Today marks 20 years since the murders of O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Simpson was charged and later acquitted in the brutal slayings.
The retired football star married Nicole in February of 1985. Four years into the marriage Simpson was arrested for domestic violence, and in in 1992 Brown filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences.” The couple had two children together.
On the night of June 12, 1995, Brown and Goldman were at her Brentwood, Calif. condo. Goldman, who was a waiter, had reportedly stopped by to return a pair of glasses Brown’s mother left at his place of employment. Both were stabbed to death in the front area of the home. It is believed that Nicole was killed before Goldman.
In the days after the murders played out like a soap opera. Simpson, the main murder suspect, took police on a slow speed chase. In the middle of one of the most-watched moments on live TV moments Simpson’s friend and lawyer Robert Kardashian Sr. read a letter to the media on his behalf that stated in part that he had read in part “nothing to do with Nicole’s murder,” and professed his love for her:
“Nicole and I had a good life together. All this press talk about a rocky relationship was no more than what every long-term relationship experiences. All her friends will confirm that I have been totally loving and understanding of what she’s been going through. At times I have felt like a battered husband or boyfriend but I loved her. Make that clear to everyone. And I would take whatever it took to make it work.
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.
Simpson was considered a fugitive at the time before he surrendered to authorities.
For more than eight months viewers got to witness every single day of court proceedings unfold on television. In the area of public opinion there was a very obvious racial divide between those believing Simpson to be innocent (mostly Black people), and those who thought he was guilty (mostly white people).
To this day the lead prosecutors Marsha Clarke and co-counsel Christopher Darden; Simpson’s “Dream Team” of defense lawyers including Johnny Cochran, Robert Shapiro, and Kardashian, are still most commonly known for their involvement in the trial (Cochran and Kardashian have both passed away).
Take a look at a timeline of the “trial of the century” below.
Photos: YouTube/Getty/ AP