Perhaps the most amazing aspect of ESPN’s multi-part documentary is that Simpson fatigue hasn’t shut me down. Or maybe it has, partially. I am watching the production, albeit slowly. Parts 4 and 5 to go. I’ve recorded them, but haven’t gotten around to viewing them yet.
I’ve found what I have seen well done and revealing, so far as some L.A. police officers’ relationship with Simpson and their fan-club-esque groupie-ism is concerned.
Nowhere is that more unwittingly exemplified than Detective Tom Lange’s narrative at the opening of Part 3 in which he describes the crime scene when police first arrived and their course of action.
In describing Nicole Brown whose body was lying just outside the front door of her Bundy Drive home in Brentwood, Lange referred to her as O.J. Simpson’s “estranged wife” and said police had to notify her next of kin, “who was O.J. Simpson.”
Lange was wrong on both counts. Nicole Brown was not Simpson’s estranged wife. She and Simpson had been divorced for two years. As a result, he was not her next of kin. Her parents were.
But if the cops had their facts straight, they would have had no excuse to contact Simpson. They would have notified her actual next of kin and would have had no reason to go to Simpson’s house on Rockingham Drive and tell him his former wife had been murdered–unless they wanted to check him out as a possible suspect, which they obviously didn’t.
If that is any indication, then Simpson’s defense attorneys’ claims of police incompetence appear to have some substance.
Have you seen the program’s account of the New Years 1989 incident yet? The LAPD officer who responded, John Edwards, says he (technically) arrested Simpson, who went back into his house to “change clothes.”:
Whereupon, Simpson got in his Bentley and took off, which was similar to what Simpson did on June 17, 1994.
Simpson eventually pleaded No Contest, which made him legally a convicted wife beater. His punishment? Putting on a golf tournament.
And going on Roy Firestone’s ESPN show to spin and/or deny what happened.
Furthermore, NBC gave him a new contract and Hertz kept him on. Indeed, Nicole called Hertz CEO Frank Olson on the phone and downplayed the incident.
Olson told Daniel Petrocelli he didn’t know the true details of New Years 1989 and if he had, “O.J. Simpson would have never worked for Hertz again.”
And those who whine constantly that “O.J. was framed” for the murders, should explain Simpson’s lenient treatment for the 1989 beating, which was the real scandal.
Lange and company contacting Simpson instead of Nicole’s parents was the LAPD’s usual deference to a celebrity in my opinion, as well as being clueless about their being divorced. And O.J. Simpson was about the LAST person the LAPD would have wanted to be the perpetrator.
The defense team started out saying the police were both “incompetent” and master conspirators who caused Simpson’s DNA to appear everywhere.
This was mutually exclusive.
As time went on, the defense mostly dropped the “incompetent” angle and went with “planting and contamination.”
By the way, the defense NEVER explained the blood drops with Simpson’s DNA at the murder scene.
Didn’t the police go looking for Simpson because his two minor children were being held at the police station ?