Tag Archives: Harvey Levin

Deja Vu Times Two as TMZ Revisits OJS Jury Visit

TMZ’s inclusion of jury visit video in a 1995 OJ Simpson criminal trial drama promo the other day was a double deja vu for me. In the midst of my gym workout, I saw images of the long entourage of the bus carrying jurors and cars with judge, various and sundry court staff and support, lawyers and their support staff, and van flicker across the screen of a TV monitor hanging from the ceiling. Oh, I thought, there I go!

I was riding in the van with members of the media, given that they were part of my job duties with the court. Watching that footage truly was a deja vu moment for me.

So was watching TMZ’s Harvey Levin talking about the jury visit and the trial. He was a reporter with Los Angeles the CBS affiliate during the OJ Simpson trial era and, as such, he and I had a good deal of interaction.

It was kind of fun to watch, and, I’m sure, won’t be my last deja vu moment with that case and the folks associated with it.



A Face(book) Out of the Past

Facebook is great!

Among those I’ve connected with on it is a former Los Angeles TV staffer who, like me, has become a Midwesterner. He won a huge spot in my heart during the 1995 Simpson trial with his humor, affibility and grace. Although it didn’t make it into Anatomy, this guy filed and ‘appeal’ to prizes Judge Lance Ito awarded the graffitied comments members of the media wrote on the L.A. Times ad posted in the Criminal Courts Building ‘listening room’ of the KCBS interview Ito did months before opening statements in the trial. Identifying himself in his appeal as Alex Epstein, aka Jackal, aka Vermin, Epstein asked Ito to reconsider his decision. It’s a funny ‘appeal’ and Ito responded with an equal good humor.

Ito denied Epstein’s appeal, but since he found the appeal “mildly amusing,” he wrote, the Court “on its own motion, issues an alternative writ granting Epstein the title of Epstein the Mild winner of an Honorable Mention.” Ito’s writ was to be served to Epstein along with “one bottle of Clos Du Bois Chardonnay,  which the Court finds to be potable.”

This is but one more example of Ito’s sense of humor and personality and of him as a human being.

I don’t think I would violate Alex’s privacy by posting his Facebook reply to my invitation to friend me. So here it is:

Hi Jerrianne –

How nice to hear from you! Your “invitation” brought back a flood of memories – not the least of which was the appeal. How nutty was that?  Harvey Levin, of TMZ fame, helped me draft it (he was/is a lawyer after all) – and that you agreed to give it to Judge Ito was a minor miracle.  Thanks for your sense of humor. What stresses there must have been on you – you never let it show, and you were such a wonderful, human face to that crazy bureaucracy you worked for.

I’ll never forget however wacky our requests were, you would seriously consider them, usually take a deep breath, and say you would try to get an answer for us!

I will look for your book, because I would be interested in your perspective.

I took my personal videocamera to work (at Criminal Courts during OJ) one day – and after all these years, looked at it – it kind of captured a bit of the atmosphere — but — do you remember when the USC Marching Band came by to play (outside) when the OJ Lawyers made their morning entrance one day?

What ever happened to Diane Arbus’ photos?

Unbelieveably small world. Who would have thought I would wind up in the midwest – raising kids and trying to stay employed in the media world out here. I miss LA, because I have these rose colored memories about so many wonderful, primary experiences (and thank God I was not injured in any of the lunatic stories I covered) – thankful for the good schools and the bubble of normalcy that passes for the northern suburbs of chicago.

What brought you to the midwest? A job took me out here!

Again, thanks for getting in touch – I look forward to connecting one of these days – maybe at a cubs brewers game!

All the best,