- Bloodstains in OJ prosecution put in doubt...
- Vital clues that might have supported O.J. Simpson's
denial of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman were ignored by
American police, according to a new investigation that found evidence that
the celebrity was framed.
- Six years after the killings that ended Simpson's charmed
life, Los Angeles, especially its police force, hoped that they were forgotten.
Yet pressure will build to reopen the case with the disclosure today that
crucial blood evidence was almost certainly planted in the footballer's
house and car after the murders.
- A BBC documentary to be broadcast on Wednesday will say
that Mr Simpson's son, Jason, then 24, was never considered a suspect in
the murder, even though he had a history of domestic violence and no reliable
alibi. The film includes a claim by a convicted drug dealer that six months
before Ms Simpson's death, he was offered money to kill her.
- Simpson was acquitted at his murder trial five years
ago. The verdict by a largely black jury split America along racial lines
and he was found financially responsible for the deaths in a separate $34
million (£23.5 million) civil verdict a year later.
- He vowed then to devote his energy and dwindling resources
to finding the real killers of his former wife and her friend. Instead,
the most famous running back in the history of American football has immersed
himself in golf, leaving further investigation to journalists and private
- Their findings suggest that the criminal trial jury,
vilified by white America, made the right decision. They show that clear
chances to solve the murders were missed or deliberately ignored by a prosecution
anxious above all about its image.
- The most damning new information concerns a synthetic
preservative known as EDTA, found in blood on a gate at the murder scene
and on a pair of socks which Mr Simpson allegedly wore there. EDTA, which
does not occur naturally in the human body, is often used by detectives
to conserve evidence but was found nowhere else on the gate or socks. Peter
Harpur, a British crime scene expert interviewed for the programmes, said
that there could not be any other explanation than that the blood had been
- Evidence may also have been planted in the white Ford
Bronco that mesmerised a global television audience when Mr Simpson was
pursued in it along California's freeways holding a gun to his head.
- Bloodstains on the car's central console which police
had said consisted only of Mr Simpson's blood were relisted three months
later as a mixture of his and the victims' blood. The discrepancy was not
highlighted at the criminal trial, which ended with the chief prosecutor,
Marcia Clark, adding the Bronco bloodstains to a "pyramid" of
what she said was undisputed evidence against Mr Simpson.
- Extraordinarily, police were in a position to mix and
plant the blood after the killings. The lead detective in the case requested
and obtained a vial of Mr Simpson's blood, and in a violation of normal
procedures obtained samples of the victims' blood from the Los Angeles
Coroner's Office. Such a violation would have meant the summary dismissal
of a lower-profile case, according to Donald Freed, a law professor who
has written a book on the Simpson case.
- Detectives went back to the Bronco during their investigation
but whether they planted evidence there remained an open question at the
criminal trial. Detective Mark Fuhrman, exposed on the witness stand as
a racist, was asked if he had planted evidence but refused to answer, invoking
his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. Since then the Los
Angeles Police Department has been humiliated by revelations of systematic
evidence planting in hundreds of other cases.
- According to Mr Harpur, the Simpson trial should never
have begun. Sloppy police work at the crime scene, at Simpson's house and
in his car contaminated the evidence so badly that had it been a British
case the Crown Prosecution Service would have rejected all of it, he said.
- That sloppy work may save Jason Simpson, O.J.'s son from
his first marriage, from unwelcome further scrutiny. Jason, a chef, had
a history of brandishing kitchen knives in argument, including one with
a girlfriend who feared for her life and described him as having a Jekyll
and Hyde personality.
- The documentary says that Jason was a "walking time-bomb"
on rage suppressant drugs and that Nicole Simpson believed he may have
been stalking her. He claimed to have been working at the time of the murders
but appears to have left work early that night.
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