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Mike Dow Mike Dow
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edge staff writer


Kim Goldman 20 years after the Simpson verdict

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Damian Dovarganes/AP Damian Dovarganes/AP

Do you remember where you were and how you felt in October 1995 when the verdict came down in the trial of O.J. Simpson?

According to polls then and now, the majority of Americans believe that Simpson was guilty of murdering of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in June 1994. The jury disagreed. Simpson's celebrity and the shocking specifics of the case kept viewers riveted to the televised trial for 11 months.

Ronald Goldman's father and sister, Fred and Kim Goldman, received a crash course on how to deal with a tragic loss under the relentless scrutiny of the media.

Today, Kim Goldman travels the country as an advocate for victim's issues, speaking out about judicial reform and the role of the media. Her new book, 'Media Circus: A Look at Private Tragedy in the Public Eye,' is a collection of interviews and stories from victims and survivors of violent crimes who found themselves the focus of national media attention.

Dow: In 'Media Circus,' you interview family members from some of the most infamous cases of the last few decades. Was it cathartic for you to speak with so many people who had gone through a situation similar to yours?

Goldman: I had watched their stories unfold like everyone else in the country but you don't really know what's going on behind the scenes - but because of my experience, I kind of did. We just sat down and started talking and sharing stories. I was able to ask questions that were maybe inappropriate, but in an appropriate way, because I had experienced it myself. They were very candid and honest and told me stories that you've probably never heard before because the media wouldn't think to ask. I love that component of the book because it's all behind the scenes with honest, raw, candid emotions.

Dow: Is there a profile from your book that stands out as one that everyone should know about?

Goldman: Each of the profiles in the book stands out for very different reasons. We really tried to show the arc of the media, social media and the internet. Starting in the 1960s and going up to Eric Garner in 2014, it shows how the media changed, how the media treats victims and survivors and how it impacted stories with kids involved versus adults and also how the public plays a part. All of the subjects in my book tugged on my heart in such different and unique ways.

Dow: In June of 1994, when you and your family found out that Ron had been killed, did you have immediate suspicions on who might be responsible?

Goldman: No. I had no idea who Nicole was, and I had no idea who her ex-husband was at that time. In those first couple of minutes, we thought it was a car accident because we had no information we had just been told that he died. We found out from the news that (Simpson) was considered a suspect.

Dow: I think most people - then and now - can't understand how, with such a preponderance of evidence, a jury could find him not guilty. How did you and your father come to terms with that?

Goldman: We're still coming to terms with it. I think people were confused about how the system works and confused about how we can all see something one way and have somebody else see it a different way. I'm grateful in some ways that the media was so present because it allowed people to come to their own conclusions. Predominately, people think that he was guilty, so I'm grateful for that, but it's hard still, after all these years, to have people argue about it and debate it. I get emails from people who have these conspiracy theories that are the complete opposite of what I believe. They're very negative, but good comes with that I suppose.

Dow: Was it any consolation that Simpson was finally sent to prison, but for something completely unrelated to the killings?

Goldman: Yes, totally. He walks around with this 'holier than thou' mentality, so to be caught stealing your own stuff on the same day that we published his pseudo-confession of the 'If I Did It' book was pretty fantastic. He had been afforded his freedom for a very long time, even before Ron and Nicole were killed. It's a relief to know that he's sitting behind bars for as long as he is right now. It gives me a better chance to breathe deeper.

In 2008, Simpson was convicted on charges of armed robbery. He and a group of men broke into the hotel room of a sports memorabilia dealer, making off with items that Simpson claimed belonged to him. 'If I Did It' (referring to the 1994 murders) was a book bearing Simpson's name for which he received $600,000. A court awarded the rights of the book to the Goldman family, who released it with an altered title on the day of Simpson's 2007 arrest. Simpson was sentenced to 33 years imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole.

'The Big Morning Show with Mike Dow' can be heard on Big 104 FM The Biggest Hits of the '60s, '70s & '80s - airing on 104.7 (Bangor/Belfast), 104.3 (Augusta/Waterville) and 107.7 (Bar Harbor/Ellsworth)

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 October 2015 19:02


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