Since the summer of 1994 Los Angeles prosecutors, cable news commentators and radio hosts have spoken of a “mountain of evidence” which proves [in their minds] that OJ Simpson murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman. In a case with no eyewitnesses and no murder weapon, this “mountain” was built from circumstantial evidence and not direct evidence. Facts aside, day after day the public heard that “convicting OJ Simpson” was “almost certain” given “all that blood evidence.” The verdict in the media trial of OJ Simpson was reached long before opening statements in the criminal trial. At the heart of the verdict in the media trial was not testimony or evidence, but reports that LAPD had recovered OJ Simpson’s DNA at the murder scene. Episode 22 of OJ Simpson: Fact or Fiction? examines the DNA evidence from the Bundy crime scene introduced during Mr. Simpson’s criminal trial.
Public comments made by Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti during the trial and by former LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman after the trial have served to build this “mountain of evidence” up even higher and more intimidating than Mount Everest in the minds of an uninformed public:
“You’re never gonna see another case with so much DNA evidence as this case. There never has been, there never will be. I mean, there’s virtually hundreds of pieces of evidence that went to the guilt of OJ Simpson. Most people go to prison on one; one drop. They go to death row. And here we couldn’t convict a man with hundreds of pieces of evidence that only pointed to one person: him.”
Former LAPD Detective
“No case that I am aware of, in the history of this country has had so much DNA evidence. But for the fact, this were OJ Simpson, this is what you’d call in sports language a ‘slam dunk,’ a winner.”
Gil Garcetti, Los Angeles County District Attorney
Interview with Bryant Gumbel on NBC News’ Today Show On June 12th, 1995
Even the huge problems associated with and discrediting the DNA-verified blood samples have been eliminated from common parlance.
There is blood, after all.
In the popular mind’s eye there is a scene like something out of The Shining. The house at Rockingham awash in blood. Great splashes in the foyer, up the stairs, cascading down the edge of a porcelain sink. Smears and globs of it everywhere: car, bedroom, socks.
The 1.4 cc; the .07 of a drop; the flecks smaller than a child’s littlest fingernail grow in the imagination, flood and saturate exponentially to “All that blood. What about all that blood?” Or whatever the amount, it is conclusively identified.
The wide scientific controversy about the inclusionary properties of DNA, about the absolute, unequivocal necessity for flawless handling in order to get anything but worthless results, are read as the intellectual nit-picking of eggheads and therefore dismissed.
– Toni Morrison
Birth of a Nation’hood, Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O. J. Simpson Case. Page 19