O.J. Simpson is back in the spotlight after new evidence turned up in the infamous murders of Nicole Brown Simpson, his ex-wife, and Ronald Goldman, her friend. The newly-discovered evidence, a knife found at the Simpson estate during its demolition, may have been the murder weapon.
Nicole Simpson and Goldman were stabbed to death outside her home in Los Angeles, Cali. in the summer of 1994. O.J. Simpson was charged with the murders and later acquitted in late 1995. He was later found guilty of causing their wrongful death in a 1997 civil trial.
Investigators were unable to find a credible murder weapon in time for the criminal trial in the case against O.J. The newly-discovered knife is currently undergoing forensic testing by the LAPD for fingerprints and blood, hair or other physical DNA evidence linking it to the crimes. TMZ reports that the knife is in rough condition, with two decades of rust and stains.
No matter what the findings are, O.J. Simpson cannot be convicted for the murders of his ex-wife or Goldman. That trial is in the past and double jeopardy applies completely.
The knife was turned into the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division in January. It was reportedly discovered around 1998 by a construction worker during the demolition of the Simpson Estate. The worker turned it over to a Traffic Department officer who held onto the knife until he retired earlier this year.
They are treating the knife as they would any other suspected murder weapon. According to TMZ, it is a folding “buck knife” but the police are not releasing any more details at this point. The LAPD is also unsure why the officer kept the knife for so long.
“The actual item is described as a knife. I’m not going to go into the description of the knife because that could be germane to determining whether or not this actual piece of evidence is in fact evidence or is just a facsimile or a made-up story,” Los Angeles Police Captain Andy Neiman told CNN.
“I don’t know what the circumstances are, why [the knife was not turned in when it was discovered,] or if that’s entirely accurate or if this whole story is possibly bogus from the get-go,” he said.
“After the cop retired from the LAPD, he contacted a friend who worked in the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD). The cop told the friend about the knife and said he was getting it framed to put on his wall. He wanted his friend to get the DR (Departmental Record) number for the Nicole Brown Simpson/Ronald Goldman murder case, which he planned on engraving in the frame.
“We’re told the friend was indignant, and told his superiors. The brass was outraged and demanded that the retired cop turn the knife over, which he did.”
Simpson is currently serving a 33-year prison term in Nevada for committing a series of crimes in Las Vegas in 2007. He was convicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy, robbery with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon.
Simpson will be eligible for parole in October 2017. He will be 70 years old.