Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder Trial of O.J. Simpson

A Memorabilia Bust

On September 14, 2007, former football star O.J. Simpson, 60, made the news yet again when he was implicated in an armed robbery inside Las Vegas' Palace Station Hotel and Casino. Initially named a suspect in the robbery, O.J. told detectives that he and some men he met at a friend's wedding party retrieved allegedly stolen memorabilia that belonged to him out of a hotel guest's room, after being alerted by auction house owner Tom Riccio that collectors were planning on selling the items, the Associated Press reported. The stolen objects included O.J.'s Hall of Fame certificate, a picture of him with J. Edgar Hoover and some personal childhood and family photos, as well as negatives taken by his ex-wife Nicole Brown. O.J. said that he failed to alert the police because he often found them unresponsive since the 1994 murder of Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.

O.J. Simpson
O.J. Simpson

O.J. claimed that he didn't use a weapon when he retrieved the articles. However, police did seize two firearms reportedly belonging to Walter Alexander, 46, of Arizona and other evidence from two other homes that were allegedly connected to the crime. Alexander was arrested on September 15th while on route to McCarran International Airport on two counts of robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary with a deadly weapon.

During the investigation, detectives interviewed one of the victims, Bruce Fromong, a sports memorabilia collector who testified for Simpson in the 1997 wrongful death trial concerning Ron Goldman's death. Fromong said that Simpson entered the room with as many as six men, one of whom posed as a potential buyer. Two of the men then wielded guns at him while Simpson screamed, "That's mine, that's mine, that's mine" and made threats, CNN reported. Another man in the hotel room, Alfred Beardsley was alarmed and immediately called the police. Simpson later told detectives that he might have exchanged harsh words and threats but that he only wanted his property back, which he believed was stolen. The Associated Press quoted Beardsley as saying that he would "give him [O.J.] those pictures back" because he felt "bad about it" and concerned because things had "gotten way out of control."

On September 16th, one day after Alexander was taken into custody O.J. was also arrested. Among the charges O.J. faced were "robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary with a deadly weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and coercion," Clark County District Attorney David Roger said that "He is facing a lot of time" if he is found guilty. O.J. could face as much as life in prison. More arrests are expected to be made in connection with the case that has catapulted O.J. back into the media spotlight.

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