Still guilty after all these years
The Buffalo Wild Wings at Zona Rosa has a clock in a corner near the bar from Coors. The date on the clock lists the earliest possible birth date to legally drink, so today, it would display June 18, 1994.
Yesterday when I glanced over, it immediately hit me what happened on the date displayed.
No, it was not Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals, where the Knicks defeated the Rockets 91-84 at Madison Square Garden to take a 3-2 lead in the series. One more win and New York would win its first NBA championship since 1973 and its third overall.
It was not the victory parade through midtown Manhattan for the Stanley Cup champion Rangers, who won the NHL title for the first time in 54 years three nights earlier with a 3-2 victory over the Canucks in Game 7 of the finals.
I only wish I had remembered it for the two events I just mentioned.
Instead, like hundreds of millions across the world, I remember June 17, 1994 for a double murderer who wanted to take the coward’s way out and flee.
Orenthal James Simpson had the athletic ability few men possess. If you ever watched highlights of the living organism (he is not a man, as I will explain below) playing football for the USC Trojans or the Buffalo Bills, it was obvious. He should have become the first two-time Heisman winner when he was at USC, and he became the first NFL player to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season in 1973.
Off the field, Orenthal was a monster. Only his adoring public, his employers (the Bills, the 49ers, ABC and NBC, and the various movie studios which cast him) were willing to look the other way because he was a football hero.
On the morning of June 13, 1994, America woke up to the news that Orenthal’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman, a waiter at a trendy Los Angeles restaurant, had been brutally stabbed to death outside Orenthal’s mansion in Brentwood, an upper class enclave on LA’s west side.
Among the more respected celebrities who have called or currently call Brentwood home include Andrew Breitbart, Mark Harmon, Joan Crawford, Bea Arthur, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Tom Brady and Gisele Bunchden, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan, who lived in the neighborhood from 1957 through 1981, save for the eight-year stint in Sacramento when Ronnie was Governor of California. Of course, the Reagans moved to a much more prestigious address on January 20, 1981–1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Monday morning the case broke, I didn’t believe Orenthal did it, but I believed he had to be questioned. I had seen enough domestic violence cases escalate, and even though no such incidents had surfaced, I could belive Orenthal was certainly capable given his strength.
The next morning, any doubt I had about Orenthal’s guilt vanished.
It was revealed Nicole had made several calls to Los Angeles 911 complaining of violence perpetrated by Orenthal. It was ugly. Change that. It was grotesque.
For the next three days, I was hoping the L.A. police would catch the bastard. I was hoping Orenthal would soon be making his way to San Quentin and spending his time on death row, waiting to be strapped to the gurney. Or at the very least spend the rest of his life in prison, and if that were the case, he would be in the cell next to Charles Manson.
The day before the chase, Nicole was laid to rest. Orenthal was somehow allowed to attend, as were his adult children from his first marriage to Marguerite Whitley, which lasted from 1967 through 1979. Why?
Why was Orenthal allowed to attend Nicole’s burial in the first place? They had been divorced for two years, and it was well known the son of a bitch was an abuser. Second, the adult children had no business there. They had no relations, blood or otherwise, to Nicole.
Finally, on the morning of June 17, the LA Police Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti confirmed what I had figured all along.
The prime suspect in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman was none other than Orenthal James Simpson.
Later that evening, as the Rockets and Knicks battled in the Big Apple, NBC cut to Tom Brokaw, who announced breathlessly that Orenthal was in a white Ford Bronco being driven by Al Cowlings, a teammate of Orenthal’s at USC and Buffalo. This was not cars racing down the freeways at over 100 miles per hour.
The pace was more like the speeds you would find on a residential street. It was nearly funereal.
The authorities were talking to Cowlings in an attempt to keep Orenthal from ending his life. They should have let the arrogant cocksucker shoot himself.
Orenthal was finally arrested at his home, which was now a crime scene.
I’m not going to go into the sham which was the trial. That’s best saved for October, which will be the 20th anniversary of the day a double murderer got off.
Hey Orenthal, still looking for the real killers? Just look in the mirror. You’ll find him.