Posts by Holly Bailey, Yahoo News
SAN FRANCISCO — At moments, it glows like a pathway to heaven, floating almost dreamlike through the thick layer of fog that frequently blankets the city. Even on sunny days, the Golden Gate Bridge is a wonder, its graceful art deco towers gleaming a deep orange-red against the shimmering turquoise water of the San Francisco Bay.
But when John Moylan looked at the bridge, he also saw a darker side to its majestic beauty. In the 27 years since he was first appointed to the 19-member board that oversees the Golden Gate, Moylan had also come to see the tragedy of the bridge. It came in the form of countless stories he’d heard from grieving families whose loved ones had leapt to their deaths from the iconic span.
His lawyers told him to keep his mouth shut, but that only seemed to make O.J. Simpson want to talk more.
It was November 1995, a month after the Pro Football Hall of Famer had been found not guilty of the savage murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman.
In theory, Simpson was a free man, back at his mansion on Rockingham Drive in west Los Angeles after 15 months in an isolated 9-foot by 7-foot cell at the county jail with its sliver of a window and thick concrete walls. Now he could wander through rooms at whim, go out to dinner and even leave town if he wanted to.
The only thing Simpson shouldn’t do, his lawyers advised, was talk to the media. It was risky, since he was still the subject of a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the Brown and Goldman families. There was also another incentive for staying quiet: He could eventually sell his story — an appealing prospect to Simpson, who was unemployed and on the hook for millions of dollars in legal fees.
Twenty years ago this week, O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, were found dead, stabbed to death in a bloody scene on the front steps of her condo in west Los Angeles. Simpson, a Pro Football Hall of Famer turned television and movie star, almost immediately was shrouded in suspicion, and thus began one of the most sensational crime stories of the modern age, one that still divides much of the nation.
Every twist and turn of the case seemed almost as if it could have been scripted by Hollywood, from the slow-speed chase of a white Ford Bronco carrying an allegedly suicidal Simpson down the San Diego Freeway to the moment during his trial when the ex-football star struggled to fit his hands inside bloody gloves allegedly worn by his ex-wife’s killer. “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” Simpson’s lawyer, Johnnie Cochran later intoned, a line that has lived on in pop culture infamy.
Here are some of the memorable moments and images of the O.J. Simpson saga, which began June 12, 1994.
It was a story that captivated the world: a beloved former football star accused of killing his glamorous ex-wife and her handsome friend in a grisly crime of passion.
The O.J. Simpson saga was part Shakespearean tragedy and part trashy daytime soap opera, with an unlikely cast of characters and a juicy plot so strange and twisted that few dared to look away. Debating whether O.J. was guilty or not became a national pastime — encouraged by the fact that nearly every second of his trial was broadcast on television. And that debate was often divided along racial lines, underscoring the painful truth that blacks and whites continue to have drastically different views of justice in modern-day America.
- Holly Bailey, Yahoo News at Yahoo News2 mths ago
MOORE, Okla. — Last May, Kristy Rushing was at work when she first heard the reports a tornado had developed just southwest of the home she shared with her husband, James, and their five foster kids.
It wasn’t the first time her house had been in the path of deadly weather. A mile-wide tornado, one of the most destructive captured on record, missed their home by mere blocks in May 1999 — not long after they moved in. Four years later, in May 2003, another tornado hit, wiping out a neighborhood a mile north.
“It missed us just by a hair those two times,” Rushing recalled.
But on May 20, 2013, her family wasn’t so lucky. The monster tornado, nearly a mile and a half wide with winds in excess of 200 mph, took dead aim at her neighborhood, obliterating virtually everything in its path.
KIMBERLY, Ala. — It was too dark to see it, but they knew it was coming. Twenty-five people gathered in the basement at Kimberly Church of God along Highway 31 here in a speck of a town just north of Birmingham to find safety from a tornado that was quickly bearing down on them Monday night.
Storms had been pounding the tiny town for hours, hitting one after the other since the afternoon. It was typical springtime weather in a place where tornadoes haven’t exactly been strangers. A stray twister here and there had threatened Kimberly before, including during the deadly tornado outbreak of April 2011 when 238 people in Alabama were killed during a three-day stretch of storms.
But none had ever taken a direct hit at Kimberly — until last night. Just before 10 p.m., people began flooding into the church’s basement recreation area, which sits right below the main chapel. It’s usually a space for potlucks or wedding receptions, but Monday night it was the town’s refuge, giving protection to residents who largely don’t have shelters of their own.
GUTHRIE, Okla. — The shaking came in the dead of the night on a recent Wednesday morning, vibrations so intense that they startled Faye Sayre out of a deep sleep. Her bed was lurching up and down and back and forth — and Sayre, in her drowsiness, initially thought it was Gunner, her 180-pound English mastiff puppy, leaping on her mattress as if it were a doggie trampoline.
“I thought, ‘Why is my dog jumping in my bed?’” Sayre recalled. “The bed was really rocking. ... And she doesn’t do that. She’s not excitable like that. She’s a very calm dog.”
But as Sayre sat up to figure out what was happening, she noticed Gunner was sprawled in her usual spot on the floor next to her bed. The dog was looking up at her quizzically, and Sayre suddenly realized it wasn’t just her bed that was moving. The entire room was shaking.
“Here we go again,” Sayre thought.
It was an earthquake — one of the more than 150 quakes measured at magnitudes of 2.5 or higher on the Richter scale that have hit Oklahoma in the last month alone.
NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The unmarked police cars that used to be parked down the block are gone. So are the satellite trucks. But every few weeks, a paparazzo turns up, training a long lens on a two-story ranch-style home that sits on a quiet, wooded cul-de-sac here, hoping to land the money shot of the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombings.
That’s why, neighbors believe, they don’t see Katherine Russell outside anymore — or her parents or two younger sisters. Not even on the warm days, when the family used to sit in lawn chairs smiling and laughing as Russell and Tsarnaev’s 3-year-old daughter, Zahara, happily scampered through the open backyard.
When a tabloid ran photos of one of those backyard jaunts last summer, family members retreated inside and have rarely been seen by the neighbors since. A space that had once felt so open and free was suddenly a prison where there was no privacy from the prying eyes of a world curious about how a seemingly normal girl and her family got caught up in a horrifying crime.
It was one of the most searing images of the war in Iraq: a tiny girl, splattered in blood and screaming in horror after her parents had been shot and killed by American soldiers who fired on the family car when it failed to yield for a foot patrol in the northern town of Tal Afar.
Taken by Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros, who was embedded with the patrol, the January 2005 photo offered powerful visual testimony to the horrific impact of the conflict on Iraqi citizens. It came as the American public was beginning to question the rising death toll and purpose of a war that was starting to look unwinnable.
Hondros was inured to the chaos of war. By then, he was a veteran combat photographer who had served as a witness for the world on the front lines of conflicts in faraway places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
But Hondros wasn’t merely fueled by the adrenaline of covering war. He was there to document the impact of conflict on people, both soldiers and civilians, to discover something deeper about humanity through war.
- Holly Bailey, Yahoo News at Yahoo News4 mths ago
MOORE, Okla. — Robert Romines used to love thunderstorms.
Like most people from central Oklahoma, storms were practically in his blood, so normal and routine it seemed as though people here had been born with DNA specially equipped to deal with crazy weather.
Romines had been taught as a child to cast a cautious eye toward the western sky in the springtime, knowing that fluffy white clouds that looked so innocent one moment could erupt into something dark and ominous the next. And like most people who reside in the nation’s so-called “tornado alley,” where monitoring the volatile weather is almost a sport, he welcomed storms with a mix of both fear and anticipation.
After all, it was hard not to appreciate the strange beauty in the threatening clouds and the way lightning streaked across the open sky. On a few occasions, Romines had jumped into his car to follow a storm and admire it up close — an impulse that is more common than not in a state so fanatical about its weather that the local NBA team is called the “Thunder.”
“I was a storm junkie. I loved thunderstorms. I loved storm season,” Romines admitted. “But that was before May 20.”