The Shocking Case of O.J. Simpson


– This week on BuzzFeed
Unsolved we discuss the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson
and Ronald L. Goldman. Or as you may know it,
the case of O.J. Simpson, who was Nicole’s ex-husband, a Hall of Fame running back in
the National Football League, and the case’s top suspect. – Also, I was a little
boy when this happened. – But you do know a fair amount. – Yeah. I mean for anyone our age, he’s just– – Yeah, I’d actually never
even knew he played football. I just knew him as the guy who
probably murdered somebody. – Yeah. – And his name was The Juice. – His name was The Juice. – There’s a lot to unpack here. So, let’s just get into it. In the early morning of June
13th, 1994 at 12:10 a.m. the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman were found outside Nicole’s Brentwood
townhouse, stabbed to death. So right now we’re on our way
to Nicole Simpson’s house. Ugh. – [Shane] Is that it right up there? – That’s it over there. I feel awful. – [Shane] Yeah I’m not crazy about this. – No. Look at that face!
– Such a, such a cheery, cheery evening here in Brentwood. – [Ryan] Yeah. (sighing)
(creepy orchestral music) Oh boy, okay. (groaning) – [Shane] Good times. – At the time, Nicole and
O.J. Simpson were divorced and living in separate residences, both located in Brentwood. The bodies were discovered
by two neighbors who were literally led to the crime scene by Nicole’s dog, (dog barking) a dog that multiple neighbors would
say was incessantly barking around the time of the murders. So like I said, the dog led
the neighbors down the street, I’m not sure if it was
this way or that way, but the dog led them to the entrance, and they just saw the blood, coming out to the sidewalk. This whole place has been renovated, so the entrance right now
is in a different place than it was back then, but– – [Shane] You know what
occurs to me, though, is how close all those apartments were. And how it’s like– – [Ryan] And how no one heard. – For some reason, yeah, yeah, I always imagined this street was bigger, and things were a little more separated, but everything’s kind of
on top of each other there. I imagine some people would
have had to hear something. – That’s a good point. I never thought about that. Let’s go through the established and highly detailed timeline. On June 12th, 1994, at 6:30 p.m., Nicole, her children, and
others arrive at dinner at a restaurant called Mezzaluna. At 9:15 p.m., Nicole’s
sister calls Mezzaluna to say that her mother had
left her glasses there. Ronald Goldman goes to
pick up the glasses. At nine to 9:30 p.m. Brian Kato Kaelin and O.J. Simpson go to
McDonald’s for dinner. I can’t imagine McDonald’s was pleased to hear that. – I know.
– I’m sure they wished he left that out of the testimony. – [Shane] Was that in the testimony? – [Ryan] I mean it had to be. It’s on the official timeline. – [Shane] Oof. (Ryan laughing) Well, free, it did get a lot of media coverage– – I guess.
– So free, free advertising. – [Ryan] I suppose. At 9:45 p.m., Kato and O.J. return home from McDonald’s. Kato was staying with O.J. in
his guest house at the time. At 9:48 to 9:50 p.m.,
Goldman leaves Mezzaluna with a white envelope containing
Nicole’s mother’s glasses. At 10:15 p.m., Nicole Simpson’s
neighbor hears a dog bark and cry while he is watching TV. The prosecution would later
cite these barks as the barks of Nicole’s dog, who is
theoretically crying out at the murder of its owner, Nicole. – [Shane] They’re going by dog bark? – [Ryan] They’re going by dog bark. In a lot of ways, this dog, is the real hero of this
story, it seems like. – [Shane] I don’t know if
there’s a lot of heroes in this one, Ryan.
– No, no, but the dog– – [Shane] If you wanna give it to the dog, then sure.
– I’ll give it to the dog, I’d like to have something
happy about this story– – Yeah.
– And the dog is a regular Lassie. For the sake of just
keeping this less bleak, let’s show a picture
of an akita right now. I think we could all use that. – Please. – [Ryan] (laughing) Okay. – Hey, something jolly. – Yeah, something jolly. At 10:25 p.m., a limousine
driver named Allan Park arrives at O.J.’s home. O.J. was scheduled to leave
on a redeye that night from LA to Chicago at 11:45 p.m. At 10:40 p.m., O.J.’s guest,
Kato, heard three loud thumps on an outside wall of the
guesthouse he is staying in. From 10:40 to 10:55 p.m.,
Allan Park, the limo driver, buzzes O.J.’s intercom several times, but there’s no answer. Just before 11 p.m., the limo
driver sees a shadowy figure, six feet tall, 200 pounds, walking across the
driveway towards the house. At about 11 p.m., the limo driver tries
buzzing the intercom again, and this time, O.J. answers. O.J. tells the limo driver
that he had overslept and had just gotten out of the shower. Doesn’t look too good. – [Shane] Doesn’t look too good. Could’ve been a coyote? – [Ryan] (laughing) What? – [Shane] Eh, Los Angeles
has got it’s fair share of coyotes running around. – [Ryan] A six-foot tall
coyote that weighed 200 pounds? By the way, for it being a shadowy figure, this guy seems to have a very
accurate description of him. – [Shane] I know, yeah. – [Ryan] Six feet, 200 pounds. – [Shane] But very shadowy. – [Ryan] Smelled of McDonald’s. At 11:45 p.m., O.J. departs
on an American Airlines flight to Chicago. And taking us back to the start, at 12:10 a.m., the bodies
of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman are
discovered outside her townhouse, stabbed to death. Evidence found at the crime scene included a blood-stained glove left
by the suspected killer, a knitted hat, and a bloody footprint. Detectives would arrive at
O.J.’s house at five a.m., and would discover some
key pieces of evidence, but we’ll get into that later. Meanwhile, O.J.’s flight lands in Chicago. According to lead
prosecutor, Marsha Clark, detective Ron Phillips
called O.J. to inform him that his ex-wife was dead. O.J.’s first response? Quote, who killed her, end quote. – [Shane] Not good. – [Ryan] Not, how did she die? – Nope.
– What happened? (laughing) Who killed her? – [Shane] Yeah. That’s not, that’s not the go-to there. (Ryan laughing) – [Ryan] O.J. was questioned
for three hours by the LAPD, but released. On June 17, 1994, four days later, O.J. was charged with
two counts of murder, but he famously did not
surrender to the police, and was declared a fugitive. The resulting low-speed police chase of O.J. on the freeways
of southern California, in his white Ford Bronco, is a lasting memory for
anybody familiar with the case. Do you remember that? – [Shane] I actually don’t. I think I was not too on
top of the news cycle then, ’cause I was watching
Power Rangers or something. (Ryan laughing)
But I was not– – [Ryan] Yeah, that’s true, maybe you were just eating
cereal or some shit like that. – Yeah.
– So I probably, taking a dump or something, I don’t know. – [Shane] Is that all you did do at that age?
– That’s all did, was take dumps. – Oh, well.
– In my pants. – [Shane] That’s a weird childhood. – [Ryan] O.J. was in the passenger seat. The car was being driven
by his friend, Al Cowlings, who would later explain he
didn’t stop due to the fact that O.J. was apparently
holding a gun to his own head in the car, and that O.J. was suicidal. In fact, a suicide note by O.J. was found, but we’ll get to that in a bit. So right now, we’re going about the speed that O.J. was when the
chase was happening, and we’re in rush hour traffic,
for the most part, in LA. – I thought he was going even slower. – [Ryan] I can’t say I
feel exhilarated right now. Nor do I feel like Vin Diesel. During the chase, they
recorded a phone call between O.J. and homicide
detective, Tom Lange. Here’s some audio from that. – [Tom] Nobody’s gonna get hurt. – [O.J.] I’m the only one that deserves– – [Tom] No, you don’t, deserve that.
– I’m gonna get hurt. – [Tom] You do not deserve to get hurt. (O.J. groans) You do
not deserve to get hurt. Don’t do this. – [O.J.] All I did was love Nicole, that’s all I did, was love her. – [Ryan] The chase would end
in O.J.’s home in Brentwood. Inside the car, they found, in what I imagine was unintentional humor, makeup adhesive, a fake mustache and
goatee, O.J.’s passport, and a gun. Just try to picture, one of the most famous
people in the world, trying to sneak into TSA
with a glued-on mustache, and thinking that it’s gonna workout. (laughing) I can’t believe
he was even considering it. – [Shane] It’s a little juvenile. – [Ryan] O.J. surrendered
to the police at 8:51 p.m. Let’s go over O.J.’s suicide note. Aside from thanking those
who meant a lot to him in his life, O.J. professed his innocence. Quote, “First, everyone understand. “I have nothing to do
with Nicole’s murder. “I loved her. “Always have and always will. “If we had a problem, it’s
because I loved her so much.” End quote. And with that, let’s
get into the suspects. Unlike our other cases, this
case has one clear top suspect. O.J. Simpson. So let’s break this
down into two sections. Why O.J. is the killer, and why O.J. isn’t the killer. Let’s start with why
he could have done it. First off, let’s start
with a possible motive. O.J. and Nicole Simpson had
been going through a break, and around the time of the murders, Nicole and Ronald Goldman had reportedly grown increasingly close, leading some to speculate
that they were, perhaps, more than friends, though Goldman said that wasn’t the case. That, obviously, is a
clear motive, right there. – [Shane] Yeah, well, I mean, even if Goldman had said that
that wasn’t the case, it’s, I don’t think that’s gonna matter– – No.
– If he’s spending any time with her.
– I mean, that’s a meme now, the guy you shouldn’t be worried about. – [Shane] Right, yeah. – [Ryan] Yeah, so. (laughing) In the most extreme case. Now, let’s return to the timeline. If the murders did, in fact, occur around 10:15 when
the dog barking began, as the prosecution suggested, that would give O.J. enough
time to commit the murders, clean himself up, and be back at his house by 11 p.m. to greet the limo driver. Right now we’re heading over
to O.J.’s Rockingham Estate, which was actually only six minutes away from Nicole’s townhouse. So. – [Shane] So it’s feasible. Especially if he was clippin’. Damn, these houses are nice. – [Ryan] Yeah, these are very nice houses. – That’s, I think, it. – That supposedly is it. – Yeah. Oh boy. – [Ryan] So this is the former site of O.J.’s Rockingham Estate. It was demolished in 1998. But, happy to leave. Going into DNA evidence. O.J.’s blood, as well as
Nicole’s and Goldman’s, were found on the glove left
at the scene of the crime. Further damning was the fact that this glove matched a glove found within O.J.’s estate
behind the guest house, near the area where O.J.’s
friend Kato heard loud thumps at 10:40 p.m. Both gloves had blood on
them that matched Nicole, Goldman, and O.J. O.J. also had a cut on his
finger the day after the murders when the police interviewed him. The knitted hat found at the
crime scene contained hairs that were proven to be O.J.’s by the FBI hair and fiber laboratory. Also found at O.J.’s residence
was Nicole’s blood on a sock. Blood was also found in his driveway. The bloody shoe print found at the crime scene matched O.J.’s size, and the sole pattern matched another pair that O.J. owned at the time. O.J. had also purchased a knife, matching the type the coroner
predicted the killer used. Though, the knife and the
shoes were never found. – [Shane] This is where a lot of people, sorta draw the line, right? – [Ryan] (laughing) When you
have three separate pieces of evidence that have DNA
connotations linking you to the murder. – [Shane] If you’re looking at, at the surface here, boy, oh boy. – [Ryan] That’s an avalanche of, he done it, right there. – [Shane] Yeah. – So, maybe we should just show
a picture of that dog again, just like, yeah, just every time we get sad, we show the picture of the dog. – You wanna bring that up. – Bring that bad boy up. It’s right there. – Good.
– It’s a good dog. – Good dog. – [Ryan] Another key detail was the fact that O.J. had been a perpetrator of spousal abuse against
Nicole Simpson in the past, reportedly resulting in nine police visits to the Simpson residence responding to domestic disturbance calls. In 1989, O.J. was found
guilty for spousal abuse, and plead no contest to the charges. Bizarrely, O.J. himself
actually wrote a book in 2006 called, If I Did It, a hypothetical account of the murders. Though the book was first
canceled due to public outrage, it was later published, with the profits going
to the Goldman family. – [Shane] Oh, boy. That’s… – [Ryan] Holy shit. (laughing) That’s all
I have to say to that. – [Shane] He just, (Ryan
laughing) redefining– – [Ryan] This guy’s got some nads on him, and in the worst way possible. For those that are new to this case, O.J. Simpson was found
not guilty in court. Despite the DNA evidence
found at the crime scene, the defense team called to the attention of the jury technical mistakes
made by the forensic team which created some
doubt over the evidence. Evidence was not packaged correctly and even left in a van to overheat. This ultimately led to them suggesting that the crime scene may
have been contaminated. Grasping at straws. I don’t know, I’m not a scientist, I’m not a forensic artist–
– I know, I know you’re not. – [Ryan] Yeah, I mean, in case
you’re wondering, I’m not. – [Shane] He is not. – [Ryan] But, from my knucklehead perspective, this looks very bad. During the trial, the defense team had O.J.
try on the glove found at the crime scene, and it was too small, Leading to the now famous
line by his lawyer, quote, “If it doesn’t fit,
you must acquit,” end quote. – [Shane] Catchy. – [Ryan] He Dr. Seuss’d his
way out of a murder, so. Though, it’s worth mentioning, the prosecution team was
against having O.J. try on the glove, because it had been frozen
and unfrozen multiple times as a preservation method, and it also had been covered in blood. – [Shane] I don’t know how
glove freezing works, frankly. – [Ryan] Yeah, I’m not a big, I’m not a glove-freeze artist. – [Shane] No. – [Ryan] Many believe
that race played a factor in O.J.’s acquittal due to the events that surrounded the trial. In 1992, race riots occurred
due to the LAPD’s senseless and horrific beating of a
black man named Rodney King, a beating for which the
assaulting officers were acquitted of all charges. The defense strategically
used law enforcement racism as a reason for O.J.’s charges. They showed a video of Simpson handcuffed, as soon as he returned from
Chicago, demonstrating the rush in judgment by the police. Perhaps one of their biggest arguments was centered around
detective Mark Fuhrman. During the trial, the defense played for the jury a tape of audio
in which detective Fuhrman was recorded using racial
slurs over 40 times in one recorded sitting. This is noteworthy, because Detective
Fuhrman was the first man to step inside O.J.’s
Brentwood Rockingham Estate after the murders occurred, a feat he accomplished
by jumping over the wall of O.J.’s estate. This is a critical detail because, according to Detective
Fuhrman’s own testimony, it was during this time
after he jumped the wall that he alone discovered the
notorious matching bloody glove behind O.J.’s guest house. With this information, the
defense was able to suggest that Detective Fuhrman planted the glove, and perhaps all other evidence
found at O.J.’s estate, effectively tainting
the evidence regardless of whether or not it was true. Christopher Darden, a
deputy district attorney, assigned to the O.J. case
summarized it in this quote: Quote, “It will do one thing. “It will upset the black jurors. “It will say, whose side are you on, “the Man or the Brothers,” end quote. The jury was made up
of eight black people, one Hispanic person, one white person, and two people of mixed race. All these things considered, the jury reached the verdict of not guilty after less than
four hours of deliberation. However, it’s worth
mentioning that O.J. lost the eventual civil case
for the wrongful deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson
and Ronald Goldman, with the jury awarding
their families $33.5 million in punitive damages. – This episode is bumming me out, Ryan. – (laughing) Yeah I know. – This is a very depressing case. – This is the worst. But if O.J. didn’t kill his
ex-wife and Ronald Goldman, then who did? Let’s get into some alternate suspects. The first suspect is
serial killer Glen Rogers. In an investigation discovery documentary, Clay Rogers, the brother of
serial killer Glen Rogers, said that while on death row, his brother Glen confessed to
murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Though, even if this theory is true, O.J. would still be guilty. Glen Rogers reportedly had been hired by O.J. to steal a pair of
Nicole’s earrings from her condo, but was told to kill her
if she got in the way. However, it’s possible that Rogers was serving
a six week jail sentence at the time of the murders, and thus lied about his involvement. – [Shane] I feel like, people in prison for murder, and serial killers, tend to just– – [Ryan] Claim things? – [Shane] Yeah, why do they do that? – [Ryan] Sometimes people claim things, in an effort to make themselves
seem more accomplished in that field, I suppose.
– Well, none of us are impressed. – No, I’m not impressed.
– Serial killers. – [Ryan] (laughing)
Yeah, that’s gonna really let it sink in. They’re gonna see this video, and be like, he’s right. Pack it up, you know what, let’s, what’re we, what’re we doing? – Stop it. – You’re really hittin’
that there hard right now. – Stop it.
– Keep going, keep going, maybe you’ll make a difference. – Stop serial killing. – [Ryan] The last
suspect is Jason Simpson, O.J.’s son, and is the sole theory of famed private investigator Bill Dear, who is one of the few
private investigators to be inducted into the
Police Hall of Fame. Though, it’s worth mentioning that many have discredited Dear’s case as almost entirely circumstantial. Nonetheless, Dear presents
his theory in a book, and the highlights are as follows. At the time of Nicole
and Goldman’s murders, Jason was on probation after
having attacked his former boss with a knife. According to Dear, Jason had also attacked
a former girlfriend, named Jennifer Green. Dear also spoke to
another former girlfriend of Jason’s named Dee Dee, who claimed Jason almost broke
her back after throwing her into a bathtub and, perhaps
even more suspiciously, cut off her hair with a knife, giving Jason two reported
assaults involving a knife. Dear also reportedly obtained
medical records of Jason’s, illegally, some might add, by dressing up and impersonating a doctor
at Ceders-Sinai Hospital, for two weeks, where
Jason had been a patient. – I don’t like this guy.
– I mean, he tricked people in hospital for two weeks. – [Shane] People were murdered. (Ryan laughing) And this
guy’s playing dress-up? – [Ryan] I know, but I’m just saying. – [Shane] He’s like,
oh, what if I do this, woohoo!
– Well, he was doing it because he was chasing–
– I’ll put on a funny wig– – [Ryan] In his mind,
he was chasing justice. I mean, apparently the Police
Hall of Fame thought so, so. – [Shane] Is that a real thing? – [Ryan] Yes, it is. – [Shane] I wouldn’t be surprised, if it was just him making that up. Him in different costumes, being like, yes, we’re a real organization– – He cuts the video–
– Talk the the President. – So he talks–
– Yes, hello, I’m the President. (Ryan laughing) Hey, he looks like that other guy, he just got a mustache. According to Dear,
Jason had been diagnosed with intermittent rage disorder, and around the time of the murders, Jason stopped taking the
prescribed antipsychotic drugs. This was also during the time when Jason reportedly told doctors he was, quote, “going to rage.” Jason’s alibi was that he was working at a restaurant that night. Dear feels this is a flimsy alibi, due to the fact that his timecard is reportedly handwritten, which could suggest it was
forged after the murders. This reportedly handwritten timecard looks even more suspicious
when you consider the fact that the electronic time clock at the restaurant was fully
functional that night. Dear also reportedly has pictures of Jason wearing a knitted hat that bears resemblance to
the one found at the scene of the crime, pictures that only exist
before the murders, and not after. To cap this off, Dear suggests
that O.J. was only present at the scene of the
crime to protect his son, and that this would explain
his bizarre behavior after the murders, such as the infamous Bronco chase. But, as mentioned before, many have discredited Dear’s case as almost entirely circumstantial. Unrelated to this case,
on September 16, 2007, O.J. was connected to a
robbery in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the 2008 trial that followed, O.J. was found guilty for 12 counts, including armed robbery and kidnapping, and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. According to CNN, the overall percentage of Americans who believe O.J. did murder Nicole Brown
Simpson and Ronald Goldman has increased from 66% in 1994, to 83% in 2014. – Certainly, there are
a lot of implications. Nuanced, very nuanced. – I feel dirty, I feel like
I need to take a shower. And then a bath. – Yeah. – And then another shower. – Yeah. – I need a drink. – Well, thanks Ryan,
this has been a blast. – Yeah, let’s just go. – Yeah.
– Okay. Ouch. Perhaps one day, we will
have a definite answer for who is responsible
for the tragic murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. But for now, the case
officially remains unsolved. (eerie ambient music)