If O.J. Simpson didn’t do it — commit the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman — then he has an amazingly accurate imagination.
Simpson’s account of what happened on June 12, 1994, is fluid and plausible. As a confession it makes total sense. To say it’s fiction is the most unbelievable statement.
And Simpson had every chance to change his confession. According to writer Pablo Fenjves, he went through three edits of the book, including the chapter called “The Night in Question.”
Simpson brags that he intended to scare Nicole after seeing her at their kids’ recital. He goes to her condo with his limited-edition knife under his seat, a wool cap and gloves he used for early-morning, cool-weather golf games.
In the back of Nicole’s house, he’s surprised by Ron Goldman, who’s coming to return eyeglasses that belonged to Nicole’s mother. They were left at the restaurant where they’d all been earlier.
Nicole enters the scene and flails at O.J. to get lost, and let her live her own life. Simpson imagines they are lovers. He writes: “She came at me like a banshee, all arms and legs, flailing, and I ducked and she lost her balance and fell against the stoop. She fell hard on her right side — could hear the back of her head hitting the ground — and lay there for a moment, not moving.”
Goldman takes a karate stance to defend himself. And that’s when things get both weirder and a lot more believable.
“Then something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can't tell you exactly how. I was still standing in Nicole's courtyard, of course, but for a few moments I couldn't remember how I'd gotten there, when I'd arrived, or even why I was there… I put my left hand to my heart and my shirt felt strangely wet. I looked down at myself. For several moments, I couldn't get my mind around what I was seeing. The whole front of me was covered in blood, but it didn't compute. Is this really blood? I wondered. And whose blood is it? Is it mine? Am I hurt?
“I was more confused than ever…. I again looked down at myself, at my blood-soaked clothes, and noticed the knife in my hand. The knife was covered in blood, as were my hand and wrist and half of my right forearm. That didn't compute either. I wondered how I had gotten blood all over my knife…”
What follows is Simpson’s return to cogency. He strips, balls up his clothes and heads back to his house in the Bronco. A series of defensive moves unfolds: how to deal with the limo driver waiting for him, what to do with the clothes, how to act on the way to Chicago and when the police call to say Nicole has been killed.
The fact that Simpson owns up to not remembering the actual murders makes sense. He confesses to being on medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, probably something with steroids.
But he was also in the process of withdrawing from steroids after years of abusing them. Right after the arrest, Simpson’s attorney Robert Shapiro hired Dr. Robert Huizenga, whose specialty was athletes and steroid abuse.
Huizenga later testified at the trial about Simpson’s condition. But Simpson was never tested for steroids when he was arrested — just cocaine, marijuana, etc.
Huizenga told me three years ago: "My take, and what I say now, is that Simpson was innocent in the trial," Huizenga told me, referring to the criminal trial in which a jury acquitted Simpson. A civil jury later held him responsible for the murders.
"That doesn't mean he did or didn't do it. Let's face it, the evidence is completely suspicious. Some guilty people are set free," Huizenga said.
Huizenga told me he was shocked about how prosecutors treated him. His direct questioning by the state was from Deputy District Attorney Brian Kelberg, who worked for Marcia Clark.
"I told them that Simpson appeared to be limping when he came into my office. Instead of asking me about that, they said, 'He wasn't limping, you're lying, we have tape of him from two months before.'”
Clark's team never asked why Simpson had been limping, or what would have brought him to that point.
On the stand, Huizenga told Kelberg that Simpson walked into his office three days after the murders "like Tarzan's grandfather." Instead of exploring how Simpson could have come to be in that condition, Kelberg replied: "...perhaps Mr. Simpson was faking a limp in your office?"
"They assumed I was lying," Huizenga said to me. "They didn't ask me if it was possible that he'd been in the greatest fight of his life just a few days before."
O.J. Simpson has a lot of opinions about his ex-wife Nicole in his book, “If I Did It.” For one thing, he claims that she got pregnant by one of her lovers after they were divorced.
Later, after she’s been killed, he recalls thinking, “A wake? For whom? Who died? In the morning, I turned on the TV and it was the same old story. The reporters were still harping on this idea that Nicole was leaving me and trying to get on with her life, and that I'd been unable to handle it.”
Simpson’s hatred for Nicole permeates “If I Did It,” which pretty faithfully recounts Simpson’s marriage to the blond beauty, their efforts to reconcile after their divorce and Simpson’s life after the marriage.
The only difference between Simpson’s account and others that have been published in the past by journalist Sheila Weller or Nicole’s slimy friend Faye Resnick is that Simpson blames everything he can think of on Nicole.
For example, he writes: “You never knew what was going to piss her off, and when she was pissed off she could hold onto her anger for days.”
On the other hand, he states: “If there is one good thing I can say about the separation, it's this: We never fought about anything. In fact, during that entire period we only had one argument, and it was because some of her friends were racking up charges on my account at the golf club in Laguna.
"My assistant, Cathy Randa, spotted the charges and brought them to my attention, and I immediately called Nicole. ‘Who the hell do these people think they are, eating and drinking at my expense, and why the hell are you allowing it?’"
Simpson has a fuzzy memory when it comes to accounts of 911 calls to the police by his ex-wife claiming abuse.
His contradictions don’t stop there. He writes that he didn’t care what Nicole did with her life, then throws in: “I didn't enjoy watching Nicole settle into a new place with the two kids, watching her move forward without me.”
He’s quick to sell her out to make the mother of his kids look bad, though.
“When I was in New York, she called. ‘I need to talk to you,’ she said. ‘Yeah?’ ‘I'm pregnant.’ That kind of threw me a little. ‘With the guy you're so crazy about?’ I asked. ‘No,’ she said. ‘Someone else.’ ‘So you're not crazy about that other guy anymore?’ ‘That ended a long time ago.’
"‘Oh,’ I said. I didn't know what else to say. ‘I guess I'm going to have an abortion,’ she said. I didn't know what to say to that, either. Was I supposed to give her my blessing or something? ‘I'm sure you'll do what you think is best,’ I said. ‘Thanks,’ she said. ‘For what?’ ‘I don't know,’ she said. ‘For listening, I guess.’"
In “If I Did It,” a book in which O.J. Simpson specifically details how he killed his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, Dan Rather unwittingly comes into play.
Simpson recounts in the book his famous slow-speed Bronco chase through the streets of Los Angeles. He says that, with gun in hand, he seriously considered committing suicide. He had a Magnum .357 with him in the Bronco, and while A.C. Cowlings was driving him around, Simpson thought he’d use it on himself.
What changed his mind? Listening to Dan Rather cover the Bronco chase on CBS Radio.
“And just then I heard Dan Rather's voice on the radio: ‘We have now learned that the police have been to Mr. Simpson's house six or seven times on domestic abuse calls.’ And I just g——-n snapped: ‘What the f—- motherf—-er!’"
At this point, Cowlings — who’d left the car to relieve himself, returned and saw the gun. Simpson remembers: “But I wasn't listening to him. I was listening to more of Dan Rather's bulls—-: ‘We're now learning that Mr. Simpson has a long history with the Los Angeles Police Department,’ yada yada yada. And I'm shouting at the radio, ‘You ain't learned s—-, motherf—-er!’ I almost put a bullet through the radio.”
"What the f—- is going on?!" A.C. said, also hollering. "Nothing!" I said. "Take me the f—- home! That changes everything. I'm not going to listen to any more of this bulls—-!’
"And A.C. got behind the wheel and pulled out, with me still fuming and venting. ‘Who the f—- do these people think they are?! They're supposed to be reporters. They hear one lie and if it's a lie they like they goddamn share it with the world. Well, I'm sick to death of it!’ I wasn't thinking of killing myself anymore. Depression had given way to rage.”