Latest O.J. furor: reports he is selling the knife

 

The National Enquirer set off a tabloid frenzy by reporting that O.J. Simpson is selling the knife used to kill Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

jbrown@MiamiHerald.com

The dagger-like knife is arguably one of the most sought-after murder weapons in American history.

Now, 18 years after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, reports have surfaced alleging that O.J. Simpson stashed the knife he used to slash their throats in the Bahamas, just a boat trip away from his former Kendall home. The first unconfirmed report, quoting unnamed sources, was published in The National Enquirer, and quickly spread from there.

The Juice, reports say, purportedly wants to sell it as a $5 million souvenir of a perfect crime.

“He’s looking for a strictly cash deal so that the money can be deposited in offshore accounts and can’t be traced directly to him,’’ a source, identified only as someone close to the pro football Hall of Famer, told The Enquirer.

The story made Ron Goldman’s father’s blood boil.

“There has been enormous speculation over the years of where it is and what it is,’’ David Cook, lawyer for Fred Goldman, told The Miami Herald on Thursday about the knife. “It has reached that point where we’ve literally gone into the macabre. ... If this story is to be believed, it is an act of pure narcissism on the part of Simpson.’’

Simpson’s former wife, 35, and her friend, 25, were found beaten and stabbed to death on July 12, 1994, at her home in Brentwood, a tony West Los Angeles neighborhood.

The agent allegedly handling the deal doesn’t know where the knife is, but “insiders” suspect it could be in the Bahamas, a place that would have been easy to get in and out of by boat, the tabloid newspaper said.

But Simpson’s camp said the idea that he would even have the knife is “ludicrous,’’ let alone be trying to sell it.

“The extent of the search for that knife was phenomenal,’’ said Patrick McKenna, the West Palm Beach private detective hired by Simpson’s legal team during the murder trial.

Investigators tore up Simpson’s home, searched every trash can in Los Angeles International Airport, and even pulled out the toilet in the American Airlines jet that O.J. boarded to fly to Chicago after the murders.

“It just defies logic that he would have the knife. In my opinion, he is and always has been innocent,’’ McKenna said.

Simpson, now serving a 33-year prison term in Nevada for robbery, is eligible for parole in 2017, and may need the money to help fund legal battles. J.P. Morgan Chase foreclosed on his Kendall home earlier this year, and Cook said the Goldman family has received a “healthy sum of money” from Simpson’s various holdings, including the home.

While he still earns a sizeable pension from the NFL, those close to him believe that he is broke and not likely to get out of jail anytime soon.

Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of the murders of his former wife and Goldman in “the trial of the century.’’ It was marked by accusations that the evidence had been tainted, and exposed deep rifts in the reaction to the verdict between blacks and whites.

Two years later, Simpson was found liable by a civil jury for Goldman’s death, awarding the Goldman family $33.5 million. Cook said the family received at least $400,000 from the proceeds of Simpson’s book, If I Did It: Confessions of a Killer, and also received money in the former gridiron star’s bankruptcy settlement.

Simpson’s current lawyer, Yale Galanter, couldn’t be reached for a comment.

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