Psychoanalysis of O. J. Simpson Murder Case

The O. J. Simpson murder case has been regarded as the most popularized crime of the past century. Being held in California Superior Court, it has been also described as the longest trial in California history. This mysterious case still has some undiscovered points that will not be revealed even now, as it had the deepest psychological, moral, and social biases. Therefore, the Simpson case is a story of life and death, innocence and guilt, blacks and whites where the public and the participant were interwoven into intrinsic details of social interaction and scientific disputes.

On June 13, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of O. J. Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman were found brutally murdered in Mrs. Simpson’s place in Brentwood, Los Angeles. O. J. Simpson, a famous football star and athlete, a successful actor, multi-millionaire, and just an outstanding personality, was accused of this horrible double murder (Ayers et al., 2008). According to the police investigation, Simpson’s car, Ford Bronco, was the main evidence of the case, as it had blood traits. Evidence found at the crime scene also pointed that Simpson was the murder. The death of Nicole Simpson was the result of multiple knife wounds through the throat and vertebra. Ronald Goldman suffered the same fate and was stabbed to death (Jenkins 2009).

Being a wealthy person, Simpson was also considered as a complicated personality thus provoking many discussions among prosecutors and psychiatrists who knew him as a professional sportsman and a successful movie actor. To establish his guilt or innocence, the experts were invited to establish whether O. J. Simpson conformed to the profile of a slaughter. In fact, Simpson has turned out a rather intrinsic personality. In particular, Dutton, prosecutors’ consultant, defined Simpson as “Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde” types of personality: “To his adoring fans, O. J. was a superhero, a legend…one of the greatest running backs in football history…Suddenly we all learned that our superhero was a wife batterer” (Dutton et al., 1997, p. 3). This portrait shocked the public thus revealing the black side of the football star and distorting the image of a legendary hero. From a psychological point of view, Simpson possesses violent inclinations determined by his ‘battered’ childhood that also led to the shaping of Simpson’s profile as a battered parent who “exhibits low empathy, short temper, and lack of self-esteem” (Slovenko, 2002 p., 145).

Simpson was also rather attached to his children; at the same time, he was also known as his wife ‘batterer’ and abuser. His reputation of a sport professional also allowed to admit that Simpson did not recognize any obstacles for achieving his goal. Simpson’s credibility was shattered after the interview with his friends and family that infused the information about dual character traits. His father left Simpson and his two sisters and brother so that his mother Eunice raised the children. However, according to Simpson’s words, his childhood was not that bad as it was portrayed in mass media disclosing ghetto myths. In his youth, he chose a traditional path of destructive life thus stealing, picking fights, and skipping schools. In this school, he was always being teased about having a bid head and wearing a specially made helmet. However, he managed to overcome these hardships and become a legendary sportsman introducing new standards to the American football (Johnson 1994).

According to Sullivan et al. (2006), such factor as family violence is strongly associated with family violence. Indeed, the majority of case proves that alcoholism, violence within the family were the main contributing factors of the crime emergence. Perhaps, these psychological discoveries, including emotionally instable environment within which Simpson was shaping as a personality, expressed a great probability of his guiltiness. Therefore, the defendant perfectly suits a profile of a batterer confirmed by his sporting character. There were also the records of his former wife’s abusing. “Tapes and transcripts of various 911 calls, including a recorded incident on New Year’s Day 1989 that showed a frightened Nicole in fear for her safety” (Nickel et al., 1999, p. 208).However, his first wife, Marguerite Simpson, denied being battered by her husband (Jet, 1995).

Considering Simpson’s life in detail, it should be mentioned that he has been always surrounded by beautiful girls. As New York Magazines notes, “there are few surprises in the Simpson story, aside from the big one – no quirky hobbies or interests. Just cars and girls and golf and a big house…It perfectly lives up to the pop stereotypes of the Los Angeles rich life” (Hirschberg, 1994, p. 43). Simpson’s dissipated life was disguised by the image of the national hero.

Before this horrible event, Simpson and Nicole was a two-years divorced couple. There are facts that on that day Simpson should have called his wife and told her that he was going to commit suicide. This fact serves as the evidence of psychological and emotional instability (Hirschberg, 1994, p. 43).

At the night of double murder, police officers followed Simpson’s house, which was several miles away from his dead ex-wife’s condo. According to Simpson’s testimony, he was not at the estate in the time when the police arrived, as he had been on his way to the Los Angeles airport and from there he had had to fly to Chicago on business (Nickel at al. 1999). Being informed of the murder, Simpson agreed to return to Los Angeles. The only evidence found was the blood on Simpson’s car and a bandage on the middle finger of his left hand. This wound paid a considerable attention of LADP officers, as the killer had evidently received wounds during those savage stabbings. Apart from this, the crime scene investigation revealed the blood footprints that had been apparently left by a murderer. According to the analyses, those blood drops contained O. J. Simpson DNA (Nickel et al 1999). This DNA evidence played the major role in the O. J. Simpson murder case as this discovery directly connected the killer with the victims. However, the main bias of the case lied in the fact that the blood drops were not noticed on the socks thus giving suggestions that Simpson blood was purposefully planted. Other evidence found by LAPD detectives was blue knit watch with blond hairs, like that of Nicole, and Negroid. The records of 911 calls were considered as indirect evidence by closely connected to the case.

The most serious evidence of Simpson’s commitment to crime was the absence of alibi, as during murder time, Allan Parker, limo driver, failed to pick up his master. When waiting, the driver saw a black man entering the estate who fit Simpson description. Therefore, the actual reason of his lateness also provoked many biases and questions. These were the only things that allowed the police officer to apprehend the accused.

Regarding to the crime scene description, one can state that this murder mostly refers to Signature type. Both victims were severely stabbed with a knife and were subjected to beating and torturing. Nicole’s face was swallowed and mutilated so that the killer wanted to satisfy his/her anger and ego. In other word, the murder was aimed at fulfilling psychological needs of the offender. According to the forensic conclusions, the signature actions are guided by the killer’s violent fantasies. The victims were also beaten more than it was sufficient for killing him/her. As it can be seen, Brown and Goldman experienced considerable physical sufferings before they died. The accused was not pledged guilty for this double murder, but later he was found liable for the killings of Nicole and Ronald because of increasing emergence of evidence.

Judging upon the presented evidences, Nicole was going to bed when she was attacked by a knife for several times; than, cruelly maimed. It is impossible to state whether Ronald Goldman was an innocent victim or was killed purposefully since his body was less damaged. After a while, the killer left the house, as blood footprints showed and the sit in the car. The blood drops followed Simpson estate.

Apart from the existed psychological profile, the experts failed to mention that the murder was not a professional killer, as he/she left numerous bloody traits and DNA. This was an emotionally unstably personality longing for satisfying his psychological needs. Drawing a conclusion, I believe that the offend had all grounds for committing a crime if taking his psychological problems and record of violent acts he committed over his wife. Besides, there existed no other proofs of his innocence. On the contrary, DNA, blood drops and testimonies reveal the facts against Simpson.


Ayers, E. L. (2008). American Passages: A History of the United States, vol. 2. US: Cengage Learning.

Dutton, D. G., and Golant, S. K. (1997). The Batterer: A Psychological Profile. US: Perseus Books Group.

Everstine, D. S., and Everstine L. (2006). Strategic intervention for people in crisis, trauma, and disaster. US: CRC Press.

Hirschberg, L. (1994). The White World of O. J. Simpson. New York Magazine. 27.38, 43.

Jenkins, J. A. (2009). The American Courts: A Procedural Approach. US: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Johnson, R. E. (1994). The Rise and Fall of O. J. Simpson. Jet. 86.10 4-20.

Nickel, J., and Fischer, J. F. (1999). Crime Science: methods of forensic detection.

Slovenko, R. (2002). Psychiatry in Law/law in Psychiatry: Law in psychiatry. US: Taylor & Francis.

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