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Jewish World Review Feb. 13, 2003 / 11 Adar I, 5763

Julia Gorin

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Only a matter of time for O.J. Simpson

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | When the 12 members of the jury in the 1994-95 O.J. Simpson trial used the opportunity to make a political statement and acquit a guilty man, they unwittingly set him up for a private lynching. Not by some white mob, but by his own family. The day draws nearer and nearer.

About three years ago, my husband came home from work and said, "O.J.'s kids are gonna kill him one day." He just happened to be thinking about the whole situation, and that was all he said. So when the news item about Simpson's daughter's 911 call came across the AP wire a week ago, my husband's portent returned to me.

Seventeen year-old Sydney Simpson and her father were arguing at their Miami home on January 18th, when the situation reached explosive levels and she locked herself in her room and called the police. That would be the same breed of state agents who "framed" her father in Los Angeles. When police arrived at the home, Simpson wasn't there, as is his expertise. Sydney, meanwhile, explained that she and her father had been fighting over "family issues," and termed the incident as an "abuse thing," according to the AP.

What could those family issues be? The girl and her brother, Justin, who in 1995 were eight and six, respectively, were bound to get older. They were bound to start asking questions. Especially since they spend plenty of time with their maternal grandparents, who have no illusions about what happened to the kids' mother. What could Sydney possibly have said to get her father into such a rage?

Considering that Sydney is sensitive to the complications of her father's life, which is always in the public eye, and considering that he likely did his best to convince her he was framed in 1994, things must have gotten really ugly for her to resort to calling the police--knowing the PR consequences of such a move. Nor will it sit well with her father, who values his freedom above his conscience, able as he is to live a lie with his kids every day--not to mention with himself and the country at large. Sydney may have wanted to live with Daddy initially, as a private investigator for the Browns admitted, but the situation has gotten sticky now that Sydney is able to think for herself.

The incident prompting Sydney's distress call is exactly the kind of unsurprising scenario Mark Fuhrman and the Los Angeles Police Department, who regularly dealt with repeat troublemakers and who had been called to the Simpson residence on numerous occasions well before anyone was killed, wanted to put an end to. Too bad the non-impartial jury didn't.

The January incident appeared as a short side column in a number of newspapers and, for the time being, has been left at that. The only publication to go full throttle with it so far has been the National Enquirer which, for obvious reasons, made it the cover story for its February 11th issue. But here it's worth recalling that, as Howard Fineman of Newsweek said, The Enquirer "is the newspaper of record of the Clinton years." So why should we assume it's any less trustworthy in the context of O.J. Simpson? In addition to attributing the words "You killed Mommy" to Sydney, the magazine cites a "family insider" as saying that the girl is only comfortable in her father's presence when her 14 year-old, six-foot-one-inch brother is near.

Men, more than women, tend to take it extremely personally when someone kills their mother. It can have the effect of making one go through life as a powder keg, with a fuse just waiting to get lit. Doubtless suspicious of his father, Justin is at the same time likely protective of his sister. One day, either his temper will snap like his father's or, during the next explosive situation, his protective instincts will kick in and in an act of defending his sister, Justin might do his father physical harm. That is, of course, the more optimistic scenario, lest the children should pay the highest price of their father's freedom.

The jury may not have wanted to dispense justice, but that doesn't keep justice from being dispensed.

With the echo of the wild cheering in Times Square the day that the verdict was announced still fresh in my memory, it's at least comforting to think how stupid and soiled the jurors and their cheerers will (hopefully) feel when their hero, instead of being incarcerated, turns up deceased. All the more so since it will have been at the hands of the two additional victims the members of the jury created.

If and when one or both of the kids take their father's life, one's hope is that this time, even if the glove does fit, the next jury will acquit.

Stand by, Johnny Cochran.

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JWR contributor Julia Gorin is a journalist and comedienne residing in Manhattan. Send your comments by clicking here.

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