Case Cutlery kitchen Knives

O. J. Simpson in court in December, 1994. Police in Los Angeles are investigating a knife reportedly found buried on the grounds of Simpson’s estate when it was razed, in 1998, but which has only recently come to their attention.CreditPhotograph by POOL / AFP / Getty

On Friday, police in Los Angeles announced that a knife—which may have been the murder weapon in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, in Los Angeles, in 1994—had very belatedly been turned over to the authorities. A construction worker had found the knife while helping to raze O. J. Simpson’s former home in Brentwood, in 1998. He gave it to a police officer, who unaccountably waited almost two decades before submitting the knife as evidence, which he did just recently. Police investigators are now running tests on the knife.

Is this knife the murder weapon? Put me down as skeptical. The passage of time has likely destroyed any forensic value, and the murky circumstances of the discovery suggest that it may be a hoax, or at least a mistake. Still, the discovery raises tantalizing questions about the case.

Certainly, the news was not a publicity stunt for the FX series “American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson, ” which is based on my book “The Run of His Life.” In my book, I assert without equivocation that I believe Simpson killed his ex-wife and her friend, on June 12, 1994. (The FX series is not as definitive on the question of Simpson’s guilt.) Simpson’s blood at the scene, the bloody footprints (in Simpson’s shoe size) leaving the scene, the blood on his Ford Bronco and on the glove found at his home (a matching pair with a glove found at the scene), plus Simpson’s history of violence against Nicole were more than adequate proof for me.

Still, the prosecution left some unanswered questions. What was the murder weapon? And what happened to it? And how exactly did the murders take place in the crowded space in front of Nicole’s condominium? Here is my informed speculation about those questions.

In the late afternoon of June 12th, Simpson and Nicole attended a dance recital of their daughter, Sydney. The former spouses quarrelled. Simpson returned to his home on Rockingham Avenue and stewed. Some time around ten in the evening, he drove to Nicole’s condo, on Bundy Drive. As a frequent visitor to the home of his children, he knew to park in the alley by the back entrance, not on Bundy, which is a busy street.

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