More than two decades after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, it was revealed that a knife was discovered on the former estate of O.J. Simpson. One report indicates that the knife is not consistent with the killings, while another states that the knife could have inflicted fatal wounds, which means it theoretically could have some connection to the 1994 murders.
On Friday, the Los Angeles Police Department held a news conference to announce that the weapon was obtained several years ago by a former police officer.
Retired LAPD officer George Maycott was given the knife by a construction worker in 2002 or 2003 who claimed to have found it “on or near” Simpson’s Rockingham property, CNN reports.
According to CNN, attorney Trent Copeland said Maycott, who left the LAPD in 1998, was working near Simpson’s property at the time. Copeland noted that the knife was dirty and appeared to have been buried, but there was no apparent blood on it. Maycott called the LAPD to inform the department of the knife, but was told the case was closed. According to Copeland, Maycott then “took the knife home, placed it in a tool box and forgot it for years…”
CNN reports that just recently, years after obtaining the knife, Maycott had reason to visit the police academy and once again thought about the knife, according to Copeland. The LAPD was notified about the item, according to Copeland, who told CNN Maycott has cooperated fully with law enforcement, who now have the knife.
NBC News reports that sources say the condition of the knife and its particular characteristics are inconsistent with the weapon that was used to fatally wound Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. These sources also told NBC News the knife does not look like it had been buried for the length of time required to have been part of the double murder. Nevertheless, the sources further noted that forensic testing by the LAPD must first be done before the knife can be definitively ruled out as a potential murder weapon.
Alternatively, TMZ reports that the knife in question is “more than capable of inflicting the mortal wounds” that killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, according to Dr. Irwin Golden, the Deputy Medical Examiner who performed autopsies on both victims.
According to TMZ, Nicole’s neck sustained a wound that was 2 ½ inches deep and 5 ½ inches across, which Dr. Golden indicates could have been made by a 4-inch blade. The buck knife found by the construction worker has a blade that is 5-inches long, TMZ reports.
Furthermore, Dr. Golden told TMZ that to do such damage, a buck knife must be “heavy.” According to TMZ, a knife expert stated that at the time of the killings, these types of knives were made with heavy steel.
O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders that took place at Nicole’s condominium. During Simpson’s trial, the prosecution argued the former football star confronted his ex-wife. When the altercation became heated, he grabbed a kitchen knife and ran after her, forcing her into a small walkway near the front of her home, reports The New Yorker. Prosecutors alleged that Simpson killed Nicole and when Goldman arrived on scene, Simpson fatally wounded him as well.
According to CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos, the knife found at Simpson’s old estate could be tested for blood and hair, but any DNA that is present has likely degraded a great deal because the weapon was buried for years.
In addition, even if the knife is found to have Simpson’s, Nicole’s, and Ron’s DNA on it, the Heisman Trophy winner cannot be charged in the murders because he has already been tried and acquitted for the crimes. Pepperdine University School of Law Professor Roger Cossack told The Washington Post that “Double jeopardy applies… and will always apply even if they were able to determine the knife was the murder weapon.”
US Weekly reports that Marcia Clark, the woman who served as one of the main prosecutors in the 1995 Simpson case, said she is skeptical about the knife, but is glad the LAPD is testing it and taking the find seriously. Clark added, “I just hope the truth comes out… let’s find out…”
[Photo by Nick Ut/AP Photo]