Defense lawyers labored Thursday to show that 30 crucial drops were missing from a vial of blood taken from O.J. Simpson on June 13 - enough blood, they suggested, not just to soak 150 swatches but to frame Simpson in the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Simpson’s lawyers also tried to prove that the blood found beneath Nicole Simpson’s fingernails could not have come from her, Simpson or Goldman, thereby implicating someone else in the killings.
But Gregory Matheson, a prosecution witness and the chief chemist of the Los Angeles Police Department, disclosed that DNA tests of the blood confirmed it to be hers.
Painstakingly reviewing the amounts of blood that the police removed for various tests, and juxtaposing that against the amount originally taken and the amount that remained, the defense lawyer Robert Blasier argued that 1.5 milliliters of Simpson’s blood had mysteriously disappeared from the purple-topped test tube. That was more than enough, Blasier hinted, to create ample evidence against the defendant.
Testifying for the fourth day, Matheson did not dispute the defense’s mathematics. Nor did he seem perturbed by what it implied. The way in which the blood was measured was necessarily inexact, he said, partly because he and other technicians knew there was plenty more blood where that sample had come from, and partly because - quite literally - blood is thicker than water.
Matheson said he did not necessarily pour back the blood he did not use. Moreover, he said, given blood’s viscosity, an appreciable amount might have ended up on stoppers, pipettes, gloves and other materials with which the blood came into contact every time a portion of it was removed for testing.
Even a demonstration vial prepared by the defense, he noted, contained only 7.5 of the 8 milliliters that was supposedly in it.
The nurse who took the blood from Simpson just after the killings, Peratis Thano, has said he never measured the amount precisely.
“I just looked at the syringe and it looked at about 8 CCs,” or 8 milliliters, Thano testified last year at a preliminary hearing. Prosecutors are expected to call him soon.
As Matheson’s testimony drew to a close, Goldberg began walking him through every time blood had been removed from the vial, presumably to show that the blood wasted could have added up to the missing amount. But he did not complete the process, and Matheson will return today.
Defense lawyers seem poised to argue that nefarious police officers planted the pilfered blood on assorted testing swatches and locales, like the rear gate of the condominium at 875 South Bundy, where Nicole Simpson lived and died.