One of the most chilling moments in the ESPN documentary series “O.J.: Made in America” comes in part four (airing on ESPN on Friday and available now on the Watch ESPN app), when Bill Hodgman, one of the prosecutors in the Simpson murder trial, presents his theory of how Simpson’s wife, Nicole, and her friend Ron Goldman were killed.
The sequence cuts between shots of Hodgman explaining how the killings possibly happened – with evening shots of the front steps of Nicole’s home, where she and Goldman were killed – and shots of crime-scene photos.
Photos of the murder have been shown everywhere over the decades, including in the National Enquirer (warning: photos are graphic) and on news-magazine shows dedicated to the case.
But the ESPN documentary shows two shots in particular that the public has never seen: the large knife wounds on the necks of Nicole Simpson and Goldman, both seen in close-up.
Business Insider talked to “Made in America” director Ezra Edelman about obtaining the never-before-seen crime-scene photos.
“We had to convince him to sit down and talk,” Edelman told Business Insider of Hodgman. “When he realized that we were serious and not sensationalists, he came and gave this presentation about how he believes the murders happened and went through the photos. They had never been shown to the public, and I asked if he would trust us enough to let us show them.”
The extremely graphic photos show enormous cuts on the necks of Nicole and Goldman. In the case of Nicole, the gash is so large and wide that it almost decapitated her.
When the documentary had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, there were large gasps from the audience when the photos appeared on the screen.
But would ESPN air the two graphic images? Back at Sundance, Edelman and ESPN told Business Insider they didn’t know whether it was possible because of the network’s standards and practices.
But on Tuesday, ESPN confirmed to Business Insider that the two photos would be included when part four aired on the network on Friday. They will also be shown when watching the documentary on the Watch ESPN app. The photos will be blurred, however, when the documentary is shown on re-air dates on the channel.
“Made in America” is an exhaustive look at the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson that has been universally (and deservedly) acclaimed. Edelman examines everything when it comes to archival material. That includes gory photos of the deceased that drive home the disregard for life in the horrific crime.