Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
It was 20 years ago today that the world became transfixed to their television sets as the mutilated bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found shortly after midnight on June 12, 1994 and Orenthal James (OJ) Simpson was sought as a suspect.
OJ Simpson was highly regarded as one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League and was also an actor, appearing in such movies as 1974's The Towering Inferno and two of the Naked Gun franchise movies. He also appeared in many television shows. Ironically, he was also considered for the title role in the Terminator but was deemed “too nice to be a cold-blooded killer”. Simpson was also the first professional football player to be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1977
All of this changed on that fateful day in June when he was named as a suspect in the murders of his ex-wife and the man she was seeing socially in Ronald Goldman. No one could believe that OJ Simpson was guilty of these heinous acts but the evidence against him was overwhelming. Five days later, the nation was transfixed to their television sets as OJ's famous white Ford Bronco led police on a slow speed chase on a Los Angeles freeway. When the Bronco, driven by friend, Al Cwlings, finally stopped and OJ Simpson surrendered to police, he had his passport, a disguise and just over 8,000 dollars in cash on him. Also, ironically, someone added up the numbers in the date of the murder, 6+1+2+1+9+9+4 =32 and 32 just happened to be the number on his football jersey.
The trial was shown on the former syndicated television station Court TV and the world watched it. They watched as evidence and controversy piled up during the trial and even though the evidence was very strong against the former running back, in November of 1995, OJ Simpson was found not guilty of the murders because of one thing. The prosecutors made him try on the bloody glove and it didn't fit.
“If the glove don't fit, you must acquit.” was Johnnie Cochran's famous line during the closing arguments of the trial and the jury did just that. Johnnie Cochran was the first chair of OJ Simpson's “dream team” of defense lawyers that included F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian, father of the famous Kardashian sisters. In another ironic twist, California law stated that the prosecution could have made OJ Simpson try on the glove without the jury present and if they done that, the trial may have had another outcome.
In 2007, Fred Goldman, father of the murdered Ronald Goldman, won a civil trial against OJ Simpson for the murder of his son and won a judgment of 33.5 million dollars.
Today OJ Simpson is currently serving a 33 year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping when he and some accomplices broke into a Las Vegas hotel and casino and attempted to steal his own sports memorabilia at gunpoint in 2007.