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John Gibson and Kathy Riggins collection on the O. J. Simpson trial

 Collection
Identifier: 6217

Scope and Contents

A collection of files documenting the O. J. Simpson murder trial (The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson) as compiled by two journalists covering the trial at NBC News in Burbank: reporter John Gibson and producer Kathy Riggins.

The collection is divided into two groups: "Gibson" and "Riggins." The Riggins boxes include Kathy Riggins' daily log of testimony, sidebars, motions, rulings and jury controversies. The Gibson boxes include John Gibson's scripts for the live shots and packages for NBC local affiliates, the Today Show, and the Rivera Live show on CNBC. Also included in the boxes of scripts are various materials like magazine articles and books related to the trial. Gibson's files also include two three-ring binders with grand jury transcripts for the lead witnesses in the case against Simpson. The majority of the material relates to the 1995 criminal trial, but a small amount of scripts covering the 1996 civil trial against Simpson held in Santa Monica are also included.

Dates

  • 1992 - 1996
  • Majority of material found in 1995

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Extent

16 Linear Feet (16 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

A collection of files documenting the O. J. Simpson murder trial (The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson) as compiled by two journalists covering the trial at NBC News in Burbank: reporter John Gibson and producer Kathy Riggins. Gibson and Riggins were part of the NBC team in charge of producing hourly reports on the original O. J. Simpson trial for NBC affiliate stations around the country. The team was tasked with producing news packages several times an hour from 9am to 6pm with live shots for stations across the country over the 18 months of pretrial and trial. The collection includes trial transcripts, motions, decisions, orders, and scripts and notes that were collected and filed over the course of the trial.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John Gibson, March 2, 2021.

A note to researchers from John Gibson

I have donated to USC the collected files from the OJ Simpson Trial as compiled by myself and my colleague at NBC News in Burbank, producer Kathy Riggins.

The boxes are divided into two groups marked "Gibson" and separately "Riggins." The Riggins boxes are her daily log of testimony, sidebars, motions, rulings and jury controversies. They are neatly ordered and easy to follow, as her dates are quite clear.

The Gibson boxes are less so. I saved my scripts for the live shots and packages I did for NBC local affiliates, the Today Show, and the Rivera Live show on CNBC. The scripts are out of order, but I believe fairly complete.

A researcher should notice the topline at the top of the page. It shows the writer (jgibson) the date, the time the script was created, and the show it was created for. Most scripts are for my live shots for the NBC News Channel. That entity was both separate and a part of NBC News, but specifically it's purpose was to provide NBC affiliates around the country with both generic and custom reports for their local newscasts.

My day began with a 9am feed, which was for the noon shows on the East Coast. As we marched through the time zones reports were constantly updated, as you will see by the time codes. The day ended at 6p (9p on the east coast) with the live shot and package insert for the Rivera Live show.

There were more reports filed through the evening by other reporters for the late news. Both Jim Hanchett and David Gregory did those live shots. Their scripts are not included, but at those hours their material was not markedly different, as court hours were over.

For reference NBC News Channel (HQ'd in Charlotte, N.C.) estimated I did 10,000 live shots from OJ's arrest to the verdict a year and a half later.

Also included in the boxes of scripts are various materials like magazine articles and books. That sort of material is by no means complete. Just whatever I happened to see on a given day, and tucked away in a box.

Processing Information

The collection is minimally processed. Parts of the collection are out of order and most of the collection needs to be re-foldered.

Title
Finding aid for the John Gibson and Kathy Riggins collection on the O. J. Simpson trial
Status
Unprocessed
Author
Bo Doub
Date
2021 March
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States