The O.J. Simpson trial is known as the trial of the century because it injected a tremendous volume of shocking information into the news cycle. First, the beloved athlete-turned-celebrity was accused of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Then, he fled from the police in a multi-hour low-speed chase, landed in court with a mountain of evidence against him and was ultimately acquitted when, in a Cinderella-like twist, a glove from the crime scene didn't fit his hand.
As John Powers said on NPR, "From the discovery of the bodies in well-heeled Brentwood to the rapid verdict of 'not guilty' — which flabbergasted white America — the 15-month saga was an explosion of tabloid surrealism in which horror played hopscotch with hilarity."
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Given the celebrity appearances, the cliffhangers and mind-boggling plot twists, it's little wonder that the double homicide inspired conspiracy theories that live on more than 20 years later. Here are a few of our favorites, from Khloe-Kardashian-as-Secret-Love-Child to O.J. Simpson-as-Illuminati-Hitman.
Khloe Kardashian is O.J.'s daughter
Kris Jenner's first husband was Robert Kardashian, one of Simpson's defense attorneys. We know that Jenner was good friends with both Simpson and his ex-wife: In an interview, she told People that they were "two of the best friends I ever had in my entire life" and that "they were my family." It's this close relationship that set the rumor mill turning.
According to Pop Dust, both women Robert Kardashian married after his divorce from Jenner alleged that Khloe Kardashian was not his biological daughter. She has a darker complexion than either of her two sisters and her height is more proportionate to Simpson's than to the Kardashians, Pop Dust reported. And while Jenner took a maternity test on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, proving that Khloe Kardashian was her daughter. Khloe Kardashian has even joked about the rumor Simpson is her dad, saying during a hosting stint on Chelsea Lately in 2014, "I really hope that's not the case because I did fuck him once."
Simpson has denied the rumor, but according to Pop Dust, his manager — Norman Pardo — once said that the paternity theory was within the realm of possibility. Khloe's nemesis, Amber Rose, would tend to agree. Rose used the allegation as ammo during a public feud with the reality TV star. Which isn't evidence of anything except for the fact that this particular conspiracy theory is a fairly prevalent one.
Robert Kardashian hid evidence
The day after the bodies were found, Kardashian was seen exiting the Simpson residence with a garment bag, the contents of which remain unknown: Attorney-client privilege shielded Kardashian from having to testify in court. The empty bag later resurfaced as evidence, leading some — including Fred Goldman, father of the victim — to speculate that it had housed crucial evidence, which may have put Simpson away.
O.J. didn't kill Nicole Brown Simpson
His son did: Perhaps the most popular scapegoat for those who believe that Simpson was innocent is his son, Jason. The then-24-year-old is the subject of a book — O.J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It — by dedicated private investigator William C. Dear. After 18 years spent digging through details of the crime, Dear concluded that Jason flew into a rage, killing his former stepmother and her friend in a crime of passion.
A serial killer did: Glen Rogers is currently serving a death sentence for the murder of women in both California and Florida. After he was arrested in November 1995, he told officers that his victims numbered around 70; according to CNN, Rogers' brother, Clay, counts Nicole Brown Simpson among them. Clay Rogers made a documentary My Brother the Serial Killer,which aired on Investigation Discovery in 2012. As CNN reported, he draws most of his evidence from the convict's own claims.
In 2014, Glen Rogers reportedly wrote Simpson's manager and reiterated his guilt. He's never been charged for the double homicide, but according to the Huffington Post, he was able to document his presence in Los Angeles at the time of the crime and offered up a "detailed account" of the murders in the documentary.
A Neo-Nazi group did: In his book Blood Oath: The Conspiracy to Murder Nicole Brown Simpson, Steven Wright attributes the double murder to an "Aryan cult," according to Heavy. This lesser-known conspiracy theorist said that "an elite team of Neo Nazi white supremacists" orchestrated the whole thing in order to "frame O.J., discredit the LAPD and LASD and generally discredit the American judicial system."
Simpson did kill Nicole Brown Simpson, but only because the Illuminati made him
Here's a fun one: According to People, one of the four most popular theories floating around the internet is the Illuminati defense. This line of thinking holds that the CIA — which is run not by the federal government but by the elite Illuminati cult — hijacked Simpson's brain during the course of its MK Ultra mind-control experiments. Their goal? "To ignite a race war in the U.S.," People reported.
According to Gizmodo, the government's MK Ultra project ran from 1953-1964 — the 1994 homicide for which Simpson was tried falls well outside that timeframe. MK Ultra did, however, involve investigations into hypnosis and brain-washing, which could support the conspiracy theory that the Illuminati used to force Simpson's hand.