PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – Just over 22 years ago, millions of people watched as Al Cowlings drove his white Ford Bronco with Heisman Trophy winner O.J. Simpson.
Now, the most notorious Bronco is heading to Pigeon Forge. Still considered one of the top ten most watched in television history, Alcatraz East Crime Museum said the car will be a part of their museum.
The crime museum is expected to open in fall of 2016. The museum will be themed as a 19th century prison, and is slated to open fall 2016 at the entrance to The Island, neighboring Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Margaritaville Hotel.
“It was the event everyone was talking about, and is still discussed today. People reminisce about where they were and who they were with when the news broke into the NBA Finals with helicopter footage of the chase. The country was captivated and perplexed,” said Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “The O.J. case shined a light on our criminal justice system and was among the first to discuss forensics in detail. We are pleased to have the Bronco as part of our collection to tell this story.”
The interactive museum will feature a variety of ways for visitors to learn more about criminal intent, criminal profiles, the penal system, victims’ stories, crime prevention, law enforcement, forensic science, and our justice system. Spread over two floors, the 25,000-square foot museum will include interactive displays on these subjects as well as original artifacts. Artifacts from the museum’s extensive collection that will be on display include John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, objects belonging to Bonnie & Clyde, an FBI polygraph machine, Al Pacino’s submachine gun from the movie Scarface, items related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, and the latest in law enforcement technology. The museum’s mission is to provide guests of all ages with a memorable journey into the history of American crime, law enforcement, forensic science, and crime scene investigation (CSI), through an interactive and entertaining educational experience.
“I’m thrilled to form this partnership with Alcatraz East and give people a chance to see the famous Bronco,” says Michael Gilbert, co-owner of the vehicle and Simpson’s former manager. “A museum is where it belongs. I hope that by seeing the Bronco in person visitors can learn about an important time in American history. We still believed our heroes were flawless and could do no wrong and hopefully the Bronco will serve as a reminder to all that crime doesn’t pay.”