Fred Goldman never said the man's name; he always referred to O.J. Simpson as the killer. Fred's son Ron Goldman and Simpson's former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, had been brutally murdered by this man. He was a killer. That was never in doubt.
The physical evidence was conclusive: Simpson's blood was dripped at the murder scene; a cap with hairs matching his was found next to Ron's and Nicole's dead bodies; one of Simpson's large leather gloves was lying between them; and the matching glove, still holding strands of the victims hair and stained with their blood and Simpson's was found outside his house. Size-twelve shoe prints, slightly pigeon-toed, were clearly stamped in the victims blood, at the murder scene. Simpson is among the 9 percent of the population who wears size-twelve shoes, and he is pigeon-toed. Those shoe prints made an impression that was matched to one sole in the world - a Silga sole, manufactured at the Silga factory in Civitinova Marche, Italy, for the upscale shoemaker Bruno Magli. We had photographs of Simpson wearing Bruno Magli shoes with the identical sole. Simpson's white Ford Bronco, parked outside his house, contained not only Simpson's blood but Ron's and Nicole's, and a shoe impression consistent with the Bruno Magli stained the carpet on the drivers side. A trail of Simpson's blood was dripped up his driveway, into his house, and up to his bedroom and bathroom. Planting of that blood was out of the question because just like the blood at the murder scene, it was found long before police investigators had taken any blood from his arm. Simpson had cuts all over his hands the day after the murders but had no explanation for how he got them. His socks were lying on his bedroom floor, spattered with his blood and Nicole's. Blue black cotton fibers consistent with a dark sweatsuit were found at both the crime scene and in Simpson's home, linking him to both locations. Rare carpet fibers of the type used in his Bronco were found at the murder scene. His blood, his cuts, his clothing, his gloves, his shoes, his car, his house, his ex-wife's blood, Ron Goldman's blood...all pointed to O.J. Simpson and to no one else.
We spent the first eighteen days of the trial laying out this overwhelming evidence. Still, I was in no way certain we would win. Much of this same evidence had fallen on deaf ears in the criminal trial.
Our jury research showed we had a paradox on our hands: The more we emphasized the brutality of the murders, the more people thought it unlikely Simpson had committed them. The killings were chilling, vengeful, full of rage; Simpson was warm, celebrated, seductive. He wore thousand-dollar suits and flashed a million dollar smile. How could this man have committed this crime? I strongly believed our jury any jury would struggle to accept the physical evidence, no matter how incriminating, unless they were convinced that O.J. Simpson was a man capable of committing these murders. Far from the all-American hero who had smiled and charmed his way into our hearts, O.J. Simpson was a man who betrayed his image, a man of no conscience, no remorse, no character. He was a man who beat his wife and lied about it to everyone. He was a man who never accepted responsibility for anything. Yes, he was a man who would kill. This is what we needed to show to the jury, and that is why we had to call O.J. Simpson to the witness stand.
I made a decision not to call him O.J. O.J. was a celebrity. He ran through airports, winked at grandmas, and played a lovable dunce in the Naked Gun movies. He was handsome, mischievous, wholesome; he was the Juice. If I permitted Simpson to endear himself to the jury on that witness stand, we would lose. If the jury believed Simpson when he looked them in the eyes and swore on his children that he did not commit these murders, the case would be over. No amount of blood, DNA, or physical evidence would overcome that one defining moment of this trial. I could not allow that to happen. This was my clients last chance for justice. I could not let him down, let his family down, let our team down, let down millions of people across the country who'd been horrified by the verdict at the criminal trial. And I could not let down Ron Goldman, or Nicole Brown Simpson, two people I never met but grew to know like my closest friends.
Use of this excerpt from Triumph of Justice by Daniel Petrocelli may be made only for purposes of promoting the book, with no changes, editing, or additions whatsoever, and must be accompanied by the following copyright notice: Copyright© 1998 by Daniel Petrocelli. All rights reserved
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