Los Angeles police are testing a knife that some speculate may be the long-missing murder weapon used in the 1994 slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, authorities said Friday.
The knife, which authorities said came into their possession within the last month, was allegedly recovered by a citizen from O.J. Simpson’s Rockingham Ave. estate before it was demolished in 1998.
Simpson, Nicole’s ex-husband, was famously tried and acquitted of the murders in 1994, but the case has received renewed attention in recent weeks after the premiere of a new FX miniseries, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. Under the principle of double jeopardy, Simpson’s acquittal for the murders means he cannot be tried again for the crimes.
TMZ, which first reported the existence of the knife Friday morning, said the weapon is a folding buck knife and was uncovered by a construction worker on the Rockingham property. The construction worker later turned it over to an off-duty traffic cop, who “took the knife home and kept it,” TMZ reported. The knife finally made its way into evidence after the officer retired and “contacted a friend who worked in LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division.”
“The cop told the friend about the knife and said he was getting it framed to put on his wall,” TMZ reports. “He wanted his friend to get the DR (Departmental Record) number for the Nicole Brown Simpson/Ronald Goldman murder case, which he planned on engraving in the frame.”
Police officials reportedly demanded that the former officer surrender the knife, which is now being examined for hair and fingerprints and will soon be tested for DNA and blood evidence.
During a press conference outside LAPD headquarters Friday morning, Capt. Andy Neiman confirmed that a retired traffic officer had recently turned in a knife, which he claimed was recovered from Simpson’s Rockingham property, but declined to provide further details and said detectives were still working to verify the weapon’s origin.
Neiman confirmed that the knife was being tested for hair, blood and DNA evidence. He also said detectives from the department’s Robbery-Homicide division would investigate whether the retired officer, whom he declined to name, had committed a crime by failing to turn over the knife for so long.
“I would think that an LAPD officer — if this story is accurate, as we’re being told — would know that any time you come into contact with evidence that you should and shall submit that to investigators,” Neiman said. “So I don’t know what the circumstances of why that didn’t happen or if that’s entirely accurate or if this whole story is bogus from the get-go.”