by Natalie Finn | Mon., 10 Jun. 2019 3:00 AM
How time flies when the world’s gone mad.
On June 12 it will be 25 years since Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered outside her front door while her children slept upstairs, a sickening crime that led to one of the defining cultural happenings of the late 20th century: People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson.
The O.J. Simpson murder trial, that is.
Within days after the double murder of O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife and her friend Goldman, who was a waiter at the restaurant where Nicole had dined with her family earlier that night and had dropped by to bring her the glasses she’d left behind, a whole new vernacular rocketed into the national consciousness: Brentwood. Rockingham. Bundy. Low-speed chase. Bruno Magli. DNA. Kardashian.
Simpson pleaded “absolutely, 100 percent not guilty” on July 22, 1994. The jury was sworn in on Nov. 9, 1994, and opening statements wouldn’t commence until January of 1995. By the time the verdict was read on Oct. 3, 1995, the Simpson trial had cost the city of Los Angeles upward of $10 million and was every bit the circus that you may or may not remember.
The basic facts of the case are well-known. Prosecutors thought they had a slam-dunk case thanks to DNA evidence from blood collected at the scene of the crime and at Simpson’s home two miles away.
“That trail of blood from Bundy through his own Ford Bronco and into his house in Rockingham is devastating proof of his guilt,” Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark said in her opening statement.
Unfortunately, Mark Fuhrman, the detective who first spotted a blood-spattered glove outside Simpson’s estate at 360 Rockingham Avenue that looked like one found near the bodies, had a history of using racist language and had boasted about beating up suspects.
AP Photo/Vince Bucci
Much to Clark and co-prosecutor Christopher Darden‘s disbelief, Simpson’s defense team, led by Johnnie Cochran, dismantled the jurors’ trust in the seemingly irrefutable DNA, and in the police who investigated Simpson—a trust already on shaky ground in the wake of the acquittal in 1991 of four white police officers charged with excessive force after they were caught on video beating Rodney King, a black man, on the side of an L.A. freeway.
And so, in the end, Simpson was found not guilty of murder. But a lot of screwy stuff happened before the world got to that point. Here’s a sampling:
O.J. Simpson met Nicole Brown in 1977 and divorced his first wife, Marguerite, in 1979. They were married on Feb. 2, 1985; Sydney was born eight months later, and Justin was born in 1988.
“You guys never do anything,” Nicole told police when they were called to the Rockingham house in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 1989, according to reports about that night. “You never do anything. You come out. You’ve been here eight times. And you never do anything about him.” Simpson insisted he didn’t beat Nicole, only pushed her out of bed. Then, told he needed to go with the officers to the police station, he drove off instead. A few days later, Nicole went to the station and said she didn’t really want them to proceed with a prosecution, but she consented to out-of-court mediation.
On May 24, 1989, Simpson was sentenced to 24 months of probation, ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and pay fines totaling $470, and was told to attend counseling twice a week (he was allowed to do it by phone) after pleading no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence.
Nicole eventually moved out with Justin and Sydney and filed for divorce in February 1992. They settled that October, with O.J. agreeing to pay her a lump sum of $433,750, plus $10,000 a month in child support, and she retained the title of a rental property. She eventually bought a condo at 875 S. Bundy Drive in Brentwood.
Nicole moved into her new place in January 1994. All the while, Simpson was alternately threatening her and trying to get back together. According to prosecutors and witnesses, O.J. had stood outside and looked through her window on multiple occasions, including one time when she was having sex with a boyfriend.
Per Jeffrey Toobin’s 1996 book The Run of His Life, in a diary entry from June 3, 1994, Nicole detailed a recent threat from Simpson: ”‘You hang up on me last nite, you’re gonna pay for this bitch, you’re holding money from the IRS , you’re going to jail you f–king c–t. You think you can do any f–king thing you want, you’ve got it comming [sic]—I’ve already talked to my lawyers about this bitch–they’ll get you for tax evasion, bitch, I’ll see to it. You’re not going to have a dime left bitch’ etc.”
She called a battered women’s shelter in Santa Monica on June 7, 1994, to lament that her ex was stalking her.
On June 12, 1994, she attended Sydney’s dance recital, as did O.J., and afterward she had dinner with the kids and members of her family at Mezzaluna in Brentwood. At 9:40, Juditha Brown, Nicole’s mom, called her daughter to say she’d left her glasses at the restaurant. Nicole called the restaurant and asked her friend Ron Goldman, a waiter there, if he could drop them off at her house. He left the restaurant at 9:50 p.m.
A neighbor who lived diagonally across the alley behind Nicole’s place said he heard a dog start barking at 10:15 p.m.
TIME came under fire for darkening O.J’s complexion when the publication ran his mug shot on the cover in June 1994, with critics arguing it was cheaply playing up the black-male-murder-suspect angle and pointing out that Newsweek had run the photo without altering the color.
Managing editor James R. Gaines relayed in a statement posted on an AOL message board (remember AOL Time Warner?) that “no racial implication was intended, by Time or by the artist”—but that yes, the photo given out by the LAPD had specifically been handed to an artist to turn into cover art for the story, which would include interpreting it as he saw fit.
“It seems to me you could argue that it’s racist to say that blacker is more sinister, but be that as it may: To the extent that this caused offense to anyone, I obviously regret it,” Gaines said.
AP Photo/Reed Saxon
The Publishing Industry
Dozens of books have been written about this case, including Simpson’s inexplicable 2007 tome If I Did It: Confessions of a Killer, but his first contribution to the canon was I Want to Tell You, which came out on Jan. 7, 1995, when the trial was barely underway.
The book purportedly comprised the defendant’s answers to the thousands of letters he’d received since going to jail, an attempt to get ahead of the picture the prosecution planned to paint of a vicious abuser who had finally made good on all his threats. It sold more than 650,000 copies.
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20th Century Fox Television
Ripped From the Headlines
Twenty-one years before the O.J. saga got the slick, Emmy-winning treatment in The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Ezra Edelman won an Oscar for the epic documentary O.J.: Made in America, The O.J. Simpson Story, starring Bobby Hosea and Jessica Tuck and mainly about O.J. and Nicole’s volatile relationship, was rushed to Fox.
The New York Times called it “not a movie the defense team would want the jury to see” and an accidental counterbalance to Simpson’s “self-serving” book.
Fox made a point of not airing the TV movie until the jury had been sequestered.
Branimir Kvartuc/ZUMA Press
An over-confident Marcia Clark didn’t put Jill Shively, who told a grand jury that she saw O.J., in his white Bronco, speeding down Bundy shortly after 10:45 on the night of the murders, on the stand. Moreover, Clark instructed the grand jury to dismiss Shively’s testimony, saying she couldn’t in good conscience have them consider information she didn’t have full faith in.
Clark was actually pissed that Shively had sat down with Hard Copy before her date with the grand jury, and the prosecutor figured she had plenty of other witnesses and evidence to nail Simpson with. Who needed one more connecting him to the location?
Facts vs. Fiction
Simpson bombed a lie detector test Shapiro arranged for him to take, registering a minus-24, according to Toobin’s The Run of His Life. Polygraph results aren’t admissible in court, but can play a big role in directing the course of an investigation—and in helping defense attorneys determine the best strategy to take with a client depending on his or her answers.
Alan Dershowitz told the New York Daily News in 2016, when FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson had everybody talking, that the fact that the polygraph test results went public suggested there may have been a violation of attorney-client privilege.
“There were only four in the world who knew about the lie-detector test,” Dershowitz said. “I was not one of them. The four people were Kardashian, who died, Bob Shapiro, O.J. Simpson and the man who conducted the lie-detector test.”
However, maybe there were more.
F. Lee Bailey, no big fan of Robert Shapiro then or now, just told Huffington Post’s Highline in 2019 about his co-counsel, “He f–ked up the case on day one by giving O.J. a polygraph test that was totally impossible. You never give those under the circumstances, and he called me immediately saying, ‘What do I do next?’ And I said, ‘Well, first you stop being an a–hole. You call before you give the polygraph test, for Christ’s sake!’ I saw the charts before he tore them up, and they were nothing but junk.” (Shapiro did not comment on Bailey’s remarks.)
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Search for an Accomplice
The prosecution was convinced that O.J. didn’t pull it off alone, TIME later reported, and they assigned officers to keep an eye on Al Cowling and Simpson’s grown son Jason, but never gathered evidence that proved the defendant had an accomplice.
Cost of Living
After leading police on a 50-mile chase that traversed multiple L.A. freeways, Simpson surrendered at his home and was taken into custody on June 17, 1994. He remained jailed without bail for the duration of the trial. The time he spent on suicide watch cost taxpayers $81,000, after which the price of incarceration averaged out to $55.69 a day.
According to the L.A. County auditor’s office, the case cost the city about $800,000 a month.
Front Seat Driver
Before Marcia Clark invited Christopher Darden onto her team, he was in charge of the Al Cowlings case. O.J.’s childhood friend was driving the Bronco when, instead of Simpson surrendering that morning as promised, they led the LAPD all over town. Cowlings was initially arrested on suspicion of aiding a fugitive, but the DA’s office ultimately opted not to charge him, citing a lack of evidence.
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The Dream Team
Though some drew more attention than others and half of them didn’t speak in court, there were at least 10 lawyers who worked on Simpson’s case: Johnnie Cochran; Robert Shapiro; F. Lee Bailey; DNA experts Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld; Cochran’s associates Carl Douglas and Shawn Holley; O.J.’s longtime friend Robert Kardashian; Gerald Uelmen, then the dean of Santa Clara University’s law school; and Alan Dershowitz.
Kardashian died of esophageal cancer in 2003, and Cochran died of brain cancer in 2005. Shapiro steered his practice into civil litigation after the trial and co-founded Legal Zoom; he started the Brent Shapiro Foundation benefiting drug abuse awareness after his son died of an overdose in 2005. Douglas and Holley are still practicing trial attorneys who have represented a slew of celebrity clients. Uelmen was appointed executive director of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice in 2006. Scheck and Neufeld, who co-founded the Innocence Project in 1992, teach at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. Bailey remains a legal consultant. Dershowitz retired from teaching in 2013 and has made recent headlines as an outspoken critic of the investigation into whether President Trump colluded with Russia, which he maintains is not a defense of Trump but a defense of due process and civil liberties.
AP Photo/John McCoy
The World’s Most Famous House Guest
Brian “Kato” Kaelin, an aspiring actor who was staying in Simpson’s guest house at Rockingham, initially moved into Nicole’s guest house in January 1993, about a month after meeting her in Aspen. He planned on moving into the Bundy condo to help take care of the kids, he testified, but moved onto Simpson’s property instead—at the Naked Gun star’s insistence because Simpson didn’t want Kaelin hanging around his ex-wife so much. It “wasn’t right” because O.J. and Nicole were trying to reconcile, he said Simpson told him.
Kaelin testified that, on June 12, O.J. returned from daughter Sydney’s dance recital and told him, not particularly angrily, that Nicole was preventing him from spending time with Sydney, and he complained that the dress Nicole wore that night was too tight. He and Simpson went to McDonald’s and got back at about 9:40, Kaelin remembered.
Then, at around 10:45 p.m., he heard three loud thumps against his wall. Kaelin went outside but didn’t see anything other than a limo waiting. The driver, Allan Park, testified that he saw Simpson go into the house at 10:55 p.m.
Simpson came out at 11 p.m. and Kaelin helped him load his luggage into the limo, except for a backpack Simpson insisted on putting in the trunk himself, Kaelin testified. Park drove Simpson to LAX, where he had an 11:45 p.m. flight to Chicago to catch. (He turned around and came back on a 12:10 p.m. flight the next day.)
“I had a radio show and there would be constant death threats to me,” Kaelin later said on OWN’s Where Are They Now? “There’d be faxes [saying] ‘Kato should be killed.’ I can tell you times where I’d be driving my car where people would pull up next to me and would threaten to fight. I could tell you numerous times, people would actually come up behind me and spit at me…So, shaking the house guest image has been pretty impossible.
“It’s something that I don’t try to shake off because the more I try to defend it, the more it becomes news. I’m a homeowner and things are wonderful—my goal is actually to have someone live behind my house.”
Talking to Barbara Walters in 2015, Kaelin concluded about his old friend, “In my opinion, yes, I think he’s guilty. In hindsight of everything, like 20 years later, I think that O.J. Simpson is guilty.”
AP Photo/Lois Bernstein
Man’s Best Friend
Kato Kaelin was close enough to the family that Justin and Sydney Simpson named their dog Kato—and it was Kato the Akita’s frantic barks that drew a neighbor, who was out walking his dog, toward Nicole’s house. Not knowing who the Akita belonged to, he took it home with him, figuring he and his wife could keep it for the night before searching for his owner.
But Kato seemed so nervous, the couple took him outside and the dog led them back to Nicole’s house, where they then saw that on the path just behind the gate there was a woman lying in a pool of blood.
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If the Shoe Fits
Italian shoemaker Bruno Magli got some free publicity when a bloody shoe print at the murder scene was matched to a size-12 Bruno Magli Lorenzo boot.
Simpson denied owning a pair and said later in a deposition for the civil trial that he’d never wear “those ugly ass shoes,” but photos were dug up much later showing him wearing the brand on two separate occasions.
“He was very nice,” Sam Poser, an associate buyer at Bloomingdale’s for men’s shoes who testified about showing a pair of Lorenzos to Simpson but couldn’t remember if the football star actually bought them, told Footwear News in 2016. “He bought a bunch of dress casual stuff—he wanted something that was comfortable. But I remembered what he didn’t buy more so than I remembered selling him that particular shoe… Eventually, after the [criminal] trial was over, they found the photograph of O.J. wearing the Bruno Magli shoe at a Bills game. In the civil case, which I was deposed for, they stipulated that he was indeed wearing those shoes. Had they found that photograph prior to the criminal trial, that could have been a game-changer.”
Vinnie Zuffante/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Defense attorney Carl Douglas later told Dateline that his team switched up some of the decor in Simpson’s Rockingham Avenue home before the jury toured it to make it seem as if the tarnished football hero was more in touch with his cultural roots than he really was. Out went a half-naked picture of girlfriend Paula Barbieri, in came African art and a photo of O.J’s mother.
Deputy District Attorney Cheri Lewis had argued that it would be inappropriate for jurors to see sentimental tokens in Simpson’s home, such as photos of him with his kids or his trophy room full of memorabilia from his glory days playing for USC and the Buffalo Bills. Especially, Lewis stressed, since Nicole’s condo had been stripped of furniture, mementos and anything else that made it personal and warm, a place she had lived with her children.
The tour of the Bundy crime scene included Simpson’s house to help the jury get a sense of the distance between the two and whether or not Simpson could have killed Nicole and Ron then have gotten back to his place in time to hop in a car with limo driver Allan Park and catch his 11:45 p.m. flight to Chicago.
Constitutional and criminal law scholar Alan Dershowitz made some appearances in court but mainly served as a member of Simpson’s defense team from afar while busy with his day job, teaching at Harvard Law School. During the trial, he simultaneously watched CNN and Court TV, which was televising all of it, and would fax his fellow attorneys memos in real time that they could read right there in the courtroom.
”This is the first trial of the 21st century in some respects,” he told the Christian Science Monitor in February 1995. ”Having a lawyer outside the courtroom monitoring the case who has quick access to research is the wave of the future. I think more big law firms with complex litigation are going to move to this model.”
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Judge Lance Ito considered pulling the plug on the cameras televising the trial (he prevented them from broadcasting the gory crime scene photos), but the defense was on the side of the public having the right to hear the whole story and, as many remember, the proceedings turned into must-see TV.
At the same time, Ito was very conscious (and concerned) about his own press, and he delighted in the celebrity attention he got, such as in the form of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno‘s recurring bit featuring the “Dancing Itos.”
“He had thought it was great and loved it and wanted all of us to see it in chambers,” Peter Neufeld later told TIME. “You may find that amusing on a personal level, but I can assure you that on a professional level it is so unacceptable, for a judge who is presiding over a murder where two people lost their lives in the most gruesome and horrible fashion, and where a third person has his life on the line, to bring the lawyers into chambers to show them comic revues.”
The Race Card
Chris Darden tried to argue that the jury shouldn’t be allowed to hear the recording of Mark Fuhrman using the n-word because it would upset the black jurors (who made up a majority on the panel) too much and therefore prove prejudicial against Fuhrman.
“If you allow Mr. Cochran to use this word and play the race card,” he said, “the direction and focus of the case changes: it is a race case now.”
Johnnie Cochran wasn’t having it.
“I am ashamed that Mr. Darden would allow himself to become an apologist for this man,” the seasoned activist and litigator said, among other things, in castigating opposing counsel. After which, Cochran hugged Simpson and, on the way out the door to leave for a funeral, stopped by the prosecution’s table, leaned over and whispered “n—er, please” to Darden.
So the scene went down in Toobin’s The Run of His Life and in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson, which used the book as source material. And so Cochran himself said it went down.
“First of all, I had told Darden not to take Fuhrman,” Cochran recalled to TIME in 2001. “But I was really disappointed with him. He came into the judge’s chamber with a copy of Andrew Hacker’s book, Two Nations. He gives Ito one of these things. I can’t believe he’s doing this. And basically, he’s saying, if you allow these jurors to hear the word it’s the most vile word in the dictionary; it’ll turn this trial into whether these jurors believe that the brothers on the street think ‘the man’ is getting a fair trial. My first reaction was to say to Darden, ‘N—er, please…'”
“I was so furious with him,” Cochran continued. “I felt it was an insult to all black people. When I got up and spoke, that was not scripted. That was just from my heart.”
AP Photo/Vince Bucci
The extra-large gloves, one found at the crime scene, the other behind Simpson’s house, made for a matching set and were like a pair Nicole had bought for her then-husband in 1990 at Bloomingdale’s. Only 200 pairs were sold in the whole country that year.
A trace of Goldman’s DNA was on the glove found at Rockingham and fibers on that glove matched carpeting in O.J.’s Bronco. Traces of Simpson’s, Brown’s and Goldman’s blood were all found in the Bronco. Also, a sock with drops of both Simpson’s and Nicole’s blood on it was found in his bedroom.
Simpson said he must have left his blood behind at Bundy some time when he was over there playing with his kids. The story of how and when he cut his finger kept changing, at first saying it happened in Chicago, but then he said it happened in L.A. and he reopened the cut in Chicago.
When Simpson tried on the gloves in court, at Darden’s insistence and much to Clark’s dismay and the defense’s amusement, he raised his hands and declared, “They don’t fit.”
“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” Cochran said in what became perhaps the most quoted—everyone can remember a rhyme—statement of the entire trial. One, incidentally, that Uelman suggested, though Cochran’s delivery was key.
“But what I was really proposing was that it would provide a good theme for the whole argument, because so much of the other circumstantial evidence didn’t fit into the prosecution’s scenario,” Uelmen told TIME.
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Sam S. Mircovich/WireImage.com
It ended up providing one of the most memorable moments of the whole trial and a real coup for the defense, but in a pretrial hearing Simpson’s lawyers initially tried to get the glove found at Rockingham thrown out, citing unwarranted search and seizure, a violation of Simpson’s Fourth Amendment rights.
“I thought we presented a very compelling case that the glove should have been suppressed,” Gerald Uelmen said on Frontline in 2005. “And the ironic thing is that if the judge had granted that motion and thrown out the glove, I think the result in the O.J. case would have been different. Mark Fuhrman would have been out of the case. They had a pretty compelling case without the glove. The glove kind of opened the door to all of the questions about Mark Fuhrman’s credibility and his racism. And when he then became such an important witness in the trial, that then opened the door to all of the problems that Mark Fuhrman created for their case.
“So ironically, if the judge had followed the law, and I think the law really required her to suppress that evidence…”
Ultimately, he said, “I thought we presented a very compelling case of reasonable doubt, and we had a great jury.”
While Marcia Clark, a part of the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office’s special trials unit since 1989, was trying to prosecute O.J. Simpson for murder, she was also constantly put on the defensive. Her style was criticized, so she got a new hairdo and was criticized for that. Her ex-husband sued her for primary custody of their two sons, alleging she was working too much to properly take care of them. The National Enquirer published old topless photos of her taken on a vacation with her then-husband. Even a potential juror, a woman, when asked if there was anything she might hold against the prosecution, told Clark, “I think your skirts are too short, how about that?”
She was dismissed. But not before Judge Ito cracked, “I was wondering when someone was going to mention that.”
But the families of the victims she was trying to get justice for had the highest of confidence in her, at least heading into the trial.
“She seems always to be concerned with our family, how we’re doing, and at the same time there’s never a doubt in my mind she’s working 25 hours a day, 10 days a week, on this case,” Fred Goldman, Ron’s father, told the New York Times. “On a scale of 1 to 100, she easily gets 110.”
Nicole’s sister Denise Brown told The New Yorker, “I think Marcia is wonderful, a terrific woman, and I think my whole family will vouch for that one.”
Jon Naso/NY Daily News via Getty Images
Aside from suggesting that detectives tried to frame Simpson, the defense proposed the theory that the murders were drug-related, committed by dealers who came to the house looking for Nicole’s friend and, up until the day before the murders, house guest Faye Resnick, an interior decorator who has since become a familiar face on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Resnick co-wrote a couple of books stemming from the case, starting with Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted, which came out in 1994, right in the middle of jury selection. Thanks to all the salacious details she included about Nicole’s purported sex life, Resnick became only a questionably helpful witness for the prosecution, despite her firm belief that O.J. had battered Nicole through the course of their relationship and ultimately killed her.
Shattered: In the Eye of the Storm, about how the trial affected Resnick, came out in 1996.
After he was acquitted, Simpson said finding the real killer would be his “primary goal in life.”
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Myung J. Chun/Daily News via AP
Bob Shapiro brought F. Lee Bailey on board for his extensive murder trial experience, of which Shapiro—a prominent criminal defense attorney more inclined to cut deals than go to trial—had none. Bailey was best known pre-Simpson for defending serial killer Albert DeSalvo, dubbed the “Boston Strangler,” and heiress Patty Hearst when she went on trial for helping her kidnappers rob a bank.
Some of Bailey’s key moments during the Simpson trial included him goading Chris Darden into having Simpson try on the gloves in court, which resulted in the defense seizing on how snugly they appeared to fit the defendant, and his cross-examination of Mark Fuhrman.
After Simpson was acquitted, Bailey said on CNN that Shapiro had initially wanted Simpson to plead guilty to manslaughter—a charge Shapiro denied, though it was widely reported that conversations about a possible plea were held at his office.
“We tried to fire Shapiro for being an a–hole,” Bailey told Huffington Post’s Highline in 2019. “O.J. told him, ‘You’re benched,’ and Bob said, Fine. I’m going out to give the public my opinion of your guilt.’ O.J. knew that would be devastating before the trial, so we kept Bob aboard, but he remained a pain in the ass throughout the trial. Indeed, long after it was clear we had it won, he was trying to talk O.J. into taking a dive.”
Bailey was later disbarred in Florida and Massachusetts and eventually set up a consulting firm in Maine, but he wasn’t able to acquire a license to practice law.
He told the ABA Journal in 2014 that he believed his work on the Simpson case “hurt in Florida, Massachusetts and in Maine. There has been a strong wave of judicial resentment against me for my role in the O.J. Simpson trial—tearing up a racist cop. I am convinced that it has had a major impact on me.”
He remains of the opinion that the presumption of guilt irreversibly ruined O.J. Simpson’s reputation, that trying to connect Simpson’s 1987 conviction for domestic violence and all the times Nicole called the cops on him to the 1994 murder was ludicrous, and that the verdict was spot-on.
“It’s not my belief,” the 86-year-old told Highline. “It’s a fact. He was completely innocent.”
Under cross-examination by Bailey, Mark Fuhrman denied having ever having used the n-word, a statement that was handily proved untrue by the defense, which had a recording of him using the epithet in conversations he had with an aspiring screenwriter. Without the jury present, the detective then asserted his Fifth Amendment right when asked whether he had planted or manufactured evidence in the Simpson case.
In a memorandum obtained by the New York Times, Dershowitz had puzzled over why the prosecution felt the need to have Fuhrman testify, since he had only spotted the glove at Simpson’s and pointed it out to fellow detectives. He wasn’t the one who physically removed it from the scene and checked it into evidence, therefore he wasn’t part of the chain of custody.
Before the trial concluded, Fuhrman, a 20-year veteran of the LAPD, had retired. He pleaded no contest to perjury in 1996 and in 1997 he released Murder in Brentwood, the first of eight books he’s written about true crime, media and the justice system. He moved to Idaho and became a regular guest on Fox News
Throughout, Fuhrman has maintained that he went by the book in the Simpson case and the evidence proved his guilt. He told the New York Post in 2016, “There will be another O.J., and what we have learned is that political correctness and stupidity trump justice.”
David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
Over the course of the trial, 10 out of the 24 people seated—12 as jurors, 12 as alternates—were dismissed for various reasons. Only four of the original main jurors were left to decide the verdict.
Lionel Cryer was originally selected as an alternate but ended up ascending to the main panel. “I was not excited,” he told E! News in 2017. “I looked around at all the people I was going to be making this decision with and I thought, this is going to be quite a ride.”
In the end, 10 women and two men found Simpson not guilty. Nine of the jurors were black, two white and one Hispanic.
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“Sometimes, I turn around and I look at the Goldmans, and if you could see the hurt and suffering on their faces,” Chris Darden told the Los Angeles Times during the trial. ”Sometimes, I see them, and they’re smiling, but when they are in the courtroom, sometimes they are dying inside… The victims just keep mounting up. The Goldmans are victims. The Browns are victims. The Simpsons are victims. Sydney and Justin Simpson are victims. We’re victims because the grief and the pain and the suffering are spread around equally.”
In one of the justice system’s quirkier quirks, despite being found not guilty of murder Simpson was found liable for Ron and Nicole’s deaths in a civil trial and was ordered to pay $33.5 million to the Goldman and Brown families.
Which he has not done.
In what many of Simpson’s supporters—and plenty of his detractors too—figure was a message-sending move, a Nevada judge threw the book at O.J. in 2008 when he was convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping, assault and other charges over a plot to get items he insisted were his back from a memorabilia dealer at a Las Vegas hotel.
Simpson was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison; he was paroled after nine in 2017 and remains in Nevada.
F. Lee Bailey told Highline he was “frequently” in touch with Simpson. “I’m out in Las Vegas a lot,” he said. “He lives a very quiet life there.”
Tune into E! News on Wednesday, June 12, at 7 & 11 p.m. for a look back at the still-shocking O.J. Simpson case
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