This Photo Of Robert Kardashian With O.J. Simpson's Garment Bag Was Widely Discussed At The Trial
I was only in middle school when the O.J. Simpson murder trial was playing out on a national stage. But, as I relive the experience through the first season of FX anthology series American Crime Story, I'm struck by just how unbelievable many of the (true) details in this case are. ACS: The People v O.J. Simpson isn't Law & Order or N.C.I.S. The story won't be wrapped up for the audience in a bow, with all loose ends tied up. This is real life, and there are still many questions about the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman that remain unanswered and probably will forever. One such puzzle is the contents of an infamous piece of luggage. The New York Times reported that Simpson's friend Robert Kardashian removed a Louis Vuitton garment bag from Simpson's home the very same day that the victims' bodies were discovered.
Simpson was later acquitted of the murder charges. However, according to The New York Times, he was found liable in the resulting 1997 civil suit and ordered to pay "$25 million in punitive damages to the families." Yet, the world will likely never know what was in that bag. Robert Kardashian — by the time of the trial, already Kris Jenner's ex-husband — passed away in 2003 at the age of 59. A long time friend of O.J. Simpson, Kardashian joined the legal team of the accused, though he hadn't practiced law in quite some time. In his obituary, The New York Times wrote that Kardashian invoked attorney-client privilege to avoid testifying during the trial. Was it a strategic move then that Kardashian fetched that piece of luggage, and not someone who could have been forced to take the stand? Were Simpson and his advisers thinking that far ahead?
If Kardashian knew what was in the garment bag, he wasn't letting on. In a 20/20 interview in 1996 and as reported by CNN, he claimed that he didn't pack the bag or look inside it. He also claimed that the police never asked Simpson and his team to hand the bag over. "They never sought to do so, in fact when we turned it in to the court nine months later, they still never did any tests to see if there was blood," Kardashian claimed, as reported by CNN. "I don't believe they really wanted to know the answer. I think it was better to leave speculation and to let the public think there was something sinister about these bags!"
One of the photographers stationed at Simpson's home after the discovery of the bodies photographed Kardashian carrying the Louis Vuitton garment bag to a car. The aforementioned New York Times article described the bag as "bulging." The New York Times reported that the bag was entered into evidence in the double murder trial on March 29, 1995. At that time, it was empty.
With so much time passed, is extremely unlikely that an inventory of the contents of that garment bag will ever be made public. Goldman's father, Fred, seemingly doesn't need an inventory to convince him of that bag's importance, however. In a 2014 interview with Daily Mail, Goldman alleged that, had that bag been retrieved, it "would have convicted" O.J. Simpson.