After 20 plus years since the "trial of the century" took place, the world is still enthralled with the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. And with last year's Emmy Award-winning scripted FX series, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, captivating viewers (and scheduled to run four more seasons) and ESPN's Oscar-winning eight-hour documentary, O.J. Made in America, redefining what it means to produce an investigative murder tale, a new generation of Americans is set to keep the lore alive into this century as well.
If you weren't alive during the height of Simpson's popularity through the 70s, 80s and early 90s, or weren't born yet, it's difficult to understand how immensely famous the man actually was. In a wobbly attempt to apply a modern reference, imagine if Tom Brady retired after his amazing football career and became a commentator for Monday Night Football as well as the face of Enterprise Rental Car, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Vitamin Water, and Wrangler Boots, co-starred in loveable slapstick comedies with Will Ferrell and followed it all up with brutally murdering his supermodel wife, Gisele... allegedly.
If you can imagine the media frenzy that would surround that trial then you have an idea of why this O.J. thing was such a huge deal and remains that way two decades after he was acquitted of all charges. But after all that time, there's still a handful of factoids that are rarely mentioned when discussing the drama of O.J. Simpson and many new ones that have been birthed only recently. Here are 15 things you didn't know about "the juice."
15 Nicole Brown Knew O.J. Was Going To Kill Her
To be more specific, she predicted it. According to her close friend, Kris Jenner, Nicole was aware her estranged husband had a murderous rage building within him, and she knew his million-dollar smile would get him out of any prison shackles they slapped onto his wrists. Jenner recalled getting word about her friend's murder in a recent interview, saying: "I instinctively knew that in some way O.J. had something to do with her death." Was it the years of domestic violence that sparked her hunch? Possibly, but the speculation stemmed more from a direct quote from Nicole before her slaying. "The one thing she would tell all of us by the time, you know, it got to that level was, ‘He’s going to kill me and he’s going to get away with it.'” If those aren't the words of a woman scared so much she didn't know what to do, I don't know what are.
14 O.J. Never Intended To Kill Himself During The Infamous Bronco Chase
On June 14, 1994, O.J. Simpson had agreed to turn himself in to the LAPD for the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. His lawyer, Robert Shapiro, assured authorities Simpson would arrive at the station ready to be cuffed at 11 A.M. sharp, but when 11 A.M. came and went without any sign of the alleged killer, an intense manhunt erupted almost as fast as it ended. Simpson was found in the backseat of his friend A.C. Cowling's Ford Bronco while the two drove down the Los Angeles freeway at a staggering forty-miles-per-hour. Cowling told the police Simpson had a loaded gun to his own head and was threatening suicide. Live reports claimed Simpson was extremely dangerous and we were all under the assumption the star was going to end it all right there, but we were wrong. Simpson had Cowling drive him back to his home in Brentwood where he was finally arrested and profusely apologized for causing such a ruckus, but many believe he never intended to pull the trigger and the entire thing was a setup to induce pity from Americans and here's why: When they searched the Bronco they found passports, extra clothes, $8k in cash, and even a fake beard and wig. It would seem as though O.J. was attempting to make a clean getaway rather than kill himself, which paints the picture of a guilty man even more than suicide does.
13 That Bronco Is Worth Quite A Bit Of Money Now
There were actually two white Ford Broncos involved with the O.J. case. The first one belonged to O.J. himself and was allegedly the vehicle he used to travel back to his home after the murder, and it was this vehicle that was impounded and filed in as evidence to the trial. The Bronco used in the police chase, which belonged to A.C. Cowling, was an identical make, model, year, and color of O.J.'s and when the dust settled after the trial it went the way of many police seized vehicles - it was sold at auction. The lucky purchaser and present day owner is actually O.J.'s former agent, Mike Gilbert, who paid $75k for the SUV back in the 90s. The collector lives 200 miles north of Los Angeles, has only put 20 miles on the odometer in over twenty years and refuses to sell the vehicle even though he's been offered upwards of $300,000 for it. In the world of collectible cars and sports memorabilia that may not seem like all that much, but let me just say, I owned a 1993 Bronco. This is not a lie to beef up this post. I actually purchased a white, '93 Bronco in near mint condition two years ago. I paid $2,000 for it, and let me tell ya, the thing is a piece of junk no matter how you spin it. I was once driving through California and the brakes just stopped working. I had to delicately crash into a pole to stop the damn thing, so, yeah, they're not worth that much.
12 O.J. Was A Trained Killer
In the early 90s, O.J. was still a big star on the lookout for his next project and he took on a role in an NBC action show called, Frogmen. The series surrounded a group of ex-Navy Seals who went on weekly adventures rescuing damsels and punching out bad guys. The show only shot one two-hour pilot episode before O.J. was arrested for murder and the project was obviously put on an indefinite hold, but it was the on-set training the actors received that makes Frogmen interesting. The leading men and women were trained by actual U.S. Military personnel with an extensive concentration in knife handling. In one scene O.J. even holds a knife to a woman's neck. The series never saw a minute of screen time once the trial began, but as of March of 2017, police are investigating a knife that was dug up in the backyard of Nicole Brown's house on Bundy. A knife that was last seen on the set of Frogmen.
11 He Made Millions In Jail
When it came time to hire lawyers, O.J. knew his life was on the line, so he did what any man with the means to do so does - he hired the best lawyers money could buy. After all, can you really put a price on your life? Simpson put together what became know as "the dream team" consisting of legal heavyweights, Johnnie Cochran and Robert Shapiro among others for a price rumored to be close to $400 an hour... for over eight months. Always the businessman, Simpson was smart about not wanting to hemorrhage money while behind bars during the trial and did what could to make a few dollars here and there. His agents would bring him deflated footballs, jersey numbers, and even pictures of him from court for him to autograph. Since Simpson had not yet been convicted of any crime he was legally allowed to continue making money, and the business proved to be lucrative. He reportedly profited $3 million from John Hancock, a hefty sum to make in under a year from one tiny room.
10 He Helped Domino's Pizza Break Records
By early evening on June 17, 1994, people in America assumed O.J. Simpson was dead. His lawyer, Robert Shapiro had held a 5 o'clock press conference at which Robert Kardashian read Simpson's suicide note on live television. However, less than an hour later, news helicopters were broadcasting the alleged murderer cruising down the 5 Freeway and America cemented their butts to the couch and didn't budge for the next three hours. And what do 95 million at-home-viewers do when they don't want to leave the living room at dinner time? They order pizza. Between the hours of 6 P.M. and 9 P.M., Domino's Pizza sent a record-shattering number of pizzas out for delivery so people wouldn't have to raise the volume of the TVs to cover up the grumbling of their stomachs. "We benefited from the fact that it was essentially 'dinner time' on the West Coast and late evening on the East Coast," said the vice president of corporate communications for Domino's, "People were so enthralled by the bizarre nature of what was happening, they didn’t want to miss a moment, so instead of going out to dinner or making dinner, many people ordered pizza." And remember, this was before Domino's was forced to acknowledge how crappy their pizza was and alter the recipe in 2010, so nearly 100 million Americans chose to eat basically soggy cardboard.
9 A Lot Of People Think O.J.'s Son Did It
If you refuse to believe O.J. is capable of murder, you're not alone and there are dozens of theories to choose from as to who actually killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. Some people think Simpson hired a serial killer to do the job, others speculate he was hypnotized by the Illuminati, and a few theorists think it was just a simple case of mistaken identity. But the most popular theory is that O.J.'s son, Jason, from his first marriage, was the one wielding the blade. The idea was popularized by Bill Dear, a private detective who not only published a book on the subject but even aired a BBC documentary about it. Dear claims Jason Simpson had an unhealthy obsession with his stepmother and when she bailed on a family dinner he had planned, he was filled with enough rage to slaughter her and Goldman (who was in the wrong place at the wrong time). Still, this theory doesn't exonerate O.J. completely. According to Dear, Jason came to his senses shortly after the murder, called his dad and confessed. Being the doting family he is, O.J. rushed to the scene and helped his eldest son tidy up and, as we know, took the heat for the crime. Experts say the timeline doesn't line up, but if this is true it's important to remember that Father's Day was less than a week away at the time of killings, so let's hope Jason got his dad something really special.
8 The Woman Who Tried To Put Him In Jail Quit Law After The Trial
Marcia Clark is the former deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County and lead prosecution in the O.J. Simpson trial back in 1995. The highly publicized court proceedings forced her into the public eye and was repeatedly ridiculed for her stiff demeanor and was even commonly referred to as "grim, humorless, even angry" in the mainstream media. Say what you will about Clark's disposition and litigation ability, but you can't deny her adoration of the U.S. justice system. She worked as a public defender in the early 80s until she became a prosecutor for the city of L.A., a position she held close to her heart. That is until a jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty. The moment she heard those two words she turned her back on the law altogether. "His murder trial ruined my life," Clark said in a recent interview speaking on her rise to unwanted fame and her disgust for the way the trial was handled; "If there hadn’t been cameras in the trial, no-one would know what a travesty of justice it was, at least in my eyes.”
Clark vanished from the public eyes for two years in the wake of the verdict, taking the time off to write her best-selling book, Without a Doubt. Since then she's reentered the spotlight by appearing as a "special correspondent" for Entertainment Tonight, covering high profile cases for the Hollywood news program.
7 Kim Kardashian's Dad May Have Stashed The Murder Weapon
One of the most important facts to remember when discussing the O.J. murder trial is also one of its biggest mysteries - the murder weapon was never found. Investigators were able to tell a knife was used in the killings the moment they laid eyes on the butchered bodies of Brown and Goldman, but they've never been able to locate the exact knife that was used. For twenty years speculators have been trying to figure out where it could have gone. Many people think Simpson flushed the knife down the toilet of the plane he was on headed to Chicago immediately after the murders were committed, while others speculate he ditched it in a dumpster outside O'Hare Airport. However, the most popular theory involves the slick looking gentleman pictured above, the late patriarch of the Kardashian clan, Robert Kardashian.
Kardashian was photographed carrying a garment bag from Simpson's car to his own vehicle the day Simpson returned from Chicago after hearing about the death of his estranged wife. The bag remained unseen for several months until police demanded its return after a slew of public speculation, and by then it was empty. Theorists would have you believe the bloody knife was enclosed in the bag and Kardashian disposed of the evidence to help exonerate his friend of twenty years, an accusation Kardashian firmly denied. He told Barbara Walters in 1995, he was merely helping O.J. with his luggage, and when police wouldn't allow him entry to Simpson's house he put the bag in his trunk and forgot about it. Kardashian passed away in 2003 and any chance of pressing the matter died with him, but his superstar daughter, Kim Kardashian recently told the press she remembers peeking into the bag when she was still in grammar school. According to Kim, the bag's contents consisted of boring golf clothes and toiletries, and we're inclined to believe her because she has 94 million Instagram followers.
6 He Might Be Khloe Kardashian's Dad
If you were to line up the Kardashian siblings shoulder to shoulder, it's easy to see Khloe literally sticks out. She's thicker, taller, and prior to [rumored] plastic surgery, her nose was much wider than that of her two sisters. These differences might be inconsequential. Maybe she pulled the short straw in the gene pool, OR, maybe she's O.J. Simpson's biological daughter! Speculation as to Khloe's true blue daddy began in 2012 when Jan Ashley and Ellen Kardashian, the two women Robert Kardashian was briefly married to before his death, told Star magazine their late ex-husband wasn't responsible for Kris Jenner's fourth child. The National Inquirer then jumped on the story like it was a live grenade and promptly ran an O.J. cover story with the headline, "I'm Khloe's Real Dad!" Seems rocky, I know, but if you think about it the timeline links up. Khloe was born in 1985 when Kris Jenner was still married to his best friend, Robert Kardashian. And if you look at pictures of Simpson and a young Khloe side by side, it is difficult to ignore a resemblance. Plus, it was L.A. in the eighties, baby, swinging was a way of life.
5 He Was Married Before Nicole
Eleven years. That's how long O.J. Simpson was married to his first wife, Marguerite Whitley, and no one ever talks about it. It was obviously overshadowed by the murder of his second wife, Nicole, but eleven years is a long time and it's not even mentioned in O.J. Simpson: Made in America or The People vs. O.J. Simpson.
The pair met in high school when Marguerite was introduced to Simpson by his best friend, her boyfriend, and future O.J. getaway driver, A.C. Cowlings. An introduction which turned out to be a mistake because she promptly ditched Cowlings and hooked arms with Simpson for years to follow. The couple had three children together and things seemed pretty peachy until Simpson's fame grew to astronomical proportions. He reveled in the spotlight while Marguerite preferred to remain private. She also claims Simpson was abusive and notoriously unfaithful, an accusation that bled into his next relationship with Nicole Brown and became a major case point during the trial for her murder. It should also be mentioned that Simpson began seeing Nicole when he was still married to Marguerite, although he claimed their marriage was on "shaky ground" by that time.
4 He Had His Own Prank Show And It Was Worse Than You Think It Was
By the early 2000s, Simpson was spending a lot of time in Las Vegas, and while he did enjoy all the excess the neon oasis has been known to provide, he apparently found the city a bit too stuffy for his tastes, so in 2006 Simpson took matters into his own hands and filmed his very own prank show to stick it to those old stodgy Las Vegas citizens. Juiced aired on pay-per-view and made people watching at home cringe for almost two full hours. It begins with Simpson dressed in a pimp costume, rapping the show's theme song while topless women parade around him and ends with you coming to your senses and turning it off. If you do have the gall to continue watching, you'll be treated to Simpson impersonating a white man, Simpson posing as a homeless man, and his signature catchphrase, "You've been juiced!" The show had many problems, but the leading issue was the lack of humor and punchlines. Each sketch just sort of ends. Plus, imagine you were minding your own business on the Vegas Strip and then some abrasive homeless guy tries to sell you oranges... "I said I don't want any! If you don't leave me alone I'll call the... Huh? I'm on a prank show?! That's so cool... HOLY S*** IT'S O.J. SIMPSON! RUN!"
3 The Murders May Have Been Cocaine-Related
In The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. briefly mentions to his lawyers that the murder may have had something to do with Nicole's friend, Faye Resnick (pictured above) and her alleged Columbian drug connections stating, "I hear a lot of coke goes through Mezzaluna," a ritzy Italian restaurant in Brentwood, California. Resnick wrote a tell-all book only months after her late bestie was buried in which she spoke of Nicole's cocaine use in great detail. Could her drug abuse have been the reason she and Goldman were slain in June 1994? Some people believe so. Brown ate her last meal at Mezzaluna where Goldman worked as a waiter. Reportedly, Goldman later went to Brown's house to return a pair of glasses she left at the restaurant and the two met their demise shortly thereafter. Either dealers were after Goldman and Brown was just unlucky enough to be with the waiter/actor when they caught up to him, or vice versa. The theory sounds a little far-fetched, I know, but the plot thickens. While the murder trial was winding down, another Mezzaluna waiter and friend of Goldman, Michael Nigg, was shot dead by three unknown assailants in Hollywood. Nobody knows why and nobody was ever convicted, but it was known that Nigg lived a lifestyle that was very much beyond what a waiter could afford. Let the conspiracy theories commence.
2 He's Up For Parole, And He'll Probably Get It
In 2008, Simpson wrangled up a posse and forcibly stole a gaggle of sports memorabilia he believed to rightfully be his. The little stunt scored him a 33-year stay in a Nevada state penitentiary for kidnapping, assault, robbery, burglary and conspiracy. But the Juice has been good during his nine years behind bars, and legal experts say he'll most likely be set free for good behavior the next time he's up for parole which just so happens to be this year. "He's the kind of person who gets paroled," Daniel Hill, a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney said in a recent interview, "He has done a significant amount of time and, by all accounts, hasn't caused any problems." The board typically grants parole to 50% of the inmates they meet with and if Simpson is lucky enough to be on the right side of that statistic then he could be back on the streets by this fall, but if the decision swings the other way he'll be sharing a shower until at least 2022, when he'll be up for parole again when he'll be 75-years-old. Which is just enough time remaining in his life to spend his riches because...
1 When He Gets Out Of Jail He's Going To Be A Millionaire Again
After a jury of his peers found Simpson not guilty back in 1995, he didn't exactly waltz back into his pressed chino wearing Brentwood lifestyle. On the contrary, his friends and neighbors refused to associate with him, restaurants wouldn't seat him, and people called him a murderer in the streets. He also had to deal with Ron Goldman's family filing a civil lawsuit against him for the wrongful death and battery of their son. In 1997, a jury found Simpson guilty and the court ordered him to pay $33.5 million to the family. A sum of which he has only paid 1.5% of before he went to prison in 2008. However, even though he's presently dead broke and still owes tens of millions of dollars, he'll be back in the millionaires tax bracket when he's released. Simpson has accumulated $2.7 million in retirement from the NFL which he'll obtain the day he gets his freedom.
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