L.A. Police Confirm Testing Knife That May Be Linked to O.J. Simpson Murder Case

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O.J. Simpson, center, with defense attorneys Johnnie Cochran, left, and Robert Shapiro, during trial in 1995. (AFP-Getty Images)

Los Angeles police say they're testing a knife that was reportedly found at the estate of O.J. Simpson years after his 1995 acquittal for the stabbing deaths of his former wife and another man.

According to TMZ, the Los Angeles Times and other outlets citing police sources, the knife was discovered in 1998 by a worker involved in the demolition of Simpson's home. The worker reportedly turned the knife over to a police officer who was working off-duty providing security at a nearby movie location.

But LAPD Capt. Andrew Neiman said in a Friday morning press conference that it wasn't until the last month or so that the Police Department learned of the knife's discovery and obtained it from the officer, who is now retired.

Neiman confirmed that the knife is being tested for DNA. But he also said investigators are checking into the story behind the knife's reported recovery.

"We're not sure if the whole story is bogus from the get-go," Neiman told reporters.

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Neiman did not identify the officer who is said to have received the knife, and he said the identity of the worker who recovered it is unknown.

Nicole Brown Simpson and a friend, Ron Goldman, were found stabbed to death outside her home in L.A.'s Brentwood neighborhood early the morning of June 12, 1994.

O.J. Simpson, a native of San Francisco's Potrero Heights, a superstar NFL running back, actor and TV pitchman, was charged with the murders and acquitted in 1995. Under the Constitution's prohibition of double jeopardy, Simpson can't be tried again for the killings.

The grisly nature of the murders, the celebrity and bizarre initial behavior of the suspect and the racial overtones of the murder trial combined to make the case a spectacle that more than 20 years later still commands wide public attention. The case is the subject of a new FX Network series, "The People v. O.J. Simpson."

After his acquittal, Simpson was found liable in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families of his two alleged victims. The judgment in the case, $33.5 million, along with his legal fees and the end of his acting and advertising career, led to his loss of the Brentwood estate.

Simpson is now serving a nine- to 33-year prison sentence in Nevada for a 2008 conviction on kidnapping and robbery charges.

The Los Angeles Times reports this reaction to Friday's knife disclosure from one of the lawyers who defended Simpson:

Attorney Carl Douglas -- a member of O.J. Simpson's legal "dream team" that secured his 1995 acquittal in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman -- on Friday called the story "ridiculous."

"It's amazing how the world cannot move on from this case!" Douglas said. "And it, and the media, is apparently still fascinated by everything O.J. Simpson."

Douglas said he remembers that "there were indications that two different knives may have been used. One with a straight edge, and one with a serrated edge." But he cautions that people sometimes will do anything for 15 minutes of fame.

And the Times also provides some background on the search for the murder weapon in the Simpson-Goldman murders:

Authorities searched for the murder weapon for months after the slayings, and there have been many leads that went cold.

A 15-inch knife with a retractable blade that Simpson purchased at Ross Cutlery in downtown Los Angeles briefly tantalized prosecutors in his criminal trial. They thought it might be the murder weapon, and even asked a coroner to compare that type of blade with the slicing and stabbing wounds of the victims. The fact that no one could locate the knife only added to the intrigue.

But the defense produced the knife -- in an envelope that became known as the "mystery envelope" in the preliminary hearing. Forensic tests later revealed that the knife was in pristine condition, with no scratches or bloodstains to suggest it had been used in the vicious double homicide.

Prosecutors in Simpson's criminal trial never introduced it as evidence.