Police testing knife purportedly found at O.J. Simpson estate
The Los Angles Police Department confirmed Friday that it is doing analysis on a knife that was purportedly found buried on the property of OJ Simpson's home when it was being demolished in 1998. (March 4)
Los Angeles police confirmed Friday that homicide investigators are examining a knife purportedly found years ago on the property where O.J. Simpson was living at the time his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman were killed in 1994.
Capt. Andrew Neiman said a construction worker purportedly found the knife buried on the Simpson estate in Brentwood in the 1990s and apparently handed it to an off-duty or retired LAPD officer who was providing security during the filming of a movie nearby.
Neiman, cautioning the story could be "bogus from the get-go," said police learned of the existence of the knife "in the last month" and recovered it from the now-retired officer. The Simpson house was demolished in 1998 by a new owner.
Nieman, speaking to reporters at a news conference, declined to further describe the knife or identify the retired officer.
He said it was already being examined by experts and would be tested for any hair or DNA samples it might yield. He did not say how long the testing would take.
It was not clear why the officer did not come forward earlier, but Neiman said it was his understanding the officer may have erroneously thought the case of the double homicide was closed.
“I was really surprised,” Neiman said. “I would think that an LAPD officer would know that any time you come into contact with evidence, you should and shall submit that to investigators.”
He said it was unlikely the officer would face any administrative charges because he is retired and is no longer working for the LAPD. Neiman said police do not know the identity of the person who turned over the knife and asked him or her to come forward.
Simpson's 35-year-old ex-wife and Goldman, a 25-year-old waiter, were found stabbed to death around midnight on June 13, 1994 outside her home, also in Brentwood, not far from the Simpson estate. Simpson was acquitted of the killings, but the case itself remains open.
In 1997, a civil court jury found Simpson liable for the slayings and awarded millions of dollars in damages to families of the victims.
Famed lawyer F. Lee Bailey, who was a member of the Simpson defense team, told Boston's FOX 25 the report of a knife found on Simpson's estate is "ridiculous."
"O.J. did not drop (the knife) on his property any more than he did the gloves," Bailey said. "The whole thing is ridiculous."
A glove found on the property was key evidence presented by the prosecution, which alleged Simpson dropped it after purportedly jumping a fence on the property in a rush home after the killings.
In any case, Bailey noted, double jeopardy would prevent Simpson being charged again for the killings. "All of the matters have been adjudicated," he said. "The matter is closed."
Marcia Clark, one of the prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson trial, said no one knows yet whether the knife is real evidence.
"It might be a hoax, it might be somebody who planted it and then just pretended to find it and gave it to the off-duty police officer, you don't know," Clark tells ETonline.com. "But, of course, I'm glad the LAPD is taking it seriously and subjecting it to testing so we can find out."
Simpson, 68, is serving time in a Nevada prison for an armed robbery conviction in 2008 in a bizarre case in which he and a group of cohorts in Las Vegas recovered, at gunpoint, sports memorabilia that Simpson said was stolen from him.
The discovery of the knife was initially reported Friday morning by TMZ, which described it as a "folding buck knife."
Quoting unidentified law enforcement sources, TMZ reported the retired officer recently contacted a friend in the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division because he was planning to frame the knife and wanted to engrave it with the departmental record number from the Brown-Simpson murder case.
TMZ says the friend "was indignant" and reported the incident to his superiors.