If I Did It... Highlight

Eric from Delino forwarded me a .pdf of OJ's aborted "fictional" book about the murder of his wife and her friend. I have to say it is one of the more bizarre documents I've encountered, and its blurring of the line between "truth" and "hypothesis" is comical (it basically involves a blanket statement like, "Okay, now remember this is all hypothetical" and we are expected to keep that in mind for like the next 39 pages!)... That said, the real highlight is this bit, which comes just as OJ and his mysterious friend Charlie arrive at Nicole's Bundy condo, and as OJ is making his way through Nicole's gate:
The buzzer didn't work properly, and the gate opened if you gave it a little push. I must have told her a million times—"Please get the goddamn gate fixed!"—but the woman never listened.

Right, so as OJ is describing the "hypothetical" story of how he killed his ex-wife, he manages to get in one last barb about her failures as a domestic partner, i.e. she didn't fix the broken gate like he told her to, so as a result he was able to break into the yard and murder her! Talk about "I told you so!"


NY Confidential

Anyway, the following tale takes place more than a month ago, towards the end of what was a sweltering early June night in El Barrio...

It was a Sunday night, and having been cheated out of appreciating the glorious penultimate episode of The Sopranos the week before by a laboriously stupid docu-drama about a truly worthy subject, the Wounded Knee Massacre, I was itching for some genuine Italianate slaughter. Alas, due to circumstances, it was not to be.

(It must be noted that as bad as the Wounded Knee show was, it was gloriously consecutive and coherent in comparison to the pretentious and awful John from Cincinnati... Sorry AG)

Turns out L and I ended up inviting two good friends over for drinks which carried past nine, leading me to consign Sopranos watching to OnDemand... I was, in fact, standing with remote in hand considering the merits of picking up mid-episode when we heard four swift, staccato explosions outside.

"That wasn't what I think it was" asked our friend Noah rather quizzically. You see Noah is a graduate student originally from Kansas who currently resides in the (relatively) civilized zone surrounding San Francisco, not a seasoned veteran of the hood like myself... Needless to say, L and I were quick to comfort both of our friends:

"No... Probably just a car backfiring repeatedly..."


"Maybe a plank falling from one of the gentrification construction sites nearby, and setting off some kind of bizarre sequential chain of sound..."

Then there were a fifth and sixth shot, this time seemingly from the other side of the building... Worry set in, and being the "man of the house" I ventured over to our street-side library to take a look outside...

What I saw was exactly what you hope not to see in such a circumstance:

There was a young dark-skinned man, possibly Dominican or Puerto Rican, lying prone and apparently dead out of the closed entrance of the building across the street from our apartment. From the look of things, it seemed he had been shot by someone in the vestibule of the building as he was entering. My first impression was that this guy had been killed by someone who was waiting for him.

I looked over to the left and saw a guy frantically speaking into a cell-phone, saying something like "Yo, we're up here in Spanish Harlem, and (blank) just got shot, yo, they shot him in the head, he's dead." Apparently, he was talking to some kind of boss figure back at home bass, relaying the (insane) bad news...

As I watched, brother with the phone booked it away and may have ducked into the subway which is right nearby. Before five minutes had passed police and ambulances were rolling up. I went back into the other room.

"Well, a guy was murdered outside," I said, trying to appear more worried than I was, strangely.

"Wow..." Noah went into the other room and surveyed the scene. L and our other friend C gradually followed and we all watched silently as police cordoned off the area and collected evidence, etc.

About half and hour later there was a ring of the buzzer...

I went down and told the homicide detectives what I had seen. They were business-like in the way they comported themselves, and to be honest the whole thing was disturbingly similar to an episode of Law&Order...

By the time the interview was over the episode of The Sopranos was long done. I'd exchanged a night of stylized violence for a night of the grizzly real...

To this date, I have seen almost no coverage of this murder, and the search for the gunman is completely cold...