Sam S. Mircovich/WireImage.com
The knife currently in the possession of the LAPD that's being tested for blood and other possible traces of a double murder that occurred nearly 22 years ago is not the only knife ever found at what was once O.J. Simpson's estate on Rockingham Avenue in L.A.'s upscale Brentwood neighborhood.
According to The New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin's 1996 account of the Simpson murder trial, The Run of His Life, another knife connected to Simpson was processed for clues during the early phase of the investigation. Perhaps because it never ended up as a piece of evidence at the trial, that's why American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson—which is largely following Toobin's source material—didn't address it (or at least it hasn't yet, chronologically) in the series.
But still, like almost everything else that happened or is rumored to have happened…it stands on its own as a bizarre piece of the puzzle.
Back in 1994, as then Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark scrambled to put together a case against Simpson to take to the grand jury, she learned that the suspect had purchased a knife at a cutlery store in downtown L.A.
According to Toobin's book, police searched the Rockingham house for the knife on June, 28, 1994, 16 days after the murders. They came up empty.
One of Simpson's attorneys, law professor Gerald Uelman, visited the former football hero in jail and asked him where the knife was—and Simpson told him exactly where to fine it. So Uelman found the knife in a box that was on a shelf behind some mirrored doors in Simpson's master bedroom.
The 15-inch folding lock-blade knife with a deer-antler handle looked to be in "pristine" condition, per the book.
Uelman considered his options: Bring the knife in and become an instant witness in the case; or possibly be accused of planting it by cops who would be embarrassed that they completely missed it. Or do nothing.
What he ultimately did do, according to Toobin's research, is leave the knife there but go to Judge Lance Ito (who has not yet been assigned the Simpson case but who happened to handle "miscellaneous criminal matters" at the D.A.'s office) and asked him to appointed a neutral party to go and retrieve the knife, note what sort of condition it was in and turn it over to the court.
So that's just what happened: Retired L.A. Superior Court Judge Delbert Wong got the knife from Rockingham and brought it to Ito.
Meanwhile, Allen Wattenberg of Ross Cutlery testified before the grand jury that Simpson had paid $81.17 cash for the knife on May 3, 1994—and asked for it to be sharpened before he took it home.
Prosecutors did not yet know, however, that the actual knife had been recovered and looked immaculate—but Robert Shapiro did, because Ueland had arranged for the transfer.
Ultimately, though the defense reportedly wanted to spring it on the prosecution at some point, the envelope containing the knife mundanely changed hands from Ito to his boss, Superior Court Judge Cecil Mills, to Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell, who was presiding over the preliminary hearing.
Kennedy-Powell procured the envelope, the prosecution knew what had to be inside, it was tested...
And it appeared to have never been used. To this day, as far as anyone knows the murder weapon has never been found.
The knife currently being tested, the existence of which was just reported today, was supposedly found buried on the Rockingham property by a construction worker in or around 1998 when it was being demolished by a new owner. He gave it to an off-duty traffic cop, who then, according to what police have been told, took it home as a souvenir. Only after he retired did he apprise authorities of its existence.
Regardless of what happens, onscreen or off, literally nothing about this saga is not made for TV.