No uncertainty in the title of today's entry. "The O.J. Simpson Murders." Yep, crimes tied to him. No dispute. A homicidal maniac.
Coming up on the 15 year anniversary of this dual mutilation, I am thinking about several odd ties I have to the event. And it didn't take me long after my move to LA in 1997 to get sucked into these coincidences.
When my writing partner and I first settled in SoCal in 1997, we were first isolated out in an Oakwood Apartments complex out in Woodland Hills. We might as well have lived on the moon. As soon as we got there in the Valley, we desperately started to figure out how to get to the other side of the hill. The fun side. That would be the apartment on Clark Drive. Not exactly in Beverly Hills, but on the border. Not exactly in West Hollywood, but on the border. When there was a reason to call the police, no cops wanted to claim the neighborhood. Our apartment was in Nowhere Adjacent.
But, early on, we found out just who we were adjacent to when we got on the elevator one night.
Famed houseguest Kato Kaelin.
Imagine our surprise that day when we loped onto the lift and heard a familiar voice utter "three, please." He even sounded stupid just saying those two simple words. Not only was he going to the same floor as us, his apartment was only two doors down. The first couple of weeks, we would purposely bump into the wall of his unit, just like OJ supposedly knocked into his air conditioner on that fateful night.
Over time, we were able to discern some interesting factoids about our neighbor. He didn't seem to work. No surprise there. Sometimes, he would simply bide his time by sitting on the street curb outside the building. A professional dodo. We learned from other tenants that Kato actually lived in the building during the trial, which meant that papparazzi were camped outside for two years.
About a year into our tenure there, we noticed Kato with a packing tape gun. He was either moving or perhaps trying to hold his brain in. And, suddenly, like a carpetbagger in the night, he was gone. Except for one last calling card left behind.
He decided to dump a lot of scripts in the ;aundry room. We immediately brought them upstairs and began to digest them. All were essentially soft porn projects offered to this D list star. Most of the screenplays had notes on the title page.
"Kato, you're going to be Danny, the horny pool boy."
"Kato, you're perfect for Marco, the horny tennis pro."
"Kato, we want you for the horny horn player. Get it? Wink wink."
I am guessing you can see any or all of the above during the overnight hours on Cinemax.
Moving on from Katoland, I simultaneously developed another bizarre OJ connection at work. A data input guy in the office and under my management looked damn familiar in both looks and name. There was something very, very nagging about Steven. And then it finally came to us third hand.
Steven was the guy who was walking his dog and found Nicole's dog with the bloody footprints. His testimony was memorable because he was the one who verified his movements that night by what shows he was watching on TV Land.
If you remember him and what an idiot he sounded like, trust me when I tell you he was as moronic in the office as he appeared to be during the trial. Ultimately, even the E list celebrity status he brought to my work life was not enough. His work habits were atrocious and I got to fire him a year later.
The final connection is probably the best, but sadly before the days of my digital camera.
I saw O.J. Simpson himself.
My writing partner and I were in Westwood and sitting in the window of a restaurant that sold nothing but French fries (don't ask, it's closed since then). As we alternately dipped the taters into ketchup, ranch, or barbecue dressings, we suddenly felt a pair of eyes staring at us through the window. It gave us a jolt like a 7.5 tremor.
There, on the other side of the glass, was a murderer. Or so everybody but 12 numbskulls think. Watching us dip French fries. He didn't look for more than 15 seconds but it seemed like an eternity. And then he was off.
As we watched him limp up the street, I could see a guy who did have that crippling arthritis which was a major part of his defense. Here's a dude who couldn't get around well at all. Hmmm, maybe....
Nah, he did it!
Dinner last night: Sausage caccatiore at Miceli's.