In honor of the seventh episode of American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J Simpson, it's worth delving into something that got brought up pretty frequently in the O.J. Simpson trial, in which he was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ron Goldman: The "Colombian necktie." After all, in both the show and in the actual trial, Johnnie Cochran cross-examined a detective about something called a Columbian Necktie. So, what exactly is a Colombian Necktie?
Don't feel bad if you don't know — in Vulture's February 2016 interview with Jeffrey Toobin, author of The People Vs. O.J Simpson, Toobin stated that he didn't know what the term meant until he looked it up. He said in the interview, "I remembered sitting in the courtroom, hearing Johnnie cross-examine about the Colombian necktie. And I had never heard of that before. And Anthony [Anthony Hemingway, director of the episode] said to me, 'Did you go Google it?' And I said, Yeah. I went to a payphone, put in a quarter, and asked directory assistance for a company that would be invented in about 10 years."
Now, here's where it gets gruesome –– the actual truth of what a Colombian necktie is. According to the Colombia Journal, a Colombian necktie is a form of mutilation "in which the victim’s tongue is pulled through a deep cut beneath the jaw and left dangling on the chest." It was a method of murder used a lot during La Violencia, a 10-year period of civil war in Colombia.
An article from The New York Times at the time of the trial states that Johnnie Cochran brought up the Colombian necktie because he claimed it was a method used by drug dealers to kill people. He was arguing that the detective Tom Lange hadn't looked into all possibilities, and that Nicole and Goldman's murders could easily be drug-related. Cochran alleged that Faye Resnick (who is played by Connie Britton in the series), a close friend of Nicole Brown Simpson, who had been living with her shortly before the murders, was using cocaine at the time. In a PEOPLE article from 1994, Resnick's third ex-husband, Paul Resnick, alleged he received a call from Nicole saying, "Faye was getting out of control" — and that soon after, Resnick was allegedly persuaded to head to rehab at the Exodus Recovery Center in Marina Del Rey, Calif.
Clearly, this season of American Crime Story is dedicated to getting the facts straight, no matter how tragic or gruesome.
Image: Ray Mickshaw/FX