BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Spanish Portuguese Caribbean
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Americas  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
OJ's DNA given to museum
The Smithsonian
The Smithsonian has archives on a vast range of subjects
DNA evidence from one of America's most notorious criminal trials has been donated to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.

OJ Simpson
The files do not contain any actual blood samples

British newspaper The Guardian reported that piles of envelopes containing test results from blood found at the scene of the crime were handed over to the museum by the company which carried out analysis of the samples.

Former footballer and sometime actor OJ Simpson was acquitted in 1994 of the murder of his former wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, who were both found brutally stabbed to death in her home in Los Angeles.

The files do not actually contain any blood samples - these and other physical evidence relating to the case were handed back to the state following the trial.

'Patriotic duty'

The landmark trial was notable at the time for being one of the first - and certainly most high-profile - to establish DNA evidence as being crucial to the case.


It means someone can examine the files in 50 to 100 years time with fresh eyes

Museum archives and collections manager Robert Leopold

Mark Stolorow, executive director of the Orchid Cellmark company, known at the time of the case as Cellmark Diagnostics, said he handed the records over out of patriotic duty.

"It seemed a shame to have all these records collecting dust in our storeroom when they could be of use to scholars," he told the newspaper.

The files form part of the Smithsonian's national anthropological archives, which hold more than two kilometres (1.5 miles) of shelves.

Information stores there is on subjects as diverse as the autopsy reports of assassinated US President John F Kennedy and those of the astronauts who died in the Challenger space shuttle disaster.

They will not be on exhibit, but will be made available to scholars and other interested parties.

'Historical perspective'

Robert Leopold, the museum's archives and collections manager, said the files would provide invaluable information relating to the history of DNA testing.

"It means someone can examine the files in 50 to 100 years time with fresh eyes," he said.

"If someone wanted to look at how (DNA) analysis was conducted under a historical perspective, they can check [the files] to see if the procedures were up to standard."

Following his sensational acquittal, Mr Simpson was found liable for their deaths in a civil trial after his ex-wife's family filed a civil suit.

He was ordered to pay them an estimated $33m.

He is currently in the process of challenging the ruling, claiming the decision violated his human rights.

See also:

24 Oct 01 | Americas
05 Feb 02 | Entertainment
04 Apr 01 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes