We had three couches in our living room formed in the fashion of a horseshoe. At the opening of the horseshoe was our entertainment centre. We had of course a kick ass stereo, TV, VCR, and the hottest game console at the time, Sega Genesis. It was common for 5-10 guys to be occupying that space, usually playing video games with 5 different CDs in the carousel busting out our favourite tunes. It wasn't very often we actually watched television, but the odd times we did that year we were witness to some amazing historical happenings.
Firstly were the Los Angeles riots, sparked after an African American male named Rodney King was beaten relentlessly by LAPD. Unknowing to the police someone was videotaping them, and it was major headline news before Mr.King's blood even dried on the ground. The officers in question were found not guilty in court, which led to absolute madness in south central Los Angels. Lootings, fires, random pedestrian beatings, all being televised. I was glued to the TV set with my VHS tape recording it all over the course of the weekend. And what did the police do? Absolutely nothing. They sat back and let these people destroy their own city. It was one of the most surreal things I'd ever witnessed in my life.
Roughly two months later we found ourselves glued to the television once again. It was one of those rare occasions that I actually decided to flip through the channels, only on this particular day every channel seemed to be airing the same thing; a high speed police chase on the LA freeways. The LAPD were in pursuit of a white bronco, which we were shocked to learn was being driven by none other than O.J.Simpson, a famous ex-football star and actor. We were all mesmerized to learn he was wanted for questioning in regards to the death of his wife and her friend. Once again it was absolutely a surreal situation watching this chase, which felt like it lasted hours. Eventually it came to an end, and OJ would go on to be found not guilty in what was one of the highest profiled Supreme Court cases in the history of United States law.
Just when the year seemed like it couldn't get any crazier, it did, years prior there was an alert in our area warning residents of a man labelled "The Scarborough Rapist" so whenever we were out drinking in parks and whatnot, we always had our eyes peeled for the Nissan car he apparently drove. Now the man has been caught for several rapes and murders. His name was Paul Bernardo, and he did not act alone, his girlfriend/wife Karla Homolka was also involved. The trial was subject to a publication ban which applied to Canadian newspapers and media, and the venue was moved to Toronto from St. Catharines, where the murders occurred. There was however no publication ban in the U.S., and a friend of Greg's father had been sending him copies of the court transcripts each day, which we were lucky enough to aquire. It was mind blowing to read all the details involved in the gruesome case.
I could only wonder what the second half of the year would hold in store...