says he was at home either sleeping or chipping golf balls.
On June 13th the testimony was focused on O.J.’s demeanor on his flight to Chicago on the evening of the murders and the following day when he was told about it. A succession of witnesses testified that Simpson was cordial and relaxed on the flight from Los Angeles to Chicago and did not have a cut on his left hand. On the flight home from Chicago, witnesses who either took Simpson to the airport or accompanied him back to Los Angeles, described him as frantic, looking skyward, sighing and moaning frequently. His left finger was either wrapped in a bloody Band-Aid or wrapped in a paper towel, they said.
A Beverly Hills private intern, Huizenga examined Simpson on June 15, 1994, three days after the murders and then again two days later. He said Simpson was suffering from osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, which most likely prevented him from running or doing any other aerobic activity. He testified he also carefully looked for cuts, scratches and bruises on Simpson's body that may have indicated he had a struggle with someone. He said he found no evidence of such wounds.
Huizenga said O.J. had constant pain from surgery on his left wrist following a football injury in 1965. O.J. also had developed large knuckles typical of osteoarthritis, and he suffered from osteoarthritis in his left knee. But in a blow to the defense, Huizenga conceded under cross-examination that despite Simpson's arthritic condition, he was strong enough to kill two people in the manner suggested by the prosecution. At the end of the day, jurors were shown portions of an exercise video featuring O.J. performing various exercises. The video was taped May 24 to May 27, 1994, just two-and-a-half weeks before the murders.
On July 18th, jurors were shown another commercial exercise video that was also made just a few weeks before Nicole’s murder. During the video workout, filmed May 26, 1994, O.J. could be seen shadow boxing, throwing jabs and uppercuts. "Get your space in if you're exercising with your wife, if you know what I mean," he said, adding with a smile, "You can always blame it on working out."
A second video was presented of a promotional speech Simpson gave in March 1994. In the video, O.J. talks of a vitamin supplement called Juice Plus, saying the product had so relieved his arthritis symptoms that he had quit taking conventional medication and pain relievers.
In August, the focus shifts back to Mark Fuhrman. During cross examination, Fuhrman denied having used the N-word in the previous 10 years. But the defense located a recorded interview Fuhrman did with a writer where he talks about "framing people, setting people up and filing false reports." They plan to show that 1. He’s a racist, corrupt cop; and 2. He lied on the stand when he said he hadn’t used the N-word, effectively perjuring himself.
Here’s the kicker that nobody fucking expected. As the defense and the prosecution are both listening to the tapes, they come across something alarming. In the interviews, Fuhrman complained about a high ranking female police officer named Peggy York who was his supervising commander.
According to Marcia Clark’s book, Without a Doubt:
“Mark had described two run-ins with [York], including one during which she upbraided the squad for writing ‘KKK’ on the calendar entry for Martin Luther King [Jr.] Day. Mark had snickered, and when she called him on it in private, he claimed, he belittled her to her face. In another dustup, he refused an assignment from her, supposedly saying, ‘I don’t talk to anybody that [sic] isn’t a policeman, and you’re as far from a policeman as I’ve seen—and as far as that goes, you’re about as far from a woman as I’ve seen.’”
He also said that she "sucked" and "fucked her way to the top". About women in general, he said “I won't eat with them, I won't have coffee with them, I won't be seen with them. It's embarrassing. Where does some woman five feet tall and 98 pounds get off coming out? I can bench press almost four times what she weighs.”
Here’s the kicker: Peggy York is the wife of Judge Lance Ito. This is a huge conflict of interest. If he allows the tapes to be heard in court, he could be perceived as doing so to punish Fuhrman. If he does not allow them in, he could be seen as doing so to avoid the embarrassment of issues regarding his wife coming before the jury.
Ito decided to take a step back, admitting that he can’t make the decision about whether it’s fair for him to preside over this case. So they have another judge make the call and ultimately it’s decided that Ito can continue to preside over the case, but the tapes would not be admissible except for 2 hours out of the 13 hours of recording.
The ruling: http://walraven.org/simpson/fhr_tps2.html
So they move on and continue with trying to prove that Mark Fuhrman is a liar as he absolutely has said the N-word in the past ten years. In fact, he said it 41 times in the recording and also recounted numerous episodes of police harassing black suspects, contriving evidence against them and acknowledging he participated in such activities himself.
"Do you people, don't you shoot to wound them? No, we shoot to kill em. Now the department says we shoot to stop, not kill, which is horseshit. The only way we can stop somebody is to kill the son of a bitch. And what's the big deal? If you've got reason to shoot somebody, you've got reason to kill him."
"No, if I would have arrested the son of a bitch, I would have killed him. If I ever see the son of a bitch and we're alone, I would kill him...If there's nobody except him and me, dead men tell no tales. See, he killed two policemen. I have an obligation if I ever have the opportunity, I should kill him. And that's all there is to it."
"I didn't arrest him under anything, just took him to the station, ran him for prints, gave them to the detectives to compare with what they've got in the area. I'll probably arrest a criminal that way...I'd be able to correlate exactly what I said into a reasonable probable cause for arrest."
Even though there’s no evidence that Fuhrman planted O.J.’s bloody glove at the crime scene, the fact that he’s admittedly planted evidence in the past means that the defense could move to have all evidence found by Fuhrman to be thrown out.
By now, Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown’s families are pissed because the entire focus has shifted to whether or not Mark Fuhrman is racist. And this is not a trial against Mark Fuhrman, this is about the murders of Nicole and Ron. During an emotional press conference, Fred Goldman said the tapes had no business at the trial which is supposed to determine whether O.J. Simpson killed his son and Nicole Brown Simpson.
"There was no reason to have two hours of this hate to be spewed out over the public airwaves," Goldman said. "My son, Nicole and her family have a right to a fair trial and this is not fair." Marcia Clark said “this is a murder case where none of this is relevant. The admission of this evidence (the tapes) is telling the jury: 'Disregard the case. Look somewhere else,'" she said. Even if the bloody glove gets thrown out, there’s still so much DNA evidence at the crime scene, in the Bronco, and leading up to O.J.’s house. Marcia also said that if he had the opportunity to plant anything, he would have been foolish to try, not knowing whether there were eyewitnesses to the crime or whether Simpson had an alibi. And she’s right; how could Fuhrman possibly know for sure that O.J. would not have an alibi? He’s super fucking famous, he easily could have been at a party or clubbing or at an awards show or something. How could anyone know for sure that O.J. would have no plans and just be sitting at home?
But the defense continued with their plan and started bringing in witnesses to testify to Fuhrman’s racism. A woman named Kathleen Bell met Mark at a Marine recruiting center. At one point, Fuhrman told Bell that when he sees a black man driving with a white woman he pulls over the car. Bell said she asked him if he needed a reason. "He said he'd find something. I asked what if they're in love? He said, 'That's disgusting.'" she testified.
In the same conversation, she testified that Fuhrman said, "If I had my way, I'd gather all the niggers together and burn them." Bell said she called the LAPD to report Fuhrman, but could only recall his first name. She said she did not ask for his last name before because she was scared of him.
A second witness, Natalie Singer, testified that Fuhrman's partner dated her roommate in 1987, and the officers were frequent guests in her home. She quoted Fuhrman as saying, "The only good nigger is a dead nigger." At a later date, she kicked Fuhrman out of the house for calling her a "fucking bitch." She next saw him several years later testifying against Simpson, prompting her to call the defense.
On September 6th, Mark Fuhrman was brought back to the witness stand. He’s asked “was the testimony that you gave in this case completely truthful?” He replies “I wish to assert my fifth amendment privilege.”
Then he’s asked “Have you ever falsified a police report?” He replies “I wish to assert my fifth amendment privilege.”
“Is it your intention to assert your fifth amendment privilege with respect to each question I ask you?” He replies “yes.”
“I only have one other question. Detective Fuhrman, did you plant or manufacture any evidence in this case.” He replies “I wish to assert my fifth amendment privilege.”
On September 11th, the prosecution began presenting its rebuttal case even though the defense has not finished its case. The first rebuttal witness was a photographer who took a picture of O.J. Simpson in 1990 during a Chicago Bears football game. In that photograph, Simpson is wearing dark gloves that the state contends are the same as the gloves found at the murder scene and at Simpson's home after the murders. The defense requested that the jury be instructed to forget the glove had ever been found, which Ito denied.
On the 13th, prosecutors failed to show up for an early hearing and the judge fined them $250. Clark complained because defense attorneys had shown up late to other hearings without a fine. Judge Ito increased the fine to $1,000. Los Angeles DA Gil Garcetti berated Judge Ito at a press conference, calling his conduct "outrageous, petty and uncalled for." Garcetti said his office would not pay the fine and sent another lawyer to court to appeal it. Judge Ito backed down and reinstated the original $250 penalty.
On September 21st, the jury is informed that they can consider first-degree or second-degree charges. The difference is really whether or not the murders were premeditated. Ron Goldman’s murder was almost certainly not premeditated, as O.J. had no way of knowing he would be at Nicole’s house. But Nicole’s may have been premeditated, so he can either be charged for a first-degree and a second-degree murder and automatically face a life sentence without parole, or if he’s convicted of two second-degree murders, the sentence includes the possibility of parole.
"I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime," O.J. Simpson told the court outside the presence of the jury.
Despite objections from prosecutor Marcia Clark, Judge Ito asked Simpson to make a routine waiver of his right to testify. Clark had wanted Simpson to put the waiver in writing to stop him from making an emotional plea that might be leaked to the jurors through conjugal visits and phone calls.
"Much as I would like to address some of the misrepresentations made about myself, and my . . . and Nicole, concerning our life together," Simpson said in open court, "I am mindful of the mood and the stamina of this jury. I have confidence, a lot more it seems than Miss Clark has, of their integrity… and that they will find as the record stands now that I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime. I have four kids -- two kids I haven't seen in a year. They ask me every week, 'Dad, how much longer?' I want this trial over."
Fred Goldman, the father of murder victim Ronald Goldman, said "It is disgusting what he [Simpson] did. It is disgusting that his Dream Team — Scheme Team maybe is more accurate — would come here and stand in front of you and tell you it was his right to make a statement to the court. It is disgusting to me that the judge tolerated it." O.J. said he "could not, would not, did not commit these crimes."
On September 26th, Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark began her closing arguments with a preemptive strike against police detective Mark Fuhrman before taking aim at O.J. Simpson. "It would be a tragedy if, with such overwhelming evidence, you find the defendant not guilty because of the racist attitudes of one officer." Clark took jurors through the evening of the murders, showing O.J. was unaccounted for between 9:36pm and 10:54 and that he left a trail of evidence from the murder scene to his home. Darden, who argued for a little more than an hour, focused on O.J.’s history of abusing his wife to prove he had motive to kill her. Darden also brought up Fuhrman, telling the jury not to lose focus on the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
In closing arguments, Johnnie Cochran reiterated to the jury that “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Darden repeatedly described Simpson as a time bomb with a burning fuse, growing increasingly closer to a full explosion. Cochran tried to reduce the impact of accounts of O.J.’s domestic violence by describing him as imperfect, "not proud of some of the things he did. But [these things] don't add up to murder."
Darden suggested that only O.J. could’ve had motive to kill Nicole and Ron. Cochran suggested that professional killers could have been after Ronald Goldman on the night of the killings. se lawyer Barry Scheck to discuss the DNA evidence, Cochran asked the jurors why, if Simpson was rushing back from a bloody crime scene, there was no blood found on the door knobs, banister or white carpets at Simpson's Estate.
Barry Scheck gets up and explains to the jury that the DNA evidence is unreliable. He says that since the evidence was handled and stored improperly and there are enough questions surrounding the evidence for reasonable doubt. Marcia Clark didn’t see it that way.
"I don't have to say anything else," Clark said. "Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the people of the state of California, because we have proven beyond a reasonable doubt, far beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed these murders, we ask you to find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown."
Darden ridiculed Simpson's alibi. "Chippin' golf balls. There were golf balls in that little black bag?" he said mockingly. "That was the night he was supposedly suffering from acute arthritis," Darden said. "They want you to throw your common sense out the window, just chuck it out the window. You can't do that," he said. "They have one racist cop."
On October 2nd, the jury shocked everyone when they reached a verdict after deliberating for less than 4 hours. Legal analysts predicted it would take anywhere between 2 days and 2 months. Earlier in the day, they had requested to hear again the testimony of Allan Park, the limo driver. It seems that what they were looking at was whether or not O.J. had enough time to go commit the murders and run back home in the short time for which he had no alibi. O.J.’s home was only a 5 minute drive from Nicole’s.
Park said he arrived at Simpson's house at 10:22 pm the night of the murders and didn't see Simpson's Bronco parked outside when he was searching the curb for street numbers. He testified that at 10:55 pm he saw a large, shadowy figure of a black person at the front door of Simpson's Rockingham estate. By now, Park had been sounding the intercom for about 15 minutes. Moments later, Simpson answered the intercom and said that he had overslept.
The verdict is announced. Not Guilty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rurKd569xRw
You can hear Ron Goldman’s family sobbing in the background as the verdict was read. Marcia Clark and Chris Darden look like they’re going to cry too. I’ll upload a clip of this to brokenlimelight.com.
O.J. Simpson was now a free man. He went back to his home at Rockingham where his family and friend were preparing a party for him. The LAPD had to send police units to the home for crowd control. This must have been infuriating because O.J. used to be friends with the police and his legal team just spent the last year making complete fools out of the department. They mocked and humiliated them and told the entire world that the LAPD was incompetent. Now O.J.’s free and the police have to go to his house to keep him safe while he celebrates.
Detective Paul Bishop said “Way back in the beginning, I said to Detective Ron Phillips, ‘Are we going to win this case?’ Ron said, ‘If we can’t convict this guy, we may as well turn in our badges and go home.’ After the verdict, I walked up to Ron and said, ‘You’re right. We may as well turn in our badges.’ The next two days you couldn’t get through on the phone lines to personnel, because there were so many police and detectives trying to get their paperwork and retire. The ripple effect is going to be unbelievable.”
All of O.J.’s friends were at the party, like Al Cowlings and Rob Kardashian. It wasn’t long before they all realized that the rest of the world wasn’t celebrating with them. Poll showed that more than half of the country was outraged by the verdict. His personal agent dropped him as a client and his pay-per-view deal collapsed. The country clubs don’t want him back. Everyone thinks he’s a murderer. Someone put up signs on Sunset Blvd at the entrance of Brentwood that said WELCOME TO BRENTWOOD. HOME OF THE BRENTWOOD BUTCHER. And MURDERER LOOSE IN BRENTWOOD. When the district attorney announced they were closing the case and no longer looking for the “real” killers of Ron and Nicole, O.J. was livid. O.J. had his son, Jason, read a statement from him saying that he would make it a priority in his life to find the real killer or killers. Jason looked really awkward, kind of hiding his face like he was embarrassed to be reading those words out loud.
There was one juror who was excused from the jury early on and it seems like the defense was eager about it. Her name was Francine Florio-Bunten and she was recused after Judge Ito received a anonymous letter saying that Francine was taking a book deal.
O.J. wasn’t all in the clear yet, he still had to face the wrongful death suits filed against him by the families of Ron and Nicole. In February of 1997, the jury for the civil case found O.J. liable of the deaths of Nicole and Ron and made him pay $33.5 million in punitive damages.
Let me explain the difference between a criminal trial and a civil trial.
A major factor that we used to differentiate between criminal and civil law is the parties involved. In criminal law, the parties are the defendant (the person accused of committing a crime) and the state or federal government. The government is more involved in this type of law because the defendant has broken a crime that was established by the government, such as murder or theft. However, civil law is more private; it deals with disputes between individuals and entities including defamation, divorce, and negligence. This distinction can be seen in O.J. Simpson’s trials as in his criminal case, he was prosecuted for murder by the People of the State of California, while the Goldman family chose to press charges on him in his civil case.
The sanctions, or punishments, are also different. In criminal cases, the punishment can be things like community service or the death penalty, whereas in civil trials, the punishment is more often paying monetary damages or a restraining order.
Finally, and most importantly, is the way they look at evidence. In criminal cases there is the burden of proof, meaning the defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to charge him. In the criminal trial, the jury did not believe that O.J. was proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because of all the doubts surrounding the evidence and the reliability of the LAPD. Not to mention that the glove didn’t fit. In a civil trial, there is the preponderance of evidence, meaning they have to lean more towards him being guilty than not guilty. And I literally mean, lean. Like, they can’t be 50/50 but they can be 51/49 leaning in the direction that he looks more guilty than not guilty and that’s enough to charge him. So in the civil trial, there was more than enough evidence for them to consider him liable.
Now, O.J. didn’t have all the money he was being ordered to pay so he ended up losing his house, he got his Heisman trophy taken away, he lost his book deal for If I Did It but then the court awarded the rights to the Goldman family, who renamed it If I Did It: Confessions of a Killer and they intentionally made the word “if” really small on the cover and placed it inside of the word “I”; so when you look at it it looks like it just says “I did it: Confessions of a killer.”
And by the way, O.J. didn’t actually write that book. A ghost writer did and paid O.J. to put his name on it. O.J. was pretty much like “well I need the money and everyone hates me anyway” so he agreed.
That’s where we’re going to leave off for part 2. In part 3 we’ll talk about what happened to O.J. after the civil case, like his kidnapping and robbery charges from 2007, and we’ll also discuss the possible theories and look into what O.J. and his attorneys have had to say since the criminal trial.
This is part 3 of our coverage of O.J. Simpson and the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. I wanted to do one more episode to talk about all of the theories surrounding this case and try to better understand if O.J. Simpson is definitely the killer, or if it could possibly be anyone else. Like I said, I originally was pretty sure that O.J. was the killer. I’m still leaning that way, but the thing that gets me is that I don’t think it was ever possible for him to have a fair trial. When you’re O.J. Simpson, can you really have a “jury of your peers”? What is a peer at that level?
Also, we talked a lot about the issues with race in this case and how O.J. may have gotten better treatment from the police because he’s famous. But also, with all of the racial tensions at the time, people were also terrified that there would be riots if O.J. were found guilty. The perspective was that the police department was racist and framing an innocent black man. So if that black man were to have been convicted, things could’ve gotten really ugly, and I think that some of the officers may have been walking on eggshells to not appear racist, therefore appearing to give O.J. special treatment.
The first thing I want to talk about is a post-trial interview that O.J. did. He made a few points that I want to bring up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biwNu5IXI2M
When asked how he explains the blood trails from Bundy to the Bronco to Rockingham, he says that he spent a lot of time at his own home and at Nicole’s home so he could’ve left his own blood at either place at any time. Plus, any blood they found of O.J.’s was just drops of blood. Rockingham wasn’t a bloody scene like Bundy was. He also says that if he had murdered two people and left a bloody mess, how is it possible that he didn’t leave bloody handprints on any doorknobs going into his own home, or on the door of the Bronco?
When asked about the gloves, O.J. insists they weren’t even his. He explains that he and Nicole bought Christmas gifts for all kinds of people– A.C., Marcus Allen, O.J.’s son, Jason– and Nicole had friends she bought gloves for too. But what about the footage of him wearing identical gloves in broadcasts? Well, he explains, they just look alike. He says they’re really nice gloves and they’re popular. You could probably walk down the street and find any classy man with similar taste in gloves.
Regarding the size 12 Bruno Magli shoeprints. O.J. is asked what size shoe he wears and he says “well if you look in my closet, you’ll find anywhere between 10.5 and 13– but they focused on size 12.” He’s asked if he ever owned Bruno Magli shoes. He explains that he can’t even tell you what the name of the shoes are that he’s currently wearing and he has nearly 40 pairs of shoes he has no idea what they’re called. But he does say, he would never buy those ugly shoes.
When asked “Who did Allan Park see walking on your driveway on that night?” O.J. essentially says “Park didn’t say he saw someone walking on the driveway, Marcia Clark took his words and redirected them. What he actually said was that he saw someone standing by the front door. I did step outside the front door for a moment and went back in.” When asked “well why did you lie and say you had been sleeping when you answered the door?” and his answer is basically “I think Park answered as honestly as he believed he could, but I never said I was sleeping. Kato Kaelin actually said at some point ‘he must’ve overslept’ so I think that stuck with Park; But i didn’t actually say I was sleeping.”
When asked about his relationship with Nicole, he says he’s proud of it. He’s asked about the domestic violence and he pretty much denies it all. Nicole’s sister Denise testified to O.J.’s abuse of Nicole, and O.J. pretty much says like “Denise is family, but I don’t think Nicole would be happy with the things she’s said.” He also said “Nicole didn’t take crap from anyone. She was not a wallflower. If I was out of line, people have seen, she would not take it. And that’s not the image that Denise has been promoting about her.” He also says that Denise has betrayed Nicole and the perception of her, and that he had seen Nicole cry about Denise more than he’s ever seen her cry about anything.
The 911 call from 1989. He said “I was wrong.” He explains that he locked her out of his room, she got a key and went in, and he physically removed her. He explains “I left some bruises. I’m a big guy, if I punch someone, they’re gonna swell up and you’re gonna know it. She put up a struggle.” He says that in that call, there was nothing physical actually happening. The interviewer’s like “but she sounds so scared” and O.J. says “yes but she didn’t sound scared ten minutes before when she was yelling at me.” He says that there’s another tape the prosecution didn’t want everyone to hear, and in it, Nicole admits that the door he supposedly kicked in was already broken.
Some interesting points:
Ron Goldman had bruising on his hand indicating that he had punched his assailant. O.J. did not have such injuries.
Henry Lee said that the stab wounds in Ron’s legs were consistent with his legs both kicking at the same time. This suggests that someone was holding Ron from behind and lifting him off the ground while a second person stabbed him from the front.
In the book If I Did It, O.J. describes an accomplice, a friend named Charlie, who accompanied him to “scare the shit out of Nicole” after they get word that she’s partying with other men. O.J. claims to wake up covered in blood with no recollection of what happened.
Serial killer Glen Rogers
Jason Simpson is the killer
The theory goes that he was angry because Nicole moved the location of a party from Jackson’s Restaurant, the West Hollywood eatery where he worked, to Mezzaluna in Brentwood. Truthfully, the police have never looked into this possibility.
Multiple killers theory
There’s a podcast I listened to while researching, called Real Crime Profile, that had a pretty interesting theory. It’s hosted by retired FBI Behavior Analysts and a couple of them are writers for Criminal Minds. Well they theorize that O.J. and his son Jason committed the murders together. So this former profiler, Jim Clemente, says he’s a friend of Henry Lee, one of the criminologists on the O.J. Simpson case. According to Jim, Lee told him that he believed there was more than one offender. When he brought this up to the prosecution, they brushed it away and said “we already have our guy” and were not interested in hearing anything more.
So Lee believes that there are signs that there wre actually 2 assailants. 1 is the shoeprints that he believe appeared to be two sets. The other is just the fact that 2 people were overpowered. It just makes more sense that there were two assailants against two victims, rather than a single assailant taking down two victims. Finally, according to Lee, the holes in Ron’s pants line up in a way that appears that both of his legs were kicking simultaneously as they were being stabbed, indicating that someone was lifting him off the ground as a second person stabbed him. If O.J. did this with someone else it would have to be with someone he completely trusted.
What they theorize in this podcast is that the killers were O.J. Simpson AND his son Jason.
This is the only person I think could be the killer, if not O.J. The reason I believe that is that O.J. never *actually* tried to find the real killer or really ask what happened to Nicole. To me, this means that he knows what happened and who did it. If not him, Jason is the only other person O.J. would cover for.
This theory comes from a guy named Bill Dear. Bill Dear explains how Jason was about 15 when Nicole and OJ got together. As he got older, he and Nicole started hanging out and going to clubs together and they became close. On the night of the murders, Jason invited Nicole to dinner at a restaurant where he was the sous chef. This was a big deal for him. And she didn’t show up. She went to Mezzaluna instead. Supposedly, Nicole had said that she saw someone stalking her outside her window. Initially she thought it was O.J., but upon a second glance, she believed it to be Jason.
Jason supposedly had an alibi for that night– he was at the restaurant serving dinner for like 200+ people. What Bill Dear discovered was that the restaurant actually closed early that night. His girlfriend picked him up and took him (and his knives, not uncommon for cooks) back to his apartment. According to Dear, there was a window of time that he could have gone and committed the murder.
His time card at work was handwritten, for some reason. It was like a digital time clock but instead of clocking out, he handwrote the time. It was found that there was nothing wrong with the time clock, it was in perfect working order.
He was military and trained in hand to hand combat.
He was taking depakote which is used for epilepsy but can also be used for manic symptoms. Jason did suffer from seizures as well as bouts of rage.
This podcast speculates that O.J. had let his son down in life and wanted to protect him. If O.J. and Nicole were having an affair while he was still with Marguerite, Jason could view that as if Nicole tore apart his family. And when Jason was like 8 years old, his baby sister died after falling into a pool. Apparently, Jason was actually supposed to be watching the baby when this happened. That could easily lead to a lot of trauma. However, none of this is evidence.
Ultimately, Jason didn’t have an alibi and he *may* have had a motive. Perhaps he should have been looked at and his DNA compared to the crime scene.
Born Chicago suburb July 2nd, 1968.
When he was 5 and his sister was 3, their mom left and they were raised by their father, Fred.
As kids, they were in a horrible car accident where Kim almost went blind and could’ve died. Ron was the one who pulled her out of the car and held her hand and cracked jokes while she recovered in the hospital.
As a teen, Ron spent summers as a camp counselor and played little league baseball.
Ron worked as a recruiter, tennis coach, and waiter. He had plans to open his own restaurant and bar.
If we look at the big picture, this is still an unsolved case. O.J. was acquitted of the criminal trial, and so no one has ever served time for this crime. Nobody’s actually been criminally convicted of this crime, which makes it bonkers that we’re not actively looking to *solve* this case.
Raging Heart by Sheila Weller, The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin.
Podcasts: You’re Wrong About, Last Podcast on the Left, True Crime Obsessed, Real Crime Profile.
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