CNN Senior Producer
The O.J. Simpson three-ring, huge crowds, big show, never materialized during his Las Vegas trial.
"Juice" was just a media afterthought, with his men behaving badly case buried by election stories and dispatches of an economic meltdown.
The media parking lot was two thirds empty.
So no O.J. Media circus under bright lights, but instead a twisted sideshow seemingly rolled in off a flatbed truck with the freaks climbing onto the unpaved road.
The witness stand became the dimly lit stage for all manner of jaw-dropping mutants.
They took their turns - obscenity gushing gunmen, double-talking hucksters, fawning admirers.
All of them linked somehow to the formerly acquitted major football and minor acting star.
The witness stories meandered like ivy grows, just moving forward and tangled.
But the freaks told a tale that sent Simpson directly to jail, do not pass go and get the hell out of Judge Jackie Glass' courtroom.
Walk out of the wooden front doors room courtroom 15A and you look upon a picture postcard of the Las Vegas strip.
Simpson got no last look.
There was no last bombastic walk before the cameras in handcuffs either.
They hauled perhaps the world's most infamous defendant through a side door, a tunnel and into jail across the street.
The Friday Night in Las Vegas was warm and windy and filled with theories of superstition and bad karma.
A Las Vegas jury threw the book at Simpson, knocking him out exactly 13 years after he was acquitted of double murder.
The jury deliberated 13 hours.
There wasn't a black cat in the courtroom, but there was a blackout, a momentary flicker of darkness in the side show tent when the power went out.
Most of the country slept when the court clerk read guilty repeatedly against Simpson and his buddy Clarence "C.J." Stewart.
The prosecution was 24 for 24 on all those kidnapping and armed robbery charges - two defendants, twelve guilty verdicts each.
The prosecutors refused to gloat in public, the jurors walked away in the dark without comment.
With little fanfare, O.J. Simpson became new kid on the cell block.
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