Mark Fuhrman life and biography

Mark Fuhrman picture, image, poster

Mark Fuhrman biography

Date of birth : 1952-02-05
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Eatonville, Washington, USA
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-10-12
Credited as : Author, former radio host, former detective of the Los Angeles Police Department

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Mark Fuhrman is an American author, former talk radio host, former detective of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and convicted felon, known for his part in the investigation of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman and his subsequent conviction for perjury.

Fuhrman attended Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, Washington and in 1970 he enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps. He was discharged honorably during 1975, having attained the rank of sergeant. Later that year, he joined the LAPD as a police officer and became a police detective. He served on the force for 20 years, earning more than 55 commendations before his retirement in 1995.

Fuhrman stated he found a blood stained glove at Nicole Brown Simpson's condo (the scene of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman), and also found another at Simpson's home. He also stated to have seen a number of blood drops at Simpson's home. He entered Simpson's estate without a search warrant due to exigent circumstances– specifically, concern that Simpson himself might have been harmed.

Soon after the preliminary hearing in O.J. Simpson's murder trial, Simpson's defense team alleged that Fuhrman planted the glove found at Simpson's Brentwood estate as part of a racially motivated effort to frame Simpson for the murders.

As part of their defense, Simpson's attorneys questioned Fuhrman about his alleged prior use of racist terms. The prosecution tried to stop the defense from pursuing this line of questioning by arguing that it was too inflammatory and could prejudice the predominantly black jury against them. The California Evidence Code gives the trial judge the discretion to exclude evidence if its relevance to the case is substantially outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice to either the prosecution or the defense. Judge Lance Ito initially ruled that there had to be some evidence that Fuhrman planted the glove before the defense could question Fuhrman on prior use of racial slurs, but eventually, Judge Ito changed his prior ruling and allowed the defense to cross-examine Fuhrman on the issue of his alleged racial animosity.

During cross-examination, Fuhrman, when asked by defense attorney F. Lee Bailey whether he had used the word "nigger", said he hadn't used the word in 10 years. The defense produced four witnesses to establish that Fuhrman had used the word "nigger" more recently; as well as an audiotape contradicting his testimony. This testimony eventually resulted in a perjury conviction. In one 1985 recording, Fuhrman gave a taped interview to Laura Hart McKinny, a writer working on a screenplay about female police officers. In another interview, Fuhrman talked about gang members and was quoted as saying, "Yeah we work with niggers and gangs. You can take one of these niggers, drag 'em into the alley and beat the shit out of them and kick them. You can see them twitch. It really relieves your tension." He went on to say "we had them begging that they'd never be gang members again, begging us." He said that he would tell them, "You do what you're told, understand, nigger?"

Only limited excerpts of the tapes were admitted as evidence in the Simpson trial, but the content of the admitted portions were strong enough to cast doubt on Fuhrman's motives and credibility with the jury.

With the jury absent on September 6, 1995, the defense asked Fuhrman whether or not he had ever falsified police reports or if he had planted or manufactured evidence in the Simpson case. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

After the trial, there was widespread pressure on Los Angeles County district attorney Gil Garcetti to bring perjury charges against Fuhrman. Garcetti initially refused, saying that Fuhrman's use of racist language was "not material to the case", a major element of proving perjury. However, many members of Garcetti's office made public statements on the issue, and Garcetti, citing the high emotions in his office about the Simpson case, opted to tender the decision to prosecute to Attorney General Dan Lungren to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

On July 5, 1996, Lungren announced that he would file perjury charges against Fuhrman and soon thereafter offered Fuhrman a plea bargain. On October 2, Fuhrman accepted the deal and pleaded no contest to the charges. He was sentenced to three years' probation and fined $200. As a result, Fuhrman is a convicted felon. Although he retired from the LAPD well before the plea, he is prohibited from ever serving as a police officer in most states again. As of 2010, he is the only person to be convicted of criminal charges related to the Simpson case.

After the trial, Fuhrman retired to Sandpoint, Idaho. During 1997, he wrote a book about the Simpson case, called Murder in Brentwood. It includes a foreword by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor of the Charles Manson case.

In the book, Fuhrman apologized for making racist remarks, terming them "immature, irresponsible ramblings" made because of a desire to make money. He also believes that Lungren charged him in order to garner black support for his planned campaign for governor of California in 1998. Despite being assured by several of his friends that Lungren's case was "flimsy at best," Fuhrman said he pleaded no contest because the odds were so greatly against him that it wasn't worth having his family being hassled by the press. Fuhrman claimed he could not afford to defend himself effectively; he already owed thousands of dollars in legal bills, and the area's Police Protective League would not help him pay them. He also claimed he could not afford living expenses for a trial that would take several months (or years, in case of an appeal). He also said he did not think that he could get a fair trial in the racially charged climate of the time, and thought that an acquittal would cause a riot similar to the events of 1992.

Fuhrman has said he believes that the LAPD could have arrested Simpson on the afternoon of June 13, based on the blood evidence and his apparently contradictory statements during questioning. However, he believes that senior LAPD officials didn't want to take a chance of being wrong about Simpson, and wanted to wait until the preliminary genetic evidence came in.

Fuhrman argues that several errors made by his LAPD colleagues permitted the defense to allege that there was suspicious police conduct at Nicole Brown Simpson's house. For instance, Fuhrman claims that the initial search warrant submitted by one of the detectives on the case, Phillip Vannatter, was too short and didn't include enough details of the probable cause and evidence on hand at the time. He also argues that major pieces of evidence were mishandled. Fuhrman believes that his colleagues didn't realize that their every move would be scrutinized in court due to the nature of the case.

Fuhrman also argues that the police and the prosecution made other errors that reduced the chances of a guilty verdict. For example, Fuhrman and his partner, Brad Roberts, found a bloody fingerprint on the north walkway gate of Nicole Brown Simpson's house. According to Fuhrman, at least some of it belonged to the suspect, as there was enough blood at the scene to suggest the suspect was bleeding. This was potentially critical evidence; Simpson claimed that he'd cut himself on the night of the murders, but hadn't been to his ex-wife's house in a week. Had the fingerprint been tied to Simpson in any fashion (i.e., if it had been Simpson's fingerprint in his blood or his fingerprint in Nicole Brown Simpson's blood) it would have been a crippling, and possibly fatal, blow to his defense. It also could have contradicted the defense's allegations that Fuhrman planted the glove, since he did not know or have reason to know that it was Simpson's blood.

However, the fingerprint was destroyed at some point, and was only mentioned superficially at trial. In fact, Fuhrman later discovered that Vanatter and his partner, Tom Lange, didn't even know the fingerprint was there because they never read Fuhrman's notes. Roberts could have offered testimony to corroborate that the fingerprint was there, but was never called to testify– something that rankled Fuhrman almost as much as the fact that Vanatter and Lange never read his notes. Fuhrman also claimed that Roberts could have corroborated many of his other observations, but Marcia Clark didn't call him to avoid embarrassing Vanatter on the stand.

Fuhrman has said that he feels the prosecution abandoned him once the tapes were made public. He said that he pleaded the Fifth Amendment after he couldn't get the prosecution to call him to the stand for a redirect prior to the tapes being played for the jury. Once the tapes came out, Fuhrman said, he would have been nearly beyond rehabilitation.

Like many critics of the prosecution, Fuhrman felt that Judge Lance Ito allowed the defense to control the trial. For instance, like Bugliosi, he insists that relevant case law demanded that Ito foreclose the defense from asking him about racial slurs because of the possibility of prejudice to the prosecution's case. However, Fuhrman also says that Ito should have never been assigned to the case in the first place. Ito was married to Margaret York, an LAPD captain who had worked with Fuhrman in the past, and Fuhrman felt that Ito should have been challenged by the prosecution or voluntarily recused himself from the case on that basis.

In his own book on the case, Outrage, Bugliosi argued that in order to prove Fuhrman had planted the glove, the defense would have had to prove that there was a far-reaching criminal conspiracy between Fuhrman and other officers. However, no evidence of such a conspiracy was ever introduced. Bugliosi also said that Clark should have opposed this assertion in her closing argument. Bugliosi also pointed out that had there been such a conspiracy, anyone involved would be risking both their careers and their lives. At the time, California law stated that anyone who fabricated evidence in a death penalty case could be sentenced to death themselves.

For his next book, Murder in Greenwich, he investigated the then-unsolved 1975 murder of Martha Moxley and presented his theory that the murderer was Michael Skakel, nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Senator Robert Kennedy. Skakel was subsequently convicted of Moxley's murder in June 2002. The book was adapted for a 2002 television movie starring Christopher Meloni as Fuhrman.

Fuhrman has written a book on the subject of capital punishment. He wrote a book on the medical treatment and death of Terri Schiavo, emphasizing gaps in the medical and legal records that might allow for the possibility that Schiavo was murdered.

Fuhrman has written a book on the John F. Kennedy assassination. In it he advances a theory debunking the Single Bullet Theory while still maintaining that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. He claims that the Warren Commission was forced to adopt the Single Bullet Theory for political reasons. However, he says that a dent in the chrome above the windshield of the presidential limousine used that day vindicates the story told by John Connally that a first shot at President John F. Kennedy did not hit him. His latest book is called The Murder Business: How the Media Turns Crime Into Entertainment and Subverts Justice.

Fuhrman is a frequent guest of commentator Sean Hannity for Fox News. He was also the host of the Mark Fuhrman Show on KGA in Spokane between the hours of 8am-11am Pacific. The show covered local and national topics and included guest callers. The Mark Fuhrman Show on KGA-AM was a casualty of the sale of the station by Citadel Broadcasting Corp. of Las Vegas to Mapleton Communications, LLC of Monterey, Calif..

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