Americans watched O.J. Simpson take police on a 90-minute slow speed car chase down the 405 freeway in Los Angeles 25 years ago on June 17, 1994.
Al Cowlings, Simpson’s best friend, drove the infamous white Ford Bronco while Simpson cowered in the back seat as the car was followed by several police cars and helicopters, and cheered by onlookers as it slowly wound toward the former NFL great’s home.
Simpson, a fugitive because he had not turned himself into authorities as promised, was eventually arrested for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman after a stand-off with police at his Brentwood home later that evening.
Most television networks carried the chase live, split-screen with Game 5 of the NBA finals, beginning at 6:45 p.m. and staying with the entire 60-mile journey through Los Angeles. Groups of people watched the coverage in bars and public venues throughout America.
The event was reportedly watched by 95 million people, which made it the highest-rated program of the year for basic cable, according to Nielsen numbers reported by The New York Times.
Simpson, nicknamed “Juice” because of the initials “O.J.,” which represented Orenthal James, would eventually be tried and acquitted of the murders, but would be found guilty later in civil court.
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