Sunday, 4 October 2015

Twenty Years After THAT Verdict and the Protest Continues!

This is THE post that I should have shared yesterday but I did not on account of a lack of time, natural light and inclination!

Despite the issues of time and natural light notwithstanding for as I had published six (yes, six!) stories about the anniversary of THAT Verdict by yesterday evening; the only inclination that remained was for me to crawl away into the dark night and watch a trashy movie with only a huge slice of cake for company…


And no, the trashy movie that I watched was NOT about the Simpson Matter!

For even though the Late (and great!) Dominick Dunne had once argued that the Simpson case was like a ‘great trash novel come to life, a mammoth fireworks display of interracial marriage, love, lust, lies, hate, fame, wealth, beauty, obsession, spousal abuse, stalking, brokenhearted children, the bloodiest of bloody knife-slashing homicides, and all the justice that money can buy’; THE movie that I enjoyed featured quite a number of the above, although thankfully minus the bloodshed for the only ‘corpse’ at the finale was a metaphorical one!

However, enough of my Saturday evening television viewing habits and back to the matter in hand - THE Simpson Matter and the incredible realisation that yesterday, October 3 2015 marked the twentieth year since the reading of THAT verdict; you know, the one that begins with: "We the jury... find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, NOT guilty of the crime of murder... upon Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being..."


For it was on a cold and dark Tuesday evening and I was returning home from my flower shop in the City of York in a car packed with fellow travellers including school bags, grocery shopping and a 11-week old baby, (thankfully silent!) as I turned on the radio to listen to the reading of THAT verdict from some 5,000 miles away.

In her brilliant memoir Without a Doubt, prosecutor Marcia Clark shares the reaction of Simpson’s defence attorney to THAT verdict as ‘not the verdict I would’ve thought.’... You can say that again Bob Shapiro!


I was so convinced that I would still hear a ‘Guilty’ verdict despite those allegations of LAPD incompetence and the charges of racism that tried (and failed!) to obscure the powerful circumstantial evidence and Simpson’s long history of domestic abuse…

Alas, as it was not to be and at a distance of twenty years, I thought it would be interesting to share the reactions of some other Simpson supporters and detractors and of their feelings about THAT verdict that I have published on my other blogs and as I felt that a little mischief was entirely appropriate, some ‘creative’ imagery has also been included.

If you click on the links at the end of this post, you will be able to read the stories from Marcia Clark, Kris Jenner and Terri Baker. Mike Gilbert will take you behind the front door of Simpson’s former abode on Rockingham Avenue and you can join Dominick Dunne as he takes a walk along the tiled walkway at 875 South Bundy Drive.

I have also included a controversial essay by the fabulous Elizabeth Wurtzel from her book Bitch on my No Excuse for Abuse blog and of her observations about the complicated relationship between Nicole and Simpson.

Although I agree with her belief that Nicole’s death was a ‘stupid waste of a life of a woman’; I do NOT support her assertion that her death supported ‘well-intentioned but still fruitless attempts to make it into a clarion call for domestic-violence awareness’ and here's my reason why: for since 1994, I have been a witness to subtle and positive change that despite the divisive issues that had surrounded the trial of Simpson, Nicole’s tragic death was to illuminate a much needed awareness about domestic abuse and that many women who upon learning about Nicole’s life and death were to find a renewed strength and resolve to leave their abusive partners and this STILL continues to be the case, more than twenty years later.

Do you recall the ‘11-week old’ baby who slept his way through the reading of THAT verdict, I told you about? ....


Well, this is him in the image above and in his 17th year as THE poster boy for the Real Man Campaign in which to raise awareness about domestic abuse and on behalf of the UK charity Women’s Aid

The Nobel Laureate and political activist Elie Wiesal once said that “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

Saturday, 16 May 2015

John Travolta, the Joy of Motherhood and a Quiet Abode... #RecollectNicole!

“I had just gotten back from the Cannes Film Festival where we won the Palme d'Or for Pulp Fiction, I was on this kind of high with a new career and then this American tragedy was happening.”
John Travolta

I discovered this quote by the former Saturday Night Fever groover as I was reading yet another news story about the making of the American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson which will be produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk and no, Travolta wasn't reminiscing about the world of the American Horror Story for which Murphy has been noted for his success but rather that of the trial of one Orenthal James Simpson who as we know was accused, tried and sensationally acquitted of the murder of his former wife Nicole and that of her friend Ron Goldman who in all probability was murdered for simply being in the wrong place at that time.

My intention was to have written a succinct piece about how within the plethora of news stories about the impressive cast of notable actors lined up for The People v. O.J. Simpson and of the people that they are set to portray but how Nicole and Ron barely even warrant a mention which is incredible when you remember that not only were they the victims of the crime but also the raison d'etre for this intended series!

However, as I got a little carried away with the word count, I have now posted my Not Just An American Crime Story musings on my Trial and Error blog…  


“Being a good mother was the most important accomplishment in Nicole’s life. It was the thing that mattered most to her.”
Tanya Brown

Although Mother’s Day was celebrated in the U.S. last Sunday, I have shared a poignant story published in the May 16 1995 edition of the National Enquirer with a selection of wonderful images of Nicole with her children along with the memories of her youngest sister Tanya on the Remembering Nicole Brown Simpson blog, which I hope you will enjoy.

I am also mindful that I have been rather quiet as of late with the creation of my two ‘Small Worlds’, Nicole’s House and a House on Rockingham; both of which are 12th scale abodes and both inspired by Nicole.


All I can say in my defense is that I shall be sharing some new images of the former very soon and that I am very much in the design process with the creation of the latter!

Until then, Adieu!
Tee

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

'He's Going to Kill Me!' The Legacy of Nicole Brown Simpson...

"O.J. threw me against the walls....and on the floor. Put bruises on my arm and back. The window scared me. Thought he'd throw me out...

Everywhere I go he shows up. I really think he is going to kill me"

 These are the harrowing words of Nicole Brown Simpson who on Sunday June 12 1994 was brutally murdered in the garden of her Brentwood home in Los Angeles as her two children Justin and Sydney were asleep.

 Nicole's former husband O.J. Simpson was subsequently arrested, tried and acquitted of her murder and that of her friend Ronald Goldman in a relentless blaze of publicity.

 It seems incredible that all of this happened over twenty years ago as I can still recall the news stories, the interviews, the infamous "Bronco Chase" and the ghastly photographs....


I can still recall where I was when I heard the cries of jubilation and horror as the verdict was announced, the anguish of the families.....and the prophetic words of Nicole:
 "I really think he is going to kill me"

 Nicole was a battered woman for many years who went to several experts on domestic violence for help, who asked the police to arrest Simpson on January 1 1989 after another savage beating, who kept a journal that documented the assaults and the threats and had photographs taken of her bruised face...



She would eventually leave Simpson in February 1992 and although her divorce was finalised in October 1992, she would continue to be stalked, intimidated and threatened until the year of her death.

 On Sunday May 8 1994 and in the presence of others Nicole signed her name to her Last Will and Testament which she was to keep in a safety deposit box with her journals, letters and photographs that had documented her beatings.

 By Midnight on Sunday June 12 1994 Nicole's body had been found, bloodied and bruised. She had died as the result of severe knife trauma.

 Despite the celebrity hype, media sensationalism and the conspiracy theories that this famous murder generated, Nicole's story remains a real story of suffering and injustice...


"I just don't think that everyone goes through this..."
Nicole Brown Simpson

Tee Bylo Goes in Search of the Ghost of Brentwood...

As well as an abiding interest in the life and legacy of Nicole Brown Simpson, I am also an artist who creates 'Small Worlds' in 12th scale miniature.

 "I just don't see how our stories compare -I was so bad because I wore sweats & left shoes around & didn't keep a perfect house or comb my hair the way you like it - or had dinner ready at the precise moment you walked through the door or that I just plain got on your nerves sometimes.

 I just don't see how that compares to infidelity, wife beating, verbal abuse -

 I just don't think everybody goes through this.... I called the cops to save my life whether you believe it or not.."

 These are the harrowing words written by Nicole shortly before her brutal murder on Sunday June 12 1994 in the garden of her Brentwood home in Los Angeles as her two children Justin and Sydney were sleeping.

 Nicole's former husband O.J. Simpson was subsequently arrested, tried and acquitted of her murder and that of her friend Ronald Goldman in a relentless blaze of publicity the following year.

 I began to read about Nicole shortly after her murder in 1994, she was the focus for the research and publication of my BA thesis in 1999 and I have been reading about her ever since.

 She was also the inspiration behind the creation of my "California style" ocean-front house titled 'Nicole's House' or 'The Ghost of Brentwood'.


For in June 1994 and shortly before her brutal murder, Nicole was making plans to leave her home in Brentwood in order to escape the abuse and obsession that had characterised her long relationship with Simpson.

 Only days before her death, Nicole had seen a beach house in Malibu available for rent and she was excited and positive at the prospect of a move there with their children.


 'Nicole's House' is a House created in 12th scale miniature that tells several narratives:

 A recreation of some of the principle rooms at 875 South Bundy Drive as they were discovered in the early hours of Monday June 13 1994 as the investigation into the murders of Nicole and Ronald Lyle Goldman was underway.


 Additional rooms are created as a tribute to the style and essence of Nicole who loved the style of interior design that has come to typify the "California Look".

 Finally, as we know that Nicole was planning a move to a beach house in Malibu, 'Nicole's House' is a poignant reminder of "what could have been".

To follow the story of 'Nicole's House', simply click on the link below:

Bye for now!
Tee