Petrocelli's Accomplice Theory



Triumph of Justice
The Final Judgment on the Simpson Case
Daniel Petrocelli with Peter Knobler

In the criminal trial, Cochran put Arnelle Simpson on the stand and she testified that she and Detectives Lange and Phillips had entered the house by circling the property to the front and going in the front door. She said two other officers were still interrogating Kato Kaelin in his room at the time.

In her version, she said she chose the front entry because she wanted to turn off the alarm system, using a keypad that was located outside that door. Now, one might wonder why she would care about the alarm system; she was in the company of police detectives, why worry about tripping a house alarm? The alarm could be deactivated once inside the house. She said in her deposition that she was "nervous and scared."

Kato and four police officers all testified that Arnelle's version of the facts was wrong. There is a back door into the main house, just yards from Arnelle's room. Kato said this back door was not routinely locked, that it was usually left unlatched, so that people could come inside from the pool area and the backyard. He and each of the four detectives distinctly remember entering the house with Arnelle, all six together, through the rear door. There's no question, they went in the back.

Why is this important?

Simpson had called Kato from an LAX airport pay phone a little before midnight on June 12 just before boarding his flight and asked that he set the alarm system. (The phone call was made at 11:35 P.M.) This was the first and only time Kato had been asked to do this job. He had not previously been entrusted with the code, so Simpson recited it to him. Not wanting to screw up, Kato wrote the code down on a piece of paper, went to the front of the house, punched the numbers on the system's keypad, set the alarm, walked back to his room, and went to bed.

This was incontrovertible. Simpson and Kato testified to it, there was no dispute. The house was secured. But when they entered the rear door with Arnelle, Kato and the police detectives were positive that no alarm went off, no beeping was heard, nothing.

So why did the alarm system not go off?

Under Simpson's alarm system, from the time a secured door opens until the proper code is entered on the keypad and the system is deactivated, a beeping noise will sound, giving you time to turn off the alarm. If it is not promptly deactivated, the alarm starts to ring. There was no keypad either directly inside or outside the back doors, you had to go into the house near the bar area to find the closest one. Nobody saw Arnelle go into the bar area to deactivate the system. There was no record of an alarm having registered at Westec, the company that provided security for the estate.

Were Kato and four detectives all lying when they said they entered through the back door together? They would have no reason to lie about this fact - it didn't help the case against Simpson to say they went on through the back. Kato would never have been capable of making that kind of sophisticated calculation in the first place, and he would have had no reason to. Neither would the cops. Even if you have a jaundiced view of the LAPD and believe there are bad cops who fabricate evidence or concoct incriminating scenarios, it would be nearly impossible to get four police officers to lie about a seemingly minor detail when any one of them would turn on the others and rat them out. At the time it was an innocuous fact.

But that innocuous fact leads to an incriminating conclusion: after Simpson left, someone else was in that house.

Between the time Kato turned on the system at midnight and when he, Arnelle, and the four police officers entered just past five-thirty A.M., that system had been disarmed. Someone who had the code was in there and did it.

If Arnelle was not telling the truth and she did, in fact, go through the back door with the four officers and Kato Kaelin, then that tells me someone definitely was in the house. That someone might have been Arnelle, and if it wasn't Arnelle, she may well know who it was. Why otherwise would she create the fiction of her journey to the front door?

What was the person or persons who deactivated the Rockingham alarm system doing in the house?

The police found a load of wet laundry sitting in Simpson's washing machine, apparently including some of Arnelle's underwear. The housekeeper Gigi Gaurin, hadn't run it. She had been away that weekend and had testified in the criminal trial that she had left Friday with all the laundry dried and folded. In any case, she didn't do Arnelle's wash. When shown a video of the contents of the washing machine while testifying in the criminal trial, Gigi identified the laundry basket as Arnelle's. Arnelle said she hadn't done any laundry from June 9 through June 12, nor had she been inside the main house, which included the laundry room, since Saturday night. She said she had gotten home Sunday morning and gone straight to bed. Simpson didn't do the laundry, that night or any night.

So, who did this load of laundry? Why was it still in the machine? To what end?

The most striking possibility, of course, is that Simpson had returned home from the scene of the crime and bled all over it. In his haste to seal his alibi and meet the limousine and catch his flight, there's no telling what condition he may have left the place. He made at least one phone call - to Kato - just before boarding his plane from a pay phone at the gate. He could have made other calls then, or even when he landed at O'Hare. He could have asked someone to clean up after him, to give the place a once over, to check and see that he didn't leave any incriminating evidence where it could be found. Quentin Tarantino would have a field day with this scene.

Who might Simpson call? Who were the people closest to him? Who could he trust? Cowlings had returned from a party and was at home alone. Arnelle was in her room alone. Cathy Randa was at her home alone. All were familiar with Simpson's home property.

Whoever he might have called, he or she or they gained access and turned off the alarm system when they entered. They would not have risked turning on the lights; Kato was in his room, neighbors might notice, some stray motorist might remember lights blazing in the mansion late at night. So they picked up whatever they could find, and wiped up the rest. It's not impossible to surmise that, in the dark, they might have missed the few small blood drops that were still there when the police entered early in the morning, or dropped something, like socks on a carpet.

They took their load - a sweatsuit? towels? - and ran it through the washing machine, them ran a load behind it as camouflage. Knowing what they knew, think about waiting in that house, at that hour, for the spin cycle to finish.

In their haste on the way out, whoever did this clean-up job forgot to reset the system.

What had needed washing so badly that it was done in an empty house after Simpson was gone? What had been washed? How many loads? Who ran them? These remained unsolved mysteries of the Simpson case.

So, do we have an accessory after the fact? I think so. Who routinely cleans up after Simpson?

"I'm sorry daddy. I was so nervous and scared, I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could and back to my room. I didn't think of resetting the alarm. I'm really sorry."

Go to Arnelle Simpson's Lies



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