Slain woman's sister rips sale of O.J. masks

October 18, 1994|By Los Angeles Times

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- The sister of Nicole Brown Simpson issued a nationwide plea yesterday, asking consumers to return Halloween costume items that depict either O.J. Simpson or his alleged victims, including masks, blond wigs and even prosthetic slit throats.

Denise Brown called on stores handling such items to halt their sale immediately, saying that they are in "extremely bad taste" and hold "no redeeming value for our society." She was joined by Human Options, a domestic violence support group.

"Murder and domestic violence are no laughing matter," Ms. Brown said in a statement. "And the total disrespect for grieving families in general is appalling."

Ms. Brown issued the nationwide challenge on behalf of the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson's former wife and the woman he is accused of killing.

"Halloween has always been a children's holiday," Denise Brown said. "It is a holiday where children dress up and have a good time pretending to be someone else."

But most stores turned a cold shoulder to her remarks.

Victor Pahl, manager of Ragztop-Vintage in Fullerton, Calif., said his store had sold 70 masks in the likeness of O.J. Simpson, as well as numerous football jerseys splattered with fake blood and wigs for women "wanting to dress up as Nicole."

Mr. Pahl said that many of the sales had been to people from out of state -- not from Halloween trick-or-treaters but rather "collectors wanting an obvious collector's item."

"I've had calls from all over the country," he said. "I've even had calls from South America and Japan."

Mr. Pahl said he and the owner of the store had no intention of curtailing the Simpson line of masks.

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