One Final Haiku

It’s history now

Jury was unanimous.

Community split.


Something many of us who were involved with the Simpson case, both as court officials and as members of the media, had no idea about was:

(1) How profoundly the trial would affect judiciaries and public perception around the world,

(2) That the affect would reverberate for so many years, and,

(3) That 20 years later it would continue to make headlines or be the subject of newly released documentaries or the basis of a TV drama.

Wonder if will remain as alive by the 25th anniversary of the verdicts. Maybe you will find out with me.

Shock Disbelief Joy Dismay Outrage

Judgment day is here.

Jurors somber, Simpson grim.

Not guilty verdicts.


Everything from elation to outrage erupted in the Simpson courtroom when the not-guilty verdicts were read. Those reactions exploded out of the courthouse and into the streets, through Los Angeles, up and down California, across the country and around the world. Yes, people everywhere were following the Simpson trial. In places as remote as Tibet, people knew what “the trial” was without anyone having to explain.

My own was disbelief. Weirdly, I didn’t know why. All during the trial, I swung from “It doesn’t look too good for Simpson” to “Well, I don’t know” to “Yeah, he had to have done it” to “I wonder…” Maybe it was because the jury had come back with a verdict so quickly — less than four hours. The jurors couldn’t have even selected a foreman and looked at the list of evidence in that time, much less discussed it. If I wasn’t convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, surely at least one of the jurors hadn’t been either. I later learned that even if one or more did, that didn’t matter nearly as much as getting out of the hotel where they had been sequestered for nine months and back to their homes. They had packed their bags the night before — after notifing the court that they had reached their verdicts: Not guilty of murdering Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown. Not guilty of murdering Nicole Brown’s friend Ronald Goldman.

It was easy to see the emotions on most of the faces in the courtroom. One face I couldn’t see because his back was toward me. When I did see it in TV footage later, it pretty much convinced me of Simpson’s guilt.

That was Robert Kardashian. Here are a couple of photos of him standing to Simpson’s right as the court clerk, Deirdre Robertson, reads the not guilty verdicts and a split second later. Watching the TV footage is even more telling.


Kardashian, who was Simpson’s longtime friend, lawyer and confidant and whose ex-wife, Kris Jenner, was supposedly Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown’s good friend, obviously knew the truth.

The Jury Sends a Signal

Deliberations start.

Three buzzes in short order.

It’s almost over.


Could those three buzzes really have meant that the jury had reached a verdict in less than four hours? We found out the next day.

Morrison Captures How It Really Was

It’s O.J. Simpson trial 20th anniversary verdict eve. I’m about as far removed from the Los Angeles Superior Court, high-profile trials and news-media frenzies as I can imagine and still be on the North American continent. I’m ensconced in a hotel room at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on the eve of my husband’s high school reunion. We had dinner this evening with my husband’s best friend since they were both in third grade and his wife and sister. Not once during the entire evening was that 20-year-old trial, the name of the defendant or my book, Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson mentioned.

Afterwards, back in our hotel room, I logged onto the Internet, and saw a Simpson Google News Alert email in my inbox. The link was to a piece by Patt Morrison, who was a Los Angeles Times columnist when I knew her in Los Angeles. Upon reading what she wrote yesterday, I had to blog about it.

Patt’s piece, published on SCPR’s “Off-Ramp” site, is about the best, most accurate recall I’ve seen or heard about how that court case was was and the media’s chagrin at their behavior in covering it. (In my opinion, there were some standout exceptions, such as the AP’s Linda Deutsch and CBS Radio’s David Dow).

Here’s a quote from this account by L.A. Times columnist Patt Morrison: “And, as with a really bad hangover, when it was all over, we were more than a little mortified about how overboard we’d gone. And we promised ourselves that we would never, ever, go that wild and crazy again. Because there would never be a case like this one, ever again. Until, of course, the next one.”

Patt not only captured the trial and the media’s chagrin accurately, she’s right that their chagrin lasted — until the next high-profile trial came along. I urge readers of this blog to read Patt’s piece. Here’s a direct link, in case you missed the embedded link. Good job, Patt.

20 Years Later: The Afterglow

Here it is 20 years since the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial and all kinds of previously undisclosed news is just now making headlines.

O.J. Simpson nearly committed suicide in Kim Kardashian’s bedroom at her dad’s house.

Kris Kardashian Jenner is finally expressing public remorse about not speaking up when she got the feeling her BFF Simpson ex-wife and eventual murder victim, Nicole Brown, thought her life was in danger. Some best friend. (BTW, interesting that when the Simpson case erupted, Faye Resnick claimed — as she promoted her hastily penned book — that SHE  was Nicole’s best friend.)

Author Lawrence Schiller, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since his book  American Tragedy: The Uncensored Story of the OJ Simpson Defense came out shortly after the trial, is talking about what would have been Simpson’s last words, had he, indeed, killed himself in Kim’s bedroom.

So why is all this coming out now? Oh, yeah. The 20-year anniversary of the Simpson trial and the irresistible spotlight.

1 Trial Down, Instructions to Go

The closings are done.

Both sides ever contentious.

The waiting begins.


Just because both sides had concluded their closing arguments, didn’t mean they stopped going for each other’s jugular, trying to make last minute points in the last couple of days before the jury got the case.

Singing From the Hymnal


Cochran preached about choirboys.

The jury’s still out.


Defense attorney Cochran’s closing argument included mention of choirboys, a reference, no doubt, to Joseph Wambaugh’s book, The Choirboys,” about bad LAPD cops. The jury was just euphemistically out, however. They hadn’t gotten the case for deliberations, but even through they were in the courtroom, how they would decide was unknown.