Miles-tones

The 15 Most Messed-Up O.J. Simpson Lyrics

This week America is celebrating -- although that might not be precise terminology for such a dubious occasion -- the 20th anniversary of the Nicole Brown Simpson murders, in which the ex-wife of NFL Hall of Famer/actor O.J. Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death in the overnight hours of June 13, 1994. A few days later, O.J. opted to flee in a white Ford Bronco driven by his friend Al "A.C." Cowlings rather than surrender to police, touching off a nationally televised low-speed police chase that was eventually seen by an estimated 95 million people in the U.S. (Rockets fans might remember Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals versus the Knicks being interrupted by the chase; Houston lost the game but took the next two to win the city's first major-league sports championship since the 1961 Houston Oilers.)

After a couple of hours on the Southern California freeways Simpson returned home (or was escorted by cops), gave himself up and was ultimately acquitted in October 1995 after a trial lasting more than eight months. Today so many people remember their exact whereabouts upon learning the verdict that the event has been likened to the JFK assassination a generation before. Although public opinion about the trial has always been sharply divided (and split uncomfortably along racial lines, then and now), it's difficult to deny that the whole Simpson affair -- from fans holding "Run, O.J., Run" banners on freeway overpasses during the chase to the 24-7 coverage of the trial that set the contentious tone of cable news to this day -- held up a funhouse mirror to American society that showed us more than we really wanted to know.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray