D.O.D.: March 16, 1988 (Bradbury, CA)
Cause of Death: Homicide
Location: Rose Hills Memorial Park; Garden of Reflection; Lot 1576; #1
He held more speed records than any other man in the world.
He was the first American to (unofficially) break the 400 mph speed barrier in 1962.
He competed in over 10,00 races.
He invented the signal starting and foul light systems for drag strips, nitrogen gas shocks and wide oval tires.
He also invented a water safety wall used for racing and highways.
He and his wife were gunned down in their driveway by 2 men, who have yet to be caught.
LOS ANGELES , August 13 - The primary suspect in the 1988 murders of racing legend Mickey Thompson and his wife has been released from jail. Michael Goodwin has been the target of a grand jury investigation in the shootings of off-road racing promoter Thompson and his wife, Trudy. His attorney says he thinks his client was taken into custody so investigators could put him in a lineup despite a court order barring such an appearance. Authorities didn't say what prompted the arrest and it's unclear if he actually was placed in a lineup. Goodwin was once Thompson's business partner. He has repeatedly denied any involvement in the killings.
LOS ANGELES , August 13 - A witness to the 1988 contract murders of drag-racing legend Mickey Thompson and his wife apparently has put ex- business partner Michael Goodwin at the scene of the slayings. Goodwin was arrested Sunday night, while eating dinner at home in Dana Point, by Orange County sheriff's deputies executing a warrant issued from neighboring Los Angeles County. He was taken to the downtown Los Angeles jail and put into a lineup earlier Monday. Goodwin says sheriff's detectives don't have any hard evidence against him. "This whole thing is a farce and a setup and my treatment in jail (Monday) was exemplary of that," said 56-year-old Michael Goodwin, moments after his release from the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, where he reportedly was picked out of a lineup by a man and a woman. He was released from jail shortly after 6 Monday evening. With his attorney Jeff Benice at his side, Goodwin said it is absurd to think he orchestrated the killing of Thompson, with whom he had been involved in a financial dispute, and his wife. He said he and Thompson had patched up their financial differences the Saturday before two black men on 10-speed bicycles rode up and assassinated the couple as they were about to go to work. The killers left behind thousands of dollars in cash on the victims, and jewelry in the house. Goodwin claims he had no motive to hire someone to kill the Thompsons. A woman who saw Goodwin in the lineup reportedly has told authorities she noticed someone looking like him, but with longer hair, sitting in a battered car some distance from the murder scene in 1988 and watching through a binocular. "It's obvious to me, at least since I wasn't at the scene of a crime, that it was a whole setup," Goodwin said. He said he made some phone calls from home, as he always did, about the time of the murders, and learned of "the terrible crimes" less than an hour later, when a lawyer called him at the gym and asked him to come to his office. Goodwin said some people say he is either innocent or has committed the nearly perfect crime. He said if he had committed such a near- perfect crime "would I have been so stupid" to go there and "case" it? "This is beyond belief in its absurdity," he said. He said he expects "enough false evidence" that "we've already heard and commented on" to be introduced before a grand jury, that "will eventually indict me. We believe that will eventually occur and that we will prevail at trial." He said the person who identified him today is "lying" and that he wouldn't doubt that he or she was threatened or coerced. Before his client was let out, Benice had told waiting reporters that "one of the witnesses' statements (identifying Goodwin) said his hair was longer, the other talked about ... it was 13 years ago, the man had longer hair, he had binoculars and was sitting at the end of the street in an old station wagon with Arizona plates ... that's what she said." Benice said he does not "think the IDs are worth 10 cents, number one. I don't think it has any real meaning. "It's further fog to confuse issues and to suggest that there's evidence when there really isn't. It's just a bizarre situation. We believe it's further indicative of harassment that's been going on. It's a 13-year-old murder ... it's just an interruption of somebody's Sunday dinner." Meantime, the sheriff's department asked for public help in finding a faded green or blue 1973 Chevrolet Malibu station wagon with Arizona license plates, the kind one of the witnesses supposedly saw a man in that day. Detectives also released a composite drawing of the two killers. One is 6 feet and 175 pounds, the other about 5 feet 10 and 185 pounds, both with muscular builds. Before his arrest, Goodwin was trying to get a judge to halt an Orange County grand jury investigating his possible involvement in the murders. A hearing is set for Aug. 20 on whether such a panel has any jurisdiction in a Los Angeles County case. Thompson's sister Collene Campbell lives in Orange County and has posted a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her brother's killers.
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