25 years later: Killings lead to OJ Simpson’s ‘trial of the century’


(CNN) - On this day 25 years ago, the nation learned Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman had been killed.

Then came the stunning news that her ex-husband, football legend O.J. Simpson, was the prime suspect.

Days after the killings, Simpson and his friend Al Cowlings led police on the slow-speed chase broadcast around the world. The white Bronco ride served as the spark for reality TV, some critics say.

Simpson's ensuing arrest, his criminal trial and civil trial were full of unforgettable moments.

Courtroom theatrics were constant, and pop culture stars emerged, including lawyer Johnnie Cochran.

Known as the Dream Team, Simpson's lawyers persuaded the mostly black jury to acquit him of all criminal charges in October 1995.

O.J. Simpson's arrest in the investigation of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman's killings led to a criminal trial full of unforgettable moments.
O.J. Simpson's arrest in the investigation of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman's killings led to a criminal trial full of unforgettable moments. (Source: Pool, CNN)

The victims' families were crushed, but one year later, Simpson was back in court facing civil charges for the deaths of Goldman and Brown Simpson. She had repeatedly accused Simpson of abuse.

A mostly white jury found Simpson liable, ordering him to pay more than $33 million to the families of the murder victims in 1997.

Simpson left the trials with huge debt but free. He moved to Florida.

He would get arrested again in 2007, after allegedly leading a violent raid on memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Ironically, 13 years to the day after being found not guilty of murder, a jury convicted Simpson of armed robbery and kidnapping.

He served nine years in prison, getting paroled in 2017. He now lives in Las Vegas.

Copyright 2019 CNN. KTLA, KCAL contributed to the report. All rights reserved.