FBI Investigated Michael Jackson For Years
The FBI had a massive file on Michael Jackson; they released most of it today. The 333-page document, dated from 1992 to 2005, shows the agency's involvement in investigations into molestation allegations made by two boys against Michael as well as extortion attempts.
Here's what's in it the files:
In 2004, the Santa Maria Police Department in California asked for FBI "involvement" after Michael was arrested for child molestation. Police, according to the FBI, said they believed the court case would be a "soft target" for terrorism because of the "worldwide media coverage" the trial would attract.
The FBI concluded there were no threats, but did note the presence in an early court appearance of "The Nation of Islam, represented by its security unit Fruits of Islam," and of a New Black Panther Party member whose name was left blank in the files. Michael used Nation of Islam bodyguards during the legal proceedings.
Back in September 1993, an investigator from the Los Angeles Police Department and another from the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office arrived in Manila to speak to two former employees of Neverland ranch who claimed they saw the singer fondle young boys.
Their trip came after the LAPD had asked the FBI if it wanted to work a possible case against Michael for transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes. The FBI checked with the US Attorney's Office, which declined.
In March 2004, the Santa Barbara County district attorney's office reached out to the FBI, seeking help in developing a strategy to prosecute Michael for molesting Jordan Chandler, a 13-year-old cancer survivor. (Michael paid Jordan $20 million to settle molestation charges.)
In September n 2004, the FBI sent agents to interview a New York boy who claimed he was molested by Michael.
"During the meeting, [he] advised the agents that he had no interest in testifying against Jackson," the FBI documents said. "[He] advised that he would legally fight any attempt to do so. [He] believed he had done his part."
The case was closed due to lack of witness cooperation, the FBI said.
The FBI reviewed case notes from local authorities and examined 16 computers taken from the singer's home. Nothing notable was described as being found on the hard drives, though parts of the files are redacted.
The Santa Barbara case was the most recent time the FBI was asked to investigate Michael but records show the agency had been looking at his alleged involvement with younger boys for more than a decade.
In September 1993, an FBI agent in London told colleagues in Los Angeles that the British press was reporting that a man was making allegations he had held a sexually charged phone call with Michael in 1979, when the man was 13 and Michael was 20. Aside from asking the information be passed on to local authorities in Los Angeles, the FBI agent in London noted that no further action was being taken.
In October 1995, the US Customs Service asked the FBI to review a VHS videotape labeled "Michael Jackson's Neverland Favorites An All Boy Anthology" as part of a child pornography investigation. The recording was of such poor quality that investigators appear to have been unable to determine what was on it.
The files include death threats against Michael, then-President George H.W. Bush and mob boss John Gotti that led to the 1993 sentencing of Frank Paul Jones, who allegedly was obsessed with Janet Jackson, Michael's sister.
A letter obtained by the FBI, dated July 6, 1992, states: "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."
The letter also says, "Michael (Jackson) I will personally attempt to kill, if he doesn't pay me my money." In another, he threatens to "commit mass murder at a Michael Jackson concert, if necessary." The FBI includes an interview with an unidentified "victim," whose name is redacted but presumably Michael Jackson, who states that he was aware of the threats and took them seriously.
(Frank Jones arrested June 20, 1992 and charged with trespassing. In 1993, he was sentenced to two years in prison for "mailing a threatening communication," according to a 1993 press report included in the FBI files.)