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Moran has good feelings about Simpson. "I felt like he was a close neighbor. If I saw him out on the street in trouble, I would help him." She does admit that the "prosecutors had their high points. I sort of fell for [Nicole's] 911 tape and some of the DNA testimony." She says, however, that "they dwelled so much on the beating case. They might have won me if they had hit it and then got off it. But the prosecution seemed to make that its foundation." The prosecution's weakest link was Vannatter. "He was my biggest doubt. Him carrying that vial of [Simpson's] blood around for hours. There was an opportunity to sprinkle it here or there.''

"She sounded like my closing remarks!" says Cochran. "And we had been worried about her the whole time! The first time we thought we would be successful with her was when she started crying during my closing argument and went out and came back in, eyes all red, and the clerk later told me that she had said, 'It just welled up in me after all these months.' I thought, this may be pretty good."

Moran won't take more criticism. "Did the judge pick the world to hear this case? Because if he did, then somebody owes me a lot of money for doing their work. All the dollars in the world aren't worth my sanity." She is putting her diary and notes together for a book. And there is good news. "My boss feels sorry for me, and so he is giving me a month off."


BY 11 A.M. ON OCT. 3, O.J. SIMPSON WAS home, back at 360 North Rockingham, the mansion whose gates, landscaping and layout Americans have come to know so well. One of the first things the former football star saw was the silver-haired L.A. district attorney Gil Garcetti on TV, announcing that he had no plans to look for other killers. "Garcetti!" Simpson said aloud. "He wouldn't even give me that! Why doesn't that guy give me something--just say he'll look into it?" Simpson then retreated into his bedroom, sitting down on the edge of his huge bed and gazing at the space he hadn't seen in 474 days.

Simpson made some calls. He tried to reach "those guys from Brooklyn"--defense attorneys Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld--who spent their first night of freedom enjoying another win: watching the Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners. He telephoned his former in-laws, the Browns, and made the case, yet again, for his innocence. When Simpson's mother Eunice settled into a chair, a friend said, "he just sat down beside her and looked into her eyes. No words."

As longtime friends, including personal assistant Cathy Randa and business attorney Skip Taft, streamed into the house, a party started up. Someone sat down at the piano, and soon everyone was singing gospel songs. One favorite that both Cochran and Simpson sang was Amazing Grace, its lyrics filled with poignancy.

Amazing grace- How sweet the sound-- That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see ...

--Reported by Elaine Lafferty, Jack E. White and James Willwerth with Patrick E. Cole, Wendy Cole, Sharon E. Epperson, David S. Jackson, Jeanne McDowell and Richard Woodbury/Los Angeles and Andrea Sachs/New York

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