The People v OJ Simpson Discussion “Manna From Heaven”

OJ Simpson series


The penultimate episode of the series (I really hate to see this go),  is entitled Manna From Heaven specifically it seems to draw attention to Johnny Cochran’s use of Christianity as a tool manipulate the public.  If Johnny Cochran were a housewife, his tagline would be, “Only God can judge me, and he is really impressed!”  Cochran practically pioneered the concept of spiritual opportunism. And referring to a racist recording as “manna from heaven,” while holding court with various church leaders to sway public opinion exemplifies his misuse of  religion for personal gain. In this case, to free a man who violently killed two people in a gruesome fashion.

This week we covered the last weeks of the trial when for a moment it looked like everything the attorneys, the defendant, the victims families and the jury had been through for nearly a year would all be for nothing because Judge Ito’s wife lied about a relationship she had with Mark Fuhrman.  The possibility of a mistrial loomed. I will never understand why the prosecution didn’t fight for the mistrial. On the other hand, it is generally the defense who is asking for a mistrial. For the prosecution to do it, they would be admitting they just wasted millions of tax payers dollars and were not confident in their case.

Hardly, manna from heaven, the tapes were so vile that not a single person could listen to them without feeling sick to their stomach and outraged. Cochran, who took the case that appeared to be unwinnable specifically to further his own personal agenda of exposing the racist and barbaric acts of the LAPD, got his personal victory. If nothing else, there would be no more ambiguity about the depths of the police corruption. But even Cochran it seems could barely tolerate listening to the proof he had been seeking for so long.

People OJ Marcia Darden


Darden was also infuriated by the tapes, not only because they tanked his case, but because of the sheer nature of the evidence. If anything is more horrific than the murder of two innocent people, it was the Fuhrman tapes. Both Darden and Cochran knew what they were dealing with from the onset when it came to Furhman. And when the tapes smacked Clark across the head with the reality of the nature of the LAPD, she realized she really screwed up not listening to Darden in the first place.  In a moment of anger Darden delivered the most biting quote of the episode to his closest ally, “You hired me because you wanted a black face at the table. You did not want a black voice.”  Ouch.

Racial issues were not the only societal ills going on at this time. It may have gone unnoticed to some that when Judge Ito discussed the plight of working women in the nineties and all of the grief they take from male authority figures, he seemed completely oblivious to his frequent dismissals of Marcia Clark. In Clark’s book she speaks at length about her feeling that Judge Ito was discriminatory toward her because she was female.  If you notice on the episode, the camera goes directly to Clark’s face while Judge Ito is extolling the virtues of women in the workplace.


For the most part this episode was fairly accurate.  Some scenes, like Darden’s outburst appeared at an earlier point. That is pretty much how it all went down.

Next week, I can’t wait to see how the producers choose to cover the verdict. I am really impressed by the way this long and difficult case has been whittled down to a mere ten hours, and the accuracy they were able to maintain in the retelling.  Sure there were a few liberties taken along the way. But as Darden said about the defense’s tactics this week, “People love a good story.”


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25 responses to “The People v OJ Simpson Discussion “Manna From Heaven”

  1. Cat

    Wow. I don’t remember any of this. Powerful stuff.

  2. DarkThoughts

    Mark Furhman sounded like a serial killer in those tapes which I highly suspect he might be. I live in the Chicagoland area and I cry that it is 30 years later and things have not changed. I left the city which I LOVE because as a single minority woman it simply was not safe. Chicago might be the new L.A. when it comes to police.

    • tamaratattles

      What is even worse about the Fuhrman tapes is that some of the most gruesome stuff he made up for a more disgusting portrayal of the LAPD. As if he didn’t think all the factual stuff was remarkable enough.

      Sadly, I don’t think the LAPD has gotten much better.

      I lived in the burbs of Chicago for a bit as a kid. I am as sad about what is going on there as I am about what is going on in Libya. To be honest there isn’t much difference.

      • DarkThoughts

        I knew I felt a connection with you. I actually thought about moving to Atlanta years ago. I just have too much family here…

      • Sadly the LAPD has not gotten better. After this, the corrupt LAPD was busted for the Rampart scandal and just recently Christopher Dorner went on his revenge rampage.

  3. TT I am loving your encyclopaedic knowledge of this case! The case was covered in Australia for a few minutes in the 6 o’clock news (I was a child) mostly as a ‘what are those crazy Americans up to now??’ Type thing – OJ was only ever a small time Naked Gun actor to us. I love the show and coming here after for your thoughts. I will miss it.

  4. I was inrerested to see at the beginning of this episode some discussion from the stand about OJ’s physical state.

    I met OJ Simpson in 2004 or 2005. The most striking thing about him (to me) was that his knees were clearly in very bad shape. He couldn’t stand up straight all the way; it looked like he was crouching down as he walked and stood.

    I remember being very surprised at this and wondering why – if this was the case at the time – a big deal hadn’t been made at trial about it, i.e. arguing that he was physically incapable of committing a double murder. Granted, this was a decade after the trial and a lot can happen in 10 years, but, I don’t know, it just seemed strange that there was seemingly no mention of this ever in the media.

    • tamaratattles

      There was testimony from one of his doctors saying he was practically cripple and physically incapable of committing the murders.

      The problem with that defense is he made a series of workout videos JUST TWO WEEKS before killing Ron and Nicole.

      There were so many parody skits of those videos, it was hard to find anything at all to show you. But here is the ad he did for the video, but not the workout video itself.

      It’s kind of chilling. Doesn’t he seem like such a nice guy? Yeah, this is why I don’t get too close to people.

      • LOL that he says at the beginning, “…a couple of good knees ago…”. I guess they continued to deteriorate!

        Yes, sociopaths walk among us, and I imagine that Simpson well qualifies. But TT, don’t let that put you off of people. Even as misanthropic as I can be at times, I know there’s much more good out there than bad. Don’t short-change yourself! 😉 :-*

  5. Matzah60

    Very intense indeed. Oddly enough, both sides in the case hated Mark Furhman. Exactly why Cochran fought so hard to have the tapes deemed admissible while Clark nearly begged to keep them out of the courtroom knowing the damage these tapes being presented in court would be irreparable for the prosecution and they were. The circus with the glove might have been the tipping point in this circus, but the Furhman tapes ultimately gave the defense a slam dunk.

    Judge Ito handled this case so poorly. I don’t know what the particulars were for a rape case back then, but it is now widely accepted that prior sexual relationships may not be brought up in court as a means of discriminating against and being used against the victim. I know this is not a pure analogy, but allowing those tapes in court distracted the jurors and everyone present in the courtroom from the case where there was strong physical evidence of two brutal murders, just as Tamara stated.

    I found it despicable that Cochran used this opportunity to fight police corruption. Doing so allowed Simpson his freedom and caused further anguish to the victims families. I am not negating the police violence that existed then and still exists now. Little has changed since the early 90’s.

    On an up note, I cried at the end when Clark received full custody. At least she had won her own personal victory.

  6. JoJoFLL

    Watching this has really opened my eyes. I think Ito was very smart as was Marsha Clark but OJs Dream Team had the most masterful legal minds on the planet working together. They were without peer.

  7. Tulsateacher

    Mark Fuhrman said some horribly vile shit to that author. The LAPD did some horribly vile shit to the LA African American community. This case was about a double homicide which OJ committed. Some evidence was mishandled, I agree, and said evidence may have deterioriated to the point where it could not be properly tested. But what couldn’t be done is having said evidence turn into OJ’s DNA. DNA evidence does not lie. And the LAPD had a history of brutalizing African Americans, not of elaborate conspiricies to frame them for murder, especially “I’m not black! I’m OJ!” Simpson. So much to look back on after it is said and done. Meanwhile the two victims have been all but forgotten, especially Ron Goldman.

    • queenmarie

      Great comment !! ITA agree with you—that’s what I didn’t understand was how the jury could possibly think that the police thought all this up right on the spot that night and framed OJ for it. It’s really ridiculous and yes so very sad that the victims were pretty much forgotten. Nicole said he would murder her and get away with it and he surely did. Disgusting and really unbelievable.

  8. Thank you T! I have soaked up every nanosecond of this mini-series. I would not have been able to understand it without you. I cant wait to go into work tomorrow and tell them for FACT that Darden’s outburst DID happen because they were saying it was fiction, like the juror who ran out of the cafeteria,Johnny agreeing that shopping at Ross is a black preference, OJ trying to kill himself in Kim K’s bedroom, etc. I know you watched it as it transpired.

  9. BeetsWhy

    I just saw a bit on James Corden about the fax from Dershowitz to Cochran in the courtroom. He redid it as it actually would have happened in 1995…all the endless modem sounds, the centimeter by centimeter pass through and the end result being mostly smeared toner. Anyone who remembers fax machines in those days would laugh as hard as I did! ?

  10. queenmarie

    TT I hate to see this series go too—-I have enjoyed it SO much ! Next year’s season is supposed to be about Hurricane Katrina—hope it’s as good as this one !! Can’t wait !

    • BravoCueen

      If they do a miniseries about Hurricane Katrina I hope they cover it fairly, starting with the completely inept and incompetent local leaders and the ridiculously incompetent governor who was “taking a nap” at the crux of the tragedy. I take this situation so personally because, not only am I born and raised in Livingston Parish, my husband was there with the national guard within 48 hours doing everything in his power to help. Between being shot at and treated like shit by Oprah Winfrey, his work and the work of hundreds (if not thousands) of our national guardsman was completely discounted and ignored. Meanwhile my husband, who had JUST returned from a 12 month deployment overseas, missed his children’s first days of school, birthdays, etc. Nobody expects people to say thanks, but the disrespect the military received after that still bothers me immensely.

      • tamaratattles

        I’m gonna need to hear more about the Oprah Winfrey treatment, please.

        Much gratitude to your husband for his service to our country.

      • Cat

        Wow, I’d like to hear more, too.

        And I also want to thank your husband for his service. As welll as to you and the kids for your sacrifices.

  11. I’m enjoying this show so much & all of your extra insight really helps!

  12. Aerin

    This miniseries is really stellar. Riveting and very accurate. Love how they worked in Dominick dunne’s character too.

    • tamaratattles

      I agree Aerin. What blows my mind is when the camera pans to the gallery and you recognize almost every single person sitting there!

  13. Toi

    When they get done with the Hurricane Katrina story, I’m going to need them to do the Rae Curruth story.

    Btw, did I mention that Courtney B. Vance is playing the shit out of Johnnie Cochran??

    • Queenmarie

      That’d be a good one to do! There are lots of really interesting cases they could do and I hope they continue to do them as well as this one has been done. I have lived for Tuesday nights!! Let’s hope they do bring all the shit that happened with HK out next season. I know we aren’t supposed to say what we read somewhere else but this was said by one of the producers —that they plan to treat all those things like the crimes that they were –so it should be a pretty damn good season. I can’t wait to watch and learn and come here and learn some more from T T !!!
      I want to thank the husband and family of the commenter above as well for his/their service and sacrifices. Dying to hear more about Oprah too!!!

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