February 20, 1997 in Nation/World

Fuhrman Book Best Seller In Sandpoint Ex-Cop’s Neighbors Anxiously Spend $20 On Latest Installment Of O.J. Saga

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Within two hours, the shelves at Tom Vandeford’s two bookstores here were stripped of Mark Fuhrman’s new book.

It seems residents in this town, where the former Los Angeles police detective moved nearly two years ago, are eager to read what their infamous neighbor has to say about the O.J. Simpson saga.

At $20 a pop, Vandeford sold all 164 of Fuhrman’s hardcover books. He has a waiting list of at least another 40 people and promptly ordered another 140 books.

“We got calls as soon as we opened, and everything on the shelves was spoken for by 10 a.m.,” Vandeford said. “It’s the earliest we ever sold out of a book. We thought it would be a good seller but were a bit surprised it went that fast.”

The book, “Mark Fuhrman: Murder in Brentwood,” officially went on sale Wednesday. Vandeford had sold all of his stock the day before.

“I think a lot of people are interested because he lives here,” Vandeford said. “There has been so much publicity about Mark and a lot felt he was crucified by the press, so they are real curious to see what he has to say.

“He has kept silent and this book is his chance to tell his story,” he added. “Of those who have come into the store, almost everyone has been very pro Mark Fuhrman.”

Fuhrman was labeled a racist cop during Simpson’s criminal trial after a tape was played of him using racial slurs. He was the detective who found the bloody glove at Simpson’s estate and later was accused of planting evidence to frame Simpson.

Fuhrman quit the L.A. police force and moved to Sandpoint. He has worked as an apprentice electrician while writing his book. He has been mum about the case until now and has avoided the media.

Regnery Publishing Inc. printed 250,000 copies of Fuhrman’s book. But the latest tell-all on the Simpson case isn’t flying off the shelves in Coeur d’Alene or Spokane.

Hastings Books and Music in Coeur d’Alene had customers asking for copies before it went on sale, but sold only 10 of the 30 books in stock.

“There’s not been a huge demand,” said employee George Wood. “It’s more of a specialized market. It’s not what most people read unless they really followed the trials.”

At least three other books have been released recently on the Simpson case, Wood said, adding that people are tiring of lawyers and detectives hocking their latest cases.

Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane didn’t even have copies of Fuhrman’s new book yet and ordered very few. B. Dalton in Spokane sold one of the four copies it has.

“Books on the O.J. trial haven’t done real well,” said Hans Isaacson, a manager at Auntie’s. That could change for Fuhrman once there is more publicity about the book.

A full-page newspaper ad ran in the Bonner County Daily Bee this week touting Fuhrman’s book. The former detective is in New York, on a tour to promote his account of the murder investigation. He is slated for appearances on Oprah, Larry King and Good Morning America.

“It’s too early to tell how it’s selling nationally, but we expect it to be a best-seller,” said Jennifer Azar, marketing director for Regnery Publishing. “This is the first chance for people to hear his side of the story and he has lots of new things to say.”

Azar said the book discloses evidence that never was used at the trial. It also talks about Fuhrman’s partner, Brad Roberts, who never was called to testify but can corroborate what Fuhrman found during his investigation at Simpson’s estate.

“Murder in Brentwood focuses on the O.J. case,” reads one promotional ad. “But you will also learn a side of Mark Fuhrman few people know. A saint? Hardly. A good detective? Without question.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: color photo


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