Michael Jackson FBI Files Reveal Little New Information
During more than a decade of monitoring, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) helped set up interviews over child-molestation allegations and investigated a possible terror attack and an alleged assassination plot against Michael Jackson, according to newly released FBI files.
Despite monitoring Jackson for more than a decade, the files don’t contain any major revelations about the late pop singer’s private life and the bureau never uncovered any solid evidence against him in connection with two different molestation allegations, according to The Associated Press
The documents made public on Tuesday date from 1992 to 2005, and though the FBI said they number about 600 pages, only 333 were released due to privacy rules and a desire to protect investigative techniques.
Though they don’t contain many bombshells, they do reveal that the 1993 sentencing of Frank Paul Jones — a man allegedly obsessed with Michael’s sister, Janet Jackson — was tied to death threats he made against Michael, then-president George H.W. Bush and late mob boss John Gotti, whom he claimed was his father. In a letter obtained by the FBI, dated July 6, 1992, Jones wrote, “I decided that because nobody is taking me serious, and I can’t handle my state of mind, that I am going to Washington, D.C. to threaten to kill the President of the United States, George Bush,” adding, “Michael (Jackson) I will personally attempt to kill, if he doesn’t pay me my money.”
Michael Jackson knew about the threats and took them seriously. Jones was arrested June 22 and held on $15,000 bail for investigation of trespassing in the driveway of the Jackson family compound in Encino, California, and sentenced in 1993 to two years in prison for “mailing a threatening communication.”
The federal government’s investigative agency continued its probe into Jackson in 1993, after the Los Angeles Police Department asked the FBI if it was interested in working on a possible case against Jackson for transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes. The request came after an LAPD investigator traveled to Manila, Philippines, to speak to two former Jackson employees who claimed they saw the singer fondle young boys; the FBI did not join the investigation because the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to get involved, though an FBI agent accompanied California officials to the first interview.
The Santa Maria Police Department asked the FBI to get involved again after Jackson was arrested for child molestation in 2004, believing that the ensuing court case would be a “soft target” for terrorists because of the worldwide attention the trial would attract. The FBI ultimately concluded that there were not imminent threats, though it noted the presence in court of the Nation of Islam’s Fruits of Islam security force and an unnamed member of the New Black Panther Party. Jackson, who used Nation of Islam bodyguards during the trial, was acquitted in the case.
The FBI reviewed case notes from local authorities in the molestation case and examined 16 computers taken from Jackson’s home, but investigators didn’t appear to find anything of note, prompting one of Jackson’s lead defense attorneys, Thomas Mesereau, to say that the FBI documents provide further proof that Jackson did nothing wrong.
“He was not a criminal and he was not a pedophile,” Mesereau told the AP. “The fact that so many agencies investigated him and couldn’t find anything proves he was completely innocent.”
In September 1993, an FBI agent in London also reportedly told colleagues in Los Angeles about British press reports concerning a man claiming that Jackson had made a sexually suggestive phone call to him in 1979 when he was 13 and the singer was 20; no further action was taken in that case. And in October 1995, the U.S. Customs Service reportedly asked the FBI to look at a videotape labeled “Michael Jackson’s Neverland Favorites An All Boy Anthology” as part of a child-pornography investigation, though the tape was of such poor quality that investigators couldn’t tell what was on it.
The files were released on Tuesday after a request was made through the Freedom of Information from news agencies following Jackson’s death.
The files that were released were as follows:
This file details a Los Angeles field office investigation into extortion threats against Michael Jackson and others in 1992. The subject of this investigation pled guilty and was sentenced to prison in 1993.
A total of 111 pages were withheld to prevent duplication of material already released or to protect personal privacy, the identity of sources that provided information to the FBI in confidence, and internal rules and practices. Some information was referred to the U.S. Secret Service.
This file involves a Los Angeles field office investigation opened to assist local authorities with a child molestation case in 1993. The case never went to trial.
Ninety-five pages were withheld to prevent duplication of material already released or to protect personal privacy, the identity of sources that provided information to the FBI in confidence, and internal rules and practices.
This file was opened by the FBI’s legal attaché office in London when it assisted local authorities with a child molestation investigation in 1993.
Thirteen pages were withheld to protect personal privacy and the identity of sources that provided information to the FBI in confidence.
This file details a request made to the FBI to analyze a VHS videotape provided by the U.S. Customs Service as part of a child pornography investigation.
Some information was redacted to protect personal privacy. Four pages were referred to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement for a release determination.
The Los Angeles field office opened this file when it was asked by local authorities to provide forensic computer analysis assistance in a child molestation investigation in 2004. The examination of evidence in this case was conducted by the FBI’s Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART). Mr. Jackson was ultimately acquitted of these charges in a California court.
One hundred and twenty-three pages were withheld to protect personal privacy, the identity of sources that provided information to the FBI in confidence, and internal rules and practices or to prevent the disclosure of techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.
This Los Angeles field office file was opened in 2004 to investigate child molestation allegations. Due to lack of witness cooperation, the case was closed.
This file involves a request made of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group to provide advice and assistance to local authorities concerning a child molestation investigation in 2004.
Some information was redacted to protect personal privacy and internal rules and practices.
Now some will say that these files reveal nothing new while others will say it supports the conclusion that MJ did something wrong. Others, however, will say that due to the fact that so many legal agencies investigated Jackson for so many years, collected so much material that could but did not lead to evidence to support guilt, then it only once again proves MJ was innocent of all charges.
Although these files were greatly anticipated they don’t reveal a lot of new information. The couple noted have been well documented to have a bias against MJ and were actually running pornographic websites themselves so their testimony if ever used was questionable. It must have been such as it was not used in any trial. Other interviews and material collected in these files we must assume if credible was used in the trial which resulted in an acquittal.
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In Jackson’s case it was only the media which tarred him as guilty.