Almost 20 years after the trial that rocked the entire nation, O.J. Simpson's court case and the crime that spurred it still fascinate the entire planet. We have all seen countless documentaries, movies, and television adaptations of the events that transpired in Brentwood, California in 1994. The latest creation to reignite the interest in the case was FX's anthology series, American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson. The miniseries used a super-packed cast of well-known names to set the stage for the tragic murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. One real-life character who didn't make it into the FX series was someone who also testified at the trial, O.J. Simpson's longtime friend Ron Shipp. So, who is Ron Shipp? We will see his story unfold on the newest addition into the Simpson media boom in the five-part documentary, O.J.: Made In America on ESPN.
Well, he's actually someone who has been in the news a little bit lately. According to the New York Daily News, at the recent premiere for O.J.: Made In America, Ron Shipp talked about his old friend saying, "I hope one day he actually will rid us of all the doubt and all the conspiracy theories and say, 'Sorry I cannot go to prison [because of double jeopardy laws], but I am sorry I did it.'" He continued, "Someone told me [Simpson] is 300 pounds and he looks horrible. O.J. has always felt his appearance meant everything and now, deep down inside, he is starting to live with himself."
Simpson was acquitted of the murder charges during the criminal trial, but was found liable in civil court for their deaths and ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages to their families, according to the New York Times.
Shipp was a former police officer in the LAPD, according to CNN, and testified during the trial that he and Simpson had been friends for about 26 years, according to trial transcripts. These transcripts also show Shipp saying that he allegedly had a conversation with Simpson after Nicole and Ron's murders where Simpson allegedly said he'd been having dreams of killing Nicole. "He kind of jokingly just said, you know, 'To be honest, Shipp,' that's what he called me, Shipp. He said, 'I've had some dreams of killing her.'" According to The New York Times, Simpson's lawyers addressed the claims in court and "they asserted that the conversation on June 13 never took place."
Recently, Shipp released an e-book memoir of his life called, The Heart Behind The Badge. The book revisits his time on the LAPD, and it also goes into his time as a witness for the prosecution during Simpson's trial in 1995. The book's website says that some proceeds of the books sales will go to benefit a charity called The Imagine Farm. According to the charity's website, it is toted as an educational center to teach kids the interconnected respect that should exist between "animal rights, human rights, and environmental ethics."
Shipp was an important part of the trial of the century, and, though not included in the FX series, his name will be remembered via the ESPN docuseries airing this week.