Photo is fake, expert for Simpson says

  Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Richard Price


  USA Today


  Page 04A

  (Copyright 1996)


  SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- A photography expert attacked a key piece of

  evidence against O.J. Simpson Wednesday, citing many examples to show why

  he believes a photo of the defendant wearing a pair of incriminating shoes is a



  ``My conclusion is that there is a high likelihood of forgery,'' testified Robert

  Groden, 51, who served as a consultant for a U.S. House committee that

  investigated John F. Kennedy's assassination. He is credited with helping to

  debunk a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald purportedly brandishing a rifle in his

  back yard.


  When Simpson's accusers presented their side of the case in the wrongful-death

  suit against him, they used a picture of Simpson taken by photographer Harry

  Scull at a 1993 Buffalo Bills football game.


  In that picture, Simpson appears to be wearing Bruno Magli shoes that would

  match bloody footprints leading away from the bodies of his ex-wife, Nicole

  Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman. Simpson at first said he never owned such

  shoes, then later said he had given away a pair.


  Plaintiffs' witness, William Bodziak, an FBI agent, used the picture to establish a

  match to the bloody footprints. The defense contends the photo is bogus.


  Groden said he first heard of the picture when the National Enquirer contacted

  him to authenticate it. But the tabloid never retained him.


  Groden said he believes someone doctored a negative to show Simpson's lower

  legs and the Bruno Magli shoes, then superimposed that over the original

  negative and re-exposed the whole roll of film. He said it probably was done

  digitally on a computer.


  To support his theory, he used blow-ups and contact sheets of each frame on the

  roll. Among his points:


  The key picture, labelled ``1-1'' on the contact sheet, was the only frame not

  ``extremely over-exposed,'' says Groden.


  Frame 1-1 is longer than any of the others. ``It's very slight, but it's there,''

  Groden said. His display clearly showed it longer.


  Frame 1-1 had a magenta shading to it. The others had greenish tint. That's

  related to exposure, Groden said.


  The right border of 1-1 extends closer to the edge of the film than in the other

  frames. His explanation: The final negative was snapped with a different camera.


  Lawyers for the Goldman and Brown families begin cross-examining Groden on

  Friday and are expected to challenge his credentials.

  PHOTO, B/W, Michael Caulfield, AP; Caption: Disputed photo: Paralegal Steve

  Foster carries the photo into court Wednesday as plaintiffs' lawyer Ed Medvene