Tangles in the Web

updated 10/10/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/10/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Truth, accuracy and journalistic restraint have been among the many lesser casualties in this celebrated murder case, and misleading leads have abounded. Herewith a roundup of erroneous leaks, rumors and red herrings:

Murder Weapons.
On June 17, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported that the LAPD had recovered a military-style entrenching tool used in the killings; but prosecutors denied the story. On June 30, Chicago radio station WBBM reported that part of a knife had been found in an O'Hare Airport waste-collection pit. The knife was later found not to match the wounds found on Nicole and Ron Goldman. On July 2, L.A. resident Daniella Gonzalez, 21, gave police a kitchen knife, which she claimed she had found less than a block from Simpson's Brentwood spread. The LAPD concluded it had nothing to do with the case.

The "Suicide."
On June 17, while O.J. was on the run, several Los Angeles radio stations reported that a 911 call had been placed from Nicole's town house. Hundreds of spectators and reporters descended on the scene, expecting that Simpson had killed himself there.

The Ski Mask.
KCOP-TV in Los Angeles reported that police had found a bloody ski mask on Simpson's property. Prosecutors admitted at a preliminary hearing that the ski mask did not exist.

On Sept. 21, L.A.'s KNBC-TV reported that DNA tests on socks found in Simpson's home showed drops of Nicole's blood. Prosecutor Marcia Clark later denied even sending the socks to a DNA lab for analysis.

Bad Timing.
On July 13, KCBS-TV aired a video shot the day after the murders that purported to show prosecutor Clark at the Simpson estate at least 17 minutes before a search warrant was issued. Station officials apologized after discovering that the camera's time-date markings had been misread.

The Ice Cream.
Bill Chang, the manager of a Brentwood Ben & Jerry's outlet, told investigators working for the defense that an unidentified young man had accompanied Nicole, Justin and Sydney to his shop just hours before the murders. Reporters speculated that the man may have been Ron Goldman; but after Chang viewed news photos of Goldman, he concluded that the man he saw was another customer. Then Newsweek, citing defense sources, reported that a cup of partially melted ice cream was found near Nicole's body just after midnight on June 13. Frozen ice cream might indicate that the murders occurred later than previously thought, but investigators have confirmed that they found melted ice cream inside Nicole's kitchen.

The Envelope. Please.
On July 1, defense attorney Robert Shapiro handed Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell a sealed manila envelope. Whatever its contents—perhaps the knife Simpson bought last May from Ross Cutlery—the package is an enticement to speculation even now.

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