By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Taking his theory a step further, Dear suggests the possibility that Jason, frightened by the realization of what has occurred, places a call to his father to tell him what had happened. O.J. rushes to the Bundy Drive address and sees that there is nothing he can do--but try to protect his son.
Even the controversial DNA evidence presented at O.J. Simpson's criminal trial comes into question in Dear's book. The blood chemistry of fathers and siblings, he points out, have similar genetic characteristics. And, what of the footprints allegedly left by shoes favored by O.J.? Writes Dear, "O.J. and Jason have approximately the same size feet. Jason also had access to O.J.'s clothes closets and was known to have taken items of clothing from his dad at will."
Once his investigation was completed, Dear took his case to experts. Skeptical at first, they agreed after reviewing the P.I.'s findings, that Jason Simpson should, in fact, have been considered a suspect. Among them was James Cron, former commander of the Dallas County Sheriff's crime scene unit. "I'd say that everything Dear uncovered would certainly make one question why Jason Simpson was not eliminated as a suspect," he says. "That's just standard procedure."
Well-known British crime scene experts Terry Merston and Peter Harpur reviewed Dear's findings and concluded that O.J. Simpson was not the killer of his ex-wife and Goldman but was likely at the crime scene at some time after the murders. Additionally, their 24-page analysis concluded that the stab wounds on the victims were more likely to have been inflicted by a sharp knife with a single-edged smooth blade rather than the long-bladed, double-edged stiletto supposedly owned by O.J. Simpson and described by the prosecution as the murder weapon.
Several psychologists who reviewed Dear's evidence concluded that Jason Simpson should have been considered a suspect. Wrote one, "After reviewing all of the history of suicide attempts, failed relationships in which isolation and moods of violence and dependency were interwoven, it seems more and more likely that Jason psychologically could have been a very reasonable suspect in the murders."
Among the material Dear asked doctors to review was what he refers to as the "Dear Jason" letter.
During a four-month period during which the investigator tracked Simpson's movements, a weekly routine of checking the contents of the young man's trash developed. Among the items collected were numerous liquor bottles, empty prescription bottles--and, on one late Tuesday night, a wadded page from a three-ring notebook. "At first," Dear says, "it looked like a letter that had been written to Jason, then marked over by a series of lines and circles." It took him hours to decipher the block-letter writing beneath the scribbles.
"Dear Jason," it began, then meandered through a sad stream-of-consciousness message. "I want solace...now I am a failure...alcohol is the root of all my shortcomings...I know I'm a good guy somewhere but I cannot find him...I had so many plans but now what...will and integrity absent...I do know what to do but don't have the will to do it...In short I'm fucked...walking on broken glass..."
The more he read the tormented words, the more Dear was convinced the letter had not been written to Jason but, rather, by him. Taking it to expert handwriting analyst Don Lehew along with samples of Simpson's writing from discarded documents that had been found in the young man's curbside trash container, Dear was told that the handwriting on the letter was Jason Simpson's.
As one listens to Dear, reviews the material he's collected and reads his book, there is no single revelation that causes one to view Jason Simpson as a suspect. Rather, it is the accumulation of facts that give credibility to his cause that Jason Simpson should have been at least considered a suspect by police. What Dear has accomplished is not a resolution of the case but, rather, suggests a starting point for an investigation.
"That," he says, "is all I set out to do."
Meanwhile, Dear is back in the public eye. The British Broadcasting Corp. recently aired a documentary titled O.J.: The Untold Story, in which it introduced much of Dear's evidence. Radio talk shows are now calling to interview him about his new book. Recently, Dear says, a 60 Minutes producer phoned to discuss the possibility of taking yet another look at the case.
Even in semiretirement, the spotlight continues to shine in his direction.
Editor's note No. 1: In 1989, Carlton Stowers co-wrotePlease...Don't Kill Me (Houghton Mifflin) with Bill Dear. Editor's note No. 2: This is a book report. TheObserver takes no position on Dear's theory. And to the Dream Team: Please don't sue us.