Monday, December 08, 2008

The Butcher of Bundy Finally Goes to Prison. Thoughts on O.J. Simpson From the Husband of a Murder Victim

O.J. Simpson has many labels: football star, actor, Madison Avenue pitchman. But the one moniker that sticks most in the minds of many is murderer. But despite reams of DNA, physical and circumstantial evidence proving that on June 12th, 1994 he savagely butchered and killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, the disgraced former legend was fully acquitted thanks to a lame jury, an inept LAPD, a star-struck judge and a masterful carnival-barker of a lead defense attorney with a magic glove "that would not fit." This tragic tale had no Cinderella ending.

I will never forget that sick feeling of revulsion in the pit of my stomach as the jury foreman announced not guilty. Nor will I ever forget the look of horror and utter disbelief on the faces of the 100 or so others packed in the bar to watch the verdict be delivered as if it was New Year's Eve and we were about to watch the ball drop in Times Square. But this was clearly no celebration. There was stunned silence. Our collective hope that good would prevail over evil, that justice would be served, was shattered in that chilling moment. On October 3, 1995, Simpson walked out of the LA County Courthouse a free man. He was the storied villain who literally got away with murder. And I wanted to puke.

All I could think about was the profound sorrow and grief, and shock, that the Brown and Goldman families must've been experiencing. Or those two little children whose beautiful mother was brutally ripped away from them forever. I felt sadness like I had never felt before, and it made me angry. I hated Simpson. I wished on him the same sort of violent fate that befell his innocent victims. I wanted him to know firsthand the kind of suffering that he dealt to Nicole and Ron. And I was disgusted by a criminal justice system that horribly failed.

For me, the most haunting and lasting images from that whole ghastly saga are those of Fred Goldman, who bravely and tearfully faced the media and the entire country night after night, and how we wept along with him as we shared his pain, anguish and heartbreak over the devastating loss of the handsome, promising son he loved so much. So to have Simpson, the murderous beast, get off scot free was simply unthinkable.

Watching the Goldmans and the Browns live out this horrific nightmare so publicly, I could not imagine what it must've been like to be them. It was all so unfathomable to me. Until the night of November 1, 2006, when I was thrust into my own nightmare when I found my wife, the actor/writer/director Adrienne Shelly, the love of my life, brutally murdered in her Greenwich Village office. And in that split second, as Joan Didion wrote in The Year of Magical Thinking, life as I knew it was over. I no longer had to imagine what it was like to be Fred Goldman. I was Fred Goldman.

I will skip the gory details, which are just a mouse-click away for anyone who's interested. Though Adrienne's killer, Diego Pilco, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and received a sentence of just 25 years without parole--not the murder conviction and 25-to-life we hoped for--justice was served on some level. While there's no such thing as true closure, and one can never truly ever forget such tragedy, my family and I could at least begin to move on with our lives knowing that our soulless, murderous beast would be locked away in prison, in solitary, for a very long time. The Goldmans and the Browns were not afforded this peace of mind. That is until December 5th, 2008.

For the past thirteen years we've had to endure a cocky, arrogant, defiant and delusional O.J. Simpson who thumbed his nose at the law and acted with impunity as his criminal streak continued with various assaults and episodes of road rage. In between, we were treated to his uber-bizarre interviews, books and overall rantings. Though a civil jury in 1997 awarded the families $33.5 million, Simpson had cleverly, and legally, sheltered much of his assets and retirement income and the Goldmans and Browns got virtually nothing. In those painful years and in those since, Simpson got to play a whole lotta golf, while the families of his victims mourned. There truly was no justice.

But then Simpson's outrageous behavior took a very fateful turn on September 13, 2007 when he and a posse of thugs stormed a Las Vegas hotel room and robbed two memorabilia dealers at gunpoint. The Juice claimed he was merely retrieving his stolen property. He was charged with 12 felonies including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, and was convicted October 3rd on all counts. For the first time in his life, Simpson was soon going to face the music.

Last Friday, Judge Jackie Glass threw the proverbial book at this monster, serving up a sentence of 9 to 33 years. Simpson will be at least 70 when and if he's released on parole, and could very well spend the remaining years of his violent, wretched life incarcerated, exactly where he should've been all along.

And once again in an O.J. courtroom the tears flowed, but this time they were Simpson's. In what has become all too familiar these past thirteen years, this savage killer and pathological liar offered up pathetic, delusional, I-am-the-real-victim-here excuses and shamelessly begged for leniency:

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to steal anything from anybody. And I didn't know I was doing anything illegal. I thought I was confronting friends and retrieving my property. So I'm sorry. I'm sorry for all of it."

Sadly, I know the heartache of losing a loved one at the brutal hands of a violent animal. I get to live each day with a young child who was tragically robbed of her loving mother. And I know what it's like to witness the inequitable trade of a beautiful soul's precious life for a relatively small prison sentence. But though it's certainly no consolation, as it will never bring back Nicole and Ron, the Goldmans and the Browns can at least breathe and sleep a little easier now that justice has finally, on some level, been served for them as well. The Butcher of Bundy will likely and hopefully die in jail a broken man. Payback for 1995, some say? Who cares. A cold-blooded murderer is off the streets and behind bars, where he belongs, and that's all that matters.

On another subject, we could use your help at the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. Our mission is to support women filmmakers. Click here to make a contribution. To learn more about us and to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit our website. Every contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, allows us to help others, and creates something positive out of the tragic loss two years ago of an incredibly loving and talented woman.


Anonymous said...


radish said...

Sorry, but you're making a big mistake. OJ was not the murderer; it was his drug addicted and mentally disturbed son, 20 years old at the time. OJ has been covering up for him all along. Go check it out. The bloodstained glove WAS the key piece of evidence and it WAS too small to fit OJ.

Anonymous said...

I guess you know how we as African Americans have felt for so many years of having love ones hung, tormented and murdered by white men over the years. We have stood by for many years and watched the justice system fail us and nothing was done about it. Let's say if a white man murdered his black wife and her boyfriend and found not guilty. Of course the black community would feel hurt and pain as we so normally do, but we just manage to go on because we know that the law is not on our side. So we "forgive" as the Bible tells us to forgive. But when it happens to a white by a black person, forgiveness is out the question. We are called everything but a child of God, like you called OJ. You called him a monster, evil, arrogant and everything evil that comes to mind. The anger you felt, is the anger we have been feeling for so many years of the justice system failing us when one of our love ones is murdered by a white. I hate to make this into a black and white ordeal, but unfortunately that's just the way it is. How can a man be found guilty for a petty crime giving years in prison after being acquitted for a different crime which was definitely tied to this case? If it were a white in the same position as OJ, what would be the chances of him being in prison for years for robbery? Not likely! The Goldmans really need to make peace with that situation. I see that the angry is eating away at him towards OJ. And I must add, this case will go to the Supreme Court. You cannot put a man in prison for years for a crime he was acquitted for 14 years ago. That case had nothing to do with this particular case. You can't be tried for the same crime twice. Is that not the "law"? This justice system sucks! It only works for a select few.
Andy I must say that I enjoyed reading your reports up until now. This one left a bad taste towards your report. Please feel free to challenge me on this one.

The Ostroy Report said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Ostroy Report said...

Anonymous 11:01...yours is one of the few posts I've allowed to go through here, mainly because you presented your opinion--which differs 1000% from mine--in a civil, respectful manner. But let me speak to well as to the countless others who's posts were so rude, off-base and borderline idiotic...and which we rejected.

I understand and agree tha blacks have suffered throughout history I'm a Jew. My people know a little bit about persecution. Many of them also gave their lives, and/or were beaten right along with blacks, for trying to help during the civil rights movement. I have great respect, compassion and empathy for black people...and I fought like an animal to help Obama become president. But none of that has anything whatsoever to do with what I wrote about OJ Simpson or what he deserves. As a black person, you now have a black president. It's time we all stop turning everything into an issue of race. There's no more excuses..not for blacks, or for racist whites. OJ was tossed in jail not because he's black, but because he's a habitually violent criminal....and the law finally caught up with him.

Most important, I must correct you. Simpson was not convicted for "a petty crime." He was convicted on 12 felony counts, including kindnapping, armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon. If you're going to argue a point, you need to at least have a command of the facts. He did not get 9-33 years because he was shoplifting. Furthermore, countless legal scholars have said that he received a very appropriate sentence given his crimes. In fact, they even said the judge could've given him a greater sentence under current law.

Lastly, to all those out there claiming OJ was framed, seriously, you need to get a life. Was he framed too when he beat the shit out of his wife on numerous occasions before he killed her? I suppose that was all Mark Furman's doing too, right?

Anonymous said...

Let's also consider the judicial injustices of women in our history. Many times if a white man killed his WHITE wife he got off free, so it wasn't always a raciel issue as suggested in a comment here. My grandmother's second husband left her and took the fram which she'd inherited after the death of her first husband. Something to do with women and property rights in those days. She was let nothing and had to provide for four children when women had no "work" rights or even available jobs except dommestic.

It is also not exactly true that blacks have forgiven the white population for the sins of their fathers. Just listen to Rev. Wright's sermons, the Black Liberation movement and those youngs blacks in schools who don't want to perform well and "be like whitety."

It has all got to stop. We must not be a "mosaic" country, but a "melting pot"; a country where Justice wears blinders and we are all treated equally.

There are those who feel OJ was acquitted the first time because of the blacks on the jury.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I can appreciate your response as to why OJ is lock away. The point I was making is that if it was in fact anyone other than OJ, would that person get a 9-33 years behind bars for this particular case? Yes, I know how you supported and helped getting Obama elected and all. And I feel you have a good sense of what's right and wrong, the reason I keep up with your report. Unfortunately, regardless of whether we have a black president-elect, racism is still very much alive and well in this country, especially where the justice system is concerned. We see it on the media time and time again. Do I believe OJ murdered his wife and her friend? Of course. And should he have been punished? Absolutely. But..... He was found not guilty in a court of law. Often times people don't have to be phyically locked up to pay for a crime. What appear as though OJ got away with murder and "enjoying" his life. We have no clue how he has suffered internally (meaning spiritually) and I definitely feel anyone who commits such a crime should be locked away. Do I think he was set up for this crime? Of course. And do I have a life? Absolutely, and a great one at that. Why isn't George Bush persurcuted and locked up for his endless list of crimes not to mention murder of thousands of civilians??? I forgot, the law doesn't apply to him. I just wonder how much time he's going to get.But we won't bring race into it. Once again, I appreciate your feedback. We can respectfully disagree on this issue. I know how you have supported Obama and that you share liberal views the reason I often read your reports. Please feel free to respond.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:01----that is the most ridiculous, absurd and vile thing I have ever heard someone utter. So, let O.J. off the hook for butchering two white people because of the years and years of injustices and persecution the black man has endured? So, in other words, 2 wrongs make a right?

You want, as a response to the injustices and mistreatment of black people, the SAME injustices and mistreatment that you've had to suffer through? That's the most unbelieveable, asinine thing I have ever heard in my entire life.

What if a family member of yours was murdered (God forbid) and the killer was a white man and he stood trial and the evidence was overwhelming that he did it and as we were all awaiting the verdict, I told you that I'd want to see him go free because "hey, they let O.J. off for the same thing!" How absurd, right? Well, that's EXACTLY what you are saying in your post above!

Melissa said...

Anonymous 11:01: do you truly feel that "monster," "evil" and "arrogant" are not accurate words to describe a man who so violently robbed two innocent people of their lives, paraded around a golf course after being acquitted (in spite of indisputable evidence against him), tried to profit off of a book that was basically his confession and then held up people at gunpoint to retrieve his "property?"

I find it baffling that you as a person who appears to be of reasonable intelligence (your bible statement notwithstanding) would be left with a "bad taste" from this report. As a steady reader of this blog, you should know that Andy is the furthest you can get from a racist.

And although I'm not black, I very much understand your frustration at the legal system and the historically unjust treatment of African Americans (as Andy clearly does through his words and his politics), but please look to reason. In this case it's most certainly not about race, and by making it so, you're merely helping to drive more of a wedge. I assure you, as a Jewish person, I was more than elated when they captured David Berkowitz and put that monster away for good. Please be reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I never said that OJ should get off the hook. You misinterpreted my statement. But that's ok. I know what I meant. I sense your anger towards this matter, but I just wanted you as well as Melissa to understand my point concerning this justice system. I never thought for a second that you were a racist as Melissa stated. Perhaps I initially came across wrong about this issue, but I just wanted others to consider another point of view. Sometimes talking about truth in regards to our society and judicial system can anger some of us. What bothers me is that the system is harsher on African Americans with the same crime as a white. Previously I mentioned George Bush, but there was no comment other than you lashing out saying how vile, absurb and ridulous this is. Once again, I never insenuated that OJ should get off the hook. And I think you're intelligent enough to know the point I was making about this justice system. Forget OJ. He's only one of hundreds, perhaps thousands of black men that is locked away for crimes with more harsher sentences than would be a our white counter parts. And if a white, black or someone from any other race murdered a family member of mine(God forbids), naturally I would be angry, but I wouldn't make myself miserable everyday hoping and praying for evil upon someone. I know God has ways of dealing with people who brings harm to others far better than I ever could. I know our views may differ on that aspect. I guess the way you feel about OJ, is the way I feel about GW Bush and how he has gotten away with murder. One is locked up and the other is still holding the highest office in the land. But yet both are very wrong.


Anonymous said...

The only thing OJ is sorry about is that he got caught. I'm glad he got convicted. He got what he deserved.
His arrogance made me so angry, that I wanted to throw a brick at the tv every time I saw him.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how white people can't get over OJ Simpson and blast him for what happens in their personal lives. When was the last time any of them blasted the Blake and Spector characters? Not a word. What does Oj Simpson have to do with you, that these other character don't? I didn't think of Oj Simpson when my brother was killed. I went after the dog who did it.

It burns me up, when people say Obama is the president elect, therefore we should put the race thing behind us. WOW! How do we do that? Do i change my color and forget everyday how many times my grandsons and me were stopped by white cops, when Obama was elected? Or how many times i was stopped by them when OJ was found not guilty? Not a thing has changed for us. I guess i could try changing my color.

Black people are asked many times, why are you so angry? Well, we have had a 10s of 1000s OJ situation in our lives. But white people have been dogging this one black man out they think killed two white people for 14 years.

When the victims are white, white people put on blind folders. They didn't see any coverup or planting of evidence. They didn't care that some of the blood found at the crime scene, had blood perservative in it.

That black bastard killed that white woman and by God we got to get that "N".

Anonymous said...

anon 1:43----you make a GREAT point about Bush and the thousands-millions he has murdered---and according to Vincent Bugliosi, Bush HAS legally committed murder.
Bugliosi also said that the reason Bush is not being prosecuted now is because you cant be tried while you are still in office. When he leaves office on Jan 20, 2009, then he can be tried, but only if he's not pardoned. Bugliosi said that Bush can legally be tried for murder in not just every state where a deceased troop lived, but in every COUNTY in every state where a deceased troop lived. He said the reason why no one has started one (case against Bush) is because the attorney generals in this country are cowards---also because even the left wing in the country and the media dont even talk about prosecuting Bush. Bugliosi has not been invited on Olbermann, Chris Matthews, CNN---no one---not even Bill Maher! He's been completely blacked out---he says because even the liberal left are frightened of the right wing politicians and media on this issue.

How ironic that Bugliosi also did a book on O.J. Simpson called "Outrage", which I read and is EXCELLENT. Bugliosi argues that if he had been the prosecutor on the case, Simpson would have been found guilty, and I believe that.

Simpson had the advantage of having the two biggest morons on planet Earth in charge of the prosecution in his trial, Darden and Clark. Im just wondering though if you missed Andy's remark that Simpson "was convicted on 12 felony counts, including kindnapping, armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon."

Do you think he was "set up" to go after his OWN merchandise? If I hear one more person utter or even IMPLY the word "framed" when describing O.J., I think I might spontaneously combust. How can you be FRAMED or set-up if you DID IT?? You contradicted yourself when you said that you DO think he murdered Nicole and Ron and you obviously know he did the recent Vegas crimes, and you STILL want to say he was "set up"? Can you explain to me how it's even possible to be "set up" when you have committed the crimes that you ADMIT he committed? Oh and by the way, if our new (black) president Obama pardons (white) George W. Bush for his war crimes/murders, then Bush cannot be tried for them.

Melissa said...

Again, Linda, I don't really see your point. You're preaching to the choir about George Bush...who on here is a fan? I certainly don't root for him because he's white...I'm sure I have the same amount of respect for the war criminal as you do...zilch. No, you didn't say Andy was a racist, but by making this about race, you're inferring that anyone who is against O.J. is one. I would tend to think the one who makes it about race is more the racist. Remember you said it left you with a bad taste?

Yet as Larry reminded you, you said you think O.J. is guilty. So, for the sake of argument, let's say he was tried this time for his past murders (which would have likely been a life sentence), so what??? And, no, suffering inside isn't good enough. That's why we have jails.

But again, I can assure you, this isn't about race. It's about O.J. being a rich, arrogant, double-murderer that never said he was sorry until he really believed he was going to jail.

If you honestly don't think losing a loved one to a murderer and then seeing the murderer write a book of his confessions and then try to cash in on it and parading around a golf course signing autographs...wouldn't eat you up inside...than more power to and Oprah are way bigger people than the Goldmans and most every other human being on the planet.

And as far as you, lugnut, what the fuck are you talking about? How many white people don't think Phil Spector's a shitbag? (and will be retried and probably end up going to jail, anyway). He just doesn't have the adulation that O.J. had and didn't try to escape in a a Bronco. Baretta also didn't have the adulation that O.J. had and there was no overwhelming evidence that he violently killed his wife and an innocent bystander with his bear hands after repeatedly beating up his wife. The woman Blake was married to also happened to be a grifter and robbed a lot of men of their money (not that it justifies murder), but it was an entirely different scenario. O.J.'s case is not about him being black, it's about O.J. And the most puzzling part is why do you think he represents the black race and why do you continue to blindly defend him?

Anonymous said...

lugnut---Blake and Spector havent been seen on golf courses arrogantly living it up, continuing their celebrity status as if no murders ever existed. And they both sure as hell havent given interviews in which they made chopping motions with a banana while sporting a demented look on their face as a big fucking joke like O.J. has done! They ALSO didnt ever say "I will go find the 'real' killers", only to NEVER even ATTEMPT it.

You said this lugnut:

"But white people have been dogging this one black man out they think killed two white people for 14 years."

You're wrong----we KNOW he did it. Even many of the jurors who found O.J. not guilty have gone on record and said they now think he's guilty---and they're BLACK. You think he's innocent?? Simpson ADMITTED dripping blood all over his Bronco and his home and his driveway!

Here's a segment from Vincent Bugliosi's book "Outrage" in which he describes Simpson's confessions to bleeding during his taped interview:

"And when they (interrogators) asked him (Simpson) how he got the cut to his left middle finger that caused all the bleeding, he answered, "I dont know". When they asked him him again later in the interview, he replied, "I have no idea, man" That ridiculous statement alone, all by itself, shows an obvious consciousness of guilt. But much, much more important, what is the statistical probability of Simpson's innocently cutting himself very badly on his left middle finger around the VERY SAME TIME his former wife and male companion are brutally murdered? One out of 10 million? One out of one million? One out of 100,000? And even if we make that extravagant assumption, when you cut yourself, unless you're in a frantic, frenzied state----as Simpson obviously was---you stop the bleeding with your hand or handkerchief and you put on a bandage. You dont bleed ALL OVER THE PLACE."

Excellent portion of an excellent book. Cover-up? Planting of evidence? How did the police get O.J.'s blood? Did they play golf with him one day and accidentally whack him with the golf club and while O.J. lay bleeding, gather his blood into a vile they just happened to have in their pockets so they could lock it up inside the police station and save it JUST INCASE two murdered bodies popped up one day (that just HAPPENED TO BE CONNECTED TO SIMPSON) and then say, "Hey Phil---this is what we've been waiting for! Go get the vile of blood we've been keeping, so we can plant some in O.J.'s Bronco, his house and his driveway----and then we will interrogate him after the murders and even get him to ADMIT dripping the blood inside his Bronco, on the driveway and in his house!"-------don't black people generally hate the injustices from cops above all others? Then why are you giving the police all of this credit, lugnut? If they had "framed" O.J., they not only would had to have had the talent of David Copperfield to get O.J.'s blood from out of thin air, but they would have needed the powers of Nostradamus so that they would have the foreknowledge that people associated with Simpson would be found dead! It's people like YOU, lugnut who make me really fearful for the future of this country!