The Los Angeles police are investigating a knife that authorities say may have been found at O.J. Simpson’s residence more than 16 years ago, stoking speculation that it could be the long-lost murder weapon used to kill Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994.
In a press conference Friday, LAPD Captain Andy Nieman said that the department was investigating a claim that a knife was turned over to an off-duty or retired officer by a person who said it was found at O.J. Simpson’s Rockingham property.The officer in question retired in the late ’90s, but Captain Nieman said it was not immediately clear whether he was retired at the time the knife was handed over. The officer claimed the knife was submitted by a person who said he was working construction on O.J. Simpson’s property.
Nieman said he did not know why the knife was not immediately turned over to higher-ups, since “I would think an LAPD officer would know that any time you come into contact with evidence that you should submit that to investigators.” He said his department is investigating “if this whole story is possibly bogus from the getgo.” Because the officer in question is long-retired, it’s unclear whether he will face administrative charges, but Nieman said “we will look into the potentiality of any criminal charges,” including obstruction of justice.
Nieman said that the officer was working a “movie job,” in which off-duty but uniformed LAPD officers provide traffic support and security for movie sets around Los Angeles, when the knife was turned in.
“We have to determine: is this evidence? And if it’s not evidence, how do we prove one way or the other that it’s not?” he said.
Even if forensic testing determines that the knife in question is in fact that murder weapon, Simpson could not go to jail for the murders of Brown and Goldman, since he’s already been acquitted. Under double-jeopardy rules, he can’t be tried twice for the same crime.
Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995, after a highly publicized trial that captivated national attention. The case is back in the news, with a critically acclaimed FX miniseries The People vs. OJ Simpson:American Crime Story, reviving interest in the case.