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April 18, 1995 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-18

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20 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 18, 1995

Videotape bolsters
, Fung testimon Cin
O.J. Simpson case


Los Angeles Police Department criminalist Dennis Fung points yesterday to an area showing blood spots on an exhibit photo of O.J. Simpson's bronco.
Lawyer calls Kaelin's book 'contradictory'

LOS ANGELES - In a strong
blow to defense claims that O.J.
Simpson was framed by police, the
prosecution yesterday used a video-
tape to offer proof that homicide
detective Philip Vannatter promptly
delivered a vial of Simpson's blood
to criminalist Dennis Fung the day
after the murders and not two days
The newly discovered tape contra-
dicted a videotape shown by defense
lawyer Barry Scheck last week that
purported to show that Vannatter had
Simpson's blood in his possession for
two days, making it possible for police
to plant evidence that would incrimi-
nate Simpson for the June 12 murders
of his ex-wife and a friend, Ronald
The new videotape, shot by a Los
Angeles TV station, appeared to come
as a surprise to Scheck. It was played=
by prosecutor Hank Goldberg as part
of the effort to restore Fung's cred-
ibility to the jury. Fung had testified
the vial was given to him at O.J.
Simpson's estate the day after the
murders, but that he could not recall
whether he put it in the crime truck or
gave it to an assistant, Andrea
Fung had been subjected to a gru-
eling weeklong cross examination by
Scheck, who succeeded in getting the
criminalist to admit that mistakes were
made in the collection of evidence
and in the handling of the crime scene
that could have resulted in contami-
Also during yesterday's ques-
tioning, Fung denied that he delib-
erately misled a grand jury about
who actually collected the evidence
- he or Mazzola - and insisted
that the dark item on the white blan-
ket used tocover Nicole Simpson's
body was not the leather glove, but
a clump of leaves on a stain of blood.
He also denied touching evidence
with his bare hands and maintained
that an .item seen in his hands on a
defense videotape was not the
bloody envelope containing eye-
Besides the videotape, there were
other surprises, including an an apol-
ogy by defense lawyer Robert Shapiro
for offending Asian Americans by
passing out fortune cookies during
the cross examination of Fung.

Blood sample
dispute major
issue for case
Los Angeles Times
handling of a vial of O.J.
Simpson's blood has become a
significant issue in his double-
murder trial. Simpson's law-
yers contend that Los Angeles
Police Department Detective
Philip L. Vaniatter kept the
blood overnight, and suggest
he could have used it to stain
other items of evidence. Pros-
ecutors say Vannatter gave the
blood to a criminalist the same
afternoon it was drawn.
The following is the
prosecution's timeline for June
Between 2:30 and 3:30
p.m.: Simpson gives police
blood sample.
5:12 p.m.: LAPD
criminalist Dennis Fung puts
most evidence from Simpson's
estate in a crime scene truck,
then goes back inside Simpson's
house with Andrea Mazzola, an
entry-level LAPD criminalist.
5:16 p.m.: Vannatter ar-
rives with a gray envelope con-
taining the blood vial, and goes
inside Simpson's estate.
M5:18 p.m.: Vannatter gives
Fung the blood vial. Fung puts
it in a black plastic bag.
5:42 p.m.: Fung and
Mazzola leave Simpson's es-
tate. Mazzola carries the bag,
puts it in the front of the crime
scene truck.
The following is the
defense's timeline for June 13:
Between 2:30 and 3:30
p.m.: Simpson allows police to
take a blood sample from him at
LAPD headquarters.
5:20 p.m.: Vannatter, the
police detective who had the
vial ofSimpson's blood, arrives
at Simpson's estate.
The defense contends that
Fung did not receive the blood
vial until the morning of June

The Washington Post
LOS ANGELES - Key witness Brian "Kato"
Kaelin has written a book that contradicts his testi-
mony in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, a lawyer for
the book's co-author said yesterday.
Kaelin, the shaggy-haired aspiring actor who
was a house guest of Simpson last June when the
celebrity defendant's ex-wife and a male friend
were murdered, gave 16 hours of interviews to
author Marc Eliot for the book, which has been
written but does not have a publisher, Eliot's attor-
ney, Leonard Marks, said in an interview.
"After we reviewed Kato's testimony, my con-
clusion was that he had lied on the stand and that he
had concealed a tremendous amount of informa-
tion," Marks said in a telephone interview moni-
tored by Eliot. The lawyer refused to elaborate.
Prosecutors have obtained copies of Kaelin's
taped interviews and are investigating him "for the
possibility of a number of things, I would imagine,"
Judge Lance A. Ito told defense lawyers in a sidebar
conference Friday, according to a transcript re-
leased yesterday.
Kaelin's book was reportedly going to be issued
by St. Martin's Press, but the firm's chairman,
Thomas McCormack, said yesterday that he had
backed out of the deal when Kaelin and Eliot's
agents requested half the advance before permitting
even a glimpse of the manuscript.

'gAfter we reviewed
Kato's testimonym
conclusion was that he
had lied on the stand,"
-- Leonard Marks
Lawyer for author Marc Eliot, who
co-wrote Brian Kato' Kaelin's new book
"I said no deal," the publisher said. "If you go into
a house with a Realtor and he says, 'I'm not going to
show you the top floor,' would you buy the house?"
He added that he had not even seen an outline.
McCormack said that his experience with the
book - reportedly titled "Star Witness: My Life
With Nicole and O.J."- left him "skeptical" about
the contents. He also said the amount of money that
the deal had been reported as being worth -
$500,000 - was a serious exaggeration.
Kaelin is a key witness because he had several
conversations with Simpson on June 12, accompa-
nied him on a hamburger run to McDonald's an
hour before the murders and saw him again just
after the estimated time of the bloody slayings,
which took place outside Nicole Simpson's

townhouse two miles away.
Prosecutor Marcia Clark had Kaelin declared a
"hostile witness" during his testimony because she
believed he shaded his statements to avoid hurting
O.J. Simpson, who had sheltered him for free and
tried to help his stalled acting career. Clark also
implied that Kaelin was withholding damaging
information about Simpson's demeanor and com-
ments on the night of the murder and about the
Simpsons' stormy marriage..
Kaelin, who was alternately wisecracking, con-
fused and somber during his court testimony, could
be open to perjury charges if he lied on the stand,
and could be called back to testify further if the
book shows that he has more relevant information
than he divulged in court. Kaelin's lawyer could
not be reached for comment last night.
Kaelin testified on the stand that he was not
writing a book, an answer that appeared to surprise
prosecutors. Darden said the prosecution has a
copy of a videotaped book proposal and an un-
signed book contract with St. Martin's Press. Marks
said the book is written, and described Kaelin's
testimony on the subject as "outright lies."
Darden said in court yesterday that he was
turning over to the defense some 15 to 17 tapes of
the Kaelin-Elliott interviews, which were obtained
by subpoena. Marks said Elliott is cooperating
fully with the District Attorney's office.



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