O.J.

Record-breaking NFL star, Hertz Rental Car spokesman, Naked Gun actor.

That’s about all I knew of O.J. Simpson when the infamous 1994 low speed Bronco chase broke into the nightly tv broadcast.

He was about to be arrested for the brutal murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman.

It was 22 years ago, but I remember exactly where I was, visiting a friend and neighbor who had recently transferred from California. In her words,

“He finally did it.”

She went on to explain of his history of wife abuse, news that only made it into local California journals.

Dream Team

Dream Team. 1995 Archive Photo.

I didn’t have an opinion at the time, but I was as fascinated as the next person as the story evolved.

The trial came a year later.

I watched way too much of it.

I realize now, it was filler for a time when we were in the middle of a job transfer,  home relocation.

The overwhelming blood and DNA evidence, the details of which dragged on for what seemed like an eternity, were not enough to convict him.

A lot of legal professionals became famous; some for all of the wrong reasons.

The verdict…Not Guilty.

I was home alone when I heard it, I can only imagine the very diverse reaction it received that spoke to the racial make up of the community.

Some cried, got angry, disgusted. Some cheered.

FX seriesThat is what we saw projected by the media in October, 1995.

There is a new crime series that just began its 10 week run. The People vs OJ Simpson.

There is a stellar cast, led by John Travolta as attorney Robert Shapiro, Cuba Gooding Jr. as OJ, Courtney B. Vance as the bombastic Johnny Cochran.

I was not surprised to see it start with the 1992 racial tension in L.A.

The Rodney King incident, police brutality, racial profiling, failure to indict, subsequent rioting.

I can tell how this series will progress, how it will explain the shocking verdict.

How this man could only be found responsible in a civil lawsuit brought by the victims’ family years later.

It is interesting to note that the series creator, Ryan Murphy, was also responsible for American Horror Story.

No coincidence at all.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Entertainment, Memories, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to O.J.

  1. Erika Kind says:

    I remember the trial very well. But I did not think it was already so long ago.

  2. I remember that time too. It was surreal. I suppose his true nature was revealed in the end. He’ll probably be in jail for the rest of his life. What a waste all the way around.

  3. Thumbup says:

    They had policemen in riot gear in full force in case he was found guilty.

  4. I lived through the OJ trial watching Home and Garden TV. Hubby lived through the OJ trial watching everything related to the trial 24-7. Both of us hoped for a not guilty verdict. Since then, I question why. Perhaps, viewing this tv series as well as self-evaluation, I can answer the question. Thank you for sharing.

    • I’m not sure how much I want to see of this, to be honest. It is painful to relive. I saw a recent interview with Cuba G. where he says he felt the same way, applauding the verdict. But he cried while filming, realizing the affect on the families. Thanks, Sistah.

  5. We lived in Saudi and I never saw it! The shows sounds interesting! so sad!

  6. The V-Pub says:

    Dershowitz was on Fox news last night, discussing the case. It was interesting to hear him talk about how inept the prosecution was.

  7. Our trials have become such amazing multilayered discussions about culture, values, income disparities, education, ethnicity, and racism. If we listened to each other during these times we would learn a lot about ourselves, about our whole communities.

    • You’re so right about that, Charlie. It was a learning experience for us all. We missed some of the important lessons, that climate of inequity still exists, and headlines the news every day. Thanks.

  8. 22 years….wow. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Horrific story all the way through.

  9. Judy Martin says:

    I remember the trial as well. It was shocking! The judge and all of the lawyers playing up to the cameras, the Police messing up the crime scene and talks of tampering with evidence. It played out like a second rate show. I thought he was guilty but somehow he got off.

  10. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Van, just reading this gave me the chills. I remember so clearly the horror I felt and I knew deep down he did it. I’ll never forget the arrogance about that man. Never.

    • It was a media circus, Amy, and set us on a dangerous trend with reality TV and a sense of justice.

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        I know, Van. I like you watched too much. I was repulsed yet I hung in there hoping he would be convicted. What money can buy …. Seriously. I’m glad justice caught up with him. Makes you wonder what kind of violence the women associated with these football “heroes” are subjected to.

      • It’s a sport that encourages violence on the field. Maybe some just cannot turn that aggression off when they leave. I’m not sure, Amy.

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        You are probably right, Van. They are so used to extremely vigorous action that when they stop they have all this energy that builds up that needs to be released. Sadly to say some turn to violence.

  11. I remember watching the trial in the summer of 1995. My first visit to the U.S. and I was housebound, recovering from blood poisoning. It passed the time. I had never seen a trial televised before so that was interesting. It’s an interesting case in its touching upon issues of appropriate intervention in a history of domestic violence, the cult of celebrity, the economics of justice, and – of course – race. I can’t decide if the TV show looks worth watching or not. I will probably give it a look see.

    • I was pretty much in the same position. Kids were in school, I was not looking for work at the time. I wondered if the court proceedings were at all typical. It’s the most detail I’d ever seen.

      • I didn’t watch it wall to wall obviously but it was intriguing to dip into it. Having seen American courtrooms on movies and TV dramas, it was fascinating to see how the “reality” compared.

  12. I think that trial led to, not just a miscarriage of justice, but the birth of reality TV. But, oh it was compelling. I just heard about the concussion theory. Not sure how I feel about that but I guess it beats the Twinkie defense.

  13. I remember being in graduate school when it happened. I can’t believe it’s been that long ago. A tragedy all around.

  14. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    *sigh* I didn’t really give a 💩 about it back then and I still don’t give a 💩 about it now.

    Oh well, generally I avoid any “sensationalism” from mainstream media, so that perhaps explains my apathy towards it all.

  15. George says:

    This was a polarizing topic then and has remained one all these years later. The Rodney King/police brutality/ riots were all part of this trial whether it was justified or not. The LA police department was a joke and the way this trial was handled from a prosecution position was a embarrassment. But I don’t think anyone who looked at the evidence objectively can say OJ wasn’t guilty as sin. People may have wanted him to get off for all the reasons I mentioned but we have to pause for a moment and remember that a young man and woman were brutally murdered. That was someones son and daughter and justice didn’t serve them in this case.
    CTE may have contributed to his outbursts of anger but it doesn’t excuse what he did. Now he sits in the corner of his cell talking to his chicken dinner and not making any sense. If I’m Rob or Nicole’s family, there isn’t an ounce of my being that feels any kind of sympathy at all.

  16. I remember also. I was glued to the story.

    • It was the first real court case I’d ever followed. I remember thinking how tedious and boring most of the daily details of a trial can be. Very different than the Hollywood image. ☺

  17. Miss Lou says:

    I saw a trailer for that series recently and thought WOW, that is a great cast.

    I personally had no interest whatsoever in the story and living in Australia, although we had heard of it, it was not relevant to life generally speaking.

    Of course years down the track and having an interest in feminism and domestic violence prevention, this has come up in many conversations.

    For no other reason than the actors involved, I think I will take the time to check this series out. Great post – Thanks for sharing!

    ML
    x

    • There are a few standouts…Travolta transforms into Shapiro, Marcia Clark is portrayed as intense and complicated. And I can’t wait to see Vance jump into the Johnny Cochran role. Cuba is a good actor, but I can’t get past his size. OJ was an impending figure. Thanks, ML

  18. TanGental says:

    Living in a racially diverse and still tense part of south London, placed between Brixton home of riots between the largely black population and the police twice in the 1980s and Eltham where Stephen Lawrence was killed in a racially motivated attack in 1993 this trial gripped as it played out. Stephen Lawrence’s killers got off because of police incompetence and racial prejudice in dealing with the evidence. The jury and the lawyers weren’t so much part of the problem here unlike in The OJ case but the parallels and the reaction to the OJ verdict similar. It has led to a change in attitude here. An official report held the Met Police were intitutionally racist and the law on double jeopardy changed which meant an effective retrial here in 2012 had two of the killers jailed. But…. We still have a ways to go. The 2011 Tottenham riots stemmed from police killing a local man – White on white but it soon developed s racial component too. I doubt we would have an appetite for such a TV programme on Stephen Lawrence here but never say never.

  19. joey says:

    I was a young college student at the time. I remember thinking that I had no idea that court worked like that. I remember thinking it was such a far cry from mock trial in school. I think it was deeply educational for me, and led to critical thinking about our justice system, the corruption of money and fame, the incredible schism between race relations,
    …I’m trying to think of how to phrase it…It was one of those things that impacted me enormously, made me grow up, showed me cynicism was sometimes an appropriate lesson…how the world really works vs how it should…I wonder if you could phrase it better for me? Hopefully you understand me.

    • An eye-opener for all of us. I know exactly what you mean, Joey. A few years ago, I sat on a mock trial for a local murder case. We all believed that he was guilty, but the case presented by prosecutors was not enough to convict. When they got to the real trial, the attorneys adjusted, and he was found guilty. Real life.

  20. I am in the UK and although just a child, I do remember it. I think in the UK it was certainly biased on the fact he was guilty, I don’t remember any reports on the racial tension, it was just a famous guy who happened to be black.

  21. mahekmithare says:

    Heyyy! Nice corner. You might just wanna read mine. :*

  22. I remember, too. Truly horrifying. Shows what money and fame can buy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s