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O.J. Simpson, perhaps the most infamous celebrity of his time, died of cancer on Wednesday. He was 76 years old.

Those raised on the internet may not have a full awareness of Simpson and the murder trial that captivated the world in the mid-1990s. Simpson was accused of the 1994 killing of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and friend Ron Goldman. To those watching at home, the trial felt like the biggest event in the world, full stop. Simpson was eventually acquitted, though most people didn’t believe he was innocent, and was later found liable in a civil trial.

It is impossible to explain how central the trial and case were to the culture at the time. I was barely alive but had at least heard of it. The 1995 trial came at a time when the internet was in its infancy. Just take a look CNN’s archival page on the trial — from that time — which surprisingly still exists. It is wildly basic; it looks like some mix of a DVD menu and an AOL homepage. However, it still functions as an online database for information on the trial and its key figures.

A look at the early internet.
Credit: CNN

It makes sense CNN would have a landing page for the trial. In the mid-90s, it was the source for news in the U.S. and the network would’ve had so much coverage around Simpson, a former professional football player.

Most of the images still load, even.
Credit: CNN

Still, it’s kind of amazing that the links to old articles on sections about the verdict, the murder itself, and the trial all still work. You can pull up entire court transcripts, evidence photos, and small bios on all the people involved. It is an amazing piece of the internet’s history. It’s a bit surreal to look back at what the internet looked like some two decades ago. This event was so huge — darkly viral, in the parlance of our times — that it inspired the creation of this wildly durable site, even if it does appear ancient in 2024.

The site, though for a much different topic, is reminiscent of the original Space Jam website. That 1996 site has famously lived on for years.

The internet has obviously come a long way since that O.J. Simpson site first went live on CNN.com. But, even after his death, you can still use the archive to learn all about the murder trial, even if it looks janky and old.

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