Only Simpson


BOB AUGUST:

    We have been having a discussion about the indications of who was present at the Bundy crime scene and you persistently assert (I paraphrase), "There was only evidence of three people there, the victims and Simpson. Therefore, Simpson must be the murderer."

    "UNKNOWN" SOURCES: I have pointed out that there is evidence ascribed to "unknown" sources (18 fingerprints, numerous hairs in the cap, assorted other hairs and fibers, ...) Although these are usually assumed to be from an innocent source (gardener, maid, children, wind borne, etc.), since they are "unknown" we can not be completely sure of that. You are unmoved.

    "IRRELEVANT" INDICATIONS: Then I point out that there are numerous pieces of evidence or circumstance of the crime that are disregarded as "irrelevant" (because they do not contribute to show Simpson guilty), and for which there is no explanation offered. These include the fruit label, the fact that Nicole's thumb ring was in the unlikely place under Goldman's body, the gate unlatcher that had recently failed, the improbable exact location of Simpson's blood on the back gate,... But you wave away the possible significance of these, even though they are just as much "facts" as the indications of Simpson's presence at the crime scene.

    SELECTIVE REPORTING: Finally, I have pointed out that the objective of the police in collecting evidence is to gather material which will help convict the suspect. As a result, they go to the places where the suspect has been and concentrate on collecting those things that they think will tie him to the crime. The universe is full of other places of information, but these are ignored or suppressed because they do not contribute to the objective of getting a conviction. (As an example, the police were perfunctory in their interview of the Mezzaluna witnesses, talking to them in a group, and in such a way that it was later impossible to know who contributed a particular datum -- as the presumed preceding relationship between Ron and Nicole.)

    In saying this, I do not mean to imply a conspiracy or a cover-up on the part of the police. It is just their traditional method of operating, not particularly with regard to Simpson, but in all cases. The police (1) figure out who they think did the crime, then (2) set about to collect material ("evidence") to convince a jury of their idea. The Simpson case is slightly complicated by the fact that at a VERY early point the police were influenced by a prosecutor who told them who she thought was guilty, and who she wanted to prosecute.

    But, you continue to believe that if there had been anyone but Simpson at the crime scene, it would have been seen in "the evidence," which you apparently consider to be exhaustive, and all revealing.

    A DRAMATIC INSTANCE: I think I have come upon a somewhat dramatic way to illustrate the fallacy of the idea that "the evidence" is exhaustive. Recall the famous "Fuhrman Points to Glove" photograph; I here show it as "CRIMESCN.JPG." In it, Det. Fuhrman is squatting down in thecrimescn.jpg (168784 bytes) alcove pointing to the glove and cap under the agapanthus plant.

    I have used an animation program to pose a figure of a man in roughly the same crouching/pointing posture as Fuhrman in the photograph. The result is shown as "FUHRMAN4JPG", herewith.
fuhrman4.jpg (22034 bytes)
    Then I took an overhead view of this figure and dropped it in a diagram of the crime scene. My source for the scene is the prosecution exhibit which shows an outline of Nicole's and Goldman's bodies, with the steps, walls, fence and gate in their correct relative positions. The resulting combination is shown here as "EXHIBITF.JPG," in which Fuhrman is shown in color, and the rest of the scene is black/white.exhibitf.jpg (45007 bytes)

    You will notice that there is very little space in the alcove, and Fuhrman takes up just about all that is not occupied by Goldman, plants, or structures. In fact, Fuhrman is almost literally in Goldman's lap, and if Fuhrman had moved his pointing finger just a few inches to the left, he would be touching Goldman's boot. Notice also that there few ways into the alcove, and the only obvious one is through the abundant blood stains around Nicole's head. (We can speculate that Fuhrman, who had shown his agility a little earlier at Rockingham, had gone over this wall and fence, too, a little farther toward the house, then gripping the fence had crept along the inside of it, along the wall, until he reached the end, and jumped down to the position where we see him. If so, he left footprints in the dust of the inside of the wall, fingerprints on the little fence atop it, and hair and fiber traces as he went.)

    In SOME way, Fuhrman got in and out of the position in which he was photographed, and yet in "the evidence" there is no indication of Fuhrman near the bodies, or going to and from them. This indicates that either 1) the evidence is incomplete, or 2) it is possible to come and go in a crime scene and leave less of an indication than you think, Bob. I think that both possibilities are the truth. But, whatever the explanation, it is certainly clear that people were present at the scene -- as we know from other means, as this photograph -- that are not revealed in "the evidence."

    I also remind you that when Officer Riske first arrived, and before the situation was as well understood as when Fuhrman posed, he too went into the alcove, and examined Goldman -- touched his eyeball, to determine his state of mortality, and whether a paramedic should be called. And there is no indication in "the evidence" that Riske was in the alcove, either.

    CONCLUSION: The evidence is a (pretty) reliable source to tell us who WAS there, but it is not reliable to tell us who WAS NOT (as some other assailant).

    You may assert that Fuhrman and Riske, being professional policemen, knew how to conduct themselves without leaving indications behind. I would answer that the true killers were professionals, too (professional killers) and knew as well as policemen how to do this. You may say that indications of Fuhrman and Riske did occur, but they were recognized and suppressed from the reported evidence. Then I would wonder what else was suppressed, because it also was recognized as not relevant to the purpose of the reported evidence -- which was to convict Simpson. Finally, you might say that in the violence of actual murder there is more opportunity to leave traces than in the simple act of visiting the place. I would answer that presupposes knowing how the crimes were committed. If the assailants were professionals, were well prepared, surprised the victims, vastly out matched them, and worked quickly, they might not necessarily leave much indication of themselves behind.

    Overall, Bob, "there is no indication of anyone but the victims and Simpson, so Simpson must be the murderer" does not work.

Dick Wagner • Van Nuys, CA (1/05/01) NG_700

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