Thursday, September 20, 2007

When Obsession

It has been over 13 years since the deaths of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman and for the families I am sure it is still a very painful memory that touches their lives daily. The subsequent trial of O.J. Simpson was a polarizing event in America and showed many the disconnect that is still a part of the racial climate in America. While the vast majority of whites believed that Mr. Simpson was guilty, while only 26% of blacks publically stated he was guilty.

For the last 10 years Ron Goldman’s father has waged a personal crusade against Mr. Simpson, after he was found not guilty Mr. Goldman sued him in civil court and won a 33 million dollar judgment against him. However, due to loopholes Mr. Goldman has only received about 10,000 dollars in the 10 years. What originally began as grief for a loved one seems to have been transformed into an obsession for revenge. The problem with revenge though is that it consumes the carrier as much if not more than it does the target.

It is from here that Goldman has settled into his pursuit of Simpson. His anger is not foaming or hysterical, but cold, methodical and relentless. He sits on the sofa, in shorts and an open shirt, the handlebar mustache still in place, his gray hair swept back from his forehead, and talks in a house that is completely silent save for his voice.

For Denise Brown, this is pointless. The book gave Simpson the "sickening" opportunity to trash Nicole's name and reputation, then taunt the families with details of the murders. Goldman had already stopped publication of the book, she says, and there is no motive left in publication but to make money.

"This is evil, this is blood money," she says in a telephone interview. "It's written by a man who is evil. And now [Goldman] is writing in the same book by the man who murdered his son? This is disgusting to me."

"The money from this is just going to pay off his lawyers, his creditors," she says. "He has so much debt he has to be able to pay back something. . . . We were on the same page until he wanted to sell this book for his own financial gain."

Under terms of an agreement worked out between the attorneys, Brown's estate will get roughly 10 percent off the top of sales, and Goldman the rest. In Goldman's case, a large chunk of what's remaining will go first to Cook, the collection attorney.

And none of it, of course, will come from Simpson himself, but rather from the book-buying public.[1]

This obsession has led Mr. Goldman to sue and win for possession of the book written by Mr. Simpson, entitled, “If I Did It”. In it Mr. Simpson discusses in a supposed hypothetical way how he would have committed the murders. Mr. Simpson uses the book as a platform to demean his ex-wife’s character and provide justification for her to be murdered, but not by him of course. One of the common traits of abusers is to blame the victim for causing their own abuse and thus freeing the abuser of any responsibility in the act. You made me beat the hell out of you.

Here for me and I guess Nicole’s sister (Denise Brown) is where the story takes a weird turn, when the book was being considered Mr. Goldman lobbied hard against it being written, published and released for what I thought was to preserve the memory of his son. It appears that this was not the case. Mr. Goldman has now released the book and added some words of his own. So now you have the murdered boy’s father sharing the same book with the person he considers killed his son. Mr. Goldman has taken what many considered a noble gesture stopping the book from being published and turned it into a money making operation. This is no longer about the memory of his son and wanting to preserve it, this is about cold hard cash. It appears that all of his efforts to pursue Mr. Simpson have left Mr. Goldman with quite a legal bill and he is in need of cash.

I don’t have a problem with Mr. Goldman receiving the proceeds of his judgment against Mr. Simpson, but I don’t think the general public should have to cover for it. If he can’t get the money from Mr. Simpson, Mr. Goldman does not appear to have a problem getting it from the rest of us. I had nothing to do with the crime or the marriage for that much, so why should I be asked to retire Mr. Simpson’s debts. Anyone who buys the book is in fact helping Mr. Simpson to pay-off his judgment; it doesn’t matter to me where the money is going.

Due to his obsession to “get” Mr. Simpson, Mr. Goldman has allowed his moral compass to be changed. If it was wrong for Mr. Simpson to write the book in the beginning it is still wrong today. Mr. Goldman should either kill Mr. Simpson and get it over with or go on with his life. There is nothing he can do to bring his son back to life. He has allowed this tragedy to poison his life and corrupt his values. He mentions that he promised his son to pursue this, but I doubt if this is what his son would want for his father’s life.


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