Statement Analysis®

O.J. Simpson's Confessions

I Want To Tell You

In 1995, Simpson wrote a book entitled "I Want To Tell You." The book contains letters people had written to Simpson while he was in jail. Simpson responds to these letters and shares his thoughts about his predicament. Simpson begins chapter one with the following statement:

"In this book, I am speaking publicly for the first time since my arrest for two reasons. First and foremost, I want to respond to the more than 300,000 people who wrote to me...The second reason is financial."

If you were arrested and charged with two murders that you did not commit, what would be your reasons for writing a book? Thanking people for their support and raising money for a defense fund are very good reasons. However, the number one reason why I would be writing a book is to let people know I DIDN'T DO IT. For Simpson, that is not the reason for writing his book.

The majority of the letters were in support of Simpson. However, the publishers did print a few letters in which the writers adamantly expressed their belief that Simpson committed the murders. On page 13 of his book, Simpson thanks these people who felt he was guilty for allowing him to put their letters in his book.

"I am grateful that even those who believe in my guilt also believe that I should have my day in court and have agreed to let their words be published in this book."

Here we have another confession by Simpson that he committed these murders; "I am grateful that even those who believe in my guilt." "My" is a possessive pronoun. When people use this pronoun they are taking possession or responsibility. Simpson is taking responsibility for the murders by referring to the guilt as being "my guilt." An innocent person would not have said it that way. An innocent person would have said, "I am grateful that even those who believe I am guilty." In this sentence, the accused is not saying he is guilty. He is only saying there are people who believe he is guilty. In Simpson's statement, he is saying there are people who believe in something that has already been established, "my guilt." Guilt is something you personally feel and personally establish. In a court of law, we can establish that one is guilty, but we cannot establish that one feels guilty. Simpson shows us that he has established his guilt by using the pronoun "my." In this same statement, Simpson refers to "my day in court." Everyone had gathered together in the courtroom for him. No one else had their case heard because that day belonged to O.J. Simpson. Just as that was his day in court that was also his guilt.

We also find on page 13 of his book Simpson declaring his innocence.

"I am one hundred percent not guilty...When asked at my arraignment, where the charges against me were first formally stated in court, I said, 'I am one hundred percent not guilty.' I said it again in Judge Ito's chambers and I say it again here."

This sounds like a very strong denial. However, we have a problem with his statement "I am one hundred percent not guilty." Most people believe 100% is inclusive of everything. If Simpson is 100% not guilty, then he must be 0% guilty. We must remember that numbers go on for infinity. There are different rating systems that we use. Sometimes we rate things on a scale of 1 to 10. Other times it may be on a scale of 1 to 100. So, what scale is Simpson using? On page 25 of his book, Simpson talks about Nicole as a caring mother.

"I had one thousand percent faith and trust in Nicole's decisions about the kids."

We see that Simpson also rates things on a scale of one thousand. Simpson has more confidence in Nicole's decisions about the kids (1,000%) then he does in his own innocence (100%). Based on his scale of one thousand, Simpson is 100% not guilty and 900% guilty!

On page 15 of his book, Simpson states,

"I want to state unequivocally that I did not commit these horrible crimes. I loved Nicole, I could never do such a thing."

This sounds like a good denial. However, there are several problems with his statement. The first problem is the phrase "I want to state." Simpson is not saying, "I did not commit these horrible crimes." He is only saying that he wants to state that he did not commit these horrible crimes. A good denial would be to state, "I did not commit these horrible crimes." We see the same thing in the title of his book 'I Want To Tell You.' He wants to tell us but I have never heard Simpson say, "I didn't do it."

Simpson qualifies his denial "I did not commit these horrible crimes" with the phrase "I could never do such a thing." Simpson is telling us we should believe he is innocent because he would never do something like this. This will become a constant theme with his denials. Everybody is capable of doing things they thought they would never do.

The other problem with this denial has to do with what immediately preceded Simpson's statement. In keeping with the book's format, Simpson printed two letters from two individuals. The first writer stated, "Please say you didn't kill that woman like that." The second writer called Simpson a coward and stated, "Beating up on women and killing two unarmed people in your selfish rage." Both people used the word 'kill" in their letter to Simpson. In responding to their letters, Simpson has the perfect opportunity to say, "I did not kill Nicole and Ronald Goldman," but he chooses not do so. He shies away from using the word "kill.' It is easier for him to say "I could never do that" as opposed to "I didn't kill them."

Part One | Two | Four | Five |

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