If ever there were a circus held in a courtroom, it was the murder trial for suspect, O.J. Simpson. The crime fit the mold for tabloid fodder while feeding the public’s morbid curiosity. Simpson was a former NFL player who had turned to broadcasting and acting after retiring from football. The victims had been Nicole Brown Simpson, his ex-wife, and her friend Ron Goldman.
A slowly bucking Bronco
The story burst onto televisions across America with an unforgettable slow chase. After he failed to turn himself in voluntarily several days after the murders, Simpson was spotted in his white Ford Bronco and chased at 35 mph by police. Television stations everywhere interrupted broadcasts to show live footage and provide updates. Simpson eventually stopped and surrendered.
The trial that followed captured audiences around the world. Lawyers for both the defense and prosecution became household names. The murders had been incredibly brutal and gruesome. Simpson had abused his ex-wife. At the time the LAPD was under scrutiny for police brutality. This trial was significant for more people than just Simpson.
Shiny and new isn’t always best
The case for the prosecution rested upon a history of domestic violence and DNA evidence, which was relatively new at the time. The defense picked away at details, creating doubts as well as raising serious questions about evidence tampering.
At one point, Simpson was goaded into trying on a pair of gloves. The gloves were key evidence. One had been found at the murder scene and the other at Simpson’s home. Both contained DNA evidence consistent with both victims and Simpson. They didn’t fit.
If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit
Simpson was acquitted on October 3, 1995. No further arrests or convictions have been made since then.
But, that doesn’t mean O.J. isn’t still fodder for the press. Case in point.