Bill Dear is Full of It and I Can Prove It
Here's the big difference between 2012 and 2001.
Remember this book? No, and apparently no one else does, either.
Back in 2001, a private eye with a history of inserting himself into high-profile cases put out a self-published book with the really strange title of O.J. Is Guilty But Not of Murder. I read the book, interviewed the author, spent some time observing his methods, and then, in a 7,000-word story, tore him a new asshole over his reprehensible way of gathering information to make pure fantasy sound plausible.
Few people took note of either his lame book or my takedown.
But now it's 2012, and Bill Dear has repackaged the same horseshit he was peddling eleven years ago.
The big difference? Well, now there's the Huffington Post.
HuffPo bit hard not only on Dear's repackaging of the same old malarkey, O.J. Is Innocent And I Can Prove It, but also on the man himself, buying his tall tales about how he's the best private investigator who ever lived, and has the only plausible explanation for who killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
I beg to differ.
In 2001 I was a staff writer at New Times Los Angeles, a newspaper that no longer exists, and whose archives are no longer online. That no doubt benefited Dear, since today's journalists jumping on his story were unaware that he had already tried to sell this bogus story eleven years ago.
In my story, I actually praised the man for how well he had spun his tale, and showed some respect for his outsized character. But then I showed, step by step, how his theory is the worst kind of snow job that foregrounds coincidental information while ignoring or hiding the only evidence that really matters.
I'm going to reproduce my entire 2001 story, but first, here are the highlights for HuffPo readers who need bullet points.
First, the highlights of Bill Dear's theory for why Jason Simpson, O.J.'s son, committed the crime...
-- At the time of the killings, Jason was on probation for assault with a deadly weapon -- he'd attacked a former employer with a knife.
-- Hospital records showed that Jason had been treated for a mental disorder that had triggered three suicide attempts as well as sudden, fierce and irrational attacks on other people.
-- Jason may have left his chef job the night of the murders earlier than he indicated to police, and would have been carrying his set of chef knives with him.
-- Nicole had changed her plans and had not brought the family to eat at Jason's restaurant the night of the murders, which Dear theorizes was a blow to Jason's ego.
-- Dear believes that Jason went to see her that night to confront her about ruining his big night, and his mental state caused him to go into a rage and kill her (with Goldman just in the wrong place at the wrong time).
-- OJ then did what he could to help cover up for his son.
As I said in my original story, there are some interesting points made in Dear's book, and he tells it in a way that makes it sound compelling. But the holes in his theory are more numerous than the holes in the two victims.
-- Dear almost completely avoids any discussion of the actual blood evidence at the scene, the single most important piece of evidence to consider. And his ideas for how OJ Simpson's blood ended up at the scene are beyond preposterous.
-- Dear's timeline for that night is a complete farce. In 12 minutes, he has Jason committing the murders, calling his father, and then OJ coming down and observing the scene and returning home.
-- Dear discounts evidence of OJ's violent history, while overplaying and misdiagnosing Jason's own mental health history, according to an expert we consulted.
-- Ron Shipp, O.J.'s friend and a former cop, told me that Dear had misrepresented what he said after being interviewed in ways that favored Dear's theory.
-- And despite the tenuous nature of his theories, Dear put Jason under years of unwanted surveillance that smacks more of Dear's attempt at fame than any rational search for the truth.
With Huffington Post's help, Bill Dear will now get his moment in the sun that was denied to him back in 2001 -- when the 1994 murders weren't so remote and when journalists still had a better grasp of the facts.
He'll enjoy every minute of it, I have no doubt.
What follows is my entire 2001 story. I can only hope that now other journalists will take the time to check out Dear before celebrating him.
New Times Los Angeles
May 24, 2001, Thursday
Texas private eye Bill Dear spent nearly six years and $1 million trying to pin the Bundy murders on O.J.'s son Jason. But his theories stretch credibility and his tactics stretch the law.
By Tony Ortega
It's a Thursday morning, and Bill Dear is starting the day's surveillance of O.J. Simpson's grown son Jason by parking his rental car across the street from Jason's Venice bungalow.
The night before, Dear had flown in from Dallas, where he's a private eye known for inserting himself in high-profile, unsolved crime investigations. Over the years he's succeeded several times when local police failed to find a killer or a missing person, and people who know him attribute that to Dear's extraordinary perseverance and attention to detail. When Dear sets his mind to solve a mystery, friends say, he doesn't let go.
After landing at LAX, Dear rented a dark passenger car -- the better to blend in, he says -- and drove to Venice to case the joint until the wee hours, hoping in vain to catch a glimpse of Jason returning home. Dear eventually gave up and went to his West L.A. hotel at 3 a.m. Back after a few hours of sleep, he's agreed to let a New Times writer and a photographer tag along. At 63, the tall ex-cop looks dapper in a black suit and alligator boots. His longish graying hair, mustache and small beard are neatly groomed. Between frequent interruptions by his cell phone he reels off diverting anecdotes in a richly accented voice. There was the time, for example, when he was summoned by Robert De Niro to a seedy bar. As he was led through an alley to the appointment, Dear began to suspect he'd been set up. Assuming he was about to get whacked, the investigator placed his hand on a concealed gun and got ready to shoot if his guide made any false moves. But the man indeed delivered him to De Niro, who wanted tips about the private eye game to help him portray a gumshoe in an upcoming movie.
Dear sometimes hires other people to keep an eye on Jason Simpson's residence, but he also makes regular trips to L.A. himself. Dear and associates have shadowed Jason for nearly six years, rooting through his trash, checking his mailbox to see who's communicating with him, and talking to neighbors and employers to keep tabs on the 31-year-old chef.
This morning, Dear notices right away that something is not right. Jason's car is missing.
"Where's the Jeep? Did he get rid of the Jeep?" Dear says excitedly.
Jason lives on a narrow but busy Venice lane that's lined with parked cars. But none of them is a Jeep. Dear immediately concludes that the vehicle's absence is linked to his presence. Feeling the heat of Dear's investigation and afraid the Jeep will prove to be incriminating, Jason has ditched it. Or so Dear theorizes.
"I have to get my hands on that Jeep!" he exclaims.
Within a day, Dear finds that Jason's vehicle has in fact been sold. He begins to make inquiries about buying it himself from the new owner. If he can do that, he says, he can then submit the Jeep to state-of-the-art, scientific retrieval techniques in the hope that maybe, just maybe, after all these years, there's still something in it that Dear says should be there:
The blood of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.
Bill Dear is not the first to suggest that Jason Lamar Simpson, O.J's son by his first wife, might have committed the famous murders of June 12, 1994. But no one has taken that notion to such lengths.Dear has worked to put together a case against Jason since shortly after the slayings took place. The gumshoe estimates he's spent more than $1 million of his own money in his quest to finger a murderer whose identity is already a foregone conclusion among most thinking people.
But Dear says many people who were completely convinced of O.J. Simpson's guilt have undergone dramatic conversion experiences after reading his recently published, 324-page book, O.J. Is Guilty But Not of Murder.
Admitting that he, too, assumed early on that physical evidence pointed unequivocally to O.J., Dear says he soon had doubts. He found it incredible, for example, that O.J. would have killed his ex-wife knowing that their two young children, Sydney and Justin, were upstairs and possibly still awake.
That just didn't fit Dear's concept of a father.
Neither did it sit well with the Texan that O.J. was accused of such a terrifyingly brutal crime. Whoever had killed Brown and Goldman had obviously done so in a maniacal rage. O.J. had been accused of abusing his former wife, but nothing, Dear claimed, suggested he might be capable of viciously carving up two human beings.
And it bothered him that the LAPD believed that O.J., after knifing the victims and spilling massive amounts of their blood, had somehow tracked only small amounts of it into his Bronco and his Rockingham estate. If O.J. had committed the murders, Dear believed, copious amounts of blood should have been smeared on the Bronco's brake and accelerator pedals and elsewhere in its interior.
But, he says, it wasn't.