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Review: Evidence Dismissed, Tom Lange, Phil Vannatter, as told to Don Moldea

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Tom Lange and Phil Vannatter were the lead detectives on the OJ Simpson case. OJ Simpson, for those with short memories, was alleged to have murdered his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman.

I’ve read several books on the Simpson case, many written directly by the participating parties, to include Marcia Clark, Chris Darden, Mark Fuhrman and one by Vincent Bugliosi of “Helter Skelter” fame, who was not involved in the case but knows everything anyway. I thought I’d round out my reading by giving this novel by the two detectives charged with investigating the case and gathering the evidence a go.

The detectives most want us to know that Mark Fuhrman was but a minor player in the investigation of this crime. Even though it was that detective and his alleged racist attitude that might well have de-railed the entire case.

Lange and Vannatter do a fine job in guiding the reader through the events of the night of the murder. Finally a reader has a chance, no mind Clark or Bugliosi, to follow the activities of the crime the night it happened as opposed to reading assumptions made after the fact.

The two detectives do not like Marcia Clark, a little aside here. They assert, albeit ever so gently in this so public of forums, that the bitch sold them down the river.

Okay. They don’t call Clark a bitch and such as rivers or selling are not specifically mentioned. This reader got the point soon enough and so will all other readers.

Obviously there can be nothing more earth-shattering new in this book. There is much more detail about how the blood got moved all about, hither and yon, and all about everywhere. The blood evidence, one should remember, was the lynchpin that gave the jury reasonable doubt about Simpson’s guilt. For the defense maintained that evil cops spread Simpson’s blood in all places to bolster their case. Mark Fuhrman was alleged to have planted the bloody glove that didn’t fit on OJ’s estate. The defense’s arguments came from the taking of Simpson’s blood, the amount of which was not fully documented. The defense also used the casual transport of evidence by detectives, held overnight in their own personal homes in some cases, as questionable police activity.

Finally the folks who processed all of this data can tell their story. If nothing else, this reader was grateful to read the final link in the trial of the century that went all wrong.

The biggest surprise of this book is no surprise. Detectives handle evidence in this manner all of the time. Common sense and bureaucracies make odd bedfellows. Sometimes an investigator does what he/she has to do.

Sometimes the defense can take the most innocent maneuver and make it into something way more heinous. Given a jury pre-disposed to let the perpetrator get out of jail free, these innocent actions can be made into a waaaay bigger deal than they were.

Read this book and round out your OJ Simpson trial detail.

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Edited: NB

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About pat fish

  • emily thompson

    tom lange is an idiot (if this is the same tom lange that worked on the bourden case). I think he couldnt be more wrong about everything he doesn’t know what he is talking about i have very interesting things to tell him. so tom lange if you read this call me and i will speak my mind [Personal contact info deleted].