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Revived interest in the O.J. Simpson criminal case reached a fever pitch on Friday when Los Angeles police announced a knife had been recovered from the property of the former Brentwood estate belonging to the football and movie star.
The knife, not described by police, is now undergoing forensics testing to determine if it has any connection to the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman.
Possibly even more fascinating than the knife are the circumstances surrounding how it was found and who was in possession of it for all these years.
Here are the three craziest elements of Friday’s O.J. development, as provided by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Finding the knife:
The knife was found in 1998 by someone, possible a construction worker, who was present when Simpson’s Brentwood estate was being torn down by the new owner of the property. It seems the knife was unearthed while construction was ongoing. The worker who found the knife gave it to an LAPD officer who happened to be in the area while working off-duty security for a movie filming nearby.
“Believed the case closed”:
Rather than turning the knife over to the evidence department when it was given to him by the worker, the unidentified LAPD officer instead kept the possible murder weapon for his own collection. It has been in his possession for almost two decades. The LAPD discovered within the last month that the now-retired officer was in possession of the knife and ordered it be turned over for official forensics testing. The officer claimed he kept the knife and didn’t report it because he “believed the case closed.” The case, however, is very much open. A case is not closed until a conviction occurs. The department is looking into possible charges against the officer.
Even if it is proven the knife was used in the double homicide, Simpson could not stand trial for the case. There is a legal provision known as “double jeopardy,” which basically means a person cannot be tried for the same case twice once there has been either an acquittal or conviction. Simpson is currently incarcerated for a separate kidnapping and armed robbery conviction from 2007. He is up for parole next year.
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