Welcome to my review of the documentary series about the life OJ Simpson Made In America created and released by ESPN. This over 7 hour documentary series is undoubtedly one of the most enthralling and shocking documentary’s released. It follows the life of a young OJ Simpson all the way through his career in the NFL to the Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman murders and finally his conviction of armed robbery and kidnapping. This review will look at what happened and my thoughts on the show and OJ Simpson.
My initial thoughts of this documentary is that it is undoubtedly one of the greatest documentaries ever made. I do not say this lightly having just watched it. This documentary not only chronicles the rise and fall of OJ Simpson but the relations between the white and black communities across America. The main reason for my belief that this is an all time great documentary is its unbiased nature. In the world today we unfortunately lost a truly unbiased news media. Our culture has led to news outlets seeking the most exciting and shocking news rather than exposing the truth. Furthermore, with the celebrity culture, news is more and more focused on which celebrity is having what scandal instead of politics and the humanitarian crises around the world.
This documentary demonstrates the facts in the most unbiased manner I have seen in many years. It uses both the prosecution opinion and reasoning and the defence to analyse what happened and more interestingly OJ Simpsons personality and his thirst for fame.
The rise of OJ and social injustice
The show begins showing what life was like for a young OJ Simpson. From a rough background and broken home it shows a young individual who had incredible powers of persuasion and charisma. From an early age he used these to get out of trouble and pass the buck to his friends as long as he protected number 1. I feel this early insight to OJ Simpson is key as to this day OJ Simpson is shown to care about one thing and one thing only, himself.
The show then follows his life to college football and his stellar yet ultimately tainted football career. He was undoubtedly a great footballer and incredibly driven personality. He used his fame to turn into a TV and Movie star and an advertisers dream inspiring Americans to use Hertz and buy Chevrolet. He managed what few other people managed. To be judged on his ability and what he gives to society rather than his race.
To this point, the show cleverly portrays OJ Simpson, although a master manipulator, as a true American hero with no real flaws and no inclination that he could be capable of what he is later suspected of.
This quickly changes though once he meets a young and beautiful Nicole Brown. From trying to force himself on Nicole on their first date to his possessive nature calling her “his woman or his booty” whilst going on many affairs we start to see a darker side to OJ.
OJ for so many years was able to keep this under wrap. He used his charm and manipulation of the local police force to stop his vicious beating of Nicole coming to light.
Nicole who was clearly in love with OJ for many years unfortunately stuck with him for the sake of their children and the belief that he was truthful when he said he was going to change. Unfortunately, this show goes on to show that OJ does not change and follows a pattern of many wife beaters that ultimately leads to the murder of his ex-wife.
The Murders to Present Day
The murders are investigated and are shown in graphic and disturbing detail. However, this is needed to show the viciousness of the attack. From the almost beheading of Nicole Brown to the “taunting” wounds on Ron Goldman it is clear that the murderer has not done this by accident. This has been carried out and he has been fully aware of what he is doing. The murderer wants to make sure that both victims are dead and are totally eradicate their existence. This in my opinion is an escalation of the brutal beatings of Nicole that were carried out in pure rage by Mr Simpson due to the rejection of Nicole as she started a new life without him.
Ron Goldman’s death is just as tragic as Nicole’s. Returning her relatives glasses it is shown that he happens upon the crime scene before been brutally and mercilessly killed by Mr Simpson.
Following the murders the show, follows the timeline of the ridiculous and infamous car “chase” through L.A to the trial and its outcome. Finally, we are brought to present day where OJ is in prison due to his action in Las Vegas.
My thoughts and total shock to public opinion
First of all this only my opinion based on the facts available to me. The big question is OJ Simpson is guilty. In my opinion, yes OJ Simpson murdered two innocent and loving people in Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
The timeline of events from the controlling nature of OJ over Nicole to the escalating violence there is a clear pattern that ultimately leads to her and Ron’s death. Furthermore, the forensic evidence undoubtedly points towards one suspect and one suspect only. OJ Simpson. He had motive and crucially the opportunity to kill Nicole and Ron. His crimes later on in life also speak to his violent tendency which he managed to cover up for so many years with his public imagine and charm offensive.
The injuries sustained by Nicole and Ron point to violent powerful man who had one aim and that was to kill these innocent people. I will not go into any more detail as I can not do the victims justice in describing and explaining what happened and the sought of people they were so I urge people to watch this series.
Did the police, lawyers for the prosecution and Mark Fuhrman let down the victims, absolutely. However, my biggest blame lies with the defence. I understand that it is their job to defend OJ Simpson and win a verdict of not guilty. However, they turned this trial into a trial about racism in the police force and America rather than about the facts on the case. At no point did the defence provide any meaningful evidence of an alibi for Mr Simpson or disprove any of the evidence from the prosecution. Instead they focused on the brewing racial tension in America that had been simmering decades. It was a shameful tactic that although ultimately meant winning the case has not resulted in justice for any Americans in the future. Furthermore, their tampering of his house. Removing all his photos from the wall that involved him and his white friends to instead placing photos of him with black members of the society at events and even using a civil rights drawing that belonged to Johnny Cochran to persuade the predominantly black jury that he was “one of them”, shows the lies the defence weaved. OJ Simpson is shown in the past he himself used racist slurs against black people and did not view himself as black. Even more shocking was the fact that he wanted no part of the civil rights movement, so to portray him as someone actively involved in the movement was deception and Judge Ito failed to stop this manipulation of the jury.
What I found most shocking about this program was the total denial by people (majority of them from the black community) of OJ’s innocence. This is demonstrated in one key section when a juror and other public members laugh at the verdict and say this is justice for the injustice they have suffered for many years. I can’t understand what it is like to feel the racism that black people suffered in America and the injustice they suffered, however, this verdict was not justice for their race it was revenge pure and simple. To this day some of the jurors and public laugh about the verdict and that Nicole got what she deserved for being white and marrying a black man who had previously beat her.
This is a sickening opinion and must be called out for what it is. Racism. To deny that this isn’t racism is disgusting and we must confront this. Racism is not just carried out by white people but is prevalent in all races and must be combated.
The fact of this murder is that two innocent members of the public were slain in the most brutal and disgusting way imaginable. What made it even worse was the fact that Nicole and OJ’s children were sleeping upstairs. Thankfully they did not see the murder scene.
I urge people to watch this documentary. It might not sway everyone who think OJ is innocent that he is guilty but if it can change just one person’s opinion with the facts so they realise the only victims of the crime were Nicole and Ron then this show has done more for justice in society than his defence team ever did.
Many people feel that the prison sentence he received for Las Vegas were harsh. Were they? I think probably so. However, as time has passed by I truly believe people were aware that this man got away with the brutal murder of a young mother and young man with their whole life in front of them. The crimes he committed in Las Vegas follow his trail of self-destruction that could ultimately have led to him murdering another innocent victim so the jury and judge sentenced him to many years prison. Was this justice. Yes. This was not revenge this was a man who carried out a crime and the law punished him to its maximum extent.
Some sections might cry of the injustice against a black man and a former national hero, but argument is not relevant to OJ Simpson. He is where he belongs in a jail cell for brutal crimes. The only victims through out his life are the innocent people he killed and lives he destroyed. Justice was finally done and all we can hope that the law sees sense and maintains that justice by keeping him behind bars.