Why Kato Kaelin Was So Important In The O.J. Simpson Murder Trail

Dubbed the "trial of the century" (via Biography), the O.J. Simpson murder trial was indeed one of the most famous of its time. The high-speed highway chase, the arrest that followed his initial plea statement, the dream team of lawyers he later hired, his unforgettable glove fitting in the courtroom — the trial was an attention-grabber that a lot of people paid attention to daily. The former football player and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee was on trial for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson Brown, and it was during the proceedings that a lot of details would come out about O.J. and what happened the night his ex-wife was murdered.

The prosecution, led by attorneys Marcia Clark and Chris Darden, called hundreds of witnesses to the trial. One of them was a peculiar man named Kato Kaelin. He was just one of the dozens who testified for the prosecution, but he would be a standout witness for several reasons: He knew both the victim and the suspect in the case, he was living with the suspect (O.J.) at the time, and he had spent some time with him during critical hours on the night of the murder.

Kaelin lived in a guest house on O.J.'s property on N. Rockingham Avenue in the upscale Brentwood neighborhood. On the night of June 12, 1994, a few miles away, a knife-wielding attacker stabbed Nicole and Ron Goldman to death (via Biography). That same night, Kaelin spent some time with O.J. on a drive to and back from McDonald's (via CNN).

A famous trial witness

Although he didn't know it at the time, that night, Kato Kaelin spent time with the man who would be the main suspect in the murder of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, making him one of the most important witnesses to testify at the trial. He would provide testimony for the prosecution on five different days in late March 1995, per Up Counsel.

By testifying, Kaelin provided an important timeline of O.J. Simpson's whereabouts on the night of the murders. He said that about an hour after returning from the drive-thru of McDonald's with O.J., he heard three loud thumps outside the window of the guest house he was staying in (via CNN). Upon investigation, Kaelin came across the limo driver at the main entrance of the home waiting for a tardy O.J., who eventually arrived.

The public also learned how Kaelin came to know the Simpsons and how he ended up living on O.J.'s property. Apparently, the retired football player didn't want Kaelin around Nicole, who he was living with at the time, nor did he want him to move in with her at her new place, per E! Online. As a result, O.J. offered him to stay in his guest house.

Kaelin's testimony turned him into a celebrity overnight, and he became one of the most famous witnesses ever. His testimony was spoofed on "Saturday Night Live" (posted on YouTube), and he was invited to speak on multiple radio and television shows after the trial.