BROAD BRUSH CONCLUSION

JOHN JUNOT:

    On 7/12/01 you posted an interesting comment, and I have been thinking about it since. You said (in part), "I have never been against any particular ... detail of Dick's, but rather the overall conclusion that the idea of ANYONE conceiving of, getting conspirators to agree to, and successfully carry out such a convoluted and overly complicated plan is simply not credible." [The details you refer to are contained in over 100 articles discussing different specifics of the case on our web site at http://wagnerandson.com.]

   THE OBVIOUS EXPLANATION: The obvious story told by the details of the evidence is very strange, and seems so unlikely as to be rejected out of hand... We know from several independent paths of evidence (Simpson's finger wound, the five drop trail, Simpson's blood leading to his own home, the bloody sock in his bedroom, bloody glove behind Kato's wall, Bruno Magli shoes, victim blood in the Bronco, no verifiable alibi, the Shively and Heidstra sightings, etc.) that Simpson was at the crime scene at or shortly after the crime was done. But, in the details of the crime, there are a number of indications that are inconsistent with anything resembling the prosecution case (too little blood in the Bronco; nobody heard a victim scream; one 45-year-old man, in quick succession, kills with a knife a fit 35-year-old woman and a fit 25-year-old man; Goldman's body heaved into the alcove after he was dead; Nicole's feet deliberately jammed under the fence; Lakshamanan's description of Goldman's "testing" and "threatening" wounds; the distribution of blood on Goldman's face and clothes; etc.).

    So, when this case is just sketched out with a broad brush, it looks like Simpson did not do the crime, but he visited the scene while the blood was still flowing (even though he denies such a visit).

    DISSONANCE REDUCTION
: But, this obvious and simple explanation seems so bizarre, and creates so many new unanswerable questions, few people give it any serious thought. However, not believing the broad brush conclusion puts them on the horns of a dilemma, and creates a psychological state of dissonance. This can be resolved by 1) disbelieving the indications of Simpson's presence at the crime scene because of an LAPD plot to frame him, 2) believing that some third party created all of the physical evidence of Simpson's presence that the cops found, or 3) disbelieving the indications that he did not kill the victims. Any of these courses requires one to anesthetize normal critical thinking.

    The defense in the criminal trial took the first option, and tried to create doubt in the comprehensive indications that Simpson was at the crime scene on the night of the murder. Of course, even if this succeeds in getting Simpson off (as it did) it leaves unanswered the question of who did the crimes and why. And, it involves such arcane subjects as "daughter products" in EDTA analysis and fanciful imaginings of contaminated blood flying across a forensic laboratory at just the right time, and landing in just the right place. (And MUCH more.) In the end, virtually everybody in the LAPD who touched the case would have to have been in on a plot to frame Simpson (or remarkably inept) in order for this theory to be believed. And so, those who do not have a predisposition to believe that all cops are bad rejected the criminal defense argument, and rushed to the logic, "Simpson was there, so he musta done it." (That might be reasonable logic, if it were not for conflicting indications that he didn't do it.)

    The second alternative (a third party planted the evidence that the cops found) requires a far more elaborate plot than my scenario, and needs access to Simpson's house and car, and the incredible coincidence that he would suffer a bleeding wound at just the right time. I have called this the "Mission Impossible" approach, recalling that TV series in which a team of conspirators covertly anticipated and overcame every obstacle to their operation. It works on the small screen, but not in real life.

    But, in order to believe Simpson was the murderer (the third alternative), one has to ignore the clear implications of much evidence, as mentioned above. This, then, makes the no-Js (believers in Simpson's guilt) as irrational as the pro-Js (who believe that Simpson did not go to Bundy.) They are just as agile in concocting implausible explanations as their antagonists, and in believing them earnestly. (E.g., quarts of blood flowed in this murder, and contact between victims and killer was close and energetic. Yet only a couple of drops of victim blood was found in Simpson's Bronco, and -- except for the sock and the right hand glove, both of which indicate a visit rather than direct involvement in the murders -- no other victim blood associated with Simpson.)

    So, there are serious problems in accepting any of the usual visions of this crime that are advocated here. But, human nature is flexible, people will believe whatever is required to resolve the conflict, and the argument continues yet between factions that have made opposite accommodations to make peace in their own minds.

    GOING WITH THE FLOW
: Being unable to wish away either 1) the indications that Simpson was at the crime scene at or immediately after the crimes were done, or 2) the several indications that he did not do the crime with his own hands, I have accepted the broad brush conclusion: somebody else did the crime, and Simpson visited the site a few minutes later. Maybe it would have been best to simply leave the issue at that point -- which is about as far as there is direct evidence to guide us.

    But, this explanation of the crime is loaded with glaring questions, begging to be answered. Who actually did the murders, how, and why? Why did Simpson go to the scene so quickly afterward -- especially in view of his immediately pending plane flight? Why did he bring home the incriminating right hand glove and leave behind the other glove and the cap? Why did he drop the glove in that goofy place behind Kato's room? How did he injure his finger? Why has he never explained this trip to Bundy, even when so much was at stake? What, specifically, was going on with Nicole that night to account for the strange disposition of evidence found by the police in her condo? Why did she go outside where she would be vulnerable to attack? What, exactly was the dog's experience/involvement that night? What was Simpson's connection to the murderers (if any)? Were her glasses really "lost" as Juditha speculates, or were they manipulated to facilitate the murder/frame plot? How does Faye Resnick fit into the story? How about Barbieri and Kardashain -- did they have a role?

    The direct evidence is pretty much bereft of any clue on these important topics, and if one wants an answer, he has to speculate. And, so I have, and the result I have come to is the "convoluted and overly complicated plan" that you object to, John. Very well, I am open to another, but it must conform to the broad brush interpretation, since the direct evidence tells us that is true to a virtual certainty. Simpson came to the crime scene about 20 minutes after the victims were dead, and left about 5 minutes later. What is your explanation for this?

    REASONABLE CONJECTURE: My scenario, which you judge to be "convoluted," is consistent with everything I have been able to learn about Simpson's (and Nicole's) life and character before the murders. I have formed my concept to be consistent with the evidence, when it is available, and other information, when it seems reliable. As a result, I believe that the scenario I propose is the most reasonable that outsiders like ourselves can form. And, in fact, I believe that the truth is very much like my proposal.

    Taking as my premise Simpson's after-the-fact visit to Bundy, I am now free to look at the evidence with fresh eyes to understand what happened. From this it appears that the two victims were killed concurrently, by assailants of different skill. In Nicole's murder, there is not a single mark on her body that is not purposeful; but Goldman was butchered. Also, the fatal wounds to Goldman were distinctly different (deep stab wounds) than the butchering wounds (cuts with the edge of the knife), as though one assailant who had tried to kill Goldman by attacking his neck held him helpless at the end while another stabbed him. The two-assailant idea neatly explains why there were no screams -- both victims were surprised, and the first action of the assailants was to cover the victims' mouths with a hand. Since a two-assailant concept neatly fits all the evidence, I accept that for my scenario, and also include the fact that one of them (Nicole's killer) was expert in the art of killing with a knife.

    This, now, implies a professional "hit," and since high quality hits are usually available only from organized underworld sources, suggests that the crimes were done by, if not at the behest of, "the mob" (whatever particular organized crime group that is.) I look now to see how reasonable it is that Simpson and/or Nicole would have traffic with the mob, and I see some interesting things... Weller tells us that some of Simpson's friends had contact with the underworld, and one of them had his kneecap broken in the course of that; another went to prison. Simpson himself flew to New York once to partake in a "mob dinner conclave." Although this was more an entertainment than a serious business contact -- according to Weller's sources -- it does indicate that Simpson was intrigued to rub shoulders with underworld figures. We also see that Al Cowlings served as chauffeur and body guard to a reputed mob figure that relocated to the Westside, and Denise Brown was caught by TV cameras in an east coast airport on the arm of another reputed underworld figure. Kardashian made his fortune in the recorded music industry, which is infamous for its contact with underworld figures. According to Bill Wasz, Simpson (and occasionally Nicole) often bought cocaine from him, so the Simpsons were not entirely fastidious about the law in their daily lives, and of course Simpson had several experiences of weaseling out of wife beating raps, even when Nicole complained, and had the bruises to back up her story...

    So, we actually see many examples that Simpson and his circle of acquaintances were comfortable (as I would not be) in hobnobbing with gangsters, and seemed confident that he could break the law with impunity because of his wile and his money. It is therefore not unreasonable that the mob involvement in the murders stemmed from some connection that Simpson had with the mob before the murders. But, what connection?

    Well, in the year preceding the murders, Simpson was a VERY conspicuous celebrity personality. His two major activities were providing color for telecast football games, and acting as a spokesman for Hertz Rental Cars. In the latter activity, one of his frequent tasks was to go golfing with very distinguished men -- corporate officers, other celebrities, politicians, ... In that number there were many wealthy men, and most of them were interested in sports -- as they were interested in golf, and in being with OJ Simpson. It is my conjecture that Simpson was recruited by an illegal sports betting ring to steer these potential "high rollers" to their enterprise by simply passing on to them an (800) phone number, in return for which service Simpson would get a "finder's fee," conveniently off the books. It is my impression from what I have read about Simpson's character that he would have gone for such a deal in a heart beat.

    But, it is also my impression that Nicole, when she got wind of such activity, would not have gone along. At the time (1993) the experience of Pete Rose in being banished from organized baseball because of sports betting was fresh on many minds -- I am sure that Nicole was aware of it. And, Rose was only a customer of professional gambling, not working for the house, as OJ was. So, I expect that Nicole would have insisted that Simpson withdraw from the arrangement with the mob, and renounce the mob to those he had previously steered to it. Therein lie the seeds of a conflict (probably beginning about October, 1993) between the mob on one side, and Nicole/OJ on the other. It is my further conjecture that Nicole's eventual murder and the framing of Simpson for it was the mob's resolution of this conflict.

    (Other people have speculated on different illegal activities that Simpson and/or Nicole were involved in; illegal sex businesses have been mentioned -- pornography or prostitution. But, there is not a bit of hard indication that these up-scale people had any interest in, or contact with -- much less a business connection to -- such businesses. It is my interpretation of their natures that such a business would have been much out of character for them. This is in contrast with Simpson's well documented connection with professional sports, and the people in and interested in it. And, of course, many people have claimed that Simpson or Nicole could have been "involved in drugs," in some unspecified way, for no other reason than "drugs" is a pervasive sin among Westside celebrities.)

    Now, what I have described, John, is a conjecture consistent with the situation that existed in the year before the crime, harmonious with the evidence elicited at the trials, and proceeding from the most obvious explanation of the indications: Simpson's after-the-fact visit to Bundy. Most important, it creates a starting point for fleshing out a scenario in which the crime is planned and executed by experts -- professional killers, who know how to do it perfectly. It is also the answer to your objection about "the idea of ANYONE conceiving of, getting conspirators to agree to, and successfully carry out such a ... plan." That's what organized crime is, John; it is an ORGANIZATION of people who are willing to participate in a crime, and have the experience to do it expertly. (E.g., are able to work without leaving any conspicuous indication of themselves.)

   "OVERLY COMPLICATED" You charge that this is an overly complicated plan, John. Well, I suppose it is complicated, but like a military operation it has to contend with an adversary (the cops, in this case) and it has to anticipate every eventuality before the fact. And, because of Simpson's fame and status, it is known at the outset that this will get absolutely the highest scrutiny -- by the public, as well as the authorities. So, extraordinary planning and care is required if framing Simpson is to succeed. That is why I am not disturbed to see signs (the failed Wasz plot) as early as January, 1994, and believe that the root dispute goes back to October, 1993. And, for all their care, I see several examples of things that did not go as planned and hoped. (E.g., I am sure it was expected that the police would find Simpson's Bruno Magli shoes splattered with blood, but he was able to dispose of those.)

    Also, it is important to distinguish between the knowing conspirators (the actual assailants, for example) and several people who were manipulated into unwittingly abetting the plot (Juditha, Faye, Denise, Nicole herself, and even Simpson). It is a mistake to believe that every important action was done with the perpetrators' own hands. With lies and deceit it is possible to motivate people to do things they think are in their own interest, which actually facilitate a plot against themselves. I think there was a lot of that in this crime. It is a mark of the highest level of criminal professionalism, I believe.

    I don't expect that you are any more persuaded now than before about my scenario, John, but if you have followed me to here, you will see that I have not completely snatched my scenario out of thin air, and have some reasons for what I believe.


Dick Wagner • Van Nuys, CA (7/21/01) NG_724

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