The Slatest

World’s Worst Police Officer Was Handed a Knife Found on O.J. Simpson’s Property and Didn’t Tell Anyone

O.J. Simpson’s home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles in a photo from June 1994. The home was demolished in 1998.

Vinnie Zuffante/Archive Photos/Getty Images

A totally bizarre story: Just as FX is exactly halfway through airing The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, a miniseries about Simpson’s murder trial, TMZ has reported that Los Angeles police are performing tests on a knife that was found on Simpson’s property “years ago,” which a traffic cop had been keeping in his personal possession. The knife, TMZ says, came to the attention of higher authorities only when the traffic officer told another friend on the force he planned on having it framed. (!!!)

TMZ’s reporting, while presented hyperbolically, is usually reliable, and the Los Angeles Times has confirmed the basic details of the story. This is what TMZ says:

We’re told a construction worker found the knife years ago—we have heard several different stories, ranging from “several years ago” to 1998, when the house was demolished.

The weapon is a folding buck knife.

Our law enforcement sources say the construction worker took the knife to the street, where he saw an LAPD cop. He told the officer where he found the knife and the cop took it.

Turns out the cop—who worked in the traffic division—was off duty at the time, working security for a movie shoot at a house across the street on Rockingham. Our sources say the officer took the knife home and kept it … kept it for years. 

A “buck knife” is a type of folding knife whose blade can be locked open. Police and prosecutors never recovered a murder weapon in Simpson’s case; he was found not guilty by a jury on charges of killing Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman but was later found liable for Goldman’s death in a civil trial. Simpson was then convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas in 2008 and is eligible for parole beginning in 2017.

The knife is now in the process of being tested for hair, fingerprints, DNA, and other potential evidence. Simpson, of course, cannot be retried for murder because he’s already been acquitted.

This story is weird, right? It seems too weird, like it’s a publicity stunt for the FX show? And yet multiple outlets have apparently confirmed it with the LAPD. Weird.