In the summer of 1994 an inmate at the Orange County Jail named Bill Wasz briefly captivated the news media with his sensational tale of cocaine, stalking, auto theft and murder for hire involving O.J. Simpson, Robert Kardashian, Paula Barbieri and Nicole Brown Simpson. We’ll review the details of the titillating tale, examine the validity of the claims and attempt to decipher the truth in order to determine beyond any doubt:
What’s Wasz Got To Do With It?
On July 20, 1994 CNN aired a story about a notebook found in a Toyota 4-Runner. The news report suggested that the notebook contained evidence of a larger, more sinister plot against Nicole Brown Simpson. The titillating tale was repeated by most major US news outlets over the next 72 hours. Reporters worked tirelessly attempting to uncover additional details about the alleged plot and identify who else might have been involved. As quickly as the story swooped in, it died – no one continued to report on or even mention it after July 24. 1994. In October 1994 and a few other times in the 1990’s the story would randomly pop up for a day but was quickly forgotten.
However, like Lazarus from the dead, the tale was brought back to life on October 5, 2000. On this night the BBC premiered OJ: The Untold Story, a film which reexamined the murders through the lens of conspiracy-centric “unknown stories” including this and the suggestion that Jason Simpson did it. This film and the proliferation of the Internet helped elevate the notebook story to become more popular than it ever had been in 1994. When it comes to the O.J. Simpson saga, far too often rumor and innuendo becomes accepted as valid without ever being subjected to a rigorous examination of the actual facts (as we have seen with the likes of Jill Shively). With that in mind, we will do a proper vetting in order to find out: “What’s Wasz Got To Do With It?
January 31, 1994 — A One Man, One Day Crime Spree.
Our story begins on the last day of January 1994 with a daylong crime spree whose details are so bizarre, it’s hard to believe it didn’t occur in Florida. The first news reports about William Wasz, the unemployed 31 year old actor and convicted robber responsible for the January 31 crime spree were published by the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register [article pdf] on February 2, 1994. The newspapers publish the following details of his surreal one-day crime spree:
William Wasz begins his crime spree with an armed robbery of a Blockbuster video store in Hawaiian Gardens, Los Angeles County, California. The unemployed actor made off with $100 as well as two videos: Goodfellas and Scarface.
A Quick Side Note:
When I was putting this together I noted that there was a 5 hour gap between the first and second robbery. Curious about what Wasz might have been doing for 5 hours, I checked the runtimes of both videos he stole and the travel time between the locations of Wasz’s first and second armed robbery. The runtime for Scarface is 2 hours 50 minutes and Goodfellas is 2 hours 28 minutes. It’s a half hour drive between the first and second locations he robbed. I’m not a betting man, but if I was I’d confidently wager that Wasz watched one of the movies between robberies.
At the Pizza Hut on Beach Boulevard in Buena Park, Orange County, California Wasz commits a third armed robbery. Wasz leaves Pizza Hut with $100 (no pizza, just money). Apparently all of this armed robbery makes a fella thirsty: After leaving Pizza Hut Wasz drives south for two miles to Beach Liquor. He steals $400 and a 12-pack of beer [brand unknown] from the liquor store.
With three of his four armed robberies occurring in Orange County, an All Points Bulletin had been issued for the Toyota 4-Runner. At approximately 9:25 pm officers spot the vehicle and attempt to stop Wasz. Rather than putting his foot on the brakes and complying with the officer’s order to pull-over, Wasz put his foot on the accelerator and sped away from the officers. It seems that Wasz thought he could lose the cops by driving on the wrong side of the road. This turned out to be a poor decision as the Four-Runner collided with a 1989 Pontiac. Instead of stopping to exchange insurance information with the other driver, Wasz continued driving the wrong way down West Coast Highway for a quarter-mile when he collides with a 1993 Infinity. After this collision Wasz left the vehicle and took off on foot. This was yet another poor decision as fleeing on foot proved to be challenging because at some point during the police chase Wasz accidentally shot himself in the leg.
After hobbling about a hundred yards, Wasz is arrested by officers from the Newport Beach Police Department. After he is cuffed, Wasz’s day gets worse and the list of potential charges against him grows: Orange County Police discovered that the Toyota 4 Runner was not owned by Wasz but had been stolen in Beverly Hills on January 24, 1994. Inside the truck the officers found: a handgun, drug paraphernalia, the sound equipment stolen from Music Plus earlier in the day and at least $500 cash believed to be from the robberies earlier in the day.
What does this have to do with the O.J. Simpson Saga?
The car that the unemployed actor stole was owned by actress & model Paula Barbieri. In her 1997 book The Other Woman — My Years with O.J. Simpson, Paula Barbieri shares the details of her experience on January 24, 1994.
Earlier that year I’d stopped at One Rodeo Drive to drop something off at my hairdresser’s. Ten minutes later, when I came to retrieve my Toyota 4Runner from valet parking, it had disappeared. When they finally recovered the Toyota, it was filled with hypodermic needles, pornographic magazines, and bullet holes. An out-of-work actor — he’d also left his 8×10 glossies behind — had stolen my truck, crashed it into a dozen parked cars during the police pursuit, and totaled the front end.
Paula Barbieri. The Other Woman — My Years with O.J. Simpson, Page 119.
On January 24, 1994 William Wasz stole a Toyota 4-Runner owned by a woman who had a long history with O.J. Simpson.
Were O.J. Simpson and Paula Barbieri a Couple in January 1994?
It is important to understand that O.J. Simpson and Paula Barbieri were not a couple in January 1994. The relationship between O.J. and Paula had ended in May 1993 because O.J. decided to agree to his ex-wife Nicole’s request that they get back together and spend a year attempting to make their relationship work. Paula and O.J. were not a couple between May 1993 and May 10, 1994.
In The Other Woman, Paula shared the details of O.J. attempting to win her back.
Mid to Late April 1994: After the Year Experiment with Nicole, O.J. Chooses Paula. Paula Rejects O.J.
On Pages 120 – 121 of The Other Woman, Paula writes:
It was around this time that O.J. and I began speaking again He was in Puerto Rico, filming an NBC pilot called Frogman. [Note: Frogman was filmed mid-late April 1994] O.J. promised me, Nicole was history: “I couldn’t come to you any sooner — I’m sorry, but I couldn’t hurt you, and I needed to do this first.” He was telling me that he’d put in his year, held up his part of the bargain. … “It’s our time, girl,” OJ. cooed. Then he asked me to come to Puerto Rico. I wasn’t buying. I’d moved on…”
May 10, 1994: O.J. and Paula Reunite Romantically
Writing on Page 120, Paula shares the details of when and how O.J. won her back:
He sprang his ambush on Tuesday, May 10, my stopover day in L.A. between jobs in Miami and Las Vegas — O.J. had a knack for learning my flight schedule through friends. After getting off the plane from Miami, I was looking for my limo driver and wondering why he wasn’t at the gate. I started walking toward the concourse, pulling my luggage behind me . . . when I caught OJ. in my peripheral vision, sneaking up alongside with a mischievous look in his eyes. “Hey, good-lookin’, what’s cookin’?” “I can’t believe you,” I said, trying to sound mad and failing abysmally “You just take the cake.” O.J. had canceled my limo driver to pick me up himself. I loved his spontaneity in spite of myself. He told me again that it was all over with Nicole. When he asked me to dinner — sushi, one of my great weaknesses — I heard myself say yes, impetuous as ever. By that point, O.J. and I were grooved in our dance. I’d withdraw; he’d maneuver; I’d yield.
This fact will be very important to remember as our story continues.
Bill Wasz’s One Man, One Day Crime Spree Results in a One Cell for 20 Years Prison Sentence
William Wasz was in the custody of law enforcement from the moment he was captured on January 31, 1994 until he was granted parole circa September 2004.
I write this with a heavy heart — sadly, prior to his arrest, Wasz did not have an opportunity to view both of the movies he stole from Blockbuster Video.
The self-proclaimed drug dealer and known drug addict, was in-custody when Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered on June 12, 1994.
Wasz admitted to a series of robberies and recently was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In exchange for admitting to the crimes he committed on both January 24 & 31, 1994 and agreeing to plead guilty to armed robbery, prosecutors offered Wasz an attractive sentencing plea. In late-June or early-July 1994 William Wasz was sentenced to twenty years in prison and would be eligible for parole after serving half sentence.
A Master Criminal Wasz Was Not…
The one man, one day crime spree which, in addition to cash, netted two VHS tapes and a 12-pack of beer was not the first time Bill Wasz ran afoul of the law. Although the exact details of Wasz’s entire criminal history remain sketchy, true-crime author John William Tuohy wrote about a few of Wasz’s more bizarre and brazen crimes in a 2014 article about the Andrew Luster case:
Wasz record included stealing a truck and a front-end loader, along with some welding equipment. He used the front-end loader to drive through window of a Safeway supermarket in the wee of the morning and steal the store safe. The robbery netted him $63,000 in cash. Later he claimed to have done some muscle work for the mob in Vegas but his next pinch came for stealing a pair of pants from a department store, at gunpoint. That earned him nearly two years in prison which was followed by six months in a Nevada prison on an outstanding warrant. When he was released, Wasz returned to his native Virginia where, according to him anyway, he ran drugs.
Bill Wasz’s criminal history raises a critically important question:
Do you think the other inmates poked fun at Bill Wasz
after learning that he was serving two years
for stealing a pair of Dockers at gunpoint?
The Summer of ‘94’s Most Popular TV Show
In an ironic twist of fate, shortly after he accepted the fact that he would be incarcerated for at least the next decade, the VHS-stealing unemployed actor managed to cast himself as a special guest star in the summer of 1994’s most popular show: The O.J. Simpson Saga.
A spontaneous, unplanned event occurred on Friday, June 17, 1994 – so many Americans were transfixed watching a man and his friend driving home in a white Ford Bronco that it became the second most watched event in the history of television [as of 1994] (attaining slightly less viewers than the first-ever moon landing). In the days and weeks after the Bronco chase, it became clear to news organizations: O.J. = ratings; not just good ratings, but HUGE ratings.
The ratings data was undeniable. The O.J. saga was so good for ratings during the Summer of 1994 that on days that there were no new developments in the case, the news media would find a way to shoehorn an O.J. story into the newscast.
By the end of the Summer it seemed like the news would put on anyone who claimed a connection to O.J. or the case and give them the opportunity to share their Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sounding story on national television. “This man scooped the last cup of Ben & Jerry’s Nicole Simpson ever ate. He’ll tell us if Nicole was scared and what she told him just hours before she was killed. Exclusively on Channel 4 News at 11.”
The Newport Beach Police Department, was among the countless organizations and individuals to recognize the news media’s need for O.J. news presented an opportunity to raise visibility and attain good press coverage. On July 20, 1994 the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) issued a news release titled “Robbery Arrest – Vehicle Stolen from Paula Barbieri.” The arrest occurred on January 31, 1994 and Wasz had pleaded guilty and was sentenced prior to NBPD issuing the news release announcing the arrest of Bill Wasz.
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A Notebook Found in a Car Stolen from Paula Barbieri
The newspaper article that started the frenzy which allowed the unemployed actor to achieve his greatest visibility ever:
Over the next three days most major newspapers and wire services published their own stories which mirrored the initial report published by the Orange County Register.
On July 22, 1994 the Orange County Register published a follow-up article which included key details which were largely forgotten or ignored; details which raised serious questions on the many of the claims and innuendo included in their initial report:
- William Wasz’s attorney, John Stewart told the Register that “he called Los Angeles police immediately after his client told him July 13 that the notebook was not his.” This would indicate that in his initial telling of the tale Wasz explicitly states that the notebook found in the car that he had stolen from Paula Barbieri was not his notebook.
- Newport Beach Police allowed Stewart to claim Bill Wasz’s possessions (which included the notebook) on July 12, 1994.
- Wasz’s attorney contacted LAPD on Wednesday, July 13 but did not turn the notebook over to LAPD detectives until Monday, July 18, 1994.
- This means that William Wasz’s attorney had the notebook for seven days before he turned it over to LAPD.
- William Wasz, through his attorney John Stewart, attempted to pull a Jill Shively: They attempted to sell the notebook to various news-media organizations.
Wasz’s lawyer, John Stewart, shares details in this national affiliate news report broadcast on July 22, 1994:
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”220521182″ caption=”July 22 1994 – Terri Anderson News Report on Wasz Claims” disable_for_mobile=”off” loop=”off” autoplay=”off” controls=”on” viewstart=”off” viewend=”off” revealfx=”off”]
On July 23, 1994 the Los Angeles Times published the paper’s first article about the notebook:
The Key Takeaways:
Bill Wasz, a man who served two years in prison for stealing a pair of pants at gunpoint, claims that he had forgotten about the notebook until he saw the news reports about O.J. Simpson and the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
- In the course of the same article, attorney John Stewart denied trying to sell the story and that he has given up trying to sell the story:
“I never tried to sell the notebook; Stewart said Friday. “But I was trying to see if there was value to the story.’ … On Friday, Stewart said he and Wasz, who is currently living at the Orange County Jail, have decided to give up selling Wasz’s story. “We thought, this is too aggravating and not worth it;’ Stewart said. “Time for me to move on and get back to my law practice and get out from in front of the cameras.” NOTE: While one could make the argument that both statements could be true: Stewart may not have attempted to sell the original notebook, just the story associated with it. However, the Los Angeles Times article notes that Stewart “acknowledged copying the notebook.” If your pitch to the media to buy your story includes a copy of the notebook, you’re trying to sell the notebook.
- Wasz hired attorney John Stewart for the explicit purposes of selling his story to the news media.
SIDEBAR: Who is William Wasz’s Attorney John Stewart?
Until last week, John Mark Stewart was known primarily as a Bible teacher, a defender of the Christian faith on a call-in radio show and an instructor at a Christian law school in Anaheim. But since the revelations that he helped draft a lawsuit designed to pressure TV evangelist Jim Bakker to acknowledge his sexual encounter with church secretary Jessica Hahn in a Florida hotel room, Stewart has been thrown into the national spotlight.
For background, a CBS News story on famous political scandals summarized the Jessica Hahn story:
In the 1980s, Jim Bakker was a televangelist with a huge following and a multi-million dollar media empire in the The PTL Club. That all changed in 1987 when Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary, announced she had a “sexual encounter” with Bakker years earlier and had been paid off for years. Bakker was forced to resign from the PTL in disgrace and was jailed for defrauding his own organization.
In 1987 John Stewart negotiated Jessica Hahn’s $265,000 financial settlement with television evangelist Jim Bakker. In the years following her settlement, Jessica Hahn would go on to pose for Playboy and sell her story to numerous media outlets but Stewart was not involved in those deals, attorney and frequent Howard Stern Show guest Dominick Barbara represented Hahn.
This news package was broadcast on July 26, 1994 with local affiliates providing the voiceover. It was one of the last stories broadcast before the news media lost interest in Bill Wasz for a few months.
It is interesting that although it was broadcast days after the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times revealing significant details to the initial story, none of those details are included in this news report:
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”220521203″ caption=”July 26, 1994 News Report About the Notebook and Wasz Claims” disable_for_mobile=”off” loop=”off” autoplay=”off” controls=”on” viewstart=”off” viewend=”off” revealfx=”off”]
After spending less than a week as the media’s obsession, by the end of July the Wasz story was a distant memory…Until October 1994.
Bill Wasz Takes the Stage
The William Wasz story was largely forgotten in less than a week with no additional details reported from July 25, 1994 until October 1994 when it was the convicted VHS tape robber, not his lawyer, telling his tale on television. In October 1994 William Wasz agreed to an exclusive interview with CNN. Bill Wasz in his own words tells his tale to CNN:
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”220410999″ caption=”Bill Wasz refuses to say who allegedly hired him to stalk Nicole (CNN October 1994).” disable_for_mobile=”off” loop=”off” autoplay=”off” controls=”on” viewstart=”off” viewend=”off” revealfx=”off”]
While I was unable to locate the complete interview Wasz did with CNN in October 1994, in this clip from the film OJ – The Untold Story (BBC, 2000) Wasz tells his tale of stalking Nicole:
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”220411344″ caption=”Bill Wasz discusses stalking Nicole” disable_for_mobile=”off” loop=”off” autoplay=”off” controls=”on” viewstart=”off” viewend=”off” revealfx=”off”]
In the version of the tale that Wasz told in the video above, he adds several significant details which were not in the original 1994 coverage:
- Wasz added the claim of taking photos of Nicole while he allegedly stalked her in January 1994. This is a significant change to his original telling of his tale.
- Wasz claims that in January 1994 Nicole was “staying at the Rockingham address.” This is absolutely false. Nicole lived at 325 Gretna Green Way from early 1992 until January 11, 1994; on that date Nicole closed on and moved into the condo at 875 S Bundy Drive.
- In the clip from the film released in 2000 Bill Wasz claims to have photographed Nicole kissing Marcus Allen. Had Wasz made this claim in 1994 it would add to his credibility, however by the year 2000 the allegations of an affair between Nicole Simpson and Marcus Allen were well-known.
- Another new detail is Wasz’s allegation of meeting O.J. Simpson’s friend in the parking lot of McDonald’s in Encino, California to give him the film and get paid. Again the claim of having taken photographs was only added years after he first told his tale.
While I’ve been unable to pinpoint an exact date or even year that the Notebook entered the public domain, these are the entries of Bill Wasz’s alleged stalking of Nicole Brown Simpson:
[aesop_gallery id=”875″ revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]
The locations William Wasz mentions in this notebook are highly suspect because they fall into two distinct categories:
(1) Places/businesses that were associated with Nicole in published news reports prior to July 13, 1994
(2) Places that are so well-known (Tony Roma’s, Trader Vics, the Beverly Hilton) they are listed in almost every ‘Things to do/Places to visit in Los Angeles guide book.’
The chain of custody presents very serious credibility issues:
Since the Newport Beach Police Department did not review it prior to releasing Wasz’s possessions to his attorney John Stewart. Stewart an Wasz had possession of/access to the notebook for almost a week before it was turned over to LAPD.
A lot can be done in seven days…
On the topic of Bill Wasz’s curious choices in locations he mentions, in this clip from the film OJ – The Untold Story (BBC, 2000) Bill Wasz discusses when and how he allegedly met O.J. Simpson and Robert Kardashian:
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”220411298″ caption=”Bill Wasz Share the Details of Allegedly Meeting O.J. Simpson & Robert Kardashian” disable_for_mobile=”off” loop=”off” autoplay=”off” controls=”on” viewstart=”off” viewend=”off” revealfx=”off”]
It is not until 1998 that Bill Wasz first claims that in the fall of 1993 he met Simpson and Kardashian at the Roxbury. In the early to mid-1990’s, The Roxbury was one of Los Angeles’ hottest nightclubs; so popular that in 1996 Saturday Night Live started a recurring skit called “The Roxbury Guys” which was supposed to be set at the club, a skit so popular that it became a feature film in 1998.
The following news excerpts will allow you to understand how well-known the Roxbury was in the 1990’s:
From the LA Times January 21 2011:
Few L.A. nightclubs loomed as large in the public imagination as the Roxbury during its near-decade-long reign on Sunset Boulevard. From the late 1980s to 1997, it was one of the West Coast’s premier celebrity playhouses, hosting newsmakers such as Madonna and Tom Cruise.
From the LA Times May 12, 1991:
That’s L.A., circa 1991. That’s probably also why the Roxbury has been the L.A. club of the moment for quite a few moments now. If you build a celebrity clientele, they will come.
From LA Weekly July 17, 2009:
The Roxbury definitely foreshadowed LA’s current obsession with over-the-top nightlife environs and A-list exclusivity. It was arguably the closest LA’s ever came to the legendary Studio 54, in terms of a treacherous door and enduring star power, counting everyone from Cher to John Travolta to Shannen Doherty (whose bad-girl brawls there got national attention), as regulars.
With only William Wasz’s words as proof and noting that the Roxbury wasn’t in Wasz’s first-draft of his tale, it’s pretty easy to dismiss the validity of this claim.
Stealing Paula’s Car
Wasz also claims in the CNN report that the same person who hired him to follow Nicole Brown Simpson hired him to steal Paula Barbieri’s car. While I was unable to locate the complete interview Wasz did with CNN in October 1994, in this clip from the film OJ – The Untold Story (BBC, 2000) Wasz repeats the same claim he made to CNN:
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”220411421″ disable_for_mobile=”off” loop=”off” autoplay=”off” controls=”on” viewstart=”off” viewend=”off” revealfx=”off”]
In 1998 William Wasz Hired Attorney Lawrence M. Longo
While incarcerated at Calapatria State Prison, Wasz continued to maintain that his story was legitimate. With the help of the late-Joseph Bosco, author of A Problem of Evidence: How the Prosecution Freed O.J. Simpson, attorney Lawrence M. Longo agreed to represent Wasz.
Larry Longo is a former Deputy District Attorney for the Country of Los Angeles which on the surface would seemingly boost the credibility of Bill Wasz and his story.
However Longo’s career in the D.A.’s office didn’t exactly end well; he was terminated for cause in February 1997 as a result of ethical violations he committed prosecuting rap mogul Suge Knight. The District Attorney’s Office stated that Longo’s actions caused a loss of “public confidence” in the office.
Sidebar: The Deputy District Attorney and the Rap Mogul
For background, in 1992, the year he started Death Row Records, rap mogul Suge Knight was arrested for assaulting two aspiring rappers, beating one with a gun and warning them, according to police records, “If you talk, I’ll have my people kill your family.” The two filed a civil lawsuit but were pressured by Deputy District Attorney Longo to settle the case in exchange for a $1 million contract with Death Row. The settlement served to undermine the criminal case against Knight which was being overseen by Longo.
Without a winnable case, prosecutors began plea negotiations. On behalf of the District Attorney’s Office, Larry Longo engineered a sweetheart deal for the rap mogul: In February 1995 Knight would plead no contest to the assault charges in exchange for a nine year suspended sentence followed by a five year probation. The representative from the D.A.’s office responsible for overseeing Suge Knight’s probation was…you guessed it: Larry Longo.
Suge Knight was serving probation in multiple jurisdictions in 1996. In 1994 Suge Knight had agreed to a plea deal on a federal weapons charge stemming from a probe into a cocaine trafficking case in Las Vegas. In lieu of jail time, Knight was sentenced to federal probation and required to submit to mandatory drug testing.
On August 9, 1996 Knight failed his drug test. Federal Probation Officers informed Knight’s Los Angeles County Probation Officer who, in turn, informed Superior Court Judge John Ouderkirk of the failed test.
In response Judge Ouderkirk held a hearing to determine if Knight had failed a drug test thus violating the terms of his probation.
On September 16, 1996 Longo appeared in federal court where he asked to see the results of drug tests conducted by federal probation authorities.
The next day the District Attorney’s Office was informed of potentially serious allegations about Longo’s handling of the Knight case.
The Los Angeles Times reported that in January 1996, Longo’s daughter Gina had signed a $25,000 contract with Suge Knight’s Death Row Records. Gina Longo was the only White act to be signed to the record label.
In addition to that, the D.A.’s office learned that since Memorial Day 1996, Suge Knight has lived in a Malibu Colony home owned by Longo’s family; Knight’s attorney, David Kenner, leased the property and paid Longo $19,000 per month.
The attorney who negotiated both deals was Larry Longo’s son, Frank, who earned significant commissions on each.
Larry Longo appealed his termination however the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission voted to uphold his February 1997 termination.
Sources for the Deputy District Attorney and the Rap Mogul:
Attorney Larry Longo Adds New Details to Wasz’s Tale
In the wake of his February 1997 termination, the ethically-challenged Longo agreed to represent Bill Wasz. The shady attorney reached out to a former colleague, Assistant District Attorney Curtis Hazell, in hopes of convincing Hazell that Wasz’s tale is credible enough to serve as the foundation for criminal charges. Following their discussion Longo wrote an attorney’s proffer documenting the details Wasz’s tale and mailed it to Hazell on March 16, 1998. Longo begins the proffer informing the Assistant District Attorney of “information my client could provide in regards to a solicitation to commit murder of Nicole Brown Simpson by Robert Kardashian.”
The Proffer Written by Larry Longo
This is the proffer written by Larry Longo on March 16, 1998:
[aesop_image imgwidth=”content” img=”https://ojsimpson.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Longo-Proffer.png” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Larry Longo’s 1998 attorney proffer on behalf of Bill Wasz.” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off”]
The Problematic Proffer
When one reads Longo’s proffer, it is quite striking to recognize the extent to which Wasz’s tale has evolved since July 1994. The Proffer Includes the Following Additions and Changes to the Tale:
In the proffer Longo writes:
In the fall of 1993, Bill Wasz came into contact with Paula Barbieri, Robert Kardashian and O.J. Simpson. The contact with these individuals was made at the Roxbury [Club] in West Hollywood.
This is the first time that Wasz makes the Roxbury claim, however it is the only time he includes Paula Barbieri in his tale of meeting O.J. Simpson and Robert Kardashian.
In the proffer Longo states:
Just before the New Year, Robert Kardashian met with Wasz in his home in Encino and offered him an assignment. The purpose was to follow Nicole and take pictures of her with any man whom she might meet with romantically. The surveillance of Nicole took place on January 6th and 7th, 1994. This information was documented in a Notebook – the notebook is currently in the custody of the LAPD. The three phone numbers in the book belong to O.J., Kardashian and Barbieri.
As we reviewed earlier, Wasz had not previously claimed to have provided photo documentation of his alleged surveillance of Niciole.
In the proffer Longo states:
On about January 14 Bill Wasz met Robert Kardashian again in his Encino home. At this meeting Kardashian offered Wasz $15,000 if he would kill Nicole with a 25 caliber bullet to the head.
To my knowledge, this is the first time that Wasz’s tale includes the explosive claim that Kardashian asked was to murder Nicole.
In the proffer Longo states:
Robert Kardashian also told Wasz he was to steal Paula Barbieri’s car and use it during the murder. The murder was to take place at the Rockingham and not at Nicole Simpson’s home on Gretna Green.
As a point of fact, Nicole Brown Simpson did not reside at Rockingham or Gretna Green on January 13, 1994 (Date Wasz claims to have met with Kardashian), as of January 11, 1994 she lived at 875 South Bundy Drive.
In the proffer Longo states:
On January 24 at approximately 10am, Kardashian called Wasz at his room at the Saharan Motel on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. Kardashian told Wasz to steal Barbieri’s car from a parking garage in Beverly Hills between 3 and 4 o’clock while she was having her hair done.
As we previously established Paula Barbieri was not having her hair done on January 24, 1994; she was merely dropping something off to her hairstylist (remember Paula was a model). Her hairstylist’s salon was located in the One and Two Rodeo Drive complexes which is similar to an outdoor mall — you park your vehicle and then walk into the complex (up a flight of stairs if I remember correctly) to enter the complex of shoppes. She did not have an appointment nor did she get her hair done on January 24, 1994.
In the proffer Longo states:
After Wasz stole Barbieri’s car he drove to a mall in West Valley where he met Kardashian. While at the mall Wasz took an envelope containing $7,500, which was to be partial payment for the killing.
Yet another addition to the tale which was never in the original. I can understand why a guy who once served two years in prison for stealing a pair of men’s pants at gunpoint might feel the need to add flavor to his tale to portray himself as some sort of master criminal. This added flavor also serves to portray a guy who isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed as getting one over on one of the members of O.J.’s Dream Team.
Here’s Wasz boasting about allegedly being asked to kill Nicole:
[aesop_video align=”center” src=”vimeo” id=”220411180″ caption=”Bill Wasz Claims He Was Asked to Kill Nicole” disable_for_mobile=”off” loop=”off” autoplay=”off” controls=”on” viewstart=”off” viewend=”off” revealfx=”off”]
Conclusion: What’s Wasz Got To Do With It?
Despite being dead since 2005, Bill Wasz continues to impact the O.J. Simpson saga. The many drafts of Wasz’s tall tale continue to be pushed by both those who are convinced that O.J. Simpson did it and those convinced of O.J.’s innocence. To many of those convinced of O.J.’s guilt Bill Wasz’s tale is used to paint O.J. in a bad light and implicate Robert Kardashian as an accomplice — which is propagated as evidence to support the bag conspiracy theory. To many of those convinced of O.J.’s innocence, Wasz’s tale is used as fuel for delusional conspiracy theories or implicate those close to O.J. as villains conspiring unbeknownst to O.J.
The Wasz story is a complicated story, which as you can tell by the length of this article, has several layers. The key to deciphering the truth was focusing on statements and the dates they were made, comparing each claim with indisputable facts (for example Wasz’s claim of where Nicole lived on certain dates and property records & testimony), identifying changes Wasz made to his tale over the years and attempting to understand Wasz by examining the details of his crimes.
With that in mind, the facts are clear and we can categorically conclude that Bill Wasz’s story is nothing more than a lie. It’s a helluva intriguing lie which on the surface seems plausible until one begins to scratch the surface. If that notebook had never left the custody of law enforcement — had the attorney, John Stewart, simply alerted the department of the alleged evidence contained in the notebook, had them review it and provide it to LAPD if it seemed to have evidentiary value; our conclusion would not be so solid.
However, that did not happen; Wasz and Stewart had access/possession of the notebook for seven days before turning it over to LAPD.
If one examines all of the Simpson coverage by Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register between June 13 – July 13, 1994 you will find details like the name of Nicole’s gym (which was “The Gym”) were public information before the notebook was turned over to LAPD. In 1994 an unemployed actor and incompetent criminal wrote himself into the summer’s most popular show as a guest star. His titillating tale of drugs, stolen cars and stalking captivated the media for a week in July.
Over the years Wasz revised the script to be more sensational and was able to cherry-pick lesser known publicly reported details about Nicole, O.J., Paula or Bob to give the impression that he actually knew these people.
To conclude this article, I’d like to share with you a short clip from the 1992 film Leap of Faith, because these words said by Steve Martin playing fake faith healer Jonas Nightingale perfectly describes William Benson Wasz:
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