A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: murderabilia

EBay item: O.J. Simpson Murder Knife?

OJ Simpson

By Jennifer Williams

In 1976 and 1977, David Berkowitz terrorized New York City, killing six people and injuring several others. As the case remained unsolved, Mr. Berkowitz, aka the “Son of Sam,” both horrified and mesmerized the public leaving taunting letters at his crime scenes, addressed to the likes of New York Police Department Captain Joseph Borrelli and New York Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin.

Once captured, Mr. Berkowitz received numerous lucrative offers for the rights to his story.  As a result, New York was the first state to enact a “Son of Sam” law (ironically, the law was never applied to Mr. Berkowitz), which mandates that any profits made by a criminal for publicizing his crime, must go his victims or their families. Today, most states and the federal government have enacted “Son of Sam” laws to ensure that crime does not pay.

Last month, The New York Post reported that “sources close to O.J.’s inner circle believe he has held on to the 5-inch knife” he used for the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ron Goldman. These sources further said that Mr. Simpson is looking to sell this knife in a cash-only transaction, for no less than $5 million.

We don’t know if it’s true but if it were, would O.J. really get to make money by having committed murder? The media didn’t address the issue, and our curiosity was piqued.

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