OJIf ever there was absolute proof that time really does fly, it’s realizing this weekend marks the TWENTY-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, with the subsequent famous white Bronco chase down the freeways of Los Angeles.

Being the news junky I am, I kept my nose glued to the coverage of these unbelievable events during the early days following the gruesome and heartbreaking murders in June 1994.

Did OJ do it?

Later that fall, I joined most of America and followed the criminal trial (People of the State of California vs. Orenthal James Simpson) and was especially intrigued to find myself on a legal case in Los Angeles and staying at the same hotel where the OJ jurors were sequestered.  I was hooked!

The entire case fascinated me on so many levels. Not only did the lengthy proceeding (nearly a year-long!) showcase state-of-the-art courtroom presentations I would soon learn to use in my legal profession, but we were introduced to amazing characters (can anyone say Kato Kaelin?) and a storyline few novelists could dream up.

The legal wrangling was better than any television drama. We were introduced to Marsha Clark, Judge Ito, Robert Shapiro, Johnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, and Barry Scheck. We watched police witness Mark Fuhrman tank the case for the prosecution, and our hearts broke for Nicole and Ron’s families as the details of that night were revealed.

However, few would admit what I am about to tell you.

The following year, I took my own not-so-famous bronco ride. Our family was on vacation in the Los Angeles area taking in Disneyland and all the other tourist attractions.  After much urging on my part, I finally convinced my husband no trip would be complete without a trip to the famous Rockingham and Bundy addresses in Brentwood—the locations I’d seen flashed on my television screen for months.

To get a clear picture of what transpired next, close your eyes and imagine my bored boys in the back whining they just wanted to get back to the hotel pool. Imagine an over zealous woman perched on the roof of our own Bronco with a video camera.  Sit and hear me hollering at my husband to ease forward so I could get a close shot of the playhouse and the gate at the driveway. Then watch my husband lean out the driver’s window and yell back, “Kellie, get back in the car. There’s a cop.  Get in the car!”

“Just a minute . . . drive forward. Okay, now stop!” See me jump off the roof, camera in hand and shove the lens through the hole in the hedge.

See the police lights . . . hear the siren.

“Miss . . . we’re going to ask you to get back in your car and move along.”


“No buts. Move along.”

Back inside the car.  “Mom, that was SO embarrassing!”

RockinghamSee my beaming face. “But, I got the shot!”  (and I even interviewed Nicole Simpson’s neighbor who was walking her dog when I was playing tourist at the Bundy address!)  All-in-all a GREAT VACATION!

Most of you are likely rolling your eyes by now. I admit, my antics were probably a bit over-the-top.  Those who know me well are not especially surprised by any of this story.

You see . . . I love the news, I love anything legal, and I love family tensions and drama.  All these elements were showcased in the OJ trial. They are also showcased in my new novel A WOMAN OF FORTUNE .  And, you don’t even have to embarrass your family to enjoy it!

CLICK IMAGE to view book trailer for A WOMAN OF FORTUNE

CLICK IMAGE to view book trailer for A WOMAN OF FORTUNE

So, tell me in the comments—did you watch the famous white Bronco chase?






PS – my fellow belle, Jolina Petersheim, has a new book out too.

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A former legal investigator and trial paralegal, Kellie Coates Gilbert writes with a sympathetic, intimate knowledge of how people react under pressure. Her books tell emotionally poignant stories about woman in life-changing circumstances. Her next release, A WOMAN OF FORTUNE, will be available this June.

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  1. says

    Love this post, Kellie! I remember the OJ Simpson case very well, though I was in 4th grade at the time. Our teacher was obsessed and would listen to the case every day, but he let us listen, too. Not sure we were supposed to be learning about such things at our age (in a strict Christian school, no less), but we were sure fascinated! 😉

  2. Lisa Wingate says

    LOL! Mental image =D I’ll bet this is a family vacation your boys will never forget. The important thing is, you GOT the shot!

    I’ll bet that case was fascinating from a legal perspective. It was definitely fascinating (and sad) to watch. Hard to believe it has been that long ago.

    Have a great week, Kellie!


  3. Lisa says

    I would have done the same thing!!! I was completely mesmerized by that case. My heart broke for the Brown and Goldman families.
    I even watched a program the other day recapping the entire event for the 20 year anniversary.
    I suppose I have a bit of an obsession, too!

    • says

      Ha – y’all will know I’ve ended my obsession when I do a give-away of my thirty plus books relating to the trial (yes, there actually were THAT many and more….everybody made money selling a book about the OJ trial).

  4. says

    I was on a tennis trip with a group of friends playing in the nationals. We ganged up with EVERYONE at the hotel, in our rooms with towels over our wet heads, later in the lobby with other guests and hotel staff, at dinner as all the television sets in every restaurant were tuned to the chase. Did we ever watch! I still can’t believe that was 20 years ago!

    As for your bronco scene– why, I would’ve been right there with you, perhaps trying to distract the nice officer while you got the shot!

  5. Melanie Backus says

    I remember that night of the bronco chase very well. I was watching television as I waited for my daughter to come home from a date. We all continued to watch once she arrived home.

    I love that you got the shot. I can identify since we were vacationing near Boulder one summer and made a drive by in a motorhome, no less, to see the home of Jon Benet Ramsey.

    • says

      I also had my heartstrings tied to the Jon Benet murders. I worked for a law firm in Denver at the time, with an office in Boulder. John was a client (his business) and we helped him find a criminal attorney when the prosecutors started looking at him and Patsy. I knew that Momma didn’t do that…..from the minute I saw her. I also have ALL those related books. Sounds like we are made of the same bolt of cloth, Melanie.

  6. Julie Cantrell says

    I remember the chase very well. I was in college, and we crowded around my tv where I was manager of the Married Student Housing apartments at LSU. I saw it through the lens of my international friends – from China, Vietnam, Korea, Greece, Suriname, India, Sri Lanka, and Malta. I remember vividly the agony of Ron Goldman’s father and sister as the saga continued. And the story of Nicole’s dog trying to get help from the neighbors…barking nonstop.The entire situation was so sad and horrible…and it continues to portray our serious flaws as a society when it comes to turning a blind eye on domestic violence.

  7. Nicole Seitz says

    My mother and I were glued to the tv in those days as I was staying at home for a second degree. I remember the chase well, the cast of characters, and the look on his face when he heard the verdict. Not sure why that case was so captivating, but it was. Historical. Glad we weren’t the only ones fixated!

  8. says

    Kellie, this was the first year my daughter (who would go on to be a national roller skating champion) competed in Regionals, which were held in Tallahassee (for our region). The chase happened as my beautiful 13-year-old went round and round on a skating rink floor, about half the size of a football field. Maybe larger.

    Someone came running in with the news that O J Simpson was leading LA on a wild goose chase and, when you can, go see. Of course, we didn’t realize the intensity of the issue. We didn’t know about the murders. We were in our own world.

    But after the declaration, every chance we go, we left the rink (we parents) and ran over to the hotel lobby where a big-screen TV kept us informed.

    The really big news, of course, is that my daughter won first place in the region and went on to win 5th in the nation. After that, OJ …

  9. says

    I was in the Hamptons on Long Island when the chase was going on. We were guests of a couple I’d met in the publishing biz – the wife and I were friends. Her husband was an attorney and his commentary was insightful. We went off to Montauk – the tip of Long Island – and were surprised when we came back that the slow-motion chase was still going on.

  10. says

    Kellie that is fabulous! Your children don’t know what they missed! lol! I had to go by there too just to see it. She was murdered on the day I got married and we went out of the country for our honeymoon. The only English Speaking channel was CNN. The only coverage was the murder and the bronco chase. I will never forget it. Doesn’t sound like you will either:)

  11. Rachel Hauck says

    Love it Kellie!! You’re too funny. Sounds like something I’d do. I did watch the chase. I think he did it, too, but we have to trust our legal system.


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