It’s been 24 years since Ronald Lyle Goldman, 25, and Nicole Brown, 35, ex-wife of Orenthal James “O. J.” Simpson, were murdered. On June 12, 1994, Brown and her friend were killed, leaving their families and friends distraught over their tragic deaths. Here are some important facts you need to know about Ron Goldman’s life, death, and the events surrounding the case.
Who Was Ron Goldman? 12 Facts to Know
Ronald Lyle Goldman was born on July 2, 1968 into a Jewish family in Buffalo Grove, Indiana. Three and a half years later, his little sister Kim Goldman was born.
|About Ronald Lyle Goldman|
|Known As||Ron Goldman|
|Birth||July 2, 1968 Buffalo Grove, Indiana|
|Death||June 12, 1994 Brentwood, Los Angeles|
|Height||5 feet 7 inches|
|Siblings||Kim Goldman, Brian Glass|
|Parents||Fred Goldman, Sharon Rufo|
|CAUSE OF DEATH||Stabbing|
His father, Fred, and mother, Sharon Rufo, divorced in 1974. After spending a brief time with his mother, he moved to live with his father and Kim. The trio moved to the southern California area around 1986.
According to his friends, he very rarely drank, was never seen taking drugs, and ate healthy.
But who was Ron Goldman, really? Here are some facts to help our readers get to know the once-vibrant young man who lost his life far too soon in an act of senseless violence.
1. He Was Well-Liked
Friends said Ron Goldman was attractive and had a magnetic personality.
Dan Argentar, someone who grew up in the same neighborhood as Goldman, said, “In high school, he was quiet but friendly. The kind of guy you’d like to be around once you got to know him.”
2. He Had a Close Relationship with His Father & Sister
Ron Goldman and his father Fred Goldman had a close and affectionate relationship up until the time of his death. They saw each other often.
His sister Kim described the relationship with her father and brother as “the three Musketeers.” She’s talked about about their incredible connection and how loving and protective Ron was. He seemed to enjoy his role as big brother, not being embarrassed to hold his little sister’s hand.
As for Ron’s relationship with his mother, it fizzled out after he moved to live with his sister, Kim, and father.
3. He Worked Multiple Jobs, But Had a Big Dream
Goldman kept busy waiting tables, doing event promotion, taking the occasional modelling gig, and working as an employment headhunter and a tennis trainer. He also worked hard on his physique in the gym.
Kim Goldman described her brother as a dreamer. He wanted to run his own restaurant/bar that he planned to brand with the symbol of an ankh.
In fact, according to his sister, Ron Goldman had already put together his business plan and had some investors. He was planning to surprise his father with it all around that coming Father’s Day.
But the opportunity was stolen from him when he was murdered. Michael Davis, a friend, said, “I think Ron’s philosophy was to shoot for the stars.”
4. He Had an On-and-Off Relationship
Former girlfriend Jacqui Bell said, “It’s very hard waking up in the morning knowing one of the few wonderful people in the world is gone.”
Bell and Goldman began a relationship in 1992. They lived together for a while. During their year-and-a-half-long relationship, which was on and off, his life revolved around her and their growing circle of friends.
Although their relationship came to an end, Bell had good things to say about Goldman after his death, “He was a very sweet, honest faithful guy when we were together.”
Ron dated a couple of other women after Bell. In fact, he’d had a second date with a young woman named Tiffany Starr the Friday before his death. But his search for love was soon cut short.
5. Goldman Was on a Dating Show in 1992
In 1992, Goldman appeared as a contestant on a dating game show called Studs. The show was hosted by comedian Mark DeCarlo. Goldman was introduced as a 23-year-old tennis pro. At the end of the episode, the handsome young man was matched up with Diane.
When asked where he’d take his date if he won, Goldman said playfully, “I figured we’d get a houseboat on the Colorado River for a couple of days and lie naked during the day and…make love naked at night.”
6. Goldman and Brown Were Just Friends
Although there was speculation that Goldman and Brown were having an affair, people who knew them say they were just friends.
They’d met at a local Starbucks and had started hanging out at least six weeks before the murder. The pair exercised together, had coffee and dinner together, and went dancing.
Police sources agreed there was no evidence to suggest they were romantically involved, and that it was unlikely their friendship contributed to their deaths.
So why was he at her place the night of the murder?
On June 12, Brown and her mother had eaten at Mezzaluna Trattoria, a restaurant where her friend Goldman worked as a waiter. Brown’s mother left her sunglasses behind. And Goldman volunteered to drop them off to Nicole Brown before meeting his friend Stewart Tanner for after-work plans.
7. He Died from More than One Fatal Stab Wound on June 12, 1994
Goldman was murdered when he went to the condo of Nicole Brown Simpson on June 12, 1994, at 875 South Bundy Dr. in Brentwood, California.
According to world-renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz, it took a mere 15 seconds for the attacker to kill Brown, and another minute to kill Goldman.
It’s debated as to who was killed first and whether Goldman arrived before or during the attack.
According to one reconstruction of the scene, the killer blitz-attacked the two friends when Brown had just let Goldman in through her condo gate. The suspect is alleged to have delivered a blow to the head to each victim at the outset of the attack, incapacitating both of them.
See this CNET reconstruction to get a sense of the scene and of how strong the attacker must have been to be able to murder a healthy and fit young man like Goldman.
Both Goldman and Brown died of major blood loss caused by deep stabs inflicted by a single knife-wielding attacker. They were held from behind and murdered, one at a time.
Ron Goldman’s autopsy report was conducted two days after his death, on June 14. According to the report, he died by multiple sharp force injuries, including the following:
- Sharp force wound on the neck, left side, with transection of left internal jugular vein
- Multiple stab wounds on his check, abdomen, and left thigh
- Multiple incised wounds of his scalp, face, neck, chest, and a defense wound on his left hand
- Multiple abrasions on his upper extremities and hands, also believed to be defense wounds
Notes from the autopsy also indicated that the injuries were incurred before his death, and that the sharp force injuries in his neck and chest were the fatal wounds that likely caused his death.
8. Many Believe O.J. Simpson Was Responsible for Goldman’s Death
Simpson was accused of the crime and, although he pleaded not guilty, much evidence suggested that he was the killer. For one, he had cuts on his hand that were consistent with fingernail infliction, leading the prosecution to believe they were defense wounds from the victims.
Simpson faced a long and grueling trial for their murders, but was acquitted in October 1995.
Despite the justice system finding Simpson not guilty, Ron Goldman’s family filed wrongful death lawsuits against him, claiming him responsible for the murders.
About half of the United States followed the trials…and even more believe he did it.
9. Goldman’s Family Yet to Receive Payment in Civil Suit Judgment
In 1997, the civil court jury ruled that Simpson was responsible in the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown.
According to the jury, Simpson committed these homicides “willfully and wrongfully, with oppression and malice.”
Simpson was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages to the family. The figure later doubled because of interest.
California attorney David Cook has been representing the Goldman family for over a decade, working to collect on the multi-million-dollar jury verdict.
Using state and federal laws, Simpson evaded his financial obligations to the Goldman family. He also moved to Florida where state laws prevented the family from usurping his home.
10. Goldman’s Family Published Simpson’s Book
Simpson wrote a notorious book entitled If I Did It, in which he described how he would have killed Goldman and Simpson, “hypothetically.”
After public backlash about the book, Simpson’s original publishers dropped it. However, the Goldmans took it upon themselves to have the book published, calling it Simpson’s long-overdue confession.
To add to the Goldman family’s, especially Fred Goldman’s, desire to see what they consider the truth come out, Fox aired a special called, O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? on March 11, 2018. It consists of footage from a 2006 interview in which Simpson speculates as to how he might have committed the murder, if he’d done it.
11. The Goldmans and Browns Have Yet to Find Closure
According to Cook, Brown’s children and the Goldmans have yet to gain closure and justice for their lost loved ones.
“There’s one thing which is obscene in Fred Goldman’s vocabulary,” said Cook. “It’s called closure. There is no closure because closure means there is some sense of Judeo-Christian forgiveness business–and that’s just not gonna happen here. That doesn’t work.”
12. Ron Goldman Found Special Meaning in an Egyptian Symbol
Goldman seemed to find a special affinity for the ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol for eternal life.
As mentioned, he had big plans for a bar/restaurant that he would brand with the ankh symbol as its name, much like Prince had changed his name to a symbol only in 1993. Goldman had imagined his restaurant to be in the shape of the ankh, with the symbol on the door.
Goldman also had an ankh tattoo on his shoulder.
After his death, both his sister Kim and a woman he dated, Tiffany Starr, started to wear necklaces with the ankh symbol in his memory.
Ron Goldman is buried at the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, California. His gravestone is engraved with his favorite symbol, the ankh.