NOBODY SAW

OVERVIEW: It has long been my idea that Simpson did not hold the knife that slayed the victims, but that he was lured (as by a phone call) to go to the scene of the crime just afterward, and that visit accounts for all the transfers of evidence from him to the crime scene, and from the crime scene to him. That evidence is all legitimate, I am sure. (He did bleed at Bundy, he did leave his blood on the back gate there, he did transport the bloody right hand glove -- on the console of his Bronco -- to Rockingham, and he did have Nicole's blood on his sock when he took it off in his bedroom.) Now, my reasons for believing this are years in the making, and the answers to the obvious question (Who did it? How lured? Why did he not explain, and save himself a lot of trouble?) take more space than is here available. For the moment, I would like to discuss one small topic -- new to me, and somewhat exciting.

    MURDER IN PUBLIC VIEW? In my re-creation of the crime, I have followed events minute by minute, and footstep by footstep. In this way, I have specified that the two murders occurred concurrently: one killer dispatched Nicole, while another attacked Goldman. Nicole was killed almost exactly where her body was found, but Goldman was killed just on the street side of the front gate. Immediately after he was dead, his body was heaved into the alcove where it was found (only two strides from where he was killed). Within a few minutes, the abundant blood from Nicole's slit throat ran down over the site of Goldman's murder and obliterated traces of that event.

    There have been two great objections to this idea: 1) that Goldman's body was not heaved into the alcove, but that he died there, and 2) that professional killers would not risk to do the crime ten to fifteen feet from a fairly busy public sidewalk just after ten o'clock at night, because they would fear being seen by passersby. The first of these is the subject of another discussion, and here I consider the second. Until now, it was my position that the murders were done quickly (1:20 minutes in my reckoning) and parties only come by that spot about three times an hour on a Sunday night, so the chances of detection were quite small (about 10%). The killers simply played the odds, I considered.

    But now, there is a new indication.

    BOSCO TALKS TO LANGE: In October, my friend, Rose, and I had coffee with Simpson case author Joseph Bosco in Brentwood. He is a fascinating man and knows much more about the Simpson case than he has published. Among that, he has interviewed Nicole's neighbor (different than the police detective of the same name), Tom Lange. The popularly circulated story among Simpson case junkies is that Lange was out walking his dog between 10:00 and 10:15 and going up Bundy saw Nicole in a white robe on the sidewalk in front of her condo embracing a black man; there was a white Bronco at the curb. Many wild stories have been advanced to explain this observation, but I have just dismissed the report as unreliable. Bosco told us what Lange actually saw.

    This man was walking northbound on Nicole's side of Bundy in the block south of her condo. When he reached the southwest corner of Bundy and Dorothy -- the corner of Storfer's house -- he looked ahead and saw some people. According to Bosco, Lange put the time at 10:05 (four minutes before my computations and re-creations show that Goldman arrived on the scene, and the murders commenced). Lange 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 "a Bronco," 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.

   LANGE'S OBSERVATIONS EXPLAINED: Long before hearing about Lange, I had reason to speculate that there was a woman who was very influential in the plan to commit these murders, though she was not a participant in the actual bloodletting. I have no idea what her name is, but for convenience of discussion I have called her by the name of "Margot." I now believe that the "blond woman in a white" coat that Lange saw was her -- a party to the plan to do the murders. Similarly, I think that the men with her were also part of the murder plan.

    I realize that this is a remarkable idea -- that the people who intend to do a murder in just the next few minutes gather around the location, in public view. Since one of the major objectives of planning a murder is to avoid been seen by potential witnesses, this would seem to be exactly counter-productive: to draw attention to the otherwise quiet spot of Nicole's front walk. But, it is not quite so strange as it at first seems. It is a common sight, on Brentwood evenings, that visitors to a dinner at one of those houses will congregate outside at the car for final words. We heard of a nearly similar thing from Pilnak and Telander, though their conversation was on Pilnak's porch, not a few yards farther, at the car. So, this group of five in front of Nicole's place would not be particularly remarkable. In fact, Lange himself was not alarmed by it, but just noticed it.

    Next, there is the detail that three men were arrayed "as in a security detail." That is not unusual in Brentwood, either, though it would be a cause to notice. That neighborhood is sometimes visited by VIPs as, in fact, President Clinton's motorcade drove by the restaurant where Marla and I had our first meeting, as I reported here long ago. There is some characteristic of stance and position for men in such an activity that make them instinctively recognized by anyone approaching, and the approaching person's natural reaction is exactly what Lange did: he goes another way, and does not pass by the guarded party.

    Finally, there is the detail that there was a vehicle parked there -- at the foot of Nicole's walk. Considering the number of people who were seen by Lange, probably a vehicle with fairly large capacity, like a van. This, then blocks the view up Nicole's walk from the street, or the sidewalk and houses on the other side. The net result of all of this is that the area of Nicole's front walk is "sanitized" from any innocent passersby that might witness events that happened there. Pedestrians will not venture up the sidewalk, and motorists and residents can not see.

    MURDER "IN PLAIN SIGHT": From the foregoing we see the way in which Goldman's murder could have been conducted on Nicole's front walk: the general public was excluded from the murder site, and their view was blocked, for a few critical minutes. The only ones who could have seen were those who were there exactly to exclude the public.

    But, what of Goldman? While everybody else had to be excluded from approaching Nicole's front walk, he had to be admitted. (It was essential to the plan that he page Nicole from her front gate.) How could that have been accomplished?

    Well, there are two factors. First, the unspoken message from the guards does not apply to all who would approach that place. If a homeowner was approaching his own front gate, he would expect that any security detail would accommodate him on that reasonable errand. It is, after all, a "public street," and nobody -- security detail or other -- has a right to obstruct it. But, most people just out for a stroll realize that they can as well stroll one place as another, and will not make an issue of it -- as Lange himself changed his course, and half an hour later, Heidstra changed his own course for another cause (the barking dog in the street). So, a person, like Goldman, who was on a legitimate errand that required him to pass into the guarded area would probably not turn away, but would get close enough to explain himself.

    Second, there are things that the guards themselves could do to encourage Goldman as they had discouraged Lange. Upon seeing Goldman approach, they could drop their "security detail" stance, and open the door to the van, as though about to leave. (Notice that to go from his apartment to where he parked at Nicole's, Goldman had to drive past Nicole's front walk. It was possible for the conspirators to recognize him go by and relax their deployment less than a minute before he showed up. Notice also with this scenario that Goldman is put very much off guard, since he is in the company of a nearby crowd.) The woman and the man she had been talking to could get into a car in the shadows behind the van, and drive off as Goldman heads up Nicole's walk. These actions would appear to Goldman to be an indication that whatever had been taking place was over, and the public was no longer excluded. Under this condition, and considering that he had a definite purpose to go to Nicole's gate, he probably would have continued without much thought about the action at the curb. This "about to leave" condition needs to continue for about 15 seconds, while Goldman goes to Nicole's intercom and engages her in a brief conversation.

    DURING THE MURDERS: Under this scenario, the man and woman are gone by the time Goldman finishes talking to Nicole. The three guards are loitering near the open door to the van, "Gus" is at his position lying in wait for Nicole at the northeast corner of the condo, and "K2" is in the dark mailbox niche by the intercom, waiting to attack Goldman.

    At the instant that Nicole finishes talking, and clicks off the intercom, K2 hears (from his hiding place, three feet away from Goldman). He is holding a low-power and very directional penlight beside his head, on the far side, away from Goldman. It is pointed to the van, and with it he flashes a signal that Goldman, from his position, can not see. One of the guards at the van can see, though, and calls out to Goldman, "Hey, buddy..." Goldman turns toward the sidewalk and takes a step in that direction. Behind him and unseen, K2 moves stealthily and quickly through the shadows, and before Goldman know what has happened, has his left hand over Goldman's mouth and a knife in his right hand at Goldman's throat, already administering the "threatening wounds" that Dr. Lakshmanan described, and demanding that Goldman sit, straight legged on the walk, facing the street. Thereupon the three guards -- now without the couple to guard -- resume their former "security detail" positions, and insure that no passersby approach the scene. They only have to stay in that position for a minute and a half; by then, the murders are done, the evidence is planted, the scene is composed, and Gus and K2 are climbing into the van.

    Once the van drives away, it appears that the murders have taken place "in plain sight" of the street, but in fact the location was so arranged that it was not in plain sight of anybody but the killers while the murders were in progress.

    ONLY OBJECTION: I can only think of one objection to this idea -- a theoretical one. It has been said that an axiom among professional killers is that the fewest number of people possible should be involved, so as to minimize the possibility of "leaks" afterward. The minimum number necessary to do the crime is two -- Gus and K2 -- but I have theorized five -- the actual killers and three guards. Few of us in the general public are honestly in a position to judge how compelling a factor this would be. And, maybe an exception could be made to accomplish the "Crime of the Century".



Dick Wagner • Van Nuys, CA (12/09/00) NG_687

back.gif (2777 bytes)