The Baseball Bat Incident
In the criminal trial the prosecution used a letter from Mark Fuhrman to the city attorney of Los Angeles as evidence of O.J.'s violence toward Nicole as well as his "controlling" behavior toward her. No corroborating witness to the words and actions that Fuhrman described was ever produced. No record of the "415" call that Fuhrman said he answered was ever produced. The letter itself contains no report of violence toward Nicole (thus no vulnerability to a charge of perjury. It contains only Fuhrman's view of what happened with egotistical dialogue that Fuhrman imputed to O.J. implying his right to do what he wanted with her because he was O.J. Simpson and she was his "wife."
Mark Day, an LAPD officer from 1987 through 1997 who was then a Westec security officer on the scene did testify against O.J. in the civil trial where the defense was barred from calling Mark Fuhrman as a hostile witness. But his credibility was utterly destroyed when he added details to what he claimed he saw in "1985" that borrowed part of Fuhrman wrote in his letter about Nicole in tears and part of what John Edwards said about Nicole running to him at the gate in '89.
In Mark Day's only written statement about the incident that he gave to Det. Vannatter, DA Special Investigator Thompson and Assistant DA Darden on November 8, 1994, Day said that he met Nicole at the door of the house. He did not say that he saw her sitting on the hood of the car weeping. He did not say that he saw O.J. pacing up and down in an agitated manner. On the witness stand he said that he told Darden what he testified to. Darden did not call Day as a witness in the criminal trial. Darden was not called as a witness in the civil trial..
Yet, this incident has been widely referred to as an instance of O.J. Simpson's violence toward Nicole (as opposed to O.J.'s physical abuse of his car). Marcia Clark used it to show that Fuhrman handled himself in a professional manner with no malice toward O.J. The city attorney used Fuhrman's version of the incident to show a pattern of abuse following the '89 New Years Day incident. It was only this letter that allowed the city attorney to press charges against O.J. in the '89 incident. Nicole refused to press charges.
What Fuhrman describes is often referred to as the '85 incident. I called it that in Iago because there was no dispute about the year when I wrote it other than O.J.'s claim that it happened in '84. Transcripts from the civil trial confirmed that O.J. was right; it did happen in '84. Fuhrman's O.J. quote referring to Nicole as his "wife" is therefore highly suspect because O.J. and Nicole were not married until February 1985.
Given what we have learned since then about Fuhrman's "indelible" memory of the incident, his ambition to write a screenplay and his flare for the dramatic, you might want to take all the colorful details of his letter with a huge grain of salt.
Mark Fuhrman's letter to the city attorney, Feb 18 1989
"During the fall or winter of 1985 I responded to a 415 family dispute at 360 North Rockingham. Upon arrival I observed two persons in front of the estate, a black male pacing on the driveway and a white female sitting on a vehicle crying. I inquired if the persons I observed were the residents, at which time the black male stated, "Yeah, I own this, I'm O.J. Simpson!" My attention turned to the female who was sobbing and asked her if she was alright but before she could speak the black male (Simpson) interrupted saying, "she's my wife, she's okay!" During my conversation with the female I noted that she was sitting in front of a shattered windshield (Mercedes Benz, I believe) and I asked, "who broke the windshield?" with the female responding, "he did (pointing to Simpson)…He hit the windshield with a baseball bat!" Upon hearing the female's statement, Simpson exclaimed, "I broke the windshield…it's mine…there's no trouble here." I turned to the female and asked if she would like to make a report and she stated, "no."
It seems odd to remember such an event, but it is not every day that you respond to a celebrity's home for a family dispute. For this reason this incident is indelibly pressed in my memory."
This letter was the cornerstone of big things to come for Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson, and Mark Fuhrman. It is the version of the letter Fuhrman put in his Murder in Brentwood book. This version is an improvement over the original, which uses abbreviations for "white female" and "black male" that are not as easy to read. He also "improves" upon the story every time he tells it. --Jasper