KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- "You`ve got to realize, he`s still a celebrity," said Paul Beck, a retired L.A.P.D. Helicopter Pilot. "He has the potential for turning a corner and making a lot more money than you and I will ever make, even now. So, in terms of him going to Florida and living happily ever after, absolutely, it`s gonna happen," said Beck.
Happily ever after is not the way anyone thought the O.J. Simpson story would end, especially not during what was dubbed the trial of the century in 1995, when the former football star faced two counts of murder for the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.
"Were there some screw ups at the crime scene? Yes, there were," said Beck. "There was a bloody thumb print on the gate latch that never got lifted and SID was given notes and said lift that print, and they didn`t do it for whatever (reason). I`m confident, I`m confident it was O.J.`s thumb print on that gate," said Beck.
Beck worked for L.A.P.D. for more than 25 years, operating a tactical surveillance helicopter. Beck was up in the air on June 17, 1994 during the famous white bronco chase and was operating the first helicopter to follow O.J., as Simpson refused to turn himself in to police.
"This guy was a celebrity at a time when we had come out of a riot because of the Rodney King situation, and I doubt very seriously that in Los Angeles County at least or the greater Southern California area, that you would have convicted him for just about anything," said Beck.
Beck thinks O.J. is guilty of murder, but is not surprised he's going to be released from prison.
"And I think everybody would probably agree, this guy has served his time," said Beck. "He`s never had any citations, anything against him."
"No, it doesn`t surprise me that they granted him parole. Now, if that had been Charles Manson, that'd be a different situation."