Jim Gardner Remembers Following OJ Simpson During That Low Speed Chase


Thursday, June 12th 2014, 9:54 pm
By: News 9


Today marks 20 years since the deaths that sparked the iconic O.J. Simpson chase. It was the most televised police pursuit in history, and that's in part thanks to someone you know.

News 9 Pilot Jim Gardner talks about being a part of that bizarre moment in time.

Chances are you know where you were about 20 years ago when that white Ford Bronco led police on the infamous low speed chase.

In fact, our own helicopter pilot here at News 9 remembers it like it was yesterday.

Before Jim Gardener was our pilot, he worked for a Los Angeles television station.

"The word came out that O.J. was going to turn himself into the courthouse downtown," recalled Jim. "So everybody was down there circling, waiting for O.J. to turn himself in, which O.J. never did."

Soon after, O.J. Simpson would find himself in the back of a White Bronco, and the news helicopters would follow.

Jim was quickly among about 20 news and law enforcement helicopters following the pursuit which hovered around 60 miles per hour.

An image that sticks out to Jim was the people, thousands of them, who lined the streets cheering O.J. on.

"People were hanging sings over the overpasses saying, ‘Go O.J. Go. We know you're innocent. Go O.J. Go,' and they were cheering and clapping as the Bronco came by," said Jim. "And we were saying, ‘My gosh! People have just gone crazy.'"

Jim says that got to him, because just days earlier he was above the crime scene of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

"And I'm telling you Amanda, anyone who saw that scene, that was the most brutal scene you can imagine," said Jim. "I really couldn't imagine the human body could hold that much blood."

Ronald's sister, Kim Goldman, published a memoir last month titled "Can't Forgive: My 20-Year Battle With O.J. Simpson."

She says she has forgiven herself for not forgiving.