Legacy of Deception: An Investigationof Mark Fuhrman & Racism in the L.A.P.D.

Published: 06/01/1996

With this book, Stephen Singular’s career began to evolve, his role shiftingfrom that of a journalistic observer to being a direct participant in the “Caseof the Century.”

In the early hours of June 13, 1994, while investigating the murders of Nicole BrownSimpson and Ron Goldman, LAPD Homicide Detective Mark Fuhrman uncovered evidencedestined to become the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case in the trialof O.J. Simpson. As the legal epic unfolded, Fuhrman himself — his character, professionalconduct, and racial attitudes — took center stage. What emerged from Fuhrman inthe trial was an appalling LAPD history of manufactured evidence, beating up suspects,and vicious bigotry acted out from behind the safety of a badge. The very same neo-Nazibehavior Singular had written about in Talked to Death now emerged as a darkunderbelly of the LAPD. White supremacist attitudes and actions had moved from outsidethe legal system to being alive and at work inside a major metropolitan police force.But that was just the start of this story.

In August 1994, Singular was contacted by a source within LA’s law enforcementcommunity who not only told him about these disturbing police factions but gavehim information about four critical pieces of evidence in the Simpson case — piecesunknown to both the prosecution and defense. Singular himself investigated thisevidence and infiltrated the LAPD crime lab in search of the truth. What he discoveredearned him a critical role on the defense team and was documented in a book proposal,which became the basis for Legacy of Deception. The proposal was leaked tothe office of L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti and then subpoenaed by Simpsonprosecutor Christopher Darden. In his 1996 “New York Times” bestsellerabout the case, In Contempt, Darden wrote had this to say about the proposal,“I was basically looking at a blueprint of O.J. Simpson’s defense, monthsbefore it became operational. Clearly this guy [Singular] had spent more than abrief moment with [Simpson attorneys] Cochran and Douglas. Singular was writingabout information that hadn’t been made public at the time he wrote his treatment…Later,I would wonder how much Simpson had paid for a defense that really came from a truecrime writer.”

Running through Legacy of Deception was the central and growing themeof Singular’s work: the dangerous mentality he’d begun writing aboutin Talked to Death a decade earlier was entering the mainstream — throughthe media, the legal system, and the culture at large. No longer just a fringe issue,it was becoming an increasing part of American life. Instead of investigating ourreality, in the best tradition of journalism, we’d begun taking things atface value and jumping to conclusions.

What did this mean for our society as a whole? This question would arise again andagain in future books.