A ‘Drop-Dead’ Soundbite for Violence

The voice is, by turns angry, exasperated, terrified and, finally resigned. It is her second 911 call within 10 minutes.

In the background, a man is screaming – about children, tabloids, an old boyfriend. The words are only semi-audible, but his rage needs no amplification.

“Could you get someone over here now, to 325 Gretna Green. He’s back. Please”, asks Nicole Simpson.

“What does he look like?” asks the operator.

“He’s O.J. Simpson. I think you know his record”, she says with a tremor of panic. Simpson she explains, had broken down the back door of her house. Continue reading A ‘Drop-Dead’ Soundbite for Violence

TOO Little? TOO Late!

Like many cases of domestic violence, the story of O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson’s stormy relationship fits a disturbing pattern – a pattern of official intervention that came too late and did too little.

As his horrified fans now know, Simpson was arrested for spousal battery after an incident at the couple’s Brentwood home on New Year’s Day, 1989.

The Simpson case is an American tragedy in every respect, but not merely because of O.J.’s celebrity and vast popularity.
Continue reading TOO Little? TOO Late!

The Loss of a Proud Possession…

“I don’t consider myself an actor. I’m a personality, ” Simpson told Sports Illustrated in 1992. He clung to the fact that, as he put it, “I’m O.J. which means I’m somebody today and the highlight of my career isn’t behind me.”

He was, at that moment, losing his proudest possession, his wife. Fed up with O.J.’s abuse and his womanizing, she left Simpson in March of 1992.

His jealous ranting showed up on another 911 tape on October 25 1993. Nicole had called the police after Simpson had kicked in the french doors at the back of the house. On the tape, Simpson’s careful diction is gone. He taunts Nicole for calling the “po-lice” and screams profanities at her. “He’s going to beat the s–t out of me,” Nicole pleads with the operator.

But she never pressed charges. Continue reading The Loss of a Proud Possession…

Footnote to an Astonishing Fate?

The end, last week, was off-camera.

After the bloody steps, the heart-rending funerals, the surreal chase through the twilight of Los Angeles, O.J. Simpson surrendered himself into the darkness his life has become.

It was a peaceful end, a surprisingly peaceful end, to a week that was drenched in trauma, tension and blood.

On Sunday night, O.J.’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, a young waiter-model named Ronald Goldman, were stabbed to death outside her $650,000 town house.

Almost from the moment their bodies were found less than two hours later, as crumpled and porous as Caesar’s, suspicion focused on O.J. Continue reading Footnote to an Astonishing Fate?