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Los Angeles police say a knife was recovered on a property once owned by O.J. Simpson and that it is being tested to see if it has a connection to the murders of his ex-wife and her male friend, more than 20 years after the former football star was acquitted of the killings.
Police were made aware of the item within the past month, a police spokesperson told reporters Friday. The premiere of the FX series American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson, which follows O.J.'s criminal trial, premiered in February. The show has thrust what is considered to be one of the most famous murder cases in American history back into the headlines.
Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were found stabbed to death outside of her Brentwood home in 1994. The murder weapon was never recovered and no one was convicted of the killings since O.J.'s 1995 trial. The case remains open.
Several years ago, a now-retired LAPD motor officer was working an off-duty job near O.J.'s home in Brentwood. A man who said he was a construction worker handed him a knife he said he found on the perimeter of the property, which has since been demolished. It was given to authorities within the last month and an investigation has been launched, a police spokesperson told reporters at a press conference Friday.
AP Photo/Myung Chun
"It is being treated as we would all evidence so it has been submitted to our lab," the spokesperson said. "They are going to study and examine it for all forensics...and that is ongoing as we speak."
He did not reveal what type of knife was found or where it was recovered and that he did not know the circumstances "or if this whole story is bogus from the get-go." He said the officer who was given the knife retired in the late '90s and possibly believed that the murder case was closed at the time.
The spokesperson also said he did not know the name of the construction worker who allegedly found the knife and called on the person to contact authorities to provide more information.
While he was acquitted in a criminal trial, a civil jury found O.J. liable for the slayings. He is currently serving a 33-year prison sentence in Nevada for a 2008 armed robbery conviction.
If evidence is found that links the knife to O.J., he cannot be retried in a criminal trial for the murders of Nicole and Goldman because of constitutional protections against double jeopardy.
Attorney Yale Galanter, who represented O.J. in his latest case, talked about the finding of the knife in an interview with CNN Friday.
"From my point of view, I think this is nothing new and I think this will turn out to be a whole lot of nothing," he said. "I'm just note sure this particular incident can or will be attached to this murder. I think this incident is highly suspect."
"Double jeopardy is attached and to use one of my favorite sayings...'That ship has sailed a long, long time ago,'" he added. "As we've seen because of the miniseries that FX is putting on, it's still a very popular topic...people want to know what really occurred. It's still a topic of debate when you go to cocktail parties."
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