On the evening of July 12, 1994, Nicole Brown – ex-wife of NFL star O.J. Simpson – was discovered dead on the stone walkway of her Brentwood home. The 35-year-old mother of two had been stabbed repeatedly in the head and neck, nearly decapitated, and left birthing a dark-red river of blood that bifurcated into the footpath’s cracks. Nearby, her friend Ron Goldman – a waiter at Mezzaluna, the restaurant where Nicole dined earlier that night – lay slumped at the base of a tree. Goldman had been forced into a chokehold and stabbed multiple times in the neck and body. Both victims displayed minimal defense wounds on their hands, suggesting Brown and Goldman had been easily overpowered and quickly succumbed to their injuries. Bloody footprints and drops of the assailant’s blood revealed the killer had simply walked away from the scene.
Following the murders, LAPD contacted Simpson to explain what'd happened. More importantly, they needed Simpson to pick up his children, 5-year-old Justin and 8-year-old Sydney, who were sleeping in Brown’s condo when their mother was slaughtered. Though Simpson seemed upset by the news of Brown’s passing, he was procedurally called in for questioning and examination on July 13; this required a blood sample that Simpson gave voluntarily. On July 17, after receiving blood-test results linking Simpson to the killings, detectives suggested he be charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Though Simpson had already begun forming a legal “Dream Team,” including lawyers Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian, he quickly drafted what many considered a suicide note and fled in his white Bronco. With fellow NFL star Al Cowlings behind the wheel and Simpson – an unhinged and feeble version of his former self – in the backseat with a gun to his own head, the two led a low-speed police chase that became one of the most-watched events in history; it attracted an estimated 95-million viewers nationwide. Simpson eventually surrendered, only after speaking with his mother and drinking a glass of orange juice. The trial lasted eight months, during which Simpson never took the stand and was ultimately acquitted of both murders.
• According to forensics, 25-year-old Ron Goldman arrived at Brown’s house just as the murder was taking place. Had he arrived but five minutes later, he would have discovered Brown’s body instead of joining her in death.
• Bruising and a footprint on Nicole Brown’s back suggest the assailant stepped on her spine for leverage, lifted her head by her hair, and proceeded to slit her throat, severing the carotid artery, revealing her larynx, and incising her vertebrae C3.
• O.J. Simpson met Nicole Brown when she was an 18-year-old waitress at a Beverly Hills private club called The Daisy; they began dating despite the fact Simpson was already married.
• The couple’s marriage was steeped in domestic abuse. In fact, their prenuptial agreement even prohibited Brown from working. Nicole often wrote about Simpson beating her in public, private, and during sex. Though she notified the police eight times, Simpson was arrested for domestic abuse only once.
• Just before the murders, Simpson was cast as the lead role in a film called Frogmen. To prepare for his part as a former U.S. Navy SEAL, he underwent extensive military training, including learning a technique known as the “silent kill” or throat slashing.
• Next to Goldman's body police found a blue knit cap; a left-hand, extra-large Aris Isotoner light leather glove; and an envelope with glasses Goldman intended to return to Brown. SEALs regularly wear knit caps like the one found at the scene.
• The right-hand, extra large Aris Isotoner light leather glove was found on Simpson’s property.
• The prosecution found hair follicles and fabric fibers from the victims inside Simpson’s vehicle.
• Simpson, Brown, and Goldman's DNA were found on the bloody glove behind his home.
• Simpson's DNA was found next to the bloody footprints near the victims at the Bundy crime scene. Probability of error was 1-in-9.7 billion.
• Simpson's DNA was found leading away from the victims, towards and on the back gate at Bundy. Probability of error was 1-in-200.
• Simpson, Goldman, and Brown's DNA was found outside of the door and inside Simpson's Bronco. Probability of error was 1-in-21 billion.
• Simpson's DNA was found leading from the area where his Bronco was parked at Simpson's Rockingham home to the front door entrance.
• Simpson and Brown's DNA were found on a pair of socks in Simpson's bedroom. Probability of error was 1-in-6.8 billion.
• In 1996, the Brown and Goldman families filed a survivor suit and wrongful death suit (respectively) against Simpson and won. The victory was essentially fruitless.
• On March 11, 2018, O.J. Simpson provided a detailed hypothetical account of how the murders might have been committed had he been involved. Though he initially used phrases like, "I would" and "I'd think,” he eventually began saying things such as, "I remember I grabbed the knife,” and "I don't remember, but I must have.”
Where it Happened:
875 South Bundy Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. The property was put up for sale in October of 1994 and purchased in 1997. The new owner then changed the address to 879 South Bundy Drive. They also remodeled much of the area where Nicole and Ron’s bodies were found. In 2006, the home was again put up for sale, and by this time the infamous walkway where Nicole Brown was murdered had been moved. The condo eventually sold for 1.7 million dollars and remains occupied.
Mezzaluna, the restaurant that O.J. Simpson frequented, Ron Goldman worked at, and Nicole Brown visited just before her murder is now a Peet's Coffee and Tea shop located at 11752-11770 San Vicente Blvd. in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Additionally, key locations of the Bronco chase are as follows:
1. Simpson's 9-1-1 call is traced to the I-5 Freeway near the Ascension Cemetery in Lake Forest.
2. From a news helicopter, reporter Zoey Tur spots the Bronco near the El Toro Y interchange.
3. Cowlings turns the Bronco west onto the 91 Freeway.
4. The Bronco heads south onto I-110.
5. Cowlings takes I-405 north.
6. Cowlings takes the Sunset Boulevard exit, turning west towards Brentwood.
7. The chase ends at Simpson's Rockingham Avenue estate.