Robert Heidstra


DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. PETROCELLI:
OCTOBER 25, 1996
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Go to relevant testimony.

Q. Morning, Mr. Heidstra.

A. Morning.

Q. On June 12, 1994, where did you live?

A. On Dorothy Street, 11926 Dorothy Street.

Q. Mr. Heidstra, we have a map here of the Bundy area that's been
marked as Exhibit 18. And I wondered if you could point out for the
jury where you lived.

A. Dorothy Street -- is Gorham -- Dorothy.

Q. Dorothy?

A. Dorothy.

Q. Right around here?

A. Yeah.

Q. Okay.

MR. PETROCELLI: Let the record reflect on Dorothy, between Bundy and

Q. (BY MR. PETROCELLI) What is this street here?

A. Westgate.

Q. Westgate. This street that is not listed on the map is Westgate.
This is Bundy. Dorothy is between them. And you live on Dorothy?

A. Here's Dorothy here.

Q. Up closer to Westgate?

A. Yeah, two --

Q. Two houses from Westgate?

A. Two buildings.

Q. You live in an apartment?

A. Yes.

Q. How long have you been living there?

A. About 20, 22 years.

Q. And you still live there now?

A. I do.

Q. And you live alone?

A. Yes.

Q. At that time, you lived alone?

A. Yes.

Q. And do you have any pets?

A. Two dogs.

Q. And how long have you had those dogs?

A. About 14 years.

Q. Did you used to walk those dogs every day?

A. Every day, three times.

Q. Three times a day?

A. Yes.

Q. And was one of your routines to walk the dogs around the block
where Gorham and Bundy are?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you just describe for the jury what that walk is that you
usually took?

A. Yeah. I started here.

Q. On Dorothy?

A. Yeah. I went to Westgate.

Q. Right.

A. And then over from Westgate to Gorham, and all the way down Gorham
to --

Q. Bundy?

A. -- Bundy, and went to Bundy regularly, and I came back on Dorothy
Street.

Q. Then you would go back up Dorothy to your home; is that right?

A. Yeah.

Q. Okay. Now -- and you've been taking that route of June 12, 1994 for
how many years?

A. Oh, about ten years, I guess.

Q. In the course of taking that route a couple of times a day over ten
years, did you come to know any of the other neighbors and dogs along
the way?

A. Yes, some people I knew. We knew each other.

Q. And before June 12, 1994, had you ever walked by with your dogs,
875 South Bundy?

A. Yes, past that building.

Q. Okay. Do you now know that building to be the building where Nicole
Brown Simpson lived?

A. Yes.

Q. Had you ever seen a dog on her property behind the gate?

A. Yes, behind the gate, a big Akita.

Q. A big Akita?

A. Yeah.

Q. And would you walk your dogs past the gate area?

A. Mostly on the opposite side of the street.

Q. Opposite side of the street?

A. Yeah. Most of the time, yeah.

Q. When you would walk your dogs past her condominium on the opposite
side of the street, you could see her Akita?

A. Yeah, behind a gate.

Q. Did you ever hear it barking?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you familiar with the barking of that Akita?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it a small dog or big dog?

A. Big dog.

Q. Now, let me show you a photograph.

MR. PETROCELLI: Steve, can you put up -- I guess it's Exhibit 28. Take
this down for a minute.

Q. (BY MR. PETROCELLI) On the TV screen, we have a picture; it's been
marked as Exhibit 2. Do you recognize what is in that picture?

A. That's the dog, the Akita that was behind the gate.

Q. You have to talk in the microphone.

A. Yeah. That was the Akita that was behind the gate, looks like.

Q. That's Nicole's Akita?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. By the way, is the Akita bigger than the two dogs you're
walking?

A. Oh, yes. Yes.

Q. At some point in evening on June 12, did you take your dogs out for
a walk?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. You got home from work around what time?

A. 6 o'clock.

Q. Do you do a walk at 6 o'clock?

A. Immediately when I come home, I go walk the dogs.

Q. And then you have dinner?

A. Yeah.

Q. And then before you go to bed at night, do you walk the dogs again?

A. Yes; 10 o'clock.

Q. And on the night of June 12, 1994, you walked your dogs around that
time?

A. No. I know it was later.

Q. What time was it when you left your house to walk the dogs?

A. 15 after 10:00.

Q. Okay. Any particular reason why you left a little later that night?

A. Yeah. I was reading my paper and looking at TV, and I forgot about
the time. And one of my dogs gave me a signal, and I looked at my
watch, and it was 10:15. And I said, hey, we better go now. So I know
exactly it was 10:15.

Q. So you took -- you took the two dogs and you left your apartment.
And in which direction did you go?

A. I went to Westgate.

Q. Again?

A. Right.

Q. Two buildings up to Westgate, turned left?

A. Turned north.

Q. That's north?

A. Yeah, north on Westgate, and then west on Gorham.

Q. West on Gorham. Made a left, right?

A. Slowly. Slowly. Slowly.

Q. What happened? Anything in particular happen when you got down near
the Bundy area?

A. Well, when I was walking down Gorham. It was a very quiet Sunday
night, no sounds whatsoever, until I reached the corner of Bundy and
Gorham. I was almost in Bundy when all of a sudden, the Akita start to
barking like crazy, and he stayed barking, like he was confused and
panicky.


Q. Now, the Akita that you started to hear barking like crazy, did you
recognize that to be Nicole's?

A. Yeah, immediately. There was no other dog like that in that stretch
of the street.

Q. Okay.

A. I recognize the barking.

Q. When you heard the dog barking like crazy, what did you do?

A. I was immediately alerted, because it's a big dog and I didn't want
any fight with any dogs or something. He sounded like he was on the
street. So I stopped immediately and turned around, and said we can't
go further.

Q. When you heard the dog barking?

A. Yeah.

Q. Nicole's Akita barking, you -- from the sounds of the barking, you
thought it was in the street and not behind the gate?

A. Yeah. It sounds like so close, so close.

Q. Okay. And you did not want to go by the house?

A. No, because I didn't want to risk for my dogs to have a fight or
anything.

Q. Well, can you point to the map where you were when you stopped
hearing the dog in the street. Now, bear in mind, this is an alleyway.
Do you recognize that alleyway? Where were you when you stopped, when
you heard the dog barking like crazy?

A. Just beyond the alley there.

Q. Just past the alley?

A. Almost in the curve.

Q. Can you see any parts of Nicole's condominium where you were?

A. No.

Q. You were on the other side of the street from her condominium --

A. Yes.

Q. -- on the sidewalk, with the two dogs?

A. Yeah.

Q. And how loud was the barking? Can you describe it?

A. My God, it was --

Q. Why don't you use the microphone?

A. Okay.

Q. I'm sorry to make you keep getting up.

A. That's okay. It was very loud barking. I never heard a barking like
this before. It was very strange. Very strange.

Q. Continuous?

A. Oh, nonstop. Nonstop.

Q. What did you then decide to do?

A. I turned around, and I didn't want to go back the same way I came
from Gorham. Next to me was that alley, and go uphill there. And I
said let's go in the alley. We have a shortcut. I go back to Dorothy.

Q. The idea, instead of going down Bundy and up around --

A. Yeah.

Q. -- you were going to cut down this alleyway?

A. To go back to Dorothy.

Q. To get home?

A. Yeah.

Q. And what time was it, sir, when you heard the dog barking like
crazy, and then made the decision to cut across the alleyway?

A. This must have been around 10:30, 10:35.

Q. Between 10:30 and 10:35?

A. Yeah, something like that.

Q. Now, you then began to walk across the alleyway, right?

A. Yeah.

Q. Approximately how long is that alley?

A. Oh, I think it was only a few minutes, two, three minutes.

Q. Do you know what the distance is?

A. 150 meters something like that.

Q. 150 meters?

A. Yes.

Q. So normally, it would take you two or three minutes to cross the
alley?

A. Yeah.

Q. Now, did anything happen when you started to walk across the alley?

A. Well, the dog kept barking and barking and barking. And I went into
the alley slowly. And I reach the point where I was going opposite
Nicole's condo, and I stood there listening to the dog. My God, is
this going on still?

Q. Let me stop you right there.

A. Okay.

Q. Just so we don't get too far ahead of ourselves here.
(Indicating to map.)
Okay. When you're walking across the alley here, you got to a point
opposite Nicole's condominium?

A. Exactly opposite. Exactly opposite.

Q. Okay. Now, in terms of the terrain here, when you were on this
alley, are you elevated from Bundy?

A. Oh, yes. It's much more elevated.

Q. You're up high?

A. Up high.

Q. Can you actually see Nicole's condominium from the alley when
you're standing --

A. Well, you can see the roof, the tiles, the red tiles; that I could
see, yes.

Q. All you can make out is a red-tile roof?

A. Yeah, the red tiles.

Q. And this alleyway which is like a driveway, that cuts across here?

A. Yeah. It's bigger than a driveway; it's a little wider.

Q. And are there homes here between the -- what we're calling the
alleyway and Bundy?

A. Yes, small houses.

Q. Okay.

A. Small houses.

Q. Was there a dog at the house where you stopped?

A. Exactly. A little black dog.

Q. So let me get the picture. You're walking across; there's a house
here with a dog. You continue to hear the Akita, right?

A. Oh, yeah, constantly.

Q. And then at the some point, you stop and you think -- at that
point, you think you are opposite Nicole's condominium?

A. Yeah.

Q. And you're with your two dogs, right?

A. Two dogs.

Q. Then what happened?

A. Then I stood there, I would say, for a minute, listened to these
two dogs. The little black dog started to barking also. Two dogs were
barking then.

Q. The two dogs being the little black dog that the property owner
had?

A. Yeah. It started to bark, too.

Q. At the same time, you're still hearing the Akita?

A. Yeah. Nonstop.

Q. When you say it's barking like crazy, what kind of barking is it?

A. It's confused, panicking, but not attacking. Not at all, that he
was growling or something, not at all. He was just confused
completely.

Q. And now --

MR. BAKER: Move to strike. No foundation.

THE COURT: You want to lay a little dog foundation?

(Laughter.)

Q. (BY MR. PETROCELLI) You've heard lots of dogs barking in lots of
different ways over the years?

A. Oh, yeah.

MR. BAKER: Leading and suggestive. Can I get a ruling, please.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. (BY MR. PETROCELLI) Are you familiar with different kinds of sounds
of barking?

A. Yeah. Small dogs have different barking than a big dog. It's a deep
barking.

Q. Can you distinguish between -- well, tell us what you meant when
you said it was not an attack barking.

MR. BAKER: Again, no foundation.

THE COURT: The man's had a dog for 26 years. He can distinguish it. Go
ahead.

MR. PETROCELLI:

Q. In your own words.

A. It was panicking, high barking, high barking, and constantly
nonstop barking. Very strange. Very strange.

Q. What would you consider an attack kind of barking?

A. Its a growl, g-r-r-r-r-r (witness making growl sounds), something
like that.

Q. Did you hear that kind of barking?

A. No, not at all.

Q. You didn't hear growling?

A. No, no, no, no.

Q. Now, when you were sitting there, or standing there with your dogs
at the alley opposite Nicole's condominium and you heard the dogs
barking, did you then hear anything else?

A. Because -- yeah, but it was around about a minute there, all of a
sudden, when the dogs keep barking, I heard the first voice, a clear
voice, saying, "Hey, hey, hey," for three, four times.

Q. Can you tell if it was a male or female?

A. It was a male; no doubt about it.

Q. Younger or older male?

A. Sounded clear, young voice.

Q. And what did you then hear next?

A. Immediately after "hey, hey, hey, hey," I heard another voice
talking very fast, a deeper voice, very fast, sounded like an argument
or something like that.

Q. Was that a male or female?

A. Male.

Q. Okay. Older or younger than the first voice?

MR. BAKER: Foundation.

THE WITNESS: Sounds --

THE COURT: Overruled. Go ahead.

Q. (BY MR. PETROCELLI) You may answer.

A. Older.

Q. Okay. And you said it was deeper than the first voice?

A. Yeah. Pretty deep voice.

Q. Now, could you hear any actual words being spoken by the second,
deeper voice?

A. No, because the dogs were barking so loud, it was impossible to
hear.

Q. Okay. After you heard the second deeper voice, did you hear
anything else?


A. Yeah. It didn't last no more than 15 seconds, I would say. Then I
heard a gate slamming, bang, and then immediately, my mind said, "Boy
that's the gate for the Akita behind the gate from Nicole's house.
Sounded -- because I was just opposite Nicole's condo, so I felt it
must be the gate to Nicole's condo.

Q. And in your opinion, that's where those noises were coming from?

A. Oh yes, no doubt.

Q. How many times did you hear a gate slam?

A. Just once. Yeah.

Q. Now, what did you do after you heard all this?

A. Well, then I continued out of the alley. And if these two guys have
an argument, it's nothing more than that. It's like an argument. I
said, well, that's it.

Q. And then at some point, you got to the end of this alley where it
intersects Dorothy; is that right?

A. Yeah.

Q. And you previously testified that you began to go into that alley
at 10:30 to 10:35?

A. Yeah, 10:35.

Q. How many minutes after that were you at the other end of the alley?

A. Was a little more, because I stood there and listened to the dog
regularly -- It's about two minutes, and we say about three, four,
five minutes, something like that. Five minutes at the --

Q. Five minutes, at the outside?

A. Yeah, at the outside.

Q. You said three, four, five minutes; is that your testimony?

A. Yeah. Four minutes or something.

Q. Okay. And when you got to the other end of the alley, what then
happened?

A. Okay. Out of the alley. And the dogs were still barking nonstop; it
never stopped. And then I went east on Dorothy, back to my -- the
direction of my apartment.

Q. You started to walk up the hill?

A. Yeah. Just --

Q. Is this a hill, by the way? This is Dorothy?

A. No. It goes a little -- it goes a little up, but not very much.

Q. So when you got to this alley here, you made a left on Dorothy,
right?

A. Yeah.

Q. And then you walked a little bit up?

A. Yeah, about two houses. Two houses. About two, three, and listened
to the noise.

Q. Let me stop you there. There's a tree?

A. There's a big oak tree or something.

Q. And you stopped under the tree?

A. I was under the tree, yes.

Q. And on which side of the street, this side?

A. Yeah.

Q. I guess that's what, north?

A. It's north, I guess.

Q. So, on the north side of the street. And you're under the oak tree--

A. Right.

Q. -- and with your dogs, right?

A. Um-hum.

Q. And then what did you see or what happened?

A. So I stood there for a minute, I would say, a minute and a half or
something, looking back to Dorothy and where the noise came from. And
I -- there's a streetlight on the corner of Bundy and --

Q. Dorothy?

A. -- and Dorothy, yes.

Q. So you're about -- you want to point where you are?

A. Yeah.

Q. Where you're standing?

A. I was standing there, about there.

Q. Let the record reflect, I guess you're pointing a little west of
the alleyway, on the north side of Dorothy.

A. Yeah.

Q. And where is the street lamp that you were referring to?

A. The middle of this street here.

Q. Okay. Up on Bundy and Dorothy?

A. And Dorothy.

Q. What direction are you facing, are you looking?

A. West.

Q. Are you looking at the intersection?

A. Yeah, I'm looking at the intersection.

Q. What was the lighting like?

A. It was pretty good lighting.

Q. I think I misspoke. I think it's east of the alley, not west of the
alley. You were standing where the oak tree is. I'm not very good on
directions.

A. Yeah, east. You're right. Sorry.

Q. What did you see when you were looking down at the intersection
where the street lamp was?

A. I was looking down there. From nowhere, all of a sudden, then I saw
from the west side of Dorothy, from Nicole's side, from out of dark,
came in the light a white, jeep-like car.

Q. Okay.

A. It came all of a sudden out of the dark. I could see it right away
in the streetlight.

Q. And then what did you see the car do?

A. The car came out of the -- like I said, from the dark into the
light, and stopped on the right side of Dorothy for one moment. And it
sped right away, south on Bundy.

Q. Did it make a turn?

A. No, it went south. It made a right turn.

Q. A right turn?

A. Yes, south.

Q. So the car is on Dorothy, comes up to the intersection, and you
pick it up where, right before it gets to the intersection?

A. Yeah. Just, I could see it coming into the intersection, yeah.

Q. And then it makes a right-hand turn?

A. Yeah. Sped away fast.

Q. And sped away fast in the direction --

A. South.

Q. South?

A. South, yes.

Q. Were you able to get a good look at the car?

A. It was a wide kind of jeep, with tinted glasses.

Q. Tinted windows?

A. Tinted windows. Yes, sir.

MR. PETROCELLI: Can we put up the next photo, which has been marked as
191.

(The instrument herein described was marked for identification as
Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 191)

Q. (BY MR. PETROCELLI) Did the car that you saw that evening look like
the one in the photo?

A. It was -- it resembled a car like this, yes. For sure, I couldn't
say exactly this car, but it resembled the size of the car.

Q. And the color?

A. White.

Q. That was a little basic kind of vehicle, was it?

A. Yeah. It was a big car, big vehicle like this.

Q. Okay. Now, did the truck or the car have its headlights on?

A. That, I don't recall. I can't recall that at all.

Q. Did you have any opinion as you saw the vehicle speed away, whether
it appeared like the person was in a hurry?

A. Oh yes. It was -- must have been in a hurry; it sped away fast.

Q. Can you tell us about what time it was when you made that
observation?

A. It must have been around 10:40, 10:45, in between. No more than
10:45, for sure. It would be a little before, maybe.

Q. Little before 10:45?

A. Yeah.

Q. But in the area of 10:40 to 10:45?

A. Exactly, yeah.

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