Old is New (Again)

Waking up yesterday I saw a headline in my Twitter feed that I didn’t expect at all—

I love Margaret Carrero; she interviewed me on KNX 1070AM a couple years ago. She doesn’t mess around with fluff stories, so I knew if she put it out— it had to be something. But I have to say that it started feeling like June of ’94 all over again: Simpson dominating the headlines at the top of every hour both on TV and radio.

Over the course of the day the information coming out about it became hit-and-miss, depending where you were getting your news. ABC and CBS kept putting out that their sources were telling them that it was not likely the actual murder weapon from 1994, but then TMZ kept putting out articles that really made you think the other way. Most recently this one.

Running around town yesterday I had KNX on in the car, as I always do, and their coverage of the “discovered knife” had expanded as the day drew on. We got to hear some of the big names from the day chime in via telephoned interviews— including retired LAPD detective who worked the case, Tom Lange, and Simpson “Dream Team” member, Carl Douglas, who apparently couldn’t help himself from hollering his indignation into the phone. Detective Lange blew it all off saying there’d been at least a dozen knives over the years that were discovered, brought to LAPD and even some who claimed to be the murderer. That I get.

After the news set in about the knife, though surreal, it just didn’t add up to me. I started thinking about it…

1.) It’s been over two decades since the murders; that’s an initial given.

2.) Simpson’s Rockingham Estate in Brentwood became a crime scene mere hours after Ron and Nicole were found— and well before the sun even came up. With that, LAPD has said that his property, surrounding street areas, including gutters/sewer, etc., were all thoroughly searched. So it’s open to interpretation and innate guessing, I suppose, if Simpson had opportunity to bury something so fresh that it wouldn’t be discovered when more officers, detectives and crime analysts began canvassing his estate. Murder in Brentwood is an excellent book, written by Mark Fuhrman, if you’re curious or into the whole ins-and-outs of line-by-line, stitch-by-stitch how how detailed the crime scenes were recorded. As most know, controversy aside, Fuhrman was one of the first responding detectives to both crime scenes.

3.) There’s a popular miniseries currently out, that’s about halfway through I believe, called American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson. It’s had an incredible response and reception by audiences who remember the saga back in the 90s and even millennials who weren’t even born then.

4.) Publicity stunt? But by whom? Some woman yesterday was making the rounds on social media, especially in Facebook/Discus-enabled comment sections of online news stories, by going on a huge ALL-CAPS tirade about this being a push by those behind the show due to what she called sagging ratings. Specifically she kept posting a screenshot image of this ratings chart from the show on Wikipedia.

5.) It is said that the knife was presented to a former, or not-long retired, LAPD officer who was adjacent to the Rockingham property (after OJ had moved out) while standing sentry for a production company who was filming a movie at a nearby house. This is being said circa 2002, and some reports have the officer retired four years by then, but with departmental policy, he was authorized to wear his LAPD uniform in conjunction with his film security duties. At any rate— knife was allegedly presented to him out on the street by a construction worker who supposedly found it buried during some work at OJ’s old house. Seems odd because the original Rockingham Estate OJ called home since the late 1970s was ravenously demolished in 1998, and construction of the new home and landscape took two years thereafter to complete. And ’02 puts this two years beyond that. Who knows.

6.) Depending where you’re getting your news— the knife is considered to have been muddy, rusty, corroded and/or covered in dried blood and other possible DNA. This takes science from that point on. 1994-1998, four years. One would assume a buried instrument such as that in raw soil, given rain and other elements over years and progression of rust, that it wouldn’t take long to alter it’s original state. Hell, I had a small buck knife I got for Christmas in 1993, and one day in my backyard I picked an orange off the tree and used the knife to peel it. Not even a day later— it lost its luster and had a fine layer of rust over the entire blade. But we don’t know how the knife was then kept after the retired officer took possession of it. I’ve heard he’s either kept it in a bag, or somewhere in his garage or even a tool box.

7.) Took this many numbered items in my list, but this is what gets me— the retired officer waits until approximately January 2016, roughly two months ago, to resurrect the “knife,” and began thinking about doing a professional shadowbox display-frame for the damn thing. Reports said he contacted who he thought was a buddy of his back at LAPD to fetch the report number for the murder case. His “buddy”, who did the right thing, allegedly became very unhappy and turned the matter over to superiors, and thus the light of day as we learned yesterday about this. LAPD still had this under wraps, but it was leaked while the knife was in testing— and remains to be for the foreseeable time.

Viewing reader comments as I have on the various news stories, I keep seeing a common thread— many people want this retired officer to be called out on the carpet and face legal charges and voiding of his pension. Seems pretty extreme, but I say that’s just angry and ornery folks wanting to supplant justice upon that officer versus what didn’t happen back on October 3, 1995. A sense of displaced righteousness I suppose.

But reports further conflict about the reporting to LAPD about the knife by the officer. He claims he called the West Division and a commander or supervisor there told him it was a closed case, OJ was found not guilty, and essentially carte blanche the officer had with the knife. However LAPD seems to be taking the stance that this should have been followed up upon back when it was allegedly called in, and not over a decade later like it’s being handled now.

My two cents: It is what it is. Two people have remained gone from this world for nearly 22 years and many lives shattered from it. This doesn’t change that. The knife doesn’t change anything at all. It won’t undo a verdict from eons ago, and it won’t bring further charges upon those responsible. Those in the singular sense, I should clarify. Federal prosecution, some say? Not gonna happen even if the forensic testing proves it’s the murder weapon.

Key to remember— there was clear-cut blood evidence, with various items, spread over two properties and a vehicle back in 1994 and even that didn’t garner a conviction.

Do you think an earthen, crusty remnant of what’s ever left of a knife is going to change this right-side up?

No. It won’t.

But I smell green in this; someone’s out for a payday with this knife. It’s gotten more publicity to make even the “hottest of the hot” in today’s pop culture severely jealous.

You’ll see. It won’t be the actual knife, but it’ll go back to who had it last and it won’t stay in the same hands for long.

The whole Simpson Saga is old and is new again. If it isn’t a five, ten, twenty year anniversary— it’s a subsequent court case of his that has brought this all back around again. But lately it’s the miniseries that’s made it hot like it was back in the Bill Clinton era. People have again traversed in droves over to key Brentwood landmarks like it all happened yesterday.

Hollywood, baby. It can ruin the reality of it all.

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