Continuing the fight for justice for Mickey Thompson

GunnSlinger

Captain Backpack
This came across my desk first thing this morning and it really saddened me to read it... Hopefully justice will continue to be served and my thoughts go out to Collene Campbell and the entire family during their seemingly never ending battle.



Appeal heard in racing great murder case: Associated Press |
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A lawyer for a man convicted of murdering auto racing great Mickey Thompson and his wife urged a California appellate court panel on Tuesday to overcome distaste for defendant Michael Goodwin and reverse his case. Defense attorney Gail Harper said there was insufficient evidence at Goodwin's trial to tie him to the killings in 1988 in suburban Los Angeles. "Mr. Goodwin is an angry man and he's kind of a jerk," she said. "But being a jerk is not a crime." To reverse the conviction, she told the justices: "You have to overcome distaste for Mr. Goodwin who is thoroughly distasteful." The three-judge panel previously issued a tentative ruling indicating they were leaning toward affirming the conviction. However, they asked a number of questions on technical legal issues during the appeal hearing. Goodwin, 69, is serving a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was found guilty in 2007 of killing Mickey and Trudy Thompson after a six-week trial in which prosecutors built a circumstantial case that Goodwin had hired two hit men to kill the couple in revenge for a soured business deal. They suggested Goodwin planned an escape route for the men to ride bicycles to a spot where they were picked up by an accomplice in a car.

Deputy Attorney General Louis Karlin argued that Goodwin made repeated threats against Thompson in 1988 after their business deal failed. "There were clear threats not only to harm Mickey Thompson but to harm his wife," Karlin said, noting that others overheard a speaker phone call in which Goodwin told Thompson: "I'm going to kill you and your wife."

"Only one person had a motive," Karlin said, noting that the bankruptcy trustee who presided over the business dispute "said he'd never seen such a level of vituperation and acrimony in a case."
Thompson gained fame pursuing land-speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, driving dragsters and funny cars, and popularizing off-road competitions. Goodwin, the creator of the popular sport of Supercross, attempted to merge his highly successful business with Thompson's stadium off-road racing enterprise in 1985. But after only three months, the partnership failed. The men battled in court for more than three years until a judge issued an order for Goodwin to pay Thompson more than $700,000. Evidence showed that Goodwin told others he would see Thompson dead before he paid him a dime. Harper argued that threats are not sufficient for conviction. "You can threaten till you're blue in the face," she said. "But if there's no connection between him and the people who did the killing, it's fatal to the case." She argued that the killings occurred during a robbery. But the evidence showed the killers left behind jewelry and cash. "There's no evidence the killers were there to do anything but assassinate these people," Karlin said.
Witnesses said they saw Goodwin casing the area with binoculars days before the killings. There also were reports during the trial that Goodwin had imported hit men from the Caribbean. Prosecutors showed that Goodwin had liquidated his assets around the time of the killings, bought a $400,000 yacht and sailed off with his then-wife to spend years in the Caribbean and elsewhere. He was arrested in 2001 when he returned to the U.S. The mystery might have died in a cold case file if not for Thompson's sister, Collene Campbell, who spent two decades pushing for Goodwin's arrest. The 81-year-old Campbell sat in the courtroom gallery on Tuesday then wiped away tears outside court. "The pain never stops," she said. "I was figuring today was 9,724 days since they died and there's never been a morning or night I'm not thinking of it and wishing things were different." She said if the court affirms the conviction, "Maybe my family can finally have some peace."

 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
Man, its terrible to think he might get released... I sure hope not!!!
 

Lucho

Well-Known Member
There is a lot of information that is erroneous in this piece at best. Time has a way of distorting reality for hearsay. Before you decide whether Mr. Goodwin should rot in jail or not, you should really read up on the transcripts, pre-trial details, time lines and then make an educated decision.
For example, after being questioned about the murders, Goodwin indeed took a two year sailing trip, but before leaving, he went to the investigators and told them that he and his wife were leaving. He even told them where they planned to sail. The police did not have any evidence to keep him from going.

Another fact was that indeed after two years when he and his wife returned, he was arrested and convicted but NOT because of the murders but because of tax fraud when they filed for bankruptcy.

You should know that the exact style of murder, was attempted on a popular musician/singer a week later in the Hollywood Hills by two black men on bicycles, thought to be from the Carabian. The singer did not die but did identify the killers. The killers were never found.

Six months after the murders I was contacted by a police detective from L. A. who was investigating the murders and who told me that he thought that the Haiti connection with Mickey looked plausible. In fact he told me, I doubt it very much if the killers would ever be found. He added, it was their custom to hire a couple of young guns from Haiti, pay their families a few grand, fly them into the States, do their deed and fly them back to Haiti. However the youths would never make it back because they would be dropped off into the ocean.

I don't know who the attorney is who is representing Mr Goodwin, but she's not doing him any favors by saying what she said -- being an angry man. Think about this; I belive that if you were accused of two murders you didn't commit and have spent years in miserable conditions, don't you think you would be angry too?

Lastly, after extensive investigation, the case was first turned down by Los Angles, not sufficient evidence, then it went to Orange County and after years of trying to find proof it was deemed circumstantial at best and Orange County turned it down. So it lay in limbo for a while and then at the insistence of Ms Campbell the case was brought up again in Los Angeles. This time a conviction was reached only on "circumstantial evidence" but trial records showed so much wrong-doing by the prosecutors that it baffled even some prosecutors.

There are thousands of pages on this case that point to a wrong conviction, but convicted he was. He is serving a life sentence. As I told him once: I belive you and believe you didn't do it, but if you did Michael and you don't pay for it in this life time I trust God will let you rot in hell.
 

BANNED4LIFE

Well-Known Member
There is a lot of information that is erroneous in this piece at best. Time has a way of distorting reality for hearsay. Before you decide whether Mr. Goodwin should rot in jail or not, you should really read up on the transcripts, pre-trial details, time lines and then make an educated decision.
For example, after being questioned about the murders, Goodwin indeed took a two year sailing trip, but before leaving, he went to the investigators and told them that he and his wife were leaving. He even told them where they planned to sail. The police did not have any evidence to keep him from going.

Another fact was that indeed after two years when he and his wife returned, he was arrested and convicted but NOT because of the murders but because of tax fraud when they filed for bankruptcy.

You should know that the exact style of murder, was attempted on a popular musician/singer a week later in the Hollywood Hills by two black men on bicycles, thought to be from the Carabian. The singer did not die but did identify the killers. The killers were never found.

Six months after the murders I was contacted by a police detective from L. A. who was investigating the murders and who told me that he thought that the Haiti connection with Mickey looked plausible. In fact he told me, I doubt it very much if the killers would ever be found. He added, it was their custom to hire a couple of young guns from Haiti, pay their families a few grand, fly them into the States, do their deed and fly them back to Haiti. However the youths would never make it back because they would be dropped off into the ocean.

I don't know who the attorney is who is representing Mr Goodwin, but she's not doing him any favors by saying what she said -- being an angry man. Think about this; I belive that if you were accused of two murders you didn't commit and have spent years in miserable conditions, don't you think you would be angry too?

Lastly, after extensive investigation, the case was first turned down by Los Angles, not sufficient evidence, then it went to Orange County and after years of trying to find proof it was deemed circumstantial at best and Orange County turned it down. So it lay in limbo for a while and then at the insistence of Ms Campbell the case was brought up again in Los Angeles. This time a conviction was reached only on "circumstantial evidence" but trial records showed so much wrong-doing by the prosecutors that it baffled even some prosecutors.

There are thousands of pages on this case that point to a wrong conviction, but convicted he was. He is serving a life sentence. As I told him once: I belive you and believe you didn't do it, but if you did Michael and you don't pay for it in this life time I trust God will let you rot in hell.
so you think oj didn't kill them either????? JUST WONDERING.......yes , I think his conviction is/was a sham.....but I also think he is/was 100% involved in having them killed.......so , in the end he is where he belongs , just like oj.....
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Lucho, you are somewhat friends with Mr. Goodwin correct? I'm sure after sitting in that jail cell for 7 years you can start manipulating the story on THAT side to make it seem like he's more innocent too. I did not follow the investigation with a fine tooth comb but I can tell you there are more things going AGAINST Mr. Goodwin than going FOR him. Does that make him guilty? No one knows what really happened that day except for 5 people. Mickey and Trudy, the 2 guys on the bikes and Mr. Goodwin. Luckily for Goodwin 4 of those people are dead. Mike Goodwin, IMHO, is where he deserves to be. Hell, the guy even told his good friend who was a cop at the time he was going to Kill them both and was smart enough to get away with it!
 

Chainguide

Well-Known Member
A friend of mine, who also raced motorcycles, used to work for Goodwin as a T-shirt vendor at the Superbowl of Motocross. I ran into him right after the murders and he told me he had actually overheard Goodwin screaming at Mickey on the phone in Goodwin's office, telling him he was going to kill him. Just sayin'.

Personally, since I new both of them, I truely believe that Goodwin was behind the Killings, however it frightens me to see a life sentence imposed if proper evidence is lacking.
 

Lucho

Well-Known Member
Lucho, you are somewhat friends with Mr. Goodwin correct? I'm sure after sitting in that jail cell for 7 years you can start manipulating the story on THAT side to make it seem like he's more innocent too. I did not follow the investigation with a fine tooth comb but I can tell you there are more things going AGAINST Mr. Goodwin than going FOR him. Does that make him guilty? No one knows what really happened that day except for 5 people. Mickey and Trudy, the 2 guys on the bikes and Mr. Goodwin. Luckily for Goodwin 4 of those people are dead. Mike Goodwin, IMHO, is where he deserves to be. Hell, the guy even told his good friend who was a cop at the time he was going to Kill them both and was smart enough to get away with it!
No, on the contrary, from the day he was taken to jail, The Innocence Group (I think that's what is called) began fighting for a new trial. This is a National organization that has freed hundreds of innocent people after years of incarceration. Apparently, they saw a lot of problems with the prosecutor's case against Goodwin, that they have been at it ever since. So it's not seven years later that the story is being manipulated, it's just the continuation of getting to the the truth.
With respect of "hearsay" I ask you, how many times, whether in a fight at the track, or in business have you said, "Moth$#^&%er I'm going to kill you."

You should also know of the number of possibilities that were investigated but shut down. As good as Mickey was to our sport, there were a lot of people who terribly disliked him and in a moment of anger could be involved.
I really don't know if we will ever find out, or if he will ever get out. I'm resigned to believe he didn't do it from what I know of the case. I'm also resigned to think that if he did, God is the ultimate judge.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Have said that more than a few times myself but have NEVER called that person on multiple occasions and threatened them again. Heat of the moment stuff is one thing but to then make MULTIPLE phone calls with death threats puts a whole new paint job on things. I will sleep fine at night knowing he is in prison for the rest of his life and I'm comfortable with saying he is where he belongs.

BTW, I'm the one who "disliked" your post just so people think i'm not afraid to go public with it.
 

BANNED4LIFE

Well-Known Member
No, on the contrary, from the day he was taken to jail, The Innocence Group (I think that's what is called) began fighting for a new trial. This is a National organization that has freed hundreds of innocent people after years of incarceration. Apparently, they saw a lot of problems with the prosecutor's case against Goodwin, that they have been at it ever since. So it's not seven years later that the story is being manipulated, it's just the continuation of getting to the the truth.
With respect of "hearsay" I ask you, how many times, whether in a fight at the track, or in business have you said, "Moth$#^&%er I'm going to kill you."

You should also know of the number of possibilities that were investigated but shut down. As good as Mickey was to our sport, there were a lot of people who terribly disliked him and in a moment of anger could be involved.
I really don't know if we will ever find out, or if he will ever get out. I'm resigned to believe he didn't do it from what I know of the case. I'm also resigned to think that if he did, God is the ultimate judge.
"wrongly' convicted and innocent are TOTALLY different.....did he get railroaded in court due to no smoking gun that would remove all doubt, probably....NOT involved in their killings, HIGHLY unlikely.....its just my opinion.....some guilty go free, some innocent go to jail, not a perfect system but from what I hear its the best in the world.....
 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
The only times I have said it have been in jest in my best Achmed the Dead Terrorist voice... "I Keel U!"
 

ScottyA

Well-Known Member
I have said I have a special set of skills and when I find you I will kill you! But I was only kidding! Just don't mess with my daughter!:). I'm pretty sure he did it but not I'm starting to doubt myself. Only because it's hard to agree with Pistol!
 

Lucho

Well-Known Member
As I said before, there is a lot of information that has not come out, so for some of you to immediately state that Goodwin ought to rot in jail, seems to me, at best, ridiculous. If you are really interested and don't mind spending a few bucks and time, get complete records of testimonies, the trials and hearings, etc. and study them.
I have quite a bit of the material myself, since from the onset, Michael decided to keep me informed of what was going on, by sending me copies. At that time, Mike and I had partnered on a couple of venues and I was also publishing On-Dirt, and he thought I would be a good person to be able to sift and understand all the legal stuff. There were also conversations between Michael and me, immediately following the murders, that leads me to believe that he was not the killer, nor the one who may have put the contract, however it did look bad for him.

Moreover. I was there when the idea was first broached of a partnerships between Thompson and Goodwin. I knew both well and I thought that it would be the greatest promoting partnership ever or the absolute worst debacle in the sport's short history. And I told them so.
I was there when the two signed the contract. We covered the event at the Pomona Fairgrounds. I was there on a number of other occasions when I saw the discord and vitriol between two hot-heads and geniuses, begin to explode and take a few people down with it. And then I saw the nasty behavior that followed in hearings, in court, and in normal business operations.

The murders were horrific and the possibilities as to who may have been behind them, were and are various, according to the lead investigator at the time. In fact one of the suspects in the case was yours truly, among a number of others.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Wait, so you're saying HE said he DIDN'T kill Mickey and Trudy? He told you that? Well why didn't you say so, someone call the governor and tell them he is innocent and to let him out immediately! Ask ANYONE in prison if are guilty of the crime they are being charged with and I'm pretty sure they will tell you NO!
 

Lucho

Well-Known Member
Now you guys are being silly. There is a time table when all this happened that when you put it all together, you begin to get a better idea of the circumstances and why he said what he said to me.
 

JPBart

Well-Known Member
Circumstantial evidence can be pretty powerful. If I walk into the kitchen where there was a blueberry pie cooling and you have blueberry pie filling on your face and the pie is gone I feel pretty confident in convicting you.

While I believe Goodwin was behind it, I am not knowledgeable enough to convict him myself. However, a lot of people I trust who are well informed are convinced he is guilty so I am leaning strongly in that direction. Circumstantial evidence is real.

Even if all he did was threaten their lives, repeatedly and openly, I am okay with him being in jail just for being stupid and an a-hole.
 
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