Apr 11 2010

Michael Jackson 20th Anniversary Gardner Elementary Dedication + Luckiest Kid In School (very touching video)

Category: Justice,VideosSeven @ 2:48 am


Michael seemed so happy and proud, didn’t he? And those children probably never forgot that very special day. They sang SO well and seemed so excited to be performing for Michael. And Mr. “Luckiest Kid in School” was just adorable! You could see that Michael’s teachers loved him and he very much loved and respected them. Michael and Janet took care of the lovely Mrs. Rose Fine right up until her death. She was family to them.

Can you imagine the pain Michael felt when his 6th grade school COVERED his name on their auditorium after this wonderful dedication to him? Especially when he knew he was INNOCENT and that he had been framed for something he NEVER did?

Shamefully, Michael’s name remains covered on Gardner Elementary School’s Auditorium, even though all but the most ignorant and medialoid-addled among us know that Michael was framed, extorted, and innocent of any and all allegations against him.

He was acquitted on all 14 counts against him, including the minor ones a vindictive DA (Tom Sneddon) tossed in there just to give a jury the chance to “get him on something“.

Please help us get Michael’s name and his HONOR rightfully restored to visibility on his school’s auditorium.


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Dec 31 2011

Happy New Year – “there will never be a time when we will cease to be”


"The birds, the bees, the infinite galaxies, rivers, mountains, clouds and valleys are all a pulsating pattern, living, breathing, alive with cosmic energy...There never was a time when I was not, or you were not, there never will be a time when we will cease to be."   Michael Jackson

"The birds, the bees, the infinite galaxies, rivers, mountains, clouds and valleys are all a pulsating pattern, living, breathing, alive with cosmic energy...There never was a time when I was not, or you were not, there never will be a time when we will cease to be." -Michael Jackson

In view of the new year, I’d like to share with you some end-of-year highlights:

You may have heard that half of the two-man team who designed Michael’s performance wardrobe for well over two decades passed away December 2nd. Dennis Tompkins wished for his passing to remain private and so it was. We were all shocked to learn almost two weeks later that he had passed. Our sympathies and compassion go out to his family and friends, not least of all his partner in business Michael Lee Bush. In memory of Dennis, MLB had some exciting news to share and left this message recently on his facebook page:

thank you all for the kind words with the passing of Dennis Tompkins I’m pround to announce “POP REGALIA-The Style of Michael Jackson” an art book dedicated to the memory of Dennis….. it will be a behind the scenes look at the art form of designing and tailoring of Michael’s costumes from our time working with The King of Pop. It will be kinda like your personal museum of his clothing. A visual feast for the eyes!!!! Fasten your seatbelts!!!!!!!! look for the upcoming page here on facebook…..

If you haven’t seen Eliza Lo’s MJ artwork you’re in for a treat. This amazing artist is a regular contributor to the Sunflowers for Michael group, donating her drawings each week to the week’s flower deliveries. Eliza also has an art book for sale containing many of her articulately detailed drawings of Michael. You can find details about “A Loving Tribute to the King of Pophere:

One of Eliza Lo's drawings of Michael

One of Eliza Lo's drawings of Michael

This hard cover book contains 137 drawings Eliza has done to honor Michael Jackson. In keeping with Michael’s legacy, all proceeds from this book will go to help underprivileged children. For information on ordering, please email: [email protected]. You can also email Marie Lim: [email protected] and Pat Peterson: [email protected]

A while back, Seth Riggs shared a bit about Michael the humanitarian – a subject oft-ignored by the establishment media, but often mentioned by those who knew him:

At one of many hospitals Michael visited.

At one of many hospitals Michael visited.

Every night the kids would come in on stretchers, so sick they could hardly hold their little heads up. Michael would kneel down at the stretchers and put his face right down beside theirs so that he could have his picture taken with them, and then give them a copy to remember the moment.

I’m a sixty-year-old man, and I couldn’t take it. I’d be in the bathroom crying. But Michael could take it, right before going on stage no less. The kids would perk right up in his presence. If it gave them a couple days’ more energy, to Michael that was worth it. As far as I’m concerned he’s a prince of the world.

He’s the most natural, loving person I’ve ever known, a very good person, as corny as that sounds,” continued Riggs, “He’ll see a picture of a baby, and if it’s a cute kid, he will go absolutely gaga over the picture.

During the tour, on his nights off, he would go into a toy store and buy ten of this and ten of that and then stay up all night long putting batteries into toys, making certain each and every one worked so that he could have them ready to give to kids backstage the next day. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about.

-Seth Riggs, Michael’s vocal coach for over 30 years

Speaking of Seth Riggs, Riggs plans to open a school in Russia. Says Riggs: “I will find a new Michael Jackson in Moscow”. I don’t believe there will ever be another Michael Jackson, but I’m sure he will find some very good talent in Russia to keep him busy and to add to the constellation of stars currently in vogue in the entertainment world.

Seth Riggs had worked with Michael Jackson for 30 years. Among those who attended his vocal studio in Hollywood were Steve Wonder, Madonna, Jenifer Lopez, Julio Iglesias, Christina Aguilera. Many Hollywood actors were also among his students. In total his students account for 135 Grammy awards and, according to Seth Riggs, “eight or nine Oscars”. Now the legendary vocal coach plans to open his school in Moscow.

Seth Riggs is very enthusiastic about Russia. It is not only some Russian songs but first of all great number of talented people he admires here. That is why I want to open my school in Moscow, he says.

Seth Riggs began to work as a vocal coach simply because he was to keep his family. When coaching many actors and pop-singers he developed his own unique technique known as Speech Level singing.

By the way when Seth was young and performed as a singer he was accompanies by a young pianist who later became known as Van Cliburn, the winner do the first Tchaikovsky piano contest in Moscow and one of the favorites of the Russian music lovers.

Seth Riggs’s school in Moscow will be headed by Victoria Belova, an actress and a vocal coach of the Gnessin State Musical academy, who undertook internship in Seth Riggs’ studio in LA. Seth also plans to come to Moscow as often as possible and besides that it is possible to give lessons via Skype. Seth recalls that he trained Michael Jackson 2 hours a day 6 days a week and on tour 3 times a day. This is the training I want for those talented people who come to our school, he says.

By the way Seth Riggs has a chance to find not only a new Michael Jackson in Russia but future Madonnas too. In particular during his visit in Moscow Riggs was impressed by a unique talent of singer Angelica Agurbash.

SOURCE: http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/12/26/62927367.html

Michael looking a bit perturbed about being asked to sign a stack of napkins.

Michael looking a bit perturbed about being asked to sign a stack of napkins.

Who knew that Michael didn’t like signing his autograph on disposable napkins? I guess it makes sense that he’d rather sign something that will last such as a pillowcase or cloth napkin, all of which he used to sign and write sweet notes to fans on.

Here’s the story told by Rusty Lee Golden (William Lee Golden’s son) of the Oak Ridge Boys:

When Michael and his brothers came out of their dressing room and saw Dad, they all broke into the chorus of “ELVIRA” as it was the #1 song in the nation at that time (pop and country). BUT…after the singing was over, Michael turned to me and said “I remember when the Oak Ridge Boys were the #1 Gospel Group. Do they still sing Gospel??” I told him that yes they did and then he went onto tell me that he LOVED Gospel music…mentioning Andrae Crouch, Rev. James Cleveland and a few others. Yes, I know that those were NOT SG artists, but remember, MJ was after all black and that’ s the type gospel music they knew. He mentioned how much his mother Katherine was also a huge fan of “Gospel Music”.

Seconds before the camera flash went off, a Jackson’s aide rushed up to MJ and handed him a Sharpie pen and about 25 or so cocktail sized napkins into his “GLOVE” and then said “Hey Mikey….the promoter wants you to sign these”. I well remember the aide getting out of the way of the shot but MJ is looking straight at him and no….not too happy. More mad than sad. After the flashes of about 10 cameras went off, Michael just sorta’ said to anyone who could hear…”Don’t we have any regular pictures to sign? I mean c’mon man…NAPKINS????”

This picture was taken on 7/31/81.

SOURCE: http://averyfineline.com/2009/07/07/rip-mj/ (see Rusty’s remarks in the comments below the photo)

Drawing by Christine Wallden, another very talented Sunflowers for Michael contributor.

Drawing by Christine Wallden, another very talented Sunflowers for Michael contributor.

If you have a few bucks that you want to donate to a wonderful project in Michael’s name, Gardner St. Elementary is collecting funds to build a Michael Jackson Music Room. Sandy Lee Scott of the very successful Sunflowers for Michael project has agreed to help raise funds for the school and has set up a facebook page to help with the effort. It’s important to note that any money donated goes straight to the school – no “middlemen”.

Sandy said:

The main item that they need is a projector which costs $3000.00. We met with Principal Kenneth Urbina at the School last week and promised him that the NYC fans will do the best we can to get this projector for the school. Once they have all the items they need, they will also have a small area in the back of the classroom set up as a Museum to honor Michael. We would appreciate any amount that you can donate to this project.

Please send your check or money order to (NO PAYPAL):

Gardner St. Elementary School
7450 Hawthorn Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90046

Attention: Marielena Armaginal

Phone: (323) 876-4710



If you have any questions, you may call Marielena at the above number or email Sandy at [email protected].

If you remember the incredible video called “Man Behind the Mythcreated by Walking Moon Studios, you might be interested to know that WMS is working on another incredible video project aiming to highlight Michael’s genius and creativity. A new video is being produced for Joe Vogel’s book “Man in the Music-The Creative Life and Work of Michel Jackson”. The producers of the video are asking for participation from the MJ community. For more information about the project and how to participate, please go to http://walkingmoonstudios.blogspot.com/ for information. Also, please pass on this information to anyone else who you think would be interested.

Heal the World for Children is an amazing charity quietly doing the work of carrying on Michael’s legacy.  They recently shared some highlights of their work in 2011:


For Earth Day, our teams all over the world cleaned up parks, planted trees with the kids and held educational sessions.

To mark Universal Children's Day or the December holiday season, our teams went to hospitals to visit the sick children with smiles and toys.

To mark Universal Children's Day or the December holiday season, our teams went to hospitals to visit the sick children with smiles and toys.

On Michael's birthday, all the cities joined in bringing joy to the children during our biggest event of the year, Children's Festival.

On Michael's birthday, all the cities joined in bringing joy to the children during our biggest event of the year, Children's Festival.

You can find Heal the World for Children on Facebook, twitter, and at their website.

Happy New Year Everyone.

For all of you, I wish you a safe, happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.

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Aug 21 2011

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

Category: Justice,Lyrics,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 7:25 pm


Murray wasn't humiliated (as MJ was) by having his mugshot published, so we'll use this one.

Murray wasn't humiliated (as MJ was) by having his mugshot published when he was charged, so we'll use this one.

I really don’t want this to start.  Like everyone else, I want to see something done about the doctor who presided over Michael’s death, but I’m dreading the start of the trial on September 26th.  Jury selection is gearing up and unless the date has changed, starts on September 8th. Like the aborted attempt at jury selection in March/April 2011, a very detailed 30-page, 117-item questionnaire will be given to each prospective juror. The questionnaire also includes 136 potential witnesses, including Michael’s family, former employees and associates, his children, 9 of his former doctors, and nurse Cherilyn Lee. The trial is expected to last approximately two months.

One article states that “Potential jurors are also asked about their familiarity with a laundry list of 27 different prescription drugs, including propofol, the drug tied to his death.” But there’s a problem with that statement. You see, propofol is not a prescription drug. You cannot get it by getting an Rx written up from your doctor and picking it up at your local drugstore. Watch out for the media’s slippery misinformation here, lumping propofol in with other prescription drugs as if it were in the same category. It is not. And propofol was what killed Michael, not any of those 26 other drugs.

And the defense might want to be careful picking jurors who are too knowledgeable about all these drugs. Because if they are too knowledgeable, they’ll recognize not only that propofol is not a “prescription drug“, but also that it is not a “painkiller“.  And they’ll also know that propofol is not physically addictive. This is another reason claims that “Michael was an addict” having anything to do with why he died won’t quite work. Murray’s claim that he was trying to “wean” Michael off of propofol won’t work either. Since it’s not physically addictive, there would have been no reason for that.

They’ll also know how quickly propofol works. This means that there is no plausible way whatsoever that an individual could inject himself with the amount of propofol that was found in Michael’s body without having been completely “knocked out” before even half of that amount had been injected. The autopsy report clearly states this. And that blows up yet another of Murray’s ridiculous claims. Murray (or his defense) has claimed Michael injected himself with propofol while Murray was out of the room (which he never should have been in the first place, even if such a story was plausible).

Those knowledgeable jurors might also realize that Michael was administered several benzodiazepines before propofol was administered. That’s a problem because the benzos exacerbate (make worse or magnify) the effects of the propofol. Besides the fact that propofol should not be administered outside a clinical setting, besides the fact that it should never be administered without following appropriate standards of care (ie: continuous and precise monitoring and ready means of resuscitation) – this is indeed a big problem.

Given all these “mistakes” Murray allegedly made, one has to wonder how “involuntary” Michael’s death really was, for if Conrad Murray is that poor of a physician, he should not be one at all.

Remember what Dr. Barry Friedberg said:

The only thing more reckless Murray could have done was taking Jackson up in an airplane and pushing him out without a parachute. -Dr. Barry Friedberg, M.D. – Board Certified Anesthesiologist

And then there’s the claim that Michael was addicted to and receiving Demerol from Dr. Arnie Klein. Looking for anyone else to blame for Michael’s death other than Murray, his defense wants to claim that Klein administered Demerol and other narcotics to Michael causing him to become addicted to the drug, and that therefore Michael was an addict, a lost cause physically, and would have died anyway. That lovely bit of hyperbole was dealt with by our own Nikki Allygator aka ‘Gatorgirl‘ in this previously-published article on MJJ-777.com. Nikki wrote:

First off, let’s note that no such drugs were found in Michael’s body or home after he died according to the autopsy report and the investigation. Had he been ‘addicted‘ to Demerol it is inconceivable that he’d not have any Demerol in his body or his home. As an addict, he’d certainly have a stash. But there was none. There was a meeting at Michael’s rented mansion on June 20th, 2009 wherein Michael was allegedly told not to take medications from any doctor other than Conrad Murray. The last time Michael saw Klein was on June 22nd. Demerol would show up in a drug test for about a week. Michael died on June 25th and again, no Demerol was found in his system. Whatever injections Klein may have given Michael on June 22nd could therefore not have been Demerol.

The defense wants to convince jurors that Michael was a freak, weirdo, strung-out drug addict, eccentric and demanding – and thus guilty of his own murder. The prosecution wants people who can see through the negative media portrayal of Michael and who believe he was extorted, negatively defined, wrongly accused — and who can read an autopsy report well enough to see that the cause of death is listed as ‘homicide‘ and ‘acute propofol intoxication‘, ‘administered by another‘ (rather than a self-administered ‘drug overdose’).

Murray’s lawyers want the jury sequestered, citing media hype surrounding the trial and particularly trash-talking fact-diddlers such as Nancy Grace and Diane Dimond. Nancy Grace, in her role as a former prosecutor in Atlanta, had a reputation of “playing fast and loose” with her ethical duties and failing to meet ethical responsibilities, having been cited three times for these issues.

I understand Dimond is slated to cover the case on HLN. Dimond has a similar reputation as an unethical tabloid trash peddler and one of Tom Sneddon’s lackeys in the decades-long framing and lynching of Michael Jackson. You can read much more about Dimond’s own “fast and loose” fact-diddling here: https://www.mj-777.com/?p=7101.  A hearing regarding jury sequestration is scheduled for August 25th.

In my opinion, the idea that Conrad Murray needs protection from media influence to get a fair trial seems quite narcissistic given the media’s (and his own defense’s) penchant for making this a ‘Michael Jackson‘ trial rather than a trial of Conrad Murray. It will be Michael Jackson who will be put on trial again in the media and in the public eye, not Conrad Murray.

However, a sequestered jury may help reduce the chances of Murray’s lawyers demanding a retrial on the basis of media interference.  Also sequestered juries are, according to empirical evidence, allegedly more likely to convict. Given the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial, I have to wonder if that’s true.

Speaking of Tom Sneddon, the former District Attorney in Santa Barbara notorious for malicious prosecution (especially of minorities), I’ve learned that he has been handsomely rewarded for his viciousness. Sneddon’s taxpayer-funded pension in Santa Barbara County is $224,000/yr. And, while Michael’s name had been shamefully removed from Gardner St. Elementary School after having been falsely accused, Sneddon’s name was placed on an administrative building in Santa Barbara as an ‘honor‘ to his ‘service‘. Crime indeed does pay – if you’re the DA.

From the report on the highest paid pensioners in Santa Barbara:

Of the 2,904 people who receive a pension through SBCERS, 152 get more than $100,000 per year and 25 people — including ten who worked in the Sheriff’s Department — receive more than $150,000. Of the top 25, eight served as the heads of their respective departments at one time or another. Six retired prosecutors from the DA’s office are also in the top 25. The highest name on the list is longtime District Attorney Tom Sneddon, who rakes in a whopping $224,672.64 every year.

I will not be giving a day-by-day or blow-by-blow accounting of the Conrad Murray trial here for several reasons among them being that I do not live in nor can I travel to California to cover it, as well as the fact that I intentionally do not watch television, and am obligated otherwise with too much of my time to cover a trial on a day by day basis.

If you’re like me and would rather catch the trial online when you’ve both the time and the stomach to watch, I’m told that it will be live-streamed on http://www.rentadrone.org/hln-live-stream-feed/.  I will of course post other resources for keeping up with trial as I have them and I’ll post trial news or wrap-ups when I’m able.

Liberian Girl

Liberian Girl

In brighter news, there was quite an involved discussion on my MJJ-777 Facebook page about that chant heard in the song “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’“. You know the one: “mama se mama sa mama ku sa“. Someone in a rather bitter-sounding article on “thedailybeast“, claims to have met Michael and asked him personally about the meaning of this chant. She claims Michael told her that the chant meant “I need you I love you I want you” in Swahili.

However, after researching a bit, I learned that that chant actually came from a song by Manu Dibango, a Cameroonian saxaphonist, and that Dibango had sued Michael for use of the chant, and settled out of court. Dibango’s song is called “Soul Makossa“.  From the wikipedia article on the song:

The coda at the end of the song comes directly from Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango’s 1972 disco song “Soul Makossa”. The coda is “Mama-say mama-sah ma-ma-coo-sah”.[4] Makossa is a Cameroonian music genre and dance. Dibango sued Jackson and settled out of court.

Others in the conversation learned that “Makossa” has a couple of meanings depending the region. For instance, in Cameroon (where the primary language is English, not Swahili), “Makossa” means “I dance“. Another person said she learned that Makossa is a chant in one part of Africa. She said the chant “mamase mamasa makossa” is sang when the women are prepared to have sex with their husband to be, and that “Makossa” is also a term in Swahili meaning prostitute.

Someone who is actually from Kenya, where the primary language is Swahili (and whose expertise I would therefore trust more than someone with an apparent love-hate relationship with MJ) said that “mama se mama sa mama ku sa” is not Swahili. She said “I need you I love you I want you” in Swahili would sound like this:

I need you = Naku Hitaji
I love you = Naku Penda
I want you = Naku Taka

Also regarding the song “Soul Makossa” and use of that chant by Michael, this article states:

The song is credited with helping to kickstart New York’s nascent disco scene, and both the original and the countless cover versions traveled far and wide. It clearly had an effect on young Michael Jackson as he was writing the songs for Thriller, since the breakdown at the end of “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” incorporates a variation of Dibango’s refrain, deleting a syllable and altering two others:

Dibango: ma ma ko, ma ma sa, ma ko ma ko sa
Jackson: ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma ku sa

Jackson apparently claimed his version was Swahili, but he eventually acknowledged his debt to Dibango and worked out a compensation arrangement in an out-of-court settlement.

So thus far, it seems the claim that this “ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma ku sa” chant is Swahili (whether Michael made the claim or some apparently embittered fan did), is false.

On the other hand though, Liberian Girl, with its steamy-sweet female voice whispering “Naku Penda pia, Naku Taka pia, Mpenziwe!” (meaning “I love you too, I want you too, my love!”), was sung by a South African singer by the name of Letta Mbulu — and is definitely Swahili.

Notice, if you compare the words in Liberian Girl with the Swahili words our Kenyan friend referred to above (Naku Penda, Naku Taka), they match! Who knew Swahili was such a steamy language!

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Aug 08 2011

‘Once Upon a Time’ in a Neverland Far, Far Away…

Category: Children,Friends,Photos,Prose/Essays,Quotes About MJSeven @ 5:13 pm


A while back, I wrote about a friend of Michael’s named Joanelle Romero and her daughter Sage, who worked with Michael on the Black or White video. Joanelle (Sage’s mother) had been friends with Michael at Gardner St. Elementary. But Joanelle and Sage were not the only ‘Romeros‘ whom Michael befriended. There was another.

LaLa Romero is a singer who remembers meeting and spending time with Michael as a 5-year old child. She shared her memories of Michael on her website. LaLa wrote:

Michael with little LaLa Romero at 5

Michael with sleepy little LaLa Romero at 5

I don’t tell this story too often, in fact growing up I kinda learned to just keep it to myself.

Whenever people would find out I knew him, a gang of silly, dumb questions would follow, and I would always end up having to defend someone I loved so much.

When I was 5, my cousin Brian and I where OBSESSED with Micheal Jackson. We had dolls, sleeping bags, lunch boxes, and OF COURSE the gloves. I was pretty convinced I was goin to be him when I grew up, and nobody could tell me otherwise! Brian was older then me, and found out at school MJ actually lived in the Valley, we lived in. Anyone from LA pretty much knew the house. So we wrote him letters and enclosed a bunch of pics, you remember the ones from school you’d write on the bk, yeah well, lucky Micheal got about 25 of me!! Basically we told him we LOVED him & I told him I was a singer and dancer!!! We also asked him to come to our house & visit!! Our loca tia Carol (RIP) took us to his house and we rang the gaurd gate. His gaurd came out to us & took our letters. WE WERE SOOOOOOO HAPPY, we KNEW he would get em!! I honestly can say we were just happy enough to see his gate & meet his gaurd NEVER did we really expect what happened next.

About 4 days later, at 10:30 pm, my mom got the call from Carol, Michael Jackson was HERE, in our APT building, on her couch. I was 5 & anybody who knows a 5 year old also knows that it’s damn near impossible to wake em up!! The pic you see of us is him holding me, cause I wouldn’t wake up, he insisted my parents take da pic so I would truly know he came!! A few days later I was going into the hospital for sugery & he called me. I couldn’t BELIEVE I was talking to Micheal Jackson & that he actually had my number!! Over the next few years he would invite Brian & I to his house, to watch him shot his videos & to his shows.

It’s weird, when I was lil, I didn’t really grasp FAME, especially his FAME. All I knew was he was my friend & I think thats why he liked me. My friendship with him changed my life. It was a HUGE influence, it made me believe having a singer career was in arms reach. My neighborhood didn’t support BIG DREAMS but his freindship gave me confidence & assurance that ANYTHING & EVERYTHING is possible, if you work hard & aren’t scared to try. His generousity & kindness inspires me daily. Here was the biggest super star in the world taking time out to come to a broken down apt building in Van Nuys CA to see his fans. He was ALWAYS about his fans & his community, and I really always knew that if I got my chance I would strive to be just like that!!

Even as a tiny lil girl I could see his saddness & his lonely. It was a part of him, I think his childhood, fame & money alienated him from most of the world. Thats why he loved US cause we didnt care about the BS!! We just had fun!! He was so goofy & silly, we would jump on his trampoline and raid his candy shop.

Micheal was like Edward Scissorhands & Willy Wonka to me, SOOOOO AMAZING in the HEART but so misunderstood by most! I love him always for touching my life & showing me a different world then the one I grew up in.

I hope those babies of his really grow up understanding that they did have the best daddy in the world. His heart & sprirt are what made him the GREATEST and so RARE.

One day I’ll post more pics, and tell ya specific stories!! All the good things ya heard about him were ALL TRUE!! I promise!!


LaLa Romero, Emmanuel Lewis, and Michael

LaLa Romero, Emmanuel Lewis, and Michael

Below is a video where LaLa Romero talks about friend and mentor Micheal Jackson:

LaLa Romero has a Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/LaLa-Romero/407186915103?sk=wall and her website is http://www.lalaromero.com.

Thank you LaLa for sharing your memories of Michael with the world — and thanks to my friend Brigitte for finding the additional photos, video, and websites to accompany this amazing story.

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May 16 2011

Racism Ruins Lives

Category: JusticeSeven @ 2:40 am



Undisclosed source offers up further evidence about the real reasons DA Tom Sneddon went after Michael Jackson

Deborah Kunesh, in her Reflections on the Dance blog (separate from her website, mind you), is uncovering a lot of inside information about what was behind the vendetta that DA Tom Sneddon had against Michael. We’ve always suspected that racism was at least part of his motivation. Now, we’re getting confirmation from inside sources.

Remember, just a few days ago, an LA County worker shared with Deborah that internally, the allegations against Michael were known to be unfounded and that Sneddon’s vendetta against Michael was known to be racially motivated.

Now, another source has come forward – this time undisclosed, and has shared similar information, and also has said that Sneddon habitually treated minority staff members unfairly as well.

From Deborah’s blog:

A source that wishes to remain anonymous stated that they feel that much of what came against Michael Jackson from Tom Sneddon, was racially-based, according to this source.

This source disclosed that, some staff were treated unfairly under the leadership of Thomas Sneddon (many of them Hispanic and African American), and these staff members felt it necessary to find other positions and/or to seek employment elsewhere for their own peace of mind.

This coincides with a lot of the information on the internet showing other cases that Sneddon was involved in which appeared to also be false accusations against minorities.

The stain that man put on him is so wrong…destroying another person out of simple pure hatred and nothing more. ~Undisclosed source


While it is obvious that District Attorney Tom Sneddon has a vendetta against Michael Jackson, there are other allegations of abuse on Sneddon’s part that have been ignored by the mainstream media. The following people have accused Sneddon and his employees of malicious prosecution, conspiracy, abuse of power and civil rights violations.

And these are just the cases that have been made public…


Gary Dunlap
Efren Cruz
Thambiah Sundaram
Slick Gardner
The Adams Brothers
Emilio Sutti
Nuevo Energy Company
Art Montandon
William Wagener
Diana Hall
Members of the SBPD
Police Abuse Lawsuit
The case Sneddon ignored
Druyan Byrne
Conrad Jess Zapien
Anthenasios Boulas
James William Herring
Richard Joal Wagner

Gary Dunlap

In November 2003, Santa Barbara defense attorney Gary Dunlap filed a $10 million lawsuit against Tom Sneddon, accusing him of racketeering, witness tampering, conspiracy and malicious prosecution. Earlier that year, Sneddon had charged Dunlap with perjury, witness intimidation, filing false documents and preparing false documents in a case that Dunlap had handled. Dunlap was acquitted on all charges but claims his reputation has been irreparably harmed as a result of the proceedings. In an interview with Online Legal Review’s Ron Sweet, Dunlap claimed that Sneddon stacked the charges against him in order to get a conviction on at least one count; apparently, this is a common occurrence in Sneddon’s office. Dunlap also discussed Sneddon’s frequent abuse of power and claimed that there are other lawyers who have seen this. A judge recently upheld most of Dunlap’s lawsuit and the case will soon go to trial unless a civil settlement is reached.

In related news, Dunlap’s lawyer Joe Freeman recently sent a complaint asking that federal, state and county officials investigate Tom Sneddon and members of the Santa Barbara Police Department for misconduct. “In my opinion, the matters to be investigated are the possible criminal violations of several felony and misdemeanour statutes, including conspiracy, illegal taping, deceiving a court and a prosecutor illegally assisting the defense of a case,” Freeman said in his complaint. “I respectfully request that the U.S. Attorney, the California Attorney General, the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury and the State Bar open investigations and seek whatever sanctions are found to be warranted against Sneddon and his staff.” In response to the allegations, the SBPD’s attorney Jake Stoddard said that Sneddon and his employees are immune from legal action because they are prosecutors.

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Efren Cruz

In 2001, a man named Efren Cruz filed a federal lawsuit against Santa Barbara prosecutors accusing them of negligence and conspiracy to keep him in prison. The lawsuit also accused District Attorney Tom Sneddon of malicious prosecution. Cruz was incarcerated for four years after being convicted of murder in 1997. The lawsuit claimed that prosecutors had evidence favourable to Cruz but failed to hand it over to the defense before the trial. After Cruz was convicted, the real murderer was caught on tape confessing to the crime. Regardless, Santa Barbara prosecutors stood by their conviction until the case was taken to a higher court where Cruz was exonerated.

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Thambiah Sundaram

Thambiah Sundaram’s contentious relationship with Santa Barbara authorities began when he opened a non-profit dental clinic in the county and began to attain political status as a result. After unsuccessfully trying to have the clinic shut down, authorities arrested Sundaram for grand theft, impersonating a doctor and malicious mischief. His wife was also arrested and an employee at the clinic was later charged with committing a drive-by shooting. All three were found not guilty. Sundaram sued Sneddon and his employees for conspiracy, false imprisonment and several civil rights violations. He was awarded almost $300,000 in damages.

Sundaram also attended a private fundraising dinner in 1994 where Tom Sneddon and other government officials allegedly discussed their plans to get rid of certain individuals in Santa Barbara who owned substantial amounts of land. Michael Jackson’s property was allegedly brought up during this meeting; Sundaram claimed that authorities wanted to acquire Neverland for vineyards.

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Slick Gardner

Slick Gardner is a horse rancher who owns 2,000 acres of land in Santa Barbara. In 2003, Gardner was investigated for animal abuse after his neighbours reported that some of his horses looked unhealthy. Around the same time the allegations hit, Gardner ran for 3rd District Supervisor against John Buttny, Steve Pappas and Brooks Firestone. Firestone – who owns a successful winery in Santa Barbara and who also has political ties to Tom Sneddon and former Sheriff Jim Thomas – won the election by a landslide. As a result of the bad publicity from the animal abuse allegations, Gardner got the least amount of votes.

While investigating Gardner for animal abuse, Santa Barbara authorities also stumbled upon evidence of grand theft. Gardner was charged with 12 felony counts and hired defense attorney Steve Balash to represent him in the case. Balash later backed out of the case saying it was too complicated.

According to Gardner, Sneddon has had a grudge against him for 30 years and is only prosecuting him out of spite. “It just seems like it’s almost a vendetta deal. These guys are going so far out of their way to do things to me that normally wouldn’t be done,” Gardner said.

“The same thing that’s happening to Michael Jackson happened to me. One day Sneddon is going to wake up with a boot up his ass with a white glove in it, and it will be about time.”

Judge Rodney Melville, the same judge who will be presiding over Michael Jackson’s trial, is also involved in Gardner’s case.

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Adams Bros. Farming, Inc.

In 1997, the Adams brothers purchased 268-acres of land in Orcutt and began agricultural grading on the site. 95-acres of their land was deemed an “environmentally sensitive wetland” by Santa Barbara authorities, which prevented the farmers from using it.

The brothers filed a lawsuit against the County in 2000, alleging that officials had falsely designated a portion of their land as wetland in an attempt to jeopardize the company’s financial earnings. At the request of Santa Barbara County officials, Judge Rodney Melville dismissed the brothers’ action. The brothers took their case to an appeals court where Melville’s decision was overturned.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the County had violated the company’s constitutional right to use its land and that the County and a county consultant had conspired to interfere with the company’s income.

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Emilio Sutti

Emilio Sutti is a dairyman and farmer who recently filed a $10 million lawsuit against Santa Barbara County, claiming to have been the target of a government conspiracy to interfere with his company’s profits. Sutti alleged that Santa Barbara authorities have been targeting his family’s land for years. The battle began when Emilio’s brother and business partner Ed was sued by Santa Barbara County Planning and Development for alleged environmental and grading ordinance violations.

After winning a partial victory in the lawsuit, Ed Sutti was arrested and indicted for arson, witness intimidation, making terrorist threats, making false statements to an insurer, giving false deposition and four counts of state income tax evasion.

Emilio’s Sutti’s civil lawsuit was handled by Judge Rodney Melville.

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Nuevo Energy Company

According to an article from The Lompoc Record: “Nuevo Energy Company has a launched a three-pronged legal attack on Santa Barbara County, claiming it violated state environmental law in using wrong baseline data in an environmental impact report, wasn’t the correct lead agency to prepare the report and wrongly applied mitigation measures in denying the Tranquillon Ridge project.” Judge Rodney Melville presided over the case.

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Art Montandon

Santa Maria City Attorney Art Montandon recently filed a claim against the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, alleging that they falsely accused him of bribing a defense attorney in a case that Sneddon was prosecuting. Montandon had evidence favourable to the defense and prosecutors tried to stop him from interfering by threatening to bring bribery charges against him. A judge later ruled that Sneddon’s office had no right to stop Montandon’s involvement in the case.

In a letter, Montandon denied any wrongdoing and lashed out at Sneddon and his employees, saying: “Unlike (Assistant District Attorney Christie) Stanley and current and former members of her office, I have never had my license to practice law suspended by the State Bar, have never been convicted of a crime, and have never been terminated from any attorney job.”

At the end of his letter, Montandon said he would reveal in court: “the full and complete story of not only the District Attorney’s unprofessional conduct, but the inappropriate conduct and motives of others working behind the scenes to cause community conflict.”

Recently, Montandon requested that the State Bar investigate Sneddon and his office for obstruction of justice.

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William Wagener

William Wagener ran for 5th District County Supervisor in 2002 and was arrested shortly before the election. Because he was a convicted felon, Wisconsin authorities claimed that he had no right to run for political office. As a result, Wagener was arrested by Santa Barbara authorities.

In response, Wagener’s attorney John Holland said that his client’s prior conviction should have had no effect on his right to be a political candidate. He also said that because the terms of Wagener’s probation had been given to the SBPD in 1998, authorities were already aware of his record when they allowed him to run for office.

The charges against Wagener were dropped and he was released from jail. Still, his attorney accused Sneddon’s office of making sure Wagener was: “defamed and ridiculed in the local media in order to destroy his campaign for public office.” Wagener filed a lawsuit against the city of Santa Maria, Santa Barbara County and former Police Chief John Sterling, accusing them of violating his civil rights.

The lawsuit alleges that Police Chief John Sterling “had actual, advance knowledge of the plan by other defendants to falsely arrest, inaccurate and violate (Wagener’s) California and Federal civil rights.” Wagener claimed that authorities conspired against him because they wanted his opponent Joe Centeno to win the election.

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Diana Hall

According to Gary Dunlap, when a local judge refused to change her ruling in Sneddon’s favour, Sneddon brought bogus charges against her, ruined her career and publicly humiliated her by exposing that she was a lesbian. When it became apparent to Sneddon that this judge would be a witness in the Gary Dunlap case, he threatened to bring more charges against her. The judge in question is Diana Hall.

On September 29, 2003, Hall was acquitted on charges of battery but eight months later found herself accused of violating campaign laws. On January 16th, 2004, she showed up at Michael Jackson’s arraignment because she wanted to see how Judge Rodney S. Melville handled motions. Hall told reporters: “I’m not being treated well. This has ruined my reputation, and I’m just not going to take it any longer.”

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Members of the SBPD

In 2002, Santa Barbara County law enforcement groups filed a lawsuit against Tom Sneddon for threatening the police officers’ right to privacy. The lawsuit stems from a policy which allows the District Attorney’s office to give information about police misconduct to defense attorneys at its own discretion. According to Sgt. Mike McGrew, “It’s confusing. He’s an aggressive DA. There are actually no files right now on any officers in Santa Barbara. We really don’t know why he did this.” Future blackmail material perhaps?

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David Allen Richardson, Carina Richardson and George Beeghly

In a civil lawsuit that was settled out of court, David Allen Richardson, Carina Richardson George Beeghly sued Sheriff Jim Thomas and several Santa Barbara police officers for unreasonable search and seizure, false arrest/false imprisonment, excessive force, retaliation for exercise of speech and petition rights, conspiracy to violate civil rights, violation of First Amendment right of association, malicious prosecution, negligence, battery and conspiracy and other charges.

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The Case Sneddon Ignored

Is Tom Sneddon a concerned government official seeking justice for an allegedly abused child or is he merely a prosecutor with a grudge trying to get a conviction? Sneddon’s handling of a past child molestation case would indicate the latter.

In 2002, David Bruce Danielson, a forensic investigator for the Santa Barbara Police Department, was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl. After returning home intoxicated, Danielson climbed into his bed where the girl, who was a guest at his home, was sleeping. Danielson admitted to “accidentally” molesting her, claiming he had mistaken her for his wife. Sneddon closed the case stating that there was no evidence to corroborate the girl’s claims.

The girl involved in the case wrote her feelings down in a letter that was published in the Santa Maria Times. “I am astounded at the stupidity the DA showed by allowing this man to be released of all charges. David Danielson may be free, but I am still emotionally trapped. There is not one day that I don’t wish I wouldn’t have come clean.”

About Sneddon’s handling of the Michael Jackson case, the girl’s father said, “Maybe it’s because it is high profile… but still, in her mind it’s the same situation. She’s still angry.”

While it seems that child abuse might not be Tom Sneddon’s first priority, the question still remains whether or not he would really pursue seemingly false allegations in order to carry out his own personal agenda. After learning the facts about the Michael Jackson case and reading through the numerous accusations that have been made against Tom Sneddon, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that…

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Druyan Byrne

In September 2003, a drama teacher named Druyan Byrne was arrested after police were told that Byrne had photographs of a partially nude 15-year-old girl on his camera. Although the photographs were taken for an art project and were not sexual in nature, authorities insisted on going forward with their case against Byrne.

The girl in the photographs, who was brought in for questioning on five separate occasions, repeatedly denied that anything sexual had transpired between her and Byrne. In response, police told the girl that she was a liar and that it was “obvious to everyone around here that there is some kind of relationship going on.”

Santa Barbara Police Detective Stuart Gardner then lied to the girl, falsely stating that police had proof of Byrne’s past sexual relationships with minors. Although no such evidence actually existed, Gardner convinced the girl that Byrne was a sexual predator and that it was up to her to prevent him from harming anybody else. “I’m just telling you the pattern with these guys. And he fits it to a tee,” Gardner told the girl. “Do you see how this could happen to other girls? Do you see how important you are that this isn’t going to happen to any other girls?”

After being interrogated for hours, the girl finally told Gardner that she and Byrne had kissed on the lips, a statement that she later recanted. “I felt the only way I was going to get out of that room was to tell [Gardner] what he wanted and tell him something happened,” she testified.

The case against Druyan Byrne is still pending. Thanks to MJEOL for the info.

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Conrad Jess Zapien

In 1985, Conrad Jess Zapien was arrested for allegedly murdering his brother-in-law’s mistress. While jury selection was underway, Deputy District Attorney Gary Van Camp and investigator Harry Heidt inadvertently came across a tape that belonged to Zapien’s defense counsel. The tape was in a sealed envelope that bore the name of Zapien’s attorney Bill Davis.

Upon finding the package, Van Camp allegedly urged Heidt to open the envelope and listen to the tape. Van Camp later denied ever having made such a statement and both he and Heidt denied ever having listened to the tape, an act that would have violated Zapien’s attorney-client privileges. Rather than return the package to Zapien’s attorney, Heidt discarded of the package by throwing it in a dumpster.

Zapien’s attorney argued that by getting rid of the package, Heidt had “deprived the defense of the only physical evidence it could use to impeach Heidt and Van Camp regarding whether they unsealed the envelope and listened to the tape.” For example, if the envelope was unsealed, he argued, such evidence would have contradicted both Van Camp’s and Heidt’s assertion that they did not open the package. Furthermore, tests could have been conducted on the tape to determine whether or not it had been listened to.

Zapien later filed a motion asking that Tom Sneddon and the entire Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office be recused from the case. Zapien argued that although Sneddon had taken Van Camp off of the case, he failed to properly investigate the violation of Zapien’s attorney-client privileges. He further argued that Sneddon brought an auto theft charge against him even though there was no credible evidence to support the charge. Zapien’s motion was denied.

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Anthenasios Boulas

In 1985, a man named Anthenasios Boulas retained a lawyer after being arrested for selling cocaine. Shortly after hiring the lawyer, referred to in court documents as “Attorney S,” Boulas also hired a Private Investigator named William Harkness. On Boulas’ behalf, Harkness got in contact with sheriff’s deputy Scott Tunnicliffe to inquire about a possible plea bargain. In exchange for leniency, Boulas would provide authorities with the names of several drug dealers in the area. “Attorney S” was not aware of this potential deal.

After meeting with Boulas and Harkness, Tunnicliffe broached the subject of a plea bargain to Robert Calvert, the Deputy District Attorney at the time. Calvert said that he would only agree to the deal if Boulas fired his attorney and hired a lawyer that met with his approval. After being convinced by Tunnicliffe that “Attorney S” was a drug addict who could not be trusted, Boulas fired him and attempted to find another attorney. Taking the advice of Sheriff’s deputies, he hired “Attorney C,” who later backed out of the case.

Without a lawyer representing him and under the pretense that he would be receiving a plea bargain, Boulas met with authorities and gave them information about several drug dealers in the area. After giving them this information, Boulas was told by authorities that the plea bargain would no longer be possible.

Several months later, Boulas filed a motion to have the charges dismissed. The court ruled that although “conduct by the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s department interfered with his rights to counsel and to a fair trial,” they would not drop the charges against him.

Boulas then took his case to a higher court where the case was ultimately dismissed. According to documents, the court found the conduct of Sneddon’s office: “outrageous in the extreme, and shocking to the conscience; we are, thereby, compelled to order the dismissal of the present case.”

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James William Herring

In 1993, the Santa Barbara District’s Attorney’s office was admonished for making racially insensitive comments during the trial of James William Herring, a biracial man who had been accused of rape. During closing arguments, prosecutors described Herring as “primal man in his most basic level… his idea of being loved is sex. He wouldn’t know what love was. He’s like a dog in heat.”

Herring’s conviction was overturned because of the highly prejudicial, unfounded comments that prosecutors made about him throughout the trial. Prosecutors described him as a “parasite” and made the inference that because Herring was unemployed, he was more likely to have raped the complaining witness. Furthermore, prosecutors made inflammatory comments about defense attorneys in general, saying: “my people are victims. His people are rapists, murderers, robbers, child molesters. He has to tell them what to say. He has to help them plan a defense. He does not want you to hear the truth.” Such a statement created the false impression that anyone who is accused of a crime is guilty.

The Court of Appeals ruled that “the prosecutor’s… statements about a biracial defendant are, at the very least, in bad taste” and that his unfounded remarks about Herring’s defense counsel lead to an unfair conviction. As a result, Herring’s conviction was overturned.

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Richard Joal Wagner

In the early 1970s, Richard Joal Wagner was convicted in a Santa Barbara court of selling marijuana. He appealed the jury’s conviction, claiming prosecutorial misconduct during his own cross-examination because prosecutors implied that he had been caught dealing narcotics in the past. Some of the questions asked include:

“Q. Isn’t it true, Mr. Wagner, that in Alaska you are not only in the business of putting up fences, but you are also in the business … of furnishing cocaine a drug, for sale, illegally, isn’t that correct?

“Q. … Isn’t it true that you have in fact sold heroin?

“Q. … To your knowledge, at your place of business, is there any illegal sale of narcotic activity going on?

“Q. … Isn’t it true that on December 30, 1971, that you have received … a shipment of ‘pure pharmacy’ cocaine?

“Q. … Now, isn’t it true that on December 30, 1971, you had in your possession approximately three kilograms of pure pharmacy cocaine . .?

“Q. … Isn’t it true that those three kilograms of cocaine were in a shoebox?”

Although prosecutors failed to present any evidence of Wagner’s alleged past offenses, they created the impression in the minds of the jurors that Wagner had been involved in the sale of narcotics before, thus leading to an unfair conviction. Sneddon was not the District Attorney at the time but he was one of the led prosecutors on the case. The appeals court ruled that the conduct of the District Attorney’s office was prejudicial to the defendant and thus overturned Wagner’s conviction.

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