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A knife found over a dozen years ago on land where O.J. Simpson once lived appears to be inconsistent with the 1994 murders of the former football star’s wife and her friend, multiple law enforcement sources told NBC News.
Los Angeles police said Friday they were testing the knife, which was recently handed over by a retired LAPD traffic officer, for any possible connection to the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
Simpson was acquitted in the case, and can’t be retried for the killings. The case has remained open.
Retired LAPD officer George Maycott was given the knife by a construction worker in 2001 or 2002 while Maycott was working off duty near Simpson’s former estate, and the worker explained the knife was found on the property, Maycott’s attorney said.
There was no apparent blood on the knife, only dirt and mud, Maycott's attorney, Trent Copeland, said.
The knife found is a relatively inexpensive, small knife typically carried and used by construction workers, gardeners, landscapers or other laborers, the sources said.
The sources would not elaborate on specifics, but they said that the characteristics and condition of the knife were not consistent with the weapon used in the Brown and Goldman murders nor does it appear it was buried for a length of time that would put it in the time frame of the slayings.
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But the sources cautioned that forensics tests must still be conducted to conclusively rule out the knife out as a possible murder weapon.
Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman were fatally stabbed outside her rental condo on June 12, 1994. The knife used in the killings was never found.
Capt. Andrew Neiman, an LAPD spokesman, reflected police skepticism in his description of the object as an "alleged knife that may have been recovered, possibly in connection to the O.J. Simpson case." Officials described the testing as being done "just in case."
After being given the knife, Maycott called police and said what happened and was allegedly told that Simpson was acquitted and there was nothing they could do, so Maycott kept the knife, his newly-hired attorney, Copeland said.
Maycott, now 70, kept the knife in a bag in his garage before turning it in to police in January, Copeland said. It is unclear why he turned in the knife then.
Attorney Carl Douglas, part of the Simpson defense "Dream Team" in the murder trial, called attention over the discovery a "ridiculous frenzy."
"I certainly hope the LAPD used all of the resources then to scour every inch of his property looking for relevant evidence," Douglas said. "It is pure fantasy to believe that there’s anything relevant with this knife that has now been turned over."
The Goldman family said in a statement Friday that any discussion of the knife possibly being involved in the murders is "purely speculative" until police complete their tests.
Simpson is in prison on an unrelated robbery conviction.