While his acquittal in the infamous trial for the murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, has been revisited in countless movies, television shows, and documentaries, O.J. Simpson’s 2007 Las Vegas robbery hasn’t been explored in the same way. Well, Oxygen is changing that.
As part of their Mysteries & Scandals docuseries (premiering on Friday, Jan. 5, at 9 p.m. EST), the true crime network is speaking with experts and friends of O.J. about the fallen football player’s crime — which resulted in a nine-year prison sentence — in a special episode called O.J. Simpson: The Crimes and Punishment. Here, In Touch rounded up everything you need to know about Oxygen’s hour-long special.
O.J. Simpson was looking to reclaim his reputation before the robbery.
More than 10 years ago, O.J., 70 — who was granted parole in July and released early from his original 33-year prison sentence in October — and several accomplices entered a room at the Palace Station hotel-casino and took sports memorabilia at gunpoint. O.J. later told police that the items belonged to him, but denied that he (or anyone else involved) had carried a gun.
According to Tom Riccio, the collectibles broker who helped O.J. locate the memorabilia, the former football legend was hoping to “get back in the spotlight" before the incident took place. “[He] wanted to do an autograph signing,” Riccio says in a preview. “I ended up doing a signing with him and it went really well. He gave me his personal phone number and said, ‘If something else comes up, let me know.’”
O.J. was open about his plan to take the memorabilia.
“[O.J.] was hooping it up to everyone that, ‘Aw, this is Tom. This is the guy that’s helping me get my stuff back,” Riccio recounted, while FOX5 Las Vegas anchor Cyndi Lundberg explained, “They openly talked about the plans to go and retrieve his stuff.”
O.J. was planning a sting operation.
In the sneak peek, Associated Press reporter Linda Deutsch explains how O.J. planned to get his hands on the memorabilia. “They would go to the hotel room where the guys were trying to sell this stuff and OJ would walk in and it’d be a big surprise to them because they would be expecting a dealer who was gonna buy all this stuff from them,” she says. “So it was basically a sting."
O.J.’s best friend appears in the special.
Tom Scotto, who considers himself to be O.J.’s best friend, agreed to appear on the episode. In his interview, Scotto confirms that his notorious pal had thought long and hard about his plan of attack. “Tom Riccio kind of came out of the woodwork and started to tell O.J. that he knows where all the stuff is,” says Scotto. “O.J. was supposed to show up, yell at the guys, take the stuff, and leave.”