Domestic Abuse and the Police: Why Victims Don’t Report

9-1-1 call by Nicole Brown Simpson, 1989: the Aftermath

  • Simpson, according to police officer Ron Shipp, (who knew O. J. Simpson pretty well, who’d been dropping by Simpson’s house about once a month, to use his tennis court, sit in his pool, etc) “was very upset because he thought that he was going to lose Hertz and his image was going to be tarnished.” So the officer “went to his supervisors at the West L. A. station and asked that the case against Simpson be dropped . . .” and then Shipp “returned to Nicole to implore her to leave O. J.’s precious image intact.”

Toobin is very clear on this point:

  • In a trial that resounded on talk with conspiracies within the LAPD, this was, in reality, the only conspiracy: the one to help O. J. Simpson escape prosecution for beating his wife in 1989. Small wonder, then, that in the week before her death, Nicole called a battered women’s shelter, not the police, to report that her ex-husband was stalking her.

The Run of His Life: The People vs O. J. Simpson, p. 267

In effect, Toobin’s book is the justice that the O. J. Simpson trial, and the attending circus orchestrated by the defending lawyers, never afforded Nicole Brown Simpson and her fellow murder victim Ron Goldman.

She should have hired a lawyer. Why didn’t she? Gaslighting by O.J. perhaps? She was not the smartest, self will grant you. She was terrorized. Maybe she thought a lawyer wouldn’t believe her?

Self would still have called a lawyer. Five years later, Nicole Brown Simpson was dead. DEAD. DEAD.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Jury Selection, O. J. Simpson Trial

The Run of His Life: The People vs O. J. Simpson, p. 188

In ordinary circumstances, government lawyers do little to prepare for jury selection in a criminal trial. Prosecutors’ offices almost never have the funds to hire jury consultants …

Simpson’s lead defense lawyer, on the other hand, hired the best jury consultant in Los Angeles.

Here’s what self is wondering: how could a second-tier celebrity like O. J. Simpson afford a team of lawyers as high-powered as these? Shapiro worked with a team of hand-picked lawyers. He also drew up a list of expert witnesses that included the jury specialist, the psychologist etc etc

Self sincerely hopes Toobin includes a section on how much the lawyers were paid. They got Simpson his freedom, self wonders what the price tag was? What exactly is the price tag of a great defensive team?

Self would love to read a book about the Harvey Weinstein trial. Because Weinstein presumably went with the very best lawyers, too. But the outcome for him was so very different from Simpson’s.

Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: THE RUN OF HIS LIFE

p. 155:

That night I took the red-eye home to New York (The in-flight movie was Naked Gun 33 1/3, starring, among others, O. J. Simpson)

There is a rich vein of irony running through The Run of His Life: The People vs O. J. Simpson. Toobin mines this for all it’s worth.

This book: classic with a capital ‘C.’

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Suicide Note, 6/15/94

p. 97, The Run of His Life: The People vs O. J. Simpson

The suicide note in its entirety, including mis-spellings:

To whom it may concern:

First everyone understand nothing to do with Nicole’s murder. I loved her, always have and always will. If we had a problem it’s because I loved her so much. Recitly we came to the understanding that for now we were’nt right for each other at least for now. Dispite our love we were different and that’s why we mutually agreed to go our spaerate ways.

Gaslighting 1994

Woe is me.

LAPD criminologist Collin Yamauchi “spent two days, June 14 and June 15,” doing DNA testing on the blood samples found at Simpson’s home and found that:

The blood drops on the pathway at Bundy matched Simpson’s type — a characteristic found in only 7% of the population. And the blood on the glove found behind Kato’s room at Rockingham was consistent with a mixture of Simpson’s and the two victims’. —  p. 81, The Run of His Life: The People vs O. J. Simpson

Apparently, the jurors in O. J. Simpson’s trial did not give much credence to this evidence, relying instead on Johnnie Cochran’s

“If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit.”

Jeff Toobin’s account of the trial is AMAZING. He became a New Yorker staff writer just the year before.

20200305_163355-1

1994: Jeffrey Toobin at O. J. Simpson’s trial

 

The Run of His Life: The People vs O. J. Simpson

p. 48:

  • Simpson received virtually no education at USC. Even today, he can barely write a grammatical sentence.

The Run Of His Life: The People vs O. J. Simpson, p. 11

Self didn’t think this book would be as fleet as it is. But, props to Jeff Toobin for getting The Big Question out of the way quickly: Yes, O. J. Simpson was guilty. Moving ON!

Because of the overwhelming evidence of Simpson’s guilt, his lawyers could not undertake a defense aimed at proving his innocence — one that sought to establish, say, that some other person had committed the murders. Instead, in an astonishing act of legal bravado, they sought to create for the client — a man they believed to be a killer — the mantle of victimhood. Almost from the day of Simpson’s arrest, his lawyers sought to invent a separate narrative, an alternative reality, for the events of June 12, 1944. This fictional version was both elegant and dramatic. It posited that Simpson was the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy of racist law enforcement officials who had fabricated and planted evidence in order to frame him for a crime he did not commit. It was also, of course, an obscene parody of an authentic civil rights struggle, for this one pitted a guilty ‘victim’ against innocent ‘perpetrators.’

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

UCLA Extension Writers Program: Essential Beginnings in Nonfiction

Class begins Wednesday, but students will be able to access the course materials tomorrow.

Self has always loved teaching this particular class.

It’s short: only five weeks. And it’s on-line. Something about the on-line format makes this class feel very safe. She will not be sharing material from this class (or any class), but she just wants to say: if the thought of being in workshop with 14 other people who will possibly hate your work makes you tremble with anxiety, you can take this on-line class and you will still tremble in anxiety (Her deadlines are firm; your grades will suffer. Yes, she grades) but at least no one can actually see you tremble or break out in a sweat, because you’re on-line! So you can clutch your blankie or whatever as you read your classmates’ comments on your work. You can even have a breakdown. It will all feel so intimate. But the on-line format gives you an extra layer of security. No one will hear your voice squeak when you get emotional, no one will see your changing facial expressions, and no one can tell if you’re posting in your pajamas.

But the students pull something out of her. And she can pull something new out of them. Every single time.

Some (if not all) have day jobs. Some take the class from New York City, others from Beijing and Tokyo. She’s had students take the class from South Korea and from a US Army base in Berlin, even from a tent in Guatemala. It is pretty interesting to read the introductory bios:  I’m a swimmer. I’m a journalist. I write screenplays. I’m a retired Army General. I’m a stay-at-home Mom. I’m a lawyer.

She took a year off from teaching, so this is her first time to be with students since . . . well, since last year. She has really missed teaching this.

Stay tuned.

Kathryn Ferguson: The Haunting of the Mexican Border, A Woman’s Journey

Half the time, self is reading this book with deep anxiety. Why? Because the author is a woman and self’s background is conditioning her to expect an ‘incident.’ But, so far, Ferguson’s encounters have been refreshingly free of ‘Bad Hombres.’

p. 54:

One of my first faux pax in the Sierra is to tell Hiram, a Norogachic vaquero and friend of Santiago’s, that I like his horse while he is saddling up a mule. Politely but firmly he explains the difference. Mules and horses look alike. Except mules have long ears. I have since become a great observer of ears. I don’t want to call someone a jackass who isn’t.

Stay tuned.

Self-Regard

Since finishing The Hobbit, a week and a half ago, self has read two books by women: The Haunting of the Mexican Border, by Kathryn Ferguson (University of New Mexico Press, 2015) and Trick Mirror, by Jia Tolentino (Random House, 2019).

Ferguson undertakes an exploration of the southern border, with a vague hope of making a documentary: she doesn’t have funds, doesn’t know anyone, but stumbles around, talking to whoever will talk to her. And she IS lucky: nothing bad happens to her.

Jia Tolentino is lucky. The daughter of Philippine parents who became Canadian citizens, she is smart as a whip, in-your-face, and funny. Her style is to sit back and analyze everything that happens to her, and everything she does.

In Essay # 2 of Trick Mirror, she recounts her time as a reality TV contestant (She was 16. Never one to miss an advantage, she packs a lot of pocket-sized mini-skirts. Points!). After analyzing her fellow castmates (one was “a sweet guy,” another was “the all-American girl,” still another was “the wacko,” etc.), she asks her castmates what they thought she’d been cast as:

Though I’m sure they would’ve answered differently if someone else had been asking, my castmates guessed I was the smart one, or the sweet one, or the “fun Southern one,” or the prude.

(It is amazing that someone would ever think she’d been cast as “the prude,” given the pocket-sized minis!)

But then she writes, disarmingly, that reality TV “is a narcissist’s fantasy come true . . . everyone likes to have an audience. Everyone thinks they deserve one.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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