O.J. Simpson's "Missing" Bags
Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden theorized that O.J. put the missing shoes, "sweats" and murder weapon in a bag that "he would not let anyone touch" and disposed of the bag in an LAX trash container. Limo driver Allan Park recalled seeing only one of the travel bags below that returned on O.J.'s flight from Chicago. He said that he recognized the black tote bag that Johnnie Cochran showed him. He said that it was one of the bags he put in the passenger compartment of the limo. He originally identified it as a black duffle bag. Later it was referred to as a "small" duffle bag. This is the bag Marcia said O.J. would not let anyone touch. It is also the bag she suggested that O.J. put in the LAX trash container although it did not fit the size or color description of the small bag, never referred to as a "duffle" bag, that O.J. picked up behind the Bentley and it was obviously not missing. The only bag presented in the trial that looks like a duffle bag is the large black bag that covered the golf bag.
If this sounds confusing, read the criminal trial transcripts and see how much more confusing it gets with one bag counted as two or three and two bags morphing into one. Exhibit numbers don't help because the blue bag that O.J. picked up behind the Bentley was not entered into evidence although it did receive an exhibit number. It therefore became a "wild card" that could be used to make it sound like a bag that received another exhibit number. Marcia's choice of words in describing it made it sound like the small black duffle bag that O.J. took to LAX. Using the prosecution's convoluted and inconsistent identification process there is no way to make an accurate count of the bags that left the Rockingham estate in the limo and the ones that returned. You can even argue that all of the bags were missing and suggest that the ones presented as evidence in court were substitutes for the originals with no evidence to support the argument. The prosecution did just that.
Small Duffle Bag (a.k.a.: grip, tote bag, duffle bag, small black bag)
Blue Bag Behind the Bentley (a.k.a. small bag, small dark bag, "small 'black dark' bag, book bag, mystery bag)
Garment Bag with "OJS" monogram (a.k.a. : large black duffle bag )
Bag Cover Containing Golf Club Bag (a.k.a.: golf bag, duffle bag, large duffle bag, sheath)
Louis Vuitton Garment Bag (a.k.a.: garment bag, Gucci bag)
Allan Park with unidentified woman during a break in his criminal trial testimony
Allan Park's Memory -- Nothing O.J. said about his actions when Park was on Rockingham can stand alone in reconstructing what actually happened on the night of June 12, 1994 because of his obvious self-interest. Similarly, nothing that Allan Park said can stand alone because of his demonstrably poor memory of things that were not important to him at the time. Yet, the only standard of comparison between the bags that were put in the limo and the ones that returned from Chicago has always been Allan Park's memory combined with Marcia Clark's incriminating characterization of his testimony.
Park's testimony changed from one court hearing to the next after conferring with Marcia and his mother about his previous testimony. Only the small black duffle bag and the blue cloth one with the beige leather trim match his memory but the blue one was not counted because it was not allowed into evidence. He recalled the two black "duffle bags" he saw when he entered the Ashford gate being identical even though he thought he loaded both of them in the passenger compartment of the limo and one was twice as long as the other. They were the same color and had the same fully loaded diameter. Both were black. The trouble with that scenario is that one of the bags he originally thought was a duffle bag was a golf bag sheath and everyone, including Park, agreed that Kato put the bag with the golf bags in the trunk.
Allan Park's memory of his June 12, 1994 encounter with O.J. Simpson was tested numerous times against hard evidence and Kato's testimony. On every point that mattered to Park when he went to Rockingham, his memory measured against that evidence and Kato's testimony was consistent. On every point that mattered only after the Bundy murders his memory was not consistent.
He did not recall seeing O.J.'s Bronco on Rockingham when he left for LAX although it must have been there. He recalled O.J. saying something that Kato said. He recalled Kato standing on the north path when no one disputes Kato was down by the south path. Park recalled seeing a duffle bag open but described the contents of the golf bag sheath. He recalled see a car where Arnelle parked her SAAB parked behind the Bentley (the picture taken by police the next day) when it could not have been there. Using the first bend in the lawn behind the nonexistent notch for the Bentley as a guide, he marked where he saw the blue bag almost dead center of where he recalled seeing the "other car."
Marcia Clark's summary of Allan Park's testimony and the meaning that she attached to it was incriminating to O.J. Simpson. The testimony itself was not.
If you're wondering what happened to the small black duffle bag, this sequence from a KCOP/ ABC film clip of O.J. returning to Rockingham from Chicago should leave no doubt. Mark Fuhrman said that he found a key to a locked room of O.J.'s house where he witnessed the beginning of this sequence. The man carrying the bag in the photos at the bottom of the page with uniformed Officer Donald Thompson, attorney Howard Weitzman and O.J. is Det. Phil Vannatter. The car Vannatter is opening in the last picture where you see the bag in his hand is the police car he used to take O.J. to Parker Center for interrogation. This bag is the one where Vannatter and Lange said they found keys on a ring that matched Faye Resnick's description of Nicole's missing keys on a ring with a "little bear."
No one else described the missing key ring the way Faye Resnick did. It could not be entered into evidence because it was not logged in. Therefore, no record exists of the date when Lange or Vannatter actually took the key ring from the bag. In Evidence Dismissed Vannatter said that he got O.J.'s bag from Det. Brad Roberts. Inescapable circumstantial evidence confirms that he did.
Thompson testified that Vannatter ordered him to handcuff O.J. before O.J. arrived. Vannatter denied it. There is no conflict, however, in any account of what could have happened to the bag before Vannatter joined O.J., Thompson and Roberts. Thompson said that he turned O.J. over to other detectives. He did not name Roberts. He didn't have to. The bag had to be somewhere while Thompson was handcuffing O.J. It had to be somewhere when Roberts was telling O.J. that there was a blood trail from Bundy to Rockingham. O.J. didn't have it. Thompson didn't have it. Vannatter wasn't there yet. Vannatter did not get the bag from the ground. He said he got it from Roberts and that's the only explanation of where he could have gotten it. The only incriminating evidence in any of the bags was the key ring that Faye Resnick described in that one. But the only evidence connecting the key ring to anyone is between Faye Resnick and Mark Fuhrman's partner Brand Roberts. --Jasper
(O.J. hangs bag from left shoulder on long straps. Vannatter carries same bag by handle, straps hanging)
Click on any picture in the sequence above to enlarge all of them and to see more screenshots in the sequence.