by Vincent Bugliosi
If the phrases “white Ford Bronco,” “Rockingham glove” and “DNA evidence” make your eyes roll, just hold on a second. Yes, here comes another recap of the O.J. Simpson trial, but this one’s a doozy. Vincent Bugliosi, 61, the fiery former Los Angeles prosecutor who won 105 of 106 felony jury trials (and who chronicled his successful prosecution of Charles Manson in the 1974 best-seller Helter Skelter), delivers a powerful, damning diatribe on Simpson’s acquittal.
Driven by his conviction that Simpson indeed murdered Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman two years ago, Bugliosi indicts prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden for a D-minus performance that, the author claims, set a brutal killer free.
Bugliosi rips the “beyond incompetent” prosecutors for failing to enter O.J.’s incriminating “suicide” note into evidence, for allowing Simpson to try on the bloody gloves himself (a member of the prosecution should have put them on him), and especially for their “laid-back and casual” closing arguments that barely challenged O.J.’s I-wuz-frarried defense. The book’s high point is the rafter-rattling summation Bugliosi would have delivered had he prosecuted the case himself.
Provocative and entertaining, Outrage debunks the notion that the case against O.J. was unwinnable, an idea even Darden apparently buys into. “Sometimes evil wins,” Darden said on Dennis Miller’s HBO talk show. On the contrary, argues Bugliosi, sometimes the good guys screw up. (Norton, $25)