Investigators took three weeks to collect samples from blood on the rear gate of the condominium where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered last June, a detective testified Wednesday.
The lapse was one of several detective Tom Lange acknowledged under cross-examination as O.J. Simpson’s lead trial attorney, Johnnie Cochran, continued his attempt to depict the investigators as bunglers.
During his third day of testimony, Lange also said that before going to Simpson’s estate, he knew the Simpsons had been “embroiled in previous domestic violence situations.”
That admission put a new light on his previous testimony that he and three other detectives had gone to Simpson’s estate to notify him of his ex-wife’s murder and to establish “a rapport” with him that would be helpful during the investigation.
Cochran has suggested that four detectives went to Simpson’s house because he was an immediate suspect, but Lange maintained that Simpson was not a suspect when the decision was made to go to his estate, even in light of the history of violence.
Lange also said he had asked that the coroner take samples of potentially significant blood splatters on Nicole Simpson’s back, but he said they were washed off by the coroner’s office and not tested.
“I felt that might be important” to know whose blood was on her back, Lange said.
Cochran also made a point of the fact that Lange hadn’t had photographs taken of a melted cup of ice cream in the house, which might have been used to try to establish a time of death. But Lange said, “There was no photographer that night. … And as far as best evidence, I’d never considered it evidence at all.”
At the end of the day, Cochran was pressing Lange on why he hadn’t ordered a rape test on Nicole Simpson’s body. Lange said: “In my observations and my experiences, sex was the last thing on the mind of this attacker. It was an overkill, a brutal overkill, no evidence of rape, no evidence of sexual assault.”