BOSCO AT STARBUCKS
In the fall of 2000 Rose was living with me in Van Nuys. At that same time, Simpson-case author, Joseph Bosco (A Problem of Evidence) began posting to the newsgroup alt.fan.oj-simpson, much to the astonishment of regulars there. At that time (slightly better now) the place was more childish games of tricking and scorning other posers than any serious discussion Bosco took a pretty serious flaming. Joe seemed to me to represent an opportunity to learn things I had not heard before and so I undertook an e-mail correspondence with him, talked to him on the phone, and saw the possibility for a face-to-face meeting. That did happen, as I reported to the newsgroup in the post WESTSIDE REVISITED on October 11, 2000. The following is greatly condensed and edited from that post to remove extraneous material
A COFFEE DATE: I called Joe last Friday and suggested that Rose and I meet him for coffee. He was willing. I suggested Sunday morning, but he was driving Sunday to visit Bill Wasz in prison. Bill had seen or heard about the BBC program and wanted to talk. Although Joe recognizes Bill's obvious faults, he has fraternal feelings toward him as a man, and went Sunday to visit. So, I suggested Tuesday as an alternative, and we had a date for 10 am at the Brentwood Starbucks.
"SOMEONE WITH POWERFUL CONNECTIONS": Joe talks the way he writes -- rambling anecdotes, but fascinating. He really is as charming as Boyarski portrayed him. The focus for Joe's charm just then was the recent BBC program (which he has not seen yet, either.) He expects that A&E may pick it up and rebroadcast in the States, as they often rebroadcast other BBC specials. He also mentioned, as we already were aware, that the original version ran to 120 minutes, but was pared down to 75 for the broadcast. Among the material cut was the Shively segment, and the one on Heidstra. Both were a great loss, we all agreed. (I am particularly sorry, since I had heard through the back channels that when the BBC producers came out here last spring, they employed private investigators who reviewed the LAPD logs of "telephone tips" in the first weeks. They did find that people who would corroborate Jill's story had called and invited the police to interview them. Particularly the driver of the gray Nissan, and a man who had been in the gas station across the street. But, these potential contacts were not followed up because by the time they were known, Marcia Clark had rendered Jill Shively utterly useless as a witness, and her credibility was officially moot. The police put their limited resources behind other matters more useful to Clark's prosecution of Simpson.)
The most infuriating part of the BBC broadcast was that frequent on-air references to "Kardashian" in the Wasz segment were sanitized by broadcast time to "very close friend of Simpson," or some such. Joe also reminded us that he had worked long on a piece for Time magazine (using Time's money for the investigation), the editors were thrilled with the result, and at the very last moment orders came down from the executive suite -- apparently at the insistence of the lawyers that Joe's piece be pulled. Kardashian was featured in that article. We also know that the LA Times has suppressed from its archives the January 12, 1998 Bill Boyarsky column which mentioned an encounter with Bosco when he was working on the Wasz/Kardashian story. And the New York Times piece about Kardashian coming out of the federal grand jury hearing into sports betting was also squelched after appearing briefly.
It does appear that someone with powerful connections in the media/legal world is influencing what can be said in public about the Simpson case -- even all this time later -- and is using that influence to keep Kardashian from looking bad. This, of course, completely stymies Bosco, whose great resource is Wasz, and his (unfavorable) information about Kardashian. The forthcoming CBS Simpson-case special will feature the Schiller spin, and since Schiller is a collaborator of Kardashian's Bosco expects a whitewash of Kardashian. I do, too. Now that Kardashian has denounced Simpson to Barbara Walters (a couple of years ago) it is possible that the Kardashian slant can point in any direction.
WASZ: Since Joe had been to visit him at Calipatria Prison (on the southeast margin of the Salton Sea in Imperial County) just two days earlier, I asked how our favorite convict was.
Bill is very "up" just now, even though he is less than halfway through his twenty year sentence for armed robbery. He had heard that Kardashian's name has been expunged from the BBC broadcast, and he is furious about it. Although he doesnt any more than the rest of us know exactly what Kardashian's role in the June murders was, he is positive Kardashian had some connection. (I personally doubt Kardashian had a role in the murders.) Most important, Bill thinks that Kardashian had planned to use Wasz in a criminal plot, then murder him as a reward. That makes him plenty mad. As Bosco portrayed it in Wasz' supposed words, "I don't see why that bimbo, Marsha Clark could suppress evidence, denounce honest witnesses, screw up the prosecution, and get 4.2 million, while I am an innocent victim, and I get 20 years." We don't quite understand either, Bill. Maybe it is a simple case of selling your integrity.
Joe went on to explain that Wasz has a strong ethic of his own, surprising as that may seem for a career criminal, but Joe says he has also seen it in others. Among the important elements, Wasz does not think it is right to betray a fellow criminal (even though he betrayed Kardashian, but only because he THOUGHT Kardashian was going to betray him.)
I was interested that among the elements of the Wasz story, Bill claimed that in the course of his dealings with Kardashian he had to steal a camera and a gun in order to accomplish what Kardashian wanted. Bosco has interviewed the woman from whom those things were stolen, and she verifies the loss, and that they occurred at the time Wasz says. I take it as slight additional confirmation that Wasz is truthful in what he says about the circumstances that led him to a shootout with police in Barbiris Four-Runner.
LARRY LONGO: When the "Wasz today" topic was beginning to peter out, I changed the subject some, and said, "I was surprised that you referred to Larry Longo as your 'dear and trusted friend.' I am aware of the scandal involving Shuge Knight, and I thought Longo was much discredited. Please tell me what you can to give balance to what I have heard."
Bosco nodded with that expression of sad resignation that he sometimes has. "A bum rap for Larry, and done by Garcetti, I think." He went on to say that Longo was a career prosecutor who was not an admirer of Garcetti. (I have heard elsewhere that there are factions in the DA's office, and the whole office should not be painted with the brush that Garcetti and Clark deserve.) Longo is a well off man in his own right, and worked the DA's Office partly as a public service. Because Longo rubs elbows with LA's movers and shakers, he is in a position to throw very profitable fund raisers for Garcetti, but because he does not believe in the DA, he does not do that.
It came to pass that Longo's mother died (his father had previously died) and within the estate there was an unimproved Malibu beach house. Larry was managing the estate, and in the spirit of a good conservator, he had the place fixed up to match the high priced neighborhood that it was in, and called an agent to rent it out. It happened that the agent rented it to an attorney that was affiliated with the law firm that was representing Shuge Knight, and the appearance of a conflict of interest was thereby created, unknown to Larry. (Larry was the courtroom prosecutor of Knight at the time.) It also happened that the renter invited some guests from the music industry to stay there briefly, some of these were black, and the upscale residents of the Malibu colony (for all their posturing about how others should be racially tolerant) felt threatened. They called Garcetti and denounced Longo, hoping that the resulting flap would cause Longo to find a new tenant. But, Garcetti had his own agenda, and upon learning that there were the elements with which he could create a claim of conflict of interest, he caused Longo to leave the DAs office. (We notice that Longo was never prosecuted for malfeasance, as he should have been if there was any substance to the suspicion that he favorably influenced Knight's fate in exchange for money or favors.)
Bosco has convinced me, and I no longer consider that Larry Longo is a shady character (more than is obvious from the fact he is an attorney.)
As one can not "tell the players without a program" in the DA's office, Joe was able to give me a little insight about who the good guys are. Bill Hodgman is one, in Bosco's esteem, and he gets along well with Rockne Harmon and even Hank Goldberg. (Jill tells me that David Conn is another good guy.) Joe thinks that Hodgman is a career prosecutor that knows enough to have no ambition to higher position, and just wants to do his job well. I am sorry that I did not think to ask Bosco to explain the strange (to us) situation in which Hodgman went to court on the DA's behalf, and asked that the Simpson exhibits be removed from the public access.
"SOMETHING WRONG (OUT HERE IN LA)": Joe knew and had worked with Dr. Henry Lee long before the Simpson case. As many of us, Joe watched the unfolding events of the first week with curiosity, but not yet compulsion. Then the events of the first Friday night -- Kardashian's press conference and the surreal 'low speed chase,' and he was hooked. (As, suddenly, I was.) During the weekend coverage he saw that his old friend Dr. Henry Lee was in LA, looking into the situation, and Joe took an acute personal interest. He thought that Dr. Lee could give him some accurate insight, and called the good doctor's Connecticut office, talking to Dr. Lee's secretary, whose name Joe dropped, but which I have forgotten. She said that Dr. Lee was still in California, but would forward Bosco's inquiry. A few minutes later, Lee called Bosco and said, (in effect) "Get your ass out here." Joe did, and was part of the story ever since.
Not surprisingly, in view of his long association with Dr. Lee, Joe is fiercely defensive of the Connecticut forensic expert. Joe points out that Dr. Lee has received written apologies from three branches of the U.S. Justice department over their treatment of him in the Simpson case, and Joe defends Lee's testimony that the LADA assailed in 1995 (the "second shoeprints," in particular).
Bosco is too objective, in my view. He will not say absolutely that Simpson is guilty or innocent, but thinks that there is more than meets the eye here. If Simpson is guilty, he had help. If Simpson did not hold the knife that slayed the victims, he still knows much more than he has told. I think Joe finds my own idea that Simpson came on the scene after the fact to be increasingly interesting.
SCHILLER: Not surprisingly, Kardashian apologist and media entrepreneur, Lawrence Schiller, is a Bosco antagonist, today, though at an earlier time they were friends. Schiller is not only the author of "American Tragedy," but is at the center of the forthcoming CBS special about the Simpson case. Apparently, Schiller is a force to be reckoned with in media today, and Bosco says that a phone call from him to an editor can seriously impair a projects prospects.
LUPER: Lately, Bosco has been working with LAPD Detective Bert Luper, who also was one of the two who interviewed Wasz in 1994. According to Bosco, when Luper and LeFall returned from the Wasz visit on August 23, 1994, Lange and Vannatter were excited with what they had found, and were astonished that shortly later that the DA's office squelched further investigation. Defense attorneys were also aware of the Wasz story at the time, and amazingly, this was one of the few cases in which neither side would peruse a potentially explosive possibility. Well. We understand now that the DA did not want to dilute the case against Simpson with extraneous suspects, and we understand that Kardashian used his position inside the defense team to deflect them from interest in Wasz, which would have quickly led to him and Barbieri.
Bosco was unkind to Vannatter in his book, and Lange --Vannatter's long-time partner -- will not forgive Bosco for the slight. So, there is a strained relationship between Lange and Bosco. Luper is a mutual friend of both, and has acted as a go-between. (Joe himself thinks well of Det. Tom Lange.)
You will recall that during the latter stages of the Simpson case, entertainer Bill Cosby's son was murdered in Sepulveda Canyon, near Mulholland. Luper and one-time Fuhrman partner Brad Roberts both investigated the scene, and Joe has an anecdote about it that is interesting. It is one of several anecdotes that Bosco related in confidence, but as a result, Joe is distrustful of Roberts.
FUHRMAN: Speaking of Fuhrman, Bosco has a lot to say about him off the record -- and thinks that he is a suspicious presence in the case. I disagree with him on this point, and told him so, but Joe has investigated much, and had some to say that was new to me. He has confirmed rumors I had heard about Fuhrman's multi-dimensional and contradictory alibis for the hours before the murders, he has further investigated the mention in Fuhrman's book about his having lived in a certain Redondo Beach house for seven years, he told us stuff about Fuhrman's actions at Rockingham that we had not heard before,... But nothing directly supporting the "glove planting" allegation.
Most interesting to me, Joe commented on the big deal that Fuhrman made in his book about the "empty Swiss Army knife box" found in Simpson's bathroom. However, the box was not of a size to make a comfortable fit for the knife (though it could have physically fit in it) and the box did not have any Swiss Army markings on it. In fact, Bosco heard from his police informants, it was just "a box," and it could have been used to hold any small personal item -- jewelry, coins, keys, dope, etc. The most that we can say with confidence is that in his haste, probably at some time after 10:00 o'clock that Sunday night, Simpson took SOMETHING from this box, and left the empty box behind. (Before hearing this, and believing that this was definitely a Swiss Army knife box, it has always been my position that when Simpson gave a Swiss Army knife to a Connecticut limo driver a few weeks earlier, he might have kept the empty box for utility use.)
JILL SHIVELY: I interrupted to introduce Jill Shively's name into the conversation. I reiterated that I thought it would be a good idea for Joe to meet with her, and he agreed. He said that he would like to apologize to her for his unkind mention in A PROBLEM OF EVIDENCE. (The reader should be aware that Bosco and his publisher are absolutely protected from legal liability by Sullivan vs. New York Times in this matter, and so Joe's apology is heartfelt, and not a legal ploy. He knows it, and Jill knows it.) Joe explained that in the final pre-publication flurry of checking, the Shively matter was overlooked because of time pressure. His publisher was anxious to beat Toobin to the racks, and a few things that should have been done got short shrift. (As a matter of fact, Toobin beat Bosco by a few days.)
This morning I got a call from Jill, and when I mentioned the unfolding events with Bosco, she was excited; she is anxious to meet with him and bury the hatchet. [Bosco became unreachable to me shortly after this meeting, and I was never able to facilitate a Bosco/Shively meetingor further inquire about several subjects Bosco and we had discussed.]
TOM LANGE (citizen witness): You will recall that there has been mention of a citizen witness out walking his dog on that Sunday night, coincidentally with the same name as one of the LAPD detectives, Tom Lange. This man was walking northbound on Nicole's side of Bundy in the block south of her condo. When he reached the southeast corner of Bundy and Dorothy -- the corner of Storfer's house -- he looked ahead and saw some people. As the story is usually told, he saw Nicole in a white robe and a big black man in either an embrace or a confrontation, he couldn't be sure. At the curb there was a "white SUV". Since this witness was never brought to court, I doubted that there was anything to his story, but upon hearing now from Joe, I wonder if this is not an actual realization of what I have described fictionally as "K3."
Joe interviewed this witness, and what Joe heard is slightly different than what has been popularly circulated (particularly by Freed). According to Joe, Lange put the time of this incident at 10:05 (four minutes before the earliest time that Goldman could have arrived), and did not specifically identify Nicole, but "a blond woman." His distance from these people is great enough (more than 150 feet) that he could not be certain whether the woman was wearing a "white robe" or a "white coat." Lange had worked for Ford Motor Company, knew their products well, and what he actually identified was not "an SUV," but a "Ford vehicle" (presumably not an automobile). It could have been a van, such as the Windstar. Also, Lange saw three other men, arrayed some yards around the couple, "as a security detail," one on the near side of the sidewalk, one on the far side, and one in the street. Upon seeing this, Lange was too intimidated to continue, and turned west on Dorothy to take his dog in that originally unplanned direction.
I consider the possibility that the blond woman was "Margot," the black man she was embracing (or just talking to) was "Gus," and the other three were K2, K3, and a man who left immediately later with Margot. This is new information for me, and it will take some time to evaluate and assimilate it. But, I now take "Tom Lange" somewhat seriously. [Subsequently, we saw and were able to do a transcription of the E! television program which further refined our understanding about this incident.]
SPORTS BETTING & PORNOGRAPHY: Joe has found indications that lead him to believe that Simpson and Kardashian may have been involved in sports betting and/or pornography. I have listened to some of his reasons for believing "pornography," and I think they are weak and unconvincing, and I told him so. The "sports betting," seems very much in Simpson's character to me, and I take Bosco's findings to reinforce my own earlier suspicions in this area.
GOLDMANS BODY HEAVED: Joe said that in the days shortly after the murders he had drinks with some of the cops that had been at the scene. Among the reminiscences and brainstorming that went on in that session there was a group that had seen the place before the bodies were removed, and who thought it looked like Goldmans body had been dumped in that alcove where they saw it. But, nobody could explain why such a thing would have been done, so they discounted the possibility. But, according to Goldmans posture and position and the circumstances of the place, it sure did look to some as though his dead body had been thrown into that little place.
(Simpson case author shares some unpublished results of his investigations.)
Dick Wagner · Van Nuys, CA (7/05/02) bosco2.doc