It became a sports and a pop culture milestone, and led to one of the more controversial verdicts in the annals of American criminal criminal justice.
Sometime late in the evening of June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were viciously murdered outside Simpson’s condominium in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood. He had gone there to return a pair of sunglasses that Nicole’s mother had left at the restaurant where he was a waiter.
Goldman was stabbed to death. Nicole Simpson’s throat was nearly hacked in two. According to police, the wounds to her throat were so deep that her larynx was visible and her C3 vertebra had been nicked by the murder weapon.
The next morning, LAPD detectives went to OJ Simpson’s estate on Rockingham. Believing there was a possibility that Simpson might be injured or in danger, they entered the estate from the rear. On the way to the house they found a white Ford Bronco with evidence of blood on the interior and exterior.
Simpson was not home. He had flown to Chicago late the previous night.
As the police continued to investigate and build a case against Simpson, he retained Robert Shapiro as counsel.
By June 17, the police and the LA District attorney determined that they had sufficient evidence file charges and arrest Simpson for the murders.
After being asked to surrender in connection with the murder of his ex-wife and her friend, Simpson instead led authorities
on a wild chase across L.A.’s freeways that was broadcast live on television around the world.
I’ll let the L.A. Times take over the timeline:
The chase started in Orange County and ended in the driveway of Simpson’s Brentwood estate.Here is a timeline of that day two decades ago as compiled by The Times on Friday, June 17, 1994:
8:30 a.m.: Robert Shapiro, lawyer for O.J. Simpson, receives call from LAPD officials telling him to surrender his client.
9:30 a.m.: Shapiro goes to an undisclosed home in the San Fernando Valley and informs Simpson he will have to surrender by 11 a.m.
Murder charges are filed against Simpson in the slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman; arraignment is scheduled for the afternoon.
11 a.m.: Simpson is scheduled to surrender.
Shortly after noon, according to Shapiro, the lawyer receives call from LAPD officials telling him that police must announce that Simpson is a fugitive. Shapiro gives police directions to the house.
Police arrive at the San Fernando Valley house. Shapiro, who is with Simpson’s doctors and others in a room at the house, says Simpson and Al Cowlings, a former college and pro football teammate of Simpson who had been with him, had left the house.
1:50 p.m.: LAPD Cmdr. David Gascon announces that Simpson has not surrendered for arraignment as scheduled and is a fugitive.
2 p.m.: Police respond to 911 call at the scene of the slayings, after a man identified as Nicole Simpson’s father comes out of the house asking people to call 911.
3 p.m.: An LAPD officer at Nicole Brown Simpson’s condominium tells reporters, “O.J. Simpson is not here.”
Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti, at a news conference, says anyone helping Simpson to flee will be prosecuted as a felon. “We will find Mr. Simpson and bring him to justice.” Police are searching for his former teammate, Cowlings. Garcetti says prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty in the case.
4:45 p.m.: Police issue an arrest warrant for Cowlings.
5 p.m.: Shapiro holds a press conference, during which longtime Simpson friend Robert Kardashian reads a letter from Simpson: “Don’t feel sorry for me,” ends the note. “I’ve had a great life, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person. Thanks for making my life special. I hope I helped yours. Peace and love. O.J.”
5:51 p.m.: Simpson reportedly makes a 911 call from a cellular phone in his Ford Bronco. His location is traced to the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in Orange County near Lake Forest, where his ex-wife, Nicole, was buried Thursday [June 16th].
5:56 p.m.: CHP begins pursuit.
7:30 p.m.: After moving onto the Artesia (91) Freeway, the Bronco turns north on the San Diego (405) Freeway in Torrance, soon encountering crowds standing on the roadway and overpasses.
7:57 p.m.: Simpson and Cowlings arrive at Simpson’s Brentwood home and negotiations for surrender begin.
8:47 p.m.: Police issue an all-clear after taking Simpson into custody.
9:37 p.m.: Simpson arrives at Parker Center in police custody.
On this day in history in Maryland, not much happened.