Yeah, I thought he was innocent too. But it didn’t’ take long for me to come to very different conclusions, and as the years went by, more and more evidence came my way, until I reached my current level of conviction that he is a murdering bastard. And no, I don’t think the “Not guilty” verdict meant any more there than it did with George Zimmerman.
I felt total fury at the fact that I knew I couldn’t prove anything, but T and I laid out our case in the Tennyson Hardwick novel IN THE NIGHT OF THE HEAT, in which we punished his fictional avatar. Perhaps coincidentally, that book won the NAACP Image Award. Gee, you think maybe there were some other pissed people?
At any rate, as the television movie is about to hit, I thought I’d lay out my case. Every word I’m saying is true so far as I know it.
- My first thought when I heard of the murders, and the fact that the cops were looking at him, was that he was much too smart to do it. If anything, he would have hired it done. The first crack in the image came when I heard the phone conversation in the White Bronco driven by his good ol’ pal Al Cowlings. I believe that the Bronco chase took place when he didn’t want to turn himself in to the police, and that bizarre slow-motion chase, the LAPD giving him so much rope you could have woven him a cocoon out of it, was all the evidence I needed that yes, as I had heard, the cops LOVED O.J. Adored him. Any way, the cell phone conversation was basically self-pitying: “sob sob” I hope my children remember me as I was, and not this miserable creature here today…” or something of the like.
And…the hair on the back of my neck stood up. Something wasn’t right. I called about five male friends and asked them the following question: “say you’re divorced from your wife, who you still love. She and a friend are BUTCHERED in the driveway of her house, while your children are asleep upstairs. What is your first thought?”
And every single one of them, EVERY ONE, said: “OMG! The Mansons must have gone after my family! Protect those children!” That was the first thought of any man I knew. There would only be one reason I could accept for that not to hit anyone with a spoon of testosterone (hell, or estrogen): you knew who did it, and knew that there was no risk to the kids.
Under what circumstances would O.J. KNOW who did it, but not speak, allowing the life he had spent decades building to be utterly destroyed? Who could that be? His son? His brother? A friend? I don’t believe any of that. Get that close friend or relative the best legal defense in the world? Sure. While O.J. is out eating steak and screwing starlets. Not for a fraction of an instant to I believe that man loved anyone or anything enough to destroy his own life to protect him.
How about the theory that a drug ring did it, and his children would only be safe so long as he remained quiet? All I can say is that anyone who believes that has seen entirely too many direct to video movies.
No, at that moment I realized that I would respect him MORE if he killed his wife than any scenario I could think of if he didn’t. There was simply no way he could know who did it and not speak. And if he didn’t know who did it, there was no way he wouldn’t think his children could be next, and be concerned.
The simplest conclusion: he did it. I wasn’t quite sure yet…and the next piece came months later.
2. Ronnie Ship was the LAPD cop who claimed O.J. was partying after the murder. O.J.’s defense team made him out a liar. The problem is that I went to Alta Loma elementary school with Ronnie Ship. He was a straight-shooter, a protector of the weak even then, and used to pull bullies off me. My oldest friend, Lee Taylor, called me one day and told me to turn on the television. The trial was on. Ronnie Ship was on the stand. He was testifying, but looked heartbroken. I watched him look directly at Simpson and silently mouth the words: “tell the truth, O.J.” Whoa.
3. Let’s say that due to a series of coincidences, I came to know a “very” good friend of a friend of O.J.’s., call him “Driver”. This person told me that QUITE soon after the murders, “Driver” showed up at their door in an extremely agitated state. And said that there was nothing in the world as stimulating as cutting a woman’s throat.
4) In O.J.’s book, “If I Did It” he lays out a hypothetical scenario for the night of the murders. In it, he says that a friend went with him that night, and helped him execute the crime.
5) I was standing in line at a grocery store, and picked up a tabloid newspaper, one of the ones that actually has a reputation for breaking real (if lurid) stories. On a back page was a column of short articles. One said that a woman in the same line of work as the person in #3, a friend of White Bronco owner Al Cowlings said that the reason the infamous Bloody Glove didn’t fit was that it belonged to good old Al.
6. Following the acquittal, he has behaved precisely as I would expect someone with an exploded ego and a shitload of guilt to act: simultaneously considering himself invulnerable, and seeking redemption through punishment.
Look–none of this is likely to change any minds. I’m just saying that in combination, we have precisely my reason to consider him a monster. Others are welcome to think of him what they will.
But as with Zimmerman, to me he is a walking pusticle, and I couldn’t wait to watch the world fall on him. It did.
Batter up, G.Z.
(and tomorrow, I’ll talk about how T and I channeled our outrage into the book!)