Longform

O.J. Confidential

Page 3 of 6

The violence and anger, she told Dear, generally occurred when Simpson was not taking his medication. She said that she had seen Jason two months before the murders occurred, and he had told her he was no longer taking the Depakote. "I asked him," Dear quotes her as saying, "and he told me, 'No, that medication was fucking me up in the head. I'm not taking that shit anymore.'"

As one forensic psychologist who reviewed Dear's findings stated in Dear's book, Jason Simpson was, at the time of the Bundy murders, "a walking time bomb."

Attempts to contact Simpson through his attorney and a former employer were not successful.


The den of the 64-year-old Dear's quiet Midlothian home is a testimony to the fervor he's attached to his lengthy--and expensive--effort to prove that the investigation done by the LAPD and district attorney's office amounted to little more than "a relentless rush to judgment." He estimates he's spent $600,000 on his marathon fact-finding mission. Exercise equipment now shares space with large trunks filled with the files he's accumulated. In a bookcase are copies of 40 other books that have been written on the Simpson case. Photographs and legal documents related to the murders are spread across a pool table on which a game hasn't been played in years.

Still, it is a setting far different from that one would have found the flamboyant P.I. in another time in his career--back when the swimming pool adjacent to his sprawling southern Dallas County mansion had a canal that extended into the master bedroom, when his closet was filled with 200 suits and a like number of custom-made boots and the jet black Corvette he drove had personalized license plates.

In those days, Dear was in Canada one week, Europe the next, working at a breakneck pace to earn the millions people were willing to pay for his expertise. It was a time when he owned a popular steakhouse and a thriving western clothing store; when he watched over his own school for wannabe private eyes and wrote books on his most fascinating cases. Hell yes, he says, he loved it when Playboy was comparing him to Sherlock Holmes at the same time the British tabloids labeled him "the real James Bond."

Dear, it seems, was one of those born to warm in the spotlight. As a 15-year-old growing up in Florida, he says he witnessed a robbery while making his morning paper route deliveries. Following the getaway car on his bicycle, he took down the address it eventually pulled in to and phoned the police. Proclaimed a hero in the next day's paper, he was soon being followed by another car that twice ran him off the road. Assuming someone was attempting to scare the youngster from testifying, police provided him a daily escort on his paper route until the trial was over. By 20, he says he was the youngest sworn police officer in Florida history. One of the first things the young patrolman did was cite legendary Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa for a traffic violation. More headlines. He's been there ever since.

In the mid-'50s, Dear left Florida for Dallas, convinced that a career as a private investigator offered more excitement and considerably better paydays than carrying a badge. Adopting a workaholic routine, he was soon busy investigating homicides, helping clients collect on insurance settlements and locating children who had either run away or been kidnapped. Soon, his reputation began to spread. So did his business.

By 1979, he was on the campus of Michigan State University, delving into the Dungeons and Dragons-playing background of a 16-year-old prodigy named James Dallas Egbert III who had disappeared into a labyrinth of steam tunnels beneath the school. Two months passed before Dear finally located the troubled youngster hiding in Morgan City, Louisiana. From the experience came his first book, The Dungeon Master.

Then there was the Byzantine murder case in Bath, Ohio, where Dear moved into the home of millionaire victim Dean Milo, even wearing his clothing and sleeping in his bed in an attempt to gain some "feel" for the crime. As unorthodox as his practices might have seemed, his investigation resulted in the convictions of 11 conspirators, including the victim's brother, as well as another book, Please...Don't Kill Me.

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Carlton Stowers
Contact: Carlton Stowers