O.J. Book Battle: The Book

O.J. Book Battle: The Book

 

"Nothing prepares you to read about the murder of your son," says Fred Goldman. "Nothing prepares you."

Kim says, "One of the conditions of my dad and I choosing to publish this book was if we had the opportunity to write something, and this is a portion of what we wrote: 'For us, the hardest part of reading this book was hearing him talk about that night, listing to him talk about taunting Ron, and about how Ron tried to diffuse the situation was gut-wrenching. But we also heard about how Ron stayed to protect Nicole instead of running away. We were once again reminded that Ron is a hero. When we start to question what should we do, we pause and think of Ron. He stayed to fight, and so will we.' I have wished for years that my brother would have been more selfish that night and run. But that's not who he was. And I wish for everything that he would have been a different person that night."

"This part's after the murder," says Fred. Reading from the book, he says, "'I again looked down at myself and my blood-soaked clothes, and I notice the knife in my hand. The knife was covered in blood, as were my hands and wrist and half of my right forearm.'" Fred pauses, looks away. "I'm not going there. The pain of that night is as painful today as it was 13 plus years ago. Nothing changes."

Dr. Phil asks Fred for his reaction to what he'd read in the book.

"It was difficult because I knew I was reading the words of the monster who murdered my son," he says. "It was painful. It was very difficult to read the specific chapter that dealt with Ron and Nicole's murder." 

 

Dr. Phil addresses Kim. "You said that one of the details that has haunted you so much was knowing that his last moment in this world was spent being taunted by the man you believe stabbed him 30 times," he says.

 

"My brother was found with his eyes open, and through testimony in the civil case they said that he remained alive for about a minute, and knowing that he watched his killer walk away as he sat there all crumbled up in the corner," Kim says, her features contorting as she fights futilely against her tears, "that's very present for me, and hearing the killer talk about how he taunted him and was making fun of him trying to defend himself " I mean, here's this 6-foot tall kid who was trying to defend himself, and defend his friend, and that beast is making fun of him?

I knew the evidence that night. I sat through both trials, I knew what happened, but hearing him describe it, and hearing him put emotion and in some sick way to humanize what happened that night was very painful."

Dr. Phil says to Pablo, "You believe it was a confession."

"Well, I went into this believing he was guilty," he says. "It's very hard for me, as the ghostwriter, to tell people this is a confession, but I think anyone who reads this book is going to see details in there that it's impossible to read this and not know that he was there."

 

Dr. Phil points out that although Pablo's interviews with O.J. were recorded, Simpson retained ownership of those tapes, and they have since been destroyed. "You seem very credible to me and I have to conclude that what is in this book is what he said," Dr. Phil says.

Pablo confirms that Simpson reviewed the manuscript for the book three times and signed off on it. Dr. Phil points out that by the account in the book, Nicole and O.J. seemed to have switch roles. "His version of that real relationship was that he was a great guy and that she was a drug-abuser, and a problem that he colored her with throughout this book," says Dr. Phil. "Did it seem like a role shift to you?"

"Yes," says Pablo. "He was God, basically. He was the greatest guy on the planet. The message seemed to be, 'If I did it, she had it coming.' And it was a horrible, ugly message. And the amazing thing about it is that there was no awareness on his part. As a matter of fact, when we got done with that section, he was delighted. He said, 'Now people will finally understand what it was really like.'"

"What was his theory about Ron?" asks Dr. Phil. "'If I did it, she had it coming' " What about this young man who just was in the wrong place at the wrong time?"

"The one time he talked about him was in anger," says Pablo, "and that was the time when he described Ron getting into a defensive posture, and he was angry and dismissive even then in that hotel room."

Kim looks back at the moments surrounding the reading of the verdict in the original murder trial.
 
She says, "I panicked going into the courtroom, and I remember them reading Nicole's verdict first, but I remember saying, 'Sh, sh, sh. Wait until they say Ron's,' because I guess I thought it was going to be different. And I remember Johnny Cochran looking over at me and going. 'Gotcha!' Yeah, classy."
 
"Unbelievable," says Dr. Phil, back in his studio.  He reveals his take on what he's read in If I Did It.  "I believe that O.J. was not smart enough to maintain the separation between this hypothetical and getting caught up in the interview process, and it's interesting to me psychologically that there is a shift in his tone, his demeanor, his language, everything, when he gets into those details. He starts throwing F-bombs, you know. There's a lot of energy, there's a lot of anger."
 
He continues, "If you talk to somebody who has been in a violent crime situation, they know details. It's emotionally charged. It's energized. If you have some person, for example, who is claiming that she was raped or mugged, or that he was attacked, and they really weren't, they can't tell you details that a true victim can tell you. A true victim can tell you how it smelled, what it looked like, what was in their mind " little details that people just wouldn't know to manufacture in recounting a situation. And they are all through this description. The broken gate, the dog wagging the tail that he asked you to take out of the book that was in the interview. It is clear to me that he is relating with an energy, a knowledge and a focus that he could not, and would not know if he had not been there."
 
"That's my opinion," Dr. Phil concludes. "This book is a confession."