On the evening of 12 June 1994, O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were killed outside Brown’s Brentwood, California home. His murders and the subsequent arrest of the former NFL star ignited a series of events that America’s legal system and media had never seen before.
Here is a time for Simpson’s pursuit, arrest, trial and verdict, as well as the murders of Brown and Goldman.
6:30 pm: After joining her daughter’s dance, Brown has dinner with friends and family at the Brentwood restaurant Mezaluna, where Goldman works as a waiter. Brown’s mother accidentally drops her glasses at the restaurant and Goldman stops near Brown’s house to drop volunteers.
10:41 am – 10: 45 pm: Brian “Cato” Kaelin, Simpson’s homeowner in his Rockingham mansion, a few miles up the road from Brown’s house, hears a slap noise on the opposite side of his wall and Goes out to investigate.
10:50 pm – 10: 55 pm: A neighbor automatically sees a brown Akita barking with spots.
11:01 am: Alan Park, a limousine driver waiting at 10:25 pm, saw Simpson walking out of his house. A few minutes later, Park takes Simpson to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for his flight to Chicago.
11:45 pm: Simpson leaves for Chicago.
June 13, 1994: O.J. Simpson becomes a suspect
12:10 pm: Brown’s dog leads neighbors to Goldman and Brown’s corpses, which lie near the gate.
4:15 pm: Simpson investigates at Chicago hotel.
4:30 pm: Police arrive at Simpson’s Rockingham mansion to report Brown’s death, but instead discovers his blood-stained Bronco and bloody squads, which match one found near Goldman’s body .
10:45 am: With a search warrant in hand, police search Simpson’s mansion and more blood traces are found on the property, including his Bronco.
12 pm: Returning to Los Angeles after Brown’s death is reported, Simpson arrives at his mansion where he is handcuffed and then taken to the police station where he is questioned for hours.
June 15, 1994: Robert Shapiro O.J. Simpson’s lawyer
In place of Howard Wightman, defense attorney Robert Shapiro took over as principal counsel for Simpson.
June 16, 1994: Cremation of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman
Simpson and his two children attend Brown’s funeral. A funeral for Goldman is also held.
June 17, 1994: Bronco Stalking
Simpson is charged for the murders of Brown and Goldman.
Although he originally promised to surrender to the authorities, Simpson fled and became a fugitive. He was later seen on his white Bronco driving freeway with his friend Al Cowlings at the driver’s seat. Fans started putting a line of freevices to cheer them up.
As helicopters follow Simpson’s Bronco, an estimated 95 million people follow the 60-mile chase on TV (famously interrupting the broadcast of the NBA Finals). Simpson eventually surrenders at his home a little before 9am. He was arrested and imprisoned without bail.
July 22, 1994: O.J. Simpson pleaded not guilty
Simpson described the murder charges as “absolutely, not 100 percent guilty”. Judge Lance Ito is assigned to the case.
September 9, 1994: Prosecution wants life without parole
The prosecution decides not to pursue the death penalty and instead, seeks life without parole for the defendant if he is guilty.
3 November 1994: Jury was elected
The preliminary jury has been chosen and is made up of four men and eight women. The eight gamblers are black, one Hispanic, one white, and two mixed breed.
January 11, 1995: Jury reported for duty
The jury – 12 men and 12 women – are ranked.
15–16 January 1995: Simpson’s lawyers stop talking to each other
Shapiro tells the media that he and another Simpson defense associate, F. Lee Bailey, are no longer on speaking terms.
January 18, 1995: Johnny Cochran takes over command of defense
Johnny Cochran became the lead counsel for the defense.
Judge Ito rules that the jury is allowed to hear evidence of Simpson’s alleged domestic abuse towards Brown.
January 24, 1995: Prosecution begins its opening statement
Prosecutors Marcia Clarke and Christopher Darden make emotional statements. “He kicked her out of jealousy,” Darden told the jury. “He killed her because he was not near her.”
January 25, 1995: Defense makes its opening statement
Cochran made his opening statement on behalf of the defense. “This case is about a rush for justice, a passion to win at any cost,” he told the jury.
January 27, 1994: O.J. Simpson’s book appears
Simpson’s book, I Want to Tell You: My Response to Your Letters, Your Message, Your Question, has been released.