There might not be another case in the history of the U.S. more polarizing than the O.J. Simpson case. The star NFL player was charged with the murders of his ex wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994, and the ensuing trial was one of the most highly televised events in history. O.J. was eventually found not guilty despite overwhelming DNA evidence, and Oxygen’s The Jury Speaks, premiering Saturday, July 22 at 9/8c, tries to get to the bottom of that controversial decision. During the investigation, O.J.’s apprehension by the police and the trial there were multiple shocks. Here are 10 of the most shocking facts from the O.J. Simpson murder case.
1. The murders were more horrific than you could imagine
Nicole and Goldman were found in pools of blood, but later, crime scene photos were publically released, showing a much less euphemistic scene. Both victims were stabbed viciously in the neck, head and chest, and Nicole was so brutally attacked her larynx was exposed and vertebrae even affected.
2. Nicole’s dog discovered the crime scene
Nicole and Goldman were left lying in their own blood for hours before they were discovered by her dog. Distressed, the dog got the attention of the neighbors, apparently pulling them towards the scene.
3. Nicole’s kids were asleep in the house when she was killed
While their mother was brutally attacked outside their Brentwood home, Nicole and O.J.’s kids were sleeping inside the house.
4. O.J. was allegedly seen kissing Nicole’s corpse
Controversially, O.J. Simpson attended his ex wife’s funeral, among massive media fanfare. Nicole’s funeral was open casket, and witnesses, including Nicole’s mother, say they saw O.J. spend a lengthy time with her body, even kissing her on the lips and saying sorry.
5. O.J. wrote what many believed was a suicide note
Before O.J. took off on the iconic low speed chase in the white Bronco that’s come to be a hallmark of the saga, he penned a bizarre note. Read aloud by lawyer and friend Robert Kardashian to the press, many thought the note was intended as a suicide note, although O.J. denied it. The note said things like, “Why do I end up like this? I can't go on. No matter what the outcome, people will look and point. I can't take that. I can't subject my children to that. This way, they can move on and go on with their lives."
6. The car chase that rocked a nation
After the note was read by Kardashian, Simpson went on the run. The infamous Bronco was driven by O.J. pal Al Cowlings, who told police O.J. had a gun to his head. The chase was low speed as a result, and the Bronco was tailed by about twenty police cars. Police who spoke to O.J. over a cell phone said he was making strange comments like "just gonna go with Nicole." The end of the chase was anti-climactic, with the Bronco pulling into his Brentwood home where police allowed him to go inside and have a conversation with his mother, and a glass of orange juice. Meanwhile, in the car was a bag of cash, a gun, passport and fake moustache.
7. The chase literally stopped the nation
Meanwhile, the car chase was followed by more than twenty helicopters and was broadcast live on every major news network and channel in in the country. All regular programming was interrupted. The NBA finals were even paused to broadcast the chase. Apparently around 95 million people tuned in to watch the chase take place live.
8. The chase was also good for business
Not only did everyone tune in to watch O.J. run from police, they ordered in while doing so. Domino’s Pizza reported sales as big as Super Bowl Sunday, their busiest day of the year.
9. Simpson lied about the evidence
At the crime scene, police found a shoe print that belonged to a very specific shoe: a men’s Bruno Magli, size 12. When questioned, O.J. was adamant he didn’t own a pair, and that he would never wear such “ugly ass shoes.” But the prosecutors were prepared, and produced about thirty photos of O.J. wearing the shoes during trial.
10. The verdict also stopped the nation
If the car chase was compelling, the verdict was something else. On the morning of October 3, 1995, around 100 million people tuned in to see the decision handed down live. Security measured were in place in case of rioting. Water usage decreased nationwide, with people unable to tear themselves away from the TV to make a cup or tea or even pee. It’s estimated $480 million was lost in productivity, as workers the country overtook a lengthy break while the verdict was being handed down. A large portion of them were absolutely shocked to hear the final outcome: not guilty.
[All photos: Getty Images]