The Los Angeles Police Department is examining what’s been described as a knife found at a property the once belonged to former star NFL running back O.J. Simpson.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Los Angeles police Capt. Andy Neiman said the knife was reportedly recovered from a retired officer who received the item from a construction worker who found it, possibly when Simpson’s former Brentwood estate was being demolished.
“Within the last month the LAPD became aware of an item that was allegedly recovered by a citizen at the Rockingham property possibly during the demolition of the site,” said Neiman. “We need to vet that. We still don’t know if that is an accurate account of how this item came into our possession.”
“The actual item is described as a knife,” he said, but would not offer any details on its description.
It is unclear if the knife is connected to the 1994 murders of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Neiman said the Robbery Homicide Division is examining the knife for forensics, including DNA and hairs, at a lab.
The retired officer, who was not named, said he didn’t surrender the item earlier because he believed the case was closed, according to Neiman who clarified the case is still open. He added that based on his 30 years of police experience, “double jeopardy” laws would apply and that Simpson could not be prosecuted again for the murders.
The Associated Press reported in May 1998 that a construction crew found a folding-blade knife in Simpson’s neighborhood but police said at the time that the knife couldn’t be linked to the murders.
The ‘Trial of the Century’
The O.J. Simpson murder trial captured the world’s attention with jury selection started November 9, 1994.
From the infamous slow-speed police chase seen by millions on live television involving Simpson and a white Ford Bronco, to the famous quote “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” the case was dubbed the “Trial of the Century.”
The marathon trial lasted nearly nine months with testimony from roughly 120 witnesses and evidence from more than 1,000 exhibits.
The knife used in the stabbing deaths was described as a long, serrated knife but was never found.
Flanked by his all-star legal team, including famed defence lawyer Johnnie Cochran, Simpson was ultimately found not guilty in the two killings on October 3, 1995.
In September 2007, Simpson was arrested in connection with a robbery at a Las Vegas hotel room. The former NFL running back said he was retrieving personal items that had been stolen from him and were being sold as memorabilia. He was charged with six counts of robbery, assault, burglary and conspiracy.
In October 2008, Simpson was found guilty and was sentenced to at 33 years in jail, with parole eligibility after nine years.
There is renewed interest in the O.J. case following the debut of the FX series “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, and David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian.
*With files from the Associated Press