Blue Black Fibers

BOB AUGUST:

    You go on at some length, proceeding from the error of assuming that the large number of blue-black fibers found at the crime scene implicates Simpson, because he was seen (by Shively, Park, and Kato) wearing such a garment around the time of the crime, and such a garment, freshly laundered, was found the next morning in his washing machine. With the usual superficial logic of no-Js you think that because he was wearing a dark outfit and blue black fibers were found, those fibers must have come from him. (I think, however, that we both accept the premise that when fibers that appear "blue black" under the microscope are woven into a fabric, it may appear to be "navy blue," "black," or a "dark color.")

    A NATURAL CHOICE FOR ANY KILLER: Bulletin for you Bob... Simpson was not the only one in the world who could have such a garment. Furthermore, any man who was going to set out on a surreptitious mission at night would consider wearing such clothing. The concept slips easily into your mind when you think of Simpson: "He chose a black sweatsuit because he was going on a criminal mission, and he didn't want to be seen. In fact, his choice of black clothing is an indication of his guilt." But, if you can think this, then you must also think that a killer other than him would have the same idea, and would have chosen a dark outfit to wear. Thus, we might expect to find blue black fibers at the crime scene (and tracked away from it by any after-the-fact visitor, as Simpson) no matter who did the crime.

    FBI hair and fiber expert, Doug Deedrick, examined these fibers and did not say that they came from -- or even were similar to -- clothing owned by Simpson. He could not have done so, because the LAPD never collected a black sweatsuit from Simpson's home that could be used for reference. As an independently determined factual matter, we just do not know whether these fibers came from Simpson's clothes, or some other. And any association of these fibers with Simpson locations (e.g., the bedroom sock) can be easily explained by his visiting the crime scene after the deed was done, and tracking away a blue black fiber that someone else (the killer) had shed.

    So, "blue black fibers" by itself only includes Simpson because he was a man who owned such clothing. But there are at least two indications that show that these blue black fibers did not come from Simpson's sweatsuit, but from some other...

   CHEAP CLOTHES: The microscopic appearance of these fibers was of "irregular cross section, and unevenly dyed." These are characteristics of cheap clothing, more likely sold at K-mart than at any place Simpson shopped. (Or, particularly where the production company, from which many think Simpson got this outfit, would buy clothing for an on-camera appearance.)

   BRAND NEW CLOTHES: The very abundance of fibers indicates that this is a garment that was new, probably purchased for the occasion of the crime, and never previously (or later) worn or laundered. As the circumstance of this crime tumble through your mind, it is natural to think, "knife, sharp, cut fibers off garment..." But we know that can not be the case. If the killer's knife came in contact with the clothing he wore to cause so many loose fibers, he himself would be covered with at least nicks and scratches which were not later seen on Simpson.

    A new garment is filled with detached fibers created during the manufacturing process, and many of these will be shed in the first wearing. (I had a dramatic similar experience after having a new carpet installed last summer -- a mountain of loose fibers on the first vacuuming. More recently I had new drapes installed, and as the last operation the installer went over them with a portable vacuum, and got a considerable mass of fibers from those, too.) Most of the rest will come off in the first washing and drying of the garment. Thereafter, fibers will be shed only occasionally. Simpson's blue-black sweatsuit had been previously worn and laundered, and so it is not likely to be the source of the abundant fibers of this crime. But, a professional killer would be very likely to buy an outfit specifically for the crime and discard it afterward. And, since it would be known at the outset that it would only be worn once, he would likely chose a cheap suit -- with "fibers of irregular cross-section and unevenly dyed."

    ONLY A COINCIDENCE: So, Bob, the indications are not only that anybody other than Simpson could have such a garment, but that these particular fibers did not come from the sweatsuit that Simpson had in his wardrobe. Yes, blue black fibers were found on Goldman's shirt, the right hand glove, and the sock from Simpson's bedroom floor. But there is no direct evidence whether these came from a garment Simpson wore, or from clothing on another person who was the murderer, and then were tracked away by Simpson on an after-the-fact visit.

    (Also, since blue black fibers were found associated with Goldman's corpse, but not with Nicole's, there is at least a suggestion that one killer <who shed fibers> attacked Goldman, and another <who wore a different kind of clothing and did not shed fibers> attacked Nicole.)

    Scratch "Blue black fibers" as an indication of Simpson's guilt, Bob.

Dick Wagner • Van Nuys, CA (1/09/01) NG_704

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