In 1994 and 1995, like many people around the world, I was fascinated by the O.J. Simpson murder trial. While many observers were outraged at the Not Guilty verdict he received, I was not one of them.
I have to admit some biases. I was a big Buffalo Bills fan and OJ was probably that team's greatest player. I also enjoyed OJ's movie performances, such as in the Naked Gun series, and always thought of him as a very likeable guy. But trying to put those feelings aside, based on the evidence I watched being submitted at trial, if I were on the jury, I too would almost certainly have voted to acquit him.
The main factor for me that argued against conviction, as I recall, was the timing required for OJ to have committed a double murder, cleaned himself up from a bloody struggle, and then have calmly boarded an airplane bound for Chicago that night. While the prosecution may have established that it was theoretically possible, it would have required perfect planning, precision timing, ideal traffic, and the cold-blooded, rational, dispassionate calculation of a practiced killer. It did not seem to me that OJ was that type of person and his behavior before the trial only reinforced that opinion.
Beyond that, of course, there was the inept investigation by LA police in which the chain of evidence was compromised and one of the main investigators was a racist cop who was biased against OJ. There was also the bumbling prosecution whose crucial miscalculation of getting Simpson to try on a glove found at the murder scene led to defense lawyer Johnny Cochrane's immortal phrase, "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit."
Well, it didn't fit and OJ was acquitted. But his life after the trial became a ruin. Now, two decades later, an investigation suggests very strongly that OJ may have been another victim of the terrible events that began with the murder of his ex-wife Jessica and Ron Goldman.
In an exhaustive new book titled "O.J. Is Innocent And I Can Prove It," private investigator William C. Dear details his 18-year investigation of the June 12, 1994, murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
Dear concludes that O.J. didn't kill his wife and her friend — but he did visit the scene of the crime shortly after it occurred — and that evidence suggests his son Jason (who was 24 at the time) did it in a rage killing.
h/t Kathy S