The O.J. Simpson case: it’s a saga that won’t end… even when the television cameras are turned off. And just when you think you’ve seen the last red herring or the final smudge of corruption and police misconduct, along comes another mystery. On March 4, Los Angeles police captain Andy Neiman confirmed that a knife allegedly found on Simpson’s former Brentwood estate was being examined. How did the LA police get this knife 22 years after O.J.’s acquittal?
In a twist stranger than fiction but in keeping with the bizarre twists and turns in this two decade saga, it seems a retired police officer had been in possession of the knife for years. Details are sketchy… but apparently a construction worker handed the knife to the cop, who was in Brentwood moonlighting on a movie set at the time, and the police officer kept it as a memento. The FX series The People vs. O.J Simpson has renewed America’s interest in the O.J. Simpson case. The timing of the “newly” discovered knife is suspect; a retired cop who spends his free time moonlighting on film sets seems like the type who’s looking for 15 minutes of fame. Of course, that’s only speculation. Here are 10 shocking things you didn’t know about the O.J. Simpson trial.
10. O.J’s Daughter Thinks He’s Innocent
Sydney Brook Simpson, the daughter of O.J. and Nicole, was only eight years old when her mother was found dead and her father tried for murder. Over the years Sydney Simpson has done a good job of avoiding the spotlight and living a normal life. In 2014, Stuart Alexander Lee, Sydney’s boyfriend at the time, told RadarOnline that Sydney believes her mother’s death was the result of a drug deal gone bad; Stuart mentions how Nicole’s throat was slit like a Columbian necktie, a kill technique popular with organized crime and cartels. Sydney doesn’t believe her father is responsible her mother’s death.
9. Kris Jenner Feels Personally Responsible
Many people think the Kardashians first came to be in the pubic eye with Kim Kardashian’s leaked sex tape. However, those who watched the Simpson case in the ‘90s, or simply picked through the details over the past 22 years, know that this isn’t the case. Robert Kardashian’s close friendship with O.J. was his children’s golden ticket to fame, glamour, and fortune. In the LMN documentary, The Secret Tapes of the O.J. Case: The Untold Story, Kris Jenner, who was married to Robert Kardashian during the O.J. trial, said this about her relationship with Nicole Simpson. “I will always feel guilty that I didn’t pay more attention and didn’t speak up when I thought anything was wrong.”
8. The $5 Million Murder Weapon
The police never found the murder weapon in the O.J. Simpson case. This led to a number of far-fetched theories and speculations. In 2012, the National Inquirer said the murder weapon was a German stiletto with a blade more than six inches long. The tabloid insisted that O.J. was negotiating with a wealthy collector to sell the murder weapon. The asking price: $5 million in cash. It sounds like something out of an Agatha Christie novel. And here’s the icing on the cake. According to TMZ, Simpson revisited the scene of the crime just a few weeks after his acquittal, a no-no in crime fiction. Guess O.J. wasn’t reading any Agatha in his LA cell.
7. Kim Goldman Wanted to Kill O.J. Simpson
“I was white knuckling and revving up the car… I thought I could take him out.” No, it’s not the opening line of the latest thriller; it’s what Kim Goldman, sister of murder victim Ron Goldman, said in the book: Can’t Forgive. My 20-Year Battle with OJ Simpson. Kim Goldman saw O.J. in a parking lot a few years after his acquittal and contemplated killing him. “I was driving in a strip mall,” she said. “And this figure walked in front of my car, and I knew it was him.” In Can’t Forgive, Kim Goldman also discusses the suicidal thoughts she experienced during and after the trial.
6. O.J. Used Racism As A Defense
The Simpson case failed to change the national debate about race relations and the police. O.J may have avoided jail because of his ethnic identity, but the number of black American males make up 60% of the US’s 2 million inmates. O.J. Simpson’s team painted the LAPD as a racist and corrupt organization, and things haven’t changed much in 22 years. Law enforcement in America still unfairly targets black men. The 2014 killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year old, set off riots in Ferguson, Missouri. And then there’s the notorious chokehold the NYPD put on Eric Garner, a restraint that proved fatal despite Garner gasping, “I can’t breathe.” The Simpson trial may have been a massive court case, but it had little impact: America is as racially polarized as ever.
5. His TV Show “Frogmen” Never Aired
Completed a few months before the Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman murders, “Frogman” is Simpson’s last TV pilot. NBC originally planned to release “Frogman” as a TV movie if Simpson was found not guilty, but later changed its mind. Good call… not only had the world had seen enough of O.J. Simpson but the pilot was a cheap rip-off of The A-Team. Synopsis: O.J. Simpson and Evan Handler are part of a crack team of ex U.S. Navy Seals operating out of a surf shot in Malibu. Apparently there’s a scene in the pilot when Simpson’s character holds a knife to a woman’s throat.
4. The Case Killed Marcia Clark’s Career
The O.J. Simpson case was the only murder trial Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark ever lost, and it changed her life forever. The Trial of the Century lasted 372 days, generating 48,000 pages of court transcript. Clark was a reluctant celebrity; during the trial, she was relentlessly torn apart in the media for her hairstyle, makeup, and clothing. The National Inquirer even ran a topless photo of Clark on a beach that had been taken a decade earlier. After Simpson’s not-guilty verdict, Marcia Clark ended her career as an LA prosecutor. In the years since the Simpson case, Clark has written four novels, contributed columns to The Daily Beast, and appeared on several TV shows.
3. Domino’s Pizza Record Sales During Bronco Chase
It’s possible that legions of sports fans were already ordering pizzas on June 17, 1994. The day was dominated by sports coverage; the Knicks played the Houston Rockets in game five of the NBA finals, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup, Arnold Palmer played his final round at the U.S. Open, and the FIFA World Cup opened in Chicago. However, the Bronco chase dominated sports coverage. NBC even put the NBA finals in small box in the corner so Tom Brokaw could anchor the slow-speed chase. It was must-see TV, and 95 million viewers tuned in.
Domino’s sold a record number of pizzas that day. According to Tim McIntyre, vice president of corporate communications for Domino’s: “We benefited from the fact that it was essentially dinner time of the West Coast and late evening on the East Coast. People were so enthralled by the bizarre nature of what was happening, they didn’t want to miss a moment.”
2. 3rd Most Memorable TV Event of All Time
According to a survey by Nielsen and Sony, Simpson’s “not guilty” verdict is the third most memorable TV event in the last 50 years. It ranks only behind 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. While the Trial of the Century gripped America for a year, it took jurors only four hours to reach a unanimous decision. O.J. Simpson’s “not guilty” verdict is a where were you event, right up there with the moon landing and the assassination of JFK. The trial’s impact on popular culture is widespread; it helped establish Court TV, Jude Lance Ito became a punch line for late night television hosts, and the notorious Bronco chase is credited with launching Reality TV.
1. O.J. Simpson Had Incriminating Items in the Bronco
The infamous bronco chase began in Orange County and ended at Simpson’s Brentwood Estate. It started at 6pm and ended around 8pm. During the two-hour pursuit Simpson talked on the phone with LAPD Detective Tom Lange. Simpson told Lange he wasn’t running; he said, “…you let the police know, you let them all know, I’m not running.” After the police took Simpson into custody at Brentwood, however, they found some peculiar items in the Bronco. LAPD confiscated $9,000 in cash, a fake goatee and mustache, a bottle of makeup adhesive, receipts from a beauty store, as well a passport and gun. For a guy who wasn’t “running,” the disguise items in the Bronco certainly made it look like O.J. was running for his life… perhaps to Mexico, or beyond.