Thompson vs Goodwin


Mar 22, 2001
RDC Crypto
Trinidad and Tobago
The following post got e-mail to by Lou Peralta. The 2nd part got mailed to Lou by Michael Goodwin.

This post may or may not reflect's opinions about the Thompson murder trial.


Dear Off-Road and Dirt Riding/Racing Enthusiast:

I'm sure most of you have heard or read about the Mickey and Trudy Thompson's murders some 17 years ago. You may have also heard that they have Michael Goodwin in jail as a suspect of the murders. Goodwin's incarceration took place last December and he is now awaiting trial. Goodwin, by the way, for those of you too young to remember, was the man who first brought Supercross racing to the L.A. Coliseum and started a new sport.

The reason for this letter is because many of us find ourselves in a very awkward position. We would like some resolution to this case and to be perfectly honest we're not sure whether he or someone else committed the murders. Nonetheless, resolution would not only be good for the family of both parties but for the sport and for many who worked, played and met both parties.

In my case, I've knew Trudy and Mickey Thompson and also Michael Goodwin for many years, and have worked with them in various projects.

With Mickey Thompson, I published his magazine SCORE NEWS for a couple of years while he owned SCORE International. I also raced in his Stadium events for the first three years he promoted the events as well as the Riverside Championships. I also did several major interviews on him and his wife Trudy, and just got to know him well, especially while we promoted special events during his SCORE SHOW at Anaheim.

He was a very generous man at times, and quite brutal at other times. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed help, but if you upset him he'd be quick to take not only your shirt off your back, but your pants, underwear and socks at the same time. Like most promoters, he was loved and hated with equal fervor.

Mike Goodwin and I met while he had already established the Supercross format and had promoted many events in stadiums across the country. We also covered many of his events for our magazine. He was flashy and gregarious when everything went well and a tyrant when things were going wrong. As I said, a promoter.

We really got to know each other when he and Mickey first became partners and our magazine covered their relationship extensively when we published their accounts in ON-DIRT MotorSports Magazine.

As their relationship progressed and then quickly started to deteriorate, many of us realized that two strong promoters and personalities would be tough to keep together. Being a promoter myself, I realized that such relationships are hard to cultivate at best.

I had been promoting many off-road races and Gran Prix motorcycles races, especially in Baja California and Goodwin thought that it would be good to combine his Supercross events with Stadium off-road events. So we did get together to promote such events and enjoyed a very good relationship, although short-lived.

Cut to 2002, August, in fact, and Goodwin is still in jail. Colleen Campbell, Mickey's sister, who is convinced that Goodwin did it, and has spent countless of hours and money to "go after him," is ready for the trial in order to bring this matter to conclusion. I can't tell you how many people I've spoken with all these years about this case, and they, like me, would like to see the matter resolved as well.

I won't go into great details as to the theories and comments and concepts that many of us have about the case, but I can tell you that they are as varied as anything that I've ever experienced. So for most of us the answer is for both parties to have their day in court.

A few days ago I received the following e-mail from Michael Goodwin (See below.) He has kept me informed of the details of the case ever since the first day of the murders. And here's my take:

Firstly, I'm not 100% sure that Michael Goodwin didn't do it or have someone commit the murders for him. But I'm 90% to 95% that he didn't. It's the five to ten percent that keeps me enthralled and eager to find the answers. Like me, there are many who knew them both, that feel the same way.

So based on his letter and personal request below, I'm going to help. There are many reasons I think he didn't do, and just as many as to why I feel someone else could have done it. But that's just me. By assisting in his cause, I'm hoping that he will be able to put forth his best defense and have his day in court.


1.) Should he make his case in court and fail in his efforts to clear himself and be found guilty, then he ought to get what he deserves. But having the opportunity to give it his best shot is important.

2.) Should he prevail and exonerate himself, our justice system would have been served, and this poor guy, who has suffered so much, should get some restitution.

Note: I must tell you that in many ways we, my wife and I, empathize with him if he's been wrongly accused and railroaded into jail. In a much smaller and less prejudicial way, Lois and I spent three years fighting for our rights and trying to clear our reputation. The "good old boy" network between Sheriffs and other law-enforcement individuals was hard at work. And it took us three years to prove our innocence. But the truth is, that there would always be a doubt in somebody's mind, who reads about our case. So we know how easily someone can be railroaded into something. Moreover, there are many cases which have recently surfaced, where people have spent years in jail who were erroneously put there because of egos, politics and the "good-old-boy" network. So it is possible that the same may be taking place in this case.

3.) Should Goodwin prevail (and yet one day we find that he was guilty nonetheless), there would be nothing I or others could do, but his Maker will have at him. He would have to live with that, and will eventually die a miserable death, I'm sure.

Notwithstanding the above, I think a resolution has to take place. Our sport has never been the same since these tragedies occurred. It's time we clean up these matters.

Please read the following letter below. It's Michael Goodwin's point of view. I'm quite familiar with the facts, as he's been professing all these years that he didn't do it. In fact, I received a call from Goodwin no more than ten minutes after the morning news had information of the murders on TV. He told me, "Lou, whatever you hear on TV or on the radio, I didn't do it." I often wondered why he called me immediately after the murders. It was many years later that I asked him and he said, "You're one of the few people whom I respect and who have always been up front with me--never pulling any punches. I just wanted you to know the truth." I also told him, "Mike, if you are innocent, you have been wronged and it's a terrible shame. But if you're lying to me and others and you're able to pull this off, I hope your life is as miserable as it can possibly be, and you rot in hell." He then said, "I know Lou, I would feel the same way. But you've got to know that I'm innocent."

As I said before, I still don't know the truth, not 100% at least. But I do wish that this case finally received resolution.

Please read below. If you feel as I do, then try to help any way you can. If you're not convinced about his innocence, than thanks for your time.

Lou Peralta




Much has transpired since Mike Goodwin's arrest on 12/14/01 and many
questions have been raised and/or left unanswered by the authorities and
media. The following will provide you with background facts, answer some of
these questions, and make clear the magnitude of the outrages being
committed by authorities in Orange County to an innocent man.

had nothing to do with the killing of Mickey and Trudy Thompson;
nevertheless, he has been in the Orange County Jail for 8 months, charged
with those crimes. At the Preliminary Hearing in April, the lead
investigator in this case, on the witness stand, emphatically stated that
there is no direct evidence to link Goodwin to these crimes. In spite of
this, Goodwin's defense has now been forced to continue the trial date to
December 19th because the prosecution has delayed delivery of key
exculpatory discovery documents. To date, Mike Goodwin's attorney has had
to purchase 30,000+ pages of discovery, a virtual "paper dump," 95%
unrelated to this case; "fluff" sent by the prosecution to drain defense
financial, time and other resources. The law is very clear that
documentation of all prosecution evidence must be presented to the defense
pre-trial. Yet, the prosecution in this case continues to withhold over 400
key documents, most exculpatory, and has not even provided valid reason and
evidence as to why this case is being prosecuted out of jurisdiction. The
crimes occurred in Los Angeles County (City of Bradbury). Lead
investigator, Mark Lillienfeld admitted that The L.A. County District
Attorney declined to prosecute this case for lack of evidence against
Michael Goodwin. There can be no real evidence against Mr. Goodwin since he
was not involved in the Thompson murders.

questions frequently asked are: 1) "If there is no evidence and Goodwin is
innocent, why is he in jail?" 2) "Why do Orange County authorities want to
wrongfully accuse and imprison Mike Goodwin?" Mickey Thompson's sister,
Colleen Campbell, and his son Danny Thompson have committed prosecutable
felony crimes. Goodwin has evidence of the crimes and has been attempting
to bring them to justice. To protect her and her family from felony
prosecution and massive financial liability, Campbell must keep Goodwin
crippled defending himself and/or, draining his resources so he is powerless
to take action against her. Amazingly, Campbell has been able to accomplish
this through cooperation from Orange County governmental authorities.
Although Campbell has publicly stated, often, that she believes Goodwin is
responsible for the murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson, and that is the
reason for her quest to convict him, there is a large body of evidence to
indicate otherwise.

A Grand Jury, convened at the direction of the Attorney General of
California heard evidence of and charged Anthony Rackauckas, the current
Orange County Distinct Attorney, with just such prosecutorial misconduct for
political reasons, that is, using his power and influence to affect
prosecutions for the benefit of his political contributors, like Colleen

Tony Rackauckas has been connected with Campbell as treasurer, until 1997,
of her victims' rights organization, M.O.V.E. and, earlier, the Mickey &
Trudy Thompson Memorial Fund, both of which she headed. Rackauckas was also
her personal attorney and signed the documents establishing the Thompsons'
respective time of death, thus enabling Campbell to handle the probate.
Trudy Thompson's family later sued Campbell for her handling of the
Thompsons' estate, alleging fraud. Yet, despite these obvious, blatant,
serious conflicts, Rackauckas' office continues to prosecute this case, out
of jurisdiction, in Orange County. The victims' family, Colleen Campbell,
was his employer, business associate and personal friend. The conflicts are
clear. Since there is no real interest in the case in O.C. and it is
clearly out of jurisdiction, why is Tony Rackauckas prosecuting? If this
relationship between Tony Rackauckas and Colleen Campbell, who has vowed to
get Goodwin convicted, no matter what, is not the reason, what is?

SERIOUS CRIMES INVOLVING CAMPBELL: A prime example of the crimes involving
Campbell is the alleged felony fraud committed in the Mickey Thompson
Entertainment Group bankruptcy. M.T.E.G. is the company inherited by Danny
Thompson, Mickey's son, which was run by Campbell's husband Gary for 7 1/2
years and of which Campbell was the 2nd largest stockholder and board
chairwoman until bankruptcy was filed in 1995. None of the general
unsecured creditors in this bankruptcy were ever paid. Yet, there is now
sworn testimony from one of the highest-ranking officials in the company
that took over M.T.E.G., of felony criminal fraud. It is now been
corroborated that Danny Thompson, Campbell's nephew, received between
$350,000 to $500,000 cash in consideration for the unlisted assets of the
company that, by law, should have gone to creditors. In addition, Danny
Thompson wound up with all the vehicles owned by M.T.E.G., also not listed
as assets, and has been working, since the bankruptcy, on a lucrative
consulting contract with the same company that took over M.T.E.G. The 1995
M.T.E.G. bankruptcy has been re-opened and Danny Thompson has already
offered a settlement to the bankruptcy trustee in order to avoid liability
from the defrauded creditors.

Goodwin has proof of many other Campbell crimes committed with the
complicity of the D.A.'s office and/or law enforcement. However, as long as
he is in jail, incapacitated financially, defending himself, he cannot
pursue prosecutions/lawsuits against Campbell.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? On July 8th, Jeff Friedman, a 27-year veteran criminal
defense-attorney, specializing in writs and motions, joined Goodwin's
defense team; Mr. Friedman is filing a 995 Motion to Dismiss. The 995 is a
review of the April Preliminary Hearing rulings and will address the
reliability of the lead investigator, a long time Campbell friend, and why
he suborned perjury from prosecution witnesses and falsified testimony of
defense witnesses. In addition, the prosecution needs to present a valid
reason and evidentiary support for prosecuting this case out of jurisdiction
in Orange County. Contrary to press reports, no evidence has been produced
linking these crimes to Orange County because there is none.

Attorney Friedman will also be filing 2 motions regarding flagrant
compromise of Goodwin's attorney-client privileged communications by the
D.A. and other illegal activities. The law clearly prohibits the
prosecution from reviewing such documents or other communications yet the
O.C.D.A. has illegally seized, reviewed, recorded, copied and returned the
confidential documents to the defense as part of the discovery documents,
charging Goodwin for every page. This, alone, should be cause for dismissal
of this case. Additionally, they have recorded and transcribed Goodwin
phone calls to and from his attorney and even paid a defense legal clerk for
"inside defense information." All of this is in clear violation of the law.

UNPRECEDENTED COSTS, NEEDLESSLY: No one can or will say how much this case
has cost the taxpayers of Orange County, needlessly, thus far, but, this
much is known; if the case goes to trial, it will take months and cost
millions. Mike Goodwin has already expended his own resources in defending
this and other charges wrongfully made against him. Mike has sold his car,
Mike's father is selling his boat, and the mobile home Goodwin was living in
is up for sale to help meet some of his critical defense expenses.

Keep in mind that Mike Goodwin is innocent, but to prove that, the budget is
estimated to be approximately $100,000. This is a fraction of the costs
Goodwin has paid/incurred and will incur. Jeff Benice, Mike Goodwin's lead
defense attorney, is being compensated with stock from Mike's father.
Benice has expended over $150,000 on costs and can no longer pay such
expenses. Others on the defense team, including Jeff Friedman, are working
at greatly reduced rates or for expenses only because of their belief in
Goodwin's innocence and the outrageous behavior of government officials and
law enforcement in this case.

MICHAEL GOODWIN NEEDS HELP: Mike Goodwin is innocent and what has and is
happening to him could happen to anyone. Please visit for information on the non-profit organization that
will be handling the details of Mike Goodwin's defense fund. Mike is asking
for contributions (Justice On Trial, Inc tax-exempt status is being applied
for), loans, or stock exchanges for cash, from those who believe in his
innocence and that this kind of prosecutorial misconduct must be exposed.
Justice On Trial, Inc. will also be working on other wrongly
charged/imprisoned after Goodwin's dismissal or acquittal.

Complete evidentiary support and corroboration of every allegation made here
is available upon request.

For additional information, contributions or to pledge financial aid, please
contact us at or toll free at 877-295-9697 or

The following is a personal letter from Mike Goodwin:

Mike Goodwin #2035-633
C/O Orange County Jail Unit O.W.C.
550 N Flower St, Santa Ana, CA 92703-2361
(Only collect calls can be made from this facility)

I wish to personally thank all those who believe in my innocence and have
been so supportive to me. Either enclosed or sent separately is an update
on my situation. I want to add these thoughts.

Most of us have heard about but few have had to face the nightmare of false
prosecution. This perversion of justice in going on throughout the U.S. and
can happen to anyone. The stories of police/prosecutorial abuse I have
learned of while in jail are very discouraging. That this goes on in so many
cases in this country shakes the very foundation of our cherished judicial

The media across the country regularly reports inmates released after years
when DNA or other truths surface. Recently 2 men were released after 14
years in prison when it was found that the sole witness had lied to get a
$1,000 reward. That case is close to home for me since there has been a $1
million reward posted in the Thompson murder case. This reward has
tremendously affected the case since many have come forward, in an attempt
to claim this reward, with information that is patently false. Additionally
and amazingly, the authorities routinely turn away those with evidence that
does not implicate me. Several witnesses will testify to this at trial.

Lead Detective Lillienfeld admitted that there is no direct evidence to
connect me to the murders, and he told me " just might be one of the
unluckiest guys in the world" (to be charged/convicted if you did not do
it), and he regularly tells witnesses, "I don't want information on other
possible theories of guilt; we have our man, [Goodwin]." Witnesses will
testify to this as well.

However, my case is only indicative of a much larger problem. It is
estimated that there are at least 170,000 wrongfully charged and imprisoned.
Defense attorneys and legal analysts estimate that the figure is actually
higher than the 10% estimate of the current 1,700,000-inmate population.
Most disturbingly, the authorities are most often complicit in these false
prosecutions in order to further their careers, artificially ratchet up
conviction rates or even for their own financial gain. As unbelievable as
it may be, that is the sad truth about a small percentage of those we trust
to protect us. Defense attorneys, legal scholars and other officers of the
courts are saddened by the fact, corroborated by an official study, that 10%
to 15% of police are corrupt and most law enforcement have and will lie on
the witness stand to get convictions.

If you have any doubts of what I am saying here, just do an on-line search
under "police abuse" and/or "prosecutorial misconduct" and the stories will
horrify you; they are legion.

Correcting these and other injustices is why John Bradley set up Justice On
Trial, (, a non-profit corporation dedicated to
helping those wrongfully charged. My case is first but they have identified
many more. My entire life will be dedicated to helping to correct these
wrongs when I am acquitted or the case is dismissed. In addition, we have
developed a fascinating format for a regular television series, also called
Justice On Trial, to focus attention on the problem of prosecutorial
misconduct. Bradley hopes to have a pilot, for airing in Southern
California, ready by late 2002 or early 2003. There is considerable
interest already in airing the pilot for this program. We believe the
public will accept this concept as it will help many and make a real
difference in preventing these excesses in the future.

We believe that money spent on false prosecutions, just to ratchet up
conviction rates, should be spent on getting real criminals off the streets.
The Thompson murder investigation/prosecution has cost L.A. and Orange
County taxpayers millions of dollars and the authorities, after 14 years,
have not even identified those actually responsible for the murders. It is
alleged that I conspired to hire person(s) to kill the Thompsons but they do
not know who those people are nor do they have any evidence, by their own
admission, to actually link me with these terrible murders. The reason for
this is simple; I had nothing to do with these crimes. There was nothing
between Mickey and I so important as to take his and Trudy's life. While
it is true Mickey and I had significant financial differences, we had
settled them and Mickey's death was shocking to us also.

How many real criminals could have been apprehended with the millions spent
in this case which is primarily politically driven? And why is the bulk of
this investigation and prosecution being paid for by Orange County taxpayers
when no evidence has been presented to support this move to O.C.
jurisdiction? Orange County politics and law enforcement are much, much more
corrupt than anyone can imagine. The current Grand Jury sanctioning of Tony
Rackauckas, the O.C.D.A. and close friend of Colleen Campbell for
improper/illegal conduct is but one, recent, indication.

Read the book, "Twisted Badge" and you will see the insidious crimes
committed by former Sheriff Brad Gates. We may not want to hear about this
since we may feel hopeless to change it. But, Justice On Trial plans to
help do just that; make a difference. Please go to the website to see portions of that plan.

While the press has been reticent to publish it because it has not come from
the "authorities," there is exceptional exculpatory evidence (evidence which
tends to prove innocence). For example, we have irrefutable evidence of over
140 material, patently false statements (not a typo, One Hundred Forty!!) in
the affidavits, sworn under penalty of perjury, for my arrest. However, this
evidence must be presented to the court and we are $10,000 short to pay the
special appeals attorney to file these. I am embarrassed to have been
reduced to have to beg but I must. We have sold my car and we are selling
my father's boat and the mobile home we live in but those probably will not
sell in time to help us here. I need this money by mid-August to meet the
deadline for filing.

Can you please help? We will secure any loans to be repaid out of the sale
of the house and/or boat. Or my father will transfer stock in One Touch
Technologies, or Justice On Trial will be setting up a tax-deductible status
so you can deduct this as a charitable contribution, or we are open to any
arrangement to pay this back or exchange cash for value.

Because of the difficulty and expense of calling from jail, I may not be
able to reach you by telephone directly. However, my long time friend, John
Bradley, director of Justice On Trial, has been assisting in my defense and
making such calls. John can be reached at 877-295-9697, and can verify much
of what I have said to you and other fascinating issues that he has verified
on his own about what has happened here.

John, who has known me for 35 years, originally doubted many of my claims
about the dishonesty of the police/prosecutors. However, he has now
independently verified my claims and he feels it is much worse and more
far-reaching than I have portrayed.

So, it is a great learning experience and opportunity to help others when I
get out. That is the least I can do after having lived a terribly
self-centered life, insensitive to the needs of others for my first 39
years. Yes, it has been 18 sad years since Mickey Thompson and I attempted
to go into business together. What an education! But, without this
tragedy, I would not have brought the Lord into my life. This was not done
as "foxhole religion" in the current crises but, rather, as an answer to my
search for a purpose for my life over 5 years ago.

Justice in my case will eventually help many others. I can not be of help to
anyone now but I assure you that my life will be dedicated this cause after
my release. Please help me correct the injustices already committed so I can
help others who have are facing similar circumstances.


Mike Goodwin

(John Bradley prepared this for me from written notes. I am unable to sign
this letter as copies would have to be shipped in to me and sent from here.
This would not be possible.)