tv Nancy Grace HLN July 19, 2009 1:00am-2:00am EDT
breaking, news, tonight, the mystery surrounding the sudden death of music icon, michael jackson, intensifies. questions mounting as to his sudden death. his half a billion dollar empire and more important, custody of the star's three little children. after murder charges leveled in the death of jackson, his family publicly claiming jackson was murdered. bombshell tonight. a massive cover-up? reports eamerican the possible murder scene was sanitized with a so-called cleaner, cleaning jackson's living quarters before
police could process the scene. a highly-sophisticated, high-tech security system, allegedly monitoring every inch of that $100,000 rental home, inside and out. including jackson's private living quarters. that secret video of jackson's final moments, gone. sources also claim a huge, black, leather bag full of drugs, an i.v. pole, syringes and i.v. bags, also gone. this as we learn of an alleged chilling plot to steal jackson's body. reports the body now hidden and protected by armed guards to stop the would-be body snatchers. jackson's body moved from hiding at the family crypt of motown founder, berry gordy, after jackson's gold pro meetiam gold casket seemingly lost as
thousands looked on when it exited the arena. but was the body ever even in the casket? or had it been smuggled out in an unmarked van? a portion of jackson's brain missing from the body. and tonight, just-released video of jackson himself, going up in flames during his '84 pepsi commercial. significant? was this the inception of the star's addiction to prescription drugs? an addiction that culminated in a second autopsy, revealing fresh needle marks in jackson's neck. that's right, his neck. other veins riddled with track marks. many actually collapsing from i.v. use. his skin, paper white. his body emaciated. all in contrast to private video of a dress rehearsal just hours before his death. drugs banned for consumer use, only found behind locked doors in an operating room, found in the home.
jackson reportedly ingesting up to 10,000 pills in just 6 months, including 40 xanax a night. reports jackson even wanted to be put under with an i.v. drip for days on end. essentially, lying there like a living corpse for up to 72 hours at a time. and is father joe jackson now reportedly set to force jackson's children on the stage under the name the jackson three? jackson, himself, often discussing physical abuse, beatings at the hand of his father, joe jackson. always keeping his own children far away. but now, joe jackson boasting, he himself will raise the children. and in the last hours, a stunning statement. joe jackson actually blamed 79-year-old grandmother, katherine, for all the beatings. has jackson's worst nightmare come true? and of course tonight, the payoff.
is a secret deal in the works for bio mom debbie rowe dropped the custody battle for jackson's three children? payoff, $4 million for rowe to just go away? well, rowe vehemently insists it's not true. the lapd chief mulling criminal charges over who drugged an addict who happened to be a superstar, as the vultures circling jackson's dead body, the fate of his three children unknown. >> shocking, never-before-seen footage of michael jackson. the accident that really changed his life. we know about it, filming a pepsi commercial back in 1984. you're looking at a picture, a photo of that incident. fireworks on the stage went off too early. you can see that michael jackson's hair is on fire. he continues dancing for a moment. >> i have a lot of concern. i don't like what happened. >> the lapd hasn't ruled out homicide. >> knowing what he know, what we've learned about possible
doctor-shopping, all of these different prescription drugs. >> the lapd police chief said that they are looking for the coroner's report to corroborate the cause of death. corroborate, which clearly implies that they have a strong belief that something was involved. and that something in this case is clearly drug abuse. >> the l.a. county chief coroner went to the office of the dermatologist. he said dr. arnold klein has been completely cooperative. >> dr. klein has cooperated with us. we're not investigating the doctors. we're investigating mr. michael jackson's death. >> he told me, quote, jackson and i spoke of his addiction. and how hard he was working and how he was trying to do everything in his power to avoid having a need to be on drugs. so, this was really the first time we were hearing from someone who said that michael jackson admitted that he had an addiction and was actually talking about it. he said jackson was taking lots of prescription medicines. and that he, quote, didn't like the way it made him feel. and tonight, breaking news, the couple with 16 children, 12
of them adopted, many of them with special needs, handicapped, murdered in their own home. part of it caught on video. we have the video. the suspects in full ninja garb, invade the home with military-like precision. who gunned down this beautiful couple leaving 16 children orphaned? and tonight, why are police searching for a blond beauty for questioning? breaking news right now surrounding the killing of a florida couple, byrd and melanie billings. police want to question this woman. her name is pamela laverne long. >> let me emphasize, she is a person of interest. she is a realtor. she rented the property occupied by lawrence patrick gonzalez jr., and his family. she is also known as pamela long
wiggins, pamela l. malden, pamela long link, pamela laverne long coco, and also pam long. we want to emphasize it is imperative that we speak with her as soon as possible. we know that she was associated with leonard patrick gonzalez jr., up until the day of the murders. >> the drug enforcement administration confirms that it is assisting in this probe. >> seven suspects dressed in ninja garb plan an incredibly elaborate and precise break-in. but investigators now say the person assigned to turn off the surveillance cameras never showed up. >> detectives say the hunt is on for at least one more person. >> we've identified the seven people that entered the complex. we have those folks in custody. i believe that they entered that compound with the belief they were not under surveillance. we are now looking at anyone that may have had an involvement with the security system. so, we're wondering, again, why was this system left on in an
otherwise perfectly executed murder? obviously, there is an eighth or ninth person that we have yet to identify. good evening. i'm nancy grace. i want to thank you for being with us tonight. the mystery surrounding the sudden death of music superstar michael jackson intensifies. >> the video from that ill-fated pepsi commercial back in 1984. >> a swarm of people come on to help put out the fire. as we know, he suffered second-degree and third-degree burns on his scalp and body. there you see him in the hospital after that. >> at first the pyrotechnics go off as planned. michael jackson dances down the stairs. he joins his brothers, sings and dances. the sixth take is when things go horribly wrong and the fireworks go off as he is at the top of the stage. he is dancing down. his head is on fire. and he is just unaware. >> the inquiry into the death of mr. jackson is continuing. are we dealing with a homicide? are we dealing with an accidental overdose? what are we dealing with? >> a source involved with the
investigation, said the singer's arms were riddled with marks. and veins in both arms had collapsed. >> an official from the corn coroner's office showed up at dr. arnold klein's office in beverly hills. we know that jackson was at dr. klein's office a few days before his death. he also told me that jackson had serious trouble sleeping. he said he had a constant beat in his head. he said they stayed up all night on many nights, sometimes until 5:00 in the morning because jackson could not shut off his brain. >> joe jackson went to the front door on many occasions. she told me, he went to the front gate. they wouldn't let him in. when la toya called the house, she couldn't speak to her brother. this is all very suspicious. >> i'm doing well. and i am strong. as you may already know, after my tour ended, i remained out of the country undergoing treatment for a dependency on pain medication. this medication was initially prescribed to deal with the excruciating pain that i was
suffering after recent reconstructive surgery on my scalp. >> we are taking your calls live tonight. video has emerged of what could be the inception of michael jackson's addiction to drugs. take a look. here you see jackson in his '84 pepsi commercial. this was at what many believed to be the height of his abilities, his talent. he continues dancing unaware he is on fire. the singer is mobbed by security trying to save his life. his head totally burned. scars remained for the rest of his life. and according to insiders, he remained in intense pain after this. you are seeing a clip obtained by "us weekly" of that pepsi commercial taping, showing how severe jackson's injuries were when he actually caught on fire.
i want to go straight out to albert lee, deputy editor of "us weekly." this is emerging now. why? >> well, we obtained the footage recently. and you know, there is a great deal of talk right now surrounding michael's abuse of prescription drugs and what role that played in his death and in his cardiac arrest. you know, when this was shot, remember, this was 1984. this was "thriller"-era michael. he was at the peak of his fame, 25 years old. and i'm glad you showed that video again. because you know, it is really hard to watch. and you know, this was not -- we've heard so much talk about it. but this was not just a few couple sparks in his hair. his entire head was engulfed in flames. and you know, for five, long, excruciating seconds, this guy's head is on fire before they realized what happened and the crew bum rushes him. what happened immediately, he was rushed to the hospital. this was the day that he began taking prescription pain killing
i'm doing well. and i am strong. as you may already know, after my tour ended, i remained out of the country undergoing treatment for dependency on pain medication. this medication was initially prescribed to cede excruciating pain that i was suffering after recent reconstructive surgery on my scalp. >> for the first time, we're getting an upclose look at the pepsi commercial, the ill-fated pepsi commercial that changed michael jackson's life. >> we know that there were second-degree and third-degree burns, which is just horrible. the pain associated with burns is just horrific. i've talked to experts in that field. and they describe it as just the worst pain you can imagine. >> as you may already know after
my tour ended, i remained out of the country after undergoing treatment for dependence on pain medication. this pain medication was initially prescribed to cede the excruciating pain i was suffering after reconstructive surgery on my scalp. >> michael jackson had legitimate pain and he needed medications for that pain. unfortunately, the medication then overtook him and he became addicted to it. >> michael was never beat, as they call it. anyone spanks their kids when they do wrong. katherine spanked michael more than i did. i was working two jobs and she was at home with him the most. >> that was father, joe jackson, and abc's "primetime" actually blaming 79-year-old katherine jackson for all the beatings that michael jackson suffered as a youth, beatings that he went public about. and painfully revealed to oprah on "the oprah winfrey show." we are taking your calls live to lucy in new york. hi, lucy.
>> caller: hi, nancy. my question is, michael jackson and other family members have always spoken of extreme abuse by the father. their mother never removed the children from this abuse. shouldn't that be a factor in this custody hearing? >> in my mind, absolutely, yes. let's unleash the lawyers. susan moss, family attorney, child advocate out of new york. renee rockwell, veteran trial lawyer out of atlanta. and alan ripka, attorney out of new york, as well. susan moss, weigh in. >> oh, say it ain't so, joe. i can't believe he is throwing his wife under the bus. because you know what that's going to mean? more power to debbie rowe to try to get these kids. and debbie rowe is amazing. let me get this straight. she breeds horses for a living. but now she allegedly sells her children to make her cash? what is this? backwards day? he is doing the worst possible thing for the jackson family by speaking up like this. >> renee rockwell? >> somebody needs to put a dot on that, which you said, susan
moss. doesn't need to say anything. he doesn't need to be pointing the finger at his wife. because it's going to get more and more complicated if he makes katherine look like a person that should not be the guardian. >> let's go to the caller's question. let's address lucy in new york's question. alan ripka, with statements like the one joe jackson made to abc's "primetime," essentially admitting that there were beatings, but blaming them on katherine jackson, is that going to play a role in custody? >> it's absolutely going to play a role. what the court will do is always look at the best interests of the child. and these factors and these statements are all going to come in, because the court is held responsible for making the person who's going to take care of these kids. >> i want to go out to dr. carey peterson with internal medicine at lennox hill hospital. joining us out of new york. doctor, thank you for being with
us. what is your opinion regarding the video that has never been released before that we have just shown you? the '84 pepsi commercial. the infamous pepsi commercial. jackson was at the height of his ability. this has been released by "us weekly." could that have such a long impact on michael jackson to lead him up to the point, dr. peterson, where he wants a continuous i.v. drip, essentially rendering him a living corps, out with an i.v. drip, up to 72 hours at a time? >> it is possible. burns are known, as stated earlier, to be extremely devastatingly painful. this is a very gradual process. initially he may have been just maintained on oral medications. and over time, over years, you develop a tolerance so that you need more and more to get the same high or euphoria. and over that time, it's going to be a gradual increase more and more and more to the point where these drugs aren't working. i need something stronger. i need something intramuscular, something intravenous.
this was a gradual process probably over decades to get to intravenous. >> i can't hardly stand to even look at that video. you think, dr. keri peterson, the most painful thing your body can endure. pain around your neck and face and your head is almost unbearable. i assume it is because it is getting to the regions near the brain, near the mouth, near the moez that help you live so that pain is intensified. >> in particular, burns are a particularly painful because the nerve endings are damaged. the skin surface is a protective barrier. and when you break it down, these nerve endings are exposed.
♪ they don't really care about us ♪ aeg told cnn jackson passed a five-hour medical exam in preparation for his tour. >> all i know is that the michael jackson that hugged me and said good night was a healthy, vibrant human being. >> when i hear people saying that michael was in great shape and that he was raring to go, i know this is untrue. and they know it was untrue as well. michael was not in good physical shape, and michael was not raring to go. >> in response to allegations
that aeg refused to make jackson's schedule easier, randy phillips told us jackson had agreed to 50 shows, adding he needed the money. rowe believes jackson was weakened by what he called the singer's addiction to prescription drugs. rowe told me, just one week before michael jackson died, he spoke with some of his family members about getting him help, including his father, joe jackson, and his brother, randy. he said they all agreed to get jackson into rehabilitation. but they never had the chance. he died before they could even make a move. >> i'm doing well and i am strong. as you may already know after my tour ended, i remained out of the country undergoing treatment for a dependency on pain medication. this medication was initially prescribed to cede excruciating pain that i was suffering after recent reconstructive surgery on my scalp. >> we have just shown you very disturbing video of that '84 pepsi commercial where jackson actually caught on fire across
the top of his head. he continued dancing, spinning around and around, unaware that he was actually on fire. many claim this was the on set of a drug dependence that culminated in him demanding to be hooked up to an i.v. drip that would knock him out for days on end, essentially rendering him a living corps. now, amid claims that there was a cleanup there in his rented home, video even being erased of his final moments. is it all true? reports say, yes. we are waiting to confirm that. i want to go out to natisha lance, our producer, who has been on the scene from the very beginning. what can you tell me about threats to the jackson family to actually steal jackson's body? >> you're right, nancy. there are reports coming in that people are throwing notes over the gate at the encino home, threatening to steal michael jackson's body. we put a call out to forest lawn today to ask them about the
security measures they are taking to protect michael jackson's body. they won't give us any details regarding that. but the jackson family allegedly was so concerned about michael jackson's safety, the safety of his body, that his body may not have even been in that promethean casket that went to the staples center for his memorial. >> out to stacy brown, co-author of the "man behind the mask." we understand that there are guards, armed guards, protecting his body right now. what do you make of their plans to go forward with a jackson burial theme park, like graceland? or will they stick with forest lawn? what are their plans, do you know? >> well, nancy, from what i understand, the plans for neverland have officially died. they never got permission to do it there. and it was never unanimous that the family wanted him there. there were members of the family who did want him at neverland. and there were others who wanted him at forest lawn.
there are security guards as your producer said there at forest lawn because there have been threats as i understand, against his body. and it doesn't surprise me. with michael, nothing surprises us anymore. >> let's unleash the lawyers again. i never thought, as i was attending law school and practicing in court all those years, that i would be discussing grave robbers. body snatchers. but here with a music icon. and, no. i am not negating the child molestation charges, the trial and the many other charges against him. but those are over now. the time to discuss that is done. to susan moss, renee rockwell, and alan ripka, there are reports that there are actually fans who want to lie next to his body, that want to get a lock of his hair, reports that swing to the other end where the pen due
lup swings to some wealthy fans wanting to have his body as some kind of a freaky trophy. what would the penalties for grave robbing or body tampering be? rockwell? >> well, nancy, in georgia you cannot tamper with a dead body. you cannot steal it. it's a piece of property beyond anything else. i'm not a california lawyer. but enough said about that. you have enough obsessed people that you can imagine, if they decided to cremate the body and sprinkle the ashes in the pacific ocean, that people would be jumping in, killing themselves after it. >> and, susan moss, as i understand it, the family is considering entombing his body in feet of cement, concrete, to make it more difficult to get to the body. >> absolutely. that's what they're going to do. and i wouldn't be surprised if they don't use that opportunity to try to raise more money for the estate. >> you know, alan ripka, although stacy brown's telling us that the plan to bury him
there at neverland has died, state officials say they have been in the last week contacted by the jackson family about burying him there. you just can't put a dead body in the backyard, alan ripka. >> you certainly can't, nancy. the state permits that you have to have that allow for places to be buried. and certainly, the state would be involved if they went that route. >> i want to go out to mary margaret, senior news editor with radaronline.com. mary margaret, we see with the "us weekly" report and the just-released video of the '84 pepsi commercial, there's intense interest as to why michael jackson died. you don't normally have a criminal investigation when somebody simply has a heart attack. >> right. right. well, i mean, that's one of the reasons the dea is investigating is the fact that yes, it's definitely rare and obviously
sudden that michael jackson died even though that insiders felt like it was imminent. the reason is this is someone who has a long history of drug abuse. and it's a question of what got him to the point that he overdosed. the toxicology reports haven't been brought out. but the reason investigators are treating this as a criminal investigation is there is suspicion that the people around him who have been entrusted with his health failed somehow. >> out to mike brooks, former -- formerly with the fbi. what is the latest on the criminal investigation? >> well, nancy, you still have a death investigation. we heard from chief bratton, chief of lapd, not ruling out anything right now because the coroner has not determined cause and manner of death. you do have the dea brought in. if the dea is there, they are looking at the drugs. they're looking at the doctors. because, nancy, every prescription that's written, every doctor has a particular dea number. they can trace that back to say who, what, when and how many prescriptions he has written. and they also regulate pharmacies that distribute the drugs after the prescriptions
are written. so, you've got two, parallel investigations going on right now. >> out to the lines, sarah in mississippi. hi, dear. >> caller: hi, nancy. it's so great to talk to you. i just wanted to say i love your necklaces. every time i watch you, you have nice necklaces on. >> thank you, sarah in mississippi. what's your question, dear? >> caller: well, actually, i have a comment. i am a mortuary student. and i hear the frustration in your voice when you say, part of his brain was missing. i just wanted to comment and say that it is common practice when an autopsy has been performed not to put the brain back into the skull for the fact that you will have leakage. they put the brain in a biohazard bag, along with the chest cavity, you know, intestines, and stomach.
and they put all of that stuff in a bag. sew it back up in the stomach. when the embalmers get the body, they tab the bag out and we disregard it. so, there won't be any leakage coming out of the body. >> let me ask you one question before we have to go to break. what happens to that bag when the body is buried? >> it is the same as what happens at a hospital when they're trying to get rid of their biohazard things. it is -- >> okay. so, bottom line, sarah. you're saying it's not typically buried with the body? >> no, it's not. >> sarah in mississippi, thank you for the enlightenment. to tonight's safety tip. with nearly 314,000 people filing identity theft complaints just last year, here are tips to help protect you and your family. only give out your social security number when you have to. always shred mail with your personal information on it.
place passwords on your credit cards, your bank account and other maile. view your credit report regularly. make sure there are no mistakes. if you think you are the victim of i.d. theft, report it to the ftc, the federal trade commission. for more information, please go online to onguardonline.gov.
his vegas home in early 2007 and was shocked. one source said the house had almost no furniture, looked a bit creepy, and michael, himself, appeared very thin and disheveled at that time. that february, janet then attended the nba all-star game with two of the brothers. she asked them to go to michael's house with her to try to convince him to get some help. but michael reportedly ordered security not to let them in. >> out to the lines to maurice in kentucky. hi, dear. >> caller: hi, nancy. the twins are gorgeous. they're just gorgeous. >> you know, god heard my prayers and answered them 10,000 times over. two children, not one, healthy. a boy and a girl. and, you know, stories like this, not necessarily michael jackson, but his children being left behind and this tug-of-war between all these crazy
characters about raising them is very disturbing. >> caller: yes, i agree. my question, nancy -- can you hear me? >> yes, dear. go ahead. >> caller: okay. my question is concerning michael jackson's father and the abuse that he suffered at his father's hands. can his father be prosecuted? can charges be brought? >> good question. i imagine, rene rockwell, that the statute of limitations has long since run. explain. >> first of all, nancy, there is nobody to cross examine in any trial. and these allegations are for many, many years ago. so, i don't see any prosecution. but there will be consequences. >> i guess your answer is no. >> no. >> it's too late. okay. thank you. >> but there will be consequences. >> oh, right. there are consequences. what? he will make more money off the new record label? he's going to use michael jackson's dead body to make more money? that's the consequence. out to amy in georgia. hi, amy.
>> caller: hel lee hello, nancy. >> hi, dear. what's your question? >> caller: well, my question is, as far as the kids go, it would be terrible for them to get attached to katherine and live with her and then experience another loss. is it possible the judge would suggest that maybe someone like janet, who seems to be very doting on the children, maybe share custody of them, and then, you know. that way -- because it would be terrible for them to go through another loss. >> i agree. i think stacey brown, co-author of "michael jackson: the man behind the mask." stacey brown, his will specifically says katherine jackson. now, we all think janet jackson is so close to them. but she actually lives on the other side of the country and rarely sees them. >> nancy, you're right. and look. katherine has had a hand in raising her other grandchildren as well. this is not anything that's foreign to her. i've seen those kids many times. and those grandchildren of hers are very happy with her.
the other thing about it is, we saw a really good thing on sunday. the pictures of katherine taking them to the kingdom hall jehovah's witnesses. they're getting religion. something that they probably didn't get with their father. that can only be a good thing. >> yeah. you know what, stacey brown? there's nothing wrong with a dose of religion. with that i can agree with you. but to you, doctor, dr. jeff gardere, the point made by amy in georgia is that the grandmother's 79 years old. but you cannot subvert the will. >> that's right. here's the issue. what you said is absolutely correct. what happens if now they are taken away from katherine? it's going to be a real problem. another major loss in their lives. that's why katherine needs other family members in their helping her, too. very quickly, i want to switch gears and tell you the latest in a double-murder investigation. take a listen. >> working a complex case over numerous counties and
in coordination with many federal agencies and again, trying to assess the entire spectrum of motives that may be involved in this case, that's a humding humdinger. having to pass that information on to the federal agencies because of the information developed during this case, that is a humdinger. you'll see the many different avenues and the breadth and depth of this case. >> out to cnn correspondent ed lavendera, standing by at the pensacola sheriff's office. ed, what is the latest in this double-murder investigation? >> well, nancy, believe it or not, authorities here have told us they've schedule another press conference, 9:30 eastern. we're told to expect the announcement of yet another arrest. who this is, we're not exactly sure yet. but there has been several people of interest that authorities have told us about throughout the day. if that turns out to be one of those people, we'll find out shortly. >> out to sergeant ted roy, the p.i.o., public information officer, there at escambia sheriff's office. sergeant, thank you for being with us.
a lot of people are writing and calling in wanting to know where the 16 children are. where are they? >> well, a lot of them are grown. the nine in the house were young. and they're with other family members now. >> they're with other family members. are they still together? or they had to be separated? >> the latest we heard today, was that they are staying together and they will be staying together throughout this ordeal and even after. >> is the home still a crime scene? or has it been released back to the family? >> that i do not know. i have not been up there since the night of the occurrence. >> right. to clark goldband, our producer on the story from the very begin. clark, why are people looking for a blond realtor? what does she have to do with a bunch of men dressed in full ninja garb, creeping across this couple's front yard? >> she was the first person of interest. and now at a press conference this afternoon, there are two persons of interest.
what i can tell you about pamela long, in fact, she was the landlord of gonzales junior, the alleged ringleader of the crime. there is also a second person of interest that has been announced. >> they believe the second person of interest, in fact, knew about the security cameras and alarm code but for some reason may have gotten cold feet and bailed on an otherwise perfect crime. >> to sergeant ted roy, the public information officer there at sheriff's office, sergeant, again, thank you for being with us. so this whole thing, this double murder and this robbery, including the family safe taken out of the home was handled with military-like precision. but one of the idiots forgot to cut off the security camera? >> that's what we believe now. the lady, pamela long, we actually have her with us right now. she's upstairs in the sheriff's office speaking with investigators.
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