When The People v. O.J. Simpson starts its 10-week run at 10 p.m. Tuesday on FX, the country will be taken back to a week in 1994 that many will never forget.
On June 12 of that year, Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and an acquaintance of hers, Ronald Goldman, were killed in Los Angeles. The bodies were found in a pool of blood shortly after midnight.
What followed for the next 16 months gripped the nation, as Simpson - actor, pitchman and legendary former running back for the Buffalo Bills - was arrested, tried and eventually, acquitted in connection with the deaths.
In his review of the miniseries, News Arts Editor Jeff Simon recalled the communal reaction of many to the news of Simpson's arrest:
"In the place of one of our greatest local heroes – an athletic diamond gleaming in the cold, white snow – we were presented overnight with a monster accused of double murder, including the blood-drenched, near-decapitation of his beautiful ex-wife."
News TV Critic Alan Pergament interviewed many of the principals involved in the FX project, including author Jeffrey Toobin, from whose book the miniseries is based. Toobin told him:
“This is one of the great American stories. It has everything that obsesses the American people. It has sex, race, violence, sports, Hollywood. And the only eyewitness is a dog. Why would this not be a great miniseries?”
Here are some articles from The News' archives:
- June 16, 1994: Accusations, not adulation, now inspire 'O.J. Watch'
- June 16, 1994: Alan Pergament: If O.J. is guilty, it may mark end to hero worship in America
- June 16, 1994: Local blacks frustrated by accusations, fear loss of longtime role model
- June 18, 1994: Simpson surrenders after police chase; millions watch as drama unfolds on TV
- June 18, 1994: WNY breathes easier as hunt for O.J. ends