DANA POINT, CA. -- Michael F. Goodwin, 56, was arrested Thursday (December 13) for two counts of murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder of auto racing legend Mickey Thompson and his wife, Trudy. The couple was shot to death in the driveway outside their Bradbury, California home at 6:00 a.m., March 16, 1988, as they were leaving for work. The crime has remained unsolved, even though Goodwin, Thompson's short-time partner, has been looked upon as the primary suspect from the onset. It has long been believed that Goodwin hired the shooters.
Speed King Mickey Thompson was known for holding more automotive speed and endurance records than any other man. In later years, Thompson's renowned long and grueling off-road racing events were his hallmark. It now appears the homicide investigators, the Thompson family and friends may have, themselves, just completed the longest and most grueling of all races. The effort to bring justice for the vicious assassination murders of the Thompsons has been ongoing for nearly fourteen years.
Thompson's sister, Collene (Thompson) Campbell and her husband, Gary, said they will continue to offer a $1 Million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of all of those involved in the Thompson killings. Two Black men on bicycles, seen by several witnesses at the crime scene, are believed to be the shooters and have not yet been identified. Anyone with information is requested to call the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office (323) 890-5500, File number: 088-04387-0511, Fax (323) 887-1160, Detectives M. Lillienfeld or P. Martinez.
Thompson was known for his innovations, the development of automotive safety equipment and credited with the invention of the wide oval tire. At one time he held 495 land speed and endurance records, many still stand. He was the first man to travel over 400 mph on land. The land speed record run was made in 1960 on the Bonneville, Utah, Salt Flats in "The Challenger", a car powered by four Pontiac engines, built in his backyard garage in El Monte, California.
Following are quickly drafted responses to questions that have been asked of me regarding Goodwin's arrest for the murders of Mickey & Trudy.
Collene (Thompson) Campbell, sister and only sibling of Mickey Thompson comments on the arrest:
Question: How do you feel about Goodwin's arrest after all these years?
"I just hope Mickey and Trudy are looking down. For 5,011 days, that's thirteen years and nine months (but who's counting), I have prayed that justice would be served. An arrest and conviction won't bring Mickey and Trudy back, but it will make a whole lot of us feel little better."
Question: What do you say about Goodwin's arrest and his allegations against your family?
"Our family is relieved that finally we are headed toward justice. It's inappropriate for me to comment directly on the homicide case of my brother and sister-in-law, Mickey and Trudy Thompson. I will say, it is the norm for a convicted felon, especially one just been arrested for a double homicide, to attempt to divert attention by accusing honest, law-abiding family members of improprieties
Question: What about the case and accusations against law enforcement, D.A.'s Office and you?
"I would suspect that the actions you are seeing and hearing from this convicted felon is a desperate attempt to divert attention from his guilt and history of illegal conduct. His outlandish accusations concerning the Los Angeles and Orange County Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney and the victim's family is a common smoke screen with criminals and their defense.
"I should not be surprised by his ridiculous behavior, as I can't recall hearing a defendant or his attorneys stating that the police, the district attorneys and the victims' family are nice people and doing the right thing. Instead, in a criminal's mind, people seeking justice are always bad people."
Question: Does Goodwin have reason to question your integrity?
"Goodwin says all of his problems are caused by either me, (the victim's family) the FBI, the Attorney General's office, the Sheriff's Offices, the District Attorney's Office, or when he was in prison, it was the prison guards. I think he has sued us all, but I should be proud, as that places me with a highly regarded group. It is said by criminals, " If you can't win with facts, challenge the process and if you can't beat the process, then discredit your victim or those with the power to bring forward the truth or justice". Apparently that is Mike Goodwin's theory."
Question: What do you say about Goodwin's allegations about you and your family?
"Of course the allegations are untrue, but not unexpected. Those of us who have had the misfortune of being forced to deal with crime and criminals are fully aware of the torturous lies that a desperate defendant will produce. His type of allegations are very typical of a desperate criminal. The more desperate a suspect becomes, the more outlandish are his lies and accusations. Even though it adds additional pain to the family of murdered loved ones, it is important for me to remember that this is part of the hurtful process that will eventually bring justice for Mickey and Trudy's cowardly murderers. Believe me, I can stand up to scrutiny and his lies in order to move forward with long overdue justice. To be honest, if I thought any reasonable person believed Goodwin's nonsense, I'd be hurt."
Question: Did Mickey ever say anything to you about Goodwin?
"Yes, numerous things. Just before he was murdered, my brother, Mickey, told me and other credible friends, that he feared for Trudy's life, as well as his own at the hands of Mike Goodwin. I have been told that Mike Goodwin himself also indicated to others that he planned to kill Mickey. Goodwin said he took the 5th and refused to testify before the grand jury. He fought going into a line-up, where he was identified.
"The devastating September 11th terrorist attacks, when more than five-thousand were murdered, caused all America to be fearful. It is important to note, that every year in our Nation, three times that many Americans are murdered by evil killers. We must have courage and pull together to stop carnage, whether it be one, or 5,000 loved ones whose blood is shed."
The reward of one million dollars for information leading to the arrest and conviction of all those involved in the March 16, 1988 murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson is still available. We hope someone has the courage to come forward. Even though Michael Goodwin has finally been arrested for the murders of my Brother and Sister-in-law, it is my understanding, there were others involved who have not been identified. Any information should be given to the Detectives M. Lillienfeld or P. Martinez, Homicide Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff Office: (323) 890-5500, file number 088-04387-0511."