Dr. Michael L. Ford
18 November 2006
Thursday I did something I just do not do. I actually called a radio talk show and voiced my opinion. The reason I would not normally call one of those programs is people who do generally sound either dumb or misinformed. But I called in because the question raised was whether or not someone would buy the “If I did it” book just written by O.J. Simpson?
There is a reason why this particular book has raised my hackles and I would like to explain a bit. When the O.J. Simpson trial took place, I was pretty much confined to a daybed so I got to watch nearly every bit of the trial. Some of the discrepancies in evidence and testimony, that was actually pretty much overlooked by the defense, lead me to believe evidence had been tampered with and there was reasonable doubt the man was guilty. I had not changed that opinion over the years even though it is not the popular one.
The O.J. Simpson case was the only one my cousin Tommy Norton and I ever disagreed over. Tommy had been a good lawman before diabetes ended his career, and one of the things we did after his retirement was go over prominent cases and review available evidence. We did not always agree on all points of evidence but we did always come to the same conclusions, except for O.J. Simpson. For instance, we agreed on the Vince Foster assassination, but did not agree on all points about the staging of the crime scene by persons “unknown.”
I accused Tommy of being too defensive of the investigators handling the Simpson case because he had spent so many years working within law enforcement. For my own part I had seen too many bad cops during the short time I wore a badge. I cut no one any slack on that part. But I thought back then Tommy was exhibiting some tunnel vision not caused by diabetes. But when this book was announced my doubts of guilt were dealt a severe blow. That a man could be crude enough to write a book telling how he would have done it had he did it was so crass it pushed me into believing that someone who could do that could kill his wife as well. There are just some things that go beyond what can be considered decent human behavior.
Admittedly crassitude is something people seem to find more acceptable these days as Western civilization declines. And Rupert Murdoch who owns ReganBooks has never shrank from using what might be characterized as “slimy” in order to make a buck in the publishing business. But it takes people willing to buy trash in order for garbage publications to be profitable. That is, of course, except when trash publishing is just a vehicle to launder money into the pockets of politicians. And that is certainly not the case with O.J. Simpson’s book. No, the publishers must be of the opinion some people will want to purchase the book. I think many might use it as a coffee table decoration to get conversations started over the next few months.
But when faced with an opportunity to search the words of O.J. Simpson to get things settled in my own mind I had to face the question of whether or not I would buy the book in order to do more research? And the radio host was asking whether or not his listeners would buy the book? One of the things I have always hated is books written by people you know from the beginning are going to distort the truth in what they write an account of. You can guess I do not own many books written by politicians or ones authorized by the person being written about. So would I buy this one? The solution I came to was I would wait till I could pick up a copy in a used book sale for twenty-five cents to a dollar. That way I would not be encouraging the production of these things in the future. Besides that, if the people who do buy this book use it in the way I suspect it wont be too long before they will be putting a new conversation starter on their coffee table.
Crude O.J. will soon be replaced with crude something else in a world that loves crassiness. In the meantime I will wait. After all, there are really more important things that deserve attention. My opinion of the whole crowd involved in the two deaths, including the victims themselves, is that they were just a bunch of low class people with money who thought life was all about them and little else. And frankly, when Tommy and I meet again in heaven I think we will have better things to talk about than how O.J. did it, if he did it.
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Buchanan, Georgia 30113