Saturday, June 12, 2010

Deathday: Nicole Simpson 1959-1994 Celebrity Wife Murder Victim

Nicole Brown Simpson (May 19, 1959 – June 12, 1994) was an ex-wife of former American football player O. J. Simpson. She was murdered at her home in Los Angeles, California, U.S., along with her friend Ronald Goldman. Her ex-husband, O. J. Simpson, was arrested and found not guilty of murdering both her and Goldman in a controversial criminal trial. O. J. Simpson was later found liable for the deaths in a civil suit brought by the families of the two victims.[1][2][3]

Early life

The daughter of Juditha Anne (1924–) and Louis Hezekiel Brown (1920–1998), Nicole was born in Frankfurt, West Germany. The family moved to Garden Grove, California, where she grew up. She attended Gilbert Elementary School, Skylark Elementary School, Hare Intermediate School and Rancho Alamitos High School before moving to Monarch Bay, west of Dana Point, California, in her junior year along with younger sisters Dominique and Tanya and older sister Denise.[citation needed] Brown was elected one of the homecoming princesses at Dana Hills High School (the other being her sister Denise).[4]

Relationship with O. J. Simpson

Brown met O. J. Simpson in June 1977 while working as a waitress at a Beverly Hills nightclub, Daisy.[5] Although he was still married to his first wife Marguerite, Simpson and Brown began dating. Simpson and Marguerite divorced in March 1980,[6] Brown and Simpson were married on February 2, 1985, five years after his retirement from professional football.[7] They had two children together, Sydney Brooke (born October 17, 1985) and Justin Ryan Simpson (born August 6, 1988).[8] The marriage lasted seven years, during which Simpson pleaded no contest to spousal abuse in 1989.[9] Brown filed for divorce in 1992 citing "irreconcilable differences."[10]


On the morning of June 13, 1994, neighbors, alerted by a barking dog, found the mutilated bodies of Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in the enclosed front courtyard of her condo on South Bundy Drive in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. Goldman was a waiter at the restaurant Mezzaluna, where Brown and her family had dined that evening. He was at her condominium to return a pair of eyeglasses that Brown's mother, Juditha, had accidentally dropped outside the restaurant at the curb. Both Goldman and Brown had been stabbed multiple times. While the killer was committing the murders, Sydney and Justin, her children by Simpson, were asleep inside the condominium.[11]

O. J. Simpson was arrested and charged with both murders; he was acquitted of these crimes in a criminal trial. However, in a subsequent civil trial, he was found liable for the deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman and ordered to pay $33,500,000 (USD) to the families of Brown and Goldman.[12][13] During the trial, Brown's parents were granted temporary custody of Sydney and Justin Simpson.[14] In 1996, a judge granted Simpson's petition to give him full custody of the children.[15] Brown's parents continued unsuccessfully to fight for custody of Sydney and Justin.

In 1994, Nicole Brown's sister Denise Brown established The Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation in Nicole's memory, to assist victims of domestic violence.[16]

Relationship with Goldman

Whether Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were just friends or something more is not known conclusively, but Goldman is always referred to as "her friend." The Los Angeles Times reported on June 15, 1994:

“ "Goldman, 25, also had an increasingly close relationship with 35-year-old Nicole Brown Simpson, whom he had exercised with, accompanied to dance clubs and often met for coffee and dinner during the past month and a half. He told others that he was just friends with Simpson. But he boasted of her stunning good looks and talked about the special kick it gave him to see heads turn when the two of them pulled up in her white Ferrari in front of The Gate, a fashionable West Hollywood dance club, with him behind the wheel....Six weeks ago Goldman was driving the Ferrari, with its highly recognizable L84AD8 license plate, when he joined [another waiter, Craig] Clark for lunch in Santa Monica. Clark said that Goldman told him it was Nicole Simpson's car, but that he did not say she was his girlfriend. 'He said they were friends', Clark recalled."[17] ”

The property

Hired by Nicole's father, Lou Brown, to measure the economic impact that the crime scene stigma had on the Bundy property, economist and crisis consultant Randall Bell writes in his book, Disasters: Wasted Lives, Valuable Lessons,[18] "Right after the murders, thousands of people showed up and just stood around staring at the crime scene. This continued through the long-standing trial. Relying on research I'd done on the Charles Manson murders at the home of Sharon Tate, I advised Mr. Brown that the dimunition around the property would gradually decrease and the market value would go back up. Two and one-half years after the murders, the property was purchased by a very nice couple. They asked my advice and I suggested they change both the address and the facade on Bundy Drive, which, I believed would keep the gawking down. Some months later, while working a nearby case, I decided to see if my advice had been followed. Although I had been to the condo many times, I drove right past it – it was no longer recognizable to me."


1.^ O. J. Simpson Trials: 1995 & 1996–97 – Civil Trial
2.^ Malnic, Eric (2001-03-08). "O. J. Simpson Asks Court to Dismiss Civil Verdict". The Los Angeles Times.
3.^ Oppression and Malice
4.^ Schindehette, Susan (1994-08-01). To Live and Die in L.A.. 42. pp. 56.
5.^ Bailey, F. Lee; Rabe, Jean (2008). When the Husband is the Suspect. Macmillan. pp. 96. ISBN 0-765-31613-7.
6.^ Taylor Gibbs, Jewelle (1996). Race and Justice: Rodney King and O. J. Simpson in a House Divided. Jossey-Bass. pp. 126, 127, 128. ISBN 0-787-90264-0.
7.^ Lange, Tom; Moldea, Dan E.; Vannatter, Philip (1997). Evidence Dismissed: The Inside Story of the Police Investigation of O. J. Simpson. Pocket Books. pp. 115. ISBN 0-671-00959-1.
8.^ "Child custody decision".
9.^ "Judge Allow Evidence of Domestic Violence In O. J. Simpson Murder Case". Jet 87 (13): 51. 1995-02-06. ISSN 0021-5996.
10.^ Taylor Gibbs, Jewelle (1996). Race and Justice: Rodney King and O. J. Simpson in a House Divided. Jossey-Bass. pp. 136. ISBN 0-787-90264-0.
11.^ Meyer, Josh; Malnic, Eric (1994-06-14). "O. J. Simpson's Ex-Wife, Man Found Slain". The Los Angeles Times. pp. 1, 2.
12.^ Axelrod, Alan; Phillips, Charles (2008). What Every American Should Know about American History: 225 Events that Shaped the Nation. Adams Media. pp. 350. ISBN 1-598-69428-6.
13.^ Thermos, Wendy (2004-11-23). "7 Years Later, Simpson Still Hasn't Paid Judgment". The Los Angeles Times.
14.^ "Family and Relatives of O. J. and Nicole Simpson Speak Out". Jet 86 (23): 53. ISSN 0021-5996.
15.^ Goldberg, Carey (1996-12-26). "Simpson Wins Custody Fight For 2 Children by Slain Wife". The New York Times.
16.^ Reza, H.G. (1999-11-04). "The Brown Foundation Cuts Back on Giving". The Los Angeles Times.
17.^ Mosk, Matthew; Hall, Carla (1994-06-15). "Victim Thrived on Life in Fast Lane, His Friends Recall". The Los Angeles Times.
18.^ Bell, Randall. Disasters: Wasted Lives, Valuable Lessons.

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