Chicago’s Connection to O.J. Simpson Case Resurfaces 25 Years Later

on Jun13
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2019-06-13 00:03:07

It was a crime that captured the nation’s attention 25 years ago: On June 12, 1994, O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were killed.

The case was particularly interesting to Chicagoans, because the first time anyone saw the popular sports star following the deaths was when Simpson returned from a trip to Chicago. 

It was here that authorities opened a second branch of their investigation. 

Less than an hour after the murders were thought to have been committed, Simpson boarded American Airlines Flight 668, the red eye to Chicago. 

O.J. Simpson Case Resurfaces 25 Years Later

O.J. Simpson Case Resurfaces 25 Years Later

He stayed at what was then the O’Hare Plaza Hotel, in room 915, where the hotel manager told police Simpson received at least one phone call and made as many as 10 others. He checked out immediately after making those calls. 

“He just wanted us to get him a cab as quickly as we could,” hotel manager Peter Phillips said at the time. 

While Simpson was back in L.A., Chicago police were busy, using metal detectors to search a wooded area just behind the hotel looking for a potential murder weapon. 

“In an area this large, I do what they call a grid search,” a detective told reporters at the time.

They also searched the hotel room, where they reportedly recovered a bloody towel and a broken glass.

There was another Chicago-area connection, as well. Goldman grew up in Buffalo Grove and attended Twin Groves Junior High and Adlai Stevenson High School. 

Archive: The O.J. Simpson Slow-Speed Chase

[NATL-LA] Archive: The O.J. Simpson Slow-Speed Chase

Friends from his suburban Chicago days remembered him in the early ’90s as someone who stood out. 

“He decided we would walk around Chicago without shoes on,” recalled Mike Pincus, a friend since Kindergarten. “It was amazing how many people stopped to say, ‘You don’t have any shoes on.'” But that was what he was about, to be noticed.” 

“He was my first crush,” another friend said at the time. “Yeah, I got nervous around him. He was really special. He was a caring person, and he made a very big impact on me.”

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