The trial of former football player O.J. Simpson for the murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, who had previously divorced him citing domestic violence, and Ronald Goldman dominated news headlines throughout 1994 and ’95. While he was ultimately found not guilty, and many had their doubts.
That verdict might have turned out differently if authorities had located the murder weapon in the stabbing deaths. A number of knives were put forth during the trial, but none could be linked to the crime.
The Los Angeles Police Department is currently testing a knife that was reportedly unearthed from the Simpson property when the buildings were demolished in 1998. Found by a construction worker, a folding buck knife was given to an off-duty police officer.
Instead of delivering the weapon to the proper investigators, that police officer took the knife home, keeping it for 18 years.
It was only after his retirement in January of this year that the former officer contacted LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division. According to TMZ, he was interested in framing the weapon and wanted to know the departmental number for the murder case so that he could include it in the frame.
Upon learning of the knife, superiors at the LAPD immediately demanded that he bring it in for analysis.
During a news conference on Friday, LAPD Capt. Andy Neiman, however, expressed doubts about this version of events, and said he didn’t know why it took the officer so long to reveal the knife.
"I don’t know why that didn’t happen or if that’s entirely accurate or if this whole story is possibly bogus from the get-go," he told reporters.
Neiman also stressed that the department is considering bringing charges against the officer for withholding evidence.
Some have called the knife’s authenticity entirely false, especially considering that the revelation seems to coincide with the airing of a new television miniseries based on the trial.
"You have to ask the question…Why was it revealed now?" Alan Dershowitz, an appellate for Simpson’s defense team, told the LA Times. "I think it raises more questions than it answers."
Regardless, the weapon is currently being examined for hair and fingerprints, and will be tested for DNA evidence next week.