For Kim Goldman, whose beloved brother Ron was murdered 28 years ago, there is no such thing as closure.
Decades after the horrific killings that ignited the “Trial of the Century,” the 50-year-old has launched a new podcast titled “Media Circus,” in which she explores media coverage of high-profile crimes. The bestselling author, who based the title of her series on her 2015 book, also sits down with family members in hopes of raising awareness of how their lives were affected over the years.
Some of the people she spoke to for “Media Circus” include Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard; Gina DeJesus, who was kidnapped in Ohio at 14 years old and held captive with two other girls; Kiki Doe, a survivor of Jeffrey Epstein; and Amanda Knox, to name a few.
While the experience has been therapeutic for Goldman, time has not erased the pain of losing her sibling.
“I’ve talked to people for nearly three decades when it comes to trauma and tragedy,” Goldman told Fox News Digital. “’Closure’ is a word that in theory, sounds beautiful, but it’s anxiety-provoking for those of us on the receiving end of hearing it. There’s a finality to the word. When you’re dealing with grief and trauma, it just doesn’t exist. Instead, we figure out a new normal. We figure out ways to move through the pain. But we don’t move on. The chapter’s not closed.”
“I didn’t realize it at the time, but I wasn’t truly mourning when my brother was killed because there was so much chaos,” she reflected. “[My father and I] were under such scrutiny. Cameras and people would follow us everywhere. You didn’t truly have a moment to just grieve.”
“I remember vividly when after our civil case ended and the media disappeared for a while, it was a jarring feeling,” she continued. “I suddenly felt very alone. This flood of emotions came over me. I realized I hadn’t processed my brother’s loss the way that I wanted to or should have. It’s hard. I don’t think of things in terms of regret. It was just the experience I had. But having the media everywhere, having your every move watched and scrutinized – nothing can prepare you for that. Is she crying? Is she not crying enough? Why is she smiling? She must be over it. All of those things add such difficult layers to it.”
On the night of June 12, 1994, Ron, 25, and his friend Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, were stabbed to death in one of Los Angeles’ most exclusive neighborhoods.
Simpson, a Hall of Fame football hero once nicknamed “The Juice,” was acquitted of the murders. As the verdict was read following one of the most divisive criminal cases in U.S. history, cameras in the courtroom caught a devastated Goldman sobbing uncontrollably. The murder case is officially listed as unsolved.
Over the years, Goldman has turned to public service. She works with troubled teens and provides support to crime victims’ rights groups. In 2019, she revisited her brother’s case in a podcast titled “Confronting O.J. Simpson,” which featured interviews with prosecutors, investigators and witnesses who never got to speak, as well as jurors who voted not guilty.
Goldman said she is aware that some naysayers may find it odd that she is putting herself in public once more when she’ll likely face criticism. She has heard it all.
“The goal of ‘Media Circus’ is to give the power back to the victims and the survivors,” she explained. “We all have a right to tell our story. These families should be able to control the narrative and determine for themselves what they want to participate in. I’ve opened myself up… the goal is to share my truth. With the podcast, these loved ones can be in the driver’s seat. There’s some control over the story. And they can trust me because I’ve been there.”
“My father and I, we take it a day at a time,” she said. “And we just love each other. My dad, he’s going to be 82 this year, and he’s volunteering with the civilian police force in Arizona as an officer. He impresses me every day. We’re hanging in there.”
In 1997, after the victims’ families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson, a civil court awarded a $33.5 million restitution to both families. Simpson later served nine years in prison for robbery and kidnapping in an attempt to steal back some of his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. He was released in October 2017.
Simpson, now 75, has always maintained his innocence. In 2019, he told The Associated Press he will no longer discuss the killings.
Goldman said that the public still has misconceptions about her brother’s case today.
“Back in 1994, we didn’t really have the internet as we have it today, right?” she said. “Now you can search through blogs, comments, Reddit – the access is just ridiculous. With that comes a lot of conspiracy theories and a lot of mistruths. People are out there spreading rumors. I still get messages daily from people telling me who they think did it, or why I’m not looking into this or that. Why am I not contacting the district attorney’s office about this theory? Why am not calling the FBI? Don’t I want to know who killed my brother? Wasn’t my brother a black belt in karate? Why couldn’t he have done better? He deserves what he got.”
“It’s – a lot,” said Goldman as she took a deep breath. “I would want people to be a bit more discerning when they’re looking at information on the internet. I know it’s exhausting to read through 20 different articles to hopefully find the truth. But just be more mindful about where you get your information. I see it. I see all the comments. I get the pings, I get the notifications. And it’s hard. I don’t have the energy to go out there and correct every single comment. And at some point, it’s not my job.”
However, sometimes Goldman cannot help but take it upon herself to defend her family online. Especially for her brother, who is not here to do the same.
“People still come at us now with their comments,” she said. “People accuse me of having a dark heart. Back then, I would want to shut down. I got self-conscious. I was in my early 20s and the criticism was uncomfortable. I felt like I had to curtail how I felt because that would get scrutinized. Of course, I was angry. But now, it depends on the day. Sometimes I engage and try to educate people. Other days I just let it be and know it’s not about me. I guess it depends on the mood. Sometimes I create fake personalities and go in there and have a field day.”
Today, Goldman said that grief continues to be ever-present. She described it as “a best friend who knows me better than anybody.”
“It’s reliable, it’s always with you,” she said. “It changes colors over the years with the shifts in my life. I’m a single parent, and I’ve raised a handsome, smart, great young man. And with all of my son’s accomplishments, it just drives the point home that I don’t have my brother… but I let [grief] be a part of me. My brother’s legacy deserves to be told and honored. He spent the last couple of minutes of his life putting himself on the line for somebody else. We were all incredibly close. Grief? It’s not a choice. We just push forward.”
Goldman said what gives her comfort is remembering the good times she had with her big brother, someone she described as her hero and protector.
“There was a lightness to my brother,” she said. “He was a complicated guy, but in the same vein, he was also so easygoing. People connected with him and related to him because he was so self-deprecating. He was confident in whatever he did, but he was also insecure. He was trying to figure himself out along the way. So I take all of that with me.”
“My brother was a larger-than-life personality,” she shared. “While I’m not similar to that – I’m more shy and introverted – there was something about him that people just connected to. I think about that warmth and that comfort. Hopefully, I can bring that to the conversations that I’m having with other folks.”