O.J. Simpson was acquitted on this day in history. Here’s why this case captivated the nation
Simpson was found not guilty of these crimes 28 years ago Tuesday, yet people reportedly still feel that this case resonates for a couple of reasons
Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson was acquitted in what reports call “the trial of the century” for two counts of murder on Oct. 3, 1995.
Here’s why this case captivated an entire nation.
What happened on the night of Nicole Brown’s murder?
The West Port Library Guide reported that “on the night of June 12, 1994, Simpson’s ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death outside of her condominium in Los Angeles, and Simpson quickly became the prime suspect.” Simpson was charged with “several crimes, including armed robbery and kidnapping,” according to Britannica.
CNN reported a timeline sequence of what happened on the night of the murders:
- 6:30 p.m. — “Nicole Brown Simpson, her children and several others go to dinner at the Mezzaluna restaurant.”
- 8:00 p.m. — “Nicole Brown Simpson and her children leave Mezzaluna, and stop for ice cream on the way home.”
- 9:15 p.m. — “One of Nicole Brown Simpson’s sisters call Mezzaluna to say that Nicole’s mother had left her glasses at the restaurant. Ronald Goldman volunteers to return the glasses.”
- 9-9:30 p.m. — “Brian Kaelin, a friend staying in a guest house at O.J. Simpson’s home, and Simpson go to McDonald’s for dinner.”
- 9:45 p.m. — “Kaelin and Simpson return home.”
- 9:48-9:50 p.m. — “Goldman leaves the restaurant with a white envelope containing the glasses.”
- 10:15 p.m. — “While watching television, Pablo Fenjves, a neighbor of Nicole Brown Simpson, hears the cries and constant barking of a dog.”
- 10:25 p.m. — “Limousine driver Allan Park arrives at Simpson’s home.”
- 10:40 p.m. — “Kaelin hears three loud thumps on an outside wall of his room.”
- 10:40-10:50 p.m. — “Park buzzes intercom several times but does not get any response.”
- 10:55 p.m. — “Park calls his boss and tells him Simpson is not home. He is told to wait until 11:15 since Simpson is always late.”
- Shortly before 11 p.m. — “Park sees a Black person, 6-feet, 200 pounds, walking across the driveway towards the house.”
- About 11 p.m. — “Kaelin goes to the front of the house to check on the noise. He sees the limousine driver at the gate. Several seconds later, Park again buzzes the intercom and Simpson answers. He says he had overslept and just gotten out of the shower.”
- 11 - 11:15 p.m. — “Simpson puts his bags in the limousine.”
- 11:15 p.m. — “Limousine leaves for Los Angeles Airport.”
- 11:35 p.m. — “Limousine arrives at airport.”
- 11:45 p.m. — “Simpson leaves on an American Airlines flight to Chicago.”
- 12:10 a.m. — “The bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are discovered outside her townhouse.”
- “About 5 a.m. — “Detectives Mark Fuhrman and Philip Vannatter arrive at Simpson’s house.”
- 5:15-5:30 a.m. — “The detectives examine an apparent bloodstain on Simpson’s Ford Bronco.”
- 5:40-5:50 a.m. — “Detective Fuhrman decided to jump the wall in order for police to get inside the estate. Once on the grounds, the detectives awaken Simpson’s daughter, Arnelle, who is staying in a guest house. She takes the police to the house and telephones Cathy Randa, her father’s longtime assistant.”
- 7-7:30 a.m. — “Detective Vannatter declared the area a crime scene and goes to get a warrant to search the house.”
Why did O.J. Simpsons trial captivate the nation?
28 years ago Tuesday, Simpson was found not guilty for the two counts of murder he was charged with and yet people reportedly still feel that this case resonates for a couple of reasons.
USA Today reported that some of the ties to this case that keep people captivated today are the Kardashian connections to the case, the bloody glove featured in the trial, the “pre-social media” acquittal, racial tensions and of course the infamous “low-speed car chase.”
The trial itself began on Jan. 24, 1995, and the final verdict was decided on Oct. 3, 1995, resulting in finding Simpson “not guilty” of the charges pressed against him.
For more than eight months “some 150 witnesses testified, though Simpson did not take the stand,” according to Britannica.
“White, Black, immigrants who were from different races, women and men, rich and poor — and everyone was glued to the television,” Charles Ogletree, a professor at Harvard Law School who directs the school’s Institute for Race and Justice said, according to The Washington Post.
The verdict decided all those years ago left the country then and even now reportedly split about whether or not Simpson committed the crimes.
“It stood in, in a lot of ways, for race relations in America,” UW-Madison professor Hemant Shah told, Spectrum News 1. “Black man on trial for the murder of a white woman.”
While some jurors still stand with their decision, others feel that they made the wrong call, according to Dateline NBC.
“Given that standard and based on the amount of evidence that was presented, then yes, you would have to say that yes, he is guilty,” the foreman and juror during the trial, Armanda Cooley said.
Marsha Rubin-Jackson, another juror on the trial reportedly stands by the verdict but details that if it was brought forward as a civil case, “I would have to vote guilty.”