Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Glen Rogers, the Cross-Country Killer

Back to LA

Spizer takes great pains in "The Cross Country Killer" to support the notion that Rogers knew Nicole and possibly killed her.  Linedecker mentions the connection as well, but shows why it's a rather unlikely possibility.

Rogers had left Ohio for California in 1993, and was in the Los Angeles area in 1994.  He allegedly bragged to a drinking companion that he had killed at least eight times, so the five to which he has been definitively linked may not be his only victims (although some murders in which he was suspected proved to be solved in other ways). 

William Pavelic
William Pavelic

According to Linedecker, the private detective for Simpson, William Pavelic supposedly said that he had spoken with an acquaintance of Rogers' who claimed that Rogers had actually admitted that he was responsible for the double homicide and had framed O.J. for them.  O.J.'s attorney was looking for any other viable suspect.  The New York Post ran a story quoting Rogers' associate to the effect that Rogers was actually in the bushes outside Nicole's Brentwood condo, stalking her after she'd broken up with him, when Goldman arrived.  Rogers killed both and then admitted his deed to the story's source; the man was even allowed to touch the knife that Rogers had used.  The Post included Pavelic's claim that he had found evidence linking Rogers to the Simpson/Goldman murders.  This included the fact that Rogers, working as a house painter, had been on a job in the area three months before the incident, not far from the condo.  He said that the defense team would base their defense for Simpson on the possible association.

Rogers liked to slash and stab his victims, and the victims had been slashed and stabbed.  However, Rogers also liked to take credit for murders he did not commit.  Linedecker indicates there are more reasons to disregard Rogers as a suspect than to accept him.  Among them are the fact that the killer was probably stalking Nicole, and Rogers did not tend to be a stalker; Nicole had no red tint in her hair; O.J.'s blood and DNA linked him to the scene; no physical evidence links Rogers to the crimes; Rogers' MO was to leave the area after killing, but he didn't leave LA until 1995; and Rogers never used gloves.

The L.A. police found the suggestion that Rogers was the killer to be without substance, and Pavelic backpedaled by saying that he had checked out the tip about Rogers but had never said that the defense team would use it; in fact, he claimed that he'd never even told them about it (although they certainly knew about it from some source).  In addition, if there had been any good reason to believe that Rogers was a viable suspect, O.J.'s attorney in the civil suit would have raised it.  However, he made no mention of Rogers as a suspect.  In a later interview, Simpson himself dismissed the possibility.

Then it was learned that the source of the story about Rogers' confession failed a polygraph, and that revelation appeared to diminish confidence in the entire scheme.  The New York Daily News indicated that Simpson's attorneys had never intended to use the information about Rogers, viewing it as ludicrous.  However, Spizer, with Claude Rogers, Jr., has kept the story alive with counterarguments in her 2001 book.  Let's look at their side of the story.


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