20 years ago I was at 875 South Bundy in Brentwood, California.
If you're under the age of 40, it is likely that address means nothing to you. But, if you're over 40 and work in TV News then it is likely that I don't have to tell you why I was there.
20 years ago, pulling up to that address, I was shocked at the amount of blood on the walkway up to the house. Working for years in TV news and spending many of them as a news photographer, I have seen a lot of blood.
I have been to the scene of more car accidents, shootings and stabbings than I can count. But, even for someone that has seen so many gruesome crime scenes, this was still shocking.
The blood was thick and it had just flowed down the front walkway of this residence.
That thick blood came from two people, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
It was the very start of a story that would change TV news. But, more importantly, it changed me.
The suspect in those murders was OJ Simpson, one of the greatest NFL running backs of all time.
The car chase, arrest and ultimately the trial helped launched a number of careers. It is likely that without the OJ Simpson trail you would have never heard of Greta van Susteren, Dan Abrams or any of the Kardashian's.
For me, standing at the crime scene, it was there that I learned there was no such thing as a hero.
20 years before I stood looking at all that blood at a house in southern California, I was standing on the sidelines at a Buffalo Bills football practice.
I had won a contest that let me attend a team practice of the Bills. I got to be on the field and hang out with the players. Part of my winning, allowed me to eat lunch at the Bills training camp table and sit down with my favorite Buffalo Bill.
I know what you're thinking, my favorite Bill was OJ Simpson, right?
My favorite Bill at the time was wide receiver JD Hill. I was young teenage boy excited to meet Mr. Hill. But, I was told that JD had to go to the trainer's room for treatment and would not be meeting with me.
I was bummed that my favorite Bill wasn't going to meet me and was really upset.
OJ Simpson came over to me at lunch and asked why I was upset. I told him that JD Hill was blowing me off. OJ said it was OK......I could hang out with him.
He showed me around the Bills facility and gave me a great tour. He then said he was headed to the mall for an autograph session and asked my Mom if he could take me with him? Simpson did not live far from my house and told my Mom that he would drop me off.
After getting clearance from my Mom, I got in OJ's car and hung out with him for the rest of the day. By the time he dropped me off at my house, JD Hill was no longer my favorite Buffalo Bill.
It was OJ!
The idea that this guy, a superstar would take the time to help an upset kid and hang out with all day was something I don't think you would see too many athletes now-a-days doing.
Simpson went above and beyond to help brighten a kid's day even if he wasn't even the kid's favorite player.
OJ Simpson was my hero.
20 years later I stood looking at all that blood and was shocked that OJ Simpson was the suspect in those killings.
When Simpson was found "not guilty" in his trial, I have to admit, I was happy with the verdict. I guess the kid in me wanted to hold out hope that my friend for a day, OJ Simpson did not commit those murders.
But, the newsperson in me, knows that he most likely did.
It took 20 years, but the teenage boy learned that athletes should never be looked at as heroes.
What little bit of innocence I had left in me was gone. Washed away in a very large pool of blood.