Should a Murderer Make Money?
High profile murder cases like O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony attract a big audience through all media sources. The more horrific the events, the more we are drawn to hear the story. Often the story of a murder is written by a crime writer, such as Ann Rule or Aphrodite Jones based on investigative facts and interviews. The convicted murdererer sits behind bars as the story of their criminal act is published and read around the world. But in the case of an acquittal, the accused may be able to profit from exploiting the murder tale themselves. Profit from murder? Does that seem right?
O.J. Simpson Juiced?
O. J. Simpson’s Book “If I did it”
O.J. Simpson tried to do just that. In 1995 the world watched as ex-professional football player and sports commentator was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.
When it was learned that a book was in the works in which O.J. would give a hypothetical accounting of the murders, the public was aghast and launched a boycott against it. Judith Regan, of Regan Books, and Fox Broadcasting Company caught an onslaught of flack because of their planned joint efforts to promote the book. Release of the book was cancelled due to legalities, even though 400,000 physical books were published.
Book rights were eventually awarded to the Goldman Family to help satisfy a $33.5 Million dollar civil suit judgment. The book was revised and contained the original content written by O.J., along with additional commentary. The revised book, "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer." was written by Pablo F. Fenjves, ghostwriter, and journalist, Dominick John Dunne. According to Wikipedia, Fenjves has since stated that he feels Simpson is a murderer.
Tot Mom Innocent?
Will Casey Anthony Profit from Her Story?
And now we have the Casey Anthony case. The buzz since Casey was found innocent of murdering her daughter is that she will be offered a million-dollar book deal to tell her side of the story. Similarly, producer Al Taylor has offered a cool million to Casey through her attorney, Jose Baez, for the first interview with her.
Horrified media hounds have sounded off that they will not do anything that puts money into Casey's pocket, especially buy a book she writes. There is a Facebook page dedicated to Boycotting Casey Anthony, and an online petition intended to block her ability to benefit financially from her story. To sign the petition, go to Boycott Casey Anthony.
However, my guess is that the boycott may not work because, as much as they might hate the tot-mom, many of those who followed this case might end up buying her book, hoping they can find the truth they seek by reading in-between the lines of each chapter.
The Costs of Acquittal for both O.J. and Casey
To most, it seems outrageous that these two individuals, who have been deemed guilty by a large portion of the public, should be able to profit from committing murder. But legally, having been found innocent, they have the same rights as the rest of us to make money in any fashion within the law.
As it turns out, O.J. won’t profit from his book since the rights were awarded to the Goldman family. And his troubles didn't end there. It has been reported that he owes the State of California over a Million Dollars in back-taxes, and over the years he has been arrested for miscellaneous theft, money laundering, and drug charges. He was eventually convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery, and is currently sitting in Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center serving a 33-year sentence.
And in the case of Casey Anthony profiting from telling her story, hold on a minute. Looks like she might have some hefty expenses to contend with.
While, it’s doubtful her dysfunctional family would take her to civil court on behalf of her baby girl, Caylee, she is racking up costs even before she is released from prison. According to MyFoxorlando.com, she has already been sued by the group who led the search for Caylee, Texas Equusearch, for over $100,000. Another article on the same website, “Motion filed to recover Anthony costs”, tells us that a motion was filed by the State of Florida to recover prosecution and investigative costs, since Florida law provides that this can be included in the judgment against a convicted criminal. (She was convicted of lying to authorities) How much she might owe the state is up to Judge Belvin Perry, Ninth Circuit Chief Judge.
And then there’s the civil lawsuit underway by Zenaida Gonzalez. Gonzalez is suing Casey for defamation of character, claiming that her reputation was damaged due to Casey’s claims that a woman with her name kidnapped little Caylee. There’s no telling where that might go if Casey starts to make money off her notoriety.
JOther costs that could come into the picture might be security, since Casey has had her life threatened following the acquittal verdict, and experts say 24/7 security would cost approximately $10,000 a week. A plastic surgeon on television recently estimated that if Casey decided to alter her facial features in an effort to become unrecognizable, it would cost in the $60,000 range. So, even if Casey turns a profit from this tragedy in spite of the boycott underway, her bank account might not end up as fat as some might imagine.
Sentenced to Life Outside the Big House
As unfair as the acquittal of both O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony in their murder cases may seem to the public, solace can be found in the reality of their lives after acquittal.
O.J. has been publicly ostracized for years, and ended up incarcerated for other crimes.
Casey Anthony is now being billed as “the most hated woman in the world" and has received numerous death threats. She has no home to go to, since she is basically unwelcome in her parent's home, and it's unlikely her party friends will be planning to celebrate her homecoming.
Simpson and Anthony may not have been given a death sentence, but their lives are over. Living on the outside was only a temporary respite for O.J. and Casey may find it harder to live in the real world than it was in her safe cell inside that Big House.
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