March 10, 2017

O.J. Simpson: Was There a Rush to Judgment?


theweek.co.uk

A friend of mine recently watched Ryan Murphy's American Crime: The People vs. O.J. Simpson - - a surprisingly quality show - - and we were discussing it.  This friend had the opinion that while Simpson is most likely guilty of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and Ron Goldman, the LAPD had tunnel vision and rushed to judgment.

I am very opinionated about the Simpson case and have no problems sharing my thoughts (clearly.)  So let's talk about the LAPD's response to the murders.

The crimes happened on the evening of Sunday, June 12, 1994.  The first responders showed up on Bundy Drive after midnight, in the early morning hours of Monday, June 13.  Simpson had his infamous slow speed chase on Friday, June 17.  To the layperson it may seem as though that was some quick decision making by the LAPD but this was not surprising.

First, whenever a spouse or former spouse is killed, the husband/wife, current or former, is always, always suspect number one.  And with good reason - - they quite often have something to do with it. So naturally O.J. Simpson immediately went to the top of the LAPD's suspect list.

Being that the minor Simpson children were at the scene, upstairs sleeping while their mother was being murdered, the detectives quickly and safely removed them from the scene.  As their mother was dead, that left their father as their sole remaining legal parent. The detectives elected to make a death notification to Simpson in person; while this in itself is not that unusual it is unusual that they would choose to inform Simpson of his ex-wife's death prior to notifying her parents, who were her legal next of kin, since she and Simpson were divorced. Why did they do that?  I believe it was because of the children, who were taken to an LAPD station to await their father and because, once again, authorities were giving preferential treatment to a celebrity (more on that below.)

So, let's go back to the crime scene.  Both victims were attacked with a knife.  Killing with a knife is a very personal way to take someone out.  You must get up close and personal; there is no distance doing it this way.  The defense would eventually float the idea that a hitman took out Nicole and Ron, citing the infamous "Columbian necktie" and how Nicole's wound was similar.  Preposterous.  Nicole's tongue was not pulled through her neck wound a la Columbian necktie.  Furthermore, the majority of hit men do not use knives unless specifically instructed to. They do not want any type of personal interaction with the victim; that's why guns are normally favored. A gun allows them to keep their distance and not get their hands dirty, so to speak.  A knife would involve not just close up interaction but also a potential battle, which is exactly what happened with Ron Goldman.  A hit man likely would not wait for Nicole to come outside her condo, where anyone might see or overhear the attack (again, what happened with Ron); rather, her movements would be followed and she would be taken out at a time when it wasn't likely there would be a witness.  (All this without even addressing how ridiculous the hit man suggestion is - - who would take out a hit on Nicole?)

I recall reading in one of the many books and articles I have read on this case that Nicole had told one of her friends that she was most terrified of dying by knife.  Don't you wonder if her ex-husband knew that?

The buzzer at Nicole's gate was broken at the time.  Given that Simpson came to the Bundy residence in order to pick up and drop off his children, I'm sure he knew that.

Nicole had also mentioned to a friend that the house key she normally left in a large potted plant outside her residence while she jogged had gone missing in the days before her murder.  Wonder if Simpson knew about that or had anything to do with it?  

The LAPD had two very bloody bodies. The attack on Nicole was precise and methodical; the attack on Ron was frenzied which suggested that Nicole was the target.  A dark knit cap and a leather glove found at the scene, along with bloody footprints that led to the alley, suggested that the killer had arrived prepared with his weapon, cap and gloves and had parked in the back alley and returned there after the crimes.    

Even before the detectives arrived at Simpson's Rockingham Avenue residence to notify him, they were well aware of his domestic violence record.  There had been multiple calls to both the Rockingham house and a rental house on Gretna Green that Nicole had moved into when the couple separated when their fights had become violent. One call to Rockingham had resulted in Simpson being made to do community service for his assault on his wife but he was never arrested or charged with spousal abuse or battery.

All these facts up to this point would be enough to justify questioning Simpson but a whole lot more was going to come into play.

At the Rockingham residence, Simpson's Bronco was parked on the street, rather than in the driveway as he normally parked it.  The Bronco was not parked straight but rather haphazardly, as if the driver had pulled up to the curb in a hurry.  A blood spot was noticed on the outside driver's door handle.  More blood drops and smears would be found inside the Bronco, on the steering wheel, the driver's side floor panel, the carpeting, the middle console and on the passenger seat.  The blood would be a mixture of Ron and Nicole . . . and Simpson.

Blood drops were found in the driveway, indicating this was from active bleeding, as were blood drops noticed at the Bundy crime scene.  Blood was found inside the residence, in the master bedroom, on black socks discovered on the bedroom floor.  This blood would be typed to Nicole.

A leather glove, matching that one found at Bundy, was found on the property by the back fence, stained with blood that was typed to Nicole.

Simpson, however, was not home.  He had left for Chicago late Sunday evening.

The detective making notification to him by telephone would recall that Simpson, upon being informed that his ex-wife had been killed, did not ask how she was killed or what happened to her.  As Nicole was a young 36 and not ill, why didn't Simpson ask what happened?  An innocent person would.

Simpson returned to L.A. later that Monday. Detectives immediately noticed a bandage on his finger and underneath, a deep,nasty cut. Simpson claimed at first not to know how he got that cut, saying that he cut himself all the time and bled everywhere, all the time. Then he claimed that upon hearing the news of Nicole's death in Chicago, he went "a little nuts" and broke a glass, causing the cut.  All of the above is clearly bullshit.

He would sit down with detectives to give them an interview, one that was far too brief and which they, of all things, halted. Simpson had problems nailing down his timeline for Sunday evening. His housemate, Kato Kaelin, had already told detectives that Simpson uncharacteristically asked  him to change a large bill and then went to McDonald's to pick up burgers. Kaelin had offered to help him load bags in the limo for his Chicago trip and Simpson had been adamant that Kaelin not touch a bag that only Simpson handled.

The limo driver, Allan Park, was precise about the time he arrived at Rockingham and the fact that the Bronco was not there on his arrival.  Neither was Simpson.  Despite lights being on in the home, no one answered his repeated buzzings at the gate. Park's supervisor, who he called to relay this information, verified all this was true. Park saw a dark figured adult man, who he suspected to be Simpson, coming from the back yard area, where the glove was later found, and enter the home through a side door.  It was then, after he once again buzzed, that Simpson answered and said he had been asleep, somehow managed to sleep through the constant calls, and was now jumping in the shower and would be down shortly.  When the limo left, with a sweating and bleeding Simpson in the back, Park noticed that the Bronco was now parked on the street.  (My guess is that Simpson had planned on returning the Bronco to the driveway, where he normally parked it, but the limo had blocked his path.)

This is a mountain of evidence and not even all of it.  This is what the LAPD knew by Wednesday or Thursday of that week.   I didn't mention above that the detectives, when notifying the Brown family in Dana Point of the horrible end of Nicole, heard Nicole's sister Denise screaming that O.J. had done it.

It would have been INSANE for the detectives not to suspect Simpson.  He was the ex-husband; he had had a violent relationship with Nicole; their current relationship was contentious; his alibi didn't fully check out; he had a serious cut that he could not explain; his blood was at the crime scene; the victims' blood was in his vehicle and at his residence.

Do I think the LAPD had tunnel vision?  Hell, no.  In fact, I think the LAPD made a massive mistake in not pinning Simpson to the wall during the only interview they would get.  He arrived without his attorney - - a gift!  He was floundering for answers to the detectives' questions and they pussyfooted around him like starstruck fans rather than grilling his ass.

They also gave him privileges that most of us would never get.  They allowed him and his attorney to dictate when he would turn himself in.  Say what now?

When the slow speed chase happened, I don't believe for a minute that he was heading to Orange County to kill himself at Nicole's grave.  Absolutely not.  Class A narcissists like Simpson don't do that.  Would he say he was in order to play victim and gain sympathy?  Sure would.

I believe he was headed to Mexico.  A disguise and a nice stack of money was found with him when he eventually turned himself in.  Why would an innocent man need these items?  And why would someone planning to kill themselves need those items?

No, O.J. Simpson is guilty as sin.


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