6,940,000 pageviews

Friday, April 12, 2024

O. J. Simpson and The Revisionist True Crime Genre

     William C. Dear, the owner of a private investigation agency in Dallas, Texas, had over the years published a handful of nonfiction books featuring his adventures as a larger-than-life PI. A master of self-promotion in the mold of Allan Pinkerton, William Burns and J. J. Arms (remember him?). Mr. Dear was in the news following the release of his 2012 book, O. J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It. (A bold if not artistic title.)

     As if exonerating one of America's most hated men is not enough, William Dear was accusing O. J.'s son Jason of the June 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. When revisionist true crime writers exonerate celebrated criminals by incriminating others, they usually accuse dead people who can't sue them for libel. Jason Simpson, who was 24-years-old when the Los Angeles police arrested his father was alive at the time of the accusation.

     In the other twentieth century "crime of the century," the state of New Jersey, on April 3, 1936 electrocuted Bruno Richard Hauptmann for the 1932 murder of 20-month-old Charles Lindbergh, Jr. In the 1980s and 90s a half dozen hack true crime writers produced books that exonerated Hauptmann and incriminated Charles Lindbergh, Al Capone, John F. Condon, Ellis Parker and a host of others. At least three of these books make the case that the Lindbergh baby wasn't even murdered, that the authorities had misidentified the corpse found two miles from the Lindbergh estate. In reality, the evidence against Hauptmann had been substantial while the "proof" against the literary suspects turned out to be flimsy, and in many cases, bogus. Readers familiar with the history of the Lindbergh case, including several serious Lindbergh biographers, saw the revisionist books for what they were--fiction passed off as nonfiction. Nevertheless these "Hauptmann is Innocent and I Can Prove It" books attracted a lot of attention and drew more than a few dedicated followers.

     Unlike real investigative journalists, the authors of revisionist true crime books start with a theory and point of view and ignore or try to explain away any facts that do not support or conflict with their thesis. In making the case against their suspects true crime book revisionists frequently present negative evidence as either incriminating or exonerating. For example, in the Lindbergh case, Hauptmann must be innocent because the police didn't recover his latent fingerprints from the crime scene. In this genre of nonfiction crime writing a revisionist's suspect can be guilty simply because he didn't have an alibi. That's how they do it. When you break these books down there's nothing there but conjecture, speculation, wishful thinking and the authors' beliefs. And quite often, evidence is presented that is simply fiction.

     True crime revisionists get away with their literary tricks because we live in an era where facts and knowledge get little respect, and there is no such thing as objective truth. Today, what one believes is true trumps what one knows is true. People who want criminals like Bruno Richard Hauptmann and O. J. Simpson to be innocent eagerly go along with the joke.

    What was written (or not written) on the dust jacket of William Dear's book revealed it was not a work to be taken seriously. For example: "Once Dear established in his own mind that O. J. Simpson was innocent, he focused his attention on six possible suspects." In all probability, Dear began with a single suspect, then cleared away the debris that conflicted with his theory. If O. J. was in fact innocent, and his son was guilty, then the evidence against Jason Simpson should be much stronger, and more convincing than the evidence that was presented against his father. It was not. Here was William Dear's "startling new evidence that is certain to change everyone's perception of O. J.'s guilt:"

     In Jason's abandoned storage locker, Dear found a hunting knife. (This knife, however did not contain a mixture of Jason's and the victims' DNA or any other evidence to establish it as the murder weapon.)

     After the murders, Jason Simpson retained an attorney.

     Jason Simpson did not have an airtight alibi.

     Jason was depicted in a photograph wearing a knit cap similar to the one discovered at the crime scene. (If the crime scene hat contained hair follicles from Jason's head, and bore traces of the victims' blood, that would be incriminating.)

     Two months before the murders, Jason Simpson allegedly assaulted his girlfriend. According to a criminal profiler, Jason's personality was more homicidal than his father's.

     According to William Dear, while O. J. was present at the crime scene, he did not commit the murders. (This was helpful because it explained away the physical evidence connecting O. J. to the victims.) According to Mr. Dear, O. J.'s only crime was that he took steps to cover-up the fact his son had killed Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. So, why did Jason Simpson kill Nicole? He murdered her because she had decided, at the last moment, not to dine at the restaurant where he worked as a chef. This was, therefore, a double murder motivated by injured pride.

     In reality, William Dear's revisionist version of the O. J. Simpson case didn't offer enough evidence to indict the proverbial ham sandwich. Patterson Smith, the antiquarian bookseller from New Jersey who knows more about the literature of true crime than anyone, wrote the following about the true crime revisionist genre:

     "Of all crime books published, those posing revisionist theories tend to attract the greatest media attention. They are 'news.' Far from merely adding to our knowledge of a past event or re-embellishing a tale previously grown stale in the retelling, they say to us, 'You've been wrong about this case.' And if someone is thought to have been unjustly convicted and executed, the news is all the stronger.

     "It has, after all, been observed that Americans have a greater sense of injustice than of justice. When a revisionist account reaches reviewers, the arguments put forth by its author can seem extraordinarily compelling, for very often the book does not aim for balance but selects only those facts that support its divergent thesis.

     "Moreover--and this is very important--the reviewer of a book on crime written for the general public often has little or no background in the case which could help him weigh the author's novel contentions against countervailing evidence. The reviewer sees only one side of the story, and it usually looks good."

    O. J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It didn't contained nearly enough evidence to convince many readers that O. J. was innocent and that his son was the guilty party. 
     O. J. Simpson died on April 11, 2024. He was 76. Notwithstanding several more revisionist book accounts of the murders, most people familiar with the case consider Mr. Simpson guilty as charged, and that his murder acquittal was a travesty of justice.


  1. I don't think your review is very fair, as it leaves out a great deal of evidence found by Dear, and misstates a few things. For example, it is quite possible the hair found in the cap was not OJ's. Even at the time, the prosecution witness was called out for his "consistent with" comment, as it was also "consistent with" many African-Americans. Recently the FBI crime lab which provided expert testimony in the OJ trial has been shown to be openly and serially biased for the prosecution in a number of cases, resulting in several miscarriages of justice.

    The fact is, Jason (odd he hasn't sued Dear yet, isn't it?) fits a great deal of the so-called "mountain" of physical evidence in the case, and further had complete access to Simpson's clothes etc and was well known to take them at his leisure.

    I think you are trying to unfairly slime a great piece of outside detective work by trying to smear it as "revisionist", but in fact, this is new, and possibly very significant, evidence.

  2. OJ did not do this. He has only one cut to show for a brutal double murder? Goldman's hands were bruised badly, the kind of bruising you get from punching someone over and over. OJ didn't show any sign of a battle. The truth is plain and simple. OJ is a pussy and his son isn't. His son killed them, called his father after realizing what he'd done, and OJ did his best to cover it up. He hired Jason a lawyer, but soon realized he himself was the main suspect, hence the legal dream team. I'm sure the defense knew Jason was the real killer, but Simpson's main goal was to keep his son safe, so they never presented this very easy evidence that clearly showed Jason as the murderer. The prosecution was stupid. They only wanted OJ and didn't care to think of anybody else. They wanted to take a celebrity down, and failed miserably at it. Simpson's lawyers cleared out ranked the prosecution. And if is fact that the LAPD planted evidence to make this a homerun. They are just pissed they got caught, and want nothing to do with this case anylonger. If the prosecution goes after Jason, they will be open to many many lawsuits from all sides, especially the goldman's for not doing their due diligence and ruling out all possible suspects.

  3. So then OJ lied when he said he was going to find the real killer? Because if Jason is the real killer and OJ is protecting him why is he telling people he is going to give authorities the real killer?

  4. I can't see any motive for Jason to kill his father's second wife even if he didn't like her because O.J, and Nichole were not together anymore. I agree with the experts who describe O.J. as an extreme narcissist & psychopath. I definitely don't believe that Colombian drug theory . Give me a break O.J.!

  5. I completely agree, the book is shit, his "evidence" is dubious, his motive greed. I very disturbed by his ignorant interpretation and publication of private medical records. He should be sued for Libel, Invasion of Privacy and any other offense they can throw at him. He has zero understanding of mental illness or of psychotropic drugs and suggests that Jason's Dr. indicated that Jason fits the legal definition of Insane. Then of course, who believes that OJ would give his life over to protect his son? That's the biggest Lie in his trashy novel. Mr. Dear stop stalking Jason Simpson ffs. The only I'm convinced of is William Dear is guilty of the Character Assassination of an innocent man. I would like to see him sued and charged. And now Martin Sheen and ID are giving him another forum to spew his shit? Make it stop!

  6. The evidence against oj was overwhelming his DNA was at the crime scene his hair was on ron Goldman Sachs clothing the 2 victims blood was found inside ojs bronco. He was very volatile towards Nicole has anybody ever heard of a rage killing ? There was the Bruno Magli shoes,oj opened them but lied about them . Jason simpson DID have an alibi his time card was stamped for 1020 pm on the night of the murders. No DNA matching jason was found at the scene oj was so jealous of his ex wife that a rage like was needed for this was more than possible also oj is known to be all about himself most people who know him say he would never risk his freedom to protect his son you people who believe this kid did this should get a life I watched the entire trial and I knew without a doubt that oj was a murderer