It’s the 10-year anniversary of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman and needless to say the airwaves are jammed with stories about “the trial of the century.”
I watched all the usual suspects on Larry King last night — Goldman’s father and sister, Lt. Vanatter, LA detective Lange, Nicole’s sister — telling all the usual stories about what a circus the trial was and how poorly Judge Ito and Marcia Clark handled things, what a theatrical grandstander Johnny Cochrane was, how Clark didn’t let the jurors see the most damning evidence, how Cochrane shamelessly played the race card, etc., etc., etc., etc.
Let me say right up front that I tend to believe all of these things. We all do. It is simply a matter of fact that OJ Simpson murdered Ron and Nicole — or at least it is a matter of fact that this is what we all believe. There was no one on King’s cozy little panel, or on any of the other rehash shows on TV I’ve seen, who stand up for OJ and say he was innocent.
This is exactly why you should take a look at Joseph Bosco’s article on this subject. His conclusions are diametrically opposed to those we’ve been fed by the media and the victims’ families. It’s a long piece with lots of names you’ve never heard before, and it isn’t always easy reading. But Joseph does have unique credentials to tell this story: he was one of the tiny handful of journalists selected to sit in the courthouse and cover the story every day. He has met and interviewed all of the characters. And he has a long history of forensic journalism.
I admit, I am not convinced by Joseph’s argument becuase I don’t yet understand it well enough. After “knowing” that OJ did it for 10 years, it is very hard to re-adjust your thought patterns even to entertain the possibility that this might not be so. And I haven’t done it yet. But if what Joseph is saying is true, we may be forced to do exactly that, because this case may not be over yet.
Joseph has a lot of courage to come out with a story that flies in the face of everything we know and believe. Some critics have slammed his book on the trial (A Problem of Evidence), claiming the Cochrane crowd hijacked him and managed to convince him their BS story was true. (Knowing Joseph personally, I find this just about impossible to swallow.)
[UPDATE: See Joseph’s comment below for clarification of his book’s conclusions.]
Not having read Joseph’s book yet, I have to say I’m in a holding pattern right now, still believing that OJ did it, but willing to listen if new evidence surfaces to show otherwise. But before you start insisting that everything the Larry King panelists say is true (as I tend to do), keep an open mind and see what Joseph has to say in his article. I was definitely surprised.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.