Editorial: Why did they do it?

The O. J. Simpson book debacle rumbles on and on, as Denise Brown, the sister of his murdered ex-wife, has denounced Beaufort Books' plan to publish the pernicious tome.  However, you really have to wonder why HarperCollins decided to publish this book in this first place, this account of the murders by Simpson as if he had actually committed the crime... Where were booksellers supposed to shelve this book?  In the Fiction, Non-Fiction or the Not-Quite-So-True-Crime section?  Did HarperCollins think that they were doing a public service by publishing this book, by disseminating this supposed confession into the public domain?  Just as strange as their decision to publish was HarperCollins' lack of foresight that this book would upset and dismay people.  Admittedly, the public furore did quickly lead HarperCollins to remove If I Did It from their lists.  The rights to the book were then awarded to the family of Ron Goldman, the other victim of the crime, as a way for them to finally win the $38m that Simpson owes them after they successfully prosecuted him for wrongful death. And I guess that explains why HarperCollins considered publishing it, as this strange book will undoubtedly make money.  The book's profits will now go to the newly formed Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice, which aims to help victims of violent crime.  I, for one, wouldn't have bought the book even if O. J. Simpson had admitted it.

Kevin Mahoney