OJ: Then and Now

I remember the morning Nichole was murdered because I was on my way to work as a pesonal trainer in West LA. I didn’t realize until that evening that it was Uncle OJ’s wife and her friend who’d been killed.

I remember the criminal trial and the body guards and the quick bamboo fence that was erected around Rockingham to give some privacy. I remember that fucking dog Miles weighing more than I did, and OJ snidely commenting about me smoking too much. “What you’ve never made a mistake?” I joked with him.

I remember watching him try to read the articles that had been written about him and feeling sad that he couldn’t eek out the words.

Mostly I remember my friend Terri spiraling into the depths of depression and her mother Shirley falling apart at the seams. I remember Miss Eunice gathering her dignity and Starr Jones treating her particularly well inside the courtroom and out. I will always remember Star Jones saying to a fellow reporter, “That is not how you speak to your elders. Her name is Miss Eunice and she deserves your respect.”

I sat in the Santa Monica courthouse next to Brandy Ella, wondering why she was there and how much I could ask her about Jodie Foster. I wore my big pink Gucci Watermelon sunglasses and dozed in the gallery.

Today I watched “Uncle OJ” gnash his teeth as the judge handed down the sentence. 15 years plus one, eligible for parole in 5. I thought, oh, that’s the man who was a giant.

He’s the man who showed up at Cali Camp with his rainbow suspenders and clapped when we bounced around on the trampoline. He’s the man who always looked a little sad becuase his daughter had died. He’s the man who humored me and pretended my golf game didn’t suck. He’s the man who didn’t really know what to say to regular people.

Sadly, he’s the man who probably got away with double murder.
He’s the man who destroyed his family’s lives and livelihoods
He’s left a wake of destruction for the Goldmans and the Browns.

But when you’re a kid, and when you’re 20 and 25 and he smiles and laughs with you, you think he couldn’t possibly have killed two people.

So today I cried a little watching Shirley try to keep herself composed in the courtroom. I hope with Uncle OJ out of the picture the rest of the Simpson family can start to move forward.

He looks a little broken.
It’s all a little pathological.

Facebook Comments

  • Did you ever find out why Jodie Foster’s mommy was there? I don’t get it.

  • I never did, she was incredibly kind and would draw pictures on my palm when we were both bored, which is most of the day.

    She was a friend to the Simpsons.

  • We should ask Buddy. He’d spill.

  • I visited this page just out of curiosity. I’m surprised at how powerful this entry is– even the final lines manage to spell out the situation. “pathological” is right.

    Great work, Jessica. I never expected to be so intrigued. :O

  • byjane

    Too bad we didn’t know each other back then. I was alone in my sympathy for him. Not that he did or didn’t do it, but that the ferociousness with which people assumed he did was antithetical to our justice system. And that offends me.

  • I didn’t expect to have this in common with you. My own brother is a murderer. A toddler no less. On purpose. There aren’t any words that make it better. You see how far they have fallen.

    I’m so sorry for his family. For her family. For the children. We were made to watch his trial in history class. Every day on CNN. I never thought that I would be dealing with that kind of thing a year later.

    You are very eloquent.