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Sudden Death:

The Murder Of O.J. Simpson



By Chris Oakley


Part 1



adapted from material previously posted at Othertimelines.com



When former NFL running back and Hollywood star O.J. Simpson was arrested on charges of murdering his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron
Goldman, few people in America-- least of all Simpson himself --could have imagined that when his criminal trial ended sixteen months later he would go from being the nationís most famous homicide suspect to being its most famous homicide victim. Yet by one of the great ironies of fate, Simpson was gunned down on the steps of an LA courthouse just minutes before the jury was scheduled to finally announce its verdict in his trial.

Simpsonís death touched off one of the most intense manhunts in LAPD history, not to mention a court case that would be almost as long and contentious as the original Simpson trial had been...


It would be highly tempting to think that O.J. Simpsonís murder was racially motivated. It would also be a colossal mistake-- the man who killed him, a 29-year-old schizophrenic USC dropout by the name of Jonathan Bricker, stated bluntly in his post-arrest confession to police and in a set of videotaped diaries found shortly after his own  death that he would have been just as eager to kill Simpson if the ex-running back were a white man. He shot Simpson, he said, because of the disgrace which O.J. had brought down on their mutual alma mater.

Bricker was also under the delusion that many of the key figures in the Simpson case, including then-Los Angeles district attorney Gil Garcetti and Simpson himself, were agents of the Antichrist and God had ordained him to execute these people so that good might prevail against evil in the final battle between God and Satan at the end of the world. The names on Brickerís hit list also included lead Simpson defense lawyer Johnnie Cochrane; Cochraneís colleague Robert Shapiro; the trialís presiding judge, Lance Ito; prosecutors Marcia Clark and Chris Darden; star prosecution witness Mark Fuhrman; and even author Dominick Dunne, who while having no direct connection to either the plaintiffs or the defendant was a well-known writer and investigative reporter whoíd been covering the trial for the magazine Vanity Fair.

Brickerís twisted plan was to start by killing Simpson and then work his way down the list, culminating his vengeful spree with the assassination of Garcetti. While things didnít pan out quite the way  Bricker had expected, he left enough dead bodies behind to put himself at the top of the LAPDís 10 Most Wanted list-- and at one point, the FBIís too.


One of the other great ironies of the Bricker murder case was that for much of his life, Jonathan Bricker had actually been a committed pacifist. Up until his second year at high school, the San Bernardino native had opposed violence of any kind; however, his attitude on this score began to change that year when he was attacked in a school gym locker room the day before the start of spring vacation by a classmate who had demanded Bricker hand over his Air Jordans-- a demand Bricker had rejected.

That attack was the first in a series of beatings to which Bricker would be subjected to over the coming months; as a result of those beatings, Bricker would gradually abandon his pacifist views and come to embrace a more violent and confrontational outlook on life-- so much so that at the end of his second year, he would thrash his tormentor in a fistfight witnessed by the entire school. Itís been widely suggested that the schizophrenia which ultimately dominated the remainder of his life may have started to manifest itself around this time.1

Itís also around this time that Bricker started keeping his now- notorious videotape diaries. Their content was innocuous enough in the beginning; however, as he was making the transition from high school to college, the diaries took a dark and paranoid turn. He began giving voice to outlandish theories about a supposed conspiracy by agents of the Antichrist to start World War III and create a "new Babylon" in the southwestern deserts of the United States. He also claimed to hear voices in his room at night which told him the majority of the human race was being subjected to secret experiments by a technocratic elite working hand in glove with the Antichrist to impose Satanís rule on Earth. "He was absolutely nuts, psychotic." his former roommate at USC  would later recall.2 "He spouted stuff even the guys on X-Files would find hard to believe...I got so sick of it after a while I almost quit USC."

But it would be Bricker who left the university, quitting USC in the spring of his junior year to start publishing a homemade magazine in which he gave vent to his insane perspective on the world at large and Los Angeles in particular. One of the most bizarre claims which he put forth in his magazine, entitled The Voice Of Truth, asserted that Branch Davidians leader David Koresh-- who perished along with 83 of  his followers when their Waco, Texas compound burned to the ground in April of 1993 during a standoff with the FBI --was Satanís chief agent on Earth and the destruction of his compound was a ruse meant to hide his return to Hell to raise an army of demons to take over the world.

In May of 1993 Bricker was arrested on assault charges when he decked a librarian who had fined him for being late in returning a magazine which had devoted its lead article to the Waco standoff and its fiery end. He spent six months in jail and a year on probation; he was on his way home from a meeting with his probation officer in June of 1994 he heard the news of O.J. Simpsonís arrest on charges of double homicide. Something inside Bricker snapped, as his video diary entry for that day attests, and he began making plans to kill Simpson when the opportunity came.

His video diary entry for the day after Simpsonís arrest recounted a vivid dream heíd had in which-- according to him --the Archangel had visited him in his apartment and told him God had designated him to do away with a group of servants of the Antichrist who were working in the Los Angeles area. Simpson was said to be the chief of this circle of operatives, and the double murder trial in which he would soon be a defendant was nothing more than camouflage for an attack by Satanís hordes on southern California. In preparation for what he believed was his divine mission to "purge the unclean"3, Bricker began stockpiling guns and ammunition and memorizing a half-dozen possible routes for getting from his apartment to the courthouse where the Simpson trial was being held.

Brickerís hit list was notable not only for the names which were on it, but also for the names that were absent from it. A.C. Cowlings, driver of the white Bronco in which Simpson led police on that now- infamous freeway chase, wasnít being targeted; likewise Kato Kaelin, self-described "houseguest" of Simpson at the time of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, was also omitted from the list. The coroner who performed the original post-mortem autopsies on the victims in the gruesome double homicide had originally been on the hit list but was subsequently removed from it.

In a prelude to his assassinations of the people he believed that God had told him to kill, Bricker planned to send videos to the Brown and Goldman families and to all major Los Angeles TV news outlets in which he would explain his reasons for what he was about to do. Once heíd killed Garcetti, he intended to flee to Mexico and blend in with the rest of the vast throng of American expatriates living there; in a video diary entry taped in early December of 1994, he predicted that the Second Coming would take place in the Mexican desert and Christ would appoint him to lead Godís army in America to victory over the Antichristís hordes in the final clash between good and evil. "I will see the final triumph of the righteous over the unrighteous." he said at the end of that tape.

As the trial dragged on Brickerís descent into insanity continued and intensified. In the pages of The Voice Of Truth, he propounded conspiracy theories even more outlandish than his old notion of David Koresh being an agent of Satan; some of those theories, in fact, were  so far- fetched they would have had Art Bell shaking his head in total disbelief. One of his most bizarre ideas was that Yasser Arafat, chief of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, was a CIA plant; those who knew the first thing about Arafat or the CIA would have been inclined to vehemently disagree with Bricker on that score, but it demonstrates the extent to which Brickerís mind had deteriorated.

Bricker, not the most sociable of people in the first place, became a near-recluse in the final weeks of the Simpson trial. He knew little and cared less about the controversy over Mark Fuhrmanís reputed use of the N-word or the fact that Judge Ito kept having to dip into his pool of alternate jurors in order to ensure that there would be a clear verdict in the case. All his mental energies were focused on fulfilling his perceived "holy" mission to kill Simpson.

On the morning of October 3rd, 1995 Bricker-- along with millions of other Americans --awoke to the news that the Simpson criminal trial had finally reached a verdict. He wasted little time putting his plans into action; after videotaping statements for the Brown and Goldman families promising "the barbaric murders of your loved ones will be avenged", he made a video for the press outlining his reasons for carrying out what he termed the "execution" of Simpson and mailed a goodbye letter to his father, a widowed ex-LAFD firefighter. He then caught a bus to the courthouse and waited for Simpson to arrive.

Originally he had planned to shoot his targets from a high window, ŗ la Lee Harvey Oswald or Charles Whitman. By now, however, Bricker had changed his mind and decided he could complete his mission more quickly by mowing down his targets with an Uzi; he was also carrying a 9mm Beretta automatic pistol which he intended to use in assassinating Gil Garcetti.

The moment he caught sight of Simpson, Bricker pulled out his Uzi and opened fire on the disgraced ex-NFL running back; Simpson caught two bullets in the face and a third in the chest, while Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran each took a half-dozen slugs to the torso. Robert Kardashian, another key member of the Simpson defense team, barely got out of the line of fire in time. As sheriffís deputies radioed for an ambulance, Bricker ran off to find Marcia Clark and Chris Darden; he never found Darden, but did manage to track down Clark and sprayed her with a burst from the Uzi before fleeing the courthouse.

Clark was lucky; although seriously wounded, she would survive the attack and resume her prosecutorial duties by January of 1996. It was a different story altogether for Cochrane and Shapiro, both of whom would die early the next morning from their injuries. Simpson never had a chance-- as his post-mortem autopsy would reveal, the shot that hit him in the chest severed a crucial blood vessel connecting the heart to the rest of the body.

Simpson was pronounced dead on arrival at Cedars Sinai Hospital at 11:52 AM, just under two hours after the jury in his criminal case was supposed to have revealed its verdict; by 3:30 PM that afternoon, the LAPD had issued an all-points bulletin and a warrant for Brickerís arrest....


To Be Continued



[1] The Bricker family is believed to have a history of schizophrenia dating back at least four generations.

[2] Quoted from an October 10th, 1995 KTLA-TV interview.

[3] Quoted from his video diary entry the day after the prosecution made its opening statement in the Simpson trial. ďUncleanĒ refers to the people on Brickerís hit list.


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