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Georgia Simpson

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Robert Shapiro on Bill Pavelic
by Georgia Simpson   
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Last edited: Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2007

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Georgia Simpson

Bill Pavelic
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Robert Shapiro, one of the nation’s best-known attorneys is most notable for being part of the defense team which successfully defended O.J. Simpson. He is also a co-founder of LegalZoom and a partner of Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP, a full-service law firm with approximately 120 attorneys

Robert Shapiro, one of the nation’s best-known attorneys is most notable for being part of the defense team which successfully defended O.J. Simpson. He is also a co-founder of LegalZoom and a partner of Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP, a full-service law firm with approximately 120 attorneys.

In his book entitled, The Search For Justice: A Defense Attorney's Brief on the O.J. Simpson Case, Shapiro had many things to say about Bill Pavelic. Below are actual excerpts from The Search For Justice concerning Bill Pavelic….

“....I then called my friend Bill Pavelic, a retired nineteen-year veteran of the L.A.P.D., with eleven of those years spent as a detective supervisor. Bill is perhaps the most anal-retentive, thorough investigator I have ever seen, and he is passionate about police integrity and behavior. During his time on the force, he received more than two hundred commendations, including ones from the U.S. Justice Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti. Pavelic misses nothing. Not only can he find the needle in the haystack, he can tell you who dropped it there and when. If there is a mistake made in police procedure, protocol, or timing, no matter how insignificant it may appear to the layman, he will find it. Most important, Pavelic himself has absolute integrity, as well as an indefatigable work ethic. When he agreed to come on the case, I felt that one of the strongest links in the chain had been forged.....”

“....This changed significantly when Bill Pavelic contacted Gary Randa, Cathy Randa's adult son, and in essence hired him as our video archivist. Gary's mission was to tape, each and every day, anything on television regarding O.J.'s case. That included news segments in the morning, both local and national, all the talk shows throughout the day, the evening news wrap-ups, and everything on Court TV and CNN. Every few days, the defense team and the investigators would go through the tapes, paying close attention to the "court of public opinion' that was transpiring outside our office door...”

Read more about Bill Pavelic at his official site,

“....In the meantime, Bill Pavelic was trying to find out who Ron Goldman was and where he fit into the mystery. Was he a boyfriend? Was he a bystander?...”

“....So initially it appeared that we might have a reasonable basis for exploring a narcotics angle. Bill Pavelic was looking into the record of 911 calls in the area on the night of the murders; there had been reports of prowlers, and we couldn't dismiss the likelihood that if they were borne out, they could have some connection to the crime. At the very least, we had an obligation to investigate further, if only to rule out the possibility. Ultimately, our investigation was to discover much information about Nicole that was of an intimate and possibly inflammatory nature. It was relevant to the case and we chose not to use it as part of the defense. I choose not to use it now....”

Read more about Bill Pavelic at his official site,

“....And when we announced an 800 number, along with a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderer(s), fiber-optic hell broke loose: within the first two weeks, Pacific Bell's voice-mail system had recorded and logged 250,000 calls - one a minute - which we then had to log and store on cassette tapes as part of the investigation. Callers who couldn't get through on the 800 number reverted to calling the office number. Every hour or so Bonnie had to "dump" the voice mail and then record the messages in her computer, deciding which ones were genuine and which ones were cranks, and pass them along to Bill Pavelic. We couldn't possibly deal with every call, but it was difficult to dismiss the possibility that among the callers who received radio signals in their fillings or saw the killer's name in their tea leaves might be the one solid lead we needed....”

“....In addition to DNA, the issue I was most focused on was the search-and-seizure procedures of the investigating police officers. Armed with the L.A.P.D. procedures manual and his own extensive experience, Bill Pavelic began a log that cross referenced official procedure with what the police investigators had actually done at the crime scene. Very quickly, he came up with a damning list: they had failed to notify the coroner in the prescribed time; they had failed to complete individual chronology reports; they prepared erroneous property reports; they misrepresented the facts in the search warrant affidavit on the first day of the investigation; they carried forensic evidence from Bundy to Rockingham, rather than taking it to a lab; they didn't secure evidence (Nicole's home, O.J.'s car) in a timely manner; they used the crime scene at Bundy as a staging area for their investigation, using the phone inside the house to make their calls, and the furniture inside to sit on while they talked, rather than cordoning it off completely; and finally, of the chronology reports that were completed, not one was contemporaneous.

No one, it seemed, made notes while they looked at their watches. No one had even looked at their watches. Pavelic was irate. As a senior police detective, he had actually been responsible for auditing the department's "murder books," the step-by-step records investigating officers complete for each case. He well knew what an acceptable level of procedural error should be; in this case, they were way over their limit. "I've never seen a police investigation so screwed up in the infancy stage," he told me. "If there's an anatomy of how not to do an investigation, this might be it..."

Read more about Bill Pavelic at his official site,

“....The sudden prominence of Mark Fuhrman in the preliminary hearing rang all of Bill Pavelic's alarm bells. Prior to that, we'd barely been aware of Fuhrman's involvement in the case, let alone that he was a key - if not the key - police detective in the investigation, at least in the all-important first hours. In the early reports provided to us by the prosecution, Mark Fuhrman's name never appeared at all: He wasn't in the arrest reports filed on O.J. and A.C.; the property reports didn't mention him; the coroner's report didn't mention him; the June 15 follow-up report didn't mention him; the murder reports didn't mention him; the June 13 and June 28 search warrants and affidavits didn't mention him. Furthermore, nowhere was it stated, in any L.A.P.D. report, that Fuhrman was the one who discovered the glove at each scene....”

"....Why are they shielding him?" Bill wondered. He had a nodding acquaintance with Fuhrman; they'd both once moonlighted for Johnny Carson. In addition, we had reports that Fuhrman was involved in a lawsuit, in something called an officer-involved shooting" case. Months before jury selection had begun and soon after Mark Fuhrman had testified in the televised preliminary hearing, Bill Pavelic reported that he was in communication with an attorney named Robert Deutsch, whose client Joseph J. Britton was suing the City of Los Angeles for excessive use of force. In the fall of 1993, Britton was apprehended while fleeing from a robbery which he'd committed. Mark Fuhrman had been one of the police officers involved, and he had reportedly fired ten rounds at Britton, both as he was falling and after he was down on the ground. Britton took five bullets, and his injuries were quite serious. Fuhrman's personnel records were included in the records Deutsch had compiled in the suit, which was eventually settled by the city for $100,000. As a consultant to Deutsch, Bill had done what he calls a “biopsy' of the case, reconstructing the time line in conjunction with the police logs and Britton's testimony. He came to a strong conclusion that the knife Britton had dropped while running from the police had later been planted near his body in order to justify the shooting....”

“....After Fuhrman's televised session at the preliminary, we started receiving phone calls on both the 800-number line and the office lines, from attorneys who'd had dealings with Fuhrman, from anonymous police personnel, and from anonymous people who had known him. Everybody had a Mark Fuhrman story. Bonnie passed these messages on to Bill; Bill checked out the ones that he could. In the meantime, Gerry Uelmen and I immediately prepared a motion to obtain Fuhrman's police department personnel records, certain of which were already part of the lawsuit against him....”

Read more about Bill Pavelic at his official site,

“....In addition to the information we'd gathered on Mark Fuhrman's racial attitudes, we had also been contacted by a woman named Kathleen Bell. After talking to Bill Pavelic, Bell, a white woman, ultimately filed an affidavit with the court that reported a casual conversation she'd had with Fuhrman in the mid-eighties. He'd told her that in his capacity as a policeman, he frequently pulled over cars driven by black men, for no particular legal reason, and he especially did so when he saw black men with white women. Mark Fuhrman had met Nicole in the mid-1980s when he was the responding officer on a call Nicole had made initially to the Westec security service. In that incident, she reported that O.J. had shattered a car windshield with a baseball bat. What, then, must have gone through his head when Fuhrman arrived at Bundy and realized who the murdered woman was?....”

“....Bill Pavelic, our investigator, kept reminding me that the district attorney's office hadn't turned over to us the police logs and tapes for June 13. Some months before, he'd heard from a source inside the L.A.P.D. that Fuhrman and his partner, Detective Phillips, were using a department-issued cellular phone in the early morning hours of June 13. This source contended that Fuhrman and Phillips called from outside O.J.'s house to the West L.A. police station, where Sydney and Justin had been taken, and asked the watch commander to find out from the children where O.J. was. Pavelic's source reported that the kids had said something to the effect of "out of town for business." Therefore, contrary to what they'd testified in the preliminary, the police knew quite early that O.J. was not at Rockingham. This meant the police had no reason to scale the wall in order to notify him or protect him from danger. Pavelic was adamant that we obtain the watch commander's log and the cellular phone records to document this call, because his informant was suggesting that it was made before the robbery/homicide detectives, Lange and Vannatter, were in the picture-which gave Fuhrman time to manipulate evidence....”

"....Hodgman knows how important this stuff is," Pavelic fumed, "and he and Clark are deliberately withholding it." I told him there was a more likely explanation. "It's the L.A.P.D. that doesn't want us to have it," I said, "not the D.A. That's why they're stalling. I'll bring it up before Ito again, he's already told them at least once to turn it over. Don't worry, Bill, our chance will come...."

“....Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, I visited O.J. twice, once on Thanksgiving Day itself, which, since he was away from his family, was a very hard day for him. On the following Monday, Bill Pavelic and I spent four hours at the jail, going over and over the now-familiar details with O.J. I suspected that if he took the stand he would be a typical witness-that is, not as good as he thought he would be. I often tell clients that they must learn to be witnesses. They must take their time, listen to questions, and answer them simply. Testimony is definitely not social discourse. Over the course of the trial, Bill spent endless hours with O.J., keeping him informed and getting his input. During their conversations he subtly encouraged O.J. to control his constant storytelling impulses. In the time they spent together, the two men formed a bond of trust and true friendship. But that didn't mean O.J. didn't get as impatient with Bill as he did with the rest of us.....”

“....One day, in complete exasperation, O.J. said, "Bill, I hope - this doesn't perjure me, and I haven't really told anyone until now, but I just remembered . . . somewhere, sometime that day, I spent some quality time in the head!...."

“....Then Bill Pavelic called me to report a phone call he'd received from John McNally on Christmas Day. "Hey, Bill," McNally had asked him, "what're you going to do once Shapiro's bumped from the case?....”

“....Pavelic was alarmed. "Bob, you know the files that left your office? They didn't go to Florida," he said. "Everything went to Cochran's office." Linell had been monitoring the goings-on with a growing concern. "Bob, something weird is going on here. What are they doing to you?...."

“....In his carefully detailed report to Skip Taft a few weeks later, Bill Pavelic wrote that his investigation had revealed a systematic and elaborate campaign of disclosures to the press, principally to columnists for Eastern papers, CNN, and supermarket tabloids. The object . . . to denigrate Shapiro's skills and his ability to keep client confidences, and to enhance Bailey's own modest role in the case so far...."

Read more about Bill Pavelic at his official site,

“....Soon after the Bailey fallout, I was at home, on a conference call with Johnnie and Bill Pavelic. Bill was outlining the point by-point chronology of everything Bailey had done, in the weeks before I was in Hawaii, and in the days since, including the leaks to the press about conversations only the lawyers could've been privy to. I was adamant that Bailey be removed from this case, from anything having to do with O.J. and the upcoming trial....”

“....On March 9, Detective Mark Fuhrman took the stand as another star witness for the prosecution, and a suddenly charming Marcia Clark treated him like he was a poster boy for apple pie and American values. He had never been alone during the entire first morning of the investigation, he told her earnestly, except when he was taking notes. Bill Pavelic believed that he hadn't taken contemporaneous notes but rather had carefully–and neatly–crafted his report much later, to support his version of those events. ...”

“....Shortly after the Fourth of July weekend, our investigator Bill Pavelic informed me that a friend of mine, a lawyer from San Francisco, had called him several times about Mark Fuhrman. This lawyer was someone Bill had worked with before, on my recommendation. The lawyer was aware, as anyone paying even mild attention to the case would have been, that Mark Fuhrman was of key concern to the defense team. "A lawyer in Los Angeles is offering to sell audiotapes of Mark Fuhrman that will blow your case wide open," our contact told Bill. He had heard this from two tabloid reporters, who were as curious to hear the tapes as one might expect but who were also concerned about being victims of some kind of scam...”

“....The Los Angeles lawyer's name was Matthew Schwartz, and he represented someone named Laura Hart McKinney. She was a screenwriter and had recently interviewed Fuhrman as part of a film project she was trying to develop about Los Angeles cops. Schwartz stated that the tapes contained many, many examples of clear perjury on the race issue, and the use of the “N” word in particular. Furthermore, they were a police "textbook" on framing blacks and planting evidence. There were fifteen hours of tape, approximately three hundred transcript pages. The bidding price of these tapes was slated to start at $250,000....”

“....A licensed attorney making these representations would expose himself to major criminal liability if he was trying to perpetrate a scam. I tried to maintain my own skepticism while hoping all the while that Schwartz and his tapes were for real. I instructed Bill to pursue whatever avenues he could to find out if the tapes existed, and if they actually contained what the lawyer and Schwartz said they did. Bill Pavelic needed to act as fast as he could. If what the lawyer was telling us was true , I figured we had about one day to stay ahead of a tabloid bidding war. I didn't intend to meet or match anybody's price; I wanted the tapes subpoenaed....”

“....Pavelic was told how to contact Matt Schwartz and Laura McKinney. In turn, Bill instructed the lawyer to call Carl Douglas and investigator Pat McKenna. Douglas would prepare the subpoena; McKenna was supposed to serve it. However, Gary Randa, Cathy Randa's son, got the subpoena assignment instead. When he went to Matt Schwartz's office, he was told that Schwartz was "on vacation." The person who told him this, we later discovered, was Matt Schwartz, who evidently wanted to keep the bidding war open....”

“....The television tabloid show Hard Copy knew about the tapes; so, suddenly, did a lot of reporters. It was time to go directly to the source-McKinney-and to do that we had to go to North Carolina, where she now lived....”

Read more about Bill Pavelic at his official site,


Web Site: Bill Pavelic

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