Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Blood money for books

Wick's World

 


“If I Did It.” There it was. The book I vowed I would never read. As I held it in my hand contemplating if it was worth spending the $1 price tag on a book I felt should never have been published. I caved in. After all, the introduction stated that O.J. Simpson’s "confession" was somewhere in these pages; and it was only a buck. I not only read the book, I am ashamed to say that I took "blood money" for “If I Did It.” When I turned to page eight, two neatly folded dollar bills fell out!

Our society has rules, both written and unwritten, whether one should be allowed to profit from a particularly heinous crime. Take for example, writing a book about a media-frenzied incident such as the O.J. Simpson murders. Having been acquitted of the charges, one could logically conclude that since he was not guilty of any crime, he should be allowed to write his version of the truth. That is just what Simpson did in a book titled “If I Did It.” However, having been convicted in civil court of intent to cause great injury and bodily harm to Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, a judge eventually ruled that neither O.J. Simpson nor his sham corporation LB A, set up so the money would go to his children, were to profit from the act of murder. This is a type of case the term "blood money" implies; profiting from an illegal and/or immoral deed.

The judge’s ruling did not necessarily mean the book went away. It didn’t. Rather, after much legal finagling with both O.J. Simpson and the people representing the estate of his deceased wife Nicole, Ron Goldman’s family was awarded the rights to the book. Then another moral dilemma reared its ugly head. Is it still considered "blood money" if the profit goes to the victim?

A publisher agreed to the book on the condition that O.J. Simpson’s confession was included. Stuck in the middle of chapter six and prefaced with O.J.’s words “This is only hypothetical,” a confession of sorts emerges. Simpson does give details about how the murders probably occurred. However, like 99 percent of the rest of the story, Simpson, for the life of him, cannot admit to any fault. The fault always lies with Nicole. This is very typical behavior for spousal abusers; to blame the victim is especially true when the victim is no longer here to speak for themselves.

Simpson says he conveniently blacked out, or simply doesn’t remember what exactly happened when he came to his senses and found himself standing over two bodies lying in a large pool of blood. Oh, and by the way, an unknown guy Simpson calls "Charlie," (simply because he doesn’t know his real name) stands beside him and witnesses the whole thing! Simpson does not indicate if this so-called Charlie had anything to do with the actual murders; just that according to O.J.’s words, “I couldn’t have done this alone.”

Ron Goldman appears in the book only for a few moments, specifically at the crime scene. This begs to ask the question of why the Goldman family was awarded the rights to the book when their son played such a minor role in the story. It appears Simpson was able to pay off some debts and pay down his mortgage from the book’s advance. The Nicole Brown Simpson estate worked out a deal, which has never adequately been explained, in which the Goldmans were left with the lion’s share of the book’s profits. For the Goldman family, this came at a huge cost to their personal lives when old memories re-surfaced, and their reputations and integrity were brought into question.

Was it worth it; maybe for the Goldmans? Was it blood money? That’s not for me to say. Should you read the book? I say, don’t bother.

 

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