O.J. Simpson’s Suicide Letter
[Letter discovered on June 17, 1994, shortly before Simpson's televised Bronco ride and arrest.]
To whom it may concern: First, everyone understand I have nothing to do with Nicole’s murder. I loved her, always have and always will. If we had a problem, it’s because I loved her so much.
Recently, we came to the understanding that for now we were not right for each other, at least for now. Despite our love we were different, and that’s why we mutually agreed to go our separate ways. It was tough splitting for a second time, but we both knew it was for the best.
Inside I had no doubt that in the future, we would be close as friends or more. Unlike what has been written in the press, Nicole and I had a great relationship for most of our lives together, Like all long-term relationships, we had a few downs and ups. I took the heat New Year’s 1989 because that’s what I was supposed to do. I did not plead no contest for any other reason but to protect our privacy and was advised it would end the press hype.
I don’t want to belabor knocking the press, but I can’t believe what is being said. Most of it is totally made up. I know you have a job to do, but as a last wish, please, please, please, leave my children in peace. Their lives will be tough enough.
I want to send my love and thanks to all my friends. I’m sorry I can’t name every one of you, especially A.C. man, thanks for being in my life. The support and friendship I received from so many: Wayne Hughes, Lewis Markes, Frank Olson, Mark Packer, Bender, Bobby Kardashian.
I wish we had spent more time together in recent years. My golfing buddies, Hoss, Alan Austin, Mike, Craig, Bender, Wyler, Sandy, Jay, Donnie, thanks for the fun. All my teammates over the years, Reggie, you were the soul of my pro career. Ahmad, I never stopped being proud of you. Marcus, You’ve got a great lady in Catherine, don’t mess it up. Bobby Chandler, thanks for always being there. Skip and Kathy, I love you guys, without you I never would have made it through this far. Marguerite, thanks for the early years. We had some fun. Paula, what can I say? You are special. I’m sorry we’re not going to have our chance. God brought you to me I now see. As I leave, you’ll be in my thoughts.
I think of my life and feel I’ve done most of the right things. What the outcome, people will look and point. I can’t take that. I can’t subject my children to that. This way they can move on and go on with their lives. Please, if I’ve done anything worthwhile in my life. Let my kids live in peace from you (press).
I’ve had a good life. I’m proud of how I lived. My mama taught me to do unto other. I treated people the way I wanted to be treated. I’ve always tried to be up and helpful so why is this happening? I’m sorry for the Goldman family. I know how much it hurts.
Nicole and I had a good life together. All this press talk about a rocky relationship was no more than what every long-term relationship experiences. All her friends will confirm that I have been totally loving and understanding of what she’s been going through. At times I have felt like a battered husband or boyfriend but I loved her, make that clear to everyone. And I would take whatever it took to make it work.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had a great life, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person.
Thanks for making my life special. I hope I helped yours.
Peace and love, O.J. [smiley face inside the O]
Excerpts from two 911 calls from Nicole Brown Simpson (Oct. 25, 1993):
NICOLE: Can you send someone to my house?
DISPATCHER: What’s the problem there?
NICOLE: My ex-husband has just broken into my house and he’s ranting and raving outside the front yard.
DISPATCHER: Has he been drinking or anything?
NICOLE: No. But he’s crazy.
DISPATCHER: And you said he hasn’t been drinking?
DISPATCHER: Did he hit you?
DISPATCHER: Do you have a restraining order against him?
DISPATCHER: What’s your name?
NICOLE: Nicole Simpson.
DISPATCHER: And your address?
NICOLE: 325 Gretna Green Way.
DISPATCHER: Okay, we’ll send the police out.
NICOLE: Nicole: Thank you.
DISPATCHER: Dispatcher: Uh-huh.
(The dispatcher issues a call for any patrol car to respond to the address at Gretna Green. Minutes later, Nicole Simpson called back.)
NICOLE: Could you get somebody over here now, to … Gretna Green. He’s back. Please?
DISPATCHER: What does he look like?
NICOLE: He’s O.J. Simpson. I think you know his record. Could you just send somebody over here?
DISPATCHER: What is he doing there?
NICOLE: He just drove up again. (She begins to cry) Could you just send somebody over?
DISPATCHER: Dispatcher: Wait a minute. What kind of car is he in?
NICOLE: He’s in a white Bronco, but first of all he broke the back door down to get in.
DISPATCHER: Wait a minute. What’s your name?
NICOLE: Nicole Simpson.
DISPATCHER: OK, is he the sportscaster or whatever?
NICOLE: Yeah. Thank you.
DISPATCHER: Wait a minute, we’re sending police. What is he doing? Is he threatening you?
NICOLE: He’s (expletive) going nuts. (sobs)
DISPATCHER: Has he threatened you in any way or is he just harassing you?
NICOLE: (Sighs) You’re going to hear him in a minute. He’s about to come in again.
DISPATCHER: OK, just stay on the line…
NICOLE: I don’t want to stay on the line. He’s going to beat the (expletive) out of me.
DISPATCHER: Wait a minute, just stay on the line so we can know what’s going on until the police get there, OK? OK, Nicole?
DISPATCHER: Just a moment. Does he have any weapons?
NICOLE: I don’t know. He went home and he came back. The kids are up there sleeping and I don’t want anything to happen.
DISPATCHER: OK, just a moment. Is he on drugs or anything?
DISPATCHER: Just stay on the line. Just in case he comes in I need to hear what’s going on, all right?
NICOLE: Can you hear him outside?
DISPATCHER: Is he yelling?
DISPATCHER: OK. Has he been drinking?
DISPATCHER: OK. (Speaking over radio to police units) … All units: additional on domestic violence, 325 South Gretna Green Way, the suspect has returned in a white Bronco. Monitor comments. Incident 48221.
DISPATCHER: OK, Nicole?
DISPATCHER: Is he outdoors?
NICOLE: He’s in the back yard.
DISPATCHER: He’s in the back yard?
NICOLE: Screaming at my roommate about me and at me.
DISPATCHER: OK. What is he saying?
NICOLE: Oh, something about some guy I know and hookers and Keith and I started this (expletive) before and …
NICOLE: And it’s all my fault and ‘Now what am I going to do, get the police in this’ and the whole thing. It’s all my fault, I started this before. (sigh) Brother. (inaudible)
DISPATCHER: OK, has he hit you today or…?
DISPATCHER: OK, you don’t need any paramedics or anything.
DISPATCHER: OK, you just want him to leave?
NICOLE: My door. He broke the whole back door in.
DISPATCHER : And then he left and he came back?
NICOLE: Then he came and he practically knocked my upstairs door down but he pounded it and he screamed and hollered and I tried to get him out of the bedroom because the kids are sleeping in there.
DISPATCHER: Um-hum. OK.
NICOLE: And then he wanted somebody’s phone number and I gave him my phone book or I put my phone book down to write down the phone number that he wanted and then he took my phone book with all my stuff in it.
DISPATCHER: OK. So basically you guys have just been arguing? (Simpson is yelling)
DISPATCHER: Is he inside right now.
DISPATCHER: OK, just a moment.
SIMPSON.: Do you understand me? (inaudible) Keith is a nothing. A skunk, and he still calls me. (inaudible)
DISPATCHER: Is he talking to you?
DISPATCHER: Are you locked in a room or something?
NICOLE: No. He can come right in. I’m not going where the kids are because the kids …
DISPATCHER: Do you think he’s going to hit you?
NICOLE: I don’t know.
DISPATCHER: Stay on the line. Don’t hang it up, OK?
DISPATCHER: What is he saying?
DISPATCHER: What is he saying?
NICOLE: What else?
SIMPSON : (inaudible)
(Sound of police radio traffic)
NICOLE: O.J. O.J. The kids are sleeping.
SIMPSON: (More yelling)
DISPATCHER: He’s still yelling at you?
(Nicole sobbing into telephone)
DISPATCHER: Just stay on the line, OK
DISPATCHER: Is he upset with something that you did?
NICOLE: (Sobs) A long time ago. It always comes back. (More yelling)
DISPATCHER: Is your roommate talking to him?
NICOLE: No, who can talk? Listen to him.
DISPATCHER: I know. Does he have any weapons with him right now?
NICOLE: No, uh-uh
DISPATCHER: OK. Where is he standing?
NICOLE: In the back doorway, in the house.
SIMPSON: … I don’t give a (expletive) anymore…. That wife of his, she took so much for this (expletive) (inaudible)
NICOLE: Would you just please, O.J., O.J., O.J., O.J., could you please (inaudible) Please leave.
SIMPSON: I’m leaving with my two (expletive) fists is when I’m leaving. You ain’t got to worry about me any more.
NICOLE:: Please leave. O.J. Please, the kids, the kids (inaudible) please.
DISPATCHER: Is he leaving?
DISPATCHER: Does he know you’re on the phone with police?
DISPATCHER: OK. Where are the kids at right now?
NICOLE: Up in my room.
DISPATCHER: Can they hear him yelling?
NICOLE: I don’t know. The room’s the only one that’s quiet.
DISPATCHER: Is there someone up there with the kids?
(Yelling continues in the background.)
DISPATCHER: What is he saying now? Nicole? You still on the line?
DISPATCHER: You think he’s still going to hit you?
NICOLE: I don’t know. He’s going to leave. He just said that. He just said he ain’t leaving.
SIMPSON: You’re not leaving when I’m gone. Hey! I have to read this (expletive) all week in the National Enquirer. Her words exactly. What, who got that, who? (inaudible)
DISPATCHER: Are you the only one in there with him?
NICOLE: Right now, yeah.
DISPATCHER: And he’s talking to you?
NICOLE: Yeah, and he’s also talking to my, the guy who lives out back is just standing there. He just came home.
DISPATCHER: Is he arguing with him, too?
NICOLE: No. Absolutely not.
DISPATCHER: Oh, OK.
NICOLE: Nobody’s arguing.
DISPATCHER: Yeah. Has this happened before or no?
NICOLE: Many times.
DISPATCHER: OK. The police should be on the way it just seems like a long time because it’s kind of busy in that division right now.
Dispatcher to police: Regarding Gretna Green Way, the suspect is still there and yelling very loudly.
DISPATCHER: Is he still arguing? (Knock at the door.)
DISPATCHER: Was someone knocking on your door?
NICOLE: It was him.
DISPATCHER: He was knocking on your door?
NICOLE: There’s a locked bedroom and he’s wondering why.
DISPATCHER: Oh. He’s knocking on the locked door?
NICOLE: Yeah. You know what, O.J.? That window above you is also open. Could you just go, please? Can I get off the phone?
DISPATCHER: You want, you feel safe hanging up?
NICOLE: Well, you’re right
DISPATCHER: You want to wait til the police get there?
DISPATCHER: Is he still arguing with you?
DISPATCHER: He’s moved a little?
NICOLE: But I’m just ignoring him.
DISPATCHER: Okay. But he doesn’t know you’re…
NICOLE: It works best.
DISPATCHER: Okay. Are the kids are still asleep?
NICOLE: Yes. They’re like rocks.
DISPATCHER: What part of the house is he in right now?
DISPATCHER: And you’re upstairs?
NICOLE: No, I’m downstairs in the kitchen.
SIMPSON: (continues yelling)
DISPATCHER: Do you see the police, Nicole?
NICOLE: No, but I will go out there right now.
DISPATCHER: OK, you want to go out there?
NICOLE: I’m going to hang up.
A search warrant is an order signed by a judge that authorizes police officers to search for specific objects or materials at a definite location at a specified time. For example, a warrant may authorize the search of “the premises at 11359 Happy Glade Avenue between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.” and direct the police to search for and seize “cash, betting slips, record books, and every other means used in connection with placing bets on horses.”
How Police Obtain Search Warrants
Police officers obtain search warrants by convincing a judge or magistrate that they have “probable cause” to believe that criminal activity is occurring at the place to be searched or that evidence of a crime may be found there. Usually, the police provide the judge or magistrate with information in the form of written statements under oath, called “affidavits,” which report either their own observations, or those of private citizens or police undercover informants. If the magistrate believes that the affidavit establishes probable cause to conduct a search, he or she will issue a warrant.
The suspect, who may be connected with the place to be searched, is not present when the warrant is issued and therefore cannot contest the issue of probable cause at that time. However, the suspect can later challenge the validity of the warrant before trial.
What Police Can Search for and Seize Under a Warrant
The police can search only the place described in a warrant and usually can seize only the property that the warrant describes. The police cannot search a house if the warrant specifies the backyard, nor can they search for weapons if the warrant specifies marijuana plants. However, this does not mean that police officers can seize only those items listed in the warrant. If, in the course of their search, police officers come across contraband or evidence of a crime that is not listed in the warrant, they can lawfully seize the unlisted items.
If the warrant specifies a certain person to be searched, the police can search only that person, unless they have independent probable cause to search other persons who happen to be present at the scene of a search. If an officer merely has a reasonable suspicion that an onlooker is engaged in criminal activity, the officer can only question the onlooker and, if necessary for the officer’s safety, conduct a frisk for weapons (but not do a full search).
When Search Warrants Aren’t Required
Most searches occur without warrants being issued. Over the years, the courts have defined a number of situations in which a search warrant is not necessary, either because the search is per se reasonable under the circumstances or because, due to a lack of a reasonable expectation of privacy, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply at all.
If the person in control of the premises freely and voluntarily agrees to the search, the search is valid and whatever the officers find is admissible in evidence. Police officers do not have to warn people that they have a right to refuse consent to a search. If a police officer wrangles a consent through trickery or coercion, the consent does not validate the search.
Many disputes about consent have to do with who has the right to consent. If there are two or more separate tenants in one dwelling, courts often rule that one tenant has no power to consent to a search of the areas exclusively controlled by the other tenants (for instance, their separate bedrooms). Similarly, a landlord lacks authority to consent to a search of leased premises. The same is true for hotel operators.
On the other hand, an employer can validly consent to a search of company premises, which extends to an employee’s work area but not to clearly private areas such as an employee’s clothes locker. A tricky twist is that the consent in these types of cases will be considered valid if the police reasonably believe that the consenting person has the authority to consent, even if it turns out they don’t.
The Plain View Doctrine
Police officers do not need a warrant to search and seize contraband or evidence that is “in plain view” if the officer has a right to be where the evidence or contraband is first spotted. For instance, the police may search for and seize marijuana growing outdoors if they first spot the marijuana from an airplane or helicopter, since the marijuana is deemed to be in plain view. Similarly, if an officer walks by a car and spots evidence or contraband through the car window, a search may be conducted without a warrant. The same rule would apply if an officer is in your home for other valid reasons and spots drugs on a table or cabinet.
Search Made in Connection With an Arrest
Police officers do not need a warrant to make a search “incident to an arrest.” After an arrest, police officers have the right to protect themselves by searching for weapons and to protect the legal case against the suspect by searching for evidence that the suspect might try to destroy.
Police may sometimes also make what’s known as a “protective sweep” following an arrest if they have a reasonable belief that a dangerous accomplice might be hiding inside a residence. When making a protective sweep, police officers can walk through a residence and make a “cursory visual inspection” of places where an accomplice might be hiding. For example, police officers could look under beds and inside closets. If a sweep is lawful, the police can lawfully seize contraband or evidence of crime that is in plain view during the sweep.
The Emergency Exception
As a general rule, the police are authorized to make a warrantless search when the time it would take to get a warrant would jeopardize public safety or lead to the loss of important evidence. Here are some situations in which most judges would uphold a warrantless search:
- An officer checks an injured motorist for possible injuries following a collision and finds illegal drugs.
- Following a street drug arrest, an officer enters the house after the suspect shouts into the house, “Eddie, quick, flush it!” The officer arrests Eddie and seizes the stash.
- A police officer on routine patrol hears shouts and screams coming from a residence, rushes in, and arrests a suspect for spousal abuse.
- A police officer “in hot pursuit” of a fleeing suspect continues the chase into the suspect’s dwelling in order to make the arrest.
In these types of emergency situations, an officer’s duty to protect people and preserve evidence outweighs the warrant requirement.
Allowing Police to Make a Warrantless Search
A search warrant is not always legally necessary, and a police officer may have information of which a person is unaware that allows the officer to make a warrantless entry. If an officer announces an intention to enter a home or building without a warrant, a person should not risk injury or a separate charge of “interfering with a police officer.” Rather, the person should stand aside, let the officer proceed and allow a court to decide later whether the officer’s actions were proper. At the same time, the person should make it clear that he or she does not consent to the search.
Searches of Cars and Their Occupants
Cars may be searched without a warrant whenever the car has been validly stopped and the police have probable cause to believe the car contains contraband or evidence. If the police have probable cause to search the car, all compartments and packages that may contain the evidence or contraband being searched for are fair game.
While a police officer cannot search a car simply because the car was stopped for a traffic infraction, the police can order the driver and any passengers out of the car for safety considerations, even though there is no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing other than the traffic infraction. The police also can “frisk” the occupants for weapons if the officers have a “reasonable suspicion” that the occupants are involved in criminal activity and are reasonably concerned for their safety.
For More Information
To answer all your questions about the legality of various police searches and seizures, get The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System, by Paul Bergman and Sara J. Berman (Nolo).
“ATL” and “From G’s To Gents” star Markice “Kesan” Moore turned himself into authorities yesterday after being on the run for allegedly abusing his infant daughter.
Moore is accused of breaking the child’s arms, leg, 3 ribs and a collarbone. Speaking with TMZ, he stated that the only thing he should be accountable for is the broken wrist his daughter suffered when she fell out of her bed in July.
Kesan says he is innocent and his fan’s will just have to see in court. “I’m innocent, which is crazy, and y’all will see in court! I think i’m going to be exonerated of all charges.”
Moore was released yesterday on a $20-thousand bond and charged with cruelty to children. A 5-month investigation by Smyrna police determined that he did assault the victim.
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