A CAST OF FIVE
[Events on Bundy in black, at Rockingham in blue, en route in magenta. Cited articles are on the http://wagnerandson.com web site.]
10:05 -- Nicole's neighbor Tom Lange (different than the same-named LAPD detective) saw a man in a threatening posture on the sidewalk, and a woman by the curb talking to another man in a white truck on the west side of Bundy just north of Dorothy. (Lange was intimidated and went a different way than he had intended.) Presumably at this time, the main killers, K1, "Killer #1," (a.k.a Gus) and K2 were already hidden in place, waiting for Goldman to arrive and page Nicole. Also at that time, presumably the van was in place at the foot of Nicole's walk to block anyone from looking up the walkway from the street. (At least two vehicles are required if the blood-soaked K1 and K2 are to leave immediately after the crime, but also someone is going to stay behind to clean up loose ends, and verify Simpson's exact response to the luring phone call.) For convenience, call the people that Lange saw -- K3 is the man (a canine expert with his dog) in the truck, K4 is the man in the threatening posture on the sidewalk, and K5 is the woman.
Tom Lange information from the report he filed with LAPD at the time, as reported on the E! Program. The reason for believing that the murder was done by two professional killers is in "The Main Idea," and the details of how two professional killers could have done it consistent with the evidence are in "It Ain't the Astrodome."
Now we have five people at the outset, and two vehicles. The action unfolds this way...
10:08 -- The situation is still (3 minutes later) exactly as Lange saw it, but unknown to him there were also K1 and K2 in hiding positions at the condo and a dog in the truck. Goldman arrives and parks on Dorothy at the alley, sets to walking to Nicole's front gate. When he gets to Bundy, the woman recognizes him and says, "Oh, hi." Upon seeing the recognition, the threatening man (K4) turns away to let Goldman pass. As Goldman goes up the sidewalk, K3 comes out of the truck with his dog, and proceeds up the sidewalk about 50 feet behind Goldman. The threatening man resumes his position so no passerby can enter the area from the south.
Goldman's parking place according to LAPD testimony, 3/09/95. Goldman's time of arrival is developed in "Goldman's Last Free Minutes," and "Goldman's Last Trip."
10:09 -- Goldman pages Nicole from her front gate, and about the time when he is done with that brief conversation, K3 and his dog are on the sidewalk at the foot of Nicole's front walk. K3 hails Goldman, and Goldman turns around toward him. (The woman can see K3 do this from her position on the sidewalk near the truck. She gets in the truck and backs it up till it is just in front of the van.) Now Goldman's back is to the gate and to the niche behind the mailbox where K2 is hiding. K2 comes silently and quickly up behind Goldman while he is distracted by K3. Once K2 has Goldman under control with a hand over Goldman's mouth and a knife to his throat, K3 guides the dog to go up halfway to Karpf's gate to guard the area from passersby that might be coming from the north. By the time Nicole comes out her front door, Goldman has been subdued and silenced, but not yet butchered, on the front walk, seated, bent nearly double, K2 squatting behind him. Nicole comes down the walk a moment later and when she passes the north-east corner of the building K1 leaps out, strikes her on the right temple dazing her, and before she can collapse or cry out, he is behind her with his right hand over her mouth, the knife in his left hand goading her to continue toward the gate.
Goldman's posture when he is attacked is deduced in "Blood on Goldman's Clothes"; his location then is from "River of Blood." Mode of attack on Nicole is consistent with the coroner's testimony of 6/2 to 6/15/95. The two "threatening wounds" to Goldman's throat as reported by the coroner on 6/08 and particularly on 6/12/95, were the way that K2 compelled Goldman to sit down straight-legged on the walk, facing the street.
10:10:30 -- The murders are completed in less than a minute and a half. At the end certain adjustments are made: Nicole's body is positioned to optimize the blood pools, and her feet are jammed under a little piece of fence to prevent her from moving in "death throes"; Goldman's body is carried the few feet to the edge of the alcove and heaved in; Simpson's cap and left hand glove are tossed under the agapanthus plant, his right hand glove is dropped on Nicole's body; the area is quickly scanned with flashlights and any stray footprints are wiped up. The front gate is pushed to be left standing wide open, to later permit an observer across the street to see Simpson at the bodies, if he comes to the scene.
K1 and K2 get in the back of the truck, bringing a green sack of sundry evidence ( towels, flashlights, knives, ) with them; the engine is already going and the woman is at the wheel. As soon as the men are inside, the woman drives to a nearby quiet place (1-1/2 minutes away) and uses a cell phone to make the luring call to Simpson at 10:12; the call lasts three minutes. After the phone call, the woman drives the men to a safe house where they clean up while she cleans any trace from the inside of the truck. The evidence of the crime (bloody clothes, etc.) is put in green sacks, made repulsive to any scavengers, and tossed into a dumpster on the way taking K1 and K2 in a few minutes to the airport where they fly back to the city from which they came to do this job.
Simpson knows who (generally) is responsible for the crimes and why they have been committed; he also knows about the luring phone call and (if he goes for the bait and runs to Bundy) he knows why he made the trip. All of this information would be important to his defense. In order for the plot to succeed he must be intimidated from telling what he knows. Measures for that intimidation have been in place for months, but before the final details are launched the killers must know immediately as it happens whether Simpson visited the crime scene and whether he took away the glove, as they dared him to. So
K3, K4, and K3's dog get in the van at the foot of Nicole's walk and drive around the corner to park behind Goldman's car on Dorothy at the alley. K3 and K4 establish cell phone contact with each other and keep an open line. K3 (with his dog) intends to pose as a common dog walker and hang around on Bundy where he can watch to see if Simpson goes into the front of the condo, and K4 sets out to watch the alley, to see if Simpson shows up there. It is expected that if Simpson leaves his estate promptly and comes directly to Bundy, he should arrive at 10:25 or a couple of minutes before, but the killers can not be completely sure just what Simpson will do.
Quickness of the murders from Dr. Werner Spitz testimony 11/08/96.
10:15 -- The luring phone call is done, Simpson races around the house to verify the caller's claim that one of his gloves was stolen to be used in Nicole's murder to frame him. At Bundy, the condo has been "too quiet" of any human activity, and the fact awakens the Akita, sleeping in the children's room, and he goes prowling.
A related anecdote is presented in "Starting Timeline, Part 2." The phenomenon of dogs sleeping with "one ear open" is well known to dog owners. The only thing that Simpson appears to have done at Bundy is to remove the right hand glove. This implies that he knew it was there from the phone call, and taking it away (thereby to thwart the frame, he thought) was his whole purpose in making the trip.
10:17 -- Simpson leaves Rockingham six minutes before Allan Park arrives (but 7 minutes after Rosa Lopez sees the Bronco), so Park does not see the Bronco. On Bundy, the Akita has silently discovered the bodies and is trotting along Dorothy toward the alley. This is a great surprise to the killers, who had expected the Akita to show up, but to stay near the bodies on Bundy, and raise a ruckus there.
Bloody paw prints leading from murder scene down Bundy, going directly around the corner and fading out as they proceed west on Dorothy toward alley is per LAPD testimony, 3/09/95.
10:18 -- The Akita begins to bark from the alley. The killers had hoped (and expected) that the dog would loiter near Nicole's body until Simpson showed up and then interact with him in ways that would be revealed by a combination of Simpson's shoe prints and bloody paw prints; it would be perfect if the Akita followed Simpson some distance from the scene of the bodies.
K4 tells K3 about the dog's wailing in the alley via cell phone and K3 returns, stashes his own dog in the van, gets a spare leash, and sets out to corral the Akita. Because of this unexpected change of plan, K3 and his dog left their surveillance of Bundy Drive before Francesca Harman drove by (at 10:20) and saw nobody, Telander made a U-turn in the intersection of Bundy and Dorothy (at 10:23) and saw nobody, and Aaronson and Mandel walking down Bundy crossed Dorothy (at 10:26) saw neither man nor beast.
Criminal trial witnesses Stein, Storfer, and Fenjves, all with positions overlooking the alley, say that a dog started barking very conspicuously between 10:15 and 10:20. Fenjves said that he made a "plaintive wail," and sounded like "a very unhappy animal." Witnesses who did not see (or hear) the dog on Bundy Drive testified on 7/11/95.
10:23-1/2 -- Simpson does not go directly to Nicole's condo but stops briefly at his office first, arriving at his office building now, and is there for 7 minutes. (It takes him 4 minutes drive to Bundy/San Vicente, 2-1/2 minutes more to the building.)
Stay time at the building is from a private witness who once worked in that building and says that after hours, a tenant could visit the building, go up to Simpson's office, stay one minute, and come back to his car within 5 to 6 minutes. Estimated drive time from Bundy/San Vicente to office building is from a Sunday night re-enactment that Rose and I did on 5/19/02.
10:25 -- K3 has Akita on a leash, and in the van. K4 sets out to loiter in shadows of the alley and watch for Simpson's arrival behind the condo, if he comes there. Dogs in yards bordering the alley continue to bark sporadically, stimulated by K3's labors to leash the Aktita, the loitering of K4, the later arrival of Simpson, and finally the arrival of Karpf. (These are the "dogs" that Stein heard over an extended period after the loud Akita woke her up, but which more distant observers overlooking Nicole's alley didn't notice.) K3 drives the van with the Akita and his own dog to the last parking space before the Bundy/Gorham curve on the east side of Bundy, and watches for Simpson if he comes by the front.
10:30-1/2 -- Simpson leaves office building and drives a route of San Vicente/Montana/Bundy, coming down Bundy from Montana.
10:33 -- Simpson arrives at Bundy/Gorham curve. K3 recognizes the Bronco, and takes the dogs out of van after Simpson passes. Akita starts barking, and Heidstra (approaching on Gorham) hears and turns back to go across the alley rather than down Bundy.
Heidstra's testimony of 7/11/95. Also, our Sunday night reconstruction shows that it took 2-1/2 minutes to drive from Simpson's office building to the Bundy/Gorham curve. Pilnak heard the Akita begin to bark on Bundy at "10:33 to 10:35" according to her reconstruction that began with the time of an entry on her telephone bill at 10:28.
10:34 -- Simpson arrives in alley behind condo, heads immediately for Nicole's back gate and scales it. K3 and dogs progress south on east side of Bundy; they will stop when K3 is opposite Nicole's front walk, and he has a view from across the street and down as far as Nicole's front porch.
Geometry from "Condo Layout."
10:35 -- Karpf arrives home, just missing Simpson behind Nicole's condo. In fact, Karpf's arrival in the alley may have coincided with Simpson's going over the gate, made Simpson frantic to get out of sight, and contributed to carelessness that caused Simpson to cut his finger in the process.
Per testimony of 2/8/95 and 10/25/96 of Karpf's reconstructed times. Also, our 5/19/02 re-enactment of Karpf's drive home from LAX. (See "Louis Karpf.")
10:38-1/2 -- Simpson has been to the bodies and is leaving with the murder glove; K3 has seen him, and he juggles the two dogs to release the Akita's leash from the collar in hopes that the Akita will chase through the blood in the crime scene after Simpson. The Akita bolts instead, leash still attached, and starts running north in the street, barking. K3 yells "Hey, hey, hey," to call the dog back, so he can get the leash, at least, and then K3 growls harsh commands at the dog (this is the "deep voice fast talking" that Heidstra heard). It doesn't work. The Akita runs up towards Karpf's place, barking in the street, and K3 with the other dog follows on the east sidewalk. Karpf comes out and sees both dogs and K3 from his mailbox seconds later.
Heidstra's description of hearing this from his testimony of 7/11/95 and E! interview. Behavior of Akita and man with the dog on opposite sidewalk from Karpf's testimony. Time of Heidstra's observations from "Heidstra's Timeline." The technique of a man first yelling and then growling at an unruly dog to get him to obey is well known to many dog owners.
10:39 -- When Karpf comes out to his mailbox, the Akita charges at him, barking, and Karpf retreats behind his gate, slamming it, as Heidstra hears. The Akita moves off and then continues north, still with the leash attached. K3 and his dog also proceed north, following after him.
The location of gate that Karpf slams and Heidstra hears is developed in the analysis of "Red Tile Roofs." The behavior of the Akita and the fact he had a leash is from Karpf's testimony (see "Louis Karpf").
10:40-1/2-- Karpf has got his mail and goes back into his condo.
Karpf testified that he was out by the mail boxes for "a minute or two."
10:41 -- K3 corrals the Akita long enough to get the leash off, loads his own dog into the van, and talks to K4 on the cell phone. He says the action is too wild on Bundy, and too many unpredictable things have happened. K4 should walk over to Gretna Green and K3 will drive Bundy/Montana/Gretna Green and pick him up at Dorothy. The Akita, now free of K3 and the leash, continues to run and bark in the street, moving back south, first to the condo and then to Dorothy Street.
Tistaert's testimony of 2/08/95.
10:41-1/2 -- Heidstra, now under "big tree" on Dorothy, sees Simpson's Bronco turn right from Dorothy and go down Bundy.
Heidstra's testimony of 7/11/95. The time of this from "Heidstra's Timeline."
10:43-1/2 -- Shively nearly collides with Simpson at San Vicente and Bundy. She positively identifies Simpson before he continues north on Bundy toward Rockingham.
Shively's testimony of 6/21/94 in grand jury. Time to drive from Bundy/Dorothy to Shively's sighting is per my re-enactment of 11/29/98. (See "Tooling Around Brentwood.")
10:48-1/2 -- Simpson arrives home, enters through Rockingham gate, gets book bag from Bentley, stashes bloody Bruno Magli shoes in there, realizes that he can not continue into the house without Park seeing him, and hatches impromptu diversionary plan. Creeps beyond the yard lights to passageway that leads beside garage to outside of Kato's wall, still with crime scene glove in his right hand.
Time to drive from where Shively had seen him to Simpson's estate is per Vannatter's re-enactment. Simpson's entry into his estate is from "Over the Salinger's Fence [NOT]."
10:51 -- Simpson pounds three times on Kato's wall to attract his attention to come out front where Kato will distract Park from seeing (he hopes) as Simpson enters his house. Simpson returns to shadows by Bentley to wait for Kato to appear.
Time of three thumps is per various reconstructions of Kato concerning the period (2 to 5 minutes) from the time he heard the three thumps to the time he set out for the front yard.
10:52 -- On Bundy, Steven Schwab encounters the Akita, discovers blood on it, observes the dog's strange behavior. Akita follows Schwab home.
(See "Steven Schwab: Strange Encounter.")
10:55 - Alan Park sees Kato arrive on the north walk from the back yard, then stop dead just before entering the driveway area. Immediately as Kato stops Park sees a "shadowy figure" (Simpson) cross the driveway and go into the house. The lights go on in the house. As soon as Simpson has passed, Kato continues toward the south walk to investigate the three thumps. The bloody Bruno Magli shoes are in a book bag (later to be loaded into the back seat of the limo and ultimately disposed of) and Simpson lost the right hand crime scene glove in the darkness behind Kato's wall. The sweat suit Simpson wore to the scene of the crimes had traces of blood (mostly Simpson's) on it, and was laundered that night in the washing machine in Simpson's laundry room, where it was found, still wet, by detectives the next morning.
The time of the "shadowy figure" is accurately known from telephone records, insofar as Park was on the phone then, and hung up seconds later. Kato's behavior after he came to the front of the estate is described in "Kato's Complicity".
True as all of the foregoing is, it raises confounding new questions, most obviously: Why would anybody want to go to so much trouble (and expense) to murder Nicole and frame Simpson (and incidentally, murder Goldman, too)? Almost as vexing is the question, Why would Simpson stonewall about his going to Bundy after the murders, when it almost cost him a life in prison, and did cost him his fortune and his former good reputation?
The evidence of the trials (witness testimony and crime scene photographs) does not have much to say on these subjects, and until somebody talks we can only speculate. And, speculate I have. <G>
(A detailed scenario of events on Bundy in which all the witnesses can be believed -- absent irresolvable contradictions -- and which is consistent with all of the physical realities of the situation.)
Dick Wagner Van Nuys, CA (6/14/02) CAST_OF5.htm