Conviction, or lack thereof, is the story of the trial of the century. Where was that sense of conviction when racist police officers abused and battered their victims? Where was that sense of conviction when Nicole Brown was being battered and people stood by and let him get away with it time and time again? Where was it when NBC kept him on the air when they were sure to know? Where was it when the Browns lost custody of the children, who were sent to be raised by the narcissist who killed their mother? Where was it when Fred Goldman, who lost his beautiful son, won a civil judgment, but was unable to collect it?
Where was it?
I never lost my desire for his conviction. And if Marcia Clark couldn't do it. I sure wanted to try.
In the past few days, since the announcement of the forthcoming book and televised interview "If I Did It," it has been strange watching the media spin the story. They have all but called for my death for publishing his book and for interviewing him. A death, I might add, not called for when Katie Couric interviewed him; not called for when Barbara Walters had an exclusive with the Menendez brothers, who killed their parents in cold blood, nor when she conducted her celebrated interviews with dictator Fidel Castro or Muammar al-Gaddafi; not called for when "60 Minutes" interviewed Timothy McVeigh who murdered hundreds in Oklahoma City, not called for when the U.S. government released tapes of Osama bin Laden; not called for when Geraldo Rivera interviewed his dozens of murderers, miscreants, and deviants.
Nor should it be.
"To publish" does not mean "to endorse"; it means "to make public." If you doubt that, ask the mainstream publishers who keep Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in print to this day. They are likely to say that there is a historical value in publishing such material, so that the public can read, and judge for themselves, the thoughts and attempted defenses of an indefensible man. There is historical value in such work; there is value for law enforcement, for students of psychology, for anyone who wants to gain insight into the mind of a sociopath.
But that is not why I did it. That is not why I wanted to face the killer. That is not why I wanted to publish his story.
I didn't know what to expect when I got the call that the killer wanted to confess. I didn't know what would happen. But I knew one thing. I wanted the confession for my own selfish reasons and for the symbolism of that act.
For me, it was personal.
My son is now 25 years old, my daughter 15. I wanted them, and everyone else, to have a chance to see that there are consequences to grievous acts. That the consequences of pain and suffering will ultimately be brought upon its perpetrators. And I wanted, as so many victims do, to hear him say "I did it and I am sorry."
I didn't know if he would. But I wanted to try. I wanted his confession.
I wanted the acknowledgment, not for me but for my son, so I could turn to him and say, "I'm sorry that he was not a father to you. I'm sorry that he could not teach you what it means to be a man. And, finally, he's sorry too."
When I was a girl, a young, innocent, and believing girl, my parents made me go to confession. I didn't always like to go. It was spooky going into the dark confessional booths, where I was told to say my penance for my sins and to recite The Act of Contrition.