American Crime Story

television series

American Crime Story is an American true crime anthology television series which airs on FX. A spinoff of the television series ‘’’American Horror Story’’’, each season is a self-contained miniseries covering specific, unrelated real-life criminal cases. The first series, which documented the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman, and the subsequent murder trial of Brown’s former husband, popular athlete O.J. Simpson, aired between February 2nd and April 5th 2016. The second series, which aired in 2018, focused on the murder of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997. The third series, aired in 2021, focused on the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal.

From The Ashes of Tragedy

[In her home, Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark receives a phone call]
Detective Philip Vannatter: Marcia, Phil Vannatter, you got a sec? I need your opinion on a double homicide.
[In the background, Marcia’s kids call for her]
Marcia Clark: [to her kids] Boys, please go get your stuff. [to Vannatter] What have you got?
Detective Philip Vannatter: We’ve got two victims in Brentwood, on Bundy Drive. It’s pretty brutal.
Marcia Clark: Brentwood? Nobody gets killed in Brentwood.
Detective Philip Vannatter: Well, one of the victims is the ex-wife of O.J. Simpson.
Marcia Clark: Who?
Detective Philip Vannatter: Marcia, O.J. Simpson. You know, the football player.
Marcia Clark: Yeah, I have no idea who you’re talking about.
Detective Philip Vannatter: Marcia, O.J… The Juice? He’s a movie star. You know, he’s in The Naked Gun movie. He’s the guy in the, uh, the, uh, Hertz commercial.
Marcia Clark: Oh yeah, that guy. Huh. Well, will you just tell me what happened, please? [To her kid] Come here. Let me tie your shoe.
Detective Philip Vannatter: Well, there’s a lot of blood at the murders. And here at O.J.’s house there appears to be blood on one of his vehicles. And we can see drops of blood leading into the house. There are also two bloody gloves, one at each location, that appear to match.
Marcia Clark: [now giving the phone her full attention] Wow. What were you doing at Simpson’s?
Detective Philip Vannatter: We were here notifying a family member. We just didn’t realise he turned out to be a suspect.
Marcia Clark: Well, it sounds like you have enough to arrest him. This is major.
Detective Philip Vannatter: No, no, no, one step at a time. Right now, I just want a search warrant. Just wanted a prosecutor’s opinion, that’s all.
Marcia Clark: Well, this prosecutor says “Go get him.” [Hangs up] Boys, in the car, now!

Johnnie Cochran: Come on, I had your job. I know the drill. The police commission determined the officer acted in self-defence. The officers were scared. There were seven of them with guns up against one mentally ill woman with a knife.
Christopher Darden: Johnnie, I tried. You know all they had to claim was that their lives were in danger.
Johnnie Cochran: Danger. They shot her in the back. You know, it’s remarkable to me how many black folks get shot in the backside, while they… [mimes] attacking. Like they’re going backwards and forwards at the same time.

Marcia Clark: [Reading Nicole's file, looking visibly angry at the contents] This is outrageous. Eight 911 calls, the police were called there eight times. Nicole had a bruised face, black eye, bleeding lip, O.J. broke a windshield with a baseball bat! God, the system failed her.
Marcia's Colleague: You can't get so upset.
Marcia Clark: You know what really pisses me off? This went on for years. All that battering before he was even arrested!

Robert Shapiro: Any time that I take on a new criminal case, I always ask the client a question. Now, I won’t be judgmental, but I think it’s crucial that the attorney and the client are truthful with each other. So anything you tell me is completely confidential, and will never leave this room. So… O.J… Did you do it?
O.J. Simpson: No. [pause] I loved her.

Robert Kardashian: Juice! [Opens the door to his daughter’s bedroom to find O.J. inside] O.J. No, please. This-this is where my daughter sleeps. Come on, O.J., please. Do not kill yourself in Kimmy’s bedroom. Give me the gun. Gi-give me the gun. Come on, come on. We can beat this thing together, just… W-we all love you. We all love you. Your kids love you. God… God loves you. Juice… Okay, okay. Just… You-you don’t want your kids to grow up with-with no parents. You want your kids to lose both parents!?

The Run of His Life

Johnnie Cochran: [watching Shapiro’s press conference] What a prick. Robert Shapiro’s focused on his number-one priority: Robert Shapiro.
Shawn Chapman Holley: What would you be saying?
Johnnie Cochran: I wouldn’t be falling back on the pronouns ‘me’, ‘myself’ and ‘I’. People, when you take these jobs, you have only one role: you are in service to your client. Never betray that individual. Never.

Marcia Clark: Why don’t we stop him? Shoot out his tires?
Gil Garcetti: We don’t want a shootout on live TV. We’re on every network in the country.
Bill Hodgman: What’s the protocol?
Gil Garcetti: The protocol? I don’t know, Bill! What is the protocol for an armed celebrity fugitive being chased by 12 police cars and 7 helicopters? Christ. I thought I was gonna run for mayor.

Johnnie Cochran: [conducting a TV interview] Yes, it’s a complex situation. But we must remember that he is a person not used to being arrested. He’s fragile, confused. Whenever I see a black man being chased by armed officers, my guard goes up.
Interviewer: With all due respect, this is a… a possible killer who fled from the police.
Johnnie Cochran: Innocent until proven guilty. If the LAPD is involved, we should let history be our guiding principle. Time after time, the police shoot first and offer sloppy apologies afterwards. 30 years ago, a young man named Leonard Deadwyler was driving his pregnant wife to the hospital. She was about to give birth to their child. And that very same LAPD saw a black man driving too fast, and they did what they do. They shot and killed him. I represented Leonard’s family. It was one of my very first cases. Unfortunately, the first of many. It was a terrible thing. Leonard’s only crime: the colour of his skin.

The Dream Team

Marcia Clark: Good afternoon. I’m Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark, and what I will outline for you today are my office’s charges against Mr. Orenthal James Simpson in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Mr. Ronald Lyle Goldman on the evening of June 12th 1994. I think the facts speak for themselves. Simpson’s blood was found at Bundy. Nicole’s blood was found at Rockingham. And both Nicole’s and Ronald’s blood were found in the Bronco. Simpson will be charged with the premeditated deaths of both victims, and that is precisely what we will prove.

Alan Dershowitz: So, then, the first week culminates with Simpson deciding to make a run for it, while under your supervision…
Robert Shapiro: Careful.
Alan Dershowitz: … Leaving behind a letter that sounds like an admission of guilt, that you guys, for some mistifying reason, read aloud on television…
Robert Kardashian: Bob thought it was a good idea.
Robert Shapiro: No, no, no, wait. Why did you say that? You don’t know what it was like that day. You weren’t there.
Alan Dershowitz: Of course. And I’m here to help, not to judge.
Robert Shapiro: Oh, you are here to judge. What was that? What was all that?
Alan Dershowitz: Bob, you have to move fast. Your client, his goodwill, all of his popularity and accomplishments, it’s a depreciating asset.
F. Lee Bailey: What do you mean?
Alan Dershowitz: Right now, he’s sort of like this handsome, gifted Greek God laid low. It’s a tragedy. But he’s still a Greek God. The longer he sits in that cell, the more the public see him in a jumpsuit and cuffs, the more mortal he becomes. That’s the clock we’re fighting.

100% Not Guilty

Robert Shapiro: So let’s hit the ground running. Okay, first question. Who thinks O.J. did it? [Everybody freezes and looks at him in shocked disbelief.] Me neither.
[Awkward silence]
F. Lee Bailey: Uh, thank you, Bob. Why don’t we talk big picture strategy? I’d say our priority at this juncture is the jury.
Alan Dershowitz: Yes. We know we have a downtown jury, which means a heavy concentration of African Americans.
Johnnie Cochran: Indeed. Black men obviously are our allies. Mr. Simpson, a hero in the community. And I’m confident that people will assume he couldn’t have committed such a ghastly crime. But black women, on the other hand, might be a problem. They don’t like their men marrying white girls.
Robert Kardashian: Is that true?
Carl E. Douglas: Why’re you looking at me?
Robert Kardashian: [embarrassed] Well, I…
[Shawn laughs at his discomfort]
Johnnie Cochran: But I believe the generalization is accurate. Black women resent successful black men marrying outside the community. We need to limit that group.
Robert Shapiro: That analysis is smart. The prosecution thinks they have the upper hand, but they don’t. Because we have you. And you know how these people think.
[Johnnie gives him another disbelieving look. Lee and Dershowitz visibly cringe with embarrassment, and Barry Scheck buries his face in his hands. Cochran’s team merely looks amused]
Johnnie Cochran: “These people?” Bob, let me give you a helpful piece of advice. On this case, you need to choose your vernacular very, very carefully.
Robert Shapiro: [raising his palms] Mea culpa.

Johnnie Cochran: [to O.J.] Have you forgotten who you are? These walls around you don’t change that. You know what you mean to people? [O.J. does not answer] Okay. Well, then let me tell you what you were once to me. 1978, I just left private practice, gone back to the LA D.A. Gonna be the first black assistant attorney in office. Gonna change things from the inside. Shit… That wasn’t happening. Same old shit, same rigged system. Feeling powerless for the first time in my life. And then my first marriage blows up in my face. My children won’t talk to me. I’m a failure at work. I’m a failure at home. I was down, brother. I was way down. Sunday, sitting on my bed, surrounded by dead-end paperwork and divorce lawyer bills, drinking beer – all right, maybe a little too much beer – feeling sorry for myself, watching a football game, all alone. Crappy TV. 49ers vs the Falcons. What I saw you do on that field, that day, somehow, as I was watching, it became as if you were running for me. Driving up that field, crowded with adversity and obstacles, getting knocked on your ass, and then popping right back up again! See, that’s what I wanted to do out there on them streets, back home with my troubles there but couldn’t. But you, you, you… You willed what you needed to do into being, with nothing but grace.
O.J. Simpson: I scored a touchdown that day.
Johnnie Cochran: You did. And when they cut away to the commercial, there you were again, leaping through the airport for Hertz, breaking another barrier with charisma, humor, intelligence. A black man as the public face for one of the world’s biggest corporations.
O.J. Simpson: We lost that game.
Johnnie Cochran: I don’t remember that. I remember everything about that game, but not that, because it didn’t have nothing to do with what touched me. And when the game was over, I got the hell up off that bed, and jogged the six blocks back to my office, and got right back to work, and haven’t stopped and wallowed in self-pity since that day. You did that for me. Just like you’ve done for so many others. Because you are O.J. Simpson. You are O.J. Simpson, and you are an inspiration.

[Marcia Clark is meeting with Kim and Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman’s sister and father]
Marcia Clark: I’m glad you were both able to find time to come down. It’s good for us to get to know each other. I know what you’re going through –
Fred Goldman: [sharply] DO YOU!? Do you have a son who was murdered!? Ron is dead! And it’s like no-one even cares! I turn on the TV, and it’s just O.J. and Nicole, O.J. and Nicole. It’s like Ron is a footnote… to his own murder! And if they talk about him, they make him seem like some kind of joke! It’s all so superficial. He was a male model, he was a nightclub promoter, he ran a tanning salon. It’s like they’re trying to tarnish him! Like… [sobbing] he… he was asking for it. [pauses to regain his composure] You know what he did in his spare time? He volunteered at a clinic for children with cerebral palsy. He was a good person! He didn’t drink, he didn’t do drugs. He should be celebrated! Not… this! When the police called and… they said Ron had been killed… I assumed it was a car accident. Never, in my worst nightmare could I have imagined the truth. What this… this monster did to him. Do you have children?
Marcia Clark: [nods solemnly, fighting back tears herself] Two boys.
Fred Goldman: [softly, leaning in close] I pray that you never have to read an autopsy report for your own child. My son’s last moments were filled with such horror… and such… pain. He… He was stabbed so many times. He was stabbed in his chest… his neck… his face… his head… his hands, his stomach… [sobs] his thigh. He was even stabbed… after he was dead.
Marcia Clark: [taking his hand] We are gonna get him.
Fred Goldman: [nods] You better.

F. Lee Bailey: [On Larry King] Oh, Bob Shapiro is the lead attorney, make no mistake. All that sniping in the media that says Bob Shapiro is in over his head, Bob Shapiro is an empty suit, Bob Shapiro can’t handle a case of this magnitude – well that twaddle is truly unfortunate
[Back in Shapiro’s home, Shapiro is watching the interview]
Robert Shapiro: Well, then don’t say it, asshole! Fuck!

The Race Card

Judge Lance Ito: Mr. Dunne, I’ve read some of your past coverage of murder trials in Vanity Fair magazine.
Dominick Dunne: I’m lucky I write for a magazine that allows me to take a stand, Your Honor.
Judge Lance Ito: Well, there’s no mistaking how you feel.
Dominick Dunne: No. That’s something I’m proud about.
Judge Lance Ito: I am, uh, assigning you a permanent seat in the front row. You’ll be next to the Goldmans. And the seat is yours for the length of the trial.
Dominick Dunne: Thank you, Your Honor.
Judge Lance Ito: Without, uh, being too forward, I sense that you’ll be able to sympathize them in a way that the rest of us cannot, that you’ll know how to deal with them, not intrude or ask inappropriate questions.
Dominick Dunne: Because of my daughter’s murder?
Judge Lance Ito: [embarrassed] Yes. Well, I apologise for dredging up what I imagine is a deeply painful memory, but I felt it was important that you know why.
Dominick Dunne: I’m sure that the Goldmans will appreciate the gesture, Your Honor, I know I do. The trial of Dominique’s killer was torture enough. But then the way he got off with a slap on the wrist… Let’s hope this one goes better.

Christopher Darden: Your Honor, Detective Fuhrman’s gonna play a very small role in this case, but we believe when he’s called to the stand, we’re gonna be forced to go back 15 odd years to ask him about completely irrelevant statements that people have claimed he’s made. These statements are racially insensitive and divisive. The question is: why bring them up? They’re gonna ask him if he made a racial slur or repeated a racial epithet. But why ask? There’s no legal purpose for it. But Mr. Cochran and the defence have a purpose for entering this area, and that purpose is to inflame the passions of the Jury and ask them to pick sides. The – the “N” word is a dirty, filthy word, Your Honor. It is so prejudicial and inflammatory, that the use of it in any situation will evoke an emotional response from any African-American. We’re talking about a word that blinds people. When you mention that word to this Jury, it will blind them to the truth. They won’t be able to discern what’s true and what’s not. It will impair their judgement. It will affect their ability to be fair. It’ll force the black jurors to make a choice: whose side are you on? The Man? Or the Brothers?
Carl E. Douglas: [whispering to Shawn] Is he serious?
Christopher Darden: So, the People strongly urge the court, respectfully, not to allow that vile word to be uttered at any time during this trial.
[He takes his seat]
Johnnie Cochran: Your Honor, I did not plan to speak on this matter, but I would be remiss if I did not respond to my good friend, Mr. Chris Darden. [gets up and takes the stand] Mr. Darden’s remarks this afternoon are perhaps the most incredible remarks I’ve heard in a court of law in my 32 years of practice. His remarks are deeply demeaning to African-Americans. And so, first and foremost, Your Honor, I would like to apologise to African-Americans across this country. It is preposterous to say that African-Americans collectively are so emotionally unstable that they cannot hear offensive words without losing their moral sense of right and wrong. They live with offensive words, offensive looks, offensive treatment every day! And so, Your Honor, I am ashamed that Mr. Darden would allow himself to become an apologist for Mark Fuhrman. [Chris gets to his feet, but Johnnie continues] Who are any of us to testify as an expert as to what words black people can or cannot handle!? Your Honor, across America, believe you me, African-Americans are offended at this very moment. And so, for a friend that I deeply respect, I would say that this was… outlandish, unfortunate, and unwarranted. Thank you, Your Honor. [quietly, to Chris] Nigga, please.

Johnnie Cochran: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And so here… we embark upon a search for justice. A search for truth. None of us were there on June 12th, 1994. We must rely upon the witnesses to get a full picture. But let me talk about those witnesses the prosecution didn’t mention. Witnesses who will exonerate O.J. Simpson. One might wonder why the prosecution didn’t bring to your attention: Mary Anne Gerchas. Or Rosa Lopez. [Marcia and Bill go from confused to somewhat agitated, and Bill starts flicking through his notes] Or Joe Stellini. Or Alan Austin. Or…
[Bill leaps to his feet and interrupts him]
Bill Hodgman: [quickly, in obvious agitation] Your Honor, I hesitate to interrupt another lawyer’s opening statement, but it appears that, for some reason, these witnesses have not been turned over to the People!
[There is murmuring in the gallery. Ito bangs his gavel for silence]
Judge Lance Ito: All right. Maybe we should excuse the Jury. Bailiff? [the Jury are escorted out, while Marcia tries to calm Bill] Mr. Hodgman?
Bill Hodgman: Your Honor, what is this? Opening statement by – by ambush!? This is a complete surprise, A-a horrible breakdown. The People have not received reciprocal discovery!
Judge Lance Ito: [to Cochran] Counsel, can you address these issues?
Carl E. Douglas: I will, I will try, Your Honor.
Judge Lance Ito: I have to say, Mr. Douglas, I’ve known Mr. Hodgman as a colleague and as a trial lawyer, and I’ve never seen the expression on his face that I see right now. Mr. Hodgman, why don’t you take a few deep breaths?

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

[Johnnie Cochran is preparing to call his witness, Ms. Rosa Lopez, out of order. The previous day, Marcia had been forced to concede because of her personal childcare issues]
Judge Lance Ito: Mr. Cochran, is Ms. Lopez present here today?
Johnnie Cochran: She is, Your Honor.
Judge Lance Ito: And do you anticipate that we can hear what she has to say in one day?
Johnnie Cochran: I would expect so, Your Honor, barring any acts of God, or further childcare crisises from Ms. Clark.
[O.J. chuckles to himself, but an outraged Marcia gets to her feet]
Marcia Clark: Your Honor. I am offended by Mr. Cochran’s remarks, as a woman, and as a mother. Mr. Cochran may not know what it’s like to work a 70-hour work week and also take care of a family, but I do. And many other people do, too. To belittle my childcare issues in your courtroom is unconscionable and totally out of line.

Marcia Clark: Ms. Lopez, just to confirm your occupation, you are the housekeeper of Mr. Simpson’s neighbour, is that correct?
Rosa Lopez: Yes.
Marcia Clark: Mr. Cochran has moved the court to disrupt our schedule because you threatened to leave the country, since you’re being hounded by the press.
Rosa Lopez: I stay just for today for Mr. Johnnie. Tomorrow, I fly.
Marcia Clark: Uh-huh. So when did you make this flight reservation for El Salvador?
Rosa Lopez: This morning.
Marcia Clark: Really? Yesterday, Mr. Cochran stated that you had had one then.
Rosa Lopez: I did. And I didn’t. I make it today.
Marcia Clark: [smiling to herself] Ms. Lopez, we called the airlines. They don’t show any reservation for you, at all. Not for yesterday, not for today, not for tomorrow.
Rosa Lopez: Because I’m going to reserve it, as soon as I leave here.
Marcia Clark: So then, Ms. Lopez, could you please explain to the court why you are filing for unemployment when you say you’re leaving the country forever?
O.J. Simpson: [whispering to Johnnie] You need to get this woman off the stand. What the hell is going on?
Marcia Clark: [continuing] In your first statements, you saw the Bronco at 10pm, but now you say it’s 10:15. So which is it? Did you see the Bronco at 10, or 10:15?
Rosa Lopez: Does it matter?
Marcia Clark: Yes, it matters very much. It’s why you’re here. Please answer the question.
[Rosa shrugs]
Judge Lance Ito: Ms. Lopez, a shrug is not an answer.
Marcia Clark: So which is it? 10 or 10:15?
Rosa Lopez: Whatever Mr. Johnnie says I said.
Marcia Clark: No. Not what Mr. Cochran says. We need to be told what you saw.
Rosa Lopez: [after a moment] No me recuerdo.
Judge Lance Ito: Ms. Lopez, in English please, unless you need a translator.
Rosa Lopez: I say I don’t remember.
Marcia Clark: You don’t remember? Hmm. [smiles] Good enough for me. No further questions.
[She takes a seat, while the Defence team look embarrassed]
F. Lee Bailey: [quietly] “Mister Johnnie?” Jesus.

Dennis Schatzman: [seeing Marcia’s new hairstyle] Goddamn. Who turned her into Rick James?
[Marcia enters the courtroom, smiles to herself and enters. The gallery conversations noticeably die down as they all see her, while O.J. does a double-take. Marcia takes her seat]
Judge Lance Ito: Good morning Ms. Clark. I think.

F. Lee Bailey: [cross-examining Mark Fuhrman] So, Detective, as an MP in the Marine Corps, what were your responsibilities?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: They were varied.
F. Lee Bailey: Lot of hacking D & D’s, huh?
Judge Lance Ito: What does that mean, Mr. Bailey?
F. Lee Bailey: Oh, that means arresting drunk and disorderlies. Sorry, Your Honor. Slipped into some marine to marine talk there. Detective, did you take a glove from the Bundy scene and then wipe it on the interior of the Bronco?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: No.
F. Lee Bailey: You did not?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: No, I did not.
F. Lee Bailey: Couldn’t you have fit this… [holding up a plastic bag containing a glove] into a plastic bag, then put it in your sock, and then place it at Mr. Simpson’s home, so that you could find it?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: [incredulously] Uh, no. That’s nuts.
Marcia Clark: I object to this line of questioning, Your Honor. This has no part in any search for the truth. That’s not the glove from this case. It’s a different size, and a different make. [takes the bag from Bailey] This seems to be some fantasy, woven by the defence, for which there is no factual or logical basis. It’s as dishonest as any number of Mr. Bailey’s tactics have been.
F. Lee Bailey: Excuse me? [gets to his feet and faces Marcia] Are you accusing me of lying in courtroom? How dare you.
Marcia Clark: You can’t get away with lying, Mr. Bailey. Not in this case. There are too many people watching.
Judge Lance Ito: Ms. Clark, may I please see those gloves that you have over there? [She takes them over and hands them to him. He examines them] This is a Brooks Brothers, size small.
F. Lee Bailey:They were out of extra-large, Your Honor.
Marcia Clark: Size small. Must be Mr. Bailey’s.
[The gallery chuckles]
F. Lee Bailey: Let me, uh, state very clearly… and I should point out that if Ms. Clark thinks [holding up his hand and the glove] that hand and this glove would ever work together, then her eyesight is as bad as her memory. Your Honor, the prosecution has opened this door, rather deliberately…
Judge Lance Ito: I would advise caution. Please continue.
Johnnie Cochran: [whispering quietly to Bailey] Lee. [gives him a nod of encouragement]
F. Lee Bailey: I will ask a different question. [takes a sip of water] In describing people, Detective Fuhrman, do you use the word “nigger?”
[Everyone looks at him in surprise]
Detective Mark Fuhrman: [quickly] No, sir. I do not use that word to describe people.
F. Lee Bailey: Have you ever used the word “nigger” in the past ten years?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: Not that I can recall, no.
F. Lee Bailey: You mean if you called someone a nigger, you have forgotten it?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: I’m not sure I can answer the question the way that you phrased it, sir.
F. Lee Bailey: Let me put it simply. Are you saying, under oath, that you have not addressed any black person as a nigger, or spoken about black people as niggers in the past ten years, Detective Fuhrman?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: Yes, that’s what I’m saying.
F. Lee Bailey: So then anyone who comes to this court and quotes you as using that word in dealing with African-Americans would be a liar. Would they not, Detective Fuhrman?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: Yes, they would.
F. Lee Bailey:: All of them, correct?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: All of them.
F. Lee Bailey: Thank you. No further questions.

Conspiracy Theories

[After searching through the bag that O.J. gave him, Robert discovers nothing incriminating inside]
A.C. Cowlings: [laughing] Ooh, I knew it. I knew it! I knew there was nothing funky in that bag, Bobby. He didn’t do it! You see that, right? There’s even more proof he didn’t do it.
Robert Kardashian: Who do you think did do it? You know, my kids… at school, the other kids… the-they tease Bobby. Tell him his dad’s…
A.C. Cowlings: Hey. It’s a tough time right now. I… I know it’s hard to be strong, but, Bobby you got to stick in there!
Robert Kardashian: No. You-you don’t understand. I’m… I’m really struggling. I’m really struggling here, A.C. Even when it seems everybody else has stopped working to figure out who did it, I… I keep going over everything again and again. Everything I know about Nicole, everything I can learn about Ron Goldman. I mean, there’s never been more information, more-more media coverage, more detectives, more – even the kooks – all about one thing, one crime, ever. Ever! And there’s… just… nothing. No other suspect? No other answer? There’s nothing else.
A.C. Cowlings: Nothing else? Nothing else but what?
[there is a long silence]
Robert Kardashian: I didn’t mean it like that.
A.C. Cowlings: Good.

[Marcia is in Oakland with Chris, celebrating the birthday of a friend of his, Byron]
Darrell: Now, I’m not saying that he did it –
Marcia Clark: [clapping her hand over his mouth] Darrell! Darrell, we had a rule! First one who mentions the goddamn case drinks!
Darrell: Fine by me. [downs his shot] I’m not saying that he did it. The jury’s still out.
Marcia Clark: Yeah, that is right.
Darrell: But I heard he was making some TV show about Navy SEALs, or some shit, where he was trained to kill.
Marcia Clark: Yeah, yeah. Frogmen.
Darrell: Yeah, that’s it! They showed him all these kinds of techniques, how to sneak around, and kill people with knives. Cut throats and…slash their legs, all that.
Byron: Why aren’t you talking about that in court?
Christopher Darden: Because the jury would be able to separate from TV and real life. Look, we’re strong enough without that kind of crap.
Byron: The cops framed his ass anyway.
Marcia Clark: [smiling] Is that right, Byron?
Christopher Darden: Oh, no. You’re on your own now, brother.
Marcia Clark: No, no, no, no, no. Come on, come on, come on, come on! What’s your theory?
Byron: Well, I think that cracker cop planted that glove. And they all did what they had to do to prove that O.J. did it. That’s what I think.
[Chris laughs, knowing what’s coming]
Marcia Clark: Okay. [stubs out her cigarette and clears a space around her on the bar. She holds up a shot glass] Here’s the crime scene, Bundy. [puts it down and picks up another glass] Here’s O.J.’s house. [puts it down some way away from the other shot glass] Okay. Fuhrman made up his mind at Bundy that Simpson did it. Even though he had no idea if O.J. had an iron-clad alibi that would then ruin Fuhrman’s career, and land him in jail. Fuhrman takes the glove at Bundy, makes sure it has Goldman and Nicole’s DNA on it, jumps in the car with the other detectives, heads to Rockingham with it, where he gets into the Bronco, somehow, getting all that evidence in it, including Simpson’s blood. Even though the police didn’t have Simpson’s blood until the next day. Then he goes over the wall, plants the glove behind Kato’s room. Then, with the help of the rest of his super-secret cabal of O.J. hating racist cops, he starts getting everything just so, just where it needs to be… Nicole and Ron, and O.J.’s blood, into O.J.’s bedroom. O.J.’s blood back to Bundy. Oh, and O.J.’s Bronco fibres back to Bundy, too. Oh, and they don’t forget to get rid of the real killer’s blood from the back gate – no, no, no – and replace it with O.J.’s blood. Then O.J.’s sock – they get that back to Bundy to pick up all the blood, and then get that sucker right back to Rockingham, too. These guys are a well-oiled conspiracy machine, after all. All this, during a time when everyone involved is under the most relentless media scrutiny in American history. [imitates explosion]
Christopher Darden: And all this for an unknown killer.
Byron: [smiles, and throws his hands up] Maybe.
Marcia Clark: [laughing] No!

A Jury in Jail

Gil Garcetti: The most colossal disaster I’ve ever seen in courtroom practice. And it’s ours, it’s all ours.
Marcia Clark: We will rally. We still have the DNA and the forensic evidence. That is our silver bullet.
Gil Garcetti: [screaming] NO-ONE UNDERSTANDS GODDAMN DNA, MARCIA! But everyone can tell when a goddamn glove doesn’t fit on a goddamn hand!
[he storms out and slams the door behind him, leaving Chris and Marcia standing in an awkward silence]
Christopher Darden: [quietly] They did fit. It was the latex –
Marcia Clark: [frustrated] Get out!

Dennis Fung: So, again, the four pieces to DNA are adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine, abbreviated by their first letters: A, T, G and C. They also come in pair. Now, the non-Watson Crick base pairing is what really gets interesting. It, uh…
Marcia Clark: Mr. Fung, while all this can seem complicated to a non-scientist, the results are astoundingly accurate in terms of matching a suspect to tiny traces that have been left behind. Would you agree?
Dennis Fung: Oh, certainly. The matching process is many, many times more accurate than a fingerprint.
Marcia Clark: “Many, many times more accurate than a fingerprint.” And what were the results of the blood analysis from the Bundy crime scene.
Dennis Fung: Well, the RFLP pattern from item 47 shows us that…
Marcia Clark: Oh, let me rephrase. Other than the two victims, did this incredibly precise DNA matching show anyone else’s blood and DNA at the scene of the murders?
Dennis Fung: It did, uh, just one individual.
Marcia Clark: And does this same DNA match the blood you found on the back gate at Bundy?
Dennis Fung: Yes, it does.
Marcia Clark: And does it match the blood you found inside Mr. Simpson’s Bronco?
Dennis Fung: Yes, it’s all from the same individual.
Marcia Clark: And does it match the DNA and the blood you found leading up to Mr. Simpson’s house and on the sock at the foot of his bed?
Dennis Fung: Yes, it’s all from the same individual’s DNA profile.
Marcia Clark: Could it be anyone else’s DNA?
Dennis Fung: That blood has a particular set of characteristics that could only occur approximately in one in 170 million individuals.
[Robert Kardashian looks visibly shocked by this statement]
Marcia Clark: [to the jury] One person… in one hundred and seventy million. [To Dennis] Is that one person who matches all that DNA in this courtroom here today?
Dennis Fung: Yes, he is.
Marcia Clark: Could you please point him out for the Jury? [Dennis points at O.J.] Let the record show that Mr. Fung is pointing to the Defendant, Mr. Orenthal James Simpson.
[She takes her seat. Kardashian continues to look shaken by this exchange]

[Discussing Juror #462’s accusation against her husband of physically abusing her, which she did not disclose]
Johnnie Cochran: As she said, this was simply a misunderstanding.
Marcia Clark: She lied. She’s out!
Johnnie Cochran: She didn’t lie. She said…
Marcia Clark: She said no to the question “have you ever been a victim of domestic violence?” Her husband raped her twice.
F. Lee Bailey: Actually, it wasn’t legally rape in ’88. [Darden frowns in confusion] I mean, between a husband and wife.
[Ito rolls his eyes, while Marcia stares at Bailey in disbelief]
Marcia Clark: You just said that. Out loud.
Judge Lance Ito: All right, so let me get this straight. The defence is arguing to keep a victim of domestic abuse, and the People are arguing to dismiss her? Somehow, I get the idea if this juror were white, we’d be having a different conversation right now. I have no choice but to dismiss #462.

Kris Jenner: [leading Robert Kardashian into her kitchen] They’ll be ready in a minute.
Robert Kardashian: [stares at his kids playing out in the garden, he turns and looks at his ex-wife] Hey Kris, can we… Can I just have a second?
Kris Jenner: Why?
Robert Kardashian: I don’t know. I thought we could talk.
Kris Jenner: [scoffs] What do we have to talk about?
Robert Kardashian: I think we might get him off.
Kris Jenner: [scoffs again] Congrats.
[Unable to stop himself any longer, Robert sits on a countertop and breaks down crying]
Robert Kardashian: He was my friend for twenty years. I can barely look at him anymore.
Kris Jenner: [turns to face him, now crying herself. She goes to him] Robert, just… leave. Just quit the case.
Robert Kardashian: You don’t think… You don’t think I’ve thought of that? I can’t. I-I mean, it would just become this-this huge… thing. I mean how would it look? It would convict him. I would convict him. And it would make everything else worse for us and for you, for them. I mean, it’s hard enough with half the country hating you. No, I just… I just have to sit there ‘til it’s over. And then he’s out of our lives forever. Okay? Okay? [he starts crying again, and Kris hugs him] I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry, Kris.

Manna from Heaven

[At the appeals hearing]
F. Lee Bailey: Your Honors, may I state first what a pleasure it is to be practicing law once again in the great state of North Carolina. My heart gladdens with the promise of justice when I stand in one of the original 13 Colonies. From the Great Smoky Mountains to the Pamlico Sound, I know that fair consideration will be offered to all who set foot in a Tar Heel tribunal. As the Bible tells us, “Seek, and ye shall find,” and I thank the Lord for helping us to find these terribly troubling tapes.

Judge Lance Ito: A concern has been raised regarding the court’s ability to be fair and impartial. It could be argued that the court would not want the court’s wife to be embarrassed. And what’s unfortunate is that things are said about people all the time, things that are not accurate, not kind, disparaging. I love my wife dearly, and I am… wounded by criticism of her, as any spouse would be. And, uh… I think that it would be reasonable to assume that… could have some impact. Women who work in male-dominated professions, I think, are tougher than most. [Chris glances at Marcia as he says this] And if they are successful, they are almost always… targets for this kind of treatment. There is also an argument that this court, in ruling, might be motivated to punish Detective Fuhrman for making these statements about his wife. So it cuts both ways. This may be a conflict for me, which could trigger a mistrial, so… I think that another judge has to determine whether or not this case can remain before this court.

[After the hearing regarding Ito’s suitability results in a further delay, the Defence team enter a lift together]
Johnnie Cochran: Gotta wait for this judge to get a “comprehensive understanding.” How long? Things cannot be left to whim.
Robert Shapiro: Cochran, you have to trust the system.
Johnnie Cochran: We need to turn up the pressure.
[In their own lift, Marcia and Chris are standing in an awkward silence. Eventually, Chris loses his temper and throws his briefcase to the floor before rounding on Marcia]
Christoper Darden: I told you not to use Fuhrman! Now how many times did I say it? “He’s damaged goods,” I mean, I said it, and I said it, but you just didn’t take me seriously. You know, you put me on this trial because you wanted a black face, but the truth is, you never wanted a black voice.

Johnnie Cochran: Truth, Ms. Clark. The truth. The court hides nothing from the people! Nothing!
[Chris loses his temper, slams his hand on the desk, leaps to his feet and rounds on Johnnie]
Christoper Darden: The truth? You’ve presented a defence that is based completely on lies and deceptions! Just teasing the public, the media, by throwing them bits of the tapes. Inflaming the public’s passions, in an attempt to exert political pressure over His Honor… [Ito raises his hand] In an attempt to pressure the court into admitting in the Fuhrman tapes!
Judge Lance Ito: Mr. Darden!
Christoper Darden: [To Ito] This case is a circus! And the defence has made it into a circus! And the court has allowed them to walk all over…
Judge Lance Ito: Mr. Darden, you are close to being held in contempt!
Christoper Darden: Well, I should be held in contempt! [The defence team starts laughing at this, but are immediately startled into silence] There’s nothing funny here!
Judge Lance Ito: Mr. Darden.
Johnnie Cochran: [softly, with some concern in his voice] Chris, calm down.
Christoper Darden: Don’t.
Judge Lance Ito: Mr. Darden! MR. DARDEN! I am warning you. A good piece of advice – take three deep breaths, then contemplate what you are about to say next.
[There is a long silence, as everyone stares at him apprehensively]
Christopher Darden: I would like counsel, Your Honor.
Judge Lance Ito: [after a brief pause, during which everyone reacts with dismay] All right, Mr. Darden, you can have counsel. Do you wish to call your counsel at this time, Mr. Darden?
[Chris sits and locks eyes pleadingly with Marcia, who after a moment gets to her feet]
Marcia Clark: I would like to be heard on behalf of Mr. Darden, Your Honor.
Judge Lance Ito: Ms. Clark, do you represent Mr. Darden in this matter?
Marcia Clark: I don’t know if I’m legally entitled to, but I would like to be heard. Mr. Darden is simply responding to the unfair events that have occurred in this courtroom today, and other days. The court has been exploited, by counsel for cross-purposes.
Judge Lance Ito: Ms. Clark, I think perhaps you need to take ten deep breaths, for you also are about to be held in contempt.
Marcia Clark: Shall I take off my watch and jewellery?
[Everyone looks shocked by this remark. Chris tenderly takes her hand, and guides her down. After they exchange a long glance, Chris gets to his feet again]
Christopher Darden: Your Honor? Perhaps some of my comments may have been, um, uh, somewhat inappropriate. I apologise the to the court. I meant no disrespect.
Judge Lance Ito: All right, Mr. Darden. I accept your apology. I apologise to you for my reaction as well. You and I have known each other for a number of years, and I know that your response was out of character, so thank you.
Christopher Darden: Thank you, Your Honor.

[Extracts of the Fuhrman Tapes that the court listens to]
Detective Mark Fuhrman: I had 66 allegations of brutality. Like, two of my buddies were shot and ambushed. I was first unit on the scene. Four suspects ran into an apartment in the projects. We kicked the door down, I grabbed a girl that lived there, grabbed her by the hair, and stuck a gun to her head, and used her as a barricade. I walked up, and I said “I’ve got this girl. I’ll blow her fucking brains out if you come out with a gun.” I held her, then I threw the bitch down the stairs.
Laura McKinny: Can we use that in the story?
Detective Mark Fuhrman: [chuckles] It hasn’t been seven years. Statute of limitations. I have 300-something pages of internal affairs investigation, just on that one incident. We basically tortured those guys. We broke their bones until their faces were mush. There was blood all the way to the ceiling and finger marks, like they were trying to crawl out. It was unbelievable – there was blood everywhere. How do you intellectualise when you punch the hell out of a nigger? He either deserves it, or he doesn’t. Falsifying a report? Whatever. That’s putting a criminal in jail. That’s being a policeman. Does that police station have the smell of niggers? They’ve been beaten and killed in there for 30 years. Immediately after we beat those guys, we found a garden hose in the back. We had blood all over us. With a dark-blue uniform, you don’t see it. But we had to wash our hands. It looked like red paint. We cleaned our badges, we cleaned our faces, then we went out to direct traffic.

The Verdict

Christopher Darden: Ladies and Gentlemen, to grasp this crime, you must first understand Mr. Simpson’s relationship to his ex-wife, Nicole. It was a ticking time bomb. The fuse was lit in 1985, the very year they were married. Officers responded after Mr. Simpson beat Nicole and took a baseball bat to her Mercedes. Then, in 1989, Nicole had to call 911 again, fearing for her life. When officers arrived, Nicole ran towards them, yelling “He’s going to kill me. He’s going to kill me.” She had a black eye, a cut forehead, swollen cheek. In her torn bra, Nicole pleaded with the officers, “You’ve come up here eight times. You never do anything about him.” [scoffs] And they want to tell you that the police conspired against Mr. Simpson. This case is not about the “N” word. It’s It is about O.J. Simpson and the “M” word, “murder.” [points at O.J.] I’m not afraid to point to him and say he did it. Why not? The evidence all points to him. In February 1992, Nicole filed for divorce. She was running away from the man who said he’d kill her. She saw the explosion coming. Why else fill a safe deposit box with threatening letters from the Defendant, a will and police photos of past beatings? She knew that the bomb could go off at any second. And then it did. On June 12, 1994, while their daughter danced, the Defendant kept his eyes fixed on Nicole. Spurned. Now imagine this Defendant in the Bronco. He is full of anger, and he is full of rage, and it is night time and he is driving, and the focus of his anger is Nicole. It is 10 o’clock, and he’s driving as fast as he can. He is out of control, folks. The fact that the kids are in the house means nothing to this man. Simpson has lost Nicole, and he is upset and angry. The fuse is getting shorter. The anger is building. The rage he has, the anger, the hate, flows out of him and into the knife, and from the knife into her. With each thrust of the knife into her body, there’s a release, a small release. And he stabs and cuts and slices until that rage is gone. Until Nicole and Ron are gone. He’s a murderer. Now he was also one hell of a great football player. But he’s still a murderer.

[The post-trial press conference by the Prosecution]
Gil Garcetti: We are all profoundly disappointed with this verdict. But it was clear to me, and to the prosecution, that this was an emotional trial. And apparently, the jury’s decision was based on… emotion, and not reason. None of you will know the sacrifices that this team and their families made. We’re very proud of them. And we stand here in front of you with our heads held high. I’d like to give Marcia the opportunity to say thank you.
[He steps aside and lets Marcia take the podium]
Marcia Clark: I first want to extend my deepest thanks to the families of the victims. To the Goldmans, and to the Browns. Their strength, their dignity and their support throughout this trial has been a tremendous source of inspiration and strength to all of us. This case was fought as a battle for victims of domestic violence. We hope this verdict does not discourage the victims who are out there, throughout this country, from seeking help. I know there are women who are, at this very moment, living in fear, living in violence. Please, don’t let this make you lose faith in our system. Thank you. [Quietly and encouragingly, to Chris] Chris?
[Slowly, Chris steps up to the podium]
Christopher Darden: Uh… If there is anything that ever motivated me throughout the trial, it was the, the idea, the notion that one day, I would have to turn and… to the Goldmans, and, uh… with the realisation that he had been acquitted. But that is the verdict, that is the Jury’s decision, uh, position. That’s their voice. And I accept that verdict. Uh… We came here in search of justice. And you’ll have to be the judges, I expect, as to whether or not, uh, any of us found it today. But I’m not bitter. And I’m not angry. But I’d also like to thank the, uh, lawyers on our prosecution team. I am honoured to have, uh…
[Unable to finish his sentence, he goes to embrace the Goldman family, and breaks down in tears. He leaves, and Marcia follows him]
Reporter: Gil, Gil, Gil! You gonna look for the real killer now?
[Gil turns and looks at him with a mixture of shock and anger, but does not respond]

Johnnie Cochran: [upon encountering Chris in a hallway] Chris? Got a minute? [Puts his briefcase down] I… I appreciate how hard you fought. Especially that closing. This was war. And you did a superb job. I respect that. I… I know how difficult this has been on you. And when the dust settles… I’d like to help bring you back into the community.
Christopher Darden: [coldly] Hmm. Well, I never left. You think I don’t understand the situation? I get it. It’s payback. O.J.’s the first black defendant in history to get off because he’s black.
Johnnie Cochran: The people will see who the police really are…
Christopher Darden: All the people saw was how well you can twist the system. This isn’t some civil rights milestone. Police in this country will keep arresting us, keep beating us, keep killing us. You haven’t changed anything for black people here. Unless, of course, you’re a famous rich one in Brentwood.
[He pats his shoulder and leaves]

[Last lines]
Jason Simpson: Hey, Dad.
O.J. Simpson: Oh, hey, son.
Jason Simpson: Hey, uh, called the Riviera. They can’t take us.
O.J. Simpson: What do you mean? Call ‘em back, ask for Marco. He’ll make room for me.
Jason Simpson: I did, Dad. Marco said he doesn’t have room for you.
O.J. Simpson: [shocked] Well, the hell with the Riviera. I’ll find another place.
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