I remember 1994. Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. The OJ Simpson white Ford Bronco chase. A runaway planet hurtling between the Earth and the Moon unleashing cosmic destruction. And Ace of Base on the radio.
Anyone who is old enough to remember 1994 will undoubtedly remember exactly where they where during the OJ Simpson chase. It captured the attention of the entire country and interrupted every major network’s broadcast.
To get to that faithful evening in Los Angeles, we need to rewind the clock. On June 13th 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found murdered outside of Simpson’s apartment in Los Angeles. 4 days later the layers and the LAPD agreed to let OJ Simpson turn himself into authorities for questioning, as OJ was Nicole’s ex-husband.
That should have been all. But it wasn’t. Over 1,000 reporters waited for OJ Simpson at the police station, but he never showed up. At 5PM Robert Kardashian, friend and lawyer, read a letter by Simpson to that sounded like a suicide note: “First everyone understand I had nothing to do with Nicole’s murder … Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had a great life.”
Just after 6PM OJ Simpson’s white 1992 Ford Bronco was spotted (which was being driven by his friend Al Cowlings). At 6:45 PM, a police officer saw the Bronco going north on Interstate 405. When the officer approached the Bronco with sirens blaring, Cowlings yelled that Simpson was in the back seat of the vehicle and had a gun to his own head. The officer backed off, but followed the vehicle at 35 miles per hour with up to 20 police cars participating in the chase. It was at this point, that event became a spectacle.
Very quickly, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN well as local news outlets interrupted regular programming to show the chase NBC, which was covering the NBA finals (NY Knicks vs the Houston Rockets), continued showing Game 5 game in a small box in the corner while Tom Brokaw as covered the chase.
The slow speed chase ended at 8:00 p.m. at his Brentwood home. OJ remained in the Bronco for 45 minutes before going into his house for about an hour. A spokesman stated that he spoke to his mother and drank a glass of orange juice. His lawyer,Shapiro, arrived and a few minutes later, OJ surrendered to authorities. In the Bronco the police found:
$8,000 in cash
a change of clothing
a loaded .357 Magnum
a fake goatee and mustache
The effects of the chase were seen for years. In 1996 Ford discontinued the Bronco because too many people had negative association with it. The chase was parodied on Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, The Simpsons, SNL and dozens of other television shows.
Watch a 9 Minute CNN segment called OJ on the Run: The Bronco Chase -