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‘The Juice is loose’: How the O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase mesmerized the world

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Police pursue O.J. Simpson on the 405 Freeway a quarter-century ago.
(Los Angeles Times)

Here is how the O.J. Simpson chase unfolded 25 years ago:

MORNING

8:30 a.m.: Robert Shapiro, lawyer for O.J. Simpson, receives a call from Los Angeles Police Department officials telling him to surrender his client.

9:30 a.m.: Shapiro goes to an undisclosed home in the San Fernando Valley and informs Simpson he will have to surrender by 11 a.m. Murder charges are filed against Simpson in the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman; arraignment is scheduled for the afternoon.

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11 a.m.: Simpson is scheduled to surrender.

AFTERNOON

Shortly after noon, according to Shapiro, the lawyer receives a call from LAPD officials telling him that police must announce that Simpson is a fugitive. Shapiro gives police directions to the San Fernando Valley house.

Police arrive at the house. Shapiro, who is with Simpson’s doctors and others in a room at the house, says Simpson and Al Cowlings, a former college and pro football teammate of Simpson, had left the house.

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1:50 p.m.: LAPD Cmdr. David Gascon announces that Simpson has not surrendered for arraignment as scheduled and is a fugitive.

2 p.m.: Police respond to a 911 call at the scene of the slayings after a man identified as Nicole Simpson’s father comes out of the house asking people to call 911.

3 p.m.: An LAPD officer at Nicole Brown Simpson’s condominium tells reporters, “O.J. Simpson is not here.” Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti, at a news conference, says anyone helping Simpson to flee will be prosecuted as a felon. “We will find Mr. Simpson and bring him to justice.” Police are searching for Cowlings. Garcetti says prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty in the case.

4:45 p.m.: Police issue an arrest warrant for Cowlings.

EVENING

5 p.m.: Shapiro holds a news conference, during which longtime Simpson friend Robert Kardashian reads a letter from Simpson: “Don’t feel sorry for me,” the note ends. “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.”

5:51 p.m.: Simpson reportedly makes a 911 call from a cellphone in Cowlings’ Ford Bronco. His location is traced to the 5 Freeway in Orange County near Lake Forest, where his ex-wife was buried.

5:56 p.m.: The California Highway Patrol begins pursuit.

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7:30 p.m.: After moving onto the 91 Freeway, the Bronco turns north on the 405 Freeway in Torrance, soon encountering crowds standing on the roadway and overpasses. Some onlookers hold handmade banners and signs while others scream, “The Juice is loose!”

7:57 p.m.: Simpson and Cowlings arrive at Simpson’s Brentwood home and negotiations for surrender begin.

8:47 p.m.: Police issue an all-clear after taking Simpson into custody.

9:37 p.m.: In police custody, Simpson arrives at Parker Center in downtown L.A.

Source: Times reports


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