Disclaimer #1: The title of this blog refers to the recent book I read about the OJ Simpson case, not my own personal view points :-)
Disclaimer #2: The only sports content in this blog is the fact that OJ Simpson was a famous running back.
When I picked up Bill Dear's book OJ Simpson is Innocent and I Can Prove it , I jokingly said to some friends and colleagues that I was not sure if I should have found this book in the fiction or humour section of the book store. It all seemed pretty clear that OJ Simpson was guilty of killing both is ex-wife and her friend and the DNA evidence appeared to back it up. The only thing that cleared Simpson was both the ineptitude of both the prosecution and the judge, who seemed quite content to let Simpson's so-called "Dream Team" call the shots. Also, the skillful manipulation of a jury who seemed to be quite star-struck by OJ lead to a verdict of not guilty. It should be noted that Simpson was found guilty in a civil trial, partly due to the fact that the burden of proof is not quite so onerous in civil law.
I was afraid of a couple of things when I picked up Dear's book. First and foremost was the hope that Dear would not fall prey to Simpson hero worship and that he would attempt to humanize OJ. That fear was put to rest as Dear does not actually meet with Simpson at all during the book and paints him as a conniving womanizer, both a physical and verbal abuser of women, an absentee father one who is quite willing to use those in his inner circle for his own benefit. The other thing that I was fearful of was that Dear would rely on the usual cliche conspiracy theories and would offer nothing new to the investigation. That fear was also put to rest as the story takes place over the 18 years that Dear spent investigating the case. He is thorough, leaving little stone unturned, and you may come away with the conclusion that he was a tad obsessed with the case.
Without giving any spoilers, Dear does present to us a credible alternate theory, and a suspect that was not considered before. He uses expert testimony and analysis to back it up and is not afraid to be a little duplicitous in order to find out what he wants. There are gaps in his story that he does fill with his own speculation, and those points could certainly be exploited and in the final summation hinder Dears' ultimate theory. His theory about why OJ would not kill his wife and friend at the time he did is almost laughable and full of holes. Still, you cannot help but admire his dogged determinism. There was very little profit to be gained by Dear, a veteran private investigation yet he desires a full closure to a case that everyone seems to acknowledge is closed.
In the end you cannot argue with 18 years of investigation. He unearths clues that had not been analyzed and uses credible experts who back up his years of work. I am not ready to make the "OJ is innocent" leap of faith but his presentation of an alternative suspect is extremely intriguing and worth re-opening the re-investigation.
Unfortunately for the LAPD re-opening this investigation rips open a would akin to the one inflicted by the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Fred Goldman.