More than 20 years after his blockbuster murder trial, O.J. Simpson is back in the news — this time after Los Angeles police reportedly found a knife on the grounds of his former estate.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a retired police officer “has handed over a knife given to him by a construction worker who helped raze Simpson’s mansion in 1998.” The knife, which could have been used in the slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, is now being tested by the police.
The news comes a month after a new television show dramatizing his sensational trial began airing on FOX.
The renewed interest in Simpson, now serving a prison term in Nevada for an unrelated robbery and kidnapping case, is reflected in online search traffic, according to Google Trends.
This graph shows search volume since 2004. Traffic has been relatively dormant over the years except for spikes, like in September 2007, when Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas on multiple felony counts after an altercation over sports memorabilia. Another spike in late 2008 reflects his conviction at trial. He’s now serving out a 33-year-term but is eligible for parole next year.
Searches for his name spiked significantly after the new show, starring Cuba Gooding Jr., began airing Feb. 2.
Regional trends are also evident in the searches. This map shows that searches in Nevada and the Las Vegas metro area more common than in other parts of the country. That makes sense because of the location of his trial and incarceration.
Someday O.J. Simpson will no longer capture the collective imaginations of Americans. Today is not that day, apparently.