New evidence, lost for nearly two decades, has resurfaced and may provide a connection between O.J. Simpson and the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Andrew Neiman confirmed in a press conference on Friday that the department is indeed investigating a knife, which was provided by a retired police officer.
Nieman said he can confirm that an unidentified male, who told the now-retired officer he was a construction worker, said he found the knife on O.J.’s former property in the late-’90s. At the time, the officer was off-duty and working security for a movie near Simpson’s former property.
Nieman couldn’t confirm the specific year nor the veracity of the alleged construction worker’s statement, and he appealed to the public to report anything they may know of the man’s identity to the LAPD.
He also wouldn’t confirm that the knife was found on the Simpson property, as the alleged construction worker’s statements still have to be vetted.
The knife is currently being investigated by the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division. It will soon be turned over to the labs to be “tested for all forensics, virology, DNA, and hair.” Nieman declined to state how long it will take for the test, saying it will depend “on the type of testing and forensics used.”
“It is my understanding that [the retired officer] believed the [Brown-Goldman murder] case was closed,” Nieman added.
He did express surprise that the officer would hold on to potential evidence. “I would think that an LAPD officer would know that he should or shall submit something like that into the evidence,” Nieman said. “I was quite shocked.”
He reiterated, “With all cases that remain open, unless there’s an actual arrest or conviction, the case remains open.”
As for whether charges will be filed against the officer who turned in the knife after holding on to it for close to two decades, the captain said, “We’ll certainly look into the potentiality of criminal charges.” Since the officer is retired, Nieman ruled out administrative charges.
In the case that the knife does prove a connection between O.J. Simpson and the double murder, Nieman said, “I’m not an attorney. Double jeopardy would be in place here. We could not charge Mr. Simpson with the homicides, because he’s already acquitted.”
TMZ first reported the new evidence on Friday morning. According to the site, the construction worker turned the weapon, a folding buck knife, over to a nearby off-duty LAPD officer, who was working as security for a movie shoot across the street.
But instead of turning the weapon into police investigators, the officer allegedly brought it home and kept it for years.
In January, the now-retired police officer reportedly told his friend, an officer in the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, about the knife and his plans to frame it for his wall. He then allegedly asked if the RHD officer could get the departmental record number for the 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson/Ronald Goldman murder case, which he wanted to engrave into the frame.
TMZ’s sources said the RHD officer was irate that his friend had kept the knife this long and informed his superiors, who commanded the retired officer to turn in the knife.
Another source with knowledge of the investigation told TMZ that police saw possible blood residue on the knife, though it’s hard to discern due to rust and stains.
O.J. was tried for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman and found not guilty by a jury in 1995.
Since no one has been convicted to date, the case remains open. If the knife does connect O.J. to the murders, he can’t be tried again due to double-jeopardy laws.
In a 1997 civil suit by the victims’ families, O.J. was found liable for Nicole and Goldman’s deaths in a $33.5 million judgment.
Currently, O.J. is serving prison time for armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel.
Note: This article was updated to reflect LAPD confirmation of the knife.
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