… I was enjoying a quiet night’s sleep.  It being a Sunday night/Monday morning, I imagine I went to bed pretty early, so I’d be refreshed for work the following day.  I’m sure I was asleep at 12:15 a.m.

Just eight blocks away from my apartment, a couple of people out walking their dog discovered a bloody, nearly decapitated body lying on the sideway in front of a quiet condominium.  When the police arrived, they discovered another mutilated body.

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

Like nearly everyone else in the country, I followed the events of the following year minute by minute.  As the cousin of someone who was shot to death by her enraged spouse, I understood the pain the Brown and Goldman families were going through, and I was astonished and not a little furious when O.J. Simpson was found not guilty, something that endures to this day.  A few months after the end of the trial, on Thanksgiving Day, a friend and I went to Westwood to take in a movie — and to our amazement, O.J., his children and his entourage were standing in the theater lobby.  “Do you want to get his autograph?” my friend asked.

No, I most certainly did not.

20 years have gone by.  To my relief, O.J. Simpson doesn’t look smug any more.  He’s sitting in prison, exactly where he should be — because I’ve never doubted for one minute that he was the one who, in a fit of blinding rage, slaughtered the mother of his children and a young man who was there only to return a pair of glasses.  The one who murdered, and ran, and took careful steps to cover up his guilt.  And looked smug the whole time, because he was the world’s golden boy, and I think he was pretty sure that, as Nicole had predicted, he’d get away with it.

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If you look at this little map — my apartment was located where the green arrow is.  If you trace slightly to the north, you’ll see the word “Ralph’s” (a supermarket).  The white line that the word “Ralph’s” straddles is Bundy Drive.  Easy walking distance from my place, a walk I often took on weekends and nice afternoons after work.  It was a quiet neighborhood before June 12-13, 1994, and I imagine it’s gone back to being so.

That night, I was sleeping quietly eight blocks away.  That I was oblivious to what was happening made me very sad back then, and it still does.

RIP, Nicole and Ron.  You are not forgotten.

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