‘Final 24’: Who killed Nicole Brown Simpson? Inside the vile murder and the sensational OJ Simpson trial

‘Final 24’: Who killed Nicole Brown Simpson? Inside the vile murder and the sensational OJ Simpson trial
Nicole Brown Simpson and OJ Simpson (Getty Images)

"She became Nicole Brown, her own person. She started all over again," Cora Fischman, a neighbor whose children went to school with the Simpson children said after Nicole's divorce with OJ Simpson.  Nicole and OJ's relationship was marred by tragedy and domestic abuse charges. Acquaintances, who knew the couple, say they were happy for a long, long time but once she divorced OJ in 1992, she was at the dawn of a new life.

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After her split, she lived at 875 South Bundy Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California with her kids, Sydney and Justin. One Sunday evening on June 12, 1994, Nicole was allegedly heading out with her 25-year-old restaurant-friend Ron Goldman for a "fun night" but she was mysteriously found lying in a pool of blood after she was stabbed to death outside her home. Her friend, Goldman, lay slaughtered right there as well.

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Her body was found after midnight and an autopsy report revealed severe wounds on her body. She was stabbed seven times in the neck and scalp and she had a 5.5-inch-long gash across her throat, that ruptured her right and left jugular veins and penetrating at a depth of almost 0.75 inches deep into her cervical vertebrae. Her tragic death soon became one of the most gruesome and notorious crimes of the century. 

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OJ Simpson is taken into custody after being found guilty during his trial at the Clark County Regional Justice Center on October 3, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Getty Images)

Reports claimed that OJ, her ex-husband, was behind those murders. Was her husband responsible or was he framed? What really happened during her final 24 hours? The former football player soon became prime suspect and on June 17, 1994, he was arrested by cops while he was riding in a white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV along with his longtime friend Al Cowlings. The 1994 NBA Finals were interrupted on TV to cover the live incident and it was named "the most famous ride on American shores since Paul Revere's".

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OJ's arrest and subsequent trial was widely publicized and after 11 months on October 3, 1995, the jury declared him "not guilty" for the two murders. The response was divided and many felt that the verdict was not justified. According to a 2016 poll, 83% of white Americans and 57% of black Americans believe OJ committed the murders. Following OJ's acquittal of criminal charges, Goldman's family filed a civil lawsuit against OJ. Nicole's mother and Goldman’s parents were awarded $33.5 million, which included $8.5 million in compensatory damages and $12.5 million in punitive damages.

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OJ Simpson (Getty Images)

During the trial, OJ failed a lie detector test, and Nicole's call for help came into the open, days before the murder. He spoke about the murders under oath but declined to take a stand. Attorney Daniel Petrocelli questioned OJ for 13 days during the deposition and when asked where he was, he shot back saying, “I don’t know if they [the police] asked me that question. I was home.” Moreover, the infamous bloody gloves are said to have fitted him and there are photos of him wearing those. According to his former sports agent, Mike Gilbert, OJ had stopped taking his arthritis medicines and his hands were swollen.

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Till today, several people feel OJ was responsible. In 1996, OJ was given the custody of Sydney and Justin even as Nicole's parents continued to fight for custody. Ten years later, OJ wrote a book with the help of a ghostwriter, titled, 'If I Did It'. In the book, he said he was poorly portrayed by the press, denied being a "sociopath" and blamed Nicole for drug abuse and erratic behavior. 

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In 2007, a Florida bankruptcy court reportedly awarded the Goldman family all rights to the book and the title was then changed to 'If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer'. ‘Final 24’ airs every Wednesday at 9 pm ET on AXS TV. More weekly episodes will feature the lives of several other iconic celebrities like Jim Morrison, Tupac, John Belushi and more. 

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