Previously on TPvOJS, ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia’
In and outside the courtroom, the defense and the prosecution entertain or debunk conspiracy theories concerning the case ranging from a complete frame job conducted by the police to a hit performed by a Colombian drug cartel. However, the theory that O.J. is the murderer loses steam when the gloves recovered from Rockingham and Bundy do not fit him.
In fear of ruining his reputation with the police, Shapiro tries to convince Kardashian to implore O.J. to take a plea. Shapiro even goes as far as implicating Kardashian as an accessory to the crime since he is in possession of Simpson’s mysterious garment bag that he traveled with on the night of the murders.
Another Dream Team member’s character is also brought into question when Cochran’s ex-wife, as well as his former mistress, participate in a TV tabloid interview about the lawyer’s misdeeds.
If O.J didn’t do it, then who did?
As Cochran has been emphasizing the entire trial, an effective attorney gives the jury a plausible narrative for the offense that does not implicate their client. We get to see this very belief put in action when Alan Dershowitz faxes a note with the phrase “Colombian necktie” during a Harvard law lecture to Cochran in the middle of cross examining detective Lange. With the cocaine addict Faye Resnick staying with Nicole just a few days before her demise, Cochran implies that the murders could very well be drug related. A Colombian necktie is a technique the Colombian cartel used in which a person’s throat is viscously slashed to near decapitation (much like Nicole’s throat). Ridiculous as it sounds, it is apparent that this theory resonates with the jury as a possibility. Even Dershowitz’s class applauds this scheme.
I was quite sickened by this, but hey, this is true to our judicial system. Sometimes it’s more about who can convey the most persuasive tale than the actual facts.
Even with this spectacle, however, Kardashian is not so easily convinced. He begins to question exactly why there are no realistic theories of who else could have committed the homicides. Up to now, there has never been more media coverage on one particular case and still there are no other viable suspects. He tells Cochran that he just cannot reasonably believe that Fuhrman planted all of the blood evidence, particularly in the Bronco. You are not the only one, sir.
On a trip to celebrate the birthday of one of Darden’s friends, Clark is given an opportunity to completely debunk the defense’s theory that O.J. was framed by the racist LAPD. For Fuhrman to have planted all of the blood evidence, all of the following would have to be true:
- At Bundy, Fuhrman instantly infers that O.J. is guilty and begins to plant evidence even though he has no way of knowing if Simpson will have an iron-clad alibi.
- Fuhrman takes one glove from Bundy and smears Ron and Nicole’s blood on it.
- At Rockingham, Fuhrman jumps in the Bronco, it is presumably unlocked, and spreads blood from the glove in the car. He then somehow plants Simpson’s blood in the vehicle as well, even though Vannatter will not collect O.J.’s blood until the next day.
- Fuhrman then plants the glove near Kato’s residence and further places O.J., Ron, and Nicole’s blood all in Simpson’s bedroom. He would then have to utilize Lange and Vannatter to take O.J.’s sock from Rockingham, cover it with blood from both victims, and then place back in Simpson’s bedroom.
- The cops then seemingly get rid of the true killer’s blood on the back gate at Bundy and replace it with O.J.’s blood.
I loved this scene so much. I am not sure if Clark ever explained away the framing notion in this manner, but this should have been her closing statement! This would have definitely resonated with the jury, shot glasses and all.
“If the Gloves Don’t Fit…”
The defense discovers new evidence in Nicole’s financial records. Detective Vannatter and Lange are able to prove that Nicole bought two pairs of extra-large Isotoner gloves on December 18, 1990. Surprisingly, the Bloomingdales in New York was the only store to sell this type of glove in America. Furthermore, only 200 pairs of the Isotoners, the same type of gloves worn by Nicole and Ron’s killer, were actually purchased! This is quite a find and Clark even proclaims, “The gloves are our conviction.” Oh, Marcia. If only that were true.
Armed with this smoking gun, Darden implores Marcia to produce “a big moment” of their own that will resonate with the jury like the defense has been able to do. Darden wishes to make O.J. put on the gloves in court to further prove the strong likelihood that he is indeed the murderer. Clark is strongly against this idea and evokes her authority during the court proceedings: “Let me be clear. This is my case. You work for me. When I say drop it, drop it.”
Wow. This was quite condescending, but Darden clearly should have listened. Too bad hindsight and not foresight is 20-20.
Shapiro is able to redeem himself some from his earlier transgressions of doubting the Dream Team’s strategy when he has the ingenious idea to try the gloves on when they are left on the witness stand during recess. To my surprise, this actually happened. You would think they would have more control of evidence in such a high profile case. No one thought to put them back in the evidence bag?
He discovers that the gloves don’t fit his hands, and presumably wont fit O.J.’s either. Shapiro urges Cochran to allow Simpson to wear the gloves for the jury, but Bailey instructs them to compel the prosecution to request it. Bailey performs the first baiting of Darden when he whispers in Darden’s ear, “You’ve got the balls of a stud field mouse. If you don’t ask him to try on the gloves, I will.” Again, this really happened.
Darden resumes questioning a witness and asks if the wearer of the leather gloves would be able to fit them. Masterfully, Cochran further baits Darden by preemptively objecting to the prosecution asking Simpson to try on the gloves. This is clearly to give Darden the impression that the defense is afraid for O.J. to wear the gloves. Darden falls for this like leaves in autumn.
Much to Clark’s chagrin, Darden requests for O.J. to put on the gloves and surprise, surprise they do not fit.
According to the writer/filmmaker Lawrence Schiller, Kardashian informed him that Cochran instructed O.J. to stop taking his anti-inflammatory medication for his rheumatoid arthritis about 1.5 months before the glove display in court. Potentially, O.J.’s hands could have been more swollen than they were at the time of the murders, making the gloves not fit. I bet the latex gloves O.J. wore under the Istoners did not help either.
Rightfully so, Clark is pissed by the failed demonstration and the Goldmans appear utterly defeated. The episode ends with a guilty Darden calling to apologize for his blunder to the Goldmans: “We will come back from this.” Oh Darden. Marcia’s misguided optimism is rubbing off on you.
Eh, What’s Up Doc?
Here are a few facts from the A&E documentary entitled “The Secret Tapes of the O.J. Case: The Untold Story,” and the I.D. documentary entitled “O.J: Trial of the Century” that pertain to this episode:
- Detective Vannatter collected blood from O.J. at the police station. However, Vannatter did not log it into evidence immediately, but took it to the Rockingham location to hand it to the forensic scientist on location. Shapiro challenges him on this and indicates again this is the first instance of an LAPD detective to have handled evidence in this particular way.
- Reporters confronted Cochran with whether the gloves could have shrunk due to the moisture that was collected on them. They also asked him if O.J. was acting and contorting his body to make the gloves not fit. His response is that you can speculate about anything and that over time leather actually stretches. Man, he is good.
- Carl Douglas felt like the DNA evidence was going over the jury’s head, but the glove demonstration really resonated. It was from that point that the defense felt like things were falling in their favor.
- Lawrence Schiller interviewed Robert Kardashian in 1995. It is very clear that as the trial progressed, Kardashian did start to doubt O.J.’s innocence: “I was never in the case to win the case. I was in the case to find the truth.” Kardashian stated that as the evidence begin to pile up, he started to feel betrayed. “From day one I never suspected anything. Well now what? You know the doubt and insecurity goes through you and you say ‘Well shoot what if he really did it?’…This is a family member who you don’t believe could ever do something like this and then they do.” He tells Schiller that he did not have a choice in leaving and had to see the trial through. However, Kardashian knew his relationship with O.J. was one-sided and admitted that Simpson would never have been there for him if the roles were reversed.
Well, That’s News to Me
- Cochran had a love child with Patricia Sikora, a woman who he cheated on his first wife with for more than 20 years.
- Shapiro attempted to distance himself from the group by displaying support for the LAPD in the courtroom.
- Kardashian was in possession of a garment bag that O.J. gave him after returning from Chicago a day after the murders. According to CNN, Kardashian attempted to give the bag to the police, but they refused to take it.
I Have Questions
- In the episode, Cochran’s current wife is upset about his former double life being displayed on TV for all of her family and friends to see. However, how could they not already know? Cochran had a son by Patricia, so did her family not know about Johnnie Jr.? Or did her family think his son was a product of his first marriage?
- Did Johnnie having a mistress, particularly a white one, affect his status as an upstanding advocate in the black community?
- Were they ever able to match the bloody fingerprint on Nicole’s gate to O.J.?
This episode was not bad my any means. However, this was my least favorite episode so far in the series. The case as a whole was not really propelled forward except for the glove business towards the end. I did enjoy the juxtaposition of Shapiro being afraid of losing the case and Kardashian in fear of O.J., his close friend, being guilty of double homicide. Additionally, Clark instructing her boss Garcetti to never comment on her hair was well deserved and glorious! I am looking forward to seeing how Darden and Clark’s relationship will develop following Darden’s epic courtroom blunder and subsequent betrayal to Clark.