On June 12 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson hosted a dinner party for 10 at Mezzaluna. Nicole and her family accounted for 9 seats, but who was the mystery guest that dined with the Brown family?
Sydney Simpson’s Recital
On the afternoon of Sunday, June 12, 1994 Sydney Brooke Simpson, daughter of O.J. and Nicole, performed in Dance for Kid’s annual recital at the Paul Revere Middle School in the suburban Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Dance for Kids offers classes in a variety of dance styles for youth aged from kindergarten to high school seniors. The company’s annual recital includes a performance from each class.
The 1994 Dance for Kids annual recital, titled “On the Farm,” was Western-themed and included performances from approximately 30 classes. The dance performance by Sydney’s class was slotted near the end of the recital’s program which began at 4:30 pm. The family had to endure nearly 90 minutes of performances by more than 20 dance classes before Sydney and her classmates took the stage, all dressed in bell-bottomed outfits decorated with silver-spangled fringes, and performed their dance which was set to the Kenny Loggins’ song Footloose.
A Table for 10 at Mezzaluna
Following the recital, the Brown family piled into two Jeep Cherokees and drove 2 miles to have dinner at Mezzaluna restaurant’s Brentwood location at 11750 San Vicente Boulevard.
Tia Gavin was the server responsible for Nicole Brown Simpson’s dinner party. Miss Gavin testified that Nicole’s party of 10 arrived at approximately 6:45 PM.
Who were the 10 people at the table? Nicole Brown Simpson and her children Sydney and Justin, Nicole’s parents Lou and Judy Brown, her sister Denise and her son Sean, her sister Dominique Brown and her son Aaron, and, the dinner companion that history has forgotten: Sydney Simpson’s friend Rachel Berman.
At approximately 8:30 PM the party of 10 left Mezzaluna. The Brown family piled into Dominique’s Jeep Cherokee and drove home to Dana Point. Nicole, Justin, Sydney and Rachel Berman went for ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.
After getting their Ben & Jerry’s they got into Nicole’s Jeep Cherokee and drove to Nicole’s condo located at 875 S Bundy Drive.
The Sleepover: Sydney Simpson & Rachel Berman
Rachel Berman went to dinner with the family and then returned to the condo with them is because she and Sydney were going to have a slumber party.
Anyone that has attended or hosted a slumber party understands that the kids will be up late, perhaps playing games or watching movies in the living room.
With that in mind, all of the gathering places at 875 S Bundy Drive were on the ground floor. The diagram below illustrates the layout of Nicole’s condo. Notice that the living room, kitchen and dining room are on the ground floor and all have large windows facing the front gate area.
Shortly after 9:00 PM the slumber party was unexpectedly cancelled when Rachel’s father, Robert Berman, arrived to 875 S Bundy Drive. Due to the change in the plans of Rachel Berman’s parents, Mr. Berman needed to pick up Rachel from Nicole’s condo. Mr. Berman and Nicole spoke for approximately 15 minutes and then, at approximately 9:15 PM, he and Rachel departed.
Meanwhile at 360 N. Rockingham Ave
O.J. Simpson was aware that Sydney was having a slumber party with her friend Rachel Berman on June 12, 1994. He had attended Sydney’s recital earlier in the day, spent time with the kids and kissed the Brown’s goodbye as they and Rachel were leaving Paul Revere Middle School to go to dinner.
After he arrived to home at 360 N Rockingham Ave, O.J. found himself in his kitchen chatting with Kato Kaelin.
Kato Takes A Dip In The Jacuzzi
According to his June 20, 1994 testimony before the Grand Jury, Kato Kaelin said that at approximately 7:00 PM, he was “Talking to him [O.J.] in the kitchen area [of Rockingham], which is on the diagram, and we were by the kitchenette area and asking him about the recital of his daughter Sydney.” …
Assistant District Attorney Marcia Clark asked Kaelin to “Tell me how he [O.J.] was behaving. Did he seem agitated? Upset? Nervous?”
Kaelin responded “”No; nonchalant.”
Clark asked if O.J. was “Relaxed?”
Kaelin replied “Yes.”
As his conversation in the kitchen with O.J. was winding down, Kaelin testified, “I was asking him permission if I could take a Jacuzzi.” O.J. said yes.
Marcia Clark asked Kaelin what time he got into the Jacuzzi. Kaelin said: “It was beginning to get dark, so I believe it was about 7:30, 8:00 o’clock.”
Clark next asked, “When did you finish the Jacuzzi?”
Kaelin replied, “Probably 8:30, about that time.”
Kato Leaves The Jets On After Using The Jacuzzi
After returning to his bungalow, Kaelin showered and then called his friend Susan. After speaking with Susan, he had a phone call with his friend Tom O’Brien.
During his conversation with Tom O’Brien, Kaelin heard O.J. call out his name. Kato stepped outside and O.J. “Asked me if I was done with the Jacuzzi because I left the jets on. And I was — and I felt bad because I felt like I had screwed up.” Kaelin returned to his bungalow and his telephone conversation with Tom O’Brien.
O.J. and Kato Go To McDonald’s
A short time later, he heard O.J. call out his name again. Kaelin testified that he stepped outside to speak with O.J. “He had said that he was embarrassed, but he needed to borrow some money. I said, “Sure.” He told me he needed $5 for a sky cap and he was going to go get a burger.” Marcia Clark then asked how he responded. Kaelin told Clark that he “went in my drawer and I had $45, and I invited myself to go along because I was hungry. So we went together to McDonald’s.”
The two left for McDonald’s in O.J.’s Rolls Royce shortly after 9:00 PM.
Marcia Clark asked Kaelin “What time was it when you parted company with Mr. Simpson at that point?” Kaelin told the grand jurors “I think it was about 9:45 — 9:40, 9:45. I did make a call in my room at that time, approximately.”
Note: All of the facts and quotations detailed above from Brian Gerard “Kato” Kaelin’s testimony before the Grand Jury on Monday, June 20, 1995. You can read a full transcript of Mr. Kaelin’s testimony here.
What Did O.J. Do Between His First and Second Visit With Kato Kaelin?
According to Kato Kaelin’s testimony, one can decipher that approximately 20 to 30 minutes elapsed between O.J.’s first visit with Kaelin regarding the Jacuzzi being left on and O.J.’s second visit to ask to borrow money.
Between 8:30 – 9:00 PM O.J. Simpson made at least two telephone calls.
He called his daughter Sydney: “I was just telling her how great she was, and I told her that I’d be back by next weekend. I may not get back till Saturday because of a wedding I was going to in San Francisco and–but we were definitely going to Knotts Berry Farm on Sunday.”
O.J. also called his friend Dr. Christian Reichardt. Dr. Reichardt testified that he spoke with O.J. for approximately 15 minutes. He said O.J. “seemed more jovial, he seemed relaxed, he was packing his bag to go to Chicago.”
O.J. Spoke With Sydney Prior to 9:00 PM, Her Sleepover Wasn’t Cancelled Until After 9:00 PM
Perhaps the most important and overlooked element of the night of June 12, 1994 is the fact that Sydney Simpson’s friend Rachel Berman was scheduled to spend the night at 875 S Bundy Drive.
O.J. spoke with Sydney at some point before 9:00 PM, Rachel Berman’s father did not arrive, unexpectedly, to pick-up Rachel until after 9:00 PM.
O.J. was unaware of the change of plans; to his knowledge, Sydney and Rachel were having a slumber party.
With that in mind, consider the following:
- Sydney and Rachel were both hopped up on sugar thanks to Ben & Jerry’s.
- Typically, at sleepovers kids stay up late playing games or watching movies.
- All of the common areas of Nicole’s condo (living room, dining room, kitchen) were located on the ground floor.
- Each common area had a windows which look out on the area of the walkway, front gate and back gate
It is simply not plausible that of all nights to commit a murder, O.J. Simpson would choose a night that Sydney was hosting a sleepover.
The harsh reality is that it would be more likely than not that at 10:35 PM Sydney and Rachel would probably be hanging out in one of the common areas (playing games or watching movies). If the sleepover had not been unexpectedly cancelled, this would have meant that Sydney and Rachel would have a front row seat to witness the brutal murders through the large windows of the common areas of 875 S Bundy Drive.
Why did Goldman family attorney Daniel Petrocelli intentionally omit Rachel or Robert Berman in his timeline of June 12 1994? Sydney Simpson having a slumber party with Rachel Berman hurts his case. The evidence clearly establishes that O.J. Simpson last spoke with Sydney prior to anyone knowing that Rachel would not be spending the night at Nicole’s condo.
In fact, in his opening statement Petrocelli completely omitted the Berman’s from his purported timeline:
“Nicole, as I said earlier, had gone to a dance recital for her daughter, went to dinner at Mezzaluna, left at around 8:30, got some ice cream with the kids, and got home before 9:00, and she put the kids to bed. She received a phone call from her mom at 9:40, asking about the glasses.”
Despite the significance of Rachel Berman to the facts about June 12, 1994, the media, like Petrocelli, have erased her from history.
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