15 Little Known Facts About The OJ Simpson Chase And Trial 20 Years Later
June 17th is the TWENTY year anniversary of the day we all stayed in our jammies and glued ourselves to the couch, i.e. the Bronco chase.
1. May have been trying to disguise himself.
There were some interesting items in the Bronco when the Juice finally surrendered, including; a fake goatee and mustache, his passport and a gun.
2. Possible suicide note.
The late Robert Kardashian, father of the now infamous Kardashians, read a note by Simpson to the media on the day of the chase that was interpreted as a suicide note.
It read, “To whom it may concern, first, everyone understand I had nothing to do with Nicole’s murder. … Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had a great life, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person. Thanks for making my life special. I hope I helped yours,”
3. “Someone call Dominos!”
Domino’s Pizza reported record pizza delivery sales on the day of the chase, presumably because people were glued to their TVs and it was dinner time.
4. The chase dominated media coverage on a major day in sports.
On that same day, The World Cup opened, Arnold Palmer played his last round at the U.S. Open, The Knicks played game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup and Ken Griffey Jr. tied Babe Ruth for the most runs hit before June 30th. AND YET, no one remembers that…
5. We REALLY watched the trial.
According to a Nielsen and Sony survey, the verdict was the third most “universally impactful” televised moment in the last 50 years behind Hurricane Katrina and 9/11.
6. The Kardashians have OJ to thank.
Three cultural phenomenas can be traced back to the 16 month period of the chase to the trial. According to The Washinton Post, they are; the 24 hour news cycle, reality television and our need for celebrity gossip.
7. A serial killer confessed to the murders!
Convicted serial killer Glen Rogers confessed to the killings 6 weeks after OJ was acquitted. Rogers, who is currently on death row, provided a detailed account of the murder and even drew a knife he claimed he used that matched forensic evidence.
8. We REALLY like car chases.
In that same survey by Sony and Nielsen, the Bronco chase was the 6th most memorable television moment in the last 50 years, behind the death Osama bin Laden and the Challenger space shuttle disaster.
9. We are still racially divided on this.
In a CNN-Time poll taken at the time of the verdict, 62% of white Americans thought OJ was guilty and 68% of African Americans thought he was innocent.
10 years later, an NBC News poll revealed 80% of white Americans thought he was guilty and 70% of African Americans said innocent.
Now, 20 years later, a CNN/ORC poll says that 53% of African Americans think the charges were justified, while 90% of white Americans say he is guilty.
10. Race of the jurors could have resulted in the verdict.
The jury of the criminal trial that found OJ not guilty were comprised of 9 African Americans, 2 white Americans and 1 Hispanic American.
However the jury of the civil trial that found him guilty were comprised of 8 white Americans, 2 African Americans, 1 Hispanic American and 1 Middle Eastern American.
11. Harvey Levin got his start.
Harvey Levin covered the trial for an LA news station as well as appearing on several reality shows. Eventually he founded TMZ, a top celebrity news website.
12. Brought DNA evidence to the courtroom.
Two men on Simpson’s defense team, Barry Scheck and Peter Neifeld, had earlier founded the Innocence Project, which assigned law students to use DNA evidence to free wrongfully convicted inmates.
During OJ’s trial, 300 inmates were freed, about 70% of them were people of color.
Prior to the trial, this “new science” was seen as confusing and expensive.
13. After all that, OJ still ended up in jail.
OJ is currently in prison on kidnapping and armed robbery charges serving a 33 year sentence with possibility for parole in 2017.
14. How he’s living now.
OJ, now 66, is referred to as Inmate No. 1027820 at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada. He shares a 15 by 8 foot cell with a bunk bed, toilet and air mattress bought at commissary.
15. What he’s doing now.
“Inmate No. 1027820” now works at the gym, supervising prisoners who set up basketball games that he operates the clock and scoreboard for. He also managers a slow pitch softball team, often taunting the opposition, yelling “Sit your ass down!”