By John J. Bradley


A self-fulfilling prophecy of guilt, the  Michael  F. Goodwin prosecution is a vigilante action that has meted out “justice” through law enforcement and government, for nefarious motives. Goodwin was convicted in 2007 of ordering the 1988 murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson.  He claims innocence and was never connected with the unidentified killers.  


Often, especially when under pressure in high profile cases, law enforcement “ solves ” a case within the first few days by prophesizing a conviction with a declaration of guilt against a chosen suspect. They then “develop” evidence to support it and release details, often exaggerated or even with false evidentiary claims, in order to “convict by media.” In effect, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of guilt .


Officials cite lack of resources for not following up on all leads, citing “gut instincts” and “experience with criminals” as their reason for focusing on the subject of their prophecy. They do not admit that what drives them to concentrate on evidence related to the “declared” suspect only , sometimes in the face of strong evidence to the contrary, is their predisposition to convict, fulfilling that prophecy of guilt. Officers claim belief in the guilt of the suspect and, once having made such an assertion, it is an administrative predicament for them to change. (See: 2000 Al Pacino film, “ Insomnia,” for a dramatic depiction of such a well-intentioned declaration of guilt with devastating results, based on real events).


DECLARATION OF GUILT BY A CITIZEN : Michael Goodwin has been charged with the 1988 double murders of racing legend, Mickey Thompson and his wife. This prosecution, like previous charges against Goodwin, is based on such a Declaration of Guilt by officials, promoted by Mickey Thompson’s sister, Colleen Campbell. Although Goodwin was cleared by authorities after nine months of intensive investigation, Campbell clings to her baseless allegations with no direct evidentiary support them. She has made public claims of Goodwin’s guilt, based on her own statements to investigators or “evidence” that she assisted in developing, and she has sternly vowed to see Goodwin ultimately convicted.


Ordinarily, a private citizen making such a claim would be dismissed as meaningless ranting by an overly zealous relative. Campbell’s reputation for backing up such a vendetta is well deserved. Years before, Campbell tenaciously sought the killer of her son, Scott, a drug dealer, murdered in a drug deal gone badly. Evidence pointed to her son’s killing as simply retaliation for Scott’s earlier aggravated murder of another drug dealer, for which he was convicted but, due to Campbell’s influence, served almost no time. It was her connections and prodding that finally resulted in the conviction of her son’s two killers, also drug dealers. Deservedly, she takes full credit for that successful prosecution and conviction.


According to Michael Goodwin, Campbell’s motives are not as altruistic as she indicates often, loudly, with tears and drama. Goodwin contends it is not her belief in his guilt that drives her but other, more sinister motives.


EXPOSED: PROSECUTION OUT OF JURISDICTION, ON PHONY EVIDENCE. The Thompson homicides prosecution was the first time the O.C.D.A. had filed charges for a Los Angeles County murder that had no evidentiary link to Orange County. The charges were filed by the highest official in the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Anthony Rackauckas. Rackauckas worked as Campbell’s attorney, following the murders, even assisting her with some crucial details of Thompson’s probate. Rackauckas served as treasurer of her political lobbying group and she is among Rackauckas’ major campaign contributors.


•  Justice On Trial, the non-profit advocacy organization, coordinated with attorney Jeffrey Friedman to appeal the court’s denial of dismissal on jurisdictional grounds. After Goodwin had been held for 2 ? years, the case was dismissed. The, 3-judge panel appeal court unanimously ruled in a stinging rebuke of Rackauckas, there was “ no evidence to have charged him in Orange County… That is the problem.” (Italics are the court’s)


•  Justice On Trial also assisted in forcing prosecutors to advise the court that some of the most damning evidence was phony, very likely falsified by the lead investigator. A complaint was filed, in conjunction with Justice On Trial, with the detective’s Internal Affairs investigators.


HISTORY OF THE VIGILANTE QUEST TO HAVE GOODWIN JAILED: Should anyone in this country have vigilante powers over another, using law enforcement and government? Goodwin has alleged in formal pleadings to the court to have Rackauckas recused from the case, that there was no jurisdiction for prosecution in Orange County. The Orange County court disagreed, predictably, but a higher state court agreed with Goodwin and dismissed the case. They ruled Rackauckas had prosecuted inappropriately, with no evidence to do so, in Orange County. In his own Grand Jury testimony, the same investigator against whom the Internal Affairs complaint was filed, testifies he personally met with Rackauckas when L.A. declined to prosecute because of lack of evidence.


Goodwin’s enemies have meted out their own brand of misguided “justice” because of friendship with government officials, political contributions to their campaigns and wealth that affords the opportunity to offer a portion of the $1 million reward to convince witnesses to “embellish” their testimony. It has been prophecy of guilt by a citizen, against another citizen, fulfilled by the highest levels of government and law enforcement .


In December of 2001, Justice On Trial assisted Goodwin in persuading the Trustee in the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group (MTEG) 1996 bankruptcy to re-open the case. There was ample evidence of massive improprieties, perpetrated by the stockholders and management of M.T.E.G., Colleen Campbell and Danny Thompson, Mickey’s son, who owned 97.5% of the stock. They had run the company for the seven years prior to the bankruptcy. Campbell had inherited M.T.E.G from Mickey, after a dispute with Mickey’s wife’s family.


MTEG officials willfully failed to list the lucrative Supercross business and Anaheim Stadium contract anywhere on the bankruptcy schedules, listing only the worthless off-road racing events. (A Federal Court recently determined that profits alone from all Supercross events, for only 1 year, amounted to $17 million) Creditors of this bankruptcy were never paid but evidence shows that large payments for those valuable, unlisted, assets were made directly to M.T.E.G shareholders, outside the bankruptcy.


GOODWIN ARRESTED WHEN HE ANNOUNCES HIS INTENT TO RE-OPEN THE BANKRUPTCY : Most telling in Goodwin’s claim of a malevolent conspiracy to keep him in jail. Just two weeks after Goodwin publicly announced intentions to have The M.T.E.G bankruptcy re-opened to investigate for fraud, he was arrested and improperly charged, by Rackauckas friend and business associate of MTEG’s largest shareholder, with the murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson.


Goodwin is confident of a reversal of his conviction, precipitated by these ” declarations of guilt.”  There is no proof that Goodwin had anything to do with the Thompson murders, yet because of a $1 million reward offered by Campbell, witnesses have dramatically and materially altered their testimony to implicate Goodwin. Campbell has convinced authorities to mete out her own brand of justice, erroneous as it is.


For more detail on the Michael Goodwin wrongful conviction, go to Friends of Michael Goodwin on the web.