This Week in History

Trial of the century


Meghan Dickson, BU History Club

On October 3, 1995, people all across the nation tuned into their local news channels and radios to hear the highly anticipated verdict in the trial of O.J. Simpson, accused of the double murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. 

Simpson was found not guilty, thus ending the trial of the century. 

O.J. “The Juice” Simpson was a well-known name after a ten-year career in football, playing for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers, and his induction into the NFL Football Hall of Fame in 1985. 

After being a star in football, O.J. tried to become a star on the screen. He was seen playing various small roles in TV shows and movies. One of his most famous performance roles was as a spokesman for the car rental Hertz. 

In one of the commercials for Hertz in the late 1970’s, O.J. is seen running to get to his rental car when an old lady shouts out “Go! O.J., go!”

This later would be the catch phrase heard as Simpson evaded police custody in a low-speed chase on the L.A. highway system. 

The victim Nicole Simpson and O.J. were married in 1985, but in 1992 Mrs. Simpson filed for divorce after years of alleged abuse from O.J. 

Goldman was known as a friend of Mrs. Simpson and was rumored to be involved with her, which some people think was the reason that O.J. killed both parties in a fit of jealousy. 

 On the night in question of June 12, 1994, Mrs. Simpson and Ron Goldman were found dead on the property of Mrs. Simpson’s condominium in L.A. 

Their bodies were severely mutilated and Mrs. Simpson was nearly decapitated. Over the course of a few days, the police found substantial evidence that suggested that the killer was O.J. Simpson. 

At the scene of the crime, the LAPD found a single leather glove at Mrs. Simpson’s house and the other glove at O.J.’s house.

The police also found a small amount of blood on the gloves which was later confirmed as O.J.’s blood and both the victims. 

Near O.J.’s house, a pair of socks was also found that had Mrs. Simpson’s blood on it. Shoe prints that were the same size as O.J.’s were also found at Mrs. Simpson’s condominium.

After all of this evidence was found and with O.J. left with no alibi, the LAPD put out a warrant for the arrest of O.J. Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. 

But as stated before, Simpson tried to evade police custody on June 17, 1994, when he went on a low-speed chase in his white Bronco, with his friend Al Cowlings as the driver.  

O.J. finally surrendered to the police later that night. The trial lasted for 252 days and was televised for the whole nation to watch. O.J.’s defense team focused on the mistakes that the LAPD made when handling certain evidence. 

There were problems of acquiring and labeling evidence, such as the blood found and O.J.’s Bronco.

The detective’s character was also called into question by the defense team when it was made aware that Mark Fuhrman was an alleged racist and was accused of planting evidence, which thus discredited all other evidence found by him.

During a memorable part of the trial, the prosecution had O.J. put on the leather gloves, and the gloves did not fit, which lead to the defense attorney Johnny Cochran to coin the saying “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!” 

On October 3, 1995, it took the jury only four hours to deliberate and find, unanimously, that O.J. Simpson was not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. 

Documentaries have been made surrounding O.J. and this trial, many of them pointing to O.J. as the murderer, even after being acquitted. 

Most of these documentaries do not look for other suspects, only O.J., which leads them to be biased and to have biased viewership. I know that I am one of them.

In my opinion, I do think that O.J. murdered his ex-wife and Ronald Goldman. There are many moving parts to this trial and influences from the outside that leave me to believe that even with the trial ending in “not guilty,” O.J. was the murderer. 

There has not been many other theories as to who else could have done it, leaving only O.J.

The O.J. Simpson trial is a complex and highly interesting one. It is worth the attention during the 24th anniversary of the acquittal of O.J. 

There is more to this trial then what’s in this article, which adds to the controversy surrounding both the trial and O.J. Simpson, which I highly suggest looking into. 

There is more reference materials from TV shows to books, talking about the trial and its many components.

These are worth your time to look at in order to form your own opinion on who murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Meghan is a sophomore History major and a member of the History Club.