25 years ago today, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were viciously murdered on Bundy Drive in Los Angeles. And so it began. An event that would mark our lives and change news coverage forever. Regularly scheduled panel discussions with legal and other experts on live tv began here, as did the mainstream media following reports in supermarket tabloids – some of which turned out to be accurate in spite of checkbook journalism – and tv helicopters following every “slow speed chase” that came down the freeway.
Some believe the “wall to wall” coverage of the case by KTLA-TV, Court TV and CNN, laid the groundwork for the 24-hr news cycle and the explosive growth in reality show tv. There were no “Kardashians” on tv, before Robert Kardashian joined the “dream team.” The case made the phrases “It’s a no-brainer” and “The question’s prejudicial impact outweighs its probative value” famous as Johnnie Cochran and Marcia Clark became legal superstars with an entire nation transfixed on the “trial of the century.” According to Time Magazine, 57% of the country tuned in to watch the verdict in the criminal trial, with a summer filled with depositions and the civil trial in Santa Monica, still to come.
At the time, KTLA was coast to coast on cable and satellite and worldwide on SkyTV. We were in the eye of the storm. Only those who were there will be able to understand all that it was, and in some respects, continues to be, as the continuing divide between black and white America has again been painfully highlighted by Charlottesville. It was suggested by one therapist who was interviewed for a series done by local radio, that for those covering the case, it was not unlike going to war.
For those of you who may be new to the story, football star O.J. Simpson, was found “not guilty” in a criminal trial in Los Angeles, and then conversely, he was found liable for the deaths of Ron Goldman and his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, in a civil trial in Santa Monica, and was ordered to pay damages in the amount of $33.5 million. Ron Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, has repeatedly complained that Simpson has never willingly paid one penny of the settlement, which now, with interest, reportedly amounts to around $70 million.
According to the AP, Simpson is currently living in Las Vegas, with pensions keeping him fiscally afloat. An analysis done by CNN/Money indicates that Simpson’s NFL pension could run as high as $100,000 a year, with more pension money coming in from his work in the movies and from Social Security which could run as high as $42,000 a year. Retirement income is protected from any civil court judgement.
The two children he had with Nicole are reportedly in the real estate business in Florida.