The OJ Simpson Anniversary — Remembering the Victims

by Diane Dimond on June 23, 2014

Time to Remember the Victims

Time to Remember the Victims

As the coroner’s van took away one of the bodies, I walked toward the bloodied sidewalk outside Nicole Brown Simpson’s condo. I’ll never forget what I saw that day. Law enforcement had come and gone and left behind only some strips of yellow police tape.

It might have been 20 years ago, but I can still see the rivulets of blood between the pavers at the condo’s entryway. Later I would learn that the paw prints and feathery marks punctuating the bloodbath were made by Nicole’s dog. In his confused state, the Akita had obviously circled the bloody scene, its leash traversing through the red and leaving a swoosh of stain all the way down to the corner stop sign.

With the evidence gathering clearly over, I remember thinking, “Why didn’t someone wash away all this blood?”

Now that the glut of television remembrances is behind us and the 20th anniversary newspaper and magazine articles have been digested, let’s take a deep breath. Forget about the slow-speed Bronco chase, O.J.’s courtroom antic with the gloves or his hollow vow to find “the real killer.” Let me tell you what it was like to be at that crime scene only hours after Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were slaughtered.

The Syndicated TV Show

The Syndicated TV Show

Back then I worked as a crime reporter for the syndicated television program “Hard Copy,” so I was the one who got the call early on the morning of June 13, 1994. My cameraman, Chad Mullenix, and I drove to Nicole’s Brentwood address just in time to see the last of the action. When the coroner’s team drove away, we were stunned to find ourselves absolutely alone. I lifted the police tape to duck underneath, and Chad followed as he hoisted his camera to his shoulder.

We were careful to step on the pavers and not on the blood-filled grout seams. As we zigged and zagged on tip-toe toward Simpson’s arched front gate, I noticed stands of stately blue agapanthus growing along both sides of the walkway. A closer look revealed drops of blood on some of the petals.

And then I opened the gate to find the puddle of blood that was the source of all the rest. This is where Nicole Brown Simpson, age 35, had fallen — stabbed to death and nearly decapitated.

Outside Nicole Simpson's Condo - July 13, 1994

Outside Nicole Simpson’s Condo – July 13, 1994

Directly inside the gate there was a space of about five feet before a few steps up to a small, bricked courtyard and the front door of the condo. Since the curtains on the massive front windows were fully opened, we were able to look directly into the dead woman’s living room.

I saw the backs of plush upholstered white couches and chairs. Candles, some on tall stands, were still burning on the square coffee table. I remember seeing a picture of Nicole and O.J., but I can’t recall if it was on the mantelpiece or the table.

On the far side of the room there was a staircase and an overhead balcony that apparently led to the upstairs bedrooms.

As a mother, I immediately realized the Simpson’s two small children could have easily seen the carnage below if they had wandered from their beds. I wondered how police had gotten young Sydney, 8, and Justin, 5, out of the home without seeing all that blood.

Nicole's Children at Her Funeral - With Their Dad

Nicole’s Children at Her Funeral – With Their Dad

As I took careful and calculated steps into the courtyard, my eye was drawn to the right, to an alcove of sorts and a bloody section of matted foliage in a small flowerbed. There were dried red blood smears on the white wrought-iron boundary fence, and I realized this had to have been where Ron Goldman was found. It looked to me like he was looking for a way out of the place when he was trapped by the fence.

Over the next many months I would develop investigative stories to expand the O.J. saga. I found a scruffy drug dealer who swore he sold drugs to O.J. in the parking lot of a nearby Burger King in the hours right before the murders. After he passed not one but two lie-detector tests, we aired his story.

I found an exact duplicate of the infamous white Ford Bronco and, working with documents from a law enforcement source, I was able to show my TV audience the exact location of more than a dozen bloody spots found in O.J.’s ersatz getaway vehicle. Using bright red masking tape I placed X’s where each blood deposit was found: On the outside car door, the accelerator, on the gearshift and on the console. And, on the back of the passenger seat’s headrest, where a driver who was backing up would have instinctively placed their hand to brace themselves as they looked back for traffic hazards.

The Bronco Had Multiple Blood Stains Inside & Out

The Bronco Had Multiple Blood Stains Inside & Out

Through a trusted law enforcement source I also got my hands on the 28-minute LAPD “interrogation tape” of O.J. This first conversation between detectives and the former football great sounded more like a gab-fest than a police examination.

Week after week our TV program and scores of other media outlets followed developments in the Simpson/Goldman murder case, but it was always “the O.J. Simpson story.” Somewhere along the line we forgot about the victims and the terrible violence that took their lives.

To this day, no one has been held accountable for the deeds that took a loving brother and son, and a doting and beautiful mother. The court of public opinion may have decided who the murderer was, but that is cold comfort to the families who are still left wanting.

In the end, this is a story of two people found dead, bathed in their own blood, who got no justice. And 20 years later, while theories swirl about Colombian necktie throat-slashings administered by phantom drug dealers or O.J.’s oldest son, Jason (a professional chef with sharp knives in his collection), being to blame — I believe it is more simple than that.

Someone got away with murder. Two murders.




Diane Dimond June 23, 2014 at 12:40 am

ABQ Journal Reader Annette writes:

“Ms Dimond,

Thanks for the column on the victims of OJ Simpson. You’re correct – too much focus on him instead of the victims, not to forget his children, who were deprived of a mother. I used to work for the Buffalo Bills back when Simpson played for them in the 70’s, did his last contract & pulled the teletype of his trade to the 49ers. Arrogant SOB would be a serious understatement of him back then. I absolutely believe he killed Nicole & Ron. However, I don’t believe that jury would have convicted him even if they had been shown a video of him committing the murders. This was the LA black community’s way of getting even with law enforcement’s abuse of power & his marriage to a white girl. Reverse racism at its ‘finest’. Couple that with an incompetent investigation & prosecutors, I was not surprised at his acquittal. But at least he’s in prison now even if it’s for something else. I firmly believe in “what goes around comes around.” There is a higher judgement awaiting him.”


Bryan July 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Given the facts, evidence, and the circumstances surrounding the case, I have to conclude that if O.J. Simpson didn’t commit those murders, then the two victims are still alive and well. Many of us seem to forget that two people in the prime of their lives lost their lives.

Diane Dimond June 23, 2014 at 12:41 am

ABQ Journal Reader Kit Ayala writes:

“Interesting article by someone who was a crime reporter for the syndicated television program “Hard Copy”. If I recall correctly, Hard Copy was one of many TV programs that focused the story almost completely on. the OJ celebrity status and de minimus attention to the victims. So you were really part of the problem. The hypocrisy is astounding. You used the OJ factor to get ahead in your career so that you can now lament the fate of the forgotten victims.

It certainly fits your writing style–which is that you seem to think you know everything. You are constantly citing your intelligent opinions for facts. But that judgemental style really tells another story. Some body’s career was boosted by the overwhelming attention paid by the media to someone who got away with murder. Two murders.

That’s you.”

Diane Dimond June 23, 2014 at 12:42 am

Dear Kit,

May I suggest that if my writing style is not to your liking you stop reading my weekly column? No sense in upsetting yourself.

BTW, I don’t believe your recollection is correct. Hard Copy did reams of stories with Nicole Brown Simpson’s sisters, Denise specifically, including lengthy biographical items about Nicole and her children. Similar bios of Ron Goldman were also produced although his family did not want to appear on camera.

And, as a matter of fact, the OJ Simpson is not what got me ahead in my career. It was the investigative reports I did about Michael Jackson and the allegations of child sexual abuse against him. My bio is available on my website if you are interested in really knowing about me.

Or, you can continue to make your assumptions.

I post your column here as I welcome all viewpoints. ~ DD

p June 23, 2014 at 10:51 am

Absolutely chilling images.

It’s a shame that OJ got away with murdering two people and destroying many people’s lives, but I am glad that he is in jail now. And am glad that he got to walk in public and witness the fact that most of America knows he’s a murderer. Immediate jail is too good for some people. Thanks for posting this, Diane. Crazy that the crime scene was so unsecured, though, really. Wonder why.

Diane Dimond June 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Twitter Pal roykissel writes:

“Still wonder whether the murder weapons are at the bottom of a lake/river around Chicago, @DiDimond . #ojsimpson”

Diane Dimond June 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Twitter Pal ShrinkTweets writes:

“@DiDimond Still think it may have been the son Jason and OJ covered for him. So tragic.”

Diane Dimond June 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Facebook Friend Cynthia Garbutt writes:

“Great story Diane ! I was at work and we all were listening to the radio, when the verdict was read, “not guilty”. Unbelievable! The rumble through the entire office gave me goose bumps.”

Diane Dimond June 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Facebook Friend (and OJ Trial Witness) Jill Shively writes:

“Very good , very sad!”

Robert June 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm

I agree that the victims of this horrendous crime have nearly been forgotten. Taken in the prime of their lives and murdered in cold blood.
I don’t think I even need to see an autopsy photo to know that it is probably one of the most horrifying sights one has ever glimpsed.
And to see that the killer was basically laughing and making jokes at the murders. And for him to enter into a deal about how he “hypothetically” would have killed his former wife and Ronald Lyle Goldman. The speculation was deemed nonsense by his attorney who later says that his client has a right to make a living. Oh, so I guess it must be a challenge to get by on $25,000/ month?
Well it seems Simpson found attorneys to match his arrogance when he hired Gallanter and earlier when he had the likes of Scheck and Bailey on his payroll.
OK, one has the right to legal counsel and if they have the dough they can use it for such services but his own counsel seemed to virtually forget the victims. In fact, Bailey even went to town on Goldman’s sister when they were both appearing on Larry King.
If only there were more reporters like Dominic Dunne. People who know the pain and reality of having a death in the family, a fate I am sure Dunne would not wish on anyone, and that reaching out to others in similar situation is something which deserves special merit.

Sylvia L. Kurtz June 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm


I first started following your career with the O.J. Simpson case and have been impressed with and inspired by all you have contributed over these past two decades. Thank you for always keeping victims in the forefront of your stories.

~ Sylvia

Diane Dimond June 25, 2014 at 10:14 am

Facebook Friend Jonathan Lovitt writes:

“Good piece Diane. Can’t believe the time gone by. Jill Shively,(we’d) never know what the case against him might have looked like with your crucial testimony…. //
Jonathan Lovitt Me in that walkway after the tape removed:

Diane Dimond June 25, 2014 at 10:15 am

Great Photo, Jonathan!
You must have gotten there later that same day?…or the next day? Wonder who took down all that police tape?
I drove by a couple days later and someone had finally taken a hose and washed off the sidewalk. ~DD

Jill Shively July 11, 2014 at 6:40 am

Wow! Thanks Jonathan Lovitt! I wish I could have done more!

Diane Dimond June 25, 2014 at 10:20 am

Facebook Friend Constance Gordon writes:

“Gosh Diane, there are images of some stories we cover that never leave us, huh? Well written…but haunting.”

Diane Dimond June 25, 2014 at 10:21 am

Facebook Friend Nancy Robel writes:

“You never forget the victims, D. That’s why I love you!”

Diane Dimond June 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

Facebook Friend Theo Onken writes:

“Thank you, Diane”

Diane Dimond June 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

Facebook Friend James Campbell writes:

“Small degree of poetic justice. The killer in jail for trying to steal his own memorabilia.”

Diane Dimond June 27, 2014 at 11:51 am

Facebook Friend Terri Ostini Stricklin writes:

“Well written as usual Diane. And yes, too much attention paid to the murderer.”

Diane Dimond June 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

Facebook Friend Barbara Russo-Mar writes:

“Diane I was so humbled by your coverage of this crime…thank you for the didn’t cover this as someone else’s truth, you covered it as the truth…I thank you for the victims their families and people like me that became so invested emotionally in this horiffic slaughter of these 2 young innocent people.”

CLS June 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm

I remember watching when the verdict was read. Everyone in the office fell into a stunned silence. Since then, I have frequently heard people talk about O.J., all of them believing he was guilty. But you’re right. Nobody talks about his victims, Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.

Thank you for writing this, as a sobering reminder to not let their memory fall to the wayside.

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