Two decades after America dropped whatever it was doing to watch a white Bronco cruise down the San Diego Freeway, the O. Simpson case remains unparalleled as noir mystery, soap opera, and (though no one knew it at the time) TV’s first reality show. burning rubber on the Santa Ana Freeway, the Artesia Freeway, the Harbor Freeway, and, at last, the San Diego Freeway, 20 or so squad cars in panting pursuit. The footage they shot was broadcast locally and then nationally, one network after another interrupting regularly scheduled programming to air it, NBC cutting between it and Game Five of the N. Lining the overpasses in certain cities and neighborhoods like Compton, Inglewood, Watts, large crowds had assembled to offer support, cheer the Bronco on, tell it to go go go, boo those deputy dogs trying to bring it down, stop its run, fuck with its mojo. Living with such a volatile and exacting mate couldn’t have been a picnic for Nicole.Examining how the cast—Kato Kaelin, Marcia Clark, Faye Resnick, et al.—got its hooks into popular culture, Lili Anolik accuses Simpson of a different murder. The emotion of the scene was hysterical, almost lunatic—a Pro Football Hall of Famer and star of the silver screen and all-around Mr. So much time, in fact, that the Channel 7 helicopter had to break to refuel, coax Channel 5 into sharing its coverage. It’s no wonder that in pictures she appeared tight-faced and anxious-eyed, smiling but the smile held in check, her look that of a beach-bunny party animal up for a good time, but her affect considerably darker, considerably more troubled, even tormented. would, in fact, go so far as to compare Detective Mark Fuhrman, a made-to-order villain for the defense’s purposes, six feet three inches of handsome, brutal male, fair-haired and blue-eyed, O.It had a narrative sense that was second to none, an instinct for how to draw the audience’s attention that was assured to the point of flagrant, to the point of gloating, opening—bam! Congeniality super-dude, now a fugitive from justice, wanted for violating, on two counts, Section 187 (a) of the California Penal Code, holding on himself a .357 Magnum, the barrel kissing his temple—yet its pacing was stately, languorous, very nearly balletic, the action hot and lurid and low-down, but the view of the action coolly detached and God’s-eye. The suspense was killing, the public watching with shock-widened eyes an American hero in the middle of a free fall. (Making a break for it, that was tantamount to a confession of guilt, wasn’t it? It must be admitted, though, that, as a whodunit, the Simpson case was a flop, with nary a twist or turn. J.’s physical equal and opposite, to Hitler—forget the piss-ant Klan—in his closing argument, which got the dander up of fellow Dream Team member and Jew Robert Shapiro.) This was surprisingly easy to do, the times being what they were. Above, in the clear blue Southern California sky, a dark cloud of news helicopters had gathered, seven in all, the pilots having followed the police transmissions on their scramblers, now very much in on the fun. championship series, the New York Knicks versus the Houston Rockets. A neat freak as well as a sex freak, he also thought her housekeeping efforts sub-par.
According to one poll conducted at the time, 74 percent of Americans could identify him.What made the case such an addictive fix—beyond even the sensational nature of the crime, the glitziness of the players, the almost irresistible pull of the question —was the voyeuristic kink it provided. It’s never the Angelina Jolies and Brad Pitts inviting production crews into their homes to install toilet cams in the bathrooms.It gave us the dirty little thrill of putting our eye to the keyhole, looking in on a world that we’d normally never have access to. And if you do get a legitimate contender, i.e., a person who actually achieved a level of success and renown, it’s a contender past his or her prime—an Ozzy Osbourne or a Paula Abdul or a Flavor Flav or a Hulk Hogan. was, of course, the original has-been/comeback kid, the prototype: an aging athlete with a dubious acting career, still a Somebody but on the downward slide to Nobodysville.All of which isn’t to say that Norman Rockwell would have been happy setting up his easel there. Hey, it was oral sex, not sex sex—two totally different things. The structure of the Simpson case was, in so many ways, straight out of Murder Mysteries 101, an investigation peels back the pretty, wholesome surface, exposing all manner of rot and stink and tawdriness festering underneath. All the hours spent in the gym and the salon and the cosmetic surgeon’s office—“Almost every woman I know has had breast implants,” Faye Resnick either lamented or bragged in her book—had a canceling-out effect. Which is why they resembled soap-opera actors rather than movie actors: their physical perfection—the symmetrical features on their faces, the -like proportions of their bodies—leaving nothing for the eye to snag on, the mind to obsess over, finally rendering them interchangeable, forgettable.Small-town values with a Sodom and Gomorrah twist might be the best way of describing Brentwood’s ethos. Reminiscent of a soap opera, too, was the case’s mix of tried-and-trues and up-and-comers.A has-been, basically, looking to stage a comeback. On the downward slide at least until that double snuff job, which put him back on top as far as name recognition went, higher than he’d ever been, in fact, nearly out of sight.