This past Saturday marked the 25th anniversary of the stunning verdict in the Trial of O. J. Simpson. Back in January, around the anniversary of the beginning of that trial, Crime Story published a series of interviews with individuals each of whom has a unique perspective on the collective narrative of how that case played out.

Today we mark the anniversary by reprising those pieces.

We offer our interviews with the creators of the two seminal popular culture narratives about the trial:

  • Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, creators, executive producers and writers of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning limited series, The People v. O.J. Simpson as well as many other award-winning films and television programs.
  • Ezra Edelman, Producer and director of the Oscar and Emmy winning, ten hour documentary O.J.: Made in America.

The conversations were recorded as part of a series of classes that I taught at The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Each week I would host an artist for a discussion that would help us better understand their values and aims as storytellers in the world of crime and justice.

During Part One of our conversation with Larry and Scott, we discussed how they met, their development as storytellers, the evolution of their partnership, how they became known as the “kings of the anti-bio pic,” how they came to write The People v. O.J. Simpson, the writing process on the series, and we began a discussion of how the production itself came together.

You can listen to Part 1 here:

And you can find a transcript here:

Episode 97: Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, The People vs. O.J. Simpson — Part 1

During Part Two of the conversation with Larry and Scott, we take a deep dive into the issues that arose during the writing and production processes of The People vs. O.J. Simpson, and then Scott and Larry field questions from the students in the class.

You can listen to Part 2 here:

And you can find a transcript here:

Episode 98: Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, The People vs. O.J. Simpson — Part 2

During Part One of our conversation with Ezra Edelman, we discussed Ezra’s path into storytelling, the development of his craft as a cinematic storyteller, the evolution of his interest in sports and African-American history, how he was convinced to make the film, and the process of conceptualizing and producing the documentary.

You can listen to Part 1 here:

And you can find a transcript here:

Episode 99: Interview: Ezra Edelman, O.J.: Made in America — Part 1

During Part Two of our conversation, we discussed Ezra’s editorial process, the most essential interviews of the film, the cultural impact of the documentary, the responses of some of the interview subjects to the project as well as some questions from the USC students.

You can listen to Part 2 here:

And you can find a transcript here:

Episode 100: Interview: Ezra Edelman, O.J.: Made in America — Part 2

Finally we present our interview with Bill Hodgman, who served in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office for over 40 years until his retirement in 2019. During the last eight of those years, Bill served as the Assistant District Attorney overseeing the office’s line operations. In 1994 and 1995, he was one of the lead prosecutors in the double-murder prosecution of O.J. Simpson.

I spoke with Bill by phone on January 24 of this year, the day of the 25th anniversary of the commencement of oral arguments in the Simpson trial. My aim was to explore the many facets of storytelling in that trial, and to get the perspective from inside the prosecution’s foxhole during those proceedings. I also sought Bill’s perspective on the legacy of the trial as it has been memorialized in popular culture.

My apologies in advance for the static in our connection, but I think you will find that the thoughtfulness and honesty of Bill’s commentary overcomes any technical imperfection in our presentation.

You can listen to the interview here: