College Essay Examples

Interrogation of O.J.Simpson

“Secret” Interrogation of O.J. Simpson

  • What were the “three” most important questions that investigators sought answers to in this interrogation?

Detectives Lange and Vannatter needed to get answers related to the relationship that existed between Simpson and Nicole Brown, the status of their divorce, and reconciliatory efforts. Secondly, they needed to understand the details behind the past domestic violence between Nicole and Simpson to develop a narrative of revenge. Similarly, they wanted to know whether Nicole had shared with him any threats on her life to try to find any link in the involvement of Nicole’s maid in the murder case.

  1. In reviewing this transcript, please articulate the strengths and weaknesses of this interrogation. 

One of the strengths that emerge from this interrogation is the fact that Lange and Vannatter were thorough in getting the tiniest of information from Simpson (Brandl, 2014). They asked him questions related to his whereabouts on the night of the murder to establish a clear road map of all events leading to the unfortunate tragedy. Additionally, the detectives explore all angles from Simpson’s story and base their questions at all levels. The assumption here is that they were looking for any clues of dishonesty in his story and gauge its credibility and integrity. Being in control of the interrogation and understanding of the case facts by the detectives is another added strength. Subsequently, the fact that Simpson also willed and collaborated with the detectives further boosted the success of the interrogation. 

The conviction and belief that Simpson could be the mastermind behind the double homicide by the detectives created biasedness. Although it would push them to aggressively interrogate him, they were ignorant of other probable suspects. Hence, the case findings would only turn out unfair and unjust. It was evident that the detectives provided limited time for the interrogation, had no defined plan, and even more disappointing; they were unfamiliar with Simpson’s background. Therefore, these weaknesses diminished their chances of carrying out a successful interrogation.

  1. What lessons can the police learn from this interrogation? 

Simpson’s interrogation sheds some insights that police can adopt to advance cases using assistive forensic work. Similarly, the police are called upon to practice the best evidence handling techniques to not be manipulated or tampered with. The detectives had some evidence that led them to believe Simpson was the prime suspect, and that is why they were keen on getting clear answers from him (Brandl, 2014). Regardless of the many questions that they asked, most of them were unnecessary. They were only focused on pinning their evidence on Simpson. Hence, they failed to shift their attention to other probable suspects. 

Another important lesson to the police would be that getting a confession from a suspect is not always possible. Some suspects could be victims of wrong circumstances; thus, making them commit to a confession becomes hard. The police should also understand that using deceptive psychological techniques of persuasion in interrogation does not always lead to positive outcomes. Simpson grows weary of such a scheme from the detectives and demands they give him some information regarding the murder of his ex-wife: “But guys haven’t told me anything. Every time I ask you guys, you say you’re going to tell me in a bit” (Brandl, 2014). Therefore, once the suspect realizes these theatrics from the interrogators, they can decide to shut down or even become rebellious. Such a state only makes it even harder for them to gather any further information from the suspect.



Brandl, S. G. (2014). History of the criminal investigation. Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2127-2137.

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By Sandra Arlington

Sandra Arlington is a contributing writer to the Motley Fool. Having written for various online magazines, such as Ehow and LiveStrong, she decided to embark on a travel blog for the past 10 years. She is also a regular contributor to My Essay Writer.

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