Right Before Our Eyes

RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES

    [If you already know the story of Jill Shively's experience, please skip directly to the bottom, "Only One Accuser".]

    JILL SHIVELY: To recap the well known situation regarding this important witness:

    * Jill was on a late evening errand, and traveling between her Santa Monica apartment and a market in Brentwood at about 10:40 on June 12, 1994 when she came to the intersection of San Vicente and Bundy. A white Bronco with its lights out, travelling northbound on Bundy dashed into the intersection against the red light, and she almost collided with it. Both cars swerved, the Bronco wound up with its front wheels on the grassy San Vicente median, and then maneuvered to continue his flight. But his way was blocked by a gray Nissan in the westbound San Vicente lanes. The Bronco driver leaned out and shouted and gestured to the Nissan driver, and at this time Jill had a clear observation of the Bronco driver from 15 or 20 feet away, and in a well lit intersection. She saw that it was a large black man, and her immediate impression was that it was Marcus Allen, whom she had seen around Brentwood. But then the Bronco driver turned his face to her and glared, and she realized it was O.J. Simpson, whom she also knew on sight from that neighborhood. A moment later when the Bronco driver yelled at the Nissan, and she heard the voice, she was positive that the Bronco driver was O.J. Simpson. A minute after the encounter began the intersection was clear and the Bronco sped off.

    * The next evening, after being aware of the Bundy murders and seeing the enormous preoccupation on the TV news, Jill called the LAPD to report what she had seen the night before. She was passed around on the phone among several people, eventually giving her name, phone number, and account to someone at Parker Center, but the experience was not much more than leaving a message on an answering machine. The first time she actually discussed her experience with the LAPD was on Tuesday the 14th when detectives called her for elaboration; it was these contacts she was referring to in the grand jury when she said her first contact with the LAPD was on Tuesday. On Wednesday the 15th she was visited by Det. Phil Vannatter who took a written report.

    * Even before the Wednesday interview, Jill's identity was well known to the media, probably through a leak in the LAPD. When she got home from work on Tuesday, her apartment was mobbed by reporters and film crews. (From this, it is reasonable to expect that an aggressive, pro-active attorney like Robert Shapiro, who was representing O.J. Simpson, would also know Jill's identity and story.)

    * On Saturday, June 18th, Jill was visited by two detectives who interviewed her further, made another report, and presented a subpoena to appear on Tuesday the 21st before the grand jury downtown. (They also advised that they would provide transportation and escort, and it was arranged that she would meet them at a Westside hotel on Tuesday morning to be picked up.)

    * On Monday, June 20th, Jill took her subpoena to work and showed it to co-workers. She also updated them on the experiences that she had been sharing that flowed from the Simpson incident. In mid-day she received a phone call from the producer of the TV new magazine, HardCopy, inviting her to visit the Paramount Studios (where HardCopy was located) to "talk about her experience." There was no mention of an "interview" or payment for such a thing in this phone call. We don't know exactly what was said, but it must have been persuasive, since Jill at that point had a rather negative attitude about TV productions, she had been so mobbed by them since the previous Tuesday.

    * At Paramount on Monday afternoon, she talked to people she later learned were on the production staff of HardCopy, for the purpose of "giving them background." In the course of those discussions, the concept of an on-camera interview evolved, since the man who would conduct the interview "just happened to be" part of the conference that was discussing Jill's experience, "to set the record straight." In a situation that seemed to Jill to be spur of the moment, but which was probably carefully contrived, an interview was agreed to, and to sweeten the pot, HardCopy would pay her a pro forma fee of $5,000. Some papers were pushed in front of her to "make it legal," and she signed. The lights came up, a sheaf of papers magically appeared in the interviewer's hands, and the camera's rolled. It was done.

    * On Tuesday morning, the 21st, Jill appeared at the Westside hotel, met Zlomsowitch, who was also being taken downtown, and traveled to the Criminal Courts Building. In the grand jury waiting room she met Kato Kaelin and other witnesses. The procedure was that before witnesses were presented to the grand jury they were hurriedly interviewed by the prosecutors, in this case, Marcia Clark and David Conn. During Jill's interview she was asked if she had told anybody of her experience as a Simpson case witness, and she misunderstood the question. She thought they asked, "Who was the FIRST person you talked to," and she said, "My mother." It's hard to believe that Clark took Jill's answer as a literal response to her question, since at that very moment Clark was in possession of the report that the detectives had made from the Saturday interview, and they were "people Jill had talked to about the incident" beyond her mother.

    *On Tuesday afternoon, Jill appeared before the grand jury, and gave her account. The version that the grand jury heard was not quite what Jill would have told them if she were speaking spontaneously, but Marcia Clark was in control of the questions, and so shaped the testimony to suit her own needs. In particular, Jill had told Marcia about an "8 to 10 minute error in the little stick-on clock in my car." Including this produced an inconvenient timeline for Clark, and so she shaped the testimony to ignore that vital detail, and to also make it appear that the time of the encounter was supported by clocks at Jill's home, and in her destination at the market. (A careful reading of the transcript shows that is not true.)

    * On Tuesday evening the HardCopy interview aired. Among the viewers was a person who had known Jill from at least a year and a half previously: Brian Patrick Clarke, a has-been soap opera actor whose career was in bad need of a jump start. According to Bosco (p. 8,9), after seeing the program Clarke called a distant relative who worked in the DA's office and denounced Shively as a liar. According to Marcia Clark (p. 62 - 65) Clarke also sent her a fax that night denouncing Shively. (I would not know how to come up with Marcia Clark's fax number at work on a Tuesday night, would you?)

    * Apparently on Wednesday Marcia had a telephone conversation with Clarke, and learned that he had been involved with Jill in a small claims action the previous year. Since she was presenting witnesses to the grand jury that day, Clark probably could not have given the matter much of her personal attention, but may have asked others to "investigate" for her.

    * On Thurday, the 23rd, Jill was called back before the grand jury, and her mis-statement about who she had told about her Simpson case experience was exposed. On that account, Marcia Clark denounced her as an unreliable witness, and the DA's office never breathed her name again. The media misinterpreted this (the grand jury proceeding were "secret" and exact transcripts were not known at the time). It was publicized that Clark had lost faith in Jill because of the HardCopy interview.

    * Within the next week, American Journal produced a program in which Brian Clarke was interviewed, and publicly denounced Shively. Jill would like to have replied to his charges, but she was advised to look at the fine print in the papers she had signed at Paramount on Monday: She was barred from any TV or print interviews at that time.

    ONLY ONE ACCUSER: Bosco says that the DA's office "checked out" Clarke's story, but he does not say what was checked or what was found. Marcia Clark says there was a "paper trail," but does not tell us what was in it other than the fact that there had been a small claims dispute between Clarke (plaintiff) and Shively in the amount of $6,000 which was settled with a $2,000 judgment for Clarke. (And, Clark does not mention that this was a stipulated judgment, meaning that Shively agreed with it.) If there was no more to be known than the published accounts it looks as though Marcia Clark jettisoned the most important single witness in the "Trial of the Century" because she was involved in a $2,000 small claims action a year and a half earlier, and the opponent in that was an out-of-work soap opera actor who was carrying a grudge. Enough of a grudge that he immediately made a night-time call to someone he knew in the DA's office, and faxed a middle-of-the-night letter to the DA handling the case. Enough of a grudge that he went on national TV to make his charges public. On only this suspicious basis, Marcia Clark acted.

    There is no other claim that I am aware of (and I've researched this subject pretty thoroughly) against Jill Shively's reputation than the vengeful words of Brian Patrick Clarke. (In the small claims action he thought he was entitled to $6000 and only got $2000, which Jill would have given him without going to court.)

    BETTER SIT DOWN: Now, who is this man who single-handedly destroyed the most devastating witness against O.J. Simpson? Let me introduce him to you. In Simpson's own book, "I Want to Tell You" (p. 168+4,5) there is a picture of "us guys," at a 4th of July baseball game that Simpson organized for his male friends. (Later on the same day, Simpson hosted these pals to a barbecue at his Rockingham estate.) I have reproduced the relevant portion in an accompanying graphic [IWANNA_3.JPG].iwanna_3.jpg (18636 bytes) The circled man is Brian Patrick Clarke.

    Nice going Brian, you got your bud off the hook big time. Jill positively identified Simpson as fleeing the scene of the crime at about the time it happened; without you, the decision could very well have gone the other way, even with that jury. I hope he later appreciated.

    For comparison, a black and white promotional picture from the "Eight is Enough" site is also shown here [BPC.JPG].bpc.jpg (14497 bytes)

    RUBBING OUR NOSES IN IT: It's bad enough that Simpson and his attorneys hijacked the criminal justice system and the media, and destroyed the reputation of an innocent woman, but he has also made fools of you and me. By publishing a fraternal picture of Clarke in his own book, Simpson has been boasting for almost five years about how he put one over on us. He has bragged to the world that the man who single-handedly destroyed the most damaging witness against him was his old pal, Brian Patrick Clarke. Simpson is laughing at us, friends, from his posh hotel suite in Brentwood.

    We just did not realize how brazenly we had been duped. Until now.

Dick Wagner • Van Nuys, CA (9/22/99) NG_582

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