LOS ANGELES - Not knowing her mother had been slain the night before, Nicole Brown Simpson's terrified young daughter called home and cried into the answering machine: "Please answer, Mommy! Please answer!"
Sydney Simpson's desperate plea was the most heartbreaking of more than a dozen messages left for Nicole Brown Simpson the day after she and Ron Goldman were killed.
The tape came to light as Sydney, 9, and her little brother, Justin, 6, spent their first Mother's Day without their mother. It also came as their father remained in jail, on trial for the June 12 slayings of his ex-wife and Goldman.
Sydney apparently made the frantic call the morning of June 13 from the West Los Angeles police station, where she and Justin were brought after the slayings.
"Mommy, please call me back! I want to know what happened last night," cried the girl, then 8, who was asleep with Justin as their mother was killed outside their home.
"Why did we have to go to the police station? Please answer, Mommy! Please answer, mommy! Please answer, Mommy! Please answer . . . bye."
Sydney and Justin were picked up from the station between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. by O.J. Simpson's adult daughter, Arnelle, and his best friend, Al Cowlings. Relatives later told the children of the deaths. Simpson was in Chicago the morning after the murders.
After Sydney's call, a string of messages followed, painting Nicole as an active woman with plenty of friends and plans for the future. But later calls took on an increasingly chilling tenor as friends called to inquire about news reports on the deaths and to offer sympathy and condolences.