O.J. Simpson saga, 20 years later - KMSP-TV

O.J. Simpson saga, 20 years later

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By Larry Yellen, FOX 32 Chicago News Legal Analyst

CHICAGO (WFLD) -- This week marks two decades since the double murder which led to the trial and acquittal of O.J. Simpson. He's now in prison for another crime, but for many, his fall from grace began 20 years ago Thursday.

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Up until June of 1994, O.J. Simpson had been known worldwide as a superstar NFL running back, a celebrity pitchman and a Hollywood actor.

But on Sunday night, June 12, 20 years ago, his 35-year-old ex-wife Nicole, and her friend, 25-year-old Ronald Goldman, were stabbed to death outside Nicole's Brentwood condominium in Los Angeles.

Later that same night, Simpson flew to Chicago, staying at a hotel near O'Hare. On that Monday, he caught a flight back to Los Angeles.

Four days later, Simpson was charged with two counts of murder. He managed to escape from his pricey estate and lead police on the now infamous 60-mile, 2 hour slow speed chase. He held a gun to his head and threatened to commit suicide. Simpson eventually returned to his home and surrendered to police.

His criminal trial, dubbed by many the "trial of the century, " ended with a not guilty verdict that was seen, and debated, around the world.

Two years later, however, a jury in a civil lawsuit awarded the victims’ families 33.5 million dollar. The families are still trying to collect.

In 2007, Simpson was involved in a casino hotel theft which led to a conviction and sentence of nine to 33 years Simpson now sits in a Nevada prison cell, while appealing that conviction.

As for the rest of the players in the Simpson criminal case: Judge Lance Ito is still on the bench and plans to retire next year. Marcia Clark never tried another case and wrote some mystery novels. Johnnie Cochran passed away from brain cancer in 2005. Simpson houseguest, Kato Kaelin, is promoting a new clothing line called Kato’s Potatoes.

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