How A Photographer Got the Only Shot of O.J. Simpson Celebrating His Verdict

A photographer has revealed how he captured the only shot that exists of O.J. Simpson celebrating his “Not Guilty” verdict at his infamous murder trial.

L.A. Times photojournalist Myung J. Chun was assigned to be a pool photographer at Simpson’s trial for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1995.

In a video published by the L.A. Times, Chun recalls how he got the iconic photo of Simpson at his verdict reading in Los Angeles County Superior Court on October 3, 1995.

In the only image that exists of that particular moment, Chun captured Simpson quietly pumping his fists and mouthing “Thank you” as he celebrated his new status as a free man.

“I was there on Monday when the word came that the jury had reached the verdict,” Chun tells the L.A. Times.

“Everything came down to this moment — everything that we’ve been waiting for for nine months and I had this awesome responsibility to get the photos. Everything rested on me.”

‘That’s The Only Photo That Exists’

Chun says that the images were captured in the courtroom at the so-called trial “Trial of the Century” by having a remote still camera mounted above the jury box.

The photographer describes the courtroom camera technology as “very crude by today’s standards” but says that it did the job.

Chun remembers the wide division in the courtroom after the verdict was announced and Simpson was acquitted on both counts of murder.

“During the verdict, [Ron Goldman’s sister] Kim Goldman was just sobbing, she was very emotional so I just took a couple of frames there and then went over to the Simpsons,” Chun tells the L.A. Times.

“They were just ecstatic and just you know happy and thrilled so you just had these incredible contrasting emotions in the courtroom.”

Chun says he then returned the remote still camera to Simpson as the jury exited and waited patiently until the football player had a visible response to the “Not Guilty” verdict.

The photographer managed to capture the only image of Simpson quietly pumping his fists in victory.

“I went back to O.J. I was looking for an expression and just kind of waited and waited and waited as the jury was being excused,” Chun recalls.

“He brought his fists up [and] clenched them as he mouthed the words ‘thank you.’

Court TV didn’t get that moment so that’s the only photo that exists.”

How He Got the Camera Film to His Editors

The photographer also reveals how he faced the challenge of quickly getting this important shot to his news editors at a time before digital imaging and transfers.

“When the verdicts were read and done I had to go inside the courtroom to get the film and I gave it to our motorcycle messenger,” Chun says.

“I said whatever happens today do not get yourself killed on the motorcycle just make sure you make it to the AP [Associated Press] with the film and you drop it off.”

The photographer says there has been renewed interest in the image since the news of Simpson’s death on Wednesday.

“I heard about OJ’s death this morning while I was on an assignment and I thought nearly 29 years later, this moment and this picture comes back around again,” he says.

“It’s just given another life, it’s kind of incredible so it does definitely rank as probably my most famous and important photo.”