Uh—guys?

As of very early Friday morning, TMZ is reporting that “a construction worker found a knife buried on the perimeter of the former OJ Simpson estate,” and that it’s “currently being tested by the LAPD in a top secret investigation.” They cite their sources as “law enforcement.”

We’re told a construction worker found the knife years ago — we have heard several different stories, ranging from “several years ago” to 1998, when the house was demolished.

The weapon is a folding buck knife.

Our law enforcement sources say the construction worker took the knife to the street, where he saw an LAPD cop. He told the officer where he found the knife and the cop took it.

Turns out the cop — who worked in the traffic division — was off duty at the time, working security for a movie shoot at a house across the street on Rockingham. Our sources say the officer took the knife home and kept it ... kept it for years.

So, according to this story, a construction worker found a BURIED KNIFE at OJ Simpson’s former property at some point between a few years ago and 1998; he turned it over to an off-duty traffic cop, who “kept it...kept it for years.” OK. And then:

In late January of this year, after the cop retired from the LAPD, he contacted a friend who worked in LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division (RHD). The cop told the friend about the knife and said he was getting it framed to put on his wall. He wanted his friend to get the DR (Departmental Record) number for the Nicole Brown Simpson/Ronald Goldman murder case, which he planned on engraving in the frame.

We’re told the friend was indignant, and told his superiors. The brass was outraged and demanded that the retired cop turn the knife over, which he did.

As you may recall, a good portion of the defense’s strength during the O.J. trial was how ham-fisted the police had been about handling evidence, so it’s remarkable and somewhat fitting that this is all coming up now (timely too, given the FX series currently airing about the show). Even so, reports TMZ, the knife is being tested for “hair and fingerprints,” and it will be tested for DNA next week. The case is still open, their source says, since O.J. was found not guilty—but, under double jeopardy laws, he cannot be prosecuted again.

TMZ, wrote Nicholas Schmidle at the New Yorker in February, “resembles an intelligence agency as much as a news organization, and it has turned its domain, Los Angeles, into a city of stool pigeons.” In other words, this story is unbelievable (although no more so than most details of the O.J. case), but no one is more believable to have secured it than TMZ.

We eagerly await the follow-up, in which the knife will be announced to have been buried by none other than Ryan Murphy.

Updated to add: The LAPD has confirmed this story to NBC4. “LAPD Capt. Andrew Neiman told NBC4 Friday morning that police are investigating the report. Police later confirmed a knife was found on the property, but did not provide other information on the discovery or confirm any other details in the TMZ report,” writes NBC. We’ve removed “secret” from the headline, accordingly.


Contact the author at jia@jezebel.com.

Image via AP