Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hard Facts in Simpson Case Pose a Challenge to Conspiracy Theorists

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hard Facts in Simpson Case Pose a Challenge to Conspiracy Theorists

Article excerpt

In an initial reaction to the Simpson verdict, I speculated in passing that the jury might have been seduced by the defense's far-fetched theory of a police conspiracy.

After all, the racist blather of Detective Mark Fuhrman had laid a solid foundation for it. And there is a manifest American susceptibility to conspiratorial explanations of complex events. The Kennedy assassination, the mother of all conspiracy theories, fills a groaning bookshelf with conspiratorial alternatives to the Warren Commission finding that Lee Oswald acted alone.

Jeffrey Toobin, who covered the Simpson trial from start to finish for The New Yorker magazine, has now provided a splendid excuse for revisiting this theme - less to second-guess the jury (for indeed, no juror needed to buy the frame-up theory to find some basis for reasonable doubt) than to ponder again the intriguing question of why Americans are prone to accept conspiracy as the master key to nearly all perplexities.

Poker-faced, Toobin catalogs a few of the logical requirements of a police conspiracy:

"The core of the defense case was . . . that Fuhrman surreptitiously took (Simpson's glove) from the murder scene to the defendant's home. Not only would he have had to transport the glove with its residue of the crime scene, but he would also have had to find some of Simpson's blood (from sources unknown) to deposit upon it and then wipe the glove on the inside of Simpson's locked car (by means unknown) - all the while not knowing whether Simpson had an ironclad alibi for the time of the murders.

"The other conspirators . . . would have had to be equally adept. . . . Someone would have had to take some of (Ron) Goldman's blood and put it in the Bronco, which was then in police custody. And someone (the same person? another?) would have had to take some of Nicole's blood and dab it on the sock, which was then in a police evidence lab.

"All of these illegal actions by the police would have had to take place at a time when everyone involved in the case was under the most relentless media scrutiny in American legal history - and all for the benefit of an unknown killer who . . . happened to share Simpson's shoe size, 12. …

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