In the midst of the adulation surrounding his death, there seems to be little talk of what this man did between his scarce, mediocre recordings. As The Smoking Gun has detailed, Jackson was a textbook molester, using power, intimidation, and psychological manipulation to sexually violate his victims.
There can be no factual doubt that Jackson was a child molester. Identification of markings on his body by the 1993 victim would only have been visible if the then-13 year-old had seen Jackson nude at close proximity. Items recovered from a "secret room" at Neverland Ranch further connected Jackson with his 2003 victim. In the first instance, Jackson purchased the silence of his victim; in the second, Jackson's purchased enough legal ammunition to distort justice. The deposition of the 1993 victim, as he detailed how Jackson manipulated him into ever-increasing sexual contact through shame and guilt makes harrowing reading.
Fans protested then and now that Jackson's behavior was offset by the inspiration of his music and his dancing. Nonsense. This is like saying Hitler's crimes are ameliorated by the fact that he painted a few pretty watercolors. Jackson's music was trite pop; no Tcshaikovsky he. What about his dancing--did it rise to the discipline and art of Baryshnikov? Even if one accepts the premise that some artistic achievement can offset the crime of hurting children, then Jackson's schtick hardly qualifies.
Jackson is gone. I fear that in the distance of memory, people will come to regard him higher than he deserves. Already he has been hailed as someone who healed the racial divide in America. Some may forget the monster that lurked behind the self-mutilated face. One thing is sure--he victims will never forget the horror.