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OJ SIMPSON AT 25: Murder in five acts
Brad Hunter
Published:
June 9, 2019
Updated:
June 9, 2019 12:39 PM EDT
If it doesn't fit, you must acquitGetty Images
The murders were incredibly gruesome, even for blood-soaked southern California.
But the latest double-homicide at a nice address in posh Brentwood was something different.
They had star power, featuring a former NFL superstar turned actor, a beautiful blond, a rock star legal team and a judge more interested in fame than justice.
Who can forget houseboy Kato “The Lyin’ King” Kaelin?
And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the characters and events who emerged in the O.J. Simpson affair.
O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson: A troubled marriage. GETTY IMAGES
ACT 1: THE MURDERS
Nicole Brown-Simpson was just 18 when she met Buffalo Bills star running back O.J. Simpson and the duo began a torrid affair, marrying in 1985.
But beneath the Tinseltown veneer was a world of sexual infidelity and domestic violence.
The NFL great had been investigated multiple times by cops on domestic calls.
“I’m afraid this man will kill me someday,” Brown told friends in 1993.
She filed for divorce.
An attempt at reconciliation resulted in more beatings.
How the Sun covered it. Toronto Sun
On June 13, 1994, at 875 S. Bundy Dr. in the early morning light, the bodies of Brown and her rumoured boyfriend waiter Ron Goldman, were discovered in an ocean of blood.
She had nearly been decapitated.
The white Bronco’s surreal slow-motion dash on a Los Angeles freeway.
ACT 2: THE CHASE
Gridiron great O.J. Simpson was almost immediately the prime suspect.
And he was coming unravelled.
An estimated 95 million people watched the surreal, low-speed chase across Los Angeles freeways.
Behind the wheel of the 1993 Ford Bronco SUV was driven by Simpson pal, Al Cowlings.
Curled in a fetal position in the back was O.J. Simpson.
O.J. Simpson on the road to hell. LAPD
He was arrested and put on 24-hour suicide watch.
His lawyer, Robert Kardashian (yes, them) read a letter to reporters penned by the Heisman Trophy winner: “First everyone understand I had nothing to do with Nicole’s murder … Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had a great life.”
ACT3: THE INVESTIGATION
The investigation into the grisly double-murder that was generating screaming headlines around may have been doomed from the get-go.
Brown and Goldman had been cold as ice for about two hours when cops arrived. At the scene, cops found the famous ‘bloody glove’ soaked in both victims’ blood.
Nicole: The couple had a volatile relationship. GETTY IMAGES
Homicide Det. Mark Fuhrman climbed over the gate of O.J.’s nearby home to inform him of the slayings.
They said they entered without a search warrant because they feared Simpson might be dead too.
But on the property, Fuhrman found a second bloody glove: the same as the one at the murder scene.
ACT 4 : CIRCUS CIRCUS
The O.J. Simpson murder trial was one of the biggest spectacles in American history.
It was if ancient Rome had miraculously re-appeared in southern California wearing Bruno Magli shoes.
On one side was Simpson’s Dream Team of legal eagles — a veritable who’s-who of American defence lawyers: Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz and the inimitable Johnnie Cochran.
On the other side were Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden.
Judge Lance Ito: The ringmaster of the judicial circus. GETTY IMAGES
Part of the prosecution’s problem was that the man who sold Simpson a 15″ knife and a woman who saw him speeding away from Nicole’s in the early morning had both sold their stories to the National Enquirer.
Evidence: tossed.
The trial began on Jan. 24, 1995 and was televised live daily on Court TV.
The prosecution hammered Simpson’s past record of domestic violence and were buoyed by DNA evidence.
The defence argued that Goldman was a fit young man and Simpson suffered from chronic arthritis.
It was also believed that Goldman was collateral damage and that the real target was Nicole.
Johnnie Cochran hinted that the slayings were committed by dope dealers after Nicole’s party pal Faye Resnick.
The forensics show was of War and Peace length: Simpson’s socks and his Bronco had a mixture of the two victims’ blood.
Goldman’s shirt had Simpson’s hair on it.
Shoe prints in the blood matched Simpson’s Bruno Magli’s.
It was looking very much like a slam dunk for the prosecution.
And then there were the blood-covered gloves allegedly belonging to Simpson.
Cochran knew dried blood makes leather stiff, shrinks it.
He challenged the jury: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
On Oct. 3, 1995, at 10:07 a.m. O.J. Simpson was acquitted of both murders.
It took the jury four hours to reach the verdict.
It was estimated 100 million people around the world watched the verdict being read.
Court jester Johnnie Cochran, the Juice and Robert Shapiro. GETTY IMAGES
ACT 5: THE AFTERMATH
Whether or not Simpson was guilty in the eyes of the public depended a lot on whether you were white or black.
In the intervening years, Simpson has remained a celebrity curiosity.
He lost a multi-million civil suit brought by Goldman’s father.
He has not made a dent in the debt he owes.
Simpson also seemed to utterly lose the cool aura that emanated from him during his glory days as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.
Instead, he became a punchline.
Commissioner of the prison softball league. GETTY IMAGES
In 2007, Simpson and a group of pals stole some of his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel.
O.J. said the items were stolen. He pleaded guilty in a plea bargain deal.
At his parole hearing in 2017, Simpson seemed oddly undiminished.
After nearly a decade in prison, he was still the ‘big man on campus,’ even in the clink.
Commissioner of the softball league, arbitrator of jailbird beefs and all around good guy.
O.J. Simpson remains the beleaguered crossing guard of the deadly four corners of America where sports, celebrity, race and crime collide.
http://torontosun.com/news/world/oj-...rder-in-5-acts