O.J. Simpson's infamous white Bronco chase included a wrenching letter that the NFL great penned earlier that day 20 years ago.
Robert Kardashian, Simpson's longtime friend, read the letter aloud at a news conference after it became clear Simpson was on the run.
The letter's dark tone made some concerned Simpson was planning to take his life: "Don't feel sorry for me. I've had a great life, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person. Thanks for making my life special. I hope I helped yours."
Los Angeles police announced Simpson was a fugitive after he failed to appear for his scheduled arrest in connection with the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
Soon after Kardashian read the letter, police located Simpson's white Bronco on Interstate 5 in Orange County and the chase began.
Here's what the letter said.
To whom it may concern:
First, everyone understand I had nothing to do with Nicole's murder. I loved her, always have, and always will. If we had a problem, it's because I loved her so much. Recently we came to the understanding that for now we were not right for each other, at least for now. Despite our love we were different and that's why we mutually agreed to go our separate ways.
It was tough splitting for a second time, but we both knew it was for the best. Inside, I had no doubt that in the future we would be close friends, or more. Unlike what has been written in the press, Nicole and I had a great relationship for most of our lives together. Like all long-term relationships, we had a few downs and ups.
I took the heat New Year's 1989 because that's what I was supposed to do. I did not plead no contest for any other reason but to protect our privacy. It was advised it would end the press hype.
I don't want to belabor knocking the press, but I can't believe what is being said. Most of it is totally made up. I know you have a job to do, but as a last wish, please, please, please leave my children in peace. Their lives will be tough enough.
I want to send my love and thanks to all my friends. I'm sorry I can't name every one of you. Especially A.C. -- man, thanks for being in my life. The support and friendship I received from so many -- Wayne Hughes, Louis Marks, Frank Olson, Mark Packer, Bender, Bobby Kardashian -- I wish we had spent more time together in recent years. My golfing buddies -- Hoss, Alan Austin, Mike, Craig, Denver, Wyler, Sandy, Jay, Donnie -- thanks for the fun.
All my teammates over the years: Reggie [McKenzie], you were the soul of my pro career, Ahmad [Rashad], I never stopped being proud of you. Marcus [Allen], you've got a great lady in Catherine, don't mess it up. Bobby Chandler, thanks for always being there. Skip and Cathy, I love you guys -- without you I never would have made it through this far. Marguerite (his first wife), thanks for the early years -- we had some fun. Paula -- what can I say? You are special. I'm sorry we're not going to have our chance. God brought you to me, I now see. As I leave, you'll be in my thoughts.
I think of my life and feel I've done most of the right things. So why do I end up like this? I can't go on. No matter what the outcome, people will look and point. I can't take that. I can't subject my children to that. This way they can move on and go on with their lives. Please, if I've done anything worthwhile with my life, let my kids live in peace from you, the press.
I've had a good life. I'm proud of how I lived. My mama taught me to do unto others -- I treated people the way I wanted to be treated. I've always tried to be up and helpful. So why is this happening? I'm sorry for the Goldman family. I know how much it hurts.
Nicole and I had a good life together. All this press talk about a rocky relationship is no more than what every long-term relationship experiences. All her friends will confirm that I have been totally loving and understanding of what she's been going through. At times I have felt like a battered husband or boyfriend. But I loved her, make that clear to everyone. And I would take whatever it took to make it work.
Don't feel sorry for me. I've had a great life, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person. Thanks for making my life special. I hope I helped yours.
Peace and love, O.J.
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