‘Resting in Peace?’

Three days after her death, after the coroner, the police and the media all had their way with Nicole’s mangled body, it was time for the family to bury its dead.

 In a bucolic field minutes from the tranquil Pacific Ocean, high atop a pastoral hill, sat Nicole’s final resting place, a pristine cemetery in prestigious Laguna Hills, only an hour’s drive but a million miles away from the madness of Los Angeles.

 And there I was, the only reporter in the world to successfully con his way behind the guarded gates to catch a glimpse of this bizarre and uncomfortable event.

I had followed the procession of stretch limousines on the long trip from Nicole’s church in Brentwood…

St Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Brentwood, California

 As we approached the burial ground, I kept thinking of the old film footage of President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade when the assassination occurred.

There was an eerie mixture of excitement, sadness and confusion in the hot and humid summer air.

You felt as if you were in the midst of an historic moment, something that you would never forget and that your children’s children would one day talk about.

There were babies hoisted on shoulders. Cameras and reporters were everywhere.

And there were more police and Sheriff’s deputies than I had ever seen at any one single event in my entire life.

Even for a National Enquirer reporter, it was mesmerizing.

 Armed with a dark suit, a sober expression and little hope of actually penetrating the makeshift fortress that had been engineered around the grounds, I made my way toward the big iron gates that barred entrance to the cemetery.

Ascension Cemetery in Lake Forest, California

 Sheriff’s deputies and local police had formed a barricade to the throng of reporters and bystanders.

I remembered that I had craftily obtained a Mass card from the church service in Brentwood earlier that day, and I thought it might just be my ticket in.

 I reverently presented the card, with the traditional sentiment, “Nicole Brown Simpson: In Memoriam”, written on the front, and I innocently asked if I was late.

 To my amazement, it worked. Without hesitation, the officers stood aside and allowed me to pass.

Excited and anxious, I immediately began the long walk down the circular drive that weaved its way through the cemetery.

For miles around, every inch of the perimeter of the park was lined with either police, reporters or photographers with cameras clicking and flashing chaotically at anything that moved, including me.

it was pandemonium like I can only compare to the excitement associated with walking up the red carpet at a Hollywood premiere.

 As I neared the plot, almost at the center of the cemetery, I heard the priest speak his last words, “Rest in peace”.

He had spoken only a few short and sterile words before, but then, what was there to say?

 The small gathering of no more than 30 or so was seated in folding chairs underneath a small canopy with the casket out in front.

Immediately after the priest’s final words, the assembly disbanded into separate and distinct groups.

 As I made my way to the casket, I heard the unmistakable sounds of James Taylor coming from an old cassette recorder that was placed at the base of the casket.

The serene melodies were anything but appropriate for this tense and uncomfortable setting, and the artificially instilled calm only increased the tension in the air.

Everything was wrong about it.

 To my astonishment, adorning Nicole’s casket were countless photographs of the victim in seductive poses and inappropriately provocative outfits with a collection of different men.

Occasionally, a picture of the family popped up in between but I could see no pictures of Nicole and O.J. together.

A stirring memorial written by Nicole and O.J.’s children and placed at the front of the casket reminded all of who the real victims were in this twisted Hollywood tale.

 All the players were there.

The potpourri of personalities the world would soon come to know better than their own families were paying last respects to Nicole: Nicole’s mother and father Juditha and Lou Brown, and her sisters, Dominique, Tanya and, lastly, Denise, the ultimately vocal sister who sported an eerie resemblance to Nicole.

Thursday June 16 1994

 At the funeral, their silence was all too pregnant and revealing.

Kato Kaelin, the surfer-like Hollywood pretty boy and wannabe, who would become both a blessing and a curse for the prosecution.

O.J. and Nicole’s children, Sydney and Justin, the only really innocent bystanders in this whole sordid fiasco.

O.J.’s children from his first marriage, Jason and Arnelle.

 Nicole’s friend and jogging partner who showed up the morning after the tragic event for their daily jog only to find a trail of Nicole’s blood tracked by her beloved Akita dog to her bloodied body.

They were joined by a colourful cavalcade of 30 or so friends.

 And there, in the front row, perched anxiously on the edge of his seat sobbing too convincingly was The Juice.

As he slumped in his chair next to the casket, he sat alone.

 I remember thinking that if my wife had just been brutally murdered, my first and foremost emotion would be outrage.

 Nicole’s family was anything but the consoling former in-laws.

In fact, for as long as I was there, not once did they communicate with their ex-son-in-law in any way.

 Not a soul dared to speak about the crime. It was evident that everyone was bursting at the seams, dying to cast their vote as to O.J.’s guilt, but propriety prevented them from doing so.

The tension was unbearable.

 As the event came to its pathetic end an hour later, and I prepared to depart, I realised that this funeral was just a formality.

 The real burial could not possibly happen under these strained circumstances, not until the case was closed, and the ugly memories were allowed to fade.

The Grave of Nicole Brown Simpson

 Only then could Nicole ever finally rest in peace.

Chris Benguhe

O.J. Simpson Trial of the Century  (1996)

Ascension Cemetery Lake Forest California

A House of Fun…

Nicole’s warmth was reflected in her entertaining style, her guests report. “Her parties were more like pot-luck suppers that state dinners. Jason and Arnelle would come with their dates,” says Greer, who notes that O.J’s children from his first marriage were good friends with Nicole.

“The vision I have of her is barefoot at one of her barbecues, with animals everywhere, and lots of friends and family and everyone laughing.”

While Nicole lived with O.J, the house was meticulously kept, but her friends remember her own home as a place where people could feel comfortable, even sloppy.

“Her house was for fun. One night at a dinner party, I started pelting people with tortilla chips; Nick started pelting back,” says Greer. “That was the great thing about her; you could throw chips at her house.”

Jeannie Ralston

Nicole Brown Simpson: Her Story (Glamour Magazine Fall 1994)

Could O.J. Simpson Be Innocent?

“OJ is innocent”

Private investigator claims Simpson’s SON hacked star’s wife and friend to death… and he went to trial to cover it up

A Texas private investigator claims he knows who really killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman in 1994. And it wasn’t OJ Simpson.

 In a new book, ‘OJ is Innocent and I Can Prove It,’ William C. Dear alleges Simpson went on trial, and was acquitted of murder, in an effort to deflect attention from the true killer: His son Jason.

Dear says Simpson was at the crime scene — but not until after his ex-wife and her friend had been stabbed to death.

After a 17-year investigation, Dear says he has found circumstantial evidence that links Jason Simpson, 41, to the murders.

The private eye claims he dug through Jason Simpson’s garbage and his abandoned storage locker in search of new evidence, the New York Post reported.

In the search, Dear says he found a hunting knife that forensic experts say is the murder weapon that was never recovered during the police investigation.

He also found photographs of Jason Simpson wearing a knit cap, similar to one that was discovered at the crime scene.

Prosecutors were unable to definitely link the hat to OJ Simpson, though hairs similar to his were found inside.

Dear calls Jason Simpson ‘the overlooked suspect’ and produced a documentary film released in 2010 detailing the accusations that he is the real culprit behind the murder.

During the screening of his film in 2011 he displayed a suspected murder weapon from the night of June 12, 1994 at the DocMiami Film Festival.

Dear says two months before the murders, Jason Simpson assaulted his girlfriend. The chef also deals with ‘intermittent rage disorder,’ according to the New York Post.

‘That person who was wielding and welding that knife, had to know exactly what he was doing and he certainly had to be familiar with a knife. OJ wasn’t,’ Mr Dear said in his documentary.

Despite these alleged findings, Jason Simpson’s DNA and fingerprints were never compared to those found at the crime scene. He was never interviewed by police, either, the Post reports.

No arrests other than Simpson’s were made in the murders.

OJ Simpson was the prime suspect for the murders because he helped to cover up his son’s crimes and, in effect, allowed himself to take the fall, the book claims.

‘The LA PD and the district attorney had made a rush to judgement,’ Mr Dear said.

At the time of the trial, Judge Lance Ito said from his bench: ‘Those who say the criminal justice system itself is on trial may be right.’

The Post could not reach Jason Simpson, who is working as a chef in Miami, for a comment.

The paper reports his phone line as disconnected.

Dear, a private investigator of 30 years based in Texas, is a former Florida and Texas police officer who has been featured on Current Affair, Unsolved Mysteries and Fox TV.

Other investigations he has worked on are the Exhumation of Lee Harvey Oswald, The disappearance of the Teenage Genius and the Alien Autopsy, according to his website.

According to Dear’s publisher: ‘This book includes shocking photos and new evidence about the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman, that was totally overlooked by the original investigators. Evidence that points directly to a surprising new suspect, very close to OJ.

The Daily Mail Newspaper