"I will pursue as my primary goal in life the killer or killers who slaughtered Nicole and Mr. Goldman. They are out there somewhere. Whatever it takes to identify them and bring them in, I will provide somehow."
I CAN SEE HIM in his famous Bronco, cruising Bogota, scanning the cafes and bodegas in search of the cocaine hitmen who struck that night at faraway Bundy Drive . . .
O.J., leaping from the truck, vaulting a flower cart, sprinting down a long alley and -- with a Heismanlike burst of speed -- tackling a young man who's running away . . .
O.J., pinning the trembling cur to the damp cobblestones, mercilessly choking the cold truth from the coward's throat . . .
And I can hear O.J. snarling: "I want answers! Now!"
"OK! OK!" the wretch will whimper. "I tell you anything you want, Senor Simpson. Anything!"
O.J., nodding grimly: "Smart fella. Let's start with the DNA. How'd you get it?"
"Don't play dumb, creep. You and your pals swiped some of my DNA and sprinkled it everywhere, just to set me up."
"It's not true!"
O.J., working a fist around the young man's neck. "And those gloves -- how'd you know what kind of gloves I wear? That was real cute."
"Please, Senor Simpson, . . . "
"Shut up!" O.J. will exclaim. "Let's talk about the bloody footprints, chico. Same size shoe as mine. Very clever."
"I didn't know about no footprints."
"Don't lie to me, punk!"
And I can see O.J. slapping the young man, hard. Once. Twice. Maybe three times. "Stop your bawlin', junior, we haven't got all day. I got a best-seller to write, I got a pay-per-view to rehearse, I got a Dumpster full of footballs waiting to be autographed -- and I got Larry King by satellite in exactly two hours. So talk, dammit!"
"OK, OK, I confess. Johnnie Cochran was right. It was a drug hit. One of Nicole's friends stiffed us for half a gram, so we sent a team of hired assassins to Brentwood."
"I knew it!"
"True, normally we'd have used guns, but our MAC-10s ended up in freaking Seattle with the rest of the luggage."
Now I can see O.J., zeroing in, working the guy like a pro. "The victims' blood in the Bronco, my DNA, the hair fibers, the %J footprints. It was brilliant, chico."
"A frame-up from the beginning, Senor Simpson. Sure, Mark Fuhrman was on our payroll. So was the LAPD crime lab. The coroner. And the entire FBI. In fact, the only one we couldn't bribe was that airhead Kato."
"Some people aren't for sale."
"Oh, Kato was for sale. But he wanted a $2 million recording contract and there was no way. We're ruthless but we're not sadists. Now I've got a question for you."
"Make it fast, creep."
"Why'd you get in the truck and run from the cops? The cash, the disguise, the passport -- we couldn't figure out why you were acting so damn guilty."
"Simple, maggot. I was heading down here -- to look for you."
Then I can see O.J. Simpson, celebrity gumshoe, hoisting the squirming suspect by the collar and hauling him toward the waiting Bronco, and justice . . .
"Well, chico, your diabolical scheme almost worked."
"Almost, Senor. Lucky for you the jury wasn't fooled one bit."
"Yeah. Lucky for me."
Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald.