Ten years ago, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death — two vicious slayings that set in motion the "trial of the century" and made former NFL star O.J. Simpson a household name.
After a sensational trial that lasted nearly nine months, Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in a verdict that divided the nation.
Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend were slashed to death late on June 12, 1994. From the moment the news broke, the case took on a surreal aspect. Americans sat mesmerized at the televised image of Simpson riding in his white Ford Bronco as police tailed him in a slow-speed chase, before he surrendered to face charges.
Television viewers were again riveted by the 1995 criminal trial, which pitted prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden against defense attorney Johnnie Cochran and the "Dream Team," and brought to the witness stand such memorable personalities as controversial Detective Mark Fuhrman and bleached-blond Simpson houseguest Brian "Kato" Kaelin.
Then, on Oct. 3, 1995, came the verdict that divided the nation: not guilty. Many, particularly black Americans, felt an African-American had finally gotten the better of a system that was stacked against them. Others believed Simpson had gotten away with murder.
Although he was cleared of criminal charges, Simpson was found liable in a civil trial for the deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman. He was ordered to pay $33.5 million, but neither the Browns nor the Goldmans have been able to collect.
Simpson then moved to Florida and gained custody of his and Nicole's two children after a bitter struggle with her family. He now lives on a golf course, 3,000 miles and a decade away from the spectacle that riveted a nation.
His daughter, Sydney, is now 18 and has just graduated from high school. Her brother, Justin, 15, is at the same private school, where he is captain of the football team.
Simpson's house on Rockingham in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles was sold to an investment banker, who tore it down and built a bigger mansion.
Nicole Brown Simpson's condo on Bundy Drive in Brentwood was sold, too. The new owners built a wall, blocking public view of the spot where the killings took place.
Family’s Pain Lingers
But no wall can block what the Goldman family still feels, 10 years later.
"There's no closure in our lives," said Fred Goldman, father of Ron Goldman. He and Ron's sister work to focus the media on victims' rights and legal injustices.
"It's all in an effort to give back to the people that have been so gracious to us over the years," Kim Goldman said. "But also, just, we have to! How can you not?"
Kim Goldman and her father say they are still reminded of Ron every day. They still refer to Simpson as "the killer."
"Wish he was dead," Fred Goldman said. "He's a narcissistic, murdering S.O.B."
Denise Brown, Nicole's sister, became the public face of her family's suffering. She continues to do charity work in the name of her sister — and continues to question the verdict.
"Why did they make so many mistakes?" Brown asked. "Why was [Judge Lance] Ito so intimidated by Johnnie Cochran and the 'Dream Team?' "
O.J. Catapulted Lawyers, Judge to Fame
Ito still presides over criminal trials. He refuses to do interviews, but he did recently mention to Good Morning America that he would never write a book and would never want to profit from the case.
Others have. Former prosecutor Clark wrote a book about the trial, which brought in $4.2 million. As a prosecutor, Clark was critical of the media, but now she is part of the fray, appearing as a legal commentator on television.
Clark's prosecuting partner, Darden, also turned to television as a commentator, and makes his living now as a defense lawyer.
Their former boss, Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, lost his election after the Simpson acquittal. He later came out with two books — not about the trial, but about his passion: photography.
"I want to prove to people — maybe to myself — there's a life after the district attorney's office, and it's a very good life," Garcetti told KABC-TV's Eye on L.A.
‘Justice Is Green’
Simpson lawyers Cochran and Robert Shapiro both continue to practice law in Los Angeles. In an April 2002 interview, Cochran explained why he thought Simpson was not convicted.
"It's about money," he said. "If Simpson had been poor, he'd be in prison today. But he could afford us — as lawyers — to stay there for a year."
When it comes to justice, money matters, he said.
"Well, unfortunately, I don't want to break any illusions out there, but the color of justice is green," Cochran said.
Furhman, the controversial police detective, now lives in Idaho and has written several best-selling true-crime books.
Detectives Tom Lange and Phil Vannatter also retired and wrote a book together about evidence not admitted in the trial. Vannatter moved to Indiana, where he is second-in-command in a sheriff's department. Lange is now a private investigator with his own company.
DNA Evidence Handling Changes
And the two attorneys who helped defend Simpson by challenging the validity of DNA evidence, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, still run The Innocence Project in New York, which so far has used DNA evidence to help free 145 wrongly convicted prisoners.
"The Simpson case — it's the only good thing about it that I can find — changed the way police do business in this country in terms of handling DNA evidence," Scheck said.
Meanwhile, Kaelin, the unctuous houseguest, says not much has changed since he testified about what he heard the night of the murders. Kaelin, who was staying at a guest house on Simpson's estate at the time of the killings, was expected to be a key witness for the prosecution who could account for Simpson's whereabouts that night, but he did not deliver what the prosecution expected.
"I have not changed at all," Kaelin said. "I'm still pursuing my goals, tough as can be, being an actor. It made me a household name, but it did not help my career as far as acting-wise."
Today, Kaelin works with National Lampoon, developing movies and TV shows. He says he has not talked to former friend Simpson in 10 years.
Simpson turns 57 next month and is living on a $25,000-a-month pension that cannot be touched by the courts. He maintains he is innocent, but knows he is the butt of jokes.
"I don't let it make me crazy, you know what I mean?" he told ESPN in a December 2002 interview. "I don't say — 'Hey man, you're out of line' and get mad and storm off because of it. That's my life. That's the way it is."
For the Goldmans and the Browns, life has never been the same since that day 10 years ago. The Browns will hold a vigil on Saturday in Nicole's memory. The Goldmans will commemorate the 10-year anniversary privately.
"He's a piece of us and always will be," Fred Goldman said of his son. "And we hope he's a piece of a lot of people. We hope a lot of people remember Ron."
Denise Brown says that she still can't believe her sister is gone.
"I sit there and I think: 'Oh my God, I haven't seen Nicole in 10 years," she said. "Oh my God, I have not picked up the phone and talked to my sister in 10 years. And, that's hard, that's really hard. It just breaks your heart."
ABCNEWS' Bill Cunningham and Cynthia McFadden produced this Good Morning America story.