A Trail of Clues to the Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson

Nicole and O. J. Simpson—A high-profile and tragic story involving jealousy, domination, manipulation, a controlling partner, domestic violence, inter-racial marriage, celebrity status, wealth, and spousal abuse.

30-year-old O. J. Simpson was still married to his first wife, Marguerite, when he met 18-year-old Nicole Brown, a young White woman who was waitressing at the Daisy, a private club in Beverly Hills, California. She was just out of high school. Nicole approached the table and said hello. After she walked away, O. J. looked at his friend and said, “I’m gonna marry that girl.” On their first date, Nicole came home with ripped jeans, saying he was a little forceful, but she still liked him. RED FLAG! She was charmed and manipulated from the beginning.

When Nicole introduced O. J. to her family, they had never heard of him. They were not into sports. So, who was this guy?

O. J. Simpson was submerged in an all-White institution. He had an image and presence on the University of Southern California campus in his early football career. He was given entitlement—it was sports, glamour, and being in the spotlight. He was in a different world than the rest of us. For most of his life, from university athlete to celebrity, he proclaimed: “I’m not Black. I’m O.J.”

Mr. Simpson was self-conscious. He knew who he was but more importantly who he needed to be. He built his O.J. character along the way and aimed to please society. Even though he was raised by a single parent in the San Francisco projects, he was ambitious and knew he would be somebody. Mr. Simpson’s quest was to erase race as a defining factor in his life, and that was the basis upon which White society not only accepted him but embraced him. Since his USC days, the image was everything to Mr. Simpson. He would never allow anyone or anything to harm his public image or reputation.

Table of Contents

Nicole Brown & O. J. Simpson’s Relationship

A young, naive Nicole had no idea what she was getting herself into. She had no real experience with relationships. O. J. Simpson portrayed success and wealth. She was likely attracted to his smile and personality, along with the glamorous life he could offer.

Nicole Brown & O. J. Simpson

However, there were warning signs early on that Simpson was jealous and dominated her life. Nicole dropped out of community college soon after moving in with him at his Brentwood, Los Angeles home, an affluent, primarily White neighborhood, because he “required that she be with him.” Behind closed doors, it wasn’t long before O. J. Simpson began to show a dark side to his personality.

Nicole’s first diary entry from 1978 detailed how her then-boyfriend beat her after they attended an event in New York City. “1st time he beat me up after Louis + Nanie Mary’s anniversary party. Started on the street corner of NYC 5th Ave at about 9 (pm). Threw me on the floor, hit me, kicked me. We went to the hotel where he continued to beat me for hours, and I continued crawling for the door.” He kept hitting her while sexually using her, which is rape.

Nicole wrote about how O.J. Simpson locked her in a wine closet after beating her and watched TV while she begged him to let her out, how, in a different hotel room, “O.J. threw me against the walls. . . and on the floor. Put bruises on my arm and back.”

Friends and family said Nicole was fun to be around. O. J. gravitated toward celebrities and entertained at his Rockingham estate, including pool parties with family and friends. He surrounded himself with entrepreneurs and people in business, primarily Caucasian.

Another entry from Nicole’s diary said O.J. smashed her white Mercedes-Benz with a baseball bat after she arrived home later than expected.

She wrote another entry, “He threw a fit, chased me, grabbed me, threw me into walls. Threw all my clothes out of the window into the street three floors below. Bruised me.”

Nicole didn’t have the fortitude to walk away from this violent relationship. Had she done so early on, she might be alive and well today.

Nicole Brown Simpson’s Diary Revealed Frightening Details of Her Life with O. J. Simpson

Spousal Abuse During their Marriage

After dating for 8 years, Nicole Brown and O.J. Simpson married in 1985. Simpson’s abusive behavior during their marriage included one instance in 1986 where he purportedly beat up Nicole right after they had some drinks and listened to music with friends. It isn’t clear what caused O.J. to lash out, but Nicole added in her diary that her husband “tore my blue sweater and blue socks completely off me.” She then checked herself into a nearby hospital and “pretended it was a bicycle accident”—to protect O.J.’s reputation.

Nicole & O. J. Simpson’s Wedding

About two years later, Nicole noted in her diary that while she was pregnant with Justin, Simpson drunkenly demanded that she leave their house, get an abortion, and aimed a gun at her to show how serious he was. He was a known womanizer. Many of their fights were about other women and his sexual prowesses. He needed adulation.

Later, in 1988, the would-be Naked Gun star supposedly became enraged after a gay man kissed Justin, who was then only a few months old. Nicole wrote, “OJ threw me against walls in our hotel and on the floor. Put bruises on my arms and back. The window scared me – thought he’d throw me out.”

Nicole’s 911 Call from the Rockingham Estate

January 1, 1989—911 Call. Nicole was heard screaming. The operator could hear a woman being beaten in the background. When the Police arrived, Nicole ran out, “He’s gonna kill me.” “Who’s gonna kill you?” “O.J. is gonna kill me.” She then screamed that the cops had been “up here eight times” at the Simpson residence but hadn’t done anything about the alleged abuse. The LAPD Officer asked, “Do you want him arrested for beating you?” Nicole replied, “Yes.”

Mr. Simpson emerged from the house, and his veins were pulsing. When advised that he was under arrest, he returned to the house. Shortly after, he was observed leaving in a vehicle.

Ron Shipp, a friend of OJ’s, received a call while attending the Rose Bowl Game. One of his friends said OJ wanted to talk to him. The following morning, he saw Nicole at the police station. She showed him more photographs taken of the abuse she had suffered. Nicole told Ron, “If it wasn’t for the kids, I’d be out of here.” Nicole said to Ron: “O.J.’s father is gay. Is that why he beats me?”

LAPD released Mr. Simpson. When asked why? The response was, “Where would he run to? Where could he hide? He was O. J. Simpson.”

Although Nicole initially asked Police to arrest her husband, she later changed her mind—or it was changed for her. 41-year-old O.J. Simpson was charged with a single misdemeanor count of spousal battery. Preferential Treatment: He performed community service by organizing a golf tournament.

Mr. Simpson said, “My wife and I had a fight, that’s it. We put it behind us.”

Domestic Violence

No one wanted to hear that. Nor could family and friends conceive that he could do such things…not O. J. Simpson. It would’ve been difficult for Nicole to leave him. Mr. Simpson was the family’s income producer. He was the money man. Nicole even believed her family would side with him. After all, he also provided support for them.

Notably, it was Nicole, not O.J., who called Hertz’s CEO, whom OJ usually called directly and often. Nicole said it was all a misunderstanding—likely due to Mr. Simpson’s prompting to protect his endorsement and image. He was also invested in Honey Baked Ham, and several Ramada Inns, among others.

After they reconciled, Nicole told friends that Simpson began showing signs of improvement and spending more time with her and the children.

“Nicole was a typical battered wife, and O. J. Simpson had a classic case of obsession.” Dr. Susan Forward

Nicole Brown Simpson’s Bruised Face

The Two Sides of O. J. Simpson

Public Perception

Public image was important. He blamed Nicole for everything. Nothing could harm his reputation. People were charmed by him. People were manipulated by him. People were used and taken advantage of by him. However, others believed he was superficial, and his pleasantness was not sincere. O. J. Simpson loved fame and felt entitled. He wanted to be recognized as a celebrity. He craved the adoration.

Behind Closed Doors

No one really knows what goes on behind those closed doors—anger and rage, explosive fits of jealousy, showed disrespect for his wife, a wife beater, physical and psychological abuse. Why didn’t her friends and family recognize and address the signs, the disparaging remarks, the ongoing abuse, etc.?

The Simpson’s Divorce

After a turbulent 7-year marriage, Nicole Brown Simpson filed for divorce in 1992. Nevertheless, Mr. Simpson was obsessed with controlling and dominating her life. He stalked her after their divorce. Nicole told a friend, “Everywhere I go, he shows up. I really think he’s going to kill me.”

Since they were divorced, Nicole began dating other men, but he wasn’t pleased and often used the young children as an excuse. She enjoyed her life as Nicole Brown. Mr. Simpson was extremely jealous and would stalk her. He also had his friends watching her every move and reporting back to him. While dating a new friend, Keith, she discovered that O. J. had been watching them in her home. She broke it off with Keith.

Nicole had to avoid angering him. Any hint that her amiability was essentially coerced, any threat of public exposure, or any insult to his dignity from his point of view might trigger aggression. Nicole Simpson followed an appeasement strategy because no one stood between her and him to stop him. All the smiling photographs of them together after the divorce evoke alarm, not romantic depictions of his desire to reconcile but to regain control.

The Simpson’s Attempt to Reconcile

Mr. Simpson’s so-called desire for reconciliation masked the awfulness of Nicole’s situation, the same for every woman who escapes but does not disappear. With this abuser’s wealth and power, he would have hunted her down, and lawyers would have taken her children from her. She would have been the villain for stealing the children. Who would have truly understood that she needed to run for her life?

Again, they tried to reconcile and began dating. Mr. Simpson told Nicole he had changed; he was a new man and wanted to prove it to her.  She told her friend, Keith, that they would date first. Nicole said, “I’m not giving up my house; we’ll see how it goes.”

In her notes, Nicole wrote: “I want to put our family back together! I want our kids to grow up with their parents. I thought I’d be happy raising Sydney & Justin by myself—since we didn’t see too much of you anyway.”

On October 25, 1993, a 911 call was received from Nicole. “He’s back… he broke the back door down… Stay on the line… I don’t want to stay on the line… he’s gonna beat the shit out of me…” Mr. Simpson was enraged. The operator heard screaming insults at her in a rage while she was on the phone. Nicole was afraid that he’d enter the house and beat her up.

911 Call by Nicole on October 25, 1993

911 OPERATOR: 911 emergency [unintelligible]

NICOLE SIMPSON: Can you get someone over here now to 365 Gretna Green. He’s back. Please.

911 OPERATOR: Okay, what does he look like?

NICOLE SIMPSON: He’s O.J. Simpson. I think you know his record. Can you just send somebody over here?

911 OPERATOR: OK, what is he doing there?

NICOLE SIMPSON: He just drove up here… [unintelligible]

911 OPERATOR: Wait a minute. What kind of car is he in?

NICOLE SIMPSON: He’s in a white Bronco. First of all, he broke the back door down to get in.

911 OPERATOR: Wait a minute. What’s your name?

NICOLE SIMPSON: Nicole Simpson.

911 OPERATOR: Okay. He’s the sportscaster or whatever?


911 OPERATOR: Okay, wait a minute. We’re sending the Police. What is he doing? Is he threatening you?

NICOLE SIMPSON: He’s fucking going nuts.

911 OPERATOR: Has he threatened you in any way, or is he just harassing you? [sound of O.J. Simpson yelling in the background]

In a diary entry written on May 22, 1994, Nicole lamented how hard it was for her and Simpson to come up with a proper visitation schedule with their kids. ”We’ve officially split. I’ve told OJ we’re going back to every other weekend. I need the rest. OJ is gone so much – he needs the alone time with them til he leaves again. He’s been gone the last 4 weekends – so I’ve asked if we can start with him this weekend.”

Nicole Brown Simpson was living in her own home when she was murdered. Even though her divorce had been finalized in 1992, she was still not free from her abuser. Whether or not her ex-husband committed the murder, he continued to intimidate her, stalk her, and threaten her. Having ended the marriage, Nicole still had to negotiate her safety with the man who was hurting her.

After suffering through years of torment, Nicole realized she couldn’t prevail. Believing he would kill her, she did what most battered women do—kept up the appearance of normality for the children’s sake and to protect his image and reputation. Instead of running, she did what the therapist advised: be firm and draw a line.

So, she drew the line. She told him that he could attend their daughter’s dance recital on June 12th but could not sit with her or go to dinner with her family—tragically, this would be no defense against death.

In videotaped testimony, O. J. Simpson’s then-girlfriend, Paula Barbieri, said she left a message on Simpson’s cell phone voice mail to break up with him on June 12, the day his ex-wife and Ronald Goldman were killed. She said she could not be certain as to whether Simpson listened to the message.

In a conversation with Kato around 2:30 p.m., O. J. told him that he and Nicole weren’t together anymore.

Timeline: Night of the Double Murders

The Prosecution’s timeline leading up to the murder of Nicole and Ron assisted in supporting their evidence that O. J. Simpson was the culprit of this horrific crime. It was the most believable due to the presentation of crucial evidence and witnesses. The time of death was set by Nicole’s wailing dog and neighbors passing by her townhome. Mr. Simpson’s whereabouts before and after the time of death were set by house guest Kato Kaelin and Allan Parks, the limousine driver.

The sequence of events on the night of June 12 and the early morning hours of June 13, 1994, is based on court testimony. Mr. Simpson had told Investigators that he was at his Brentwood home waiting for a limousine at the time Nicole and Ron Goldman were fatally stabbed.

Earlier in the evening, Nicole had dined with family members at Mezzaluna restaurant, where Ron Goldman worked as a waiter. Nicole’s mother had left her glasses behind, and Ron had gone to Nicole’s house to return them.

The Senseless Murder of Ronald L. Goldman

June 12, 1994

6:00 p.m.—The Simpsons leave their daughter’s dance recital in separate vehicles.

6:30 p.m.Nicole, her children, family, and friends dine at Mezzaluna.

8:00 p.m. —Nicole and her children leave Mezzaluna and stop for ice cream on the way home.

9:00 p.m.—Faye Resnick called Nicole. According to Resnick, Nicole said she told O.J. “Get away from us! Get out of my life. You’re not welcome with this family anymore.

9:15 p.m. —Nicole called Mezzaluna to say their mother left her glasses at the restaurant. Ronald Goldman volunteered to return the glasses.

9:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. —Brian “Kato” Kaelin, a friend staying in a guest house at O.J. Simpson’s home, and Mr. Simpson go to McDonald’s drive-thru for dinner. Reportedly, Kato said O.J. told him that Nicole and a friend had been wearing very tight outfits. She had been wearing a black dress.

9:45 p.m. —Kaelin and Mr. Simpson returned to his Rockingham home.

9:48 p.m. – 9:50 p.m. —Goldman left the restaurant with a white envelope containing the glasses. He’s headed to Nicole’s home.

9:50 to 10 p.m.—It was estimated that O. J. removed the dome light from his Bronco and placed it under the passenger side seat in order to avoid detection or recognition. Police often use this tactic when on stakeouts. It was unknown for certain when it was removed, but it was indeed removed, found under the passenger side seat and was in perfect working condition.

10:03 p.m.—Simpson called Paula using his cell phone but she didn’t answer. He reached her answering machine.

Between 10:00 and 10:15 p.m.—According to Prosecutors, O. J. drove the 2 miles to Nicole’s residence. He proceeded to slit her threat, nearly decapitating her. He stabbed her repeatedly in the neck, throat, and chest. She was dead within minutes.

Nicole’s neighbors were first alerted that something was wrong when they came across her pet dog, who rather ominously had bloody paws. The agitated animal eventually led them to the slayed bodies of 34-year-old Nicole Brown Simpson and 25-year-old Ronald Goldman.

10:15 p.m. —While watching television, Pablo Fenjves, a neighbor of Nicole, heard the cries and constant barking of a dog. Another neighbor also heard Nicole’s dog barking.

10:30 to 10:40 p.m.—Robert Heidstra, one of Nicole’s neighbors, was walking his dogs. He heard voices near the townhouse. He reported hearing a man’s voice shouting, “Hey!” He also heard another man respond but couldn’t distinguish what he was saying.

It was assumed that the voices heard were Ronald Goldman and the responding voice of O. J. Simpson. Thus, the theory was that Ron’s murder occurred within this 10-minute timeframe. When O.J. realized someone else was there, not only did the rage take over—with the thought of this man there to see Nicole—but he also realized he couldn’t let this man walk away live. Ron would be able to identify him.

Mr. Heidstra saw Simpson’s Bronco speed away from the crime scene.

Another witness encountered Simpson’s Bronco speeding with its lights off and made eye contact. The witness recognized and identified O. J. Simpson.

She testified that as she approached Bundy, the signal for her was green, but a white Bronco traveling with its lights out came from the south on Bundy into the intersection, and she had to make an emergency application of her brakes and swerve to the right to avoid a collision; the Bronco also swerved.

The Bronco came to a stop on Bundy in the middle of the median width. It was unable to proceed because a 2-door light gray Nissan in the westbound lanes of San Vicente had also stopped, and was blocking his way. The man in the Bronco “started yelling at the guy in the Nissan to move his car.” Thereupon began an “After you Alfonse” confusion between the drivers of the Bronco and the Nissan.

Just as the Bronco driver tried to get around the front of the Nissan, it pulled forward. Then the Bronco backed up and tried to get around the back of the Nissan, and the Nissan backed up. After three of these false starts, the Bronco driver made a maneuver implying that he was going to drive up on the grassy median and completely outflank the Nissan, no matter what it did, but at that moment the Nissan drove away.

The Bronco driver then proceeded north across San Vicente and disappeared up Bundy to the north. The witness testified, “He was going fast because you could hear, like, the engine was kind of zooming, Whoom, Whoom. He was really moving. She estimated that the time the Bronco was in the intersection to be about a minute. Of the Nissan driver, she said, “He looked angry at first [before Simpson started yelling at him], but then he looked scared, because someone… he was like a maniac, someone gone crazy or something. . .” During the time when he was angry, the Nissan driver did not show an inclination to move his car, but after he became frightened, he began the frantic, but initially unsuccessful, maneuvers to get out of the Bronco’s way.  

MARCIA CLARK: “So, were you able to see the driver [of the Bronco] very clearly?”

SHIVELY: “I recognized him right away.”

CLARK: “And, who was he?”

SHIVELY: “I saw O. J. Simpson.”

Mr. Simpson’s Rockingham Estate

10:25 p.m. —Limousine driver Allan Park arrives at Simpson’s home.

10:40 p.m. —Park buzzes intercom several times but does not get any response.

10:52 p.m. —Kato heard three loud thumps on an outside wall of his room.

10:55 p.m. —Park called his boss and told him Simpson was not home. He is instructed to wait until 11:15 since Simpson was always late.

Shortly before 11 p.m. Park observed a Black person, 6 feet, 200 pounds, walking across the driveway towards the house. Allan Park saw Simpson enter the front door of his house. Park observed lights go on in the house.

Around 11 p.m. —Kato went to the front of the house to check on the noise. He saw the limousine driver at the gate. Several seconds later, Park again buzzed the intercom, and Simpson answered. He said he had overslept and had just gotten out of the shower.

11 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. Simpson exited the Rockingham house with 5 bags. Kato helped load the bags into the limo. O.J. hastily stopped him as Kato was reaching for a moon-shaped bag that he recalled was very full. Simpson told Kato that “he would take care of that bag himself.” Hmm, what was so special about that bag? What did it contain?

11:15 p.m. —Limousine departed for Los Angeles Airport.

11:35 p.m. —Limousine arrived at the airport.

11:45 p.m. —Simpson left California on an American Airlines flight to Chicago.

June 13, 1994—Police Arrive at Nicole’s Home

12:10 a.m. —Nicole’s dog led her neighbor to the murder scene where he described what he saw as “blood flowing like a river.” The bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were discovered outside her townhouse.

LAPD Detectives Tom Lange, Philip Vannater, and Mark Fuhrman responded to the 911 call. According to Lange, they observed two victims, blood everywhere, and a bloody glove left on the scene. More officers arrived to cordon off the crime scene and start an investigation.

A blood trail indicated that the murder suspect had been injured on the left side. One of the victims was identified as O.J.’s estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. Someone had to make a death notification. Lange and Vannater were talking and called Fuhrman over. “You were at Simpson’s house once, right.” Fuhrman replied, “Yeah.” They wanted him to take them up there.

Notification of Nicole’s Death

LAPD Officers went to Mr. Simpson’s home to notify him of Nicole’s death. The LAPD did not know Mr. Simpson’s schedule or whereabouts. They pulled up close to the gate and kept ringing the doorbell, but no one answered. Fuhrman strolled down the street looking for anything suspicious or out of place and noticed a hastily parked white Bronco with an apparent bloodstain on it. They immediately thought that something might have happened to Mr. Simpson also. They asked themselves, “What are we gonna do if Simpson is in their dead?” They made a decision to go in.

Detective Fuhrman jumped over the fence so they could get inside the estate. They knocked and banged on the front door, but no one answered.

Once on the grounds, the detectives awaken Simpson’s daughter, Arnelle, who was staying in a guest house. She took them to the house and telephoned Cathy Randa, her father’s longtime assistant.

It was discovered that Mr. Simpson had boarded a late flight to Chicago that night and was not home.

6:00 a.m.—Detective Lange contacted Mr. Simpson in Chicago and informed him of Nicole’s tragic death. Lange noted his strange behavior. Upon hearing of his ex-wife’s death, Simpson exhibited an unusual demeanor. He reacted with what could only barely be termed mild shock.

Detective Lange would later state his suspicions about O.J.’s demeanor. In over 20 years on the force, Lange had investigated well over 100 murders. The family of the victims would more usually than not, react with much more emotion than Simpson displayed. Along with the emotional outpouring, they would always ask the standard questions, who, what , when, where and why. Simpson asked none of these questions but told officers he would return home.

During this time, Kato told police about the loud thumping he heard the night before. Detective Fuhrman spoke to Kato, who was also staying in a guest house on Simpson’s Rockingham estate and was present at the home on the night of the two murders. He also witnessed some of Simpson’s movements before and after the time of the murders. Kato reported hearing thumps on the back side of his unit. “Well, I was talking on the phone, and all of a sudden, it was like an earthquake. It was like thump, thump, thump, and the pictures shook.”

Based on this information, Detective Fuhrman walked down the path to investigate. In the area behind Kato’s bungalow, adjacent to the air conditioning unit, he noticed something. As he panned down, it looked like dog crap, but when he shined the light on it, he saw something glistening. A bloody glove was found on the property, similar to one found at Nicole’s home. Fuhrman went nowhere else on the property and did not investigate any other area of the estate.

This was now a second crime scene. But was it related to the double murders?

7:00 to 7:30 a.m. Detective Vannatter contacted District Attorney Marcia Clark and advised her of the situation, and summarized the evidence thus far. She agreed to a search warrant. He asked Marcia, “Do you know who it is? It’s O. J. Simpson. Marcia wasn’t that familiar with him. “I was never into sports, so I didn’t even know what game he played. I thought he was a has-been.” Vannatter declared the Rockingham estate a crime scene and obtained a warrant to search the property.

Detective Lange notified the Brown family. Nicole’s sister, Denise, immediately pointed to O.J. Simpson as the Killer. She said, “I knew that motherfucker…he was going to do this…”

Nicole Died First, Officer Testifies: Prosecution Unveils Theory on Double Murder

By comparing the nature of the wounds and the amount of blood loss by the victims, the autopsies revealed that while the attacker first stabbed Nicole from behind, he stopped and left her merely incapacitated to take down Ron Goldman before returning to kill her. During the court trial, this reconstruction suggested that Goldman may have arrived during the brief attack, interrupting the Killer and prompting his murder. Based on the severity of the wounds and the fact that Goldman still had the glasses in his hand when he was found, authorities believe the entire attack lasted no longer than five minutes from start to finish.

Was O. J. Simpson a Murderer?

Based on the crime scene investigations at both homes, Mr. Simpson emerged as a suspect. When Mr. Simpson arrived back home from Chicago, the LAPD immediately cuffed him. He was taken to the police station and interviewed. It was quite a surprise.

In the five-part documentary, O.J.: Made in America, Fuhrman said, “You have one opportunity forever to talk to this guy…forever.”

Detective Lange questioned Mr. Simpson about his finger injury. He said he cut it on broken glass at the hotel. Mr. Simpson rambled on, saying he had been running around doing what he do. He provided no helpful information regarding the double murders. Nevertheless, there were suspicions.

In Chicago, he also would have had an opportunity to get rid of incriminating evidence, i.e., bloody shirt and pants.

Photographs were taken of his bleeding finger, and he was fingerprinted. Then he was released. If he were any other guy, would they have let him leave?

There was a media circus outside. From this point on, there was non-stop news media coverage. Robert Shapiro was contacted on Simpson’s behalf and asked to become Defense Counsel.

Soon after Simpson’s release on bail, Ron Shipp, LAPD Officer and Friend of O.J., was at the Rockingham estate. Simpson was watching three televisions with different channels of the news coverage. Shipp noticed Simpson’s bruised and cut finger and asked, “What happened to your finger?” Simpson replied, “I cut it on glass in Chicago.” Shortly after, someone else asked about his finger. Simpson said he “was chipping golf balls.” Later, another person inquired about his cut finger, to which Shipp noticed he gave a different answer. Simpson said, “I was getting the cell phone out of the Bronco and cut myself.” Ron Shipp was like, “Oh my God,” and rushed to leave the house. Media were camped outside the estate.

As Shipp was trying to leave, Mr. Simpson said, “Hold on…they asked me to take a lie detector test…I told them No.”

Shipp: “What do you mean you said no?”

Simpson: “Truthfully, Shipp, I have had dreams of killing her.”

Simpson’s attorney, Robert Shapiro, a Hollywood lawyer who had never tried a murder case, reported: “At the time that this murder took place, O.J. was at home awaiting a limousine to take him to the airport for a promotional event in Chicago.”

Mr. Simpson’s family and friends could not conceive that the person they knew could commit such a violent murder like this. While others believed that, indeed, he was capable of doing it. It was mind-boggling.

Later on, the Defense Team’s Investigator contacted Ron Shipp and said they needed his help. According to Shipp, he replied, “I’m not on board.” Investigator: “What do you mean you’re not on board?” Shipp: “He killed her. I’m not on board.”

One of Nicole’s friends, David LeBon, held a memorial for her at his home. Al Cowlings and Ron Shipp attended and gave a short speech, among many others. At her wake, LeBon recalled seeing her body lying in the casket. She wore a black dress up to her neck because her head was almost cut off. LeBon said it was shocking to see her there lying in a coffin. Mr. Simpson came to the wake, and everyone was even more shocked. Simpson’s arrest was imminent.

O. J. Simpson’s Last Run

Mr. Simpson was ordered to surrender to the LAPD. Robert Shapiro, Mr. Simpson’s first attorney—known as a fixer and deal broker arranged for Simpson to surrender to the detectives at Parker Center at 11:00 a.m. Simpson was with Shapiro at Robert Kardashian’s house along with his long-time USC friend Al Cowlings.

Mr. Simpson did not show up. They waited for hours in anticipation. Somehow, O.J. managed to slip out of the house, got in the back of Al Cowlings’ 1993 white Ford Bronco, and the two led Police on a car chase that captivated the nation.

His lawyer, Shapiro, and the LAPD were in shock. O.J. Simpson was on the run.

A Fugitive of Justice

Commander David Gasconi issued a statement: “This morning, Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department sought and obtained a warrant for the arrest of O. J. Simpson, charging him with the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman. Mr. Simpson, in agreement with his attorney, was scheduled to appear this morning to the LAPD. Initially, that was 11 o’clock. It then became 11:45. Mr. Simpson has not appeared. The Los Angeles Police Department, right now, is actively searching for Mr. Simpson. We will continue our pursuit of Mr. Simpson and hope to have him in custody soon.”

A 2 Action News Pilot/Reporter Zoey Tur: “He’s gone. It’s helicopter story now.”

The first helicopter located the Bronco on the highway and got the first shots. Dan Rather, in a CBS Special News Broadcast, picked up the transmission from the helicopter showing the Police trailing the Bronco at a slow pace. There was no attempt to stop the vehicle. There was no blockade set up. The Bronco was allowed to proceed along the highway.

District Attorney Gil Garcetti: “If you are in any way assisting Mr. Simpson in avoiding justice, Mr. Simpson is a fugitive of justice right now. And if you assist him in any way, you are committing a felony.”

Preferential Treatment: Had it been an average person trying to flee from being arrested, this would not have been allowed. This was not normal procedure for a person charged with murder.

While Simpson was fleeing in the infamous white Ford Bronco, Robert Kardashian read a sympathy letter to the media written by Mr. Simpson. “At times, I have felt like a battered husband or boyfriend, but I loved her. If we had a problem, it’s because I loved her so much.”

Meanwhile, there were crowds of people rushing to watch from the highway overpasses and cheering him on.

Al Cowlings 911 Call

Operator: “What’s your name?”

Cowlings: “My name is AC; you know who I am, goddammit…” Mr. Cowlings said O.J. had a gun to his head, and he just wanted to get to his house to see his mother.

Fourteen police units were following behind at a distance. Imagine that! Law enforcement was following O. J. Simpson on the highway. They wanted him to stop…red lights and sirens… What was going on? It was not a real chase, nor was it an escort. They did not attempt to force the stop. Why did they allow him to continue?

In the documentary, 2 Action News Pilot/Reporter Zoey Tur said: “This was not usual police behavior. If O. J. Simpson were Black, that shit wouldn’t have happened. He’d be on the ground getting clubbed. But because he transcended race and color to this exalted status of celebrity, he got a motorcade.”

Detective Lange obtained Simpson’s cell phone number and attempted to talk to Mr. Simpson and have him throw the gun out. But Simpson wouldn’t do it. Simpson kept implying that he was going to commit suicide, but he wasn’t actually saying it. He was moaning and groaning. “I know I deserve to get hurt. All I did was love Nicole. All I did was love her…” While listening to this conversation, it appeared that O.J. was in “actor mode.” He just kept mumbling and talking about himself. Not once did he inquire about his children. When Lange tried to talk about the kids, O.J. flipped to something else about himself.

The more carefully I listened, the more I determined that he had no intent of harming himself but instead was trying to gain sympathy and make himself appear to be innocent. However, this little escapade show was an indication of guilt, not innocence.

Mr. Simpson was well aware of the camera coverage at this time. He kept requesting that the Police back off and let him see his mother at his home.

“Any time you have an accused who leaves, that, in fact, shows the consciousness of guilt.” District Attorney Gil Garcetti.

SWAT was told he was going to Rockingham. It was 30 to 40 minutes away. SWAT rushed to get there first, or they would lose control of the situation. SWAT arranged an entryway so they could manage the scene and Simpson’s arrival. Sniper teams were set up. “Take him out if you have to.”

The slow-speed pursuit through the Los Angeles area ended at Simpson’s mansion. As the Bronco entered Simpson’s driveway, snipers and SWAT had them in sight. A young male ran to the vehicle, yelling and screaming at Cowlings. Officers did not know who the person was. He was identified as Simpson’s son, Jason, and escorted inside. Cowlings attempted to be the go-between, but he was escorted away from the vehicle.

Meanwhile, it was a chaotic and noisy scene with helicopters overhead, police sirens, and vast crowds. It was madness. I thought he would be killed in the driveway. This had to end one way or another. Mr. Simpson was a fugitive and attempted to evade being arrested and taken to jail. Al Cowlings kept saying, “Please don’t hurt him.”

Simpson refused to exit the vehicle. He was cradled in the back seat with the gun cradle under his chin. The SWAT Negotiator began talking to him on the phone from inside the house. “I don’t think that your children need to see another tragedy.” Simpson immediately changed the subject to talk about himself. So, now, they knew where his head was at. Self-preservation. The Negotiator observed photographs, statues, etc., of mainly O. J., not family. He appealed to Simpson’s ego. The more they talked about him, the more he liked it. He calmed down.

After a lengthy wait surrounded by SWAT and LAPD, Simpson eventually emerged from the vehicle holding two picture frames. He exited Cowlings’ Bronco late in the evening after it was dark to avoid being photographed in daylight. He had the look of a defeated man. This was an epic fall from grace for Mr. Simpson, and it was all caught on video cameras and broadcast on television stations worldwide.

Simpson’s Arrest

Robert Shapiro walked out of the Rockingham house and said to the SWAT leader, “Thank you for not killing O. J. Simpson.”

Innocent people don’t run. Mr. Simpson was carrying $10,000 cash, his passport, and a disguise. What was his getaway plan? Was he going to run through the airports like in the Hertz television commercials and no one would recognize him?

I was reminded of an earlier quote: “When you’re a star running back, you have to maintain a certain image.” ~O. J. Simpson

The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin

Simpson was quickly and shockingly reduced from an adored legend to Prisoner Number 4013970 in the Los Angeles County Jail under suicide watch. One of his White male friends visited him in jail. In the documentary, it was reported that O. J. Simpson said, “I swear to God I didn’t do this.” Simpson then asked his friend if he would be the chronicler of the whole thing and if he would write a book about the whole thing. His friend backed away from this. According to his friend, as he was sitting with O.J., Lyle Menendez walked in behind Simpson. That was an eye-opening moment of realization. Recall the Menendez Brothers were charged with the double murder of their parents.

Simpson’s First Court Appearance

Gil Garcetti: “The evidence was so overwhelming. There was just no doubt. The evidence led from Bundy to his bedroom.”

Bill Hodges: “O.J. Simpson was physically and psychologically abusing Nicole. This was a domestic violence case, which culminated in murder…end of story.

Marcia Clark was assigned to the case. She was one of their best Trial Lawyers.

Alan Dershowitz, Criminal Defense Attorney: “Both sides are going to play the publicity their way, but because this is a major celebrity, probably this is the most famous American ever charged in murder. There will not be business as usual.”

Al Cowling was arrested for aiding a fugitive. However, Garcetti decided not to charge him.

When Defense Attorney Johnny Cochrane came on board, Prosecutors thought, “Here comes the race card.” But Mr. Simpson had maintained throughout his adult life that: “I’m not Black. I’m O. J.” Suddenly, O. J. Simpson was Black.

O. J. Simpson: “…this whole system has forced me to look at things racially…” Really? This was a double homicide.

Simpson’s Arraignment

His new attorney, Johnny Cochrane, was present along with Robert Shapiro. Cochrane was known as a defender of justice. While it became evident that O.J. Simpson was a celebrity to many people, many did not believe he was guilty of murder. Judge Lance Ito was assigned the case. Simpson pleaded, “Absolutely 100% Not Guilty.”

“He was back on his feet and ready to tell the world that he was wrongfully accused, and it was just the biggest bunch of horseshit. But he sold it.” Marcia Clark, District Attorney

O. J. Simpson’s Lead Defense Attorneys Robert Shapiro and Johnny Cochrane

Trial Preparation: The Quest for Impartial Jurors

Jury Consultant: “We interviewed over 5,000 people in Los Angeles in preparation for the O. J. Simpson Trial. The conclusions were that just presenting the straight-up evidence, you weren’t going to get a lot of sympathetic African American females. Many harbored a resentment that this famous athlete, this charming guy, had married a White blonde woman rather than someone from his own community. But the antagonism was to her and not him.”

District Attorney Gil Garcetti: “All we want…just give me 12 fair, responsible, unbiased jurors who are going to follow the law and put aside their personal feelings and do what the court and the law require.”

A long trial of six or more months would be a hardship for most potential jurors. In a poll, 75% believed Mr. Simpson could not be capable of the murders.

The Jury Panel chose 8 Women and Four Men—8 Black, 1 White, 1 Hispanic, and 2 Mixed Race.

Defense Attorney Carl Douglas recalled that as they walked back to the lockup room, Mr. Simpson said, “If this jury convicts me, maybe I did do it.” In O.J.’s trial notes, he wrote “Game Time.”

Outside the courthouse, supporters showed signs: “Guilty or Not: We Love You OJ.”

Reporters sought comments from outside viewers:

“He’s accused, but we all know he didn’t do it” (a young female)

An older female replied, “No, he didn’t do it.” When asked how she knew, she responded, “I just know he didn’t do it.”

These people did not know Mr. Simpson personally and were adamant in their belief that he did not commit this double murder.

January 11, 1995—The jury was sequestered. A hearing was held on the admissibility of domestic-abuse evidence.

O. J. Simpson’s Court Trial

The People of California vs. Orenthal James Simpson

Defense Attorney Johnny Cochrane: “Time to stop posturing, let’s go to trial.”

This was the first court trial I had ever watched. I was thoroughly immersed in it. Since I worked full-time, I would tape it and watch it later. I didn’t want the commentators and their opinions to influence me, although some of their legal interpretations helped as I watched and learned about the criminal justice system.

District Attorney Gil Garcetti said, “All the DNA evidence points to Mr. Simpson as being the person who committed those horrible crimes.”

Lead Prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden delivered opening statements. They focused on the timeline, domestic abuse and the DNA evidence found on the bloody glove discovered at the crime scene and another one at O.J. Simpson’s property.

The new member of the Prosecution, Chris Darden, a Black man, delivered the opening statement. The District Attorney’s office denied the racial play. The Prosecutors opened their case with domestic violence evidence to knock O. J. Simpson off his pedestal. Nicole’s safety deposit box contained a handwritten will dated September 30, 1990… “in case I should die…”

O.J. Simpson had stalked Nicole not once, as represented to the jury, but over at least two years. Prosecutors were permitted to introduce seven incidents of stalking, but they chose to admit only one into evidence.

Five days before Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered on June 12, 1994, she called a battered women’s shelter in terror that her ex-husband was going to kill her. The jury was not told this because Nicole couldn’t be cross-examined. Most of the evidence of beating and stalking, from 1977 to May 1994, was also excluded.

Nicole Brown’s sister, Denise, testified about O. J. Simpson’s abuse of her sister.

Nicole Brown Simpson’s Autopsy Report—Irwin L. Golden, Deputy Medical Examiner, June 16, 1994.

Mr. Simpson appeared to be a significant player with his defense team. Carl Douglas said, “O.J. was brilliant in how things played.” And, of course, image was everything for O.J., including his high-profile lawyers.

With cameras in the courtroom, viewers could see and observe everyone. Even Judge Ito was cognizant of the presence of cameras. Essentially, it was a media case with significant attention.

Defense Attorney Barry Scheck said, “The cameras gave notoriety to the witnesses and attendants in the courtroom.”

But a Black man, a sports icon, on trial for killing a White woman was huge.

Frank Olson, Former Hertz CEO, said, “I was so disappointed…I had no comprehension of that… no knowledge.”

The Defense Team used a conspiracy theory that would attract juror’s attention regarding the history of race and the Los Angeles Police Department—None of which I thought pertained to the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman until the Fuhrman tapes emerged. To this day, I do not believe that Detective Fuhrman or any other LAPD officer planted evidence in this case.

District Attorney Marcia Clark: “There was one glove found at the crime scene. Its match was found at his house bearing the hair and, blood and fiber from Ron and Nicole. How does it get more discriminating than that?”

When it came to the bloody gloves and other blood evidence, the Defense team knew they had to deal with that. “Okay, let’s make sure we don’t lose this one.” O. J. Simpson

Defense Attorney Barry Scheck, the DNA Expert, emerged as the 2nd Chair. He began by reviewing news footage of the crime scenes, how evidence was collected, cross-contamination issues, crime scene handling, evidence storage, DNA, etc.

Five Significant Pieces of Evidence Presented at Trial

Prosecutors argued that Simpson killed Nicole in a jealous fury, and they presented extensive blood, hair, and fiber tests linking him to the murders—shoe prints, O.J.’s DNA, blood tracked to O.J.’s Bronco and Rockingham estate. The Defense countered that the celebrity defendant was framed by racist White Police. The trial transfixed America.

Blood Drops: Blood drops were found on a gate at the murder scene and near bloody shoe prints at the crime scene. The blood drops, according to law enforcement, contained O.J. Simpson’s genetic markers. When Simpson was interviewed by Police, he was photographed with a cut on his finger.

Matching Gloves: An extra-large Aris leather glove was found at the murder scene near the bodies. Another glove that appeared to be its mate was found on Simpson’s property. The gloves were covered in blood. The blood, again, according to law enforcement, had Simpson’s genetic markers as well as markers of Nicole Brown Simpson’s and Ron Goldman’s blood.

Hairs and Fibers from the Crime Scene: Hairs described as similar to O.J. Simpson’s hair were found in a knit cap at the crime scene. Strands of hair recovered from Ron Goldman’s shirt were microscopically identical to Simpson’s head hair, Prosecutors said at trial.

Bloody Shoe Prints: Bloody shoe prints were found at the crime scene. They matched a size 12 Bruno Magli shoe. The shoe is a unique Italian-made model. Simpson said he didn’t own a pair, but a photo of him wearing Bruno Magli shoes was later discovered and entered into evidence. Simpson wore size 12 shoes.

Bloody Socks: A pair of socks that had blood on them were found in Simpson’s bedroom. The blood had Simpson’s genetic markers and Nicole Brown Simpson’s genetic markers.

Bloody Crime Scene Evidence from Nicole Brown Simpson’s Home Presented by Prosecutors at the O. J. Simpson Murder Trial

There was one particular thing that was suspicious to me. During the trial evidence, photos were shown of the original crime scene at Nicole’s townhome. In the original photographs, the rear gate showed one spot where there was no blood. However, months later, photographs showed a blood drop in one location that wasn’t there before. This was highly suspicious. How did it get there, when, and by whom? No one could explain it.

Kato’s story contradicted Simpson’s version of the events on some key points. Kato said that he could not account for Simpson’s whereabouts between 9:36 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the evening the murders took place, which the prosecution alleged occurred between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Ron Shipp, LAPD Officer and Friend of Mr. Simpson, refused to testify. Prosecutor Chris Darden called him and wanted to ask a few questions. After they sat down to talk, a call came through, and Darden excused himself, leaving behind a photo book. As Ron looked through it—vivid images of Nicole and Ron Goldman—then murder scene photos—it changed him. That’s when he agreed to testify. Although he was a credible witness, the Defense attempted to destroy him. At this point, everyone was expendable.

February 12, 1995: During the trial, the jurors, judge, and lawyers take a field trip to Nicole’s townhouse and Simpson’s home. According to O.J.’s agent, the home had been changed dramatically. It was an illusion. According to Carl Douglas, many photos featuring Mr. Simpson with his wealthy White friends were replaced with pictures of Black family and friends—many of which Simpson had never seen before.

This was done to appeal to the jurors, primarily Black women. Prosecutor Clark was furious and complained, but Judge Ito allowed it.

July 10, 1995—The Defense Team called its first witness, Arnelle Simpson, O. J. Simpson’s daughter.

Simpson’s estimated $50,000 a day Legal Team expenses were draining his funds. Since he had not been convicted of a crime yet, the Judge allowed O. J. Simpson to sell autographed sports memorabilia. Apparently, the autographs were in high demand. Simpson’s Agent said he raked in more than $3 million while in prison. When not in court, he spent hours penning his signature.

September 7, 1995—The Defense Team announced that Mr. Simpson would not testify on his own behalf.

September 21, 1995—Both Defense and Prosecution rest their cases. In a statement to Judge Ito waiving his right to testify, Mr. Simpson said, “I did not, could not, and would not have committed this crime.”

Who Would Want Nicole Brown & Ron Goldman Murdered and Why?

Nicole and Ron were victims who were horrifically and viciously attacked and murdered. And the Killer walked away, leaving two human bodies lying in pools of blood with severe stab wounds to the neck and body. It was a surprise attack. They had no chance of survival. During this vicious slaying, Nicole’s two young children were asleep in their upstairs bedroom—left without their mother. What if they had woken up and found their mother before the Police arrived? The Killer had no concern for the welfare of these children.

Simpson’s History of Domestic Violence

Nicole was alone, although she was surrounded by family, friends, and a community of affluent acquaintances. Having turned to Police, victims aid, therapists, and a women’s shelter, she was still alone.

A few months before she was killed, Nicole told her mother, “I’m scared. I go to the gas station, and he’s there. I go to the Payless Shoe Store, and he’s there. I’m driving, and he’s behind me.”

Do you recall the video showing Simpson, after the ballet recital, with the Brown family? It was introduced by the Defense Team to show Mr. Simpson’s pleasant demeanor. But hours later, Nicole Simpson was found dead.

Watching the video, you can see that she was as far from him as possible. He did not nod or gesture to her. In a show of pleasantry, he kissed her mother, embraced and kissed her sister, and bear-hugged her father. They all reciprocated.

Within days of her call to a shelter, Nicole must have felt alone. What would she have had to do to be safe? Flee, change her appearance and identity, get cash without leaving a trail, take her children, and hide. This would require ending all communication with family and friends for years without explanation and leaving her home and everything familiar to her children.

Back in 1989, Nicole believed that someday, her husband would kill her. She’d told many people, including her sister, Denise, that O. J. would kill her and get away with it. However, like most battered women, she knew she would not be believed. The 1989 assault on Nicole should have resulted in O.J. Simpson’s 9th arrest.

O. J.’s longtime friend Al Cowlings said that Simpson was his closest and dearest friend. Cowlings reluctantly admitted he had taken Nicole Brown Simpson, then married to the former football star, to the hospital after a fight with her husband on New Year’s Eve 1989 and that Nicole told him Simpson hit her. Simpson pleaded no contest to spousal battery. Cowlings, a former USC teammate, testified he was called to the house and took Nicole to the hospital that night because he feared she had suffered a concussion. Cowlings’ testimony differed from an account he gave during a pre-trial deposition. Cowlings had previously said he saw Nicole’s bruises the morning after the incident and was concerned enough to ask her if she wanted to go to the hospital.

Witnesses Describe Other Incidents

One neighbor recalled a scorching day when Nicole was wearing a heavy shawl. “The shawl slipped, and I saw faint bruises on her right arm. She said she’d been knocking around with the kids, and things got a little rough.” 

India Allen was an assistant at a veterinarian’s office in 1983 and was helping Nicole carry her dogs to her car when Mr. Simpson arrived. Nicole was wearing a silver fur coat. “He was very angry,” she testified. “He started yelling at her about wearing the coat out. … He said, ‘I didn’t buy this coat for you to go (expletive) somebody else. I want the coat back.’“ Simpson tried to pull the coat off of Nicole. “She said, no, it’s her goddamn coat.” That’s when I saw him strike her. She said the blow knocked Nicole’s sunglasses off her face. “It was the only time I ever saw her without her sunglasses,” Allen said. “She had a fading bruise under her eye.”

Albert Aguilera, a pharmacist, said he also saw Mr. Simpson strike his wife in 1986 on an Orange County beach. “He had a more serious look on his face,” Aguilera said. “Suddenly, he slapped her, and she fell down.” Asked to describe further, he explained, “He swung his right hand at her across the face, and she fell down.” Simpson, he said, knelt down over Nicole. Aguilera said he heard her say “no, no” in a crying voice. “She was on her knees on the sand, and he was crouched over her.” Eventually, he said, Nicole stood up and ran away. Simpson waited a while and then followed.

Marguerite was married to O. J. Simpson from 1969 to 1977, when he left her for teenage waitress Nicole. In a 1995 interview with Barbara Walters, Marguerite claimed that Simpson had never physically abused her during their 12-year marriage. Initially, she supported O. J. for the sake of their children, but as evidence emerged during the trial, she didn’t want to have anything to do with him.

Marguerite & O. J. Simpson

Nicole Brown Simpson’s Murder Redefined Our Understanding of Domestic Violence (Robin Abcarian Commentary, Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2024)

Weeks before she was slashed to death outside her Brentwood townhouse, O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, had predicted her own death.

“She knew exactly what was going to happen to her,” Nicole’s friend Kris Jenner told Dateline NBC in a 20th-anniversary special episode about the murders of Nicole and Ronald L. Goldman. Kris said Nicole had confided her fear: “Things are really bad between O.J. and I, and he’s going to kill me, and he’s going to get away with it.”

Devastatingly, Nicole may have been correct. After her horrific death, many had to confront the misconceptions about domestic violence. Behind closed doors of the Simpson’s mansion at 360 N. Rockingham Ave., Nicole had been trapped in a classic cycle of violence, trying to please a man who was not just a philanderer and abuser but who was protected by his hero-worshipping fans and friends. O. J. used them all this advantage.

Nicole no longer had a reasonable expectation that she would be protected from the violence of her ex-husband, a football star and cultural hero. She had called LAPD numerous times, to no avail.

Less than five months after the birth of their second child, in 1989, O.J. inflicted on Nicole what she described in a letter to him as “the mad New Year’s Eve beat up.”

When Police arrived at their home, Nicole was shaking in her bra and sweatpants. The police report described her cut lip, swollen and blackened left eye, and a handprint on her neck.

“He’s going to kill me,” she said over and over as she clutched one of the officers. “You never do anything about him! You talk to him, then you leave. I want him arrested. I want him out so I can get my kids.”

O.J. screamed at the cops, “The Police have been out here eight times before, and now you’re going to arrest me for this? This is a family matter!” He sped off in his Bentley but was eventually charged with spousal abuse. Although the Prosecutor recommended that he serve 30 days in jail, he was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and two years’ probation. He was ordered to donate a paltry $500 to a battered women’s shelter.

At the time, you may recall, the Hertz Corporation continued to air spots featuring O. J. Simpson running through airports. When The New York Times asked Hertz whether it knew its celebrity spokesman had been convicted of beating his wife, the company did not respond.

Rather than requiring him to participate in a year-long group therapy program for batterers, which was standard, Simpson was allowed to have private sessions with a psychiatrist of his own choosing. His attorneys requested the accommodation to protect his privacy and, of course, his reputation.

District Attorney’s Closing Statement

Marcia Clark ended her closing argument in rebuttal with a composite 911 tape from 1989 and 1993 domestic violence incidents to coincide with pictures of battered Nicole Simpson, photographs from her safe deposit box and the photographs from Rockingham and Bundy.

MARCIA CLARK: “I don’t have to say anything else. Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the People of the State of California, because we have proven beyond a reasonable doubt…”

The Juror’s Verdict

The O. J. Simpson trial lasted just over eight months, from opening statements to the verdict.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, the jury reached a verdict on October 3, 1995, and Simpson was found not guilty of both murders. It was devastating.

As the “not guilty to all counts” verdict was read, Cochrane turned and yelled, “Yes!”

Robert Kardashian looked stunned. Mr. Simpson finally broke into a smile, sighed deeply and mouthed, “Thank You, thank you” to the jury.

This was a triumph for Mr. Simpson. He had won. This trial tapped into the racial history of Los Angeles, California, the Los Angeles Police Department, and O. J. Simpson was acquitted of both slayings.

I’m a Black woman, and I was astonished and utterly disappointed in the Juror’s verdict. They spent approximately 3-1/2 hours deliberating but did not review the tons of evidence presented at trial. Honestly, I cried for Nicole Brown and her children’s future.

I began to wonder, “Did O.J. Simpson just get away with a double homicide? How could they have concluded that Mr. Simpson was innocent? How could they ignore all the State’s evidence? I had lingering doubts about this jury’s credibility.

According to one juror, “We had to go home. We had been gone a year, secluded…266 nights…couldn’t talk to family or other jurors.”

O. J. Simpson’s Acquittal

Johnny Cochrane: “This has been a hard-fought battle, but I want to make it as clear as I can that this trial is over. No one in our community believes in murder, and our hearts have gone out to these two families from the beginning.”

Given the elements of interracial marriage, fame, and fortune, the O.J. Simpson case was troublesome because it placed the criminal justice system and the press coverage of criminal justice on trial along with the accused. Two human beings lost their lives. Families were torn apart. This should not have been a case about race, the LAPD, or the Trial of Mark Fuhrman.

After his acquittal, O. J. Simpson said, “I will pursue as my primary goal in life the Killer or killers who slayed Nicole and Mr. Goldman… They are out there somewhere… I would not, could not, and did not kill anyone.” However, there is no proof that he ever did so; not even a reward was offered, leading to the arrest and conviction of the Killer(s).

Mr. Simpson spent 15 months in prison. Up until the end, O. J. Simpson was unrepentant, denying he had killed Nicole Brown Simpson or Ron Goldman. Like so many abusers, he portrayed himself as the victim.

Documentary: O.J.: Made in America available on Amazon Prime Video

Simpson’s Release from Prison

After being released from prison, O. J. Simpson believed he would walk back into his life as if nothing ever happened. However, the Brentwood community believed he was guilty of the murders and did not want him there.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The Goldman and Brown families subsequently pursued a wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson in civil court. In 1997, a predominately White jury in Santa Monica, California, found O. J. Simpson liable for the two deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages. New evidence presented also hurt Simpson, including photographs of him wearing the type of shoes that had left bloody footprints at the murder scene.

Opening Statements in the Simpson Civil Trial

New evidence was introduced that was not allowed in the first trial.

O. J. Simpson Died on April 10, 2024

O. J. Simpson died of cancer on April 10, 2024, without having paid most of the $33.5 million judgment awarded in the civil case. Noticeably, no tributes were posted on the websites of the University of Southern California, the Buffalo Bills, or the San Francisco 49ers.

Gloria Allred, the star Los Angeles attorney who represented Nicole Brown Simpson’s family during O. J. Simpson’s criminal trial, said the former football star’s death is a reminder of the justice system “failing battered women” and allowing “celebrity men to avoid true justice.”

“Simpson’s death reminds us that the legal system even 30 years later is still failing battered women, and that the power of celebrity men to avoid true justice for the harm that they inflict on their wives or significant others is still a major obstacle to the right of women to be free of the gender violence to which they are still subjected,” Allred wrote.

Robert Kardashian died in 2003. Johnny Cochrane died in 2005.

SURVEY POLL: Do You Think O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder?

My 2024 Tumblr Survey Poll Results

Do You Think O. J. Simpson Got Away with the Murder of His Ex- Wife, Nicole Brown Simpson?
Number of Respondents=110
YES, I believe he did it.81.8%
NO, I do not believe he did it.1.80%
I’m still NOT SURE whether he killed his wife.16.4%
2024 Tumblr Survey Poll Results: Do You Think O. J. Simpson Got Away with the Murder of His Ex-Wife, Nicole Brown Simpson?

Interesting Books About the O. J. Simpson Case—Available on Amazon

Without a Doubt by Marcia Clark

Evidence Dismissed: The Inside Story of the Police Investigation of O. J. Simpson by Detectives Tom Lange and Philip Vannatter as told to Dan E. Moldea

The O.J. Simpson Murder Case: Voices of True Crime

House of Mystery interviewed several key players involved in this case: Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the trial; F. Lee Bailey, one of Simpson’s “Dream Team” of lawyers; Kim Goldman, sister of victim Ron Goldman; Norman Pardo, Simpson’s manager for 15 years who whole-heartedly believes a serial killer murdered Nicole and Ron; and Andy Caldwell, the detective who questioned and arrested Simpson for the robbery in Vegas.

Beyond the Headlines: The O. J. Simpson Trial by Will Anderson

This compelling book offers an in-depth exploration of the evidence, legal strategies, and the social impact of the trial of the century.

If I Did It: Confessions of a Killer with an Introduction by the Goldman Family

Triumph of Justice: Closing the Book on the O.J. Simpson Saga

Outraged by the disastrous miscarriage of justice, the family of murder victim Ronald Goldman sought justice in civil court, their last chance to go after Simpson. To represent them, they hired Petrocelli, a respected attorney who had never tried a criminal case before. In order to win the case, Petrocelli would have to prove that O.J. Simpson was a killer. The physical evidence connecting Simpson to the murders was rock solid, but in the criminal trial, evidence was not enough. To bring the families justice, Petrocelli would have to do something that the District Attorney could not do: Confront O.J. Simpson face-to-face. Called “the best book on the subject” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Triumph of Justice is the definitive account of the Simpson murders and their aftermath.

O.J. Simpson Trial Transcript Kindle Edition

The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin

Nicole and O. J. Simpson

A Trail of Clues Leading to the Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson