On Friday morning, the LAPD held a brief press conference to address reports that new evidence was unearthed in the investigation of the Nicole Brown-Ronald Goldman murders. O.J. Simpson was, of course, acquitted on charges relating to these homicides. Two decades later, this case is back in the news, although the popularity of American Crime Story proves it never really left the public’s consciousness. A murder weapon was never uncovered in the case, and as a TMZ report indicated, a folding buck knife was found by a construction worker during the 1998 demolition of Simpson’s estate. Someone held onto this “souvenir,” and through a series of transfers, the LAPD now retains custody of the knife.
Speaking to the press, LAPD Captain Andrew Neiman revealed that many of the reported details are indeed under investigation. A knife was recovered and is being treated as evidence. Police believe a construction worker passed the knife to off-duty officer who remained in possession of the object. Neiman left room for a “possible bogus nature” to this story because no one knows the true origin of this knife:
“I would think that an LAPD officer — if this story is accurate — any time you come into contact with evidence you should and shall submit that into evidence. I don’t know what the circumstances are, why that didn’t happen, or if that’s entirely accurate, or if this whole story is possibly bogus from the get go.”
Neiman stressed that this remains a “double homicide case that is still open and ongoing,” but he can’t speak to the legality of any criminal charges. The LA Times spoke with attorney Carl Douglas, a member of Simpson’s original “dream team,” who calls the knife speculation “ridiculous.”
Needless to say, the chain of custody with this knife sounds incredibly murky. Yet one thing is clear — this new evidence does not mean (by any stretch of the imagination) that Simpson could be tried again for Brown and Simpson’s murders. He shall forever be protected by the Fifth Amendment’s double jeopardy clause, although he’ll remain in a Nevada prison until at least 2017 for felony convictions relating to a 2007 robbery and kidnapping case.