“If they were going to find this knife and make it useful in the murder trial, they should have found it 20 years ago, and they didn’t”, said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and longtime observer of the Simpson case.
According to TMZ, a construction worker found a folding buck knife buried on the edge of the Rockingham estate as the house was being demolished by its new owners in 1998.
But reporting from the L.A. Times this morning challenges new information, notably that this happened in 2003 and that the off-duty LAPD cop was actually a retired LAPD officer who did try to turn the knife in. The knife, which was handed over to the LAPD’s Robbery and Homicide Division, is now undergoing forensic testing for hair and DNA.
“My understanding is it’s a knife”, the now-retired officer said in a press conference when asked if the object turned over was a machete or another kind of weapon.
Los Angeles police said the department was now testing the knife for DNA evidence and also trying to sort out the weird chain of events that brought the knife into their possession.
Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman were found stabbed to death outside her Brentwood condominium on June 12, 1994.
But he added that whatever evidence is found, Simpson probably can not be tried again for the murders under America’s double jeopardy rules. Dr. Irwin Golden, who served as the Deputy Medical Examiner and performed the pair’s autopsies, noted that a knife with a blade just 4 inches long could have made Brown Simpson’s fatal neck wound – 2.5 inches deep and 5.5 inches across.
Neiman stressed that the authenticity of the story was not confirmed and investigators were looking into whether “this whole story is possibly bogus from the get-go”.
Police have never found the murder weapon.
Dozens of officers thoroughly searched Simpson’s residence and nearby streets after the murders, said Tom Lange, the former lead detective in the case. Neiman said he hopes the construction worker comes forward.
Simpson is imprisoned in Nevada in a separate case.
“Initially… there were several knives found around the property”, Lange said.
Attorney Carl Douglas, who was a member of Simpson’s legal team in 1995, told ABC News Friday that “the story is ridiculous”.
“This particular incident, we don’t know anything about the circumstances of the recovery”.
Although Simpson was acquitted in the criminal trial, the Goldmans filed a civil wrongful death suit against Simpson.
In 1997, a jury found Simpson civilly liable for the slayings.
Highlighting the enduring fascination the case holds for the American public, there were roughly 150 tweets per minute about O.J. Simpson on Friday, according to social media analytics firm Zoomph.
Capt Andy Neiman, a spokesman for the LAPD, said: “The timing is certainly interesting”.
He was convicted in Las Vegas in 2008 of kidnapping and robbery in a bungled attempt to recover memorabilia from his storied football career and was sentenced to a prison term of up to 33 years. He isn’t eligible for parole until 2017.