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Fuhrman claims prosecutors ignored bloody fingerprint, other evidence

January 7, 1997

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ Ex-detective Mark Fuhrman claims O.J. Simpson’s prosecutors ignored potentially important evidence he says he found, including a bloody fingerprint at the crime scene and a knife box at Simpson’s house, according to a magazine interview released Monday.

The retired detective, branded by Simpson’s criminal and civil lawyers as a racist, rogue cop who may have framed Simpson, tells Vanity Fair that prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden actually owe him a debt of gratitude _ and more.

``I kind of figure Marcia and Chris owe me 10 percent of whatever they make on their books,″ Fuhrman tells Vanity Fair in its February issue.

Fuhrman explains: ``Did anybody ever, like, clue in and figure out that they wouldn’t have had a lot of their evidence had it not been for Mark Fuhrman? ... The glove never would have been found. The sprinklers would have come on and all the blood on the driveway would have been gone. They would have cleaned up the foyer, the bathroom would have been cleaned up.″

Vanity Fair also reports that a synopsis of Fuhrman’s upcoming book has him delivering harsh words for the prosecutors, calling Clark ``a victim of celebrity who allowed her personal life to interfere with her work″ and Darden ``a brooding, self-absorbed young man who had no business prosecuting a major murder case.″

Telephone messages seeking reaction were left for Darden and Clark through their publicists.

``We’re not going to be commenting on Fuhrman’s book,″ said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

Fuhrman describes lead detectives Philip Vannatter and Tom Lange as cops who ``destroyed the case through inattention, laziness and critical mistakes.″ The book, ``Murder in Brentwood,″ is due out late this month.

Vannatter and Lange have retired from the Los Angeles Police Department. Other officers in the robbery homicide unit did not immediately respond to a telephone message.

As for himself, Fuhrman says people accept him in his new home in Idaho, and he’s taking steps to get on with his life.

``Mark Fuhrman’s dead,″ he told Vanity Fair. ``I can’t be me anymore. No matter how right or how wrong I am, it doesn’t make any difference. ... I can’t be what I was. What I was is dead. I’m starting over.″

Fuhrman’s alleged racist past became a major issue in the criminal trial, and was seen as helping influence the black-majority jury to acquit Simpson in the slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

During cross-examination, Fuhrman denied uttering a racial epithet in the past decade; audiotaped interviews with an aspiring screenwriter showed that he did.

Last year, Fuhrman pleaded no contest to perjury and was sentenced to probation.

Lawyers in the wrongful death trial against Simpson, filed by the victims’ relatives, have tried again to inject Fuhrman into the case, with mixed success. Since Fuhrman lives out of state, he can’t be forced to testify and the judge has refused to allow the defense to read to the jury Fuhrman’s criminal-trial testimony.

Update hourly