The People vs. O.J. Simpson: What the Jury Didn't See
The case of the People v. O.J. Simpson became known as the “Trial of the Century” and had millions glued to their television sets.
Most people arrived at their own verdict by reading the press and watching TV — and many were shocked when Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. But a lot of pieces of evidence that made national headlines were not actually seen by the jury.
Here are a few of them:
The Missing Moments Of The Bronco Chase
America was riveted by the surreal slow-speed pursuit of Simpson in a Ford Bronco driven by friend Al “A.C.” Cowlings that interrupted the NBA playoffs.
But legal experts say that prosecutors missed the chance to introduce the car chase and Simpson’s famous “suicide” note in order to prove consciousness of guilt. This meant that the jury was never presented with testimony by Cowlings or any of the people present at the home of Simpson lawyer Robert Kardashian when Simpson fled.
They also never heard about the items that Simpson was allegedly carrying in the Bronco — a fake beard, a passport, and more than $8,000 in cash.
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Mark Fuhrman, a former LAPD detective, discovered the leather glove on Simpson’s estate, but the defense later discredited him after finding tapes of him using the N-word after swearing under oath he hadn’t used the word in over a decade.
Fuhrman’s tapes, which were recorded by screenwriter Laura McKinny, were allowed in the courtroom. But even though the recordings reportedly covered nearly 13 hours of dialogue, only two excerpts were allowed to be heard as evidence in court.
- “They don’t do anything,” Furhman said of women police officers during the excerpt played for the jury. “They don’t go out there and initiate a contact with some six-five n—– who’s been in prison seven years pumping weights.”
- “We have no n—–s where I grew up.”
The recordings show that Fuhrman used the N-word 41 times between 1985 and 1994. The jury never heard Mark Fuhrman plead the Fifth, or anything he said to the screenwriter about police cover-ups and racism against black suspects.
Faye Resnick, a friend of Brown Simpson’s, cowrote a tell-all book less than four months after the murders called Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted with National Enquirer gossip writer Mike Walker. She reportedly received a $60,000 advance for the book.
The publication of Resnick’s book forced a halt to jury selection as Judge Ito took time to read the book and weigh its possible impact. Ultimately, the prosecution opted not to call Resnick to the witness stand — even though she could have testified to how O.J. Simpson had threatened Nicole’s life.
The prosecution could point to only one incident of proven domestic violence against O.J. Simpson. But “Nicole had referred to several more in the diary she prepared for her divorce proceeding, but Ito had ruled (correctly) that that document was inadmissible hearsay evidence,” author Jeffrey Toobin wrote in his book The Run Of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
Though their names were plastered all over the tabloids, the jury never heard about fellow football star Marcus Allen’s alleged affair with Nicole.
Defense attorneys reportedly wanted Allen testify, since they claimed that Allen confessed the affair to Simpson and Simpson did not hold a grudge, and still let his friend get married at his Rockingham estate. Allen denied the affair and did not testify.
Shively claimed that she saw Simpson driving wildly near Brown Simpson’s house the night of the murders. She was bounced by the prosecution after taking $5,000 from the tabloid TV show Hard Copy.
Rosa Lopez and Mary Anne Gerchas
Rosa Lopez was a witness for the defense who Johnnie Cochran called the “Maid with the Alibi” in his opening statement. But she gave several contradictory statements after first claiming she saw Simpson’s Bronco parked at his house around the time prosecutors say Simpson was committing the murders.
Due to the contradictions in her story, the defense never called her back. She testified under protest, hopped on a plane to El Salvador, and hasn’t been heard from since. Her testimony was videotaped, but never shown to the jury.
Another defense witness, Mary Anne Gerchas, claimed that she saw four men running from Nicole’s Bundy condo in her direction — but was let go after bouncing checks and defrauding a hotel in unrelated cases.
Murder Weapon Theories
The prosecution had a theory that Simpson could have smuggled the murder weapon out of town by taking the knife to Chicago and dumping it there. According to CNN, investigators for the prosecution tested this theory by sneaking a knife with a five-inch blade through an X-ray machine at Los Angeles Airport without getting caught.
Read more: CNN