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.
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.
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.