Investigation Discovery is showing a one-off special to mark the 25th anniversary of the acquittal of OJ Simpson for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend, Ron Goldman.
OJ Simpson was a former NFL star and a Hall of Famer, who then turned to Hollywood acting after he retired from football. Nicole and Simpson had married in 1985, but the pair had a tumultuous relationship, and they finally divorced after seven years of marriage.
The couple did attempt a reconciliation, but it was not meant to be. Then in 1994, tragedy struck when Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman were brutally murdered. The crime led to what many consider to be the murder trial of the century.
On June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown had dinner with her family at a Los Angeles restaurant. Later that night, Nicole’s friend and a waiter at the restaurant, Ron Goldman, were at her home in Brentwood when they were viciously stabbed to death.
The police were instantly suspicious of her ex-husband Simpson, who had a history of domestic violence against Nicole. Five days after the murders, prosecutors ordered that he be arrested.
OJ Simpson attempted a shocking escape
Simpson had agreed to turn himself into the police; however, on June 17, he took everyone by surprise by attempting an escape with his friend AC Cowlings. The pair jumped into Simpson’s white Ford Bronco, and he drove off with a passport, a disguise, and nearly $9,000. The cops spotted his car, but he refused to pull over.
There then followed a low-speed chase with cops that brought Los Angeles’s freeways to a standstill and enthralled a nation. TV crews followed the chase in detail, which led to 95 million Americans watching the chase unfold on network television. Simpson later surrendered at his home in Brentwood.
There was a fairly large amount of evidence pointing towards Simpson; blood and hair from Nicole and Ron were found in Simpson’s car and home. A glove belonging to the suspect was found at the crime scene along with footprints that matched the former footballer’s shoes.
Prosecutors in the case portrayed Simpson as a controlling and abusive husband. However, his defense lawyers, who consisted of the now famous Johnnie Cochran and F. Lee Bailey, argued that racist police officers had framed Simpson.
In the end, a jury agreed with Simpson’s defense lawyers, and on October 3, 1995, he was acquitted of all criminal charges.
In 1997, a civil jury found Simpson liable for the wrongful deaths of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. He was ordered to pay the families $33.5 million in damages.
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O.J. and Nicole: An American Tragedy airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.