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Everything We've Learned So Far From Kim Goldman's OJ Simpson Podcast

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Kim Goldman—seen on the right at the 1995 trial of OJ Simpson—has launched a podcast in honor of her brother Ron, who was murdered alongside his friend, Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994. (Photo of Kim by: AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

"This podcast will help me confront my story and hopefully help others who find themselves in similar situations confront theirs. Even if it means coming face to face with a monster." So begins a new podcast by Kim Goldman, sister of Ron Goldman, the man who was brutally murdered alongside OJ Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, as he attempted to return sunglasses she had left behind in the restaurant he worked in.

You'd be forgiven for wondering why this podcast is at all necessary. OJ Simpson's 1995 murder trial is the most thoroughly documented in American history. Not only did the entire thing air on television, it has since spawned dozens of books, documentaries like ESPN's OJ: Made In America and a much-lauded FX mini series. So it's surprising just how revelatory Confronting OJ Simpson is. Launched on the 25th anniversary of Ron and Nicole's murders, the first two episodes aren't just full of new information—some of which even Kim Goldman is hearing for the first time—they paint the case in a new, more muted, but somehow much more devastating light.

Of the many memorable characters this case produced, the person most lost in the chaos was Ron. He was eclipsed by the details of Nicole and OJ's deeply dysfunctional relationship; by the slowest car chase in history; by the social status of the other people involved; by race relations in America. In the end, Ron Goldman was collateral damage in more ways than one.

Confronting spends its first episode elevating Ron from his status as a footnote. For the first time, we have a broad understanding of who he was as a friend, a brother and a boyfriend. We get an understanding of his confidence, charm and bravery. We get a palpable sense of how deeply felt his loss continues to be. Hearing his father Fred sob at the memory of finding out his son was dead ("I walked over to the patio door and I looked out and I just found myself staring and screaming at the same time") and Ron's girlfriend Lauren recalling how she thought he was standing her up ("I left 50 million messages that night… almost blaming messages…") is overwhelming.

Kim also reveals new, heart-wrenching details. She explains that, while Nicole's family was told of the murders by police officers in person, Fred Goldman was informed by a phone call from the coroner. She recalls that, as she sobbed over the not guilty verdict in the courtroom, OJ's most infamous defense attorney, Johnnie Cochrane, made a point of smiling at her "like a 'Gotcha!'" She chokes up at the memory of seeing a white sheet draped over a freeway bridge on her way to the courthouse that day, painted with the words "Goldmans, we love you."


Kim also describes her complicated and volatile feelings towards OJ. She refers to him only as "The Killer," explaining that using his name feels too respectful. She recalls attempting to visit him in prison, but being unable to because OJ wouldn't meet with her unless she signed a non-disclosure agreement. Remarkably, she also remembers seeing OJ in an LA parking lot and thinking very seriously about running him down. "I was revving the engine and white knuckling the steering wheel, thinking ‘Nobody would know if I took him out’," she says. The only thing that stopped her was thinking about her father. “My dad couldn’t afford to lose another kid.”

In Episode 2, the revelations become even more shocking, as Kim talks to Detective Tom Lang and prosecutor, Marcia Clark. Clark is quick to express disbelief over the circus the trial turned into. "We would get called into chambers at every break because celebrities wanted to meet the prosecution," she says. "At one point, they introduced me to Jimmy Dean. 'You know, I love your sausage, man, but this is a murder trial...'" Clark is outspoken, saying of the jurors: "We proved it 50 ways from Sunday. It is objectively bonkers. You’re talking to somebody who probably thinks we never landed on the moon... flat Earth. There is no reasoning with people like that."

Clark also reveals her faith in the justice system remains shaken: "People routinely [ask] 'Are you okay now? Can you put it behind you? Are you over it?...' I'm never going to say yes because it's never going to be true." Tellingly, Clark refers to Judge Lance Ito as "starstruck," recalling: "Ito would proudly brag about 'Look at the person who I met, look whose autograph I got, look who left a photograph with me, blah, blah, blah...' [The defense] could see what that was and it served them."

Detective Lang is an equally compelling interviewee, finally explaining the gentle, almost babying way he talked to OJ during the car chase, over the course of five separate phone calls. "There's a reason for everything, and everyone gets treated differently depending on their personality," he says. "You're not going to treat some gang banger with a third grade education who stabs somebody in a fight the same as you're going to take on... a sociopath who is known to every person in the world... Something had to be done. I'm not worried about him—he's got a gun. I was worried about the cops that were so close... the people that were running up to the car."

(Interestingly, Confronting... makes a point to remind us that 95 million people watched that car chase as it aired live, so glued to the screen that Domino's set a record for the number of pizzas ordered.)

Though Lang expresses much frustration over the misrepresentation of a number of pieces of evidence (including blood spatter and the murder weapon), one of the podcast's more jaw-dropping moments comes with Skip Junis, a key witness who never got the chance to testify. "A limousine pulled up [at LAX] and OJ Simpson got out of the limousine," Junis tells Kim. "He was carrying this little, cheap gym bag. He only unzipped it a few inches—just enough to get his hand in—and was pulling things out and dumping them in the trash can." Junis informed Marcia Clark of this at the time, but was never asked to appear at the trial. (Detective Lang scoffs that "she didn't use a half a dozen things.")


In future episodes, Kim will be speaking with jurors, investigators, Kato Kaelin, Chris Darden and more. "I want to confront the grief, the fear, the anger, the loss, the shame," she says. "I want to ask questions that have never been answered, not only of OJ Simpson, but of everyone involved." If the first two episodes are indicative of what's to come, this could well turn into the most important OJ Simpson series yet.

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