Brow Beat

New TV Show Will Argue That O.J. Is Innocent (and Martin Sheen Can Prove It)

O.J. Simpson on trial in 1994.

Pool/AFP/Getty Images

It was probably inevitable that the new vogue for true crime shows like Making a Murderer and the even newer vogue of O.J. shows like The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story would produce strange offspring. But no one expected the midwife would be Charlie Sheen. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the actor introduced private investigator William C. Dear to his father Martin Sheen; now the elder Sheen is executive producing and providing narration for Hard Evidence: O.J. Is Innocent, a six-part documentary series presenting Dear’s theories on the 1994 murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. The Investigation Discovery network picked up the show after a bidding war.

The series is based on Dear’s 2012 book O.J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It, a 576-page hardcover from Skyhorse Publishing, which is an expansion of the theories Dear developed in his 2001 self-published 324-page book O.J. Is Guilty but Not of Murder. In both books, Dear—who also claims he has a shell casing from the second shooter at the Kennedy assassination—accuses O.J.’s son, Jason, of being responsible for the murders. O.J., according to Dear, was involved only in an attempt to protect his son.

Tony Ortega profiled Dear for New Times Los Angeles in 2001 when the first book was published, and reprinted the profile in the Village Voice in 2012 under the headline “Bill Dear is Full of It and I Can Prove It.” In addition to poking holes in the case Dear made in 2001, Ortega also paints a not-very-flattering portrait of his methods. Having decided Jason Simpson was a likely subject, Dear spent six years investigating him, going through trash like any P.I., but also employing more questionable methods, like the two weeks he spent impersonating a doctor at Cedars-Sinai in an attempt to get Jason Simpson’s medical records.

Dear has gathered more evidence since Ortega’s original profile, including what he says is the murder weapon, but it won’t be until the first quarter of 2017 that audiences will get to learn how O.J. went from “guilty but not of murder,” to “innocent and I can prove it,” to “innocent,” full stop. Until then, they’ll have to make do with one of William Dear’s earlier television appearances: On Aug. 28, 1995—a day O.J. Simpson was in court—he was one of the investigators on Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction.