"There are people who need to know about what happened," says Clark

By Patrick Gomez
Updated March 02, 2016 08:00 AM
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Coral Von Zumwalt

Marcia Clark will never forget hearing the words “not guilty” at the end of the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

“He got away with murder,” the former prosecutor, 62, says in the current issue of PEOPLE.

Clark had served as prosecutor on numerous other high-profile cases since joining the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office in 1981, but she says nothing could have prepared her for the “media circus” that would become the 1995 Simpson trial.

“It was unprecedented,” the best-selling author says of the Trial of the Century. “I’d dealt with press before, but they had always approached me in a non-intrusive way. It had never had an impact on the court or the witnesses.”

For more from Clark – including how her life changed completely after the trial – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

In a new forward for the e-book version of her 1997 memoir about the trial, Clark comments on how mistrust in the police was a problem then (and now), but she also says the media attention made prosecuting Simpson harder.

“I hated the way it impacted the case – the way it impacted the witnesses. Everyone forgot Ron and Nicole and it became this enormous circus,” she says. “That was harmful to the trial and had a terrible impact on [Judge Lance Ito,] who decided that it was going to be his star turn. It was terrible.”

Now, Clark is watching that time in her life play out on FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and hopes that viewers can learn from the mistakes of the past.

“I thought, ‘If if they tell the true story and hit the big issues, then maybe that’s a good thing,” she says of first hearing about the limited series. “There are people who need to know about what happened.”

Clark’s new crime thriller Blood Defense is available in bookstores May 1 and her best-selling Simpson trial memoir Without a Doubt (featuring a new forward) is available in e-book form now.