A color photo shows O.J. Simpson wearing expensive Italian shoes with the same sole pattern, stitching and contours as the rare Bruno Magli brand that tracked size-12 bloody footprints by the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman, an FBI shoe print expert testified Wednesday.
FBI Special Agent William Bodziak matched 18 features on the shoes Simpson is wearing in the photo with the distinctive characteristics of the Bruno Magli Lorenzo style. Bodziak identified the angled heel, the waffle-pattern sole, the deep stitching groove and other features that he said were proof positive Simpson was wearing Bruno Maglis when the photo was taken at a Buffalo Bills football game about nine months before the murders.
"Based on all these characteristics combined," Bodziak said, "I was able to determine that the shoe depicted on the right foot of Mr. Simpson in that photo is a Bruno Magli, Lorenzo style right shoe." The left shoe, while less clear in the photo, was also a Bruno Magli, he testified.
Simpson has said that he does not recall ever owning Bruno Magli shoes, but emphasized that he does not pay attention to brand names. He also declared under oath in a pretrial deposition that he would never have worn the particular style of shoe linked to the killer, since he found them ugly.
The Bruno Magli shoes in question are pricey and unusual--they retail for $160, and only 299 pairs of size 12s have been sold in the United States, Bodziak testified. Prosecutors in the criminal trial could not unearth proof that Simpson had ever purchased or worn the same brand and style as the killer.
The photo that Bodziak examined surfaced only after Simpson's acquittal, when it was printed in the National Enquirer. Plaintiffs' attorneys say a veteran FBI analyst has authenticated the photo. The defense, however, has vowed to produce another expert who will prove it is a phony. Defense attorneys will cross-examine Bodziak today.
Before Bodziak took the stand Wednesday, jurors heard from limousine driver Allan Park, who drove Simpson to the airport on June 12, 1994.
Park said he arrived at Simpson's house early and repeatedly rang the intercom at the Ashford Street gate. No one, he testified, answered his persistent calls between 10:40 p.m. and 10:52 p.m.--roughly the same time frame when the murders were committed.
Under questioning by lead plaintiff attorney Daniel M. Petrocelli, Park ran through his familiar testimony: He did not see Simpson's Bronco when he pulled up outside the Rockingham Avenue gate at 10:23 p.m. He did not see the Bronco when he swung back by that gate at 10:39 p.m. And he did not see any sign of Simpson until about 10:54 p.m., when he spotted a large African American figure in "all black clothing" walking from the driveway into the front door.
On cross-examination Park acknowledged, as he had in the criminal trial, that he was not specifically looking for parked vehicles when he drove past Simpson's gate. He also conceded that he had not seen the Bronco when they finally left for the airport at 11:15 p.m.--a time when both sides agree the vehicle was most certainly parked there.
Simpson has acknowledged that the dark figure Park saw in the driveway was him. In his deposition, Simpson explained that he went outside in a bathrobe to check whether he had packed his black golf shoes in the golf bag that was lying on a bench near the front door.
Park said he did not see Simpson walking out the front door or fiddling with the golf bag--all he saw was a figure in dark pants and a dark shirt "moving quickly" into the house. Less than a minute later, Simpson finally answered the intercom and said: "I'm sorry I overslept. I just got out of the shower and I'll be down immediately," Park testified.
Simpson denies ever telling the limo driver that he overslept.
Simpson's account of that evening differs from Park's in other areas as well.
For example, Park backed up the testimony of Brian "Kato" Kaelin that Simpson insisted on personally picking up a little dark bag on his driveway. When Kaelin offered to retrieve it, "Simpson jumped out and said, 'No, no, no, that's OK, I'll get that bag. Don't worry about it," Park testified. Simpson, however, denied that account in his deposition. He said the bag contained golf balls, and said he was never concerned about handling it himself.
On cross-examination, lead defense attorney Robert C. Baker pointed out that Park did not notice any cuts on Simpson's hands or any blood in the limo. Seeking to cast doubt on Park's ability to recall details, Baker told jurors that the limo driver had testified in the criminal trial that there were two cars in Simpson's driveway, when in fact there was only one. He also noted that Park had said during the criminal trial that the dark figure entering the house could have been wearing a bathrobe.