IT AIN'T THE ASTRODOME
It has been claimed that this crime could not have involved two killers because the space was too small. This has been expressed by Ron Egan saying, "It ain't the Astrodome." And, indeed, it ain't, but there is just enough room that in a carefully planned crime by professionals there is enough room to work comfortably and quickly. I demonstrate the fact below with scaled cartoon figures showing the approximate amount of space they take up in various postures during the crime, and superimpose those over a scaled sketch of the scene.
THE CRIME SCENE: For the crime scene, I have used the charts of the prosecution exhibits. Figure 1 shows the physical arrangement from the roadway of Bundy Drive to Nicole's front door. I have modified the details in Figure 1, moving the mailbox and the intercom from the location depicted by the prosecution chart to those shown in the photograph in Fuhrman, page 206+1, and also a similar photograph from the L.A. Times. (The prosecution spent four million dollars on the case, and couldn't get the details in their chart of the crime scene right!)
I have also shown, in Figure 2, a rough idea of the illumination in the area. Near the condo, this was entirely the result of the porch light (shown in yellow), and areas shadowed from that by structure were completely in the dark. At the steps by the gate, the ground was in the shadow cast by the top of the steps out to about the position of the gate. At places higher up than the ground, however, there was some illumination from the porch light in the vicinity of the gate. The region toward the street from the gate got little illumination from the house, at best, and with the partially opaque gate closed, it got even less. Shown in orange in Figure 2 is the area illuminated by the (pink) sodium vapor street light. Parkway trees prevented the slight streetlight illumination from reaching much up Nicole's front walk.
After the crime, a neighbor of Nicole's with the same name as a detective on the case, Tom Lange, described an incident he had seen on the night of the murder. He was walking his dog on Bundy, and when he came to Dorothy, he saw several people in front of Nicole's walk. Lange had formerly worked for Ford Motor Company, and recognized a white vehicle parked at the end of the walk as being a Ford product (presumably not an automobile). It is generally assumed that it was a Ford Bronco, since so many people associated with Simpson owned one (Simpson himself, Al Cowlings, Marcus Allen, and Paula Barbieri). But, the vehicle could as well have been a Ford Aerostar, and considering the usefulness of having such a vehicle parked at the end of the walk to block a view of the murder scene from people farther away, I think it was that van. I have shown the outline of an Aerostar in Figures 1 and 2, parked at the curb.
For the later figures, I have resorted again to the Poser 3 program to depict the various parties in poses at critical moments. To facilitate the identification of the participants, I have dressed them in bright colors, with each in a shirt color different from the others. I realize that Nicole was wearing a black cocktail dress, but I have put her in slacks and a shirt in order to better depict the position of her legs in later parts of the scene. Similarly, I expect that the killers wore black or a near-black color, not the bright colors I have shown. Also, I have not shown certain accessories, such as the knit evidence cap that I assume Gus had in his belt until the very end of this process, or the penlight that was in his shirt pocket, or the flashlight that K2 used for 5 or 10 seconds at the very end so that Gus could see that he did not step in or track blood.
PORTRAYAL: The general scheme here is to show a map of either the entire area from Nicole's front door to the sidewalk, or just the area around the gate. On this map are posed the characters involved in the action, as they would be seen from above. Although this gives a good idea of the position and the space occupied by the parties, the top-down view does not make clear what they are doing. So, each scene is also illustrated with a horizontal view of the action figures. Figure 3 is an example of such an action scene, in which an assailant is holding Goldman restrained on the front walk outside the gate, while another assailant is waiting to attack Nicole elsewhere.
Figure 3A is a similar action pose to Figure 3, but shows the situation immediately after Gus began the attack on Nicole. Then, K2 used his body weight above and behind Goldman to force him nearly double, and in this virtually defenseless position, he was butchered around the left side of his head and neck. Notice that in this posture his left neck is over his left knee, accounting for the fact seen in the evidence that most of the blood from that wound got on his pants without running down his shirt as would have been the case if he were erect when he did the bleeding.
In Figure 3B is shown the third member of the killing party, called K3. He had two functions, the main one being to patrol the sidewalk in front of the condo with his vicious growling dog on a long leash, and thereby discourage any pedestrians who might come by from passing directly in front of that place during the minute and a half or so in which the operation was in progress. His second function -- at the outset -- was to hail Goldman from the sidewalk as soon as Ron had finished talking on the intercom with Nicole. As Ron's attention was turned toward the sidewalk, K2, who was hiding in the shadows of the mailbox recess near the intercom could come out and snare Goldman from behind before he was aware. Thereupon, K3 would take up patrolling with his dog.
SCALING: In order to relate the figures to the size of other objects, such as the spaces in the crime scene, it was necessary to make assumptions about their sizes. The following were used --
FIGURE HEIGHT SHOULDER WIDTH PERCENTILE
Nicole 5' 5" 17" 70%
Goldman 5' 9" 181/2" 59%
K2 5' 11" 191/2" 90%
Gus 6' 1" 221/2" 95%
These were determined from standard anthropometric charts for men and women, with shoulder width scaled to the same percentile as height for Nicole and Ron. For example, at 5'5" tall, Nicole was in the 70th percentile for women. On the assumption that her shoulder width was also in the 70th percentile, it was found that this dimension was 17 inches. Since all that is known about Gus and K2 is that they are strong, it was arbitrarily assumed that K2 was at the 90th percentile, and Gus was at the 95th percentile for men.
It was also assumed that Nicole's neck was 4" wide, side to side, and 5" thick, front to back. It is 12" from the top of her head to her collar bone, and 3" above that to the place where her throat was slit. From her shoulder to her seat is 24", and her total length when kneeling is 37". By matching these dimensions to the scale which is included in the crime scene background sketch, it is possible to size the figures correctly.
PREMISE: On the basis of many considerations, it appears that the following situation led to the crime. Simpson and Nicole had both been engaged in a dispute with others which had some characteristic that prevented it from being resolved in court. The other party to this desired redress, and had underworld resources at his disposal. Nicole was intransigent, and in January, 1994 Kardashian tried to solve the problem by hiring an amateur thug, Bill Wasz, in a plot to kill Nicole. When that plan failed, the disputant began planning his own campaign to murder Nicole and frame Simpson. That plan was executed on June 12, 1994. The subject of the dispute may have been Simpson's brief participation in, and then withdrawal (at Nicole's insistence) from, an agreement to steer high rollers he met on the golf links to a pricey national bookie operation, for example.
Because this was a very carefully planned operation, it involved the development of contacts which were close to Nicole and to Simpson, though those people were not overt conspirators. They simply played roles that were natural and obvious to them without any awareness that they were facilitating a crime, or even that Simpson and his ex-wife were involved in a serious dispute with shady characters. In this way, Simpson's travel schedule could be known, and it was possible to influence Nicole's choice in small matters, such as where to have dinner after the dance recital and how to react to Simpson's offenses. It was also possible to steal Simpson's cap and gloves a month before the final act, and have enough influence on him that he could be tricked into going to Nicole's condo just after the murders had been done.
INITIAL CONDITIONS: The final event began at the Mezzaluna restaurant where Nicole's party of ten was dining after the dance recital. At that occasion, Juditha (Nicole's mother) Brown's glasses were taken from her under circumstances such that she thought only that they had been lost, and would call the restaurant about them immediately after getting home. (See "The Host" for a way in which this could be done.) The conspirators then created conditions whereby Goldman would still be in the restaurant, but free to leave when the issue of the mother's glasses came up, they motivated him to be interested in taking them to her, and motivated Nicole to want company (such as Ron's delivery of the glasses) that night. (See "Critical Phase" for how this could be accomplished.)
By 9:45, the two men who would actually commit the crime had entered Nicole's property, and were lurking in the shadows. "Gus," the one who would attack Nicole was waiting beside the walk, against the east condo wall, and K2 (Killer #2) was hiding in the mailbox recess in the front wall, just south of the intercom, to waylay Goldman as soon as he had finished talking to Nicole. The previous Wednesday night, when Nicole was away at Faye Resnick's intervention session, these two men had disabled the remote gate unlatcher, and so knew that Nicole would have to come to let Ron in the gate herself when he paged.
The two aspects of the plan that were uncertain were 1) whether the mother would call about her glasses, and 2) whether Simpson could be lured to the scene. The conspirators had only limited influence on these two decisions, but were effectively in control of all other aspects. If the mother called the restaurant, the murders -- according to plan -- were a done deal. If she did not, there was a backup plan. And, if Simpson did not go for the bait and visit the crime scene, there was already enough indication of his guilt that he would be widely blamed, though perhaps not convicted.
So, at 10:09 when Goldman paged Nicole from the front gate, this was the situation: K2 was watching him from the bushes four feet away, Gus was hiding against the east condo wall, waiting for Nicole to pass by on the way to the front gate. Nicole was at the intercom in her kitchen, just leaving that location to go to the front gate to let Ron in. The children and the dog were sleeping in the children's second floor bedroom at the rear of the condo, as was the custom at that hour. The front gate had been rigged so that it was not latched, but appeared to be so (see "The Chaquita Caper").
The circumstances that caused Nicole to ask Ron to bring the glasses that night account for the contradictory indications in the conditions on the first and second floors of the condo, and also explain the ice cream cup on the banister and the knife on the kitchen counter (see "Critical Phase").
10:09:00 GOLDMAN FINISHES INTERCOM CONVERSATION WITH NICOLE. [Figures "10_09_00" & "K2_WATCH".] As soon as Goldman had finished talking to Nicole, and was standing at the front of the gate, facing it, his car keys in one hand and the envelope with the glasses in the other, K2 used a penlight to flash an inconspicuous signal to K3 who was walking his dog on the sidewalk. K3 hailed Goldman, Golman turned toward the sidewalk and took a step in that direction. K2's location was now behind Goldman; the assailant bounded out of the shadows, and was upon him before Ron could cry out or take any other action. K2's left hand was over Ron's mouth, and the knife in his right hand was to Ron's throat. Goldman was startled and confused, he dropped the things in his hands to use his hands to fend off the attack; before the end, the keys and the envelope were deliberately kicked closer to Nicole's body to confuse the indications, and obscure the fact that Goldman had been attacked outside the front gate. By drawing the knife twice across Goldman's throat, K2 persuaded his compliance. Ron was already facing the van parked a the curb, and K2 had Ron, move a couple of feet toward it, then sit straight legged in the middle of the walk. K2 squatted behind him and continued to keep him compliant with his left hand over Ron's mouth, and the knife to his throat (Figure 3).
10:09:19 NICOLE WAYLAID AS SHE PASSES END OF CONDO. As Nicole hurried to the front gate, she passed the end of the condo building at its east wall. We know that at this time the front gate was still closed, or she would have clearly seen from there that it was not, would have been suspicious of the fact, and probably would have stopped in her progress. [Figures "10_09_19" & "G&N_02W"] As she passes, Gus lunges out with his right fist, striking Nicole in the right temple, and causing her to be stunned. In one stride, he is behind her, supporting her so that she does not fall in her daze, and simultaneously keeping her silent.
10:09:23 GUS PRODS NICOLE TO THE STEPS. With Simpson's gloves on his hands, Gus holds his right hand over Nicole's mouth, uses the knife in his left hand to prod her with superficial cuts to the back of her scalp, and thereby gets her to move to the steps and down them almost to the gate. [Figures "10_09_23" & "G&N_01"] Twice during this Nicole makes feeble efforts with her hands to fend off the attack, and Gus reaches out with the knife on these occasions to discourage Nicole's use of her hands by cutting them. Gus makes a sound to K2, indicating that he has Nicole under control, and at hearing this, K2 turns from restraining Ron to trying to kill him. K2 would like to attack the carotid artery, as Gus was about to do with Nicole, but the lighting at K2's location, particularly from the north where Ron's carotid is, is impossible, and K2 can not make a clean job of it. He ends up butchering Goldman without actually killing him.
10:09:30 GUS PERFORATES NICOLE'S CAROTID ARTERY. Gus prods Nicole all the way to the steps, down them, and she is facing in that direction (east). To better see the left side of her neck, Gus twists the top part of Nicole's body a quarter turn counter-clockwise, so that her neck is illuminated by the porch light. Resisting, she does not cooperate with this, and her feet are still pointing east. The attack on Nicole's neck is an unpracticed maneuver, Gus is not sure of the exact location of the artery, and he probes Nicole's neck four times along a vertical line down from the left ear until he obtains a solid perforation; Nicole goes instantly unconscious, and Gus releases her. ["10_09_30" & "G&N03"]
10:09:32 NICOLE FALLS BACKWARDS ONTO STEPS. She falls backwards striking the back of her head a glancing blow on a corner of a step. Because it is a sliding impact, tissues of the scalp over a one inch diameter is suddenly and thoroughly traumatized, and a bruise of that size forms immediately. Gus promptly drags her, still lying on her back, down the stairs to their foot, causing her to suffer the small abrasions described by Dr. Spitz to her dorsal aspect (neck, shoulders, elbows). When she is on the walk, he rolls her onto her stomach, draws up her knees, and moves her so that in this kneeling position her face is over the middle of the first step. (See "Blood on The Step".) ["10_09_32" & "G&N00"]
10:09:38 NICOLE'S THROAT SLASHED. Crouching behind the kneeling Nicole, Gus holds a fistful of her hair in his left hand to steady her head (but does not pull it back to "extend her throat" as Dr. Lakshmanan thought), and with the knife in his right hand reaches under her neck until the blade is under her left ear. Then he makes a forceful stoke with the knife while holding her head to the step; when that is done, he makes a second identical stroke. Nicole is bleeding greatly over the step throughout and after this. Gus reaches up with his right hand and sets the knife on the north side of the second step, where its bloody imprint is seen in later photographs. ["10_09_38" & "G&N02"]
10:09:50 NICOLE'S BODY REPOSITIONED. Still holding a fistful of her hair, Gus uses this as a handle to move Nicole back (east) a few inches, then swing her 90 degrees clockwise, until her head is pointing north. He rolls her onto her left side. Then he maneuvers her feet under the fence on the south side of the walk and jams her right leg in there forcefully so that death spasms can not cause a substantial change in the position of her body as she is dying. Her throat continues to bleed greatly, but less than when it was over the step. ["10_09_50" & "G&N04A"]
10:09:57 GUS JOINS IN THE ATTACK ON GOLDMAN. Ever since Gus had snared Nicole at 10:09:19, K2 has been trying to kill Goldman on the front walk outside the gate. Although K2 has inflicted wounds which would be fatal in less than an hour without treatment, Goldman is not yet dead, and Gus comes through the gate, pushing it into its final fully open position, to finish the job. Throughout the attack, K2 has been squatting behind and above Goldman holding the victim in a straight-legged seated posture that has resulted in big patches and splotches of blood on the front of his pants, but a uniform haze of blood all across the back of the pants from Goldman's writing on the bloody surface of the front walk. (see "Blood on Goldman's Clothes".) Now, K2 "unfolds" Goldman's and forces his back to the concrete, continues to hold his hand over Goldman's mouth, and pins his left arm to the ground with the other hand. Gus comes to Goldman's right side, squats beside him, and restrains Goldman's right arm with his own left foreleg. In this posture, Goldman is only free to flail his legs.
With the penlight in his left hand and the knife in his right, Gus nicks Goldman's right cheek to see if it bleeds; it does. Gus then takes a long armed sweep with his knife intending to stab Goldman in the belly, but Goldman flails his right leg to deflect the strike, and takes the blow in his right thigh. After that, Goldman gives up further resistance. Gus checks the cheek again, and sees that it still bleeds when nicked; he makes another full-armed strike at Goldman striking him in the abdomen. Gus continues this process until he has stabbed Goldman four times, and checked status five times, before verifying that Goldman is dead. ["10_09_57" & "RONKILLD"]
10:10:09 GOLDMAN'S CORPSE HEAVED INTO ALCOVE. When Gus was satisfied that Goldman was dead, he put the knife in his pocket, the penlight in his shirt pocket, and reached down to lift Goldman's body off the walk. With his right hand under Goldman's jeans and his left hand under Goldman's shirt, Gus carried the corpse two or three steps west, through the open gate, to the threshold of the alcove. During this maneuver and just after it, K2 illuminated, with a flashlight he had brought for the purpose, the ground where Gust had to step. Standing at an angle that was more facing the street than facing the north fence, Gus heaved the body into the alcove in a move whereby the body moved as much along its long axis as perpendicular to it. Its flight was arrested by a sapling in the alcove, causing some loose material (blood and the pager) to fly off the body and toward the north fence. ["10_10_09" & "CARRY"]
10:10:20 GUS AND K2 FLEE THE SCENE. With Goldman's body disposed of, Gus took the knit cap from his belt and flung it under the agapanthus at his feet. He took off the left hand glove, and flung it there too. Then he took off the right hand glove and dropped it on Nicole's corpse. Again using K2's flashlight beam, he looked at where he had stepped and saw that he had left a partial right footprint at the edge of the alcove, and reached there with his foot to smudge it into ambiguity (his left foot at the alcove had been in the dirt). Then he took a few careful steps back to the dirt in front of the intercom, kicked the keys and the envelope containing the glasses toward the bodies, and followed K2 down the dirt path south of the walk to the street. There they joined K3 and his dog, and all three men piled into the van, Gus and K2 -- now hideously bloodied -- in back, and K3 driving. ["10:10:20" & "FLEE"]
CONCLUSION: Although it is true that there is not much space at the crime scene, and there may be many scenarios in which there is not enough room for two killers to work, there is a scenario -- as here -- in which two killers could do the job in this space. And, since the scenario that works also explicitly explains much evidence that his been previously considered to have occurred "somehow," this scenario is probably close to the actual event. (Lakshmanan's five "testing wounds" and two "threatening wounds," the difference in style between the four stab wounds and the numerous butchering wounds to Goldman's head, the uniform thin blood stain on the back of Goldman's jeans, indications that there was no struggle in the "killing cage," indications that the cap and gloves did not fall by themselves through the leaves of the agapanthus, indications -- near proof -- that Nicole's throat was slashed over the first step, the small scrapes on Nicole's dorsal side, the specific reason for every wound to Nicole's body, etc., etc.)
Dick Wagner Van Nuys, CA (3/30/99) NG_533 [rev. 1/21/01]