O.J. case: A search for the facts // 1 suspect, 2 murders, few answers
Richard Price; Jonathan T. Lovitt
LOS ANGELES - The O.J. Simpson murder case has overloaded the public with
scattered bits of information, much of it utterly without foundation.
So what can we believe?
Sorting through a coroner's investigative report, direct observations, statements
by authorities, TV shots of actual events and information verified by two or more
named sources, here's a look at the most credible material.
-- Background: Police have confirmed three cases of Simpson attacking his
ex-wife in some manner. In 1985, he broke her car window with a baseball bat.
In 1989, he was convicted of battering her after a New Year's Eve party. In 1993,
he knocked down her door and screamed at her.
Police also confirm 911 records of other calls from Nicole Simpson, but they've
not said how many, nor have they furnished details. The domestic violence
bureau in the district attorney's office describes Nicole Simpson as a regular
caller, but her sister, Denise, contends she was not a classic battered woman.
It's a matter of record that they divorced in 1992. A long list of sources confirm a
reconciliation attempt, but it's also clear that some kind of breakup occurred in
the month before the murders.
-- Day of the murder: O.J. and Nicole Simpson had a disagreement after a recital
of their daughter's dance class, and Simpson was described as angry when he left
at 6 p.m. for an unknown destination.
Nicole Simpson joined her extended family at the restaurant where Ronald
Goldman worked. After Nicole Simpson left, her sister called the restaurant
looking for a pair of glasses that her mother had left there, and the manager
arranged for Goldman to drop them off at Nicole's home. Goldman went to his
apartment first; no one is sure when he headed to Nicole Simpson's.
Nicole Simpson's parents told authorities her mother spoke to her at 11 p.m., but
her father now says he's "reasonably sure" the call took place closer to 10 p.m.
At O.J. Simpson's home - a five-minute drive from Nicole Simpson's place at
that time of night - he climbed in a limousine for a drive to the airport at 11:15,
according to the driver.
At 11:45, his flight to Chicago backed away from the gate.
-- Evidence: At 12:30 a.m., a neighbor found Nicole Simpson's dog wandering
through the neighborhood, and when he led it home, he found the bodies - lying
just outside the gate to her property.
The coroner's report, conducted at 9:05 a.m., found Goldman seated and slumped
to his right side, his back against a small tree stump and iron fence. He was fully
dressed. Lying near his right foot was a white envelope containing the glasses.
"His clothes and face were stained with blood. Numerous sharp force injuries
were observed at his neck, back, head and hands. Another wound was present at
his left thigh area," the report said.
Nicole Simpson was lying in a fetal position at the foot of the stairs. The report
described a "large sharp force injury" - a slice stretching ear to ear - and smaller
wounds at the left side of her neck. No body wounds were listed.
Bits of hair and flesh were taken from beneath her fingernails, but Goldman's
nails were too short to contain residue.
Blood was splattered all over the scene. KCBS-TV cameras captured police
slipping what appeared to be a bloody glove into a plastic evidence bag. O.J.
Simpson's lawyer, Robert Shapiro, confirm that police reports contend the
presence of a third blood type at the scene but characterized any match as not
At O.J. Simpson's home that day, police carried a pair of Reebok sneakers in a
plastic evidence bag. Blood was spattered across the driveway. His Bronco was
Prosecutors stated that the evidence does not include a bloody ski mask, as
widely reported. Simpson's first lawyer, Howard Weitzman, also denied another
report, that police discovered a bloody glove matching one at the murder scene.
Prosecutors say they found a ski cap at the scene and have requested samples of
Simpson's hair to use to compare.
Shapiro says doctors examined Simpson and found no cuts on his body but did
find scratches on his left hand near the wrist and "a large cut" on his index
finger. Shapiro says Simpson suffered the latter on a glass he shattered when
informed of his ex-wife's death, but a forensic expert for the defense could not
-- Witnesses: Many have been mentioned, and some have spoken to the media,
but no account has been confirmed by other principals, and none of the stories
A jogger was quoted as spotting a Bronco "like Simpson's" near Nicole
Simpson's home just before 11 p.m.
A motorist says she saw Simpson driving rapidly a few blocks from Nicole
Simpson's home around the same time, but her testimony was tainted by the fact
that she sought money for her story.
The limousine driver says O.J. Simpson was not home when he arrived at 10:45
p.m., but there is no way to confirm that he could be certain of that.
Witnesses to Simpson's behavior on his trip to Chicago have contradicted one
another. Some say he was normal; others say he was edgy.
-- Aftermath: For many, Simpson's flight from arrest and talk of suicide
constitute the most damaging evidence against him. But even that is heavily
Simpson events timeline, June 12 What the victims and O.J. Simpson did the
night Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman were killed: 4:30 p.m. PT: O.J.
Simpson, Nicole Simpson, their children and other family members arrive at Paul
Revere Middle School to attend a dance recital for their daughter, Sydney, 9. 6
p.m.: After the recital, O.J. Simpson asks to speak with Nicole privately. She
says any conversation will have to be public. They part company. Witnesses say
O.J. Simpson appeared angry. 6:30 p.m.: Nicole Simpson and nine others dine at
Mezzaluna restaurant. Ronald Goldman, a waiter, is on duty, but doesn't serve
the Simpson party. 8:30 p.m.: Nicole Simpson and children leave restaurant for
home. 9:15 p.m.: One of Nicole Simpson's sisters calls Mezzaluna to report her
mother left a pair of glasses there. Goldman tells restaurant manager he'll drop
them off at Nicole Simpson's house. 9:45 p.m.: Goldman leaves restaurant for his
apartment. Unclear when he leaves for Nicole Simpson's house. 10:45 p.m.: O.J.
Simpson's limousine arrives at the Simpson mansion. Driver waits 30 minutes for
Simpson to come out. 11:15 p.m.: O.J. Simpson leaves from his house in
limousine. 11:45 p.m.: O.J. Simpson boards American Airlines flight from Los
Angeles to Chicago. 12:30 a.m.: A neighbor finds Nicole Simpson's dog
wandering the neighborhood, walks it back to the condominium. Discovers the
bodies of Goldman and Nicole Simpson lying outside the home. Glasses in an
envelope at Goldman's feet.
Drive times from O.J. Simpson's home: To Nicole Simpson's home 5 minutes To
the Los Angeles Airport 20 minutes
GRAPHIC,b/w, USA TODAY ,Source: USA TODAY research(Map);
PHOTO,b/w,Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY