In many instances, a high-profile figure acquitted of murder ends up in jail anyway, due to charges related to the crime, or to other crimes committed later. Freed from jail once they’re acquitted, they get to go on with their lives, though many have often spent years in prison. In a few cases, justice eventually catches up with an acquitted killer – such as OJ Simpson, or more recently, Robert Durst.
Here are some high-profile acquitted killers and murderers out of jail, along with what they’ve done since winning their freedom.
O. J. Simpson
Now: Simpson was famously found not guilty in a surreal trial. He went on to lose a civil suit to the Goldman family, play a lot of golf while looking for “the real killer,” “write” a book called If I Did It, and do almost anything to make money.
On September 16, 2007, he was arrested for leading a robbery of sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel, and found guilty. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison, 13 years to the day of his acquittal in the murders.
Simpson was released in October 2017, and supposedly set out to make up for lost time. According to Dennis Hof, the owner of Nevada’s infamous brothel the Bunny Ranch, Simpson called looking for “a Nicole Brown look-a-like.”
Now: Anthony’s acquittal was met with worldwide outrage, as many legal watchers believed her conviction would be a slam dunk. In the time since the July 2011 verdict, Anthony has dealt with multiple civil suits, served probation on a check-fraud charge, filed for bankruptcy (stiffing her lawyer of $500,000), and iscurrently living in an undisclosed location in Florida. She met with NBC producers in May 2015 about a possible interview, but it never happened.
Now: The Department of Justice spent three years investigating Zimmerman, and ultimately found the shooting wasn’t a hate crime. Zimmerman blamed President Obama for inflaming racial tensions around the trial, tried to make a living selling his own paintings on eBay, and tweeted images of the murder, as well as words of support from fans. His Twitter account was permanently suspended in late 2015.
Beyond that, Zimmerman has had half a dozen legal encounters since the shooting, including multiple domestic violence-related 911 calls from his then-wife and girlfriends. All of the charges in each case were dropped after the victims refused to cooperate. Zimmerman was also involved in a road range incident where a man shot at him, and in several controversies regarding the Confederate flag.
Now: The trial saw Blake’s defense claim he was a victim of circumstance and faked evidence, with the real killer being someone unknown to him. Blake himself never testified, and the jury heard contradictory testimony from several men who claimed Blake had previously tried to hire them to kill Bonny. Blake wasacquitted of all charges, but lost a civil trial, and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. He hasn’t acted since 1997, only giving a few contentious interviews.
Now: In 2013, Italy’s highest court re-opened the case, and Knox was re-tried from afar. Despite the raft of holes in the case and poor handling of evidence, she was again found guilty, and appealed. The conviction was again overturned less than a year later, and by 2016, she was completely cleared of all charges stemming from the killing, including a charge of libeling the Italian police.
Now: Interest in Durst and the murders was never far from popular culture. In early 2015, HBO released a six-part documentary examining the evidence in the killings, particularly that of Susan Berman’s execution-style death in LA in 2000. The LAPD re-opened the case, and in March 2015, Durst was arrested for murder – the day before the documentary’s final episode aired. He was also indicted on charges of illegal possession of a handgun and controlled substances. He pleaded guilty to the gun charge, and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Durst is still awaiting the Berman murder trial.
Now: Snoop Dogg has continued his rap and acting career to varied degrees of success, but has been in continuous legal trouble for most of it. He’s been arrested at least eight times, including several busts for drug possession, weapons charges, vandalizing an airport duty free shop, and trespassing. He’s been turned away from Australia, and was banned from both Norway and Sweden at different times.
Now: After the acquittal, Weaver gave a few interviews, but has mostly stayed out of the spotlight. He livesin Kalispell, MT and doesn’t speak to the press.
Lillo Brancato, Jr.
Now: Found guilty on the burglary charge, Brancato was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and served four, being released in December 2013. He booked his first post-jail film role, in 2016’s Back in the Day, about a year later.
Now: Rebounding from his short stint in prison, King became the most famous boxing promoter in history, involved in everything from the “Thrilla in Manilla” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier to the biggest fights of Mike Tyson’s career. King has also sued and been sued by numerous boxing luminaries, filed a billion dollar suit against ESPN, and is even alleged to have put a hit out on a boxer with whom he was feuding.
Now: Hatch was released from prison in March 2014, and having released a wealth of material while behind bars, went back to his career. He did, however, change his name to “Boozie Badazz.”