On the 25th anniversary of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, their families say that it’s still hard to accept.
The two were brutally stabbed to death on June 12, 1994, and former football star O.J. Simpson, Nicole’s ex-husband, was charged with double homicide. The end of a lengthy, controversial trial saw him acquitted a year later, but the families of the victims won a wrongful death civil suit, including millions of dollars in damages, against O.J. Simpson in 1997, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Still, the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman said that their deaths continue to be a source of pain, 25 years after their murders served as a catalyst for one of the most contentious court cases in American history.
Nicole’s sister Tanya Brown told People in a piece published Wednesday that her sister’s death “seems like yesterday.”
“This year, the anniversary is hitting me hard,” she told the outlet.
Brown, a life coach, speaker, and author, told the outlet that she thinks about her sister every day; she left a white rose at the house where she was killed, and visited her grave on the day before the anniversary of her death. She and her mother will be lighting a candle in Nicole’s memory, and others can take part in an online vigil at FlockofAngels.org.
Today, Brown would like her sister to be remembered as a mother whose kids were “her life.”
“Everybody equates Nicole with being a domestic violence victim, which she was, beyond belief. Her death doesn’t define who she was,” she said. “I hope that people get the fact that Nicole and Ron were human beings who walked this earth. They were good people.”
Nicole’s children, Sydney and Justin, now both live in Florida and have careers in real estate, the Associated Press previously reported. Their father, O.J. Simpson, served nine years in prison after trying to steal sports memorabilia in 2007. Following his release on parole, O.J. Simpson settled in Las Vegas and occasionally travels to Florida to see his two younger children. Life is “fine,” he told the outlet, saying that he and his children “focus on the positives.”
But for Kim Goldman, Ron Goldman’s sister, forgetting doesn’t seem to be so easy.
“I don’t suffocate in my grief,” she explained in a recent interview with the Associated Press. “But every milestone that my kid hits, every milestone that I hit, you know, those are just reminders of what I’m not able to share with my brother and what he is missing out on.”
Ron Goldman traveled to Nicole Brown Simpson’s home on that fateful day to return a pair of sunglasses her mother had left at the restaurant where he worked as a waiter. His father, Fred Goldman, told People in 2016 that he believes his son walked in on the crime as it was happening, and was “heroic” by not fleeing, even though the act cost him his life.
“He put himself in harm's way to protect somebody else,” Kim Goldman told ABC News on Wednesday. “His last act of his life really showed you exactly who he was — his dedication and his commitment to his friends and the people that he loved and cared about. Even Nicole, for all we know who was an acquaintance. He didn't run.”
Kim Goldman will not use his name O.J. Simpson's name, choosing instead only to refer to him as “the killer” and the “murdering liar” because he “doesn’t deserve more,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
Her podcast on the case, “Confronting O.J. Simpson,” is set to premiere on Wednesday, coinciding with the deaths of her brother and Nicole Brown Simpson. The 10-episode series will feature interviews with key figures close to the case, according to ABC News.
Fred Goldman told “Good Morning America” Wednesday that the pain and loss are “always there” and that it “never goes away.”
“Today is just that much more intense,” he said. “It’s hard for me to imagine it's 25 years. Ron would be 50 now. I have a hard time reckoning that whole idea.”
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