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December 15, 2016

If you follow the game played at the 2005 trial by the Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon and Ralph Chacon, the Neverland security guard, you will feel like watching the hands of a cardsharp in an effort to try and understand how he cheats. In fact, you may not even know that the player is cheating, unless you are extremely attentive or notice his trick quite by chance.

And Ralph Chacon’s testimony is very much like it – if we hadn’t thought of comparing it with Russell Birchim testimony we wouldn’t have even guessed how big a cheat it really is.

You don’t know who Russell Birchim is? He is a detective who worked for the Santa Barbara Sheriff department in 1993/94 when the district attorneys and sheriffs of two counties were investigating Jordan Chandler’s allegations against Michael Jackson.

In addition to those four there were also two grand juries involved – one in Santa Barbara and the other one in Los Angeles. The official story goes that the Santa Barbara grand jury sat for three months looking into all the evidence collected by the prosecution, but was disbanded without returning an indictment.

The prosecution had to explain that the 19-member panel ‘was not asked to vote’ and was convened purely as ‘an information gathering tool’. But even if this is true it means that the process of gathering information brought them zero result and this was the real reason why the Santa Barbara grand jurors were not asked to vote.

The grand jury seated in Los Angeles continued its work, but was later disbanded too and also without an indictment and this brought the year-long investigation to an end.

The Independent didn’t go deep into the prosecutors’ explanations and on May 2nd 1994 simply stated that the Santa Barbara grand jury ended its deliberations without returning an indictment. The source of their information was a Reuters report.


Monday 2 May 1994. The Santa Barbara County grand jury, one of two California grand juries investigating sex-abuse allegations against Michael Jackson, has ended its deliberations without returning an indictment, a local television station reported on Saturday, Reuter reports from Los Angeles.

The CNN report about the same did mention the prosecution version, but also stated the real reason why there was no indictment – one of the jurors said to them that they had not heard any damaging testimony during the hearings.

Jackson Grand Jury Disbanded – 1994

CNN SHOW: Showbiz Today

5:32 pm ET May 2, 1994


The grand jury in the Michael Jackson investigation has been disbanded, and one jury member said no damaging evidence was heard. Jackson’s attorney said he believes no criminal charges will ever be filed.

JIM MORET, Anchor: More than eight months after a teenage boy first accused Michael Jackson of sexual molestation, it remains unclear whether criminal charges will ever be filed against the superstar. After three months of investigating child molestation allegations against Michael Jackson, the Santa Barbara County grand jury disbanded Friday without announcing any action.

HOWARD WEITZMAN, Jackson Attorney: I did not believe the district attorney’s office in Santa Barbara County would ask this particular grand jury for an indictment, so we’re not surprised at all.

MORET: One juror told CNN he did not hear any damaging testimony during the hearings. CNN has previously reported the panel was never asked to render an indictment, and that no vote was taken to do so. The 19-member panel was used as an information gathering tool, compelling testimony from witnesses, including former Jackson valet Miko Brando, former Jackson private investigator Anthony Pelicano, and the mother of a boy who admitted to CNN to having slept with the entertainer in the same bed. But in a joint statement released last week, both Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas Sneddon Jr.and L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti declined to predict when the investigation would conclude. The dismissal of the Santa Barbara County grand jury, however, does not mean the investigation is over.

Mr. WEITZMAN: I think, it’s a guess, this district attorney in Santa Barbara County could definitely impanel another grand jury for reasons unbeknownst to me, and this grand jury in Los Angeles could continue to try and call witnesses. 

MORET: Law enforcement officials in both counties began their criminal probes last August, when a then-13-year-old boy accused the entertainer of sexual abuse during a five-month relationship. The teenager filed a civil suit against Jackson, but it was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, with reports ranging from $5 million to $50 million. When contacted by CNN, neither the Santa Barbara nor Los Angeles County District Attorneys would comment on the status of the Jackson case. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson’s attorney tells us the entertainer is in New York recording a new album. Howard Weitzman says Jackson sounds well, he’s energetic, and wants to put all of this behind him.

Copyright 1994 Cable News Network, Inc.

And it is at this point that we stumble upon two facts which can be hardly reconciled with each other. How come the grand jury didn’t hear a single damaging testimony in 1994, if eleven  years later at the 2005 trial Ralph Chacon claimed that he had testified before them about Jordan’s ‘molestation’ and he had allegedly seen it with his own eyes?

Could it be that the grand jury turned a blind eye on this evidence and was star-stuck as Michael’s haters suggest it? Or are Ralph Chacon and Sneddon not telling the truth and everything was not the way they presented it at the 2005 trial? Is there something we don’t know here, but need to know to see the real picture?

On the surface of it Chacon’s story looked so damaging that if the grand jury had really heard it there was no way they could disregard it. It is only now that we know that Chacon was lying, because we’ve seen those Neverland floor plans and read the transcript of his testimony in 2005, but back in 1994 the grand jury did not have the opportunities we have now.

At the time the grand jury could not know that Chacon would later turn to the Star, Splash and Inside Edition tabloids to sell his baloney and when asked at the 2005 trial whether he did would thoroughly contradict himself on this issue.

The grand jury in 1994 could not know either that Chacon wanted to take revenge on Michael Jackson for what he considered his ‘wrongful termination’ and for the lost possibility to get millions in the civil case he and the other disgruntled former employees filed against Jackson. They sued him for $16 million and Chacon hoped he would have a chance to ‘never work again’ and ‘get a compensation for the rest of his life’ as he confessed to some people. However instead of those millions they got a judgment from the jury that they acted with ‘fraud, malice and oppression’ and that Ralph Chacon owed Jackson $25,000 for stealing his property. And since they lost they were also to pay $1,47 million in fees to the other side, which of course they never did, but instead went to the 2005 trial to get even with Michael Jackson there.

In case you missed it here is a short reminder that at the 2005 trial Ralph Chacon had to admit that he acted with fraud and malice against Michael Jackson:


23 Q. Do you remember stipulating and agreeing

24 that you had personally acted with fraud, oppression

25 and malice against Mr. Jackson?

26 A. Probably so, sir.

1 Q. You didn’t stipulate that you had acted with

2 fraud, oppression, and malice against Mr. Jackson in

3 that case?

4 A. Well, yes, sir.

5 Q. After a six-month trial, this is a good way

6 to get even with him, isn’t it?

But let me repeat, this is what we know now, while the Santa Barbara grand jury had no way of knowing it back then, so over here we face an alternative – either Chacon’s ‘molestation’ story was really heard by them but was disregarded for some reason and then it is their fault, or Chacon told them something totally different, testified under oath about Michael’s innocence and only later changed his story to its opposite, and then the full blame for this fabrication is lying on Chacon as its author and Sneddon as a person who covered up and promoted it.

The correct version is the latter one, of course. Chacon’s story is a big lie which Sneddon sided with and consistently impressed on the media and the public – for him it was a way to present Ralph Chacon as a ‘witness’ of some fictional wrongdoing on the part of MJ and also a means to shift all the blame for the failure of their 1994 investigation onto the grand jury by claiming that they were star-struck, fearful, lax in their job, whatever.


At the 2005 trial Sneddon was bolstering Ralph Chacon’s story by every means possible to him. He asked Chacon leading questions, reproduced the details of his filthy description himself and asked him again and again whether he had disclosed all of it to the Santa Barbara grand jury. Ralph Chacon obligingly said yes.


6 Q. During the time that you were at the ranch,

7 did you get subpoenaed to appear before the Santa

8 Barbara County Grand Jury?

9 A. Yes, sir, I did.

5 Q. With regard to the incidents that you just

6 described to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury

7 here involving Mr. Jackson and the child you’ve

8 identified as Jordan, correct?

9 A. Yes, sir.

10 Q. Are those — is that — is that what you

11 told the grand jury when you were interviewed back

12 in 1994?

13 A. Yes, sir, I did.

The incidents Sneddon referred to were Chacon’s alleged observation of some ‘fondling’ in the recreation house restroom (discussed in detail in this post) and a smaller incidence of ‘groping’ which he allegedly saw when Michael and Jordan were standing in front of the security office next to the main house. Chacon’s colleague Kassim Abdool had entered that office building just a second before the incident, the area around it was naturally lit, the scene took place in full view of everyone and continued for probably “10 seconds, 20 minutes” as Chacon put it –  well, we will not even go into it due to its sheer absurdity.

Chacon claimed he had described all of it to the Santa Barbara grand jury and repeated this statement to Thomas Mesereau who clearly disbelieved it.


9 Q. Okay. By the way, when you went to the

10 Santa Barbara Grand Jury, you didn’t tell them

11 everything you said today, did you?

12 A. Yes, sir.

13 Q. Everything?

14 A. Yes, sir.

As Chacon’s examination continued Sneddon used one of his conjurer tricks – he asked Chacon if he had told the grand jury ‘the truth’.

Please don’t think that the question was simple – it wasn’t. In Sneddon’s interpretation ‘the truth’ was of course that false molestation story, however the answer given by Chacon could indeed be a truthful one – if he told the Santa Barbara grand jury of Michael’s innocence it was indeed the truth.

The only problem here is that the jury was not aware of the trick and was made to believe the conjurer.  Chacon’s answer was that he had told the truth to the grand jury, and it was indeed correct, but the impression his words produced was wrong as the context suggested by Sneddon made everyone presume that it was the ‘molestation’ story that was the truth.

Michael’s lawyers also wanted to know what kind of  ‘truth’ Chacon had to tell to the grand jury, but had no chance to learn it:


13 Q. When you testified before the grand jury,

14 were you under subpoena?

15 A. Yes, sir.

18 Q. Prior to your appearance before the grand

19 jury, you told the ladies and gentlemen that you met

20 with attorneys for Mr. Jackson; is that correct?

21 A. Yes, sir.

22 Q. And with regard to that conversation, did

23 they want to know what you were going to say?

24 A. They did.

25 Q. And what did you tell them?

26 A. I said that I got subpoenaed, and if I got

27 subpoenaed, that I would just speak the truth, but I

28 didn’t tell them what I knew, but they wanted to                     

1 know.

2 Q. They wanted to know, but you wouldn’t tell

3 them?

4 A. Yes, sir.

5 Q. But you told them you were going to tell the

6 grand jury the truth?

7 A. Yes, sir.

8 Q. And did you do that?

9 A. Yes, sir.

Poor Jackson’s lawyers – in that situation there were at a decided disadvantage. If the hearings had taken place before the judge (like in Conrad Murray’s case, for example), the defense lawyers could have been present at the witnesses’ testimonies, could have asked them questions or could at least know what these witnesses had to say.

However the prosecution chose the alternative way and submitted their case to the grand jury, whose sessions are very secretive and not allowed to be attended by the defense. Nor did Michael’s lawyers have a chance to get familiar with the grand jury transcripts, because it is only if the case goes to a trial that they become accessible to the other side.  But if there is no indictment the standard procedure is to have them sealed for an indefinite time or even destroyed – why keep some preliminary transcripts if no criminal charges are brought against the person?

So the note we make here is that the transcripts of the 1994 grand jury hearings were not available  to Michael’s defense lawyers and this is why they had to rely only on some depositions taken in that period, Chacon’s interview with Mr. Sanger (the lawyer who was representing Michael Jackson both in 1994 and 2005), and on what Ralph Chacon, Tom Sneddon and Russell Birchim had to say about it at the 2005 trial.

In short the defense had to rely on very fragmented information and mostly on the word of the other side. I repeat, on their word and if the prosecutors were not honest about what the grand jury heard they could claim whatever they liked and no one would be able to fact-check it. The prosecutors were the only ones present at the hearings, all the transcripts were destroyed and what was really said there was known only to Tom Sneddon, the sheriffs, Ralph Chacon and the members of the grand jury of course.

Well, the members of the Santa Barbara grand jury have already had their say – they didn’t hear a single damaging testimony during the hearings. And this leaves us only with Tom Sneddon and Ralph Chacon, and also Detective Russell Birchim of the sheriff department. Though Birchim probably didn’t attend those hearings personally, he was nevertheless fully aware of all the information.

And this is why the word of Russell Birchim is so important for us. Out of the three of them – Sneddon, Chacon and Birchim – the latter is probably the only one who can tell us the truth, of course within the limits set by his colleague, the Santa Barbara DA Tom Sneddon who was actually examining him at the 2005 trial.

Apparently, Michael Jackson’s defense also put much hope on Detective Birchim as it was the defense and not Tom Sneddon who subpoenaed him at the 2005 trial.

So what did Detective Birchim have to say about Ralph Chacon and his story?


Detective Russell Birchim was employed by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Santa Barbara Sheriff department and worked in close cooperation with Tom Sneddon’s DA office on investigating the 1994 Chandler case.

When he testified at the 2005 trial he certainly didn’t say a word to contradict Sneddon, but his testimony is still valuable to us as a means to establish the sequence of events back in 1994. Once this sequence is correct, it will help us to fish out some extremely clear details out of the muddy waters of the official story.

In his testimony Birchim says that on April 29, 1994 he and Detective Monk called on Ralph Chacon and Kassim Abdool to serve them with a subpoena. The subpoena was for the Los Angeles grand jury where both were supposed to appear on May 9th.

Please remember that it was the Los Angeles grand jury and not the Santa Barbara one:


3 Q. Do you recall contacting two security guards

4 for the purpose of serving them with a grand jury

5 subpoena?

6 A. In 1994, yes. Not ‘93.

9 Q. I’m sorry. Okay. In 1994, did you contact

10 Kassim and Ralph Chacon?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. There you go. All right. And where did you

13 first contact them?

14 A. At their homes in Lompoc, their respective

15 homes.

16 Q. All right. And what was the purpose of

17 contacting them?

18 A. Serve them with grand jury subpoenas, a

19 sitting grand jury in Los Angeles, California, I

20 think, for May 9th of ‘94.

1 Q. Did we establish that day was 4-29-94?

2 A. Yes, sir.

On the first meeting with the sheriff detectives on April 29th neither Abdool, nor Chacon shared any information with them, however at that stage no one expected it of them.


16 Q. Commander Birchim, when you went out to

17 serve Mr. Abdool and Mr. Chacon on the 29th of April

18 of 1994, was it your purpose or intention to do an

19 interview of them at that time?

20 A. No, it wasn’t.

Birchim gave his business card to each of the guards and asked them to call if they had any ‘observations’ to share with the police. And five days later, on May 4th Kassim Abdool did indeed call him and asked him for a meeting, though setting a condition that it should take place in a secluded place.


3 Q. Now, when was the next time you had any

4 contact with Mr. Abdool?

5 A. That would have been in — on May 4th, I

6 believe, of ‘94.

7 Q. May 4th, did Mr. Abdool phone and request a

8 meeting?

9 A. Yes, he did.

10 Q. Did he — did he have any restrictions on

11 what kind of a meeting he would have with you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What were the restrictions?

14 A. He wanted to meet Detective Monk and I alone

15 with Ralph Chacon, in a secluded area away from

16 Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.

The reason why they wanted to meet in a secluded place was that they were allegedly afraid that someone from Michael Jackson’s defense team would see them talking to law-enforcement officers.

The condition set by Abdool was fulfilled. Birchim found a secluded spot which was a rest stop on the road halfway between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara and this is where he and Detective Monk met Abdool and Chacon on May 5th.

Kassim Abdool

Kassim Abdool

Abdool, who did all the talking, informed the detectives that two days prior to that, on May 3rd the defense had contacted the guards and offered them a free lawyer to accompany them to the Los Angeles grand jury hearings.

That lawyer could not be present in the grand jury room either, but he could stay behind the door outside the room and answer the witnesses’ questions in case they needed his consultation.   This is how the defense probably wanted to learn what questions the prosecution was asking and what replies they received.

However Abdool and Chacon declined the offer saying that they would tell only ‘the truth’ and ‘for that they didn’t need a lawyer’.


6 Q. And at that meeting on the 5th, when you met

7 with those — with Mr. Kassim and Mr. — I’m sorry,

8 with Mr. Abdool and Mr. Chacon, they indicated to

9 you that they had actually had a meeting on the 3rd

10 of May with representatives of Mr. Jackson’s

11 attorney team, correct?

15 THE WITNESS: That’s correct, yes.

16 Q. And they indicated to you

17 at that time that they had been offered the services

18 of a free lawyer to appear before the Santa Barbara

19 Countythe Los Angeles County Grand Jury,

20 correct?


5 Q. Now, did they, in fact, tell you on that

6 particular occasion that they had been asked to have

7 representatives of Mr. Jackson present at the grand

8 jury hearing and that they declined those services

9 and told them they were simply going to tell the

10 truth and they didn’t need a lawyer for that?

17 A. Yes.

On the same day, May 3rd Abdool and Chacon were also contacted by the investigator working for Michael Jackson’s team and this was evidently the reason why they told the sheriffs that ‘they could be in danger from Mr. Jackson’s people if they told what they knew”.


18 Q. And at the meeting that Mr. Sanger asked you

19 about at Gaviota on May 5th, 1994, both Mr. Abdool

20 and Chacon indicated to you that they could be in

21 danger from Mr. Jackson’s people if they told what

22 they knew, correct?

23 A. Yes, that’s correct.

You will probably recall Pellicano at this point, but Pellicano had left the case half a year earlier, so the investigator who contacted them was Eric Mason – the man who did investigative work for Michael’s defense both in 1994 and 2005 and whose findings for that trial proved truly invaluable.

Birchim’s testimony has no details of the guards’ conversation with Eric Mason and all we know is that it was a telephone call from Mason and Abdool and Chacon indicated to him that at the LA grand jury hearings they would tell ‘the truth’.


18 Q. Did they tell you whether

19 or not, after that conversation with Mr. Jackson’s

20 lawyers on May 3rd, whether or not they’d ever been

21 contacted by an investigator representing Mr.

22 Jackson?

23 A. Yes.

4 Who was — they identified the person as Mr.

5 Mason, did they not?

9 A. Yes, Eric Mason.

21 Q. And they told you that, in the call from Mr.

22 Mason, that they indicated to Mr. Mason that they

23 were going to tell the truth when they testified

24 before the grand jury?

25 A. Yes, that’s correct.

At their second meeting with the detectives Abdool and Chacon didn’t share any information with them – their message centered solely on the idea that they were in ‘danger’.

This had nothing to do with reality of course, because when they went to tabloids a little later no such thing bothered them in the least.

Evidently at the pretext of needing protection Abdool requested a meeting with District Attorney Tom Sneddon which was promptly arranged for the following day, May 6th. Besides Sneddon and the two guards it was attended by detectives Birchim and Monk.


3 Q. All right. Did Mr. Abdool tell you that he

4 had any specific information with regard to any

5 criminal activity?

6 A. No, he didn’t.

7 Q. Did he request a meeting with District Attorney Tom Sneddon?

8 A. Yes.

14 All right. And did you arrange for a

15 meeting between Mr. Abdool and Mr. Chacon and Mr.

16 Sneddon?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Did you attend the meeting that eventually

19 occurred?

20 A. Yes, I did.

21 Q. Okay. Now, when did that meeting occur?

22 A. May 6th, ‘94.

23 Q. All right. And who was present besides Mr.

24 Sneddon?

25 A. Ralph Chacon, Kassim Abdool and myself.

26 I believe Detective Monk was also there.

And it is at this point of the story that you are in for a very big surprise – though it was their third meeting with the prosecution team, they didn’t say anything to them again and were still speaking in riddles and keeping them in suspense.

According to Birchim Chacon and Abdool described their ‘knowledge’ in hypothetical terms and didn’t even indicate that it was them who had it. They were talking about it in terms of what if they knew?


27 Q. All right. At that time, did Mr. Abdool or

28 Mr. Chacon state that they had eyewitness accounts

1 as witnesses of illegal activity?

2 A. No, they did not.

3 Q. Did they ask hypothetical questions in the

4 form, “Well, what if we had information?”

5 A. They did not specify “we.” They asked what

6 if they had information.


4 THE WITNESS: They indicated they may have

5 that evidence, yes, they did.

6 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: I couldn’t hear you.

7 A. They did indicate that they had that

8 knowledge or had knowledge about who might have that

9 knowledge, yes.                                                                         

10 Q. And it was related in a hypothetical,

11 correct?

12 A. Yes.

Every time they said they ‘knew someone who might have knowledge’  the name of Victor Gutierrez crossed my mind and the same probably occurred to Mr. Sanger too. In fact, he even asked Birchim whether a third party was involved, to which Birchim gave a somewhat evasive answer that  ‘the information would come from them’:

19 THE WITNESS: They indicated hypothetically

20 what information they may have.

21 Q. BY MR. SANGER: They didn’t say they had it.

22 They said they might know that somebody might have

23 that?                                                                                                     

24 A. Information that would come from them.

25 Q. And they asked you if that would be valuable

26 to you, didn’t they?

27 A. Yes.

We see that as a result of the third meeting Abdool and Chacon were still promising a sweet carrot to the prosecution and in a hypothetical what-if-they-had-it form too, which most probably had a side meaning to it – what good would it do to them if they shared it?

To me all these prolonged negotiations look more like bargaining a deal and this suspicion grows only stronger when Birchim tells us the details of that conversation. It turns out that Abdool and Chacon asked about the government witness protection program and its conditions. Birchim said that they were ‘not specific about what they would receive’, but it is clear that the terms of the deal were discussed.

In addition to that Chacon mentioned – as if to dismiss our last doubts – that he owed child support and that tabloids were also interested in their information and could purchase it from them, only they were so highly moral people that they could offer it only to the police.


7 Q. Did they ask if they could be placed into a

8 government witness program?

9 A. Yes, they did.

10 Q. Did they ask what was involved in being

11 placed in a government witness program?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did they ask if they would receive

14 compensation while in that program?

15 A. I don’t believe it was that general — it

16 was more general than that. It wasn’t that specific

17 as to what they would receive.

18 Q. Did Mr. Chacon indicate that he owed child

19 support?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. At some point during this conversation, did

22 both Mr. Abdool and Mr. Chacon say that they had

23 information that the tabloids would probably

24 purchase from them?

25 A. I don’t remember the specific words. It was

26 akin to that statement, yes.

27 Q. And did they tell you that instead, they

28 felt morally obligated to tell the truth in the

1 grand jury proceedings?

2 A. Yes.

20 Q. Okay. Now, the fact is that Mr. Abdool and

21 Mr. Chacon said to you they might have to go to the

22 tabloid, or the tabloids were interested in

23 purchasing stories from them; is that right?

24 A. They said they had information that would be

25 valuable to the tabloids.

26 Q. Okay. And they said they weren’t going to

27 do that, right?

28 A. That’s correct.

1 Q. And you’re aware that they, in fact, did

2 that; isn’t that right?

3 A. That’s correct.

19 Q. At the conclusion of the meeting, they still

20 had not told either you, Detective Monk, or District

21 Attorney Tom Sneddon what they knew; is that right?

22 A. That’s correct.

So the third meeting with these highly-moral witnesses brought the prosecution team nowhere again, however for Ralph Chacon that conversation turned out to be a constructive one. Believe it or not, but sometime after that third meeting he did receive money from Detective Birchim!

Ralph Chacon

Ralph Chacon

We know it from Chacon’s own testimony where initially he was completely forgetful of the fact, but in the process of cross-examination recovered his memory to a point when he even recalled the reason why he needed that money – his wife’s sister-in-law died and we would have heard more of it, only Sneddon stopped him at that and said it was not important.

It is also noteworthy that a certain sum of money was not the only benefit of that meeting – Birchim and Sneddon provided Chacon with a gun permit which he desired very much and carried for two years after that.

Here is an excerpt from Ralph Chacon’s testimony:


14 Q. Did you approach anyone with regard to

15 obtaining a gun permit?

16 A. Yes, sir.

17 Q. And who did you approach?

18 A. I asked Mr. Birchim and yourself for a gun

19 permit. So I carried a concealed weapon permit for

20 about two years, I believe it was.

21 Q. You indicated that you may have asked

22 Sergeant or now Commander Birchim for money for your

23 wife —

24 A. Yes, sir.

25 Q. — do you recall?

26 Do you remember why that was?

27 A. Yes, sir.

28 Q. Why was that?

1 A. Well, my wife’s sister-in-law had just died,

2 and —

3 Q. That’s all right, I’ll withdraw the

4 question. That’s okay. It’s not important.

Besides noting all these interesting details of a mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides let us make one more note which is more important than everything else here.

Now we know for a fact that as a result of the third meeting on May 6th 1994 Tom Sneddon still knew nothing of the essence of Chacon’s allegations and heard only some vague stories in their hypothetical form.

Three days later, on May 9th Kassim Abdool appeared before the Los Angeles grand jury as he was supposed to, however Ralph Chacon didn’t go. Instead he made a statement to District Attorney Tom Sneddon and Detective Russell Birchim. This happened the day after he was supposed to appear in front of the grand jury – on May 10th and this is when his revelation about ‘Jordie’s molestation’ long desired by the police finally arrived.

No one bothered to explain why Chacon didn’t go to the LA grand jury and made a statement instead. All he said was that he was afraid that his job would be jeopardized, which is no explanation at all. Whether his statement was read out to the grand jury or he made his personal appearance there it didn’t make much difference for Michael Jackson’s defense – they wouldn’t know about it either way. They simply wouldn’t be present there to hear any of it.

What Chacon was really afraid of were the questions from the LA grand jury – like, for example, why he kept silent about those alleged incidents for so long, and why he never informed the police, and why he shared this information with his immediate boss and friend Kassim Abdool only when he received a subpoena to the LA grand jury.

Chacon was so lost on what to reply that even a simple question at the 2005 trial about the first time he shared his story with Abdool made him stammer in confusion:

18 Q. Okay. Now, when did you first tell Kassim

19 Abdool, your co-plaintiff against Mr. Jackson, about

20 this alleged molestation you witnessed?

21 A. Probably when — when we — when we knew

22 that we were going to be subpoenaed to the grand

23 jury.

And the need to specify when exactly he told his story to the sheriffs sent him almost into a panic:

25 Q. Okay. When you first met with

26 representatives of the sheriff’s department, did you

27 tell them everything that you have said today about

28 Mr. Jackson allegedly molesting young men?

1 A. Um, when you mean a sheriff, a certain

2 sheriff, or at the sheriff’s department, or — I

3 don’t understand.

4 Q. Let me rephrase.

5 When you first spoke to a sheriff from Santa

6 Barbara, did you tell that sheriff everything you’ve

7 said today in court?

8 A. No, sir.

9 Q. The story has changed considerably since

10 your first meeting with a sheriff, true?

11 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m going to

12 object to the use of the word “considerably”as

13 argumentative.

14 THE COURT: Sustained.

When Sneddon approached the slippery subject of Chacon’s refusal to appear before the LA grand jury his questions to Birchim also turned into a mess. You won’t be able to make heads or tails of what he said there – Sneddon made it sound so vague that even the judge couldn’t understand what he was talking about.

This is how it looked when Sneddon was examining Detective Birchim:

26 Q. Were you present during a

27 conversation where Mr. Chacon was called in and

28 appeared before — his statement was taken under

1 oath?

6 THE COURT: I think the question is vague. I

7 can’t tell exactly what you’re referring to.

8 MR. SNEDDON: I’ll clarify it.

9 Q. On May the 10th of 1994, Mr. Chacon appeared   

10 before an individual — or appeared in a hearing and

11 was placed under oath. Were you present then?

12 MR. SANGER: Objection. First of all,

13 that’s a statement, not a question. And it’s

14 compound, assumes facts not in evidence.

15 THE COURT: Sustained.

The objection from the defense left the question unanswered and this saved Tom Sneddon from having to further clarify the subject he so clearly wanted to avoid.

The only idea that really stood out from this unintelligible torrent of words was that Chacon’s statement was made ‘under oath’. This was the only point Sneddon wanted to impress on the jurors  – the rest of it was deliberately made obscure and was meant to go unnoticed, and it did.

Well, whether under oath or not under it, the crucial point here is that Ralph Chacon made his statement after his appearance before the Santa Barbara grand jury and not during it as Sneddon wanted everyone to think. Sneddon repeatedly stated the lie that Chacon told his full story to the 1994 grand jury and deliberately muddied the waters as to which grand jury it was.

However before the Los Angeles grand jury Chacon did not appear; and before the Santa Barbara grand jury he did appear, but didn’t say a single bad word about Michael Jackson, so as a result none of them heard Chacon’s story, at least in his personal presentation of it.

But why are we so sure that Chacon didn’t tell his story to the Santa Barbara grand jury and how do we learn about it?

We learn it by simply looking at the 1994 calendar.


Remember the two pieces of news about disbanding the Santa Barbara grand jury which this post started with?

The piece from the Independent was dated Monday, May 2nd 1994 and said that local television announced the news on Saturday.

Monday 2 May 1994. “The Santa Barbara County grand jury, one of two California grand juries investigating sex-abuse allegations against Michael Jackson, has ended its deliberations without returning an indictment, a local television station reported on Saturday, Reuter reports from Los Angeles.”

When we look up the calendar for April-May 1994 we find that the Saturday was April 30th.

And the CNN news report, also dated May 2nd, directly names Friday as the day when the Santa Barbara grand jury was disbanded:

After three months of investigating child molestation allegations against Michael Jackson, the Santa Barbara County grand jury disbanded Friday without announcing any action.”

All we need to do now is look up the calendar and see the exact date when the Santa Barbara grand jury was disbanded. The date turns out to be Friday April 29th (Wiki says something different, so please correct it on this point). 


April 29th 1994 was the date when the Santa Barbara grand jury was disbanded

But look here, on April 29th Detective Birchim was only serving Chacon and Abdool with their subpoenas to the Los Angeles grand jury, and Chacon’s ‘molestation’ story was not even in the air at that moment.

His story acquired its material form only on May 10th when Chacon finally made his statement to the police, and this is only when Tom Sneddon and Birchim really first heard it.

So the correct sequence of events is telling us that it was totally impossible for Ralph Chacon to testify about that alleged ‘molestation’ in front of the Santa Barbara grand jury simply because by the time he revealed his story that grand jury had already been disbanded.

And this means that at the Santa Barbara hearings he said something different and evidently testified to Michael’s innocence as otherwise Sneddon wouldn’t have had to make so complicated a scam around this issue.

And though during his 2005 testimony Chacon would not confirm it, Michael’s lawyers knew it and repeatedly reminded him that initially he said to other people that Michael Jackson was innocent of the accusations.


3 Q. Okay. Mr. Chacon, in late ‘93 and early

4 ‘94, you told other people that Michael Jackson was

5 innocent of molestation accusations, didn’t you?

6 A. No, sir.

7 Q. Never told that to anyone at the ranch?

8 A. No, sir.

15 Q. And before you went to Mr. Ring, you had

16 told various people that you never saw anything

17 inappropriate at Neverland, true?

18 A. No, sir.

19 Q. You told various people you’d never seen

20 Michael Jackson molest anybody, true?

21 A. No, sir.

There can’t be any doubt now that in the period between the subpoenas to two grand juries Ralph Chacon radically changed his story – before the Santa Barbara grand jury he testified to Michael’s innocence and in his statement in Sneddon’s office he testified to the opposite. As to the LA grand jury he simply never went there.

‘So what of it?’, Michael’s haters will exclaim. ‘Adrian McManus also changed her story – in 1993 she said one thing and at the 2005 trial she said another thing and admitted that throughout her first testimony she lied. They were simply afraid to tell the truth’.

Let us leave Chacon and McManus to their shame of first testifying to one thing and then to another and both times doing it under oath. It shows how flexible and versatile these witnesses are.

But what astonishes me most is that District Attorney Tom Sneddon was fully aware of Chacon’s lies and was a willing and active participant in their promotion at the 2005 trial.

The thing is that Sneddon was the prosecutor who presented that case to the Santa Barbara grand jury, so he knew perfectly well that Chacon did not speak of any ‘molestation’ there. He himself learned about it only on May 10th 1994.

However at the 2005 trial he fabricated a totally different sequence of the events. And the way he was misleading the jury and twisting the facts was simply reprehensible.


tom-sneddonTo convince the jury of his fraudulent picture of the events the DA Sneddon used a whole combination of tricks typical of a professional conjurer only – he omitted facts, picked them out of order and put them back into a different chronology, he made his questions intentionally vague to lead the jury to interpret them the wrong way and he forced his witnesses to tell blatant lies.

For example, look at this excerpt (which this post started with) from Ralph Chacon’s testimony at the 2005 trial:


5 Q. With regard to the incidents that you just

6 described to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury

7 here involving Mr. Jackson and the child you’ve

8 identified as Jordan, correct?

9 A. Yes, sir.

10 Q. Are those — is that — is that what you

11 told the grand jury when you were interviewed back

12 in 1994?

13 A. Yes, sir, I did.

The above is a brazen lie. Chacon could not relate those incidents to the Santa Barbara grand jury (they were invented much later), and Sneddon knew perfectly well that he didn’t (he himself was present there and never heard them), however at the 2005 trial he invited Chacon to lie about it and the latter obliged.

Or take the following Sneddon’s dialog with Chacon:

12 <>With regard to the testimony you’ve just

13 related to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury here

14 this morning, did you also describe those incidents

15 to the — when you were asked to make a statement

16 under oath?

17 A. Yes, sir.

18 Q. When you were subpoenaed to the grand jury?

19 A. Yes, sir.                                                                      

This trick is a more complicated one. If taken separately both facts are true – Chacon made a statement (in Sneddon’s office) at approximately the same time when he was subpoenaed to the Los Angeles grand jury. But putting these two facts into a different context creates the impression that Sneddon is talking about a statement made in front of the Santa Barbara grand jury –  and this is of course a big lie.

Or look at another of Sneddon’s blatant lies. Over here his insolence is simply astonishing:

4 Q. Now, with regard — just so the jury has a

5 clear indication of the sequence here, you were

6 subpoenaed to appear before the Santa Barbara County

7 Grand Jury, correct?

8 A. Yes, sir.

9 Q. Now, when you actually gave your statement

10 under oath, was there a line of jurors like this in

11 the room?

12 A. Back in ninety —

13 Q. ‘94, when you came in.

14 A. Yes, sir.

Over here Sneddon says that Chacon was subpoenaed before the Santa Barbara grand jury (true) and claims that it is there that he made his ‘molestation’ statement (false), forcing Chacon to pretend that he gave his statement not in Sneddon’s office (as it really was), but before the grand jurors sitting in front of him like the people in the 2005 trial courtroom (flagrant lie).

And in addition to that Sneddon declares that this is how he is helping the 2005 jury to have ‘a clear indication of the sequence’ of those events!

In the face of such cynicism I am lost for words, really lost for words. And it seems to me that even Chacon didn’t expect Sneddon to make him lie so blatantly – his slow answer shows him having a difficulty to imagine that what he did in the presence of Sneddon and Birchim only, allegedly happened in front of a big panel of people akin to those jurors who were looking at him at that moment.

And you know what? Even that was not enough for Tom Sneddon. He continued to rub his lie in:

16 <> Let me

17 put it this way: After you appeared before the

18 Santa Barbara Grand Jury and gave a statement under

19 oath, do you recall that?

20 A. Oh, yes, sir.

21 Q. And you went back to work at the ranch, did

22 you not?

23 A. Yes, sir.

Now it was no longer difficult for Ralph Chacon.  Once the lie is uttered and even visualized it is easy to repeat it, and he obligingly perjures himself by stating that he appeared before the Santa Barbara grand jury and ‘made his statement there’.

And now there is no stopping Tom Sneddon – he repeats the lie again and again, and even starts decorating it with a ‘threat’ element:

6 <> After you testified before the grand jury

7 and gave your statement under oath about what you

8 saw happen on those two incidents – okay? – did you

9 receive threats?

10 A. Oh, yes, sir.

20 Q. You said you were threatened. In what form?

21 A. Verbally, and — well, verbally, and

22 somewhat physically by someone touching their —

23 Tony Coleman touching his weapon.

24 Q. Tony Coleman was who?

25 A. He was OSS.

1 A. We were in the security office, and we were

2 arguing about an intruder that came in, and he

3 wanted to do it his way. And I said, “If you do it

4 that way, we’re going to” — “it’s not the

5 procedure.”

6 And then he says, “Well, I’m going to do it

7 my way because I’m here to oversee you.” And he

8 touched — he pulled his coat back and he touched

9 his weapon, and he says, “I’m in charge here.” I

10 believe that’s the words he used.

11 Q. Did he at any other time ever use his weapon

12 to indicate a threat towards you?

13 A. No, sir, that was about the first time.

In my opinion Tom Sneddon was a much bigger threat to the society and truth in general than any of those security guards.

He lied and made others lie, he coerced people and bullied them, he distorted the truth and turned the facts inside out, and he seemed to derive a kind of sadistic pleasure from manipulating his witnesses and forcing them to lie even more than they were willing to.

The judgement against Chacon that he acted with malice, fraud and oppression against Michael Jackson should in the first place apply to District Attorney Tom Sneddon – the official who was supposed to stand guard over truth and justice, but in fact violated them both.

Ralph Chacon is a scumbag all right, but his malice towards Michael Jackson is fading in comparison with the malice, fraud and oppression to which Sneddon subjected Michael and for so long too.

Now that you know the truth and the proper sequence of events you will realize how big a liar Sneddon was when you look at this excerpt from the official document which Sneddon presented to the judge to convince him that ‘witnesses’ like Ralph Chacon should be allowed to testify at the 2005 trial about Michael’s so-called prior bad acts. In this motion he openly lies about Ralph Chacon’s testimony:


Sneddon’s glaring lie in the above document is seen best when you compare it with the information about the time when the Santa Barbara grand jury was actually disbanded:


And as a small postscript to this story let me also note that right at the time when Ralph Chacon was making his statement in Sneddon’s office on May 10th 1994, another player of this circus, Victor Gutierrez appeared on Hard Copy to read out from his book of lies about Jackson called “the diary of Jordan Chandler”. The dates were the same – May 9th and 10th 1994.

So now that we have District Attorney Tom Sneddon and other prosecutors, the Santa Barbara sheriffs, a book author Victor Gutierrez, the host of Hard Copy Diane Dimond, Ralph Chacon and many other similar ‘witnesses’ tirelessly working against Michael Jackson day and night and in the incredible unison with each other, will there be anyone to doubt that all these people were involved in a frame-up of Michael?

And considering that most of them are still alive shouldn’t we approach them and ask a question WHY?



If anyone wants to learn more about how the grand jury functions here are some  links:

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Talia Giftt permalink
    December 15, 2016 10:53 am

    These people are so crooked. I don’t know why these people aren’t in jail yet. It shows how messed this world really is. Because they really are the true criminals in this whole case. Also can you block the people who write horrible comments on this blog by any chance. Just wondering because I was surprised there are some haters on this page and it is kind of disheartening to see. All and all though, I love your work. Thanks again. You’re the best.


  2. December 15, 2016 2:17 pm

    “Also can you block the people who write horrible comments on this blog by any chance.” – Talia Giftt

    Talia, I’ve probably missed something but could you specify please where these comments are? To which post?


  3. Talia Gifty permalink
    December 15, 2016 3:03 pm

    A comment on Macaulay Culkin tells all. Someone called Whatever posted a rude comment. There was one on the Insider about love, sex, and jealousy. Someone commented MJ only liked you know what gender. I also saw one on the post about jordan chandler saying MJ was circumcised, someone wrote something disrespectful as well.
    Not bashing you. And I know we can’t keep haters, non fans, and people who believe MJ FACTS, biased media, and TABLOIDS. But I don’t know it gets discouraging when I see that. Just wanted to let you know. Hopefully I didnt offend. You are doing a great job and please don’t get offended by me addressing this.


  4. December 15, 2016 4:20 pm

    “And I know we can’t keep haters, non fans, and people who believe MJ FACTS, biased media, and TABLOIDS. But I don’t know it gets discouraging when I see that. Just wanted to let you know.” – Talia

    Talia, I understand. And how discouraging it can be too. But this blog is not a fan blog, but a research one, and to be able to establish the truth it is often necessary to see what the other side says. You will be surprised to know that initially it was mostly haters’ blogs which provided me with food for research.

    Now the situation is different. If they come here they usually masquerade as Michael’s fans and are exceptionally polite, very often misguiding other readers and sometimes me too. Usually I give them all the benefit of the doubt to see what their truth worth is, as I don’t want to make a mistake, so for some time we have to put up with their comments. And according to our rules unless they insult Michael they may stay.

    However if you see some instances where they break the rules please bring it to my attention and I’ll take care of that. I’ve already redacted the comment by a certain “whatever” by erasing one word there.


  5. December 15, 2016 5:34 pm

    “I don’t know why these people aren’t in jail yet. Because they really are the true criminals in this whole case.” – Talia Giftt

    The difference between this post and the posts written earlier is that now we have undeniable proof that Tom Sneddon was fabricating evidence against Michael Jackson. Now it is a fact and not an assumption.

    Consequently, it wouldn’t be bad to demand some explanations from the members of his prosecution team, for example, Ron Zonen, who was the Deputy District Attorney at the time. The question could be how he can explain that in the official document submitted to the judge they told a lie that Ralph Chacon allegedly testified to a certain ‘molestation scene’ in front of the grand jury while they knew all along that he didn’t do it? They were the only people present during those hearings and they were the first to know it.

    This version appeared only much later and under very strange circumstances too, when Ralph Chacon received a sum of money from one of the sheriffs. And who sponsored it, by the way? Did they use the money from the DA office budget on financing so dubious a project?

    In short many questions can be asked if someone cares to make a respective interview with Ron Zonen.


  6. Talia Gifty permalink
    December 15, 2016 5:40 pm

    Thank you. I am a researcher as well. Not really a fan until I did my research. I gained a lot of respect for Michael Jackson after seeing all that he went through. So I just don’t understand how anyone could actually think that fans are just defending him because of his music. When I was younger, I believed the lies sort of at first because of my family but now. No. Anyway thank you so much. I am sorry if I am nagging you. You really give a lot of great information and I understand you completely. Thanks again. Sorry if this is all stressful just trying to gain some more understanding in all this nonsense.


  7. December 15, 2016 8:36 pm

    Thanks for your research–I continue to be amazed by and grateful for your diligence. I do hope that someone will finally feel some regret and try to make amends by telling us why and how this all happened. I have my own theories, but I’d love to hear it from the people who were there and saw it happen.


  8. sanemjfan permalink
    December 22, 2016 8:05 pm

    This is off-topic, but here in the USA a new documentary special on MJ aired recently. It was hosted by Barbara Walters, and it included a lot of unseen footage and outtakes from previous MJ interviews in 1979 and 1997. It’s not on Youtube (it’s been blocked here), but it’s available to watch and download from this Russian video site. Enjoy!


  9. Asma permalink
    December 23, 2016 5:38 am

    Hi Sanemjfan,

    Thank you for the link. I had no idea there was a documentary this recent on Michael and by Barbara Walters at that, yet I live in the U.S. I tend to be very, very skeptical on anything the media does on him. I hope it’s good and fair? Thank you again.

    And Helena, I must say a dynamite post once again. I am still processing, but would like to speak on it once I’ve had the chance to re-read and digest.


  10. susannerb permalink
    December 25, 2016 8:24 am

    Helena, I finally took the time to read this post and I am immensely impressed. What an interesting post with several great discoveries proving Sneddon’s and Chacon’s lies. The fact that both Grand Juries in 1994 never heard Chacon’s allegations, should have been exposed a long time ago.

    When the transcripts of the Santa Barbara Grand Jury of 1994 had to be destroyed, this also means that Mesereau couldn’t call one of the 1994 Grand Jury members as a witness in 2005 to ask them about what was said, right? Because they were not allowed to talk about it anymore I guess. Otherwise it would have been a great chance for Mesereau to reveal the true nature of Sneddon’s accusations and what Chacon really said in front of the Grand Jury. And this means that Sneddon would have been exposed as the big liar he was. But Sneddon knew exactly that the defense was not able to discover what was really said due to the legal system that provides the instrument of the grand jury hearing to the prosecution where no defense is allowed.
    I just wonder what the members of this Grand Jury of 1994 personally thought about Sneddon when they heard of Sneddon’s scam in the 2005 trial – well, if they learned about Chacon’s testimony. “Cold man” Sneddon didn’t seem to care at all!


  11. December 25, 2016 9:03 am

    “This is off-topic, but here in the USA a new documentary special on MJ aired recently. It was hosted by Barbara Walters, and it included a lot of unseen footage and outtakes from previous MJ interviews in 1979 and 1997. It’s not on Youtube (it’s been blocked here), but it’s available to watch and download from this Russian video site. Enjoy!” – sanemjfan

    Oh sanemjfan, that was precious! I urge everyone to see it while it is still there. It’s the first documentary where you can decidedly feel a note of respect for Michael Jackson – and from a veteran of journalism like Barbara Walters. It is indeed precious to hear her say:

    “There was never anyone like Michael Jackson. I’m fortunate to have known him and his remarkable family”.


  12. December 25, 2016 11:11 am

    “Mesereau couldn’t call one of the 1994 Grand Jury members as a witness in 2005 to ask them about what was said, right? Because they were not allowed to talk about it anymore I guess” – susannerb

    Susannerb, thank you for raising this issue once again. Let me make it absolutely clear – the members of the grand jury are prohibited from talking about what they heard at the proceedings. Witnesses who testified before them can talk (with some restrictions too), but the grand jury members cannot.

    All information about those proceedings can come only from the grand jury transcripts and the rules of access to them vary. In California the rule is to disclose the grand jury transcripts only in case indictment is returned and only if the judge allows it. But if there is no indictment the grand jury transcripts are permanently sealed or destroyed by a court order. So in the circumstances when the grand jury members never talk and the grand jury transcripts are not available either corrupt prosecutors can take advantage of it and mislead the public as to what was really revealed by the grand jury.

    Here are some details:

    Access to grand jury information and material
    They meet in “a virtual bunker,” The Washington Post recently reported. Special elevator keys and closed-to-the-public passageways help shuttle them swiftly and secretly to their meeting place, sealed off from the rest of the building.
    A meeting of top presidential advisers?
    No — a gathering of grand jurors in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va.

    While Alexandria might be a more extreme example, it is a sign of secrecy surrounding grand juries nationwide. California prosecutors, concerned about protecting grand jurors’ privacy in Michael Jackson’s case on alleged child molestation charges, moved jurors from the main courthouse to a secret location, sending the press scrambling across Santa Barbara County and giving “a whole new meaning to the term ‘runaway jury,’” quipped Boston media lawyer Jeffrey Pyle of Prince Lobel Glovsky & Tye.

    What is a grand jury?

    Grand juries are summoned to evaluate a prosecutor’s evidence and decide whether it supports indicting, or formally charging, someone accused of a crime.

    According to the American Bar Association, grand juries are so named because of the relatively large number of jurors impaneled — up to 23 — as opposed to a petit jury or trial jury, which usually has only six or 12 members.

    Grand juries summon witnesses and documents with subpoenas. Witnesses, including custodians of documents, report on the scheduled date not to a courtroom, but to a hallway outside the room where the grand jury is sitting. The witness must enter the grand jury room alone, without his or her lawyer. No judge presides and none is present. . . . Inside the grand jury room are sixteen to twenty-three grand jurors, one or more prosecuting attorneys, and a court reporter. . . . The witness is sworn, and questioning commences, all to the end of determining whether ‘there is adequate basis for bringing a criminal charge.’” (In re Dow Jones & Co., Inc.)

    Grand jury proceedings have been held in secret since the 1600s. The secrecy rule, adopted from England, has become an integral — some say essential — part of the American criminal justice system. There is no First Amendment right of public access to grand jury proceedings. Participants, except witnesses, are forbidden from disclosing matters related to the grand jury, even after the grand jury’s activities have concluded.

    By the way this text shows that even if Ralph Chacon and Kassim Abdool had agreed to have a lawyer of their own, he still couldn’t be present at the proceedings, so I was wrong in my supposition. The most information he could get from them was from their personal interaction with each other.

    The text also cites a case when the prosecutors tried to mislead the court and as a result the suspects were indicted. To prove the prosecutors’ misconduct these people insisted on the grand jury transcripts to be released, and the trial court judge even allowed it, but his decision was appealed and then reversed – so this is how difficult it is to get the grand jury transcripts!

    Not for the media in the Michael Jackson case of course – after Michael’s indictment in April 2004 most of them were released to the public and appeared on the Smoking Gun.

    Obtaining transcripts

    Access to state grand jury transcripts varies. In California, transcripts of grand jury testimony become public record once an indictment is returned, unless a defendant can show a reasonable likelihood that release of part or all of the transcripts would prejudice his right to a fair trial.

    Other states have no such law. A Massachusetts trial judge recently unsealed all court documents except the grand jury transcripts in Commonwealth v. Pitsas, a case involving a retired dentist charged with accidentally poisoning an infant.

    In Aisenberg, the parents of a missing infant sued the government after federal prosecutors misled the court about evidence that was used to indict the couple for allegedly lying to investigators. A trial court judge ordered the complete disclosure of all the grand jury transcripts and the government appealed. The Court of Appeals in Atlanta reversed in February of this year. ….one of the reasons the court gave for keeping the grand jury transcript sealed was that evidence of the prosecution’s misconduct in the case already had been aired publicly at great length. The lower court was wrong when it decided disclosure was necessary “so that the public can know about this misdirected prosecution,” the appellate court concluded. “The public already knows.”

    The conclusion:

    So what does all this mean to journalists seeking access? There is no First Amendment right of access to grand jury proceedings. The longstanding rule of secrecy covers participants, documents, and other materials, as well as matters that are related to grand jury proceedings. It may even apply to witnesses to some extent.


  13. December 25, 2016 1:38 pm

    Susannerb, here is also a short piece on secrecy for the grand jury members from a GRAND JURUR’S HANDBOOK:

    Everything that happens in the grand jury room is secret. The purposes of grand jury secrecy are to obtain the full cooperation of the witnesses who appear before the grand jury, to permit grand jurors to make decisions free from outside interference, and to protect an innocent person who may be investigated but never indicted.

    Grand jurors must preserve the secrecy of the grand jury proceedings. Grand jurors may not discuss anything that occurs in the grand jury room with anyone other than the other members of the jury, the prosecutor or the judge, if necessary. Any discussion about the case by grand jurors must occur only in the grand jury room. When proposing questions for a witness, grand jurors should take care not to reveal the identity of another witness, the substance of another witness’s testimony, or other evidence they have heard or seen. Grand jurors may not tell others anything about any action the grand jury takes.

    Unlike others involved with the grand jury, witnesses are not required to keep their role secret. Grand jury witnesses are allowed to discuss their own testimony in public if they wish to do so. Anyone other than a witness who violates the secrecy of a grand jury is subject to serious penalties, including imprisonment. No one may talk to a grand juror about the grand jury’s work. A grand juror should immediately inform the jury staff, grand jury warden, the prosecutor or, if necessary, the judge if anyone outside the grand jury room approaches the grand juror and tries to talk about the grand jury or its work.

    And some more quotes about how the grand juries work:

    The prosecutor selects all the witnesses and other materials, and then presents them to the grand jury. Defense attorneys aren’t even allowed in same room as the grand jury, let alone permitted to put on defense witnesses, question the prosecution witnesses, or make any statements to the jurors. So grand juries nearly always just “rubber stamp” the cases brought before them. For example, in fiscal year 2000, federal grand juries voted to indict a total of 59,472 suspects and chose not to indict 29 suspects —only one out of every 2,000 suspects was left unindicted.

    About the witness consulting his attorney during his testimony:

    Your lawyer can’t be with you in a federal grand jury room, but he can be right outside the room and you have the right to consult with him after each and every question. In fact, you can spend as much time as you need conferring with your lawyer, as long as you are not attempting to disrupt the federal grand jury process. You can also leave the grand jury room in order to brief your attorney about the questions being asked and your responses. In most jurisdictions, you can take notes of questions asked during the grand jury session. These can later be shared with your attorney.”

    About indicting “a ham sandwich”:

    As a practical matter, a grand jury will almost always return an indictment presented to it by a prosecutor. This is the basis for Judge Sol Wachtler’s famous saying that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.

    So the fact that two grand juries in 1994 – in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles – refused to indict Michael means that there was absolutely no damaging evidence against him.


  14. December 25, 2016 2:39 pm

    Sorry for all this extra information about the way the grand jury works, but it helps a lot to understand how guilty Tom Sneddon was of grave prosecutorial misconduct.
    Here is one more piece that explains why Sneddon did not ask the 1994 grand juries to return an indictment and what was actually expected of him:

    Unlike in a trial, the grand jurors participate in questioning the witnesses. They also decide which witnesses and documents to subpoena, although in practice these decisions typically are made by prosecutors acting on the grand jury’s behalf. Throughout the process the prosecutor also acts as the grand jury’s legal advisor, explaining the charges and answering legal questions from the jurors.

    Those who defy a grand jury subpoena without a valid legal excuse may be jailed for contempt.

    At the end of a grand jury investigation the prosecutor may ask the grand jury to return an indictment, a document drafted by the prosecutor and containing the criminal charges. The vote does not need to be unanimous; only 12 grand jurors (out of a minimum quorum of 16) are required to approve the indictment. The standard for voting to indict is only a finding of probable cause to support the charges, not the much more stringent proof beyond a reasonable doubt that would be required for a conviction at trial.

    If the grand jury votes to indict (called a “true bill”), the indictment becomes document #1 in the public court file. The criminal trial process, with which everyone is more familiar, proceeds from there.

    The one-sided nature of the grand jury proceeding is perhaps its most controversial characteristic. [But] the grand jury’s job is not to determine how the story ends, but simply to decide whether the story should begin to be told at all. In making that determination, it has always been deemed sufficient — and fair — for the grand jury to hear predominantly the government’s side of the case.

    Those who argue that the grand jury is simply a rubber stamp for the prosecution frequently point out that the grand jury returns an indictment almost every time the prosecutor asks for one. This is true. Out of tens of thousands of federal cases presented in a year, only a handful are dropped because of the grand jury’s refusal to indict (a “no true bill”).

    But this criticism ignores the screening function performed by the very existence of the grand jury process itself. A fair percentage of grand jury investigations, particularly in white collar cases, end with prosecutors deciding not to seek an indictment. By going through the grand jury process, prosecutors learn about their cases and, in some instances, determine that no provable crime took place. When that happens, the investigation is simply closed down without asking the grand jury to vote.

    There’s no doubt the grand jury is an incredibly powerful institution. There’s a reason the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual specifies that the prosecutor in the grand jury is an officer of the court whose job “is to ensure that justice is done and that guilt shall not escape nor innocence suffer,” and that the prosecutor must be “scrupulously fair” in the grand jury. With great power comes great responsibility.

    A prosecutor with bad motives can indeed manipulate the grand jury process. He can conceal substantial exculpatory evidence, mislead the grand jury, and indict innocent people – or even ham sandwiches.

    Where there are concerns about misconduct, the answer lies in better screening and training of those selected to be prosecutors, and in prompt and meaningful sanctions for those who abuse their power.”


  15. susannerb permalink
    December 26, 2016 4:21 am

    Thank you, Helena, for clarifying this again. I think it’s important information, especially for those not familiar with the US judicial system.
    And from all this information it is absolutely clear that there was not the slightest evidence presented to the Grand Jury in 1994 and Chacon couldn’t have told his fairytale there. An unanimous vote wouldn’t even have been necessary. And even Sneddon couldn’t advise the Grand Jury to vote for an indictment.
    To me it was a crime when Sneddon presented Chacon’s testimony in 2005 as old evidence – in fact a loophole in the US legal system that Sneddon used in 2005 to deceive the trial jury, thank God without success in the end. But it’s proof that he tried to use every means to bring Michael into jail.


  16. rider permalink
    March 29, 2019 2:19 am

    What do you think about a recent leak of excerpts of Safechuck’ father’s grand jury testimony where he says he saw mj kiss Jimmy on the lips? If daily mail can get their hands on them they obviously weren’t destroyed and surely must have been available to the defence in 2005.


  17. March 29, 2019 4:07 am

    “What do you think about a recent leak of excerpts of Safechuck’ father’s grand jury testimony where he says he saw mj kiss Jimmy on the lips? If daily mail can get their hands on them they obviously weren’t destroyed and surely must have been available to the defence in 2005.” – rider

    I also saw those excerpts and was surprised that they existed. Usually when the grand jury doesn’t indict, the transcripts are destroyed as unnecessary ones. But here they do exist.
    However the fact that they are available to the Daily Mail does not mean that they were available to the defense. Available to the prosecution, but not the defense. During the grand jury hearings defense attorneys are not allowed to be present and all hearings take place in the presence of the prosecutor only.

    Obviously, the Daily Mail has contacts with the prosecution side and hence those leaks. Of course they chose the most “damning” parts which nevertheless show that Safechuck’s father was absolutely sure of Michael Jackson’s innocence. Even despite that kiss on the lips part.
    Who knows under what circumstances it could take place? It could be Jimmy embracing MJ, it could be some mock kiss, whatever – in any case even the father didn’t see anything odd about it and vehemently defended Michael.

    Children sometimes kiss adults in their zeal to show their love for them.


  18. rider permalink
    March 29, 2019 4:31 am

    Yeah, I also thought of this Paris photo when I heard about the kiss. Still, you have to admit the headline sounds pretty damning for the genearl public.
    What I wouldn’t give to get those transcipts in full.
    It’s bizarre that 14 whole years after the Arvizo debacle and with Sneddon dead some people in prosecutor’s office are still motivated enough to let a reporter to root through supposedly secret documents to look for some headline-grabbing bits.
    Btw, do you know if Safechuck’s father is still alive? He was conspicuously absent from the film.


  19. March 29, 2019 6:08 am

    “Btw, do you know if Safechuck’s father is still alive?” – rider

    I’ve read that he died in 2016.

    “Still, you have to admit the headline sounds pretty damning for the genearl public.”

    All media headlines are made to sound pretty damning when it comes to Michael Jackson. We are so used to it that I personally don’t pay attention. There is simply nothing else to expect while the present hysteria of lies and mud slinging continues.

    No illusions – no disappointment. I simply go on doing research, and hope that other Michael’s supporters do the same.


  20. walker permalink
    October 11, 2019 2:05 am

    Can we get a video of the transcript below?

    “The grand jury in the Michael Jackson investigation has been disbanded, and one jury member said no damaging evidence was heard.”

    I think this report is very important. But we have only MJ fan site source. We need more reliable source. Video or CNN URL source is needed.


  21. October 14, 2019 3:36 pm

    Can we get a video of the transcript below?
    “The grand jury in the Michael Jackson investigation has been disbanded, and one jury member said no damaging evidence was heard.” – walker

    If Jim Moret of CNN, who is no friend to Michael Jackson, says that a grand jury member said to CNN that no damaging evidence was heard, this is evidence enough. As far as I know the identities of the grand jury members are never disclosed to the public.

    And simple logic suggests that if there had been any damaging evidence, Michael Jackson would have been indicted in the 1993/94 case – either by one grand jury or the other (in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles). The criminal investigation was very thorough, it lasted for more than a year, 400 witnesses were heard (according to Tom Sneddon) but still there were no charges. Why? Because there was nothing to base their case against MJ on – no witnesses, no photos, no videos, even no statements from third parties. Even though the prosecution materials were looked into by two grand juries and were examined in the absence of MJ’s defense lawyers according to the grand jury rules.

    The only one person who later claimed that he was an eye-witness to Jordan Chandler’s molestation (Ralph Chacon) did not say a thing to the Santa Barbara grand jury, but then changed his story, which was right in time for the Los Angeles grand jury, however he still avoided testifying there and made a statement outside the grand jury hearings, only to D.A. Tom Sneddon – after he had received money from one of Sneddon’s detectives (literally received money, he admitted it in 2005) and got a two-year permit for carrying a gun.


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