I’m not real sure what emotions O.J. Simpson is feeling right now; but I bet triskaidekaphobia is one of them. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear — some say irrational fear — of the number 13. I doubt O.J. thinks it’s irrational. After all, it was 13 years to the day after his acquittal for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman that a jury of his peers found him guilty of 12 other crimes.
And some might say — with poetic justice that only nonfiction can actually deliver — the devil finally got his due.
Now, I know that technically O.J. didn’t kill Nicole Brown or Ronald Goldman. An earlier jury of his peers cleared him of the criminal charges. But there was a third jury. That jury decided the civil case that occurred between his first criminal trial and his last. Those 12 jurors awarded the Brown and Goldman families a wrongful death judgment against O.J. because they believed that O.J. did it.
Here’s where the plot becomes almost Hitchcock-esque. See, O.J. got hammered financially when the civil jury decided that he caused the deaths of his estranged wife and the young man who unfortunately happened to be visiting her at the time of her murder. The civil jury awarded the victims’ families such an enormous amount of money that O.J. had to sell off some of his favorite things to pay the bill.
Then, this past year, arrogant O.J., persecuted O.J., above-the-law O.J., decided to take his stuff back. Consequently, the man who “got away with murder” allowed his rage and his impertinence to entice him to commit another crime.
The victims’ families must be relieved by this new guilty verdict.
But what a colossal blunder on O.J.’s part. O.J.’s inability to just pay the bill and give up his “worthless when compared to human life” memorabilia has assured that he will likely spend the rest of his life in jail.
You have to be a pretty stupid murderer to think that your “junk” is worth more than your freedom. It’s not about stupid though, it’s about angry.
According to a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, anger is a pretty common trait when it comes to abusers. And their anger makes them say or do stupid things. This study concluded that certain predisposing factors, such as “threats to kill” were “predictors of the murder of women in abusive relationships.”
The study also found that “relationship factors” increase the risk that an abuser will murder their victim. These “factors” include “an abuser’s highly controlling behavior and a woman separated from the abuser.”
O.J.’s wife, Nicole Brown, left him and was living on her own when she was killed. She was gone and then his stuff was gone and O.J. responded the same way to loss in both cases; he got destructive. And now a Nevada jury is going to make him pay for his rage with more than money; he’ll pay with his freedom.
Thirteen years have passed and, for many of us, O.J.’s finally getting his due. This recent verdict wasn’t bad luck. It’s just paradoxically procured justice.
What the Johns Hopkins Study, available at www.son.jhmi.edu, can do is more than tell us which factors might have led to Nicole’s and Ronald’s murders. It can speak to those who recognize similar events in their own lives and encourage them to get help before another tragedy occurs. If that’s you, get help now.
United States Bureau of Justice Statistics state that approximately three women are murdered every day by their husband or boyfriend. Three Nicole Browns every day! The Bureau of Justice also states that in the year 2000, more than a third of all the women murdered were killed by their intimate partner.
You can help victims of domestic violence by donating to your local domestic violence shelter. And if you’re in danger call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or go to its Web site at www.ncadd.org
What happened to O.J. wasn’t bad luck; it was the natural consequence of his violent behavior. Society just got lucky when he decided to steal his memorabilia back so that justice would finally be served.
Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is a spokeswoman for The Olympia Group and its campaign for a casino in Oxford County. She may be reached at PatLaMarche@hotmail.com.