N.Y. Times reporters Ian Lovett and Katie Rogers have gotten confirmation from an LAPD spokesperson what TMZ reported last night (technically at 1 am this morning), which is that Los Angeles police are examining a rusty folding buck knife that was found buried on O.J. Simpson‘s Brentwood property when his home was being demolished in 1998…but not turned over to them until “late January” of this year, according to TMZ.

An anonymous L.A. traffic cop was given the knife by a construction worker who said it had been found underground on the Rockingham estate — i.e., apparently buried. Rather than turn the knife over to authorities, the cop in question (now retired) kept it at his home. Found treasure. What luck!

Seriously…what kind of police officer, presented with hard evidence that might conceivably provide final proof of guilt or innocence in the most notorious murder case of the 20th century…what kind of sociopathic opportunist says (a) “Oh, cool…I can maybe sell this to a collector some day for several thousand dollars!” or “Oh, cool…I can frame this and hang it on a wall in my den and…you know, show it to my friends!”

Even if the knife offers absolute proof of O.J.’s guilt, he can’t be tried twice for the same crime. He skates. Question: Before theoretically burying the knife, wouldn’t O.J. have taken the precaution of washing it down and wiping it clean? Just to be on the safe side?

Meanwhile, I’ve just received links for episode #7, #8 and #9 of fx’s ongoing miniseries The People vs. O.J. Simpson, which I’m on record as loving except for the Cuba casting. I was sent a link to the first six episodes last December. The final three are “Conspiracy Theories” on 3.15, “A Jury in Jail”on 3.22 and “Manna From Heaven” on 3.29 — the finale having been written by HE homies Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

Update: FX has cleared its schedule this Saturday night (3.5 ) for a commercial-free marathon of the first five episodes (or the first half) of the The People v. O.J. Simpson. Back east the marathon begins at 10 PM and finishes 2:10 AM. For West Coast DirecTV and Dish Network customers, the marathon will run from 7 PM to 11:10 PM.