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Picture of Micky ThompsonNearly two decades later, a verdict in Mickey Thompson murder case

Ex-partner Michael Goodwin faces life in prison

 

By BOB GRITZINGER AND MARK VAUGHN

AutoWeek | Published 01/05/07, 2:29 pm et
The former business partner of land-speed record-setter Mickey Thompson was found guilty Jan. 4 of murdering the racing legend and his wife, Trudy, after a business deal collapsed 18 years ago.

A Los Angeles County jury convicted Michael Frank Goodwin, now 61, after five days of deliberation. Goodwin was convicted of hiring two hit men to commit the murders, neither of whom have been identified. The couple were slain March 16, 1988, outside their home as they left for work in Bradbury, California, by two hooded gunmen who fled on bicycles.

Goodwin was brought to justice after nearly two decades of dogged pursuit of the case by Thompson’s sister, Collene Campbell, and a string of police and prosecutors.

Outside the courthouse after the verdict, Campbell waved a checkered flag, and handed out fliers with composite sketches of the two still-unidentified gunmen who committed the murders.

Goodwin was arrested and has been jailed since 2001 in connection with the case, but various legal maneuverings kept the case from going to trial in the interim.

Thompson, the first American to hit 400 mph in a piston-engine vehicle, set 295 speed records in his lifetime. Known for his aftermarket merchandise and promotion of off-road racing, Thompson founded SCORE, the desert racing sanctioning body that continues to this day, and invented Supercross motocross races held in NFL stadiums.


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