If I did it : Confessions of the Killer
by O.J. Simpson, Pablo F. Fenjves, Dominick Dunne (Contributor), The Goldman Family (Contributor)
True Crime, Memoir
Buy on Amazon
Everyone knows about O.J. Simpson and his acquittal of guilt in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman. In the criminal trial, Simpson was found “not guilty” by a jury of his peers, a controversial decision to this day. In a civil trial, however, he was found liable for the damages to the Goldman family and lost a fortune to them.
It was in order to make money (presumably because he was low on funds due to that lost fortune), O.J. Simpson agreed to make this book. He worked with a ghost writer and basically hypothesized how he would have committed the murders IF he had been the one to commit them.
The project was blocked by the Goldman family, the book seized and then turned around by them to sell for charity purposes. I don’t have any opinion on the Goldman family’s actions beyond saying I don’t necessarily know if that was what I would do in their place.
The fact that the book was written in the first place is what amazes me.
The book itself is well-written in the sense that I can’t see the ghost-writer, I feel like I’m listening to O.J. tell me a story. But that’s the problem. It’s a story, it’s his story, with any embellishments that he may want to put in there.
It feels morbid, like watching a car crash and then immediately regretting the death that I’ve seen.
Honestly, after reading this book I didn’t feel like I had learned anything new and instead, felt like I needed to take a shower.
Whether you think O.J. was guilty or not, the idea of him cashing in on the murder of two people is disgusting. He can claim it’s part of his story, but he didn’t have to use the “I was possibly the killer” angle to get that written. So instead he dangled a tease, using the dead bodies of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman to get the cash advance he wanted for the novel.
And the funniest part of it all? If you’re here for the salacious murder details, don’t bother. It’s the shortest chapter in the book and could be summed up with four words: “I don’t really remember.”
The bulk of the book focuses on blaming Nicole for her behaviour. O.J. is careful to throw in some compliments about Nicole, but they ring hollow when compared to all the other things he’s accusing her of. I get that he’s giving his side of it, but the thing is that he’s always been able to give his side.
And even weirder is that if he’s giving his side… why, why, why is he acting like he did it? There’s only one way around this here. Either he did it and is confessing or didn’t do it and is introducing fictional elements into this case. It’s messed up.
It’s Nicole’s side that we’ll never get to hear, and this book feels less like it’s there to raise O.J. up and more focused on pushing Nicole down.
Beyond that, almost everything that happens is Nicole’s fault. It was never really O.J.’s which is ironic since that’s something that he gets mad at her for: never accepting even partial blame for the state of their marriage.
Honestly, I didn’t have much of an opinion on the O.J. Simpson case before this, but listening to how he spoke about Nicole all I could think was: “This is a man with a lot of motive”.
In the end, we’ll never truly know what happened that night and this book is just here to muddy the waters. I still wouldn’t say conclusively whether or not O.J. Simpson committed the crime and I don’t want to look into it more, particularly with him recently being paroled. It feels like a circus and that tainted feeling that surrounds the book has transferred itself onto O.J. himself in my mind.
If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer is unsettling to read, but not in the way you would expect, and I regret reading it. The writing is competent, but it’s unsettling for all the wrong reasons.
In the end, the book denigrates a victim of a murder to benefit the alleged killer and for me, that’s wrong on so many levels.
The only way this is worth your time is if you want more confusion around O.J. Simpson, Nicole Brown, and Ron Goldman.