O. J. Simpson
Photo Credit: Stanton Peele
Former football star O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder in 1996 after one of the most sensational trials of the 20th century. Nicknamed "The Juice" during his playing years, Simpson had been a standout running back in the National Football League. After a successful college career at USC (he won the Heisman Trophy in 1968), Simpson played professionally for the Buffalo Bills and then the San Francisco 49ers until his retirement in 1979. Handsome and charismatic, Simpson then found work as a sports announcer and sometime actor, and he was a familiar face on television as the spokesman for Hertz rental cars. On 12 June 1994, Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson was found brutally murdered at her home along with an acquaintance, Ronald Goldman. Suspicion immediately fell on Simpson, and he was arrested a few days later after fleeing his house in a car driven by his friend Al Cowlings. (His capture came after a strange low-speed chase by police on LA freeways, televised on live TV from helicopter cameras, with Simpson and Cowlings in the now-infamous white Ford Bronco.) The resulting murder trial (also televised live) lasted nine months and made peripheral characters, from Simpson houseguest Kato Kaelin to defense lawyer Johnny Cochrane to Judge Lance Ito, into household names. On 3 October 1995, Simpson was acquitted. (However, in 1997 he was held liable in civil court for both deaths.) No one else has ever been charged with the deaths of Nicole Simpson or Ron Goldman.
Books:If I DId It, September 2007
If I Did It, December 2006