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Knife linked to former O.J. Simpson property is not connected to homicide case, LAPD concludes

Knife linked to former O.J. Simpson property is not connected to homicide case, LAPD concludes
O.J. Simpson, center, reacts as he is found not guilty of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman, as members of his defense team, F. Lee Bailey, left, and Johnnie Cochran Jr., right, look on, in court in Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 1995. (Myung J. Chun / Associated Press)

The knife reportedly found at the former home of O.J. Simpson is not connected to the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, Los Angeles police confirmed Friday.

The Los Angeles Police Department performed a variety of forensic tests on the rusty 5-inch fixed blade knife and compared it with the wounds inflicted on the victims before ruling it out as the murder weapon, two sources familiar with the investigation said.

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"That is not the knife," said an LAPD source familiar with the investigation. "There is no evidence related to the crime." The source said there was no blood on it.

The examination of the knife came more than two decades after the former football player turned actor and announcer was tried in one of the highest-profile murder cases and acquitted by a jury. A civil trial, however, held Simpson liable for the two deaths and ordered him to pay $33 million.

The small size of the blade was among many issues undermining its potential as the murder weapon. During the criminal trial, the Los Angeles County coroner testified the weapon that killed the pair had at least a 6 1/2 -inch blade, in his opinion. The murder weapon used in the June 12, 1994, slayings was never found.

"Any suggestions that this knife that was found was in any way involved in the case was pure fantasy," Carl Douglas, one of Simpson's lawyers during the 1995 trial, said Friday after the LAPD findings.

This knife was supposedly found in 2003 while construction crews were working on the former Simpson estate in Brentwood after the property changed hands.

George Maycott, a retired Los Angeles police officer working on a movie set nearby, was given the knife by a construction worker, he said. When his department showed no interest in the knife, Maycott stored the blade in his toolbox for more than a decade, his attorney Trent Copeland said.

Maycott recently came across the knife again and told a friend. Eventually, LAPD Robbery Homicide Division detectives learned of the knife and took possession of it Feb. 10.

When news of the knife broke, it sparked renewed speculation but also deep skepticism in some quarters over whether it was just one more fruitless lead in the case.

The reports came during a broadcast of the FX TV series "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," also heightening interest.

Copeland said the outcome is no surprise to his client, who feels some vindication and relief. Maycott said he feels as if he was "dragged through the village," but holds no grudge against the Police Department, Copeland said.

After the slayings, investigators examined and dismissed several knives, including a 15-inch retractable blade that O.J. Simpson purchased at a downtown Los Angeles cutlery shop and a blood-stained kitchen knife wrapped in a blouse discovered near Simpson's Brentwood estate. Even a broken carving knife found in a waste tank at Chicago's O'Hare airport was turned in to investigators.

Simpson is serving up to 33 years in a Nevada prison for kidnapping and robbing memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson denied the charges, saying he was trying to obtain football memorabilia that he said belonged to him.

Twitter: @lacrimes

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