Where's the Knife, O.J.?

And where's a good 'trial of the century' when you need one?

I admit it—I still want to know. I mean, O.J. promised not to rest until he found Nicole's killer... well?? THE GUY IS RESTING (in prison for another crime, perhaps, but still...)

Over 15 years later and I am still curious as to what happened to the knife, where the bag that was placed by the limo went, what the pounding on Kato's guest house wall was, and whether or not Marcia Clark was sleeping with Chris Darden.

The year was 1994, and my ex-husband (who was not my husband yet but simply my "living in sin" boyfriend) and I were in New York watching The Knicks NBA finals (Pat Riley was the coach and Ewing was my guy) when at the bottom of the screen was this white Bronco...

And the rest, as they say, is history. I knew from the moment that Bronco chase started, I was hooked. I could feel it in my veins. The excitement, the curiosity, the answer to the absolute boredom that had taken over my own life. 

Finally I had a reason to get up in the morning! Yes! Let the O.J. trial begin!

And it did. In January of 1995.

It was perfect. My pre-husband/boyfriend was busy doing a play in New York while I was wondering if I had committed career suicide by moving from Los Angeles, where I was at the start of my feature film career, back to New York where I had nothing going on AT ALL.

Why did I move just when my first movie was made and I should've been riding that wave for at least the next few years? Because...  "I was in looooove."


So, my days were spent in front of the television on the Upper West Side, drinking coffee and watching the O.J. trial. I was fixated. I loved it. Everything about it. It was like the best soap opera ever.

Seriously, you can't create a better cast of characters.  Racist Mark Fuhrman, knucklehead Kato, the grieving Goldman family, Denise Brown, "the brunette version of Nicole" (they must've stated that at least a hundred times), the devoted housekeeper, the guy who knew what time he heard the barking dog because of his obsessive television-watching schedule, the two defense experts, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, who looked like every writing team I had ever worked with, Judge Ito and, of course, the football legend himself.

I had my day planned out: I broke for lunch when they broke for lunch. Hit up Zabaars for a bagel, lox and cream cheese, then headed back to the apartment just in time for Greta Van Susteren to give her two cents on the day's events before heading back into the courtroom.

At night I couldn't sleep because I would replay the night of the murder in my head, desperate to be the one to figure out where the killer hid the knife.

Yes, folks, I really thought I could solve it. Like I was some sort of young Angela Lansbury riding around on my bike through New York hoping to fit together the pieces of a puzzle that no one else on the planet could.

OK, I was a little obsessed and a lot sick. Sick of my life.

It was 134 days of nonstop episodes of The People vs. Orenthal  James Simpson. I mean, c'mon, imagine if Modern Family or Family Guy or The Real Housewives of Orange County aired new episodes nonstop every day for 134 days—before the days of Tivo—tell me some of you wouldn't be dancin' in the streets.

I mean, sure I was neglecting my life, my relationship, my depression. But it was the greatest escape from my reality that I could have ever asked for.

I bring this up because, and I say this with all sincerity, I would give ANYTHING for that kind of distraction now.

With the crap that's going on in my life these days—the seemingly never-ending unemployment, the getting older, the extra five friggin' pounds, the fact that my daughter is almost out of her single digits... well,  134 days of a murder trial would be the perfect thing to take the edge off life.

And since this mama doesn't drink, smoke, shop or fu—OK, drink, smoke or shop—looking for something to take the edge off life is not easy these days.

I remember when the verdict was read and the shock and horror that overwhelmed me. Not so much because they let a murderer off ( which, we all know, they did) but because it was over. Really over.

What the hell was I going to do with all those hours in the day now? Yoga?

Noooo! I needed a fix! Something! Anything! And I went through what any good addict goes through... a nasty case of withdrawals.

I'd wake up and walk past the television in pure and utter grief. I missed seeing Marcia and Chris, Detectives Tom Lange and Ron Phillips, the chick who worked at Mezzaluna. Hell, I would've been happy with a glimpse of a court reporter.

But, alas, it truly was over. And then something so odd happened. Unexpected. So random.

I got a job.

Not just any job. I got a job writing for a soap opera in New York.

I had never written for soaps. The last time I watched one was when Luke and Laura got married on GH. But I met someone who knew someone who needed someone, and I became that someone.

So, as luck would have it, as one long real-life soap opera in Brentwood ended, a new make-believe one in a town called Bay City began.

My days became busy, my life became full and my need for an escape disappeared.

The other day I was on my way to a meeting, driving on Sunset toward the Palisades, panicking about how I was going to pay my bills, get a bunch of elementary school kids in shape for a looming talent show, qualify for more health insurance, get my hair cut... when I passed a street I hadn't thought about in years.

Rockingham Drive.

And for a brief moment I went back in time, remembering 1995, and forgetting, for just a brief moment, all my current worries.

And wouldn't you know it, once again, as though it were yesterday, one thought kept playing in my head...

Where did he put that damn knife?

Carole Cain June 06, 2011 at 01:46 PM
I was glued to the TV too... I drove by the scene of the crime... I was so obsessed...Nothing like that before...Now the Casey Anthony case is getting a lot of attention... I think she did it too... You took me down memory lane... Your articles are amazing. You always hit the nail on the head. You should be getting paid well, for your outstanding writing talents... I wish life was always fair...
Christine Ashworth June 06, 2011 at 03:14 PM
I worked on Bundy and 26th Street, right down the street from their condo. Since I was working I couldn't obsess, but it certainly was a huge topic of conversation at the office! Great article, as usual!
Sarah Barrett June 06, 2011 at 03:21 PM
I drove Sunset last week too and thought of OJ as we passed Rockingham!! So depressing that he got away with murder!
Susan McMartin June 06, 2011 at 03:39 PM
you are so sweet - thank you! i wish we knew each other back then -- we could've done some detective work together! ;-)
Susan McMartin June 06, 2011 at 03:39 PM
thanks, christine!
Christine Brean June 06, 2011 at 05:00 PM
I am in the midst of reading Double-Crossed for Blood. It is written by a local doctor who claims that OJ was double crossed; that the coronor's office covered-up evidence. I met Dr. Henry S Johnson whose medical practice is in Long Beach, and, although I am only in the beginning of his book he presents evidence such as the ME initially reported two different knives used, which would indicate two perpetrators, one of whom was left-handed. I have always been sure OJ was guilty but what if he didn't do it? Who did?
Hugh June 06, 2011 at 05:27 PM
I remember that case! That was the one where the L.A.P.D. was too inept to frame a guilty man right?
PAUL LEVINE June 06, 2011 at 06:11 PM
Brings back a lot of memories. If you had the knife, O.J. would break down your door to get it....then try to sell it as memorabilia on eBay.
Linda Rubin June 06, 2011 at 08:43 PM
I was cutting that story every day with Jane Wells for Fox 11 News. I saw Mark Fuhrman recently on Oprah and, as vile as you may have found him during the trial, he had a take on events that I never thought of before. Most pointedly, he was deeply critical of the way detectives handled the evidence and the crime scenes. He apparently wrote a book ("the" book, maybe) describing things not revealed during the trial. I wasn't interested enough to read it but it might contain some significant revelations.
Michael Calder June 06, 2011 at 11:33 PM
Every black employee in my office cheered and celebrated when the verdict came in. At that moment, understanding a black jury let a black man get away with murdering two whites and the cheering backing up this verdict; this was the moment the civil rights era ended. At that moment we all became southern. At that moment we all understood.
Linda Rubin June 07, 2011 at 12:31 AM
There is no "we all," Michael. Stick to speaking for yourself please.
Denise Brown June 07, 2011 at 09:14 PM
Wow this does take me back, but to a horrific place. The crazy thing is that June 12th is right around the corner and it'll be 17 years since my sisters murder.
Michael Calder June 07, 2011 at 09:36 PM
Mark Fuhrman is a hero. He went onto the grounds knowing a vicious negroe with a knife may very well confront him and try to kill him. But this time the negroe wouldn't be going up against a defenseless white woman. He wouldn't be going up against an unarmed white male. He would be going up against the LAPD. Mark Fuhrman is handsome, brave, intelligent and athletic. He is on the side of good in a world of evil. In short, Mark Fuhrman is everything 'politically correct" liberals are not which is why they hate him.
Linda Rubin June 07, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Wow Michael, you seem to be very big on the stereotypes and sweeping generalities. I guess that's one way to keep the vast and dangerous world at bay but it's no way to win friends and influence people.
Linda Rubin June 07, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Denise, so sorry for this ongoing tragedy and the horrific loss of your sister.
Susan McMartin June 07, 2011 at 11:07 PM
denise, i'm sorry. i hope it helps to know how many of us have not forgotten what happened to your sister... and how we still wonder how it is possible that justice has not been served. i, of course, write my column with humor but please know there is nothing at all funny about what happened to your sister and ron goldman. thanks for leaving a comment.
Michael Calder June 07, 2011 at 11:31 PM
Behavior influences people. Stereotypes are earned as is prejudice. To ignore truth and common sense puts oneself in peril. What's the definition of a conservative? A liberal who has been mugged. A young woman in Valley Village on the verge of her wedding, was murdered in her own home by an illegal alien. She has a right to be alive and happy. The director of "Waitress" was raped and murdered by an illegal alien and didn't get to see her film premiered. She had a right to be in the audience that night. An anglo - saxon, American, Giants fan was viciously attacked by mexican illegal aliens or the sons of illegal aliens in the parking lot at Dodger stadium. Have you seen how beautiful his little girl and son are? Those kids have a right to grow up with their handsome father and now won't. I stand on the side of good and I hate evil. And evil is almost always non white and supported by "political correctness."
Bill Daly June 07, 2011 at 11:54 PM
"and evil is almost always non white.," says Michael Calder. That's like me saying, "intelligent is almost always non-Michael Calder." (apologies to other Michael Calders out there.) First of all, I am white. And while I do not believe myself to be evil -- to argue your "point" -- I'd like to point out a few white people who are/were.... "Hitler, Glenn Beck, Dick Cheney, Slobodan Milosevic, Joe McCarthy, Charles Manson, the Unabomber, the guy who blew by me on the freeway today like an asshole, Michael Calder, Jeffrey Dahmer, a whole lot of priests who raped kids, a whole lot of white people who owned slaves, a whole lot of white people who participated in the genocide of this continent's native peoples, Bernie Madoff, Lee Atwater, Richard Nixon... the list runs deep, of course, like Michael's Calder racism and unlike his intelligence. It's not "political correctness" driving me to say this. Just correctness.
Susan McMartin June 08, 2011 at 12:05 AM
not to mention, michael, have you ever watched dateline or 48 hours?? lotta white folks doin' some really bad stuff. you should watch it.
Michael Calder June 08, 2011 at 01:13 AM
I'm a UC Berkeley graduate. While at Berkeley, I went to the library and looked up IQ Testing. Not books on IQ testing, whether it is politically correct, etc, but what are the numbers when such tests are conducted by psychologists. A male conducted one set of tests I reviewed that was conducted in the 1970s. Another set was conducted by a female in the 1980s. Both concluded that the average IQ for anglos was 100. For negroes the average is 85 . A score of 90 is considerd mentally retarded. That explains everything. Yet these truths are never mentioned because of political correctness. I'm well aware of caucasian serial killers. When we think of crime we think of street crime. Rape of a woman you happened to encounter, armed robbery, car theft, assault and battery and murder usually while commiting a robbery. No race competes with negroes and mexicans when it comes to street crimes. I'm sure you are aware of recent statistics that one out of three male negroes between 18 and 28 are under court supervision. Either in prison or paroled from prison or given probation. But i'm the one who has the problem.
Bill Daly June 08, 2011 at 03:37 AM
Yrp. U are. What a sad person you are. I pity you
Dani Fishman Parker June 08, 2011 at 04:48 AM
15 years ago I worked in the music business. All of us who had an office on the Penthouse floor off Sunset were also fortunate to have televisions in them.Along with every genre of music permeating the walls the OJ trial played on every television as if a soundtrack on a loop. The day the verdict was released was the day the music stopped. Even in one of the largest music publishing companies you could here a pin drop. There were as many African American employees as there were Caucasion. My friend dated Ron Goldman; we hung out in the same LA haunts. OJ is where he should be tho Ron and Nicole are not! I believe one of his attorney's did away with the knife. Very sorry for your loss Nicole and to the Goldman family as well!
John Emerson June 08, 2011 at 06:40 AM
Susan, another engrossing column. I was one of the ones that defended him until the end, but his behavior has given him away for me. Don't believe what a person says, believe what they do! And he has done nothing to "find the killer' The trial that really revealed the worst of human behavior to me was the McMartin witch hunt tragedy. That brought out the "lynch mob" mentality in a lot of people. It set a precedent like the Vietnam war of what not to do again. Keep up the good work.
Susan McMartin June 08, 2011 at 01:31 PM
thanks, john. thankfully, i am not related to that "mcmartin" family from that event but when it was going on i was constantly asked, "is your family on trial??"
Christine Brean June 08, 2011 at 04:08 PM
Bill, I think you may have made a couple of mistakes in your list of evil people. Not liking someone's politics does not make that person evil. Calder seems to think that the less intelligent you are the more evil you are. I'd like to see the studies that came up with that conclusion.
Michael Calder June 08, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Bill, we are both white males. Let's tell the truth. Just two white guys talking. As a politically correct white liberal male you are the first to pee in your pants when suddenly confronted by three black males. Why is that Bill? The times you have looked for a place to live in Los Angeles, you've moved into the whitetist area you could afford. Each apartment building you considered renting in you made a mental check of how many negroes or how many mexicans lived there. If the number exceeded your personal quota you chose not to move into the complex. Why is that Bill? If you have or had a daughter about to enter middle school, you drove to the school to see how many mexican students went to the school. Somehow your daughter didn't enroll there. You are proud to tell the world your son attends an LAUSD High School if that school is El Camino but if your teenage son couldn't get into El Camino, you came up with excuses to enroll him in private school. You want to see a racist, look in the mirror Bill.
justin forbes June 09, 2011 at 06:34 AM
Susan, as always, such a generous, honest voice on a usually 'hot' topic...thank you for bringing me back...I was actually doing my annual summer "escape to southern california from New Orleans" and was skateboarding my friends empty pool when his wife came running outside yelling, "OJ is on the run!!" (does that tell you how long ago this was?) Haven't been on a skateboard in too long now...so anyway, my creative friends and I grabbed a paper and headed for kinkos. cut and paste and in an hour we had our very own custom "OJ Simpson says watch TV" shirts. (a big ol' picture of his mugshot was on the front, lettering done in a ransom note randomness. So for the next few times we wore these shirts...people of all shapes and sizes asked us where to find them. We lied, "oh, someplace on Melrose"...but had no intention of capitalizing on this tragedy. The trial sucked me in as well. Has it really been 15 years? I heard the knife was on a golf course in Florida... Love ya Sue, keep em coming!
Linda Rubin June 09, 2011 at 07:13 AM
From "The Onion.com" Educated Bigot That Much More Terrifying FAYETTEVILLE, AR—After arguing with a well-read, articulate racist Wednesday, area man Daniel Truett described the experience as "bone-chilling," telling reporters it was far scarier than any encounter with an ignorant bigot ever could have been. "I've met some intolerant assholes in my time, but never one who could quote passages from Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery to make his point," said Truett, who raised objections to the man's racial prejudices, but found his opponent was able to anticipate each of his arguments and counter them point by point. "And the most terrifying part of all is that he's obviously intelligent enough to know he's a hateful, bigoted person, which means he must actually be okay with that fact." Later that evening, Truett felt even more conflicted after hearing the very same bigot perform an exquisite and nuanced rendition of the Dvorak cello concerto. http://www.theonion.com/articles/educated-bigot-that-much-more-terrifying,20630/
Becca June 09, 2011 at 02:19 PM
I wonder if this is actually Denise? Hmm.. Either way, what happened will never be forgotten. Nicole will never be forgotten, because you and your family didn't let that happen. As the next generation, I vow to you to continue your work so that this doesn't happen again. I'll do whatever it takes to make sure Nicole's memory is kept out there.
Cindy October 04, 2011 at 06:40 PM
I think the knife was in the golf bag that Robert Kardashian took & disposed of. Then he became OJs lawyer for a minute to ensure he couldn't be questioned as to what happened when OJ got back.


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