Statement Analysis®

O.J. Simpson's Confessions

The Suicide Letter

As the slow speed Bronco chase was unfolding the police found a letter that Simpson had left behind. It became known as the "suicide letter" because it read like a good-bye letter with Simpson thanking his friends for their support. Simpson also stated in the letter "As I leave you'll be in my thoughts." The fact that he was suicidal while driving around in Al Cowling's Bronco also made the letter look like a suicide note. The letter started out saying,

"To whom it may concern: First, everyone understand I had nothing to do with Nicole's murder."

This is how you heard it read on televison. This is how you saw it printed in the newspapers and magazines. The problem is this is not what O.J. Simpson wrote. The actual handwritten letter reads as follows.

"To whom it may concern: First, everyone understand I had nothing to do with Nicole's murder."

In his letter, Simpson crossed out the words "I had." When most people cross out a word they usually replace it with something else. Perhaps they misspelled a word so they cross it out and write it correctly. Later in the letter Simpson misspelled the word "doubt." So, he crossed it out and wrote it correctly. Other times people may have a change of thought. They start to write something and then realize they don't want to say that so they cross it out.

It appears this is what Simpson did when he crossed out the word "I had." This is important because Simpson is taking himself out of his denial. He wanted to tell us he had nothing to do with Nicole's murder but he couldn't bring himself to say that.

Some reports quote Simpson as using the phrase "I have." If that is the case, then he used the wrong tense. When you talk about the past everything should be in the past tense. Deceptive people will sometimes unknowningly use present tense language. This is because a deceptive person may not be searching his memory in order to tell us what happened. Instead, he is presently making up the story which causes present tense language to enter his statement. The statement "I have nothing to do with Nicole's murder" is technically true. At the time he wrote the letter, he was not participating in her death.

This letter is an open statement. By that I mean Simpson can write anything he wants. No one is asking him questions. No one is waiting for a response from him. He is free to write about anything and yet he cannot say "I had nothing to do with Nicole's murder." All Simpson tells us is that someone or something had "nothing to do with Nicole's murder."

It is interesting that after the criminal trial Simpson blamed the press for making him look guilty. Yet here the press was making him look good because they included the phrase "I had" whenever they reported on his letter. That is probably because when this phrase is missing it sounds funny and doesn't make much sense. However, from a Statement Analysis point of view it makes a lot of sense.

Even if Simpson had left in the words "I had" he still isn't telling us he "didn't do it" which is what an innocent person would say. "I had nothing to do with" sounds pretty convincing. After all, if a person truly had nothing to do with the murders, then how could he have committed them? Somehow in his mind Simpson can justify saying, "I had nothing to do with Nicoless murder." However, in the end Simpson could not even make that statement because took himself out of the denial.

One other interesting thing stands out in this letter. Simpson describes his relationship with Nicole by writing,

"Unlike what has been written in the press, Nicole and I had a great relationship for most of our lives together. Like all long-term relationships, we had a few downs and ups."

Notice the last sentence; "downs and ups." When most people use this phrase they state "ups and downs." That is because the order in which a person mentions things is important. We like to think we have more "ups" in our lives than "downs." Therefore, most people use the phrase "ups and downs." Here Simpson's words betray him and the truth slips out. Even though he tries to counter what the press has reported his own language tells us they had a rocky relationship with more "downs" than "ups."

I don't see this letter as being a suicide letter. When Simpson talks about leaving he could be referring to running away. I believe that before he could take off he was spotted by the police which led to the slow speed Bronco chase. Simpson signed his letter with his initials O.J. In the "O" he made a smiley face. How many suicide letters do you think have a smiley face on them?

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