Exploiting the Archives: O.J Simpson Edition


I’ve led such a curious existence that it’s probably not all that strange that O.J Simpson has played a weirdly central role in my career and personal life. As I wrote in my 2009 memoir The Big Rewind, when I was a college Freshman I found the sports card equivalent of Willie Wonka’s Golden Tickets: a voucher for a football card O.J Simpson was scheduled to autograph while in prison for all that unpleasantness involving his ex-wife and Ronald Goldman. 

The mildly sketchy dude who ran the group home I grew up in offered to help me sell the voucher for a small fee, leading to him being fired. So O.J Simpson and greed cost me and my group home brothers a sometimes questionable but fundamentally okay father figure. 


Many years later, I wrote up O.J’s prank pay-per-view special for the A.V Club and my now wife, who I hadn’t seen in eight years, commented on the piece to say she loved it and wanted to teach it to her students. That began a long-distance romance that led to real life love, and then marriage, and then a baby in a baby carriage. 

It was a whole thing and thanks to an unlikely cupid and probable two-time murderer, I am now happily married and have a beautiful baby boy. Sometimes life works out funny that way.. 

Many years later, I launched a short-lived series on books from notorious figures called Literature of the Cursed, where I wrote about O.J Simpson’s bizarre, jaw-dropping quasi-confession If I Did It. 

If I Did It  was a source of extraordinary controversy upon its release. People understandably feared that Simpson was either profiting off his heinous (alleged) crimes or offering up a manual on how to get away with murder. Yet I found the book to be a morbidly fascinating glimpse into the mind and mindset of toxic, dangerous sociopath.


With O.J out of prison, there’s no better time to read my piece on If I Did It. Seldom has the phrase “I read it, so you don’t have to” been more apropos. 

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