Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder

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Overview

“Provocative and entertaining. ... A powerful and damning diatribe on Simpson’s acquittal.”—People
Here is the account of the O. J. Simpson case that no one dared to write, that no one else could write. In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Vincent Bugliosi, the famed prosecutor of Charles Manson and best-selling author of Helter Skelter, goes to the heart of the trial that divided the country and made a mockery of justice. He lays out the mountains of evidence; rebuts the defense; offers a thrilling summation; ...

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Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder

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Overview

“Provocative and entertaining. ... A powerful and damning diatribe on Simpson’s acquittal.”—People
Here is the account of the O. J. Simpson case that no one dared to write, that no one else could write. In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Vincent Bugliosi, the famed prosecutor of Charles Manson and best-selling author of Helter Skelter, goes to the heart of the trial that divided the country and made a mockery of justice. He lays out the mountains of evidence; rebuts the defense; offers a thrilling summation; condemns the monumental blunders of the judge, the “Dream Team,” and the media; and exposes, for the first time anywhere, the shocking incompetence of the prosecution.

Read as Vincent Bugliosi, the country's premier prosecutor, brilliantly outlines the reasons why Simpson was acquitted and--in logical detail--why maybe he shouldn't have been acquitted. National ads. Author media. Online promo. HC: Norton. (Nonfiction--Crime)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393330830
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/25/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 173,635
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor of Charles Manson and author of Helter Skelter, Outrage, and other #1 best-selling books, lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Read an Excerpt

From the moment O.J. Simpson became a suspect in this double murder case, it was "in the air," perhaps as in no other case within memory, that he might get off despite the conclusive evidence of his guilt.  In fact, even before the murders, it was in the air, Nicole presciently telling her close female friends that "O.J. is going to kill me someday and he's going to get by with it."

It was in the air from the day (June 17, 1994) when mental midgets stood atop the freeway overpasses holding "Go O.J., Go" signs during the slow-speed chase prior to his arrest.  Everywhere one looked, it was in the air.  People predicting confidently, "This jury will never convict Simpson—they wouldn't convict him even if they were shown a film of him committing the murders." People carrying signs outside the courtroom during the trial declaring "Free O.J.," "Save the Juice," and even "Whether you did it or not, we still love you, O.J."  The incessant jokes and tasteless comedy routines on TV and radio about the case, which could only serve to subliminally trivialize the murders of the victims.  U.S. Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson beginning the Senate's day on June 23, 1994, with a "prayer for O.J. Simpson."  The first juror called for questioning in the case happening to be juror number 32, the number Simpson wore throughout most of his football career, prompting Judge Ito to say, "I don't know if this is an omen," and Simpson to smile and nod his head in agreement.  Marcia Clark, during jury selection, making one of the mostill-advised statements ever made to a jury by a prosecutor: "You may not like me for bringing this case.  I'm not winning any popularity contests for doing so."  Chris Darden's almost equally incredible and ill-advised statement to the jury in his summation at the end of the case: "Nobody wants to do anything to this man.  We don't.  There is nothing personal about this, but the law is the law."  (Can you imagine being almost apologetic to a jury when you believe the person you're prosecuting committed a brutal double murder?)

To this day, virtually everyone refers to Simpson only as "O.J.," a friendly nickname that implies the speaker still likes Simpson or at most views him as one would an errant friend or relative, certainly not a brutal murderer. "How's O.J.  doing?" Larry King would solicitously ask any guest of his who was a Simpson intimate and who had visited Simpson recently at the jail.  These and many other small signs of respect, or awe, or affection, indicated that Simpson, even if guilty, might be given some break tantamount to a papal dispensation.  In the absence of a powerful prosecution, it became almost a self-fulfilling prophecy that he would be found not guilty.

This feeling, this sense, which permeated every segment of our society, was obviously known to the jurors before they were selected, even manifesting itself during the trial.  Because when something is in the air, it reaches everyone, by osmosis, by accident, or, if by no other means, by the weekly conjugal visits to the sequestered jurors.  Surely, no one can doubt that the jurors were speaking to those loved ones who visited them in the privacy of their quarters.  Everyone knew this.  You don't have to take my word for it. What conceivable reason would Marcia Clark have had to beg Judge Ito not to let Simpson make a statement near the end of the case, when Simpson wanted to do so outside the presence of the jury, if she didn't virtually know that what Simpson said would get back to the juLÿry?

This "in the air" phenomenon couldn't help but contribute, in some way, to the eventual not-guilty verdict.  It made it so much easier, either consciously or subconsciously, for the jury to give Simpson every benefit he was legally entitled to, and then some.  In such an atmosphere a not-guilty verdict would no longer seem to the jury like the very worst thing that any jury could do—let a brutal murderer walk out the door a free man.  They were just doing what everyone had already predicted they were going to do, and apparently if the jury was to believe the prosecutors themselves, what most people wanted them to do.  Wasn't that really what prosecutor Darden himself was suggesting to the jury when he said, "Nobody wants to do anything to this man"?  And what Clark was suggesting when she said she "wasn't winning any popularity contests"?

I've been asked to explain more than once why, right from the beginning, I was saying publicly that there was no question Simpson was guilty.  I take no pride in having been the first public personality to come out publicly against Simpson.  It just happened that way.  I was asked by the media how I felt about the case way back in the early summer of 1994, and I decided to be candid. Before I tell you why I did, I should point out that some people objected to my having done so.  One reason was the presumption of innocence in our society. Also, they felt that as a member of the bar, I should, therefore, not have spoken of Simpson's guilt before the verdict.

I spoke out in the Simpson case for two reasons.  The main reason should be self-evident to the reader by now.  The "in the air" phenomenon attending the Simpson case was, at least to my recollection, unprecedented for any criminal case.  Because this was a highly unusual situation, I departed from my customary policy.  There was no doubt in my mind that the "in the air" phenomenon had the potential of having a prejudicial impact on the prosecution's case, since the jury couldn't help but be aware of it and probably be adversely influenced in the process, and I was trying to counter what was happening.  I obviously was unsuccessful.

There was another related reason I spoke out early on, months before the trial. I was disgusted by the tremendous groundswell of support for Simpson, even though two human beings had been brutally murdered, and all the evidence pointed to Simpson as the perpetrator.  He had received 350,000 letters of support at the time, and although each revelation of his guilt the media learned of was clinically and dispassionately reported in the news, nearly all of the commentators on television nonetheless treated Simpson as if he were a very special human being, and not one of them dared to say one negative word about him.  He was being given special treatment at the Los Angeles County Jail; thousands of people were calling in on radio talk shows asserting his innocence; some, unbelievably, stating or strongly implying that even if he was guilty, he's O.J., let him go, he has suffered enough.  As I've indicated, even today, everyone still calls him O.J.  You know, O.J. this and O.J. that.  Well, he's no longer O.J. to me.  He's Simpson.  Someone who viciously carves up two human beings and leaves them lying dead in a pool of blood forfeits his right to any endearing nicknames, at least in my view.  Again, why there was this enormous support for someone who had obviously committed two of the worst murders imaginable I don't know, but I personally found it repulsive and repugnant.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Note 11
Introduction 15
I In the Air: What the Jurors Probably Knew 27
II The Change of Venue: Garcetti Transfers the Case Downtown 56
III A Judicial Error: Judge Ito Allows the Defense to Play the Race Card 65
IV The Trial: The Incredible Incompetence of the Prosecution 91
V Final Summation: The Weak Voice of the People 148
Epilogue: Book Ends 227
Appendix A: Complete LAPD Interrogation of O. J. Simpson 291
Appendix B: Farewell Letter of O. J. Simpson 306
Appendix C: Blood Evidence 309
Notes 321
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Interviews & Essays

On Sunday, April 6th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Vincent Bugliosi, the DA who prosecuted the Manson family and wrote the bestseller OUTRAGE: THE FIVE REASONS WHY O.J. SIMPSON GOT AWAY WITH MURDER.



Question: Do you think the current jury selection system affected the not-guilty verdict in the Simpson case?

Vincent T Bugliosi: The problem of jury selection was not so much jury selection but where the jury was chosen. The murders happened in Brentwood and the jury should have been chosen from there, not downtown Los Angeles. I said this in a December 1995 Playboy article. That was a serious error by the prosecution -- moving the trial from the predominantly white Santa Monica area to predominantly black Los Angeles.


Question: I couldn't find it in the book.... What did Simpson do to make sure the gloves wouldn't fit?

Vincent T Bugliosi: There is a photo in OUTRAGE of Simpson trying on the gloves, and you'll notice he's spreading the fingers. It's much more difficult to put gloves on when you are spreading your fingers. Darden said Simpson was "faking it." Of course, the prosecution never should have conducted that experiment without knowing if they would fit. It was the position of the prosecution that the gloves would fit if Simpson hadn't positioned his fingers so they wouldn't fit. This just goes to show the incompetence of the prosecution. You never turn over the evidence to the defendant like that. You should instead turn the evidence over to a third party to try the gloves on...someone with Simpson's hand size. Instead, what you had was Darden saying to Simpson, "Try these on and if they fit, you are in big trouble." That justgoes to show again the incompetence of the prosecution.


Question: I hate to delve up the past, but were you ever intimidated by Charles Manson or Susan Adkins?

Vincent T Bugliosi: Not really. Manson put me on his so-called death list; myself and my wife and kids had bodyguards. I certainly was aware that though Manson was behind bars, his reach extended beyond the jail cell. I knew he was dangerous, but I was never intimidated to the point that it affected my prosecution of him. I was never frightened by him.


Question: Mr. Bugliosi, why didn't you handle the O.J. case?

Vincent T Bugliosi: I am no longer with the DA's office. So it wouldn't have been normal. However, frequently before the case, there was talk that if therewas a hung jury in the first trial, Garcetti was going to appoint me to handle the second case. I don't think this would have happened since there are already 1,000 attorneys in the DA's office. That would have been bad for the morale of the DA's office. If I had been appointed, however, I can assure you that I would have worked 100 hours a week, and I can assure you that Simpson would not be a free man today.


Question: What are you currently working on?

Vincent T Bugliosi: I am trying to finish my book on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There is a need for a book on the non-proconspiracy side. My view is that Oswald acted alone and that there was no conspiracy. I know that somewhere between 75 percent and 80 percent of the American people believe he was the victim of a conspiracy. But I want to tell you a story. I was speaking in Toronto on tactics and techniques used in the movie "JFK" just after the Oliver Stone movie was released. After the speech, there was a Q & A, and I asked for a show of hands of how many believed the assassination was a conspiracy. It was 80 percent to 90 percent of the audience. Then I said that I'd like to have a show of hands as to how many saw the movie "JFK"or at any time in the past had read a book rejecting the Warren Commission or believingin a conspiracy. Again, there was an enormous show of hands. I told them they should hear both sides of the story before making up their minds. With that thought in mind, I asked how many had read the Warren report. Hardly any raised their hands. Very few had heard both sides of the story. It was easier and more romantic to believe in the conspiracy. My book will show otherwise. Many of the conspiracy theories are appealing to the intellectual palate at first glance, but they do violence to all notions of common sense.


Question: With the passage of time, do you think the not-guilty verdict has had as negative an impact on race relations as you initially wrote in OUTRAGE?

Vincent T Bugliosi: Well, it's hard to speculate on that. Polls are showing now that more and more blacks are coming around to the view that Simpson did commit thesemurders. I think the civil judgment against him was helpful in narrowing the consensus against him. However, the majority of blacks still believe that Simpson was framed. When the murders first happened, most blacks didn't believe there was racism involved. Then, Johnnie Cochran injected race into the case and falsely accused innocent police officers of framing his client. Cochran knew there was no race in this case and that no frame-up took place. But he worked the black community into such a lather that they believed his nonsense. He exploited the black community to its long term detriment just to help his client...who is black in color only.

I haven't seen so much antiblack feeling in this country as I have since this verdict. I think this will cease over time, particularly as blacks begin to see that Simpson was guilty. Cochran has hurt the black community, but they don't see that yet. They look to him as a hero and glorify him. They haven't learned yet that he used them to their detrimentjust to help his client.


Question: What evidence would you have presented that they didn't?

Vincent T Bugliosi: Well, there's tremendous evidence that I would have offered. The suicide note reeked, I mean reeked, with guilt. The slow-speed chase: Found in Simpson's possession was a gun, changes of clothing, $8000 in cash that A.C. Cowlings said Simpson had given him just before they stopped. This all reeked of Simpson's guilt. I would have offered all of that. Anyone on the street and listening online tonight would have offered that. You don't have to be a lawyer to know to offer that evidence. Another ridiculous mistake by the prosecution. Daniel Petrocelli called me before the civil trial and told me he had read OUTRAGE several times and told me he was going to present the case in court the way I had laid it out in the book. Another piece of evidence that could have convicted Simpson aloneA day after the murders, Simpson was interrogated by the LAPD. He admitted dripping blood on his estate the night of the murders. He said he had no idea how he had been cut. Unbelievably, prosecutors never presented that either.

When I used the term incompetent to describe the prosecution, for the most part that is too flattering a term. Incompetence implies conduct within the normal range of human behavior. In many instances, these prosecutors went far beyond incompetence into the area of absurd and unheard of. The incompetence was so extreme that I actually get letters from people (and I get more for OUTRAGE than for HELTER SKELTER) who ask me, "Mr. Bugliosi, did the prosecution want to lose? Was there a payoff?" I tell them, "Of course not. That's unthinkable." The prosecutors are honorable, ethical people, but when you have a situation where there is a tremendous amount of incriminating evidence against the defendant and it's you're job to present it, and you don't, the natural question is, "How come? Was there a payoff?" Not only didn't they present a tremendous amount of evidence, but they virtually conceded the conspiracy issue by default in the final summation. Instead of devoting a minimum of two hours out of their eight-hour summation to knocking down the defense's case and showing how ridiculous the conspiracy argument against Simpson by the LAPD was, unbelievably, they only devoted one minute out of eight hours. Now, people have asked me, "How come?" I can't answer that question. I can tell you this...I have confirmed that these prosecutors were up until 4 30 in the morning on the day they gave their final summation, not going over it but preparing it for the first time. Like college students cramming for an exam.

Examples of how they sounded a couple of hours later in front of the jury The listeners, if they had to speak to the local Rotary club, would do enough preparation so they wouldn't sound this way. And, if they needed a document, they would have it with them on the lectern. When I read these excerpts, realize, of course, that two people have been brutally murdered. They are decomposing in their graves. The prosecutors have had almost an entire year to prepare theirarguments, and there are millions of people watching on television.

Marcia Clark: "Vannatter and Lange came out to Bundy and I guess they showed up around 4, 4:30, I guess it was."

"And that instruction was 2? 2.80? Do you have it on the bench, your Honor? Wait...I have it! Thank you."

Another example, again Marcia Clark: "There was some testimony, I think, from Dr. Baden ..." "At the end of the trial, or maybe it was the end of the whole trial ..."

"The testimony from Mr. McDonald, or maybe from Dr. Lee, but maybe from Mr. McDonald..."

Another example"First of all, ladies and gentlemen, reasonable doubt..."

The point is that they were never sure of themselves. They were never prepared. I give many other example in the book. There's only one word for this. It's inexcusable.

Incidentally, OUTRAGE is being read in law schools across the country. It is being read in several DA's offices. I just learned recently, it is the only book out of the over 60 in the Simpson case that has been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe award for "Best True Crime Book" of the year. It's now out in paperback; however, when it first came out in hardcover in June 1996, it was the first book pointing out the incredible incompetence of the prosecution in this case. Prior to OUTRAGE, no one was talking about the poor prosecution. Everyone was blaming the predominantly black jury. Virtually everyone. Some blamed the LAPD, saying it botched the case before it ever came to trial. OUTRAGE has served to enlighten many people about what really happened during this trial. The Los Angeles Times said, "No one who reads this book will ever again say that the not guilty verdict in the Simpson case was solely the result of juror prejudice but the machinations [of] unscrupulous defense attorneys. In Outrage, the DA has been brought before the bar of justice." This was not a good jury, and I will stipulate to that. However, people tend to forget that as bad as the prosecution was in this case, the first vote by the jury in the jury room, a black juror and a white juror voted guilty on the first ballot. If you can get a 10-2 vote on the first ballot, with an F-presentation, you can imagine by extrapolation what would have happened if there had been an A+ performance by the prosecution. I am convinced there would have been a guilty verdict or at least a hung jury.


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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2008

    VINCENT BUGLIOSI ROCKS

    This was one of the best books I ever read (right up there with Helter Skelter...). What Bugliosi did, and so powerfully, was put the feelings of many people into writing and reading it was extremely therapeutic as well as gripping. He says the things that most of us (anyone with half a brain at any rate)are thinking and gives us as readers an outlet for our OUTRAGE at the injustice of OJ Simpson getting away with two cold blooded murders. Excellent book!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    When i first started reading this book i got the impression that Vincent was being sarcastic in his writing. He wasnt sarcastic at all. Hes telling us how mindboggleing the tiral was and how it couldnt take anybody with an IQ100 to figure out if this man is guilty.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This book should have been called "Insanity"

    This book made me realize how fallible the criminal justice system is, which is really scary in a lot of ways. It's hard to be mad at OJ and the Dream Team after reading Bugliosi's account of what actually happened - if the LA District Attorney's office took a "lock tight, open and shut, somebody three days out of law school" case that even a novice attorney could try in their sleep, and bungle it to the point of no return; then the verdict they got is the verdict they deserved. It didn't take a PhD to figure out OJ was guilty as sin, but justice for Ron and Nicole seemed to be less important than posturing and putting on a good show for all the TV viewers. This should never have become entertainment, and anybody who has to rely on this justice system to be fair, and JUST, should be outraged and horrified to know that the rights and respect due to victims of violent crime can take a back seat to the public's "need to know" about the grooming habits and wardrobes of the key players in their case. At first I thought this book was one long RANT, but the sheer volume of errors - in different parts of the case, was mortifying. I found myself reading on just to see what went wrong next, exactly how many mistakes they could make before the case just folded in on itself; with no chance of ANY jury coming back with a guilty verdict.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    its ok read

    not a bad book though at times vincent bugliosi is over bearing and seems to think only he could have won the oj mess, and that only he is the reason charles manson is in prison, giving him credit though he does show a lot of errors on both sides of the trial and the poor job done by judge ito during the trial its a old book so he has no update as to oj being in prison now, not as good a book as i was hoping for but was alright

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    <3

    <3 Oh my God ..lol..maybe i should read this one too

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Great Read That Any Law Buff Should Grab

    Read this when it was fresh on the shelves. I can't express how much one will appreciate the writing prose and honesty this book brings. Really makes one think about how weak our DA's are; even in major cities such as LA.
    Legit read from the 'hero' who took down Manson. Crime

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