Knife at O.J. Simpson’s house is inconsistent with murder weapon.

Knife Found at O.J. Simpson’s House is Inconsistent With Murder Weapon

Knife Found at O.J. Simpson’s House is Inconsistent With Murder Weapon

The Slatest
Your News Companion
March 5 2016 10:06 AM

Knife Found at O.J. Simpson’s House is Inconsistent With Murder Weapon

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Residents of the upscale neighborhood of Brentwood, CA, walk past OJ Simpson's house where a moving company truck, hired by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, is parked on March 28, 1997.

Photo by HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images

Investigators aren’t really buying it. The first look at the knife found in O.J. Simpson’s former home suggests it is nothing like the murder weapon that was used to kill Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Many people are skeptical of the knife that was found more than a dozen years ago without even looking at it, but those who have taken a glance say there are more than a few reasons to doubt any possible ties to the trial of the century.

NBC News talks to several law enforcement sources and says “the knife found is a relatively inexpensive, small knife typically carried and used by construction workers, gardeners, landscapers or other laborers.” The sources also say the knife doesn’t appear to have been buried for a length of time that would suggest someone was trying to hide it at the time of the killings. The New York Daily News also hears doubts from sources and notes “the characteristics and condition of the knife were not consistent” with the murders. Still, LAPD says it is analyzing the knife that was turned over by retired officer George Maycott.

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Maycott claims that a construction worker gave him the knife while he was off-duty working security on a film shoot. The construction worker was apparently tearing down Simpson’s house but it is far from clear when it was found, with some saying 1998 and others putting the date closer to 2001 or 2002. Maycott allegedly tried to contact the police department but says no one wanted to take the potentially explosive piece of evidence.

The owner of the construction firm that razed Simpson’s old home in 1998 isn’t buying the story. “I think it’s a joke. I think it’s just filler … no one on my crew found anything” he tells the Los Angeles Times. “I had instructed my people, ‘If you find anything, don’t keep it. Tell me, we’ll take the appropriate action.’”

Fred Goldman, the father of murder victim Ronald Goldman, said he was shocked to hear a police officer would hold on to the knife for over a decade. That seems particularly perplexing when you consider just how obsessed police were with finding the murder weapon in the 1994 murders. “It’s unreal to hear that an officer may have had it and didn't turn it in,” Fred Goldman told the Daily News.

No matter what happens to this knife, Simpson can’t be taken to court again for a crime that a jury already said he didn’t commit. "The 5th Amendment ensures double jeopardy would preclude a second trial for O.J. Simpson," a USC law professor tells the Los Angeles Times. "O.J. cannot be tried again" in the double murder. Attorneys also said the knife would likely never be admissible as evidence considering the chain of custody is more than a little suspect.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.