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"The Knife that Didn't Change the World."
Did you hear the news? They found a knife buried in Brentwood, on the same residence where O. J, killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman... allegedly. If you're not yet old enough to drink, then this news has little to no impact on you. But, if you are over than a quarter of a century old, then this news mean even less.
In the middle of June, 1994, I find myself wandering around my home aimlessly like most eleven year olds do. I saunter into the living room, filled with boredom, to see every spot on the couch, chair, and loveseat taken by adults. I look around the room and see my parents and their friends staring at our huge wooden television and whispering at one another. I look to the television, hoping for a Schwarzenegger flick, but instead see a sky-view shot of a white SUV racing down the freeway.
"Run O. J., run!" My dad would yell.
"Don't squeeze the juice!" Said our houseguest holding up a beer.
At this moment I didn't realize that the words "white bronco" would forever be a pop culture reference, though it wasn't enough to keep the vehicle going financially. Being a curious child, I decided to plop down on the carpet and take everything in: the anchor's facts, the pilot's commentary, and the speculation being spewed in my living room.
Over the next several weeks more and more information would come to light following the arrest and investigation into the life of O. J. Simpson, his wife, and a young Jewish waiter. The trial would not begin until November when the jury was sworn-in and the eventual opening statements took place in January of 1995. It took me nearly half a year before I realized where I had seen the defendant before.
"Hey, that's Nordberg!" I said proudly.
In September, I enrolled in middle school and less than one month later there was a verdict to be shouted throughout the entire country. This was to be a huge moment in television history. So huge, in fact, that TV's were rolled into classrooms for all to hear. I was sitting in drama class when the climax to this episode of real life was spoken; fitting, I know.
"We the people, find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson... not guilty," emanated from the TV atop a rolling cart.
Most students cheered at this "justice" while others just grinded their teeth. I looked around just thinking about all of the evidence that's been presented in the past ten months: footprints, blood everywhere the alleged killer was, and the glove that didn't fit. "You must acquit." Must we? For years after this, there was continued disagreements among people of all kinds as to whether the jury made the right decision; friendships ended over it.
Now, nearly 22 years after the initial murder, I see on the news that they've found a knife. What good does this do us? I think watching my local news. You can't try him again because of double jeopardy, plus he's currently serving a lengthy sentence, plus after all this time you're probably not going to get any DNA. That equals... just a waste of taxpayers money.
The O. J. Simpson trial has had It's fifteen minutes in pop culture. Now it's time to just let it lie with the two victims. If you'd like to learn more about this trial, which is worth the watch, you can see half a dozen documentaries, a current series on FX, or a made-for-TV movie that was made before the verdict (which is my favorite.) I say, form your own verdict. Only four people know what happened on June 12, 1994 and two of them are dead.