LOS ANGELES --A knife that was allegedly found years ago on O.J. Simpson's former property in Los Angeles will undergo DNA testing, an LAPD spokesman said Friday.
The knife was supposedly found by a construction worker, possibly during demolition of Simpson's Rockingham home years ago, and turned over to a now-retired police motorcycle officer who was working as a filming location security guard nearby, police Capt. Andy Neiman said.
Neiman stressed that the authenticity of the story was not confirmed.
"We need to vet that," Neiman said. "We don't know the actual account of how the item came into our possession."
Neiman said the LAPD became aware of the knife within the last month. Neiman said he wasn't sure whether the motor officer was retired at the time he purportedly came into possession of the knife, or whether he was working off-duty at the time and retired afterwards. The officer retired in the late 1990s, he said.
Simpson lived in a mansion on Rockingham Avenue in Brentwood, when Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were killed in 1994.
According to Neiman, the former officer, who kept the knife at his home for years, said he didn't turn in the knife because he thought the case was closed. However, Neiman stressed that murder cases remain open if there is no conviction.
"I was really surprised," Neiman said. "I would think an LAPD officer - if this story is accurate as we're being told - would know any time you come into contact with evidence, that you should and shall submit that to investigators. "
He said he's not sure why that didn't happen or "if the whole story is possibly bogus from the get go."
In January, the officer apparently told a friend in the LAPD's elite Robbery Homicide Division about the knife. Supervisors then retrieved the weapon. Neiman declined to name the retired police officer or to say why the knife had only come to light last month.
The knife is being tested to see if it has any evidentiary value, Neiman said. He said it will be examined for all forensic evidence including DNA, hair samples and serology.
TMZ first reported the knife's discovery and subsequent testing.
Police have long searched for the weapon used to kill Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. Simpson was charged in their murders, but found not guilty on Oct. 3, 1995. The case is the subject of a television mini-series currently airing on the FX network.
Simpson likely cannot be retried for the murders, because of double jeopardy statutes, Neiman said Friday.
One of O.J. Simpson's attorneys from his 1995 criminal trial, dubbed "Trial of the Century," told CBS Boston he's "terribly skeptical" about the knife.
"People are all excited because they would like to relate the knife to the case. Frankly, it wouldn't have any legal consequences if it were tied in, but I have grave doubts that it can be," F. Lee Bailey, a former member of Simpson's "Dream Team" of attorneys, told the station.
"I don't find this exciting at all," Bailey said. "I was in charge of the prep of the case and we scoured those premises, and a construction worker that says he happened upon a knife years ago had better start taking a polygraph test, same with the cop who says he got it from the guy."
Goldman's father sued Simpson and in 1997, a civil jury unanimously found Simpson liable for the wrongful death and battery of Goldman, and battery of Nicole Brown Simpson.
Neiman said the department could consider charges against the retired officer, but because he is retired, there will be no administrative investigation at this point.
Simpson is currently serving a prison sentence for his role in a 2007 robbery of a memorabilia dealer at a Las Vegas hotel.
for more features.