<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - ]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/feature/oj-simpson-chase-20-years-later http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:12:34 -0700 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:12:34 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Remembering the OJ Simpson Slow-Speed Chase]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 08:16:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/222*120/OJ+SIMPSON+white+bronco+pursuit+aerial.jpg

About to be arrested on suspicion of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, former football star O.J. Simpson fled his lawyer's San Fernando Valley home June 17, 1994 before police arrived.

Simpson and his childhood friend and former teammate Al Cowlings were spotted by another motorist in Orange County just after 6 p.m.

Cowlings was driving a white Ford Bronco while Simpson was in the back seat with a loaded .357 Magnum handgun, which he at one point held to his own head. When a sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over the car, Cowlings shouted to him that Simpson was threatening suicide.

The deputy backed off but continued to follow the Bronco north on the 405 Freeway. Other patrol cars and police agencies joined, and the Bronco was followed at around 40 mph by about 20 cruisers for nearly two hours as it traversed Los Angeles-area freeways before arriving at Simpson’s Brentwood estate.

Cowlings exited the the Bronco soon after, but Simpson remained in a standoff with LAPD for nearly an hour before surrendering. He was allowed to go into the house, call his hospitalized mother and have a drink before being taken into custody.

The pursuit of the Heisman Trophy winner, wanted in connection with the grisly murder of his beautiful ex-wife and her attractive young actor friend kept the nation captivated.

An estimated 95 million viewers watched the chase live on TV and hundreds lined overpasses and freeway shoulders, many waving and cheering Simpson as the Bronco went by.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[OJ Simpson Trial: Where Are They Now?]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 15:40:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Ojcourtclarkito1.jpg

Two decades after O.J. Simpson was acquitted in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman, catch up with the key players of the "Trial of the Century."

Johnnie Cochran Jr.

Famed defense attorney and lead of Simpson's "Dream Team," Johnnie Cochran Jr. was the man behind the phrase regarding the ill-fitting black glove that became a cultural phenomenon: "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." Cochran founded The Cochran Firm, a law firm with offices nationwide. 

He had a television show "Cochran & Grace," co-hosted by former lawyer and political commentator Nancy Grace. In 2005, Cochran died from an inoperable brain tumor at age 67. Simpson was among other celebrities who attended his funeral.

Robert Shapiro:

Robert Shapiro was a key member of Simpson's defense "Dream Team" and took a step back as Cochran led the case. After the trial, Shapiro tried to distance himself from the case and instead entered the world of Internet business. He co-founded LegalZoom.com and ShoeDazzle.com.

Robert Kardashian:

Defense attorney Robert Kardashian was a close friend of the Simpson family and had Simpson as a houseguest immediately after the stabbings. Simpson left Kardashian's home on June 17, 1994, in the back of the infamous white Ford Bronco and led police on a two-hour slow-speed chase. 

Kardashian died after battling esophageal cancer in 2003, but his name lives on through his wildly famous celebrity children, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Robert, and ex-wife, Kris.

F. Lee Bailey:

F. Lee Bailey cross-examined LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman, the man who found the bloody glove, and refused to believe that Fuhrman had never used the N-word. Bailey was later disbarred from practicing law and now lives in Maine.

Marcia Clark

The lead prosecutor in O.J. Simpson's murder case, Marcia Clark became a bestselling author with a nonfiction book about the trial "Without A Doubt." 

She underwent a makeover in the middle of the trial, which some argue overshadowed her prosecution. She has appeared on TV shows including "Oprah," "Larry King Live" and "Today" to comment on legal issues. She also writes periodically for The Daily Beast.

Christopher Darden:

Prosecutor Christopher Darden's memorable moment in court came when he asked Simpson to try on the now-infamous black leather glove, which prompted Johnnie Cochran to demand, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." Many years after the trial, Darden accused Cochran of altering the glove before it was used in court. He currently practices law in Los Angeles.

Kato Kaelin:

One of the most memorable witnesses in the trial, Brian "Kato" Kaelin, now 55, was O.J.'s longtime houseguest . He was trying to get discovered in Hollywood when he moved into the home's guest bungalow and later testified about three loud thuds against his wall the night of the murders. 

Kaelin later appeared on reality TV shows including "Celebrity Boot Camp" and recently started a loungewear clothing line with actress and comedian Rhonda Shear called Kato Potato.

Mark Fuhrman:

LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman discovered the bloody glove outside of Nicole's home, specifically outside of Kaelin's guest house, the night of the murders. During the trial, O.J.'s defense team accused Fuhrman of planting evidence at the scene -- including the glove.

He was later convicted of perjury after recordings in which Fuhrman can be heard using the N-word surfaced -- something he denied doing during his testimony. After the trial, Fuhrman retired and moved to Idaho. He published a book about the case called "Murder in Brentwood" and is a writer and TV commentator.

Faye Resnick

Witness Faye Resnick was a close friend of Nicole who was targeted in court by the defense as a drug addict. Resnick had stayed in a property owned by Nicole until she went to rehab a few days before the murders. 

During the trial, she wrote the best-selling book, "Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted." She went on to pose on the cover of Playboy before starting an interior design business, Faye Resnick Design. She has appeared on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" as a friend of Kyle Richards, Kathy Hilton's sister.

Judge Lance Ito:

Lance Ito acted as judge during the murder trial and made the decision to allow cameras in the courtroom, a move that some argue swayed the jury's ruling because of the media frenzy it allowed. Ito currently works in Los Angeles criminal courts and has refused to give any interviews about the trial.

O.J. Simpson

Orenthal "OJ" Simpson, now 66, was acquitted when a jury found him not guilty in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, but a civil jury in 1997 held him liable for the deaths. The Goldman family was awarded $33.5 million in the case.

In 2006, O.J. wrote a book called "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer," in which he described the hypothetical version of the murders. After much controversy, rights to the book were transferred to the Goldman family.

Simpson was sentenced in 2008 to serve nine to 33 years in Nevada state prison for his part in a 2007 botched armed robbery and kidnapping attempt where a group of men, along with Simpson, tried to retrieve personal items from two sports memorabilia dealers. He testified in 2013 that he was not aware two of the men in the group were carrying handguns when they went to retrieve items he allegedly lost after his 1995 acquittal.

Simpson's lawyers filed an appeal in May 2014 in the Las Vegas armed robbery case. He could have to wait another three and a half years before he’s up for parole. In 2013, defense attorneys Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fume argued for Simpson's parole and said that Simpson’s previous lawyer, Yale Galanter, handled his case so badly he should have been allowed a new trial.

The White Bronco:

Simpson left Robert Kardashian's home in the back a white Ford Bronco -- owned by friend and former football teammate Al Cowlings -- and led police on a two-hour slow-speed chase watched on live TV by 95 million people. Cowlings was behind the wheel while Simpson sat in the back with a loaded handgun, which he used to threaten suicide when a deputy tried to pull over the car. 

The Bronco continued on Los Angeles-area freeways at the low speeds of 35 to 40 mph while patrol cars followed behind for nearly two hours. Hundreds of spectators lined overpasses and freeway shoulders, many waving and cheering Simpson as the Bronco passed.

Now, the famed white Bronco is reportedly available to rent for parties and events. Collector Michael Pulwer bought the Bronco for $75,000, nearly twice its original value.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Map: Key Locations in the OJ Simpson Case]]> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 20:51:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP940617048.jpg

The interactive map above shows some of the key locations in connection with the "Trial of the Century" and other events in the life of OJ Simpson.

The map includes locations that became familiar to the millions of people who watch both the June 17, 1994 slow-speed pursuit on Southern California freeways and the ensuing murder trial. Locations also include those that played a role in Simpson's life after his criminal trial acquittal.

Click on the locations on the left of the map to learn more about the importance of each site.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[The Great White Bronco Chase]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 06:41:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP9406170374.jpg It has been 20 years since OJ Simpson and Al "AC" Cowlings participated in the white bronco police chase; one of the most watched TV moments of the century.]]> <![CDATA[Still Chasing OJ Simpson]]> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 22:09:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/114705244.jpg

The "real" killer who savagely stabbed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman 20 years ago Thursday might never be identified with 100 percent certainty.

But one thing is for sure: the Los Angeles slayings and O.J. Simpson's subsequent slow-speed flight from justice kicked the modern celebrity culture into high gear.

The Simpson murders, which arrived during the Internet's infancy, are likely an abstraction to digital natives too young to remember the events of June 12, 1994, and the 16-month national obsession that ended (or at least paused) with the disgraced gridiron great's acquittal on murder charges. But the case, which went viral a decade before the YouTube era began, blazed a bloody path for our current multi-platform, around-the-clock celebrity news and entertainment mania.

The Simpson saga got people chattering – helping fuel the rise of talk radio in the 1990s and presaging the Twitter instant-commentary-driven ethos. On different levels, the sad story also helped shape the current state of cable news and spawn Reality TV.

Long before CNN’s fixation on the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Simpson’s trial marked the first major, sustained instance of the network and other channels devoting outsized time and resources to a spectacle that was undeniably compelling – but not, beyond the tragedy of two lives lost, a world-shaping event.

The Simpson trial also played like a soap opera-ish Reality TV show, and introduced bit players like Kato Kaelin and Faye Resnick, both of whom eventually rode the D-list to television long after the verdict (Kaelin on “Gimme My Reality Show!” and Resnick on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”).

But perhaps most significantly, the Simpson tale marked a turning point in which fame and infamy melded into one.

That duality is embodied in Simpson, who went from being one of the undisputed good guys of celebrity life to, at best, an abusive husband and ex-husband whose private failings belied his public persona.

It’s all too easy now to forget the football prowess of an athlete once known affectionately as ”The Juice,” who charged into the spotlight – first as a Heisman Trophy-winning running back for USC and later as the NFL’s rushing record-breaker for the Buffalo Bills. Simpson’s heroics between the hash marks and considerable off-the-field charm launched him to multi-platform stardom, as a broadcaster for NBC and pitchman for Hertz (“The superstar in rent-a-car”). Even if he wasn’t much of an actor, Simpson proved seemingly confident enough in his solid public image to make us laugh in the goofily hilarious “Naked Gun” movies.

His impeccable all-around reputation was shaken with the murders and forever shattered five days later when Simpson took off toward Mexico in a 1993 white Ford Bronco with his friend A.C. Cowlings behind the wheel. The LAPD followed slowly as a transfixed nation watched – and listened. “My name is A.C.,” Cowlings declared by phone. “You know who I am, goddamn it!"

If we didn’t, we surely soon would know all about Simpson’s former classmate and teammate – along with a cast of characters that quickly emerged in the murder case.

For some, the Simpson killings were a gripping whodunit. For others, the slayings were more like an episode of “Columbo” where the audience knows who did it, but likes watching the detective put the pieces together. Only in this case, Columbo was a cop named Mark Fuhrman, whose past racist rantings surfaced during the trial, changing everything.

Fuhrman reported finding a telltale bloody leather glove outside Simpson’s estate, matching one discovered at the crime scene. The Aris gloves were among a slew of brand-name evidence: the white Ford Bronco, Bruno Magli shoes, a key Louis Vuitton garment bag. The fancy accouterments, along with accounts of an array of high-flying friends, painted a portrait of Simpson’s Hollywood lifestyle, a picture that wouldn’t be out of place on a “Real Housewives” series.

Just like a reality show, fluff too often overshadowed substance in Simpson-land: Prosecutor Marcia Clark’s changing hairstyles were scrutinized nearly as closely as her legal strategy. The trial spurred satires, most notably Jay Leno’s recurring “Dancing Itos” bit, which mocked the judge at the center of the circus. The trial even generated a TV friendly catchphrase, courtesy of Simpson “Dream Team” lead lawyer Johnnie Cochran: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

For those of us who got to watch, even briefly, from the seats reserved for the press, being in the courtroom at times felt like being in a TV studio at the taping of a familiar show. But looking into the eyes of the weary jury or the families of the victims – a 35-year-old mother of two and a 25-year-old waiter who dreamed of opening his own restaurant – proved stark reminders that the trial was about justice, not entertainment.

Months of court proceedings, if nothing else, gave the nation a crash course in the then-developing field of DNA evidence – and almost certainly helped breed the “CSI” genre of TV police procedurals. The Simpson case also eventually birthed another genre of TV – and the Internet: TMZ, which was started by Harvey Levin, who distinguished himself with his coverage of the murders for KCBS TV in Los Angeles.

Simpson indirectly got us keeping up with the Kardashians, too: Family patriarch Robert Kardashian, was a Dream Team lawyer and perhaps Simpson’s most loyal friend. Kardashian might have taken some secrets (like what happened to the contents of that Louis Vuitton garment bag?) to the grave with him in 2003, fours years before the leak of his daughter Kim’s sex tape unleashed her and her family’s dubious celebrity.

These days, Simpson appears all but friendless nearly six years into a 33-year prison sentence for robbery and kidnapping. Perhaps fittingly, Simpson made himself a victim of his own mutated celebrity: The conviction stems from dispute over some memorabilia he claims was stolen from him.

Simpson, 66, could die behind bars, though he comes up for parole in 2017 – which will no doubt spark media interest, much like the attention generated by the 20th anniversary of the murders of two innocent people.

Even all these years later, we’re still chasing O.J.

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.



Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA["Did He Do It? Maybe, Maybe Not": Juror Speaks Out]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 12:42:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/201*120/david+aldana+oj+juror+4.JPG

Two decades after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, one of the jurors in the "Trial of the Century" spoke out about the deliberations that left OJ Simpson a free man.

David Aldana said Simpson might be guilty, but the evidence presented to the jurors wasn't enough to put him behind bars.

"On the evidence that they gave me to evaluate, it was crooked by the cops," Aldana said. "The evidence given to me to look at, I could not convict. Did he do it? Maybe, maybe not."

Aldana said he was convinced LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman planted the black glove at the crime scene.

He didn't care for Detective Tom Lange because he spoke to the attorneys but did not look at the jury. But defense attorney Johnnie Cochran entertained him.

"When he was up there, he was like the star," Aldana said of Cochran.

Testimony during the eight-month-long trial was often boring, he said, but the jurors fed well and taken on excursions.

Aldana said he was touched by the suffering of Goldman's father, Fred. 

"I feel for him, but I know if he was to see me, he would probably want to pop me," Aldana said.

He had no idea about the magnitude of the trial until he went to see his mother after being released from jury duty and found the street lined with news trucks.

Following the trial, some friends wouldn't talk to him, and Aldana got into at least five different physical confrontations over the case.

]]>
<![CDATA[Memorable Quotes from the OJ Simpson Trial ]]> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 20:35:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/165*120/EDTAP95100301340.jpg

Before the OJ Simpson murder trial could even reach a courtroom, the case was already being billed as the “trial of the century.”

Here's a look at some of the most memorable quotes from the controversial case.

1. “Absolutely, 100 percent not guilty.”
Simpson’s famous plea to two counts of murder with special circumstances in the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. (July 22, 1994)

2. If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.
Following a crucial moment in the trial in which Simpson had to squeeze his way into leather gloves linked to the killings, attorney Johnnie Cochran hammered home the theme of the defense with this infamous rhyme.  (Sept. 27, 1995) 

3. "I feel great."
Brian "Kato" Kaelin, houseguest and friend of Simpson and his slain wife, caused some laughter in the courtroom when he responded to prosecutor Marcia Clark asking if he was nervous. Later in his testimony, another round of laughs came when Kaelin said “I don’t think we were going for the same parts,” when asked by Clark about the acting roles he hoped would come his way because of his connection to Simpson. (March 21, 1995)

4. "I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime."
Though Simpson never testified, he was given the opportunity to address the court as he waived his right to take the witness stand. The jury was not in the courtroom when he talked about missing his children and wanting to put the case behind him. (Sept. 22, 1995)

5. "Not guilty."
The verdict was read, and Simpson was acquitted in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. (Oct. 3, 1995)



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[OJ Trial: Key Players Then and Now]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 06:19:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/OJ-split.jpg The People of the State of California vs OJ Simpson is still considered the "Trial of the Century." See what OJ, his lawyers, former lovers and witnesses are doing two decades later.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[20 Years Later: The Manhunt for OJ Simpson]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:48:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/222*120/OJ+SIMPSON+white+bronco+pursuit+aerial.jpg

The crime that led to the "Trial of the Century" occurred 20 years ago this week, when the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of NFL Hall of Fame football player O.J. Simpson, and a friend were discovered outside a West LA condominium.

That discovery set in motion a fast-developing series of events that culminated with a slow-speed pursuit viewed by tens of millions.

An estimated 95 million people watched the pursuit, waiting to see what would happen next in a national drama that played out in the four days following the stabbing deaths of Ron Goldman, a 25-year-old waiter, and Nicole Brown Simpson. By comparison, about 90 million viewers watched the Super Bowl earlier that year.

O.J. Simpson -- the celebrated collegiate and NFL star running back who went on to a TV broadcast and acting career -- had become a fugitive in a Southern California pursuit that concluded a week of stunning developments.

The bodies were discovered just after midnight June 13, 1994, by passers-by who followed the mournful howls of Nicole Brown Simpson's dog. The victims had been stabbed multiple times the night before, according to a coroner's report.

Simpson boarded a plane for Chicago on the night of the killings, but was summoned back to Southern California by police the next morning as investigators began collecting evidence at the crime scene.

That evidence -- including a bloody glove that Simpson would later be asked to try on during a crucial point in his murder trial -- pointed toward Simpson's involvement in the slayings, investigators said.

Simpson maintained his innocence through a series of statements by his attorneys, claiming that he was waiting for a limousine to take him to the airport for the Chicago flight at the time of the stabbings. He attended his wife's funeral on June 16 with children Justin, 6, and Sydney, 9.

The next day, a Friday, LAPD Commander David Gascon announced during an afternoon news conference that two charges of murder had been filed against Simpson and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

"Mr. Simpson, in agreement with his attorney, was scheduled to surrender this morning," Gascon said during the news conference. "Initially, that was 11 o'clock. It then became 11:45. Mr. Simpson has not appeared."

NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw called it "one of the most stunning announcements you're ever going to hear on live television."

California Highway Patrol and LAPD officers, and members of other law enforcement agencies were notified to be on the lookout for Simpson, who earlier in the day had been at the San Fernando Valley home of friend Robert Kardashian. When officers arrived there to arrest him they found he had left with friend and former USC and Buffalo Bills teammate Al Cowlings.

At a Friday evening news conference, Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro described his client's state as "frail, fragile and emotional." He confirmed that Simpson had been at the Kardashian residence early Friday and that he informed Simpson of the murder charges.

"We are all shocked by this sudden turn of events," Shapiro said.

It seemed not even his attorney could answer the question on everyone's mind: Where was O.J. Simpson?

The man recognized as a supremely talented running back, Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Southern California and NFL Hall of Famer was now a fugitive from justice. The gifted and beloved athlete who became a sports commentator, pitchman for Hertz rental car company and a cast member in "The Naked Gun" film trilogy was a double-murder suspect sought by law enforcement.

If those developments were difficult to comprehend, the evening of June 17, 1994, would enter the surreal when authorities traced cell phone calls coming from the white Ford Bronco in which Simpson and Cowlings were traveling. The sport utility vehicle that became synonymous with the Simpson case was found near the interchange of the 5 and 405 freeway, about 40 miles south of downtown Los Angeles in Orange County.

Inside, Cowlings was behind the wheel with Simpson, at times holding a gun to his own head in the back seat.

Adding to the tension of the pursuit, Simpson friend Kardashian read a letter during a news conference in which Simpson proclaimed his innocence and asked people to "please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person." The letter did not include an explicit mention of suicide, but sounded a dire tone: "Don't feel sorry for me. I've had a great life."

Crowds gathered on freeway overpasses and draped banners over railings, some with messages of support for Simpson that read, "Go OJ" and "Go, Juice." Others exited their vehicles on freeway exit ramps to get a close-up view as the Bronco and rows of about 20 patrol vehicles passed with the pounding sound of helicopters overhead.

Officers did not try to stop the Bronco, instead allowing Cowlings to drive north out of Orange County on the 405, 55 and 5 freeways before heading west on the 91 Freeway and into southwestern Los Angeles County.  Cowlings eventually returned to the 405 Freeway and turned north through Los Angeles' Westside.

The pursuit ended at about 8 p.m. when Cowlings exited at Sunset Boulevard and drove to Simpson's Brentwood home. LAPD SWAT members and negotiators responded and, after he was allowed to go inside the home for about 45 minutes, Simpson was taken into custody.

He pleaded not guilty to the murder counts, and the "Trial of the Century" began in January 1995. After more than 130 days of televised trial coverage, jurors returned a not guilty verdict on Oct. 3, 1995.

A civil jury in 1997 held him liable for the deaths and the Goldman family was awarded $33.5 million in the case.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[O.J. Simpson Trial: Crowds Gather]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:42:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/web_oj_crowds_1200x675_279818307773.jpg As the murder trial of O.J. Simpson got underway in Los Angeles, fascinated crowds flocked to his estate on Rockingham Drive, leaving signs of support. Others made their way to Nicole Brown Simpson's Brentwood condominium to see the scene of the crime and to leave flowers and signs at makeshift memorials.]]> <![CDATA[20 Years Later: Mourning Nicole Brown Simpson, Ron Goldman]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:38:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/191*120/AP04061908396.jpg

A few minutes after midnight, June 13, 1994, a neighbor discovered the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson -- the 35-year-old ex-wife of football great O.J. Simpson -- and a friend, Ronald Goldman, 25, outside her Brentwood townhouse.

Both had been stabbed to death by an assailant a few hours earlier while two Simpson children were asleep inside the home.

Brown Simpson had been to eat at local restaurant Mezzaluna, where Goldman was a waiter, with her family earlier that night, following her daughter’s dance recital. Judith Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson's mother, had left her glasses at the restaurant. Goldman said he would return them to Nicole.

As word spread of the grisly discovery in the normally quiet neighborhood, friends and family of the two began to visit her home, visibly upset and setting up makeshift memorials.

In the days that followed, both Brown Simpson and Goldman’s families addressed the media.

Despite being questioned by police the day after the murders as a possible suspect in the killings,  O.J. Simpson attended Nicole Brown Simpson's funeral in Orange County June 16, along with the former couple's two young children, Justin and Sydney.

Simpson was arrested on suspicion of murder the next day, following the now-infamous slow-speed pursuit.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[How OJ Simpson Became a Murder Suspect]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 17:31:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/114705244.jpg

On the morning of June 13, 1994, Hall of Fame football player O.J. Simpson was in Chicago, having just arrived on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles.

He was there to appear at a golf tournament sponsored by Hertz Rent-a-Car, for which he was a spokesman. After just two hours at a Chicago hotel, Simpson was informed of the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman and asked to return to LA.

When he arrived at his Rockingham Drive estate, Simpson was greeted by dozens of LAPD officers and a large group of reporters, photographers and camera crews. He was handcuffed and questioned, but was not arrested.

Police searched the property, including using metal detectors to search the grounds. He was taken to the LAPD's Parker Center headquarters, but was released.

As detectives continued their investigation, Simpson's lawyers publicly defended their client to the media. Robert Shapiro, who was quickly hired after the murders, said Simpson had been at home at the time of the killings, waiting for his limo to LAX.

Simpson attended the funeral of his ex-wife Thursday, June 16, and was slated to turn himself in to police Friday, June 17. Instead, he slipped out of his attorney’s San Fernando Valley home with his childhood friend Al Cowlings and eventually led police on the now-infamous slow-speed white Ford Bronco chase.

He was arrested later that night and charged with two counts of murder.



Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Ron Goldman's Dad: Son's Death "Is Like Yesterday"]]> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 08:21:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/51978011.jpg

Members of Ron Goldman's family say their loss still feels fresh 20 years after O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering Ron alongside Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

“It’s like yesterday, the loss is exactly the same, nothing has changed,” Fred Goldman, the victim's father, said Thursday on NBC’s Today show.

“It’s just become a new normal, minus my son, without any of the opportunity to share his life with him, his joys, his happinesses, his successes… all of that is gone."

Friday marks 20 years since the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were found outside her townhouse in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders in an eight-month trial that captivated the nation.

Ron Goldman’s sister, Kim Goldman, who wrote a book recently entitled, “Can’t Forgive,” about her brother’s murder, told "Today’s" Matt Lauer that she had to force herself to reclaim her life after the tragedy.

“I had to find what was important to me again,” Kim Goldman said. “At the age that I was in, early twenties, to be walking away from what I was supposed be doing. After my brother died I didn't know what that was because everything shifted and I was lost for a long time. It was hard to find that place.”

Kato Kaelin, who was living in O.J. Simpson’s guest house at the time of the murder and was a witness during the trial, reflected Thursday on how his life changed from being in the spotlight.

“One day I’m in a courtroom, I walk out of the courtroom and everyone is shouting my name,” Kaelin said. “I became this public figure and everybody had an opinion. I was Kato the character. Still to this day I can’t believe some of the hate that can come over social media. If I work, they say you’re capitalizing, if I don’t then I’m a bum. I can’t win, it’s a difficult situation to be in.”


 



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nicole Brown Simpson's Sister Recalls Tragedy 20 Years Later ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:16:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/edt-75503034_10.jpg

Almost 20 years after her sister Nicole Brown Simpson’s body was found stabbed to death, Tanya Brown recalls her decade-long struggle to accept her older sister’s murder.

"It was really hard for me to wrap my brain around how somebody can love you, give you children, and then kill you," Brown said.

Nicole Brown Simpson’s body was found June 12, 1994. Brown believes her former brother-in-law OJ Simpson killed her sister. Simpson was never convicted of murder, but he was found liable in a civil trial.

A day before Simpson led police on a slow speed chase and was arrested for Nicole’s murder, Tanya said she had ridden with the football star to her sister’s funeral.

"I just remember sitting there, and looking at the cut on his finger, and I was, (thinking) you know, that’s the cut everybody’s talking about," Brown said.

A decade of unresolved grief included an attempt to commit suicide. Brown ended up in psychiatric hospital for 10 days.

"I had anger toward Denise, my sisters, my parents, even Nicole, of course OJ," Brown recalled.
After that, Brown says, she had a turning point.

"I think when we get to the point where we can really accept the situation and not live in it, that's when the healing begins," Brown said.

Brown has written a book called "Finding Peace Amid the Chaos: My Escape from Depression and Suicide."

Brown added that because of the tragedy, her family has taken on the role of educating others about domestic violence and mental health.

"You got to look at something positive and if I, I'd rather have (Nicole) here, but she's doing some good work (now)," Brown said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated OJ Simpson was found guilty of violating Nicole's civil rights. But in fact, he was found liable in the deaths in a civil wrongfuth death trial.



Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Timeline: OJ Simpson Murder, Civil Trials]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 07:21:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/162*120/AP9509290376.jpg

June 2014 marks 20 years since the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of NFL Hall of Famer OJ Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman were found outside Brown Simpson's West LA condominium. OJ Simpson was arrested days after the stabbing deaths at the end of a pursuit that gripped millions of television viewers.

Months later, Simpson went on trial for the murders of his ex-wife and Goldman.

Below, some of the key events in the OJ Simpson murder trial and ensuing civil cases.

1994

June 13: OJ Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and friend Ronald Goldman are found slashed to death outside her Brentwood condominium shortly after midnight. Upon returning to Los Angeles from a trip to Chicago, the ex-football star is taken in for questioning.

June 16: Funerals are held for Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman.

June 17: After failing to surrender and then leading police on an infamous low-speed freeway chase in a white Ford Bronco, OJ Simpson is arrested and charged with two counts murder.

July 8: At the conclusion of a six-day preliminary hearing, a judge orders Simpson to stand trial.

July 20: Simpson offers a $500,000 reward for information leading to the "real killer or killers."

July 22: Simpson pleads “absolutely, 100 percent not guilty.” The case is assigned to Superior Court Judge Lance Ito.

July 27: Goldman’s family files a wrongful death suit against Simpson, alleging he "willfully, wantonly and maliciously" killed him.

Aug. 22: Some DNA test results suggest that Simpson's blood was found at the murder scene.

Sept. 9: Prosecutors announce that they will not seek the death penalty against Simpson. Instead they will ask that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole, if convicted.

Sept. 26: Jury selection begins in the criminal case.

Nov. 3: The jury, a predominantly black group of eight women and four men, are sworn in.

1995

Jan. 4: The defense team drops plans to challenge DNA evidence.

Jan. 11: Prosecutors release documents that detail dozens of allegations of physical, verbal and economic abuse. The jury is sequestered.

Jan. 18: Ito rules alleged evidence of domestic violence is admissible.

Jan. 24: Opening statements begin, with international news outlets and 24-hour video coverage being broadcast into the homes of millions.

Jan. 27: Simpson’s book, "I Want to Tell You," written in response to letters sent to him in jail, goes on sale.

Jan. 30: Attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. completes the defense’s opening statements.

Jan. 31: Sharyn Gilbert, the first of nearly a dozen domestic violence witnesses, is called. The 911 operator said she answered a call from Simpson's home in 1989 in which she heard a woman scream.

Feb. 3: Denise Brown testifies that Simpson abused and humiliated her sister. The defense calls the testimony unfair.

Feb. 12: Jurors tour Simpson's estate, the crime scene, Goldman's apartment building and other key locations.

Feb. 14: LAPD Officer Robert Riske, the first to arrive at the murder scene, describes the bodies and says some evidence may not have been photographed. Under cross-examination, Cochran resumes his effort to show that police mishandled the investigation from the start.

March 13: The defense argues that former Detective Mark Fuhrman is a racist who may have planted a leather glove to implicate Simpson. On the stand, Fuhrman denies the allegations.

March 21: Simpson houseguest Brian “Kato” Kaelin says he can't account for Simpson's whereabouts during the time of the crime.

May 8: Cellmark Diagnostics lab director Robin Cotton testifies that DNA tests show there are only a few people on Earth with the same genetic makeup of blood found at the murder scene, and one of them is O.J. Simpson.

June 12: On the anniversary of the killing, Nicole Brown Simpson's family files a wrongful-death lawsuit.

June 15: At the request of the prosecution, Simpson, wearing rubber gloves, tries on the leather gloves linked to the murders in what some experts view as the trial's key moment. He says, "They don’t fit."

July 6: The prosecution rests.

July 10: The defense begins their case, looking to raise questions about every piece of evidence offered by the prosecution.

July 25: Several defense expert witnesses begin testifying. They cast doubt on DNA evidence by describing contamination in the LAPD lab. The defense suggests the possibility that police planted evidence.

Aug. 29: Excerpts from Fuhrman's comments in taped interviews with a screenwriter are played. Defense says tapes reveal Fuhrman is racist.

Sept. 6: Fuhrman is called back to the witness stand but refused to answer questions about whether he planted evidence against Simpson or falsified police reports, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Sept. 22: The defense and prosecution rests. Simpson tells Ito, ''I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime.''

Sept. 27: Reminding the jury that the gloves did not fit Simpson, Cochran says, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."

Oct. 2: The jury reaches a verdict after four hours of deliberation. It is sealed.

Oct. 3: Verdict is announced. Simpson is acquitted on both counts of murder in the “trial of the century.”

1996

Sept. 18: Jury selection for civil trial begins.

Oct. 23: Opening statements begin.

Nov. 19: Secretly taped conversations of Simpson and ex-wife played for jurors. Simpson described as "animalistic."

Nov. 22: Simpson testifies before a jury for first time. Denies killing Brown Simpson and Goldman but can't explain physical evidence against him.

Dec. 4: Volunteer at battered women's shelter describes call from "Nicole" five days before Brown Simpson's slaying.

Dec. 20: Orange County judge awards Simpson custody of children Sydney and Justin.

1997

Jan. 16: Both sides rest after 101 witnesses and 41 days of testimony.

Feb. 4: The jury reaches its verdict: Simpson is liable in the two deaths.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[O.J. Simpson Before the "Trial of the Century"]]> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 07:22:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/AP850802035.jpg

Before the infamous “Trial of the Century,” OJ Simpson was better known as one of the most famous running backs in football history. The trial after the gruesome double murder in 1994 of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman forever stained the reputation of the beloved athlete, actor and broadcaster.

America fell in love with Simpson early on in his football career. He played both offensive and defensive positions at City College of San Francisco from 1965 to 1966. His skills on the field were noticed and won him an athletic scholarship to University of Southern California, where he would prove to be one of the best college football players of all time.

During his two years with the Trojans he was untouchable. He led the NCAA in rushing in 1967, running 1,543 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns and led again in 1968 with 383 carries for 1,880 yards.

In 1967, during his junior year, he was a Heisman Trophy candidate and starred in the famed USC vs UCLA football game. In 1988, The Sporting News' "College Football's Twenty-Five Greatest Teams" called the game in which Simpson ran 64 yards for the touchdown to tie the game one of the greatest of the 20th Century.

In both 1967 and 1968, he was named a consensus All-American and won the Walter Camp Award for player of the year.

In 1968 he rushed 1,709 yards with 22 touchdowns and won the Heisman Trophy with, to date, the largest margin of victory defeating runner up Leroy Keyes from Purdue by 1,750 points. His star performance that year also won him the Maxwell Award for collegiate player of the year.

Simpson's electrifying performances garnered the attention of professional teams, and he was the No. 1 NFL draft pick in 1969. The running back debuted as a professional football player for the Buffalo Bills and went on to some memorable individual accomplishments while with the team until he was traded in 1978 to the San Francisco 49ers.

Career highlights while with the Buffalo Bills included becoming the first player to pass the 2,000 yard mark on the ground, rushing for 2,003 yards in 1973, winning four NFL rushing titles between 1972 and 1976, winning the Pro Bowl Player of the year award in 1973 and playing in six Pro Bowls.

He retired in 1979 after playing two seasons with the 49ers.

In 1983, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and in 1985 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After leading a successful and well-known football career Simpson went on to act in several TV shows and films and was a NFL sports commentator. He was also the face of several brand endorsements with national and international fame.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Life and Times: OJ Simpson]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:48:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/OJ-thumb-.jpg Retired football player Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson is known for his numerous sports achievements as well as his widely publicized 1994 murder trial over the deaths of girlfriend Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ronald Goldman. Click to see his life in photos.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The O.J. Simpson Slow-Speed Chase]]> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 08:21:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/web_oj_pursuit_1200x675_277108291965.jpg On June 17, 1994, an apparently suicidal Orenthal "OJ" Simpson and his friend Al Cowlings led police on a 60 mile slow-speed car chase through Los Angeles and Orange counties, captivating viewers glued to television sets. Simpson had failed to surrender to police earlier in the day, when he was slated to be charged in the murders of his ex-wife and her male friend. As police closed down the freeways and 20 cruisers followed Simpson, spectators filled the freeway overpasses, many cheering him on with signs reading "Go O.J."]]> <![CDATA[Families, Friends Mourned Nicole Brown Simpson, Ron Goldman]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:37:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/web_oj_victims_scene_1200x675_277163075870.jpg In the days that followed the brutal murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, friends and family gathered outside her Brentwood home, leaving a growing memorial. At the funeral for Brown Simpson, ex-husband O.J. Simpson escorted the former couple's young children into the funeral.]]>