June 17, 1994: Where Were You During the Historical Chase?

Today, Tuesday, June 17, marks the 20th anniversary of the first police chase to be seen all over the world.

Simpson was spotted in his now-infamous white Bronco, being driven by friend Al Cowlings, who reportedly told police the athlete had a gun to his head.

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were killed outside her Brentwood home just after midnight on June 13, 1994. Evidence pointed to O.J. Simpson as the murderer, and he was expected to turn himself in to the LAPD on the morning of June 17. But he never showed. As a result, the LAPD issued an APB.

Hours later, his attorney Robert Kardashian (father of Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and Robert) read a rambling letter penned by Simpson that many took to be 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, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person. Thanks for making my life special. I hope I helped yours.”

The networks interrupted their regular programming to breathlessly cover the slow-speed chase that ensued

NBC, in fact, continued live coverage of the NBA Finals Game 5. but in an inset broadcast Tom Brokaw’s coverage of the Simpson chase.

 

 

The chase lasted nearly an hour and a half at Simpson’s Brentwood home. He ultimately surrendered, was put on trial and then acquitted — a controversial verdict — after an eight-month trial. He’s currently serving time in a Nevada prison following a separate 2007 arrest for armed robbery and kidnapping (33 years with a minimum of nine years without parole).

On the eve of the anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter asked many in the news business — including some who covered the event — to share their memories of the that day.

Larry King, then at CNN and now at Ora.TV:
The most dramatic moment of my life on the air was that night. I knew O.J.; I knew the driver of the car, I’ll never forget it. I was broadcasting in Washington at the time, and they had to get me a map of Los Angeles. Every moment was engrossing.