His story was so credible that Marcia Clark and Chris Darden did not call him as a witness for the prosecution in the 1995 criminal trial of O.J. Simpson. Neither of the plaintiff attorneys, John Q. Kelly or Daniel Petrocelli, presented Skip Junis’ tale while presenting their case in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Mr. Simpson by the Brown and Goldman families. Despite the fact that his story was not deemed to be credible by Marcia Clark, Chris Darden, John Q. Kelly or Daniel Petrocelli; the folks at Dateline NBC presented Skip Junis’ story as 100% credible in the June 11, 2014 episode The People vs. O.J. Simpson: What the Jury Never Heard.
Dateline NBC Features Skip Junis’ Story
The Dateline NBC episode was billed as a two-hour Primetime special to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. The episode drew monster ratings for NBC both on June 12, 2014 and when re-broadcast in March 2016.
Appearing on the June 12, 2014 episode of Hardball with Chris Matthews, Dateline NBC correspondent Josh Mankiewicz told Mr. Matthews “Skip Junis was entirely credible, he hadn’t sold his story. He couldn’t have been accused of being tainted in any way. Prosecutors decided not to use him because I guess they felt in their gut that the blood evidence was working with the jury and there was no reason to present witnesses like Mr. Junis.”
FACT: During the Simpson Trial the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office Knowingly Presented Witnesses Who Sold Their Story to Tabloids
First and foremost the suggestion that the prosecution refused to present witnesses who sold their story to a tabloid is proven invalid by the fact that during the preliminary hearing, prosecutors presented the testimony of two witnesses who had sold their story to a tabloid.
On June 30, 1994 Ross Cutlery employee Jose Camacho and Allen Wattenberg testified that in early-May 1994 Mr. Simpson was filming scenes for a television pilot in front of Ross Cutlery (a knife store) and during a break in the filming Mr. Simpson visited the store and purchased a $75 knife. Testifying for the prosecution, both Camacho and Wattenberg stated that they had sold their story to the National Enquirer for $12,500. Prosecutor William Hodgman elicited testimony from Camacho that he had sold his story to the National Enquirer. Responding to Hodgman’s questioning, Wattenberg revealed that he, Camacho and Wattenberg’s brother expect to split the $12,500 from the National Enquirer.
Dateline NBC’s Version of History vs Reality
The new version of history presented by Dateline NBC, a “news” show which once faked a crash test to infer that pickup trucks manufactured by General Motors would explode during minor traffic collisions, ignores the facts about Skip Junis’ tale which were reported in 1995.
When the news media first learned of Junis’ tale, it was presented as a blockbuster development as evidenced by this excerpt from the opening of David Margolick’s March 30, 1995 report:
Prosecutors in the O. J. Simpson case have said they have another witness who saw Mr. Simpson place a black duffel bag atop a garbage can at Los Angeles International Airport last June. They also plan to haul one of the brown trash receptacles into court and introduce it into evidence.
Attempting to fill one of the gaping holes in its case — how and where Mr. Simpson could have jettisoned the murder weapon and bloody clothes after he killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman — prosecutors say Mr. Simpson stuffed a black duffel bag into a garbage can next to a skycap station shortly before boarding a flight to Chicago.
However the potential blockbuster was proven to be a dud in less than 24 hours — Michelle Caruso of the New York Daily News, who did not hide the fact that she was pro-prosecution, reported the following about Skip Junis on April 1, 1995:
Meanwhile, prosecution sources said they probably won’t present testimony from Skip Junis, a new witness who said he saw Simpson fiddling with a bag on top of a trash can at the Los Angeles airport the night of the slayings. Prosecutors have concerns about Junis’ account, including the location where he reports seeing Simpson’s limousine and the style of bag he saw on the trash can, a source said. And when Junis spoke to defense investigators in July, he didn’t mention seeing Simpson near the trash can with a bag.
On April 3, 1995 Sally Ann Struthers of USA Today reported that it is unlikely that prosecutors would call Skip Junis due to credibility issues:
ABC and the Los Angeles Times have reported that Skip Junis told police he saw Simpson fiddling with his luggage near an airport trash can. But, the defense says, Junis didn’t mention the trash can when he was interviewed last summer — an omission that could mar his credibility. And there are inconsistencies in his description of the bag.
Skip Junis was not called to testify because, as Josh Mankiewicz of Dateline NBC said, “Prosecutors decided not to use him because I guess they felt in their gut that the blood evidence was working with the jury and there was no reason to present witnesses like Mr. Junis.” He was not called to testify because his story was not credible.
The eighth episode of O.J. Simpson: Fact or Fiction, an episodic series of mini-documentaries which focuses on one element of the O.J. Simpson saga per episode, examines the question: Did O.J. Simpson Dispose of Evidence at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on June 12, 1994?
To answer this question, in addition to hearing the sworn testimony of witnesses who interacted with Mr. Simpson at LAX, viewers will travel the same path as Mr. Simpson walked circa 11:30 pm on June 12, 1994: from the curbside of Terminal 4 at Los Angeles International Airport, to the American Airlines skycap station, into the terminal building, through security and down the concourse to gate 49A where he boarded American Airlines flight 668 scheduled to depart for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport at 11:45 pm. Finally we hear from one of the few individuals who conducted a complete investigation into Mr. Simpson’s movements at LAX: Simpson Defense Team Lead Investigator Patrick J. McKenna.
Previous Episodes Of O.J. Simpson Fact Or Fiction?:
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