Nicole Brown Simpson, the 35-year-old ex-wife of famous former NFL star O.J. Simpson, and Ron Goldman, 25, were brutally murdered outside of Brown’s Los Angeles townhouse at approximately 10:00 p.m. on the night of June 12, 1994. Both were viciously stabbed to death, while the former couple’s two children slept upstairs. Authorities soon named O.J. Simpson as their primary suspect, and the murders turned into a media frenzy.
Police found Brown and Goldman’s bodies just after midnight on June 13. Their bodies lay in the narrow passageway that stretched between Brown’s front steps and the front gate. Brown was stabbed a total of 12 times, with the fatal wound nearly severing her neck, while Goldman received 20 blows altogether. The medical examiner’s report notes that these wounds were consistent with an attack by a strong, large, man.
This description clearly fit that of Brown’s ex-husband. While the couple had been together since Nicole was only 18, their marriage in 1985 had proven to be a tempestuous one. The pair fought, and Simpson was controlling and sometimes abusive. In 1989 police responded to Brown’s 911 call and found her beaten and bloodied. Simpson pleaded no contest to spousal abuse, and Brown filed for divorce in 1992, later moving to a condo in the same Brentwood neighborhood. Though the couple tried to reconcile several times, their on again, off again cycle continued up until the murder.
While many of the tabloids claimed Goldman was Brown’s boyfriend in order to further sensationalize the case, this was not true, and Goldman’s death that night seems to have been an incredibly unfortunate case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While Brown and Simpson had both casually dated other people since their separation, Brown and Goldman were just friends. It was a coincidence that on the night of the murder, Brown had eaten dinner at the restaurant where Goldman worked with her mother, and that her mother had forgotten her glasses. She called and asked him to drop them off on his way home, which is what brought him to Brown’s that night.
By comparing the nature of the wounds and amount of blood loss by the victims, the autopsies revealed that while the attacker first stabbed Brown from behind, he stopped and left her merely incapacitated in order to take down Goldman before returning to kill her. This reconstruction suggests that Goldman may have arrived during the brief attack, interrupting the killer and prompting his own murder. Based on the severity of the wounds, and the fact that Goldman still had the glasses in his hand when he was found, authorities believe the entire attack lasted no longer than five minutes from start to finish.
After police identified Nicole Brown, they drove to Simpson’s estate to notify him of his ex-wife’s death. Upon arrival, however, they noticed blood smears on Simpson’s vehicle and during a search a bloody glove was found on the property. Simpson had conveniently boarded a late flight to Chicago that night and was not home.
Five days later, the police pursued Simpson down the L.A. freeway in a white Ford Bronco in what is now perhaps the most famous car chase in history. Simpson eventually surrendered and was brought to trial. Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, the jury reached a verdict on October 3, 1995, and Simpson was found not guilty of both murders.