O.J. Simpson Embarks on Long, Slow Bronco Ride Into Eternity

No police escort this time, though

Oh, you might have heard that O.J. Simpson croaked, which he did on Wednesday at the age of 76. Simpson was an outstanding running back and an adequate actor who, as the Washington Post put it, “saw his legacy spiral after the murder of his ex-wife and her friend.” Yes. That would be “the murder[s]” of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, murders of which Simpson himself was accused, largely due to the huge amount of evidence suggesting he was guilty, and yet was acquitted after an eight-month trial. He was later found liable for the same actions in a wrongful-death case brought by the families. So I guess I should say there was only a “preponderant amount” of evidence that he was guilty, and so that’s what I’m officially saying.

Several not-very-reliable sources are reporting today that Simpson required anyone who visited him in his last days, including his own children, to sign non-disclosure agreements before doing so, but those sources aren’t very reliable so I’m not going to repeat that.

What I am going to repeat, though, are some of my previous references to Simpson over the years. During that time, he did quite a few ridiculous things, actions that I can’t help thinking affected his continuing but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to find the real killers. Searching this site for “O.J. Simpson” turns up at least 16 articles discussing those things, in fact, plus a few stray references. I don’t think many people have warranted that much coverage here, although Rod Blagojevich and former Girls Gone Wild creep Joe Francis come close. (Probably no one will ever eclipse former judge Roy Pearson, who sued his dry cleaners for more than $65 million after they allegedly lost a pair of his pants, but time will tell.) Anyway, a few specific Simpson links follow.

Looks like this was my first mention of him, in 2006 when he was reportedly appearing on a pay-per-view prank show called “Juiced.” If he made any money from this deal, it didn’t go toward paying any of the $33.5 million wrongful-death judgment against him, just like most of his other money didn’t.

This was just ahead of a 2006 interview in which the Juice was going to discuss his then-upcoming book, “If I Did It,” in which he would “hypothetically describe” how he would have committed the murders if he had committed them, which he officially did not. Did he write “I have never seen so much blood in my life” in that book? Yes. Did that sentence begin, “If I had done it, I would be saying something like”? No. Amusingly, the victim’s families obtained the rights to the book and any money it generated, and released the book with the word “If” in a font so tiny it was basically invisible.

This was after Simpson’s 2007 arrest in Las Vegas for allegedly participating in what was basically an armed robbery that sought to recover allegedly stolen sports memorabilia. Simpson was later convicted of these charges, and not at all because he had, according to some, gotten away with a double murder. He then became a guest of the Nevada Department of Corrections for several years.

In 2010, the “Newseum” in Washington, D.C., announced that it would be displaying the tan Armani suit Simpson had been wearing in 1995 when he was acquitted. Simpson, his former manager, and Fred Goldman had been fighting over what would happen to the suit, and eventually agreed to donate it to a museum. In an earlier post, I had noted that they first offered it to the Smithsonian, which said no thanks. The Newseum finally agreed to take it. I ended both posts with a version of “Simpson himself remains on display at a public facility in Nevada,” a joke I like well enough that I’m repeating it yet again here. Oh! Also good, in my opinion: the joke that Simpson was fighting to keep the suit because he “wanted to go through the pockets to look for the real killers.”

People kept telling lies about O.J. even after he was sent to prison, and in this post I set the record straight about some of those bogus accusations. “There is no validity to the reports that inmate Simpson was caught stealing cookies” from the prison cafeteria, the department’s public information officer told me in September 2013, and I was pleased to put those rumors to rest once and for all.

He made that claim at his parole hearing in 2017. I collected a few facts suggesting the claim was not entirely true, but they let him out anyway.

In this one, apparently the last time I mentioned O.J. before today, I solved the mystery of why one of the memorabilia he was convicted of stealing in Vegas ended up in the custody of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. But it looks like I was more interested in figuring out what the singular form of “memorabilia” is. My advice: give up and use “memento,” and I stand by that today.

I doubt Simpson will be doing anything else newsworthy from here on out, so farewell/good riddance to him as you choose. But if, as some have been speculating, he is taken to his grave very slowly in a white Bronco followed by much of the LAPD, I reserve the right to bring him up one more time.