Tag Archives: OJ Simpson

Hey, what about the ‘search for real killer(s)’?

Today marks 25 years since the deaths of two individuals who became linked inextricably with a former football great, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and someone who most Americans believe got away with a heinous crime.

O.J. Simpson was acquitted later of murdering his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in Nicole’s home in Los Angeles. O.J. was implicated in the deaths, given his past history of spousal abuse and, oh yeah, the physical evidence that the cops recovered from the crime scene.

Simpson hired a crack legal team led by Johnnie Cochran, and including Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey and the father of those Kardashian girls, Robert Kardashian.

They cast sufficient doubt on the police investigation into the murder to score an acquittal. O.J. walked free and then made this pledge: that he would “spend the rest of my life” looking for the “real killer or killers of Nicole and Ron.”

Oh, but now he says he doesn’t want to “dwell on the negative.” He wants to move with his grown children. He lives in Las Vegas and spends his days playing golf.

I guess I should add that he was found “liable” for Nicole and Ron’s death in a civil suit and ordered to pay $33 million. The level of proof in the civil case was far less demanding that the criminal case. Still, that civil jury said in effect, dare I declare it, that O.J. killed his wife and friend.

What about the pledge to find the killers, O.J.? Are you still on the hunt?

Naw … I didn’t think so.

Christine Brennan wrote in USA Today that the real focus as we look back on this day should be on the Goldman family, who lost a son and a brother to, um, someone.

She urges us to devote our lives to creating what Simpson himself called a “no negative zone.” Not a bad idea at all.

But if hell freezes over and O.J. Simpson finds the real killers, I trust he’ll let us know.

What if Robert Mueller … ?

The special counsel examining whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral process has many finish lines ahead of him.

I want to focus on just two of them.

What if he finds collusion and obstruction of justice? What if he determines that the president is right, that there was no wrongdoing?

Either way, it won’t satisfy at least half the nation.

If Robert Mueller’s legal team finds evidence of collusion and obstruction of justice — and maybe more — you can bet the farm, the ranch and your first-born child that Trumpkins across the land are going to howl loudly. Mueller might recommend bringing criminal charges. He simply might say that the president did something wrong and leave it at that. Rest assured, it will ignite a firestorm.

If, though, he comes up with nothing, you can make the same wager that those on the other side will howl just as loudly as the Trumpkins. Their angst will come from a deeply held belief that Trump is an agent of the Russians, that Vladimir Putin has the goods on him, that the president simply is unfit for the office to which he was elected.

Whatever the conclusion, Mueller’s final report will not end the intense national quarreling.

My reaction? I would hope to be more, um, magnanimous. Even if it goes against what I believe.

I have many thoughts about what Trump did. Or what he allowed to be done. I have said all along that I believe he is unfit for the presidency. But I haven’t seen the evidence. I haven’t studied the nitty-gritty of it. I haven’t talked to lawyers, national security experts or political operatives close to the situation.

I’m sitting here in the cheap seats, the peanut gallery, where opinions get all the respect they deserve.

I would therefore be forced to accept whatever Mueller decides, even if it rubs me raw, or inflames my political passion, or fills me with anger.

Back in 1995 when the jury acquitted O.J. Simpson of murdering his former wife and her friend, I shared the anger of millions of Americans who believed Simpson got away with a heinous crime. I couldn’t fathom how the jury could make the decision in four hours after sitting through months of testimony, theatrics and fire-breathing testimony.

But the jurors did. The judicial system worked, even if it didn’t satisfy all of us. I didn’t agree with the jurors, but I accepted it. Why? Because they heard all the evidence. I didn’t.

Thus, I believe I am capable of moving on even if Robert Mueller’s investigative journey staggers to a conclusion I won’t like.

O.J. out of prison … what now?

Orenthal James Simpson no longer is locked up in a Nevada prison, but he’s hardly what you’d call a “free man.”

The former college and pro football star served a nine-year prison sentence on an array of charges stemming from an altercation he had with some guys over possession of some football memorabilia.

But … then there’s that other crime with which he’ll be associated until the end of time. His former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were stabbed to death in 1994. Simpson was the prime suspect. Police arrested him and charged him with double murder.

What ensued next was the most overexposed, overcovered and overhyped trial of the 20th century. Jurors heard months of testimony and after four hours of deliberation, they acquitted Simpson of killing the two victims.

Oh, it doesn’t end there.

Nicole and Ron’s families — the Browns and Goldmans — filed a civil suit. Another jury ruled that Simpson was “liable” for their deaths. They awarded them $33.5 million in damages.

Then came the scrape that put The Juice behind bars.

The Browns and Goldmans have been unable to collect anything from Simpson during his time in prison. His NFL pension is protected. The Hall of Famer couldn’t work, quite obviously, while he was locked up.

O.J. gets parole

Well, now he’s out. He’s free to earn some outside income apart from his pension if he’s so inclined. The question now becomes: Will the Goldmans and the Browns renew their quest for some semblance of the cash that the jury awarded them when they found Simpson liable for the gruesome deaths?

Don’t expect them to collect all of it. And at this point, I wouldn’t even bet on them getting any of it, given Simpson’s proclivity for hiring top-drawer legal advice. I mean, his criminal defense team got him acquitted of the murders despite overwhelming circumstantial and physical evidence that he committed that hideous crime.

My own wish is that O.J. Simpson vanishes from the public stage. It’s not likely to happen, given the ubiquitous nature of social media and this guy’s lust for attention.

Another wish would be for Simpson to make good on his post-acquittal promise to search for as long as it takes to find Nicole and Ron’s killer.

Oh … wait!

A ‘conflict-free life’? Not even close

I had hoped an earlier blog item I wrote about O.J. Simpson would be my final one on the subject. I was wrong. Simpson had to say something during his parole hearing that compels me to offer a brief response.

He was paroled after serving nine years in a Nevada prison. A jury convicted him of assault and robbery in connection with an altercation stemming from Simpson’s attempt to take back sports memorabilia. Yeah, he was acquitted of that other crime, too, the double murder of his wife and her friend.

Then he told parole commissioners that he has “led a conflict-free life.”

The nation’s eyebrows raised.

One of the lawyers on his Dream Team defense, F. Lee Bailey, today said that other than the admitted cases of battery of his then-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson — who was stabbed to death — that O.J. has led a life free of conflict.

Hmm. Interesting, don’t you think?

It kind of reminds me of the time the late Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry said that when you take away the murders that occurred in his city, Washington’s crime rate wasn’t all that bad.

OK. Now I’m done with O.J.

I hope.

O.J. gets parole; now, just disappear, will ya?

The Nevada state parole board did what most experts thought it would do: It granted Orenthal James Simpson parole after serving about nine years in the slammer.

O.J. Simpson was sent to The Joint for a crime unrelated to another one for which he was acquitted — and which the vast majority of Americans believe he committed. A jury convicted Simpson of assault, theft and assorted other felonies relating to his effort to recover some sports memorabilia.

The other crime? The one for which he was found not guilty? That was the double murder of his former wife and her friend.

OK. Simpson gets paroled. He’ll have to behave himself while he walks among the rest of us. If he messes up, he goes back to prison.

What I wish now is for Simpson to vanish. I want him away from the public glare. He’ll get a chance to cash in on that $25,000 monthly pension he gets from the National Football League. He was, after all, once a damn good football player.

I also believe he was guilty of the crime for which he was acquitted. That has no bearing, though, on the parole board’s decision to set him free.

I just want the media to turn to other matters. Indeed, I am hoping that this is the final thing I’ll ever write about O.J. Simpson.

Now, O.J.? Get to work looking for the “real killer” of Nicole and Ron.

Waiting for O.J.’s parole decision

Orenthal James Simpson was acquitted of a gruesome double murder.

Then he was found “civilly liable” for the deaths of his former wife and her friend.

And then he decided to take back some memorabilia and was convicted of robbery and assault. He’s been in prison for several years and is now on the verge of getting paroled for that crime.

An amazing debate is taking place: Does he deserve parole or should he be kept locked up because of the acquittal of that previous crime? Give me a break! O.J. Simpson’s parole status should be determined solely on the basis of the time he has served for the crime for which he was convicted. Period. End of argument.

Do not misunderstand me. I don’t give a damn about Simpson. I don’t care if he is denied parole or is granted his freedom after serving a substantial portion of the sentence he was given for the crime.

I also happen to be one of millions of Americans who believes he got away with murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1994. The law, though, saw it differently. After months of testimony and televised drama, that Los Angeles County jury decided in hours that he didn’t do the crime.

The system functioned as the law intended for it to function. Did it produce the desired outcome? Not in my view. But that’s just me.

That case is done. The other one for which he has spent time in the Nevada prison is still playing out — and that’s the case upon which the parole board should determine whether he walks out or stays locked up in The Joint.

Look at it this way, too. If he is released, he can resume his search for Ron and Nicole’s “real killers.” Oh, wait … 

O.J. returns — sort of — to the spotlight


Orenthal James Simpson might be getting out of prison soon.

The Nevada parole board has granted Simpson parole for some of the crimes for which he was sentenced to prison five years ago. He’s going to remain behind bars, though, until he becomes eligible to be paroled for the rest of the crimes.

So, what will he do once he walks out of the slammer?


Here’s a thought: He ought to seek to repay the African-American community that cheered his acquittal in 1995 for the double murder of his former wife and her friend.

Simpson went to prison on charges stemming from an altercation he had in Nevada over some sports memorabilia. I don’t begrudge his becoming eligible for release on those charges.

It’s the double murder and his acquittal of those charges that continue to eat at many millions of Americans.

The jury’s finding of “not guilty” was the result of brilliant defense work by Simpson’s legal team led by the late Johnnie Cochran. That the former football star walked on those charges infuriated most Americans … but cheered a significant minority of Americans, namely, African-Americans who were glad to see Simpson remain free.

More than 20 years later, it remains a fair question to ask: Why cheer this man’s acquittal only on the basis that he, too, is black?

For his entire adult life, there can be no finding of evidence that O.J. Simpson gave back to the community from which he emerged to attain athletic stardom and, to a lesser degree, a level of celebrity as a film actor.

Indeed, I saw something just this weekend about Simpson wanting — get ready for this one — to date Kris Jenner, the former wife of the late Robert Kardashian, another member of Simpson’s superstar legal team.

Eventually, Simpson will walk out of prison. He’ll be free to do whatever he wants — as long as he doesn’t violate the terms of his parole.

He ought to start his road back by giving something to the community that cheered him when — in my view — a jury let him get away with murder.

Then again, he did once vow to look for “the real killers” of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Is that pledge still on the table?


Why not just accept grand jury verdict?

Maybe the onset of old age is making me more circumspect about some things.

Such as when the criminal justice system renders a decision many folks find repugnant. Meanwhile, I have grown to just accept it as the system doing what it’s intended to do.

The grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., delivered a verdict this week that has many folks reeling. It found that a white police officer, Darren Wilson, did not commit a crime when he shot a young black man, Michael Brown, to death this past summer.

At one level I thought perhaps Wilson overreacted when he confronted Brown one night in the St. Louis suburban community. Brown wasn’t doing anything. Wilson wanted him to stop. Brown threw his hands in the air and the policeman shot him.

Well, that’s not what the grand jury heard in testimony. So it delivered a decision that some believe is unjust.

I won’t go there. I truly have no sure-footed opinion on who is right or wrong. Why? I wasn’t in the grand jury room. I didn’t hear the evidence. I didn’t see the faces of the people testifying before the panel. I didn’t have all the facts to ponder.

We’re all spectators.

That hasn’t stopped some folks from grandstanding.

At another level this case reminds me a bit of the outrage that followed the 1995 verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder case. My reaction then was similar to what it is now. That was nearly 20 years ago, so I cannot claim “old age creep” back then.

But my initial reaction to the acquittal was that the jury got it wrong. I still believe Simpson got away with murder.

Then I wrote a column in which I surmised that after many weeks of testimony, all the hoopla and courtroom histrionics, only the 12 people in the jury box had seen and heard all the evidence. Only they knew what none of the rest of us knew. I didn’t agree with their verdict, but I accepted it. The system did its job.

Then, as now, the rest of us were spectators.

I’m not going to wring my hands over this latest decision. However, I do hope it spurs a serious community conversation in Ferguson, where African-Americans think their government doesn’t represent their interests sufficiently.

The folks there have the tools to fix the problem. They can do so at election time.