The Trial of O.J Simpson: An innocent man or a failed system?
The double homicide of Nicole Brown Smith and her friend Ron Goldman shocked the world over 20 years ago, and with the recent introduction of shows such American crime story: The people Vs O.J Simpson (Watch here) and Kardashian: The man who saved O.J. Simpson (watch here) the most talked about case of the 90’s found its way back into the limelight. However even after 23 years people still found themselves asking the very same question this time around, did O.J. Simpson murder his ex-wife Nicole Brown Smith and her friend Ron Goldman? Or was he simply an innocent black man framed by a hate fueled system?
This post will discuss the facts of one of the most publized trials in criminal history, as-well as some suspicsion circumstances that have left people unable to choice a side since the day ‘The Juice” was taken to court.
A brief history of the marriage of O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Smith
O.J and Nicole met when Nicole was just aged 18 years, and in 1985 the pair married and had two children together. After 7 years the marriage ended in divorce.
Nicole repeatly assussed O.J of domestic abuse, with the police called to their home in a Brentwood total of 9 times before an action was taken against O.J. Nicole claimed that O.J had once thrown her out of a moving car and batten her several times but that police never took action across him due to his fame as 'The Juice". As a result Nicole and her sister took photos of her abused body after an attack carried out by O.J and locked them away should 'the truth' ever need to come out.
Images of the photo’s taken by Nicole and her sister can be found here
The night of the murders of Nicole Brown smith and Ron Goldman:
The facts/ Witness timeline
On 12th June 1994, Nicole Brown Smith, after threats from ex-husband OJ Simpson, had put her home, in the south-side of Brentwood, up for sale. She was moving on to the next part of her life, a life without involvement of OJ.
At 10:55pm on 12th June 1994, Steven Schwab, or ‘the dog witness’ as he came to be known, whilst on his usual walking route, happened to pass Nicole Smiths home, and stubble upon a rather distressed Akita. Schwab recalled that he had simply walked past the dog at first, but the dog followed him all the way back to his home. After speaking with his neighbour, Sukru Boztepe, Schwab agreed that the dog should stay at Boztepe’s home till the morning.
However it seemed like the dog had other ideas…
Boztepe stated that the dog became even more restless, appearing to desperately want to leave their home, and so at he and his wife decided to take the Akita for a walk. They allowed for the dog to lead them, but they did not expect what it would lead them too.. The bodies of Nicole Brown Smith and Ronald Goldman.
Both the Boztepe, his wife, and officers that attended the scene of the crime claimed it was “something straight out of a horror movie” (Back when horror movies were actually horrifying). Ron had clearly been ‘brutally attacked’, whilst Nicole lay in a puddle of her own blood, ‘basically decapitated’. They were believed to have died around 10:15pm.
Nicole’s children, Sydney and Justin, were both asleep inside the house where Nicole’s body was found. The room’s were still candle lit and the bathtub was full, it seemed as though it would be a normal evening in for Nicole that night. Her friend, Ronald, was reportedly there that night dropping glasses off that her mother had left behind at a resturant where he was employed.
The involvement of O.J Simpson/OJ’s timeline
At 10:25pm a Limo driver, Allan Park, arrived at O.J’s home ‘Rockingham’ to take O.J to the airport. Park claims there was no sign of O.J ready and waiting to go when he arrived, even though his flight was scheduled for 11:45pm (Kind of like went your mum says be ready for 7pm and she’s still in her rollers at 8pm)
At 10:30pm O.J’s friend (and ex-Nanny employed by Nicole) ‘Kato’ who was staying at O.J’s guest house at the time, claimed to hear 3 loud bangs as though someone had jumped over the fence in an attempt to get onto the property.
Between 10:40pm-10:50pm Limo driver Park stated that he buzzed O.J several times with no answer.
At 11:00pm Park claims to have seen a figure, matching O.J’s description, entering O.J’s home then at 11:05pm he buzzed O.J’s intercom again, with O.J finally answering, claiming he had overslept and had not heard the intercom.
Later detective Ron Philips rang O.J to inform him of the death of Nicole, due to the fact he was the father of her children. O.J's first response to hearing the words "Nicole has died" was not "How did she die?" but rather "Who killed her?". Up until this point no mention of a murder had taken place, not to any of Nicole's or Ron's family or to the media so with the fact that O.J jumped straight to the words "who" and "killed" doesn't sit right with alot of people, and one of the key starters in the theory that O.J already knew the answer.
The day of O.J’s arrest/The famous Bronco chase
Upon returning to his Rockingham home, O.J was famously handcuffed in his back garden, in full view of camera’s and taken it for questioning. Many argue that, before any official evidence had been taken, this was the second sign of OJ’s guilt, with his facial expressions whilst being handcuffed appearing put out as oppose to upset.
Was O.J Simpson memly an easy target?
Later O.J’s defence team would argue that the sudden rush to get O.J in handcuffs as soon as he returned showed that the LAPD were quick and unrash when finding someone to blame for the murders. The easier to target to pick up they argued?: An innocent black man.
After 3 hours of questioning O.J was realised with no charge, but after 4 days on 17th June 1994 O.J was charged with two courts of murder for the persons of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Smith.
What followed next would make for one of the most viewed news footage of the 90’s.
The infamous Bronco chase
O.J’s newly appointed Lawyer (after replacing O.J’s original lawyer), Robert Shapiro struck a deal with the LAPD allowing for O.J to self surrender, giving him a few hours to sort a few ‘stuff’ out (Such as the famous Louis Vutton bag which will later be discussed). However when it was time for O.J to turn himself in he refused, making him a declared fugitive and leading to the infamous car chase.
After appealing for witnesses for information as to where about of O.J Simpson it was reported to the LAPD that O.J was in the passage seat of a white Bronco which was driven by his friend Al Cowlings. Cowlings refused to pull the car over stating that O.J had a gun to his own head and was suicidal, leading police to allow for a low-speed car chase that lasted for over 60 miles.
Some surprising facts about the Bronco Chase
- The Brunco chase was one of the most viewed television pieces in history and came in sixth place for “most impactful televised moment of the last 50 years”
- Due to O.J’s fame as an NFL player not only was the chase procosted on basically every news channel but also took prime air time on major sports channels, resulting in the NBA finials being procasted on a small screen at the corner of the coverage of the chase.
- Domino’s pizza reported record high sells levels due to the chase being live on television no body wanted to miss the big event, vice president of Domino’s Tim Mclntyre said that during the time the chase was being procast it was like ‘Superbowl Sunday’
The Phone call and O.J’s suicide note
During the chase Cowlings phoned the LAPD and told them to slow the cars down and move any traffic off the side of the road to try and calm O.J down, tracking the number Cowlings had called on homicide detective Tom Lange requested to speak to O.J via a phone call, O.J accepted. The audio of the phone call was later realised and can be listened to here.
One part it particular that made people question O.J’s involvement in the case was the following piece of audio:
Detective Lange: “Nobody’s gonna get hurt”
O.J Simpson: “I’m the only one who deserves to get hurt”
Detective Lange: “No you do not deserve that”
O.J Simpson: “I’m gonna get hurt, all I did was love Nicole, all I did was love her”
The statement “I’m the only one who deserves to get hurt” suggests O.J felt a form of guilt and a need to be punished for the something.
Rather than turn himself over to the law, O.J decided to take matters into his own hand, leaving behind a suicide note at the home of friend and later Lawyer Robert Kardashian. Some believers of O.J’s guilt argue that O.J was not considering suicide because of the pain he felt for the loss of Nicole but rather to avoid the public scandal and shame of having the inteme details of his abuse towards Nicole confirmed by the trial.
The suicide note however, was possibly an attempt at distracting the LAPD from his whereabouts, as following a search of his car, police found: stage makeup, a fake mustras, OJ’s passport and a gun. Suggesting OJ had plans to flew the country.
The ‘Dream Team’: The Defence
On 25th June 1994, Robert Shapiro, or ‘Bob’ as he would be known on this day, called together a meeting involving America’s top Lawyers;
- Robert Kardashian
Arguably the most heard of name on this list, Kardashian was a lifelong friend of O.J’s and had been with him since his first arrest, but did not officially become part of his legal team till encouraged by Shapiro.
2. F. Lee Bailey
Bailey’s was the man responsible for one of the key turning events in this case, the cross-examination of LAPD Investigator, Mark Fuhrman.
3. Peter Neufeld
Neufeld is best known for his discrediting of the blood trail between Nicole’s body and O.J’s car.
4. Carl Douglas
Considered one of Johnnie Cochrans top lawyer.
Johnnie Cochran was not present at this meeting, and did not become involved in O.J’s legal team until personally asked by O.J himself. However he had spoken publicly on national television about O.J’s innocent.
Through the trail of O.J Simpson, this defence team would become known by both criminal law and the media as ‘the dream team’.
Guilty or not Guilty? The dream Team vs Marcia Clark
After several months of preparation, with various jury members being added and removed, and key witnesses selling their accounts to the media, the trail of O.J Simpson finally began on 24th January 1995, 7 months after Ronald and Nicole’s deaths.
The Trail of O.J Simpson was also the first recorded criminal trial to air on US television, making it a landmark case in terms of the relationship between criminal justice and the media.
Now let’s get into the real part, the suspects…
Given the title of this blog post, and all of the above, its pretty obvious that O.J Simpson would be top of this list. Bare with me though, because there’s some pretty wild theories/suspects to follow…
Why O.J was guilty
Nicole and Ronald were believed to have been killed at around 10:15pm, with eyewitness’s (Is the term ‘eye witnesses correct her, when they only saw not heard?) claiming this was when Nicole’s dog began to bark. The prosecution claimed this timing would have given O.J enough time to commit the murders, clean himself up, and return back to his home in time for the Limo Driver, Park, to witness him at 11:00pm.
It is worth noting however, the O.J ‘provided’ an alibi for his location at this time, claiming him and houseguest Kato had driven to McDonald’s at 10:10pm. Take what you want from that I guess…
*Keep in mind that this case took place in 1995, and there was still much doubt about how effective DNA Analysis was*
- The Glove
Found at the scene of the crime, by LAPD investigator Fuhrman, was a bloody glove. The glove had on it blood stains from three different sources; Ronald Goldman, Nicole Brown and O.J Simpson.
The glove found at the scene of Nicole and Ron’s murders also matched one found later at O.J Simpsons home, next to where Kato had heard three loud bangs. Both gloves had traces of Ronald Goldmans, Nicole Browns and O.J Simpson’s blood.
Prosecutor, Clark, presented to the court a recipe found within Nicole’s home, for a pair of gloves that matched the one’s found at the crime scene and O.J’s house. Whilst Kris Jenner claimed she was with Nicole when she purchased the gloves in question.
O.J also had a cut hand the day the police arrested him.
Pay attention as the gloves will come to play an important role…
- The Hat
Found at the scene of Nicole and Ron’s murders was a wooly hat, which when examined by DNA Analysis, had fiber’s/hairs on which matched Nicole Brown, Ronald Goldman’s and O.J Simpson’s DNA.
- Blood Evidence
Upon inspection of O.J’s Rockingham home, investigators found a sock covered in Nicole’s blood. O.J’s shoe size matched with the bloody footprint left outside Nicole’s home.
Nicole Brown’s blood was found in O.J’s driveway, car and bedroom.
As mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, O.J had a history of abusing Nicole throughout their marriage. The police were called a total of 9 times to their home before any action was taken, and in 1989 O.J was found guilty of spousal abuse.
Photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts from Nicole’s friends and family confirm O.J’s abuse. Evidence of O.J’s violent past.
It psychically hurts me that I even have to type this next part
In 2006, O.J Simpson realised a book titled “If I did it”, explaining how, if he had done it, he would have gotten away with it.
I’m not one for swearing, but ffs is all I have to say about that.
Why O.J was not guilty
As many of you will know, somehow, someway, for some reason, O.J Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
O.J’s defence team, ‘the Dream Team’, with Neufild playing a key part of this, managed to convince the Jury that the DNA evidence was inaccurate, due to its handling by the LAPD.
Neufild claimed evidence had not been bagged properly and had been overheated. He also raised concerns over the fact investigator, Philip Vannatter, had kept evidence in his car overnight. This lead to the Dream Team suggesting the crime scene at Nicole’s home had been contaminated with.
During the trail, the prosecution repeatedly said they did not want O.J Simpson to try the gloves found at the scene of crime on, as they had been frozen or unfrozen several times throughout the investigation, meaning the size was likely to have changed.
However, the defence had other ideas.
O.J’s defence team had O.J try on the gloves, and sure enough the gloves did not fit him. Leading to the famous line:
“If the gloves do not fit, you must acquit”
An innocent black man
Johnnie Cochran was famous for his Black rights speeches, and a strong believer in institutional racism within the LAPD. Many believe Cochran was approached by Shaprio to help use this theory in favour of O.J’s innocence.
Evidence of institutional racism can be seen within the 1992 battering of Rodney King, a black man battered by LAPD police, whom were not charged with any accounts of assault.
Investigator Fuhrman was the driving focus of racism claims made by the Dream Team.
The defence claimed Futhrman was a known racist, and during the trial, tapes recorded by a female journalist during an earlier interview with Futhrman were played to the Jury. The tapes shown Futhrman using racist wording more than 40 times, and there was rumours of him being a practising neo-nazi.
The idea that Fuhrman was a clear racist is important, as he alone found the key piece of evidence: the bloody glove. It was with this that the defence appealed to the Jury, made up of 8 black people, 1 hispanic person, 1 white person and 2 people of mixed race, that O.J had been set up by a racism, hate fuelled system.
*It is worth noting that as a result of the trial, Robert Kardshian broke off his friendship with O.J Simpson, claiming the blood evidence left him uneasy*
o.J and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
CTE is a condition known to effect a large amount of ex-footballers, an occupation in which O.J Simpson filled.
CTE symptoms include:
- Memory Loss
- Impaired Judgement
- Impluse control
These symptoms create an odd twist on the O.J Simpson case, as impaired judgement and impulse control would perhaps provide a motive, whilst depression and suicdiality would explain the suicide note left behind by O.J.
Jason Simpson was the son of O.J Simpson (in case the name didn’t give that away). In William Dear’s book “O.J IS INNOCENT AND I CAN PROVE IT”, Dear suggests that diary entrances by Jason, discussing “using a knife to get rid of the bad parts of his life” (Ronald and Nicole were both stabbed to death) show he was guilty of Nicole’s murder.
Jason had also been arrested only a few weeks prior for attacking his boss with a knife.
However there was no DNA evidence to suggest Jason was ever anywhere near Nicole around the time of her murder.
Glen Rogers was a convicted serial killer, who’s brother, Clay Rogers, claims that whilst on death row, Glen confessed to him that he had murdered Nicole Brown Smith and Ronald Goldman.
If this is true however, many theorise that O.J Simpson had hired Glen Rogers to frighten Nicole, after she had recently decided to “get him out her life”.
An Aryan Cult
Within the book “BLOOD OATH: THE CONSPIRACY TO MURDER NICOLE BROWN-SIMPSON” claims that a nero-nazi run cult, with help from Fuhrman, had murdered Nicole in attempt to frame O.J. O.J Simpson was a famous black man, and if he was discredited, perhaps he would come to represent all those from the black community?
This one seems a little far fetched for me, I don’t know.
A Finishing Note
Although O.J Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown-Smith after just 4 hours following the trail, he was later found guilty of their wrongful deaths, and ordered to pay $33.5 million to their families, this money has still not been paid in full.
Whether you believe O.J Simpson’s innocence or not, the fact remains that two innocent friends lost their lives, as a result of someones actions, someone who has never been brought to justice.
Nicole suffered through many years of abuse from O.J, and as she was finally ready to move on to the next part of her life, it was taken away from her. She left behind two young children.
In Memory of Nicole Brown-Smith, and Ronald Goldman
“If I did it”– A book written and realised by O.J Simpson surrounding Nicole Brown-Smith and Ronald Goldman’s deaths
O.J in court– Video Footage of O.J Simpson trying on ‘the gloves’
“His murder trial ruined my life”– Marcia Clark reflects on O.J Simpson’s not guilty verdict, 21 years later
O.J Simpson Trial: Where are they now?: A look at the key figures involved in the O.J Simpson trial