He Did It!


Back in the mid-1990s, an O.J. confession would have been press-stopping news. All the networks would have carried the story live, interrupting regularly scheduled O.J.-related programming. Schools might have closed early, sporting events postponed.

For anyone too young to remember -- is there anyone too young to remember? -- this trial owned the media landscape. I learned Orenthal James was not guilty in my mass communications class. The breaking news was broadcast live throughout our high school. In a slick, post-modern move, our teacher filmed us watching the verdict. If you don't believe me, this footage can be found in the 1996 Morris Knolls Eagle's Eye video yearbook. During the subsequent civil trial, E! had a daily show called The O.J. Civil Trial that acted out the day's court transcript.

I bring all this up because news of O.J.'s confession was buried on pages B7 and B13 in Saturday's New York Times. Transcripts of the ill-fated If I Did It interview were obtained by the paper. But I can't even find the story online. We've come a long way, I guess.

"As things got heated," O.J. said, "I just remember Nicole fell and hurt herself. And this guy [Ron Goldman] kind of got into a karate thing. I remember I grabbed the knife." He goes on to say he blacked out. His next memory is being covered in "blood and stuff."

That's not technically a confession, but it's close enough for me. So there you have it. On page B13 of the Arts section.

Oh, and that image above? Right. That's a chess set made to commemorate the trial, created by Norma Jean Almodovar, a champion of sex worker rights.