According to private investigator William Dear, it is precisely this assuredness that has led both the police and public to overlook a far more likely suspect. Dear now compiles more than seventeen years of investigation by his team of forensic experts and presents evidence that O. J. was not the killer. In O. J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It, Dear makes the controversial, but compelling, case that it may have been the “overlooked suspect,” O. J.’s eldest son, Jason, who committed the grisly murders. Sure to stir the pot and raise some eyebrows, this book is a must-read.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"NEVER ASSUME. ALWAYS VERIFY." Every detective, public defender, and investigative reporter should have those four words tattooed in black ink on their foreheads. Then every time they look at themselves in the mirror they would be reminded of the great responsibility they have to themselves and to the public to check their facts before jumping to conclusions. Lives are on the line — and not only those of the falsely accused.
It is with this in mind that I ask you to step back and reexamine the many assumptions that have been made regarding the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman on June 12, 1994. I want you to try to forget the many newspaper articles, books, and television shows you may have read or seen about this case; try not to think about the "mountain of evidence" presented to jurors in what has been termed the "trial of the century"; try to ignore the role that racial prejudice may have played in the trial; and try not to speculate on the alleged conspiracy of one or more officers of the LAPD to frame a national sports legend.
Most importantly, I want you to step back to the afternoon of June 17, 1994, the day when millions of people throughout the world jumped to the same conclusion that homicide detectives, prosecutors, and the press had already reached during the first critical hours of their four-day-old investigation. That was the afternoon when O.J. Simpson, Heisman Trophy-winning halfback, television spokesman, millionaire celebrity, and now a fugitive from justice, became the one and only suspect in the brutal double murders on Bundy Drive.
On that day, June 17, I happened to be in St. Louis, Missouri, where I had been invited to give a lecture at the National Conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors. The subject of the lecture was "How the Gumshoes Do It: Tips from Private Eyes." Given the fact that the Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman murders were front-page news, and that I was being billed at the conference as the modern-day Sherlock Holmes, it was no surprise that the press asked for my opinions.
Like most people who only knew about the murder case from what they read in the newspapers or watched on television, I too was tempted to convict O.J. based on the seemingly overwhelming circumstantial evidence against him. And so, on the morning of June 17, just hours before the historic car chase that would result in O. J.'s arrest, I candidly told reporters exactly what I believed to be true: "O. J.'s blood is at the Bundy Drive crime scene. Nicole's blood is at the house on Rockingham. And Ron Goldman's blood is in O. J.'s Ford Bronco. This looks exactly like what it is: O.J. is guilty."
I regretted what I said almost as soon as I said it. After all, I had no personal connection to the case and knew from firsthand experience that the press is not always an accurate purveyor of details regarding homicide investigations. In fact, I was already disturbed by the eagerness of the journalists covering this story to focus their attention on O.J. and not on the facts of the case. Later that same day, my worry became outright concern when I joined reporters in front of a wall of television monitors in a crowded hallway at the St. Louis Convention Center to watch the now historic "slow-speed" car chase.
In all my years of following the coverage of murder cases, I had never seen such a spectacle as the one I was witnessing on CBS, CNN, ABC and NBC. Fugitive O.J. Simpson and his devoted childhood friend, A. C. Cowlings, led a caravan of twenty-five or more police squad cars on the slow-speed, five- lane car chase through Orange County, just south of Los Angeles. Seated in the back seat of Cowlings's white Ford Bronco, O.J. was holding a Magnum pistol to his head. As Cowlings drove up the freeway, cameramen in helicopters provided a live television feed while commentators filled in the missing details. Television audiences were reminded of the circumstantial blood evidence linking O.J. to the Bundy Drive crime scene and were provided tantalizing details of his rocky marriage to Nicole and his presumed history of spousal abuse.
Then there was Robert Shapiro, O. J.'s attorney, describing his client as emotionally "frail" and "fragile." And Robert Kardashian, O. J.'s longtime friend from the University of Southern California, publicly pleading with police and the press to help save O. J.'s life. Kardashian read from what was described as a suicide letter Simpson had left behind. In O. J.'s letter, the sports star proclaimed his innocence. Yet, he ended by saying, "Don't feel sorry for me, I've had a great life, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person."
Listening to Kardashian read from the letter, I couldn't help but wonder who this "lost person" was, why he would kill the mother of his children, and what possible real connection he or Nicole might have had to Ron Goldman, a waiter in a Brentwood restaurant where Nicole and her family had dined earlier in the evening of the murders. Having spent the better part of my career psychologically profiling suspected murderers, I tried to put myself into the "mind" of the killer and asked myself if this "lost person" who had once been the "real O. J." could indeed be a vicious killer on the run from justice?
As the car chase continued, along with the play-by-play coverage by reporters, people whom O.J. had never met and who had no direct connection to the case, began to participate in the unfolding story. Radio disk jockeys begged O.J. to surrender. Hundreds of onlookers jammed the overpasses, or cheered O.J. from embankments along the shoulder of the freeway. All kinds of so-called experts, Simpson family members, and many others made cameo appearances. It was no wonder the car chase utterly dominated the airwaves, disrupted the telecast of a championship basketball game, delayed meals inrestaurants, and nearly shut down shopping malls as people rushed home to turn on their television sets to see what would happen next.
The longer I watched the unfolding drama, the more mystified I became. Helicopters hovered overhead as Cowlings drove the white Bronco into Los Angeles County. The Bronco, followed by a caravan of police, exited the freeway at Sunset Boulevard, where the city streets were as strangely deserted as the freeway had been. The police had apparently known, or suspected all along, that O.J. was headed for his home on Rockingham Drive in the upscale and trendy neighborhood of Brentwood and had cleared traffic from the streets just as they had cleared the cars off the freeway. The press too had been tipped off. Television viewers were treated to a behind-the- scenes look at O. J.'s Rockingham estate as police sharpshooters and negotiation teams took up positions in the bushes and around the driveway. Onlookers were ushered away from the house. A vehicle assault team was dispatched from the LAPD's Parker Center.
Minutes later, A. C. Cowlings would pull his Bronco into the cobblestone driveway. As if on cue from an off-camera director, O. J.'s twenty-four-year-old son, Jason Simpson, made a desperate dash from a neighbor's house through the police line and to the side of the Bronco. He was finally blocked by Cowlings, who shoved Jason away and into the waiting arms of the police. Apparently they didn't want the young man to be caught in the crossfire if shooting erupted.
O.J. was sitting by himself, trapped in the back seat of the Bronco. His only companions were the revolver, his rosary, and two framed family photos that he had taken with him. He appeared to be confused and overwhelmed as LAPD negotiators urged him not to take his own life. It hardly mattered that viewers couldn't hear what was being said between O.J. and the detectives. LAPD was obviously treating O.J. as they would a man poised to jump off the ARCO Tower in downtown Los Angeles. He was being told that he had friends who understood what he was going through and was urged to think of his children and the many people who loved him.
Finally, hours after the chase had begun, O.J. put down his gun, picked up the framed photos, and stepped out of the Bronco. Police didn't rush forward to put him in handcuffs but instead embraced him at the entrance to his home. He was permitted to walk inside. And once inside, they allowed him to use the bathroom, drink some orange juice, and call his mother. O.J. then walked back outside where he calmly apologized to the police.
"I'm sorry for putting you guys out," he told officers. "I'm sorry for making you do this." He shook a few hands, graciously smiled for the cameras and waved, as if taking a last curtain call before making his exit to LAPD's Parker Center.
The only thing missing from the television drama I had just seen was the closing credits. As it was, it seemed more like the conclusion of a live sporting event than a news story. But that was not ultimately what came to bother me. It was the reaction of the journalists and others standing beside me in St. Louis that had me worried. As O.J. finally gave himself up, the top investigative reporters in the country began to applaud. Total euphoria swept the room. I couldn't be sure if the crowd huddled in front of the television monitors were clapping because O.J. had finally been apprehended, or because this was the conclusion of a national television event.
The truth soon became abundantly clear. Nearly everyone watching television that night had been pulled into the drama that was unfolding. They were completely engrossed by what they had seen and emotionally moved by it. Their applause was an emotional response to the events taking place: relief that O.J. had done the right thing and "behaved" as he should. Although guilty, he had shown true character and inner strength by giving himself up rather than taking his own life and bringing more hardship on his family or his many fans and television viewers. In many respects, the press, the LAPD, and O.J. himself appeared to be getting exactly what they wanted.
I couldn't have been more baffled by what I had seen or the reaction at the convention center. It's not that I am callous or was unsympathetic to the plight of the fallen hero; I just didn't believe for an instant that what I was seeing on the screen represented the truth. There were too many unanswered questions to convince me that the "lost person" in the suicide letter was the same man now giving himself up to police. To my mind, O.J. appeared to be in control of the situation, not the LAPD or the media.
Foremost on my list of unanswered questions was why police allowed O.J. to become a fugitive from justice in the first place. If indeed the LAPD had solid incontrovertible blood evidence linking O.J. to the murders, and if reports were true that his bloody glove had been found at the crime scene and his shoe prints led from the victims to the alley behind Bundy Drive, it seemed inconceivable to me that the LAPD hadn't already arrested him or, at the least, known where he was at all times.
Furthermore, I had to ask myself why the highway patrol didn't stop the Bronco in Orange County, where it was first reported seen. Even if A. C. Cowlings hadn't willingly pulled the Bronco over, the highway patrol could easily have set up a blockade or laid down a strip of metal tire tracks in the roadway that would puncture the Bronco's tires and disable the vehicle. As a former Miami policeman and highway patrolman, I knew this was the accepted procedure. Instead, the LAPD gave the entire freeway to the fugitives as they would for a visit from the president of the United States.
Nor did the LAPD appear to be in any rush to get O.J. handcuffed when he did reach his Rockingham estate. He was permitted to leave his car, enter his house, use the bathroom, telephone his mother, and shake hands with family and friends before being taken into custody. Rather than arrest him back in Orange County ten minutes after the Bronco was spotted on the freeway, police and prosecutors permitted the drama to last all day and into the evening.
The activities of O.J. himself raised even more questions in my mind. Had he truly been a family man, as suggested by the loving manner in which he cradled the framed pictures in his lap, he surely would not have desired to kill himself on network television, or worse still, in the driveway of his own home in full view of his friends and family. Nor would he have led the police and press on a slow-speed freeway car chase if he truly desired to make a run across the border. He would have gone underground and undoubtedly had enough contacts so he could remain hidden for quite some time. And if he really was running from the law because he was guilty, and truly was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, as the police and practically everyone else appeared to believe, there was the question of his innocence. Despite the evidence against him, he repeatedly claimed he was innocent of the murders. Here was a man who volunteered to be interviewed by the police, gave the crime lab samples of his blood and, as I later would learn, willingly agreed to take a polygraph test.
These were not the actions of a guilty man.
My initial reaction to this prime-time drama was to think that the car chase had been concocted ahead of time by O. J.'s attorneys in preparation for a plea of insanity, or to lay the foundation for an appeal based on jury prejudice or bias. This well might have been the case. However, it was also possible that O.J. was telling the truth. He may not have minded giving blood samples, cooperating with the police, or taking a polygraph test because he knew in his heart that he wasn't guilty of killing Nicole Simpson or Ron Goldman and wouldn't ultimately be convicted of the crimes. Thus his action might be viewed as those of a man whose aim was to draw attention to himself in order to shift suspicion away from the real killer.
The longer I thought about what I had seen, the more skeptical I was that O.J. was guilty. I couldn't help but feel that I was being manipulated into viewing the murder case against this man in a certain way, and that everything I had seen and much of what I had read had been carefully orchestrated to present a certain point of view, much as a director manipulates the audience in a Hollywood movie. It wasn't that I believed there was a grand conspiracy taking place, but rather that it somehow seemed to be in the collective interest of the police, the media, and perhaps even O.J. himself, to lead the public in a particular direction.
Except for the initial comments I gave to the press on the morning of June 17, I chose not to communicate my concerns to the journalists and editors who had invited me to St. Louis. Perhaps I didn't wish to embarrass myself before a panel of people who were so convinced that O.J. was guilty that they had already begun making the creative leaps it would take to convict the man. It was also equally true, however, that I had no real insights of my own and no first-person connection to the case. I knew only what had been reported.
In retrospect, I regret not having been more candid. I was already disturbed by the eagerness of the journalists covering this story to focus their attention only on O.J. By not speaking up, or at least voicing serious concern, I now believe I was contributing to the problem facing anyone investigating or writing about the crime. From the moment O.J. made headline news there was a distinct lack of critical thinking taking place. The right questions were not being asked because everyone assumed he was guilty. It was merely a question of tunnel vision — finding proof for what they believed to be true and ignoring the rest.
I would no longer remain silent about this case. However, before I risked challenging the status quo, I had to study the case from every conceivable angle and check the facts. I had solved the majority of crimes in my career by doing just that. In one of my more recent high-profile investigations, that of sporting-goods mogul Glen Courson, I conclusively proved Courson had been murdered and had not committed suicide as police believed. In that case, the Irving, Texas, police department had failed in the most fundamental way: No one had taken the time to examine the murder weapon closely enough to see that the breech-block firing mechanism was in a closed and locked position and not partially open as it would have been after being fired. Dead men don't eject spent shell casings.
I suspected that the LAPD had overlooked such details in their own rush to judgment. The only way for me to find out for sure was to visit the crime scene and check the facts out for myself.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "O.J. Is Innocent And I Can Prove It!"
Copyright © 2012 The Overlooked Suspect, Inc..
Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A Prediction That Has Come True,
Prologue: Dan Rather of CBS,
1 Reasonable Doubt,
2 If Walls Could Talk,
3 In My Mind's Eye,
4 Freedom to Pursue,
5 Delving Deeper,
6 Driving Force,
7 Trial of the Century,
8 The Quest Continues,
9 Anticipating Answers,
10 Cry for Help,
11 Complete Understanding,
12 "Going to Rage",
13 Airtight Alibi?,
14 Wearing Blinders,
15 Enlisting Expertise,
19 Divulging the Dark Side,
20 Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde,
21 Tunnel Vision,
23 Accumulating Evidence,
24 "Dear Jason",
25 Alibi Extinguished,
26 Loose Ends,
27 "Bubbling Up",
28 "He's Sick ... He's Sick",
29 Reiterating Concerns,
30 Handwriting on the Wall,
31 Overview of Mayhem,
32 he Has a New Job,
33 Waiting for the Phone to Ring,
34 Crucial New Evidence,
35 Disaster and Disappointment,
36 Conference and Jeep,
37 Brian Douglas Evidence,
38 Jason Simpson Diaries,
39 The Possible Murder Weapon: the Knife,
40 The Nonexistent Subpoena,
41 The Phone Call,
42 The Roommates,
43 Alibi Questioned,
44 The Bloody Socks,
45 O.J. Fails Polygraph Test,
46 Dr. Henry Lee,
47 Dr. Vincent J.M. Di Maio,
48 My Peers/the Markle Symposium,
49 The Drawn Blood,
50 The Knit Cap/the Bindle of Hairs,
51 Dr. William Flynn,
52 What Did the LAPD Email Say?,
53 Denise Brown,
54 If I Did It,
55 Las Vegas Arrest: the Setup,
56 Who Really is Christie Prody?,
57 Film Festival,
58 Attorney General's Meeting,
59 Freedom of Information Act Requests,
60 Justice or Publicity,
Author's Closing Statement,
Jason Lamar Simpson: Why He Should Be Considered a Major Suspect,
O.J. Simpson Is Innocent but Likely at the Crime Scene After the Murders,
About the Author,