More chilling was an interview given a day after the discovery of the bodies by therapist Susan Forward to a TV reporter. Forward, who was subsequently scolded by the California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners for breaching doctor-patient privilege, said that Nicole, "a classic battered wife," had seen her twice after the separation and had complained that O.J. was stalking her and appearing in windows and that he had "threatened Nicole's life repeatedly." According to Forward, O.J. had said things like, "If I can't have you, nobody can."
This behavior may have continued as the romance renewed. But Simpson eventually appeared to give up. Recently he began seeing Barbieri again, and the night before the murders he escorted her to a black-tie fund-raiser in Beverly Hills.
The shopkeepers at Brentwood Gardens noticed the change too. "It seemed all of a sudden that Nicole was out there, really out there," says one. Goldman, a blithe spirit, had been "out there" all along. He was 25 and good-looking enough to attempt a modeling career. His ambitions were vague and various—tennis pro, model, paramedic, restaurateur—but his charm was certain. He was one of those lucky men: People just wanted to be around him. "It was a bad day when Ron didn't come by," says Leslie LeTellier, the manager of Theodore's. "He just made people feel good."
For a while Goldman was a waiter at the California Pizza Kitchen in Brentwood Gardens. An older woman—"older, older," says LeTellier—told LeTellier that she was sad when Goldman left because he was such a flirt and he made her feel so pretty. But Goldman, who had once appeared on the TV show Studs, had simply moved his act several blocks up San Vicente Boulevard, to a restaurant called Mezzaluna. His easy charm persisted there, as it did wherever he went.
Goldman's friends at Theodore's and at Mezzaluna doubt that he and Nicole Simpson were involved in a sexual relationship. "He would have told us," says Jodi Kahn, a salesperson at Theodore's, laughing softly. "My god, the things he told us anyway." Nicole would have been a remarkable conquest. "You have to understand, these young guys are in awe of a woman like Nicole," Kahn says. "It was just enough to be near her."
But theirs was certainly more than a casual acquaintance. Neighbors remember seeing Goldman at Nicole's playing with the children, and he was often seen driving Nicole's Ferrari. One male shopkeeper whistled at that report. "Small town, man," he says. "O.J.'s car? O.J.'s around here a lot, too, you know. Not cool."
Los Angeles police believe that Simpson's and Goldman's lives intersected tragically on the night of June 12. Yet, for all the details that connected them, nobody is sure that the June 12 meeting, if it happened, was anything but coincidental.
The chronology of that Sunday evening was truly tragic, although the day seems to have begun benignly. O.J. played golf early in the day at the Riviera Country Club, and in the afternoon he and Nicole attended Sydney's dance recital at Paul Revere Junior High, though they did not sit together. Afterward Nicole went to Mezzaluna with the children and friends for dinner. O.J.'s whereabouts at that time are not known for certain, though one of his lawyers said that later, at the time of the murders, he was at home preparing for a red-eye flight to Chicago, where he was to do promotional work for Hertz.
After Nicole went home she phoned Mezzaluna to say she had left a pair of sunglasses behind. Goldman told the restaurant manager that he would be glad to return them when he got off work. He clocked out at 9:33 p.m.. had a beer at the restaurant's bar and then walked to Nicole's home several blocks away.
There are no known witnesses to what happened between then and 12:10 a.m. behind the locked gate just outside Nicole's door on a pleasant stretch of South Bundy Drive. But at that time, just as O.J.'s American Airlines flight was leaving Los Angeles airspace, the bodies of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman were found. Two days later the crime scene was still available in all its gore to gawkers. In the Hollywood tradition of celebrity death, floral bouquets appeared at the gate, but until somebody hosed the sidewalk down on Tuesday, people mostly came to examine the dried blood.