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Tag Archives | Charlane Marie

Was Michael Jackson’s semen found on magazines with nude children?

A couple of months ago I got informed by a fan about another claim that is being circulated in Internet folklore about the Michael Jackson case. Then some time later I got confronted with the same claim again, so I feel the need to take a deeper look into it here. The claim is that Michael Jackson’s semen was found on the nudist magazines confiscated from his home during the 2003 police raid.

The significance is, according to Jackson’s critics, that these magazines contain some images of nude children. The implication of this Internet rumour is clearly that Michael Jackson was looking at magazines that had photos of nude children in them and masturbated to those images.

It has to be noted that while these vintage nudist magazines (mainly from the 1930s and some from the early 1960s), do contain some non-sexual images of nude children (mainly in the context of families being photographed), their focus is overwhelmingly on nude adult women. So even if the above claim was true it would not prove that Jackson masturbated to images of children, but the claim is not true at all.

The type of nudist magazines we are talking about:

Sunshine_and_Health-230x325 wood_nymph Sunshine_and_Health3    images2 images oldmags.cgi wood_nymph_04eden

When I first heard this claim about Jackson’s semen being found on these nudist magazines I was very perplexed because I have read about this case extensively, I read the court documents, the trial transcripts but I have never encountered such an information.

So where does this claim come from?

I went back to the trial transcript again, read the expert testimonies, read about what was said about these nudist magazines at the trial by the prosecution’s own experts and police officers and I found nothing at all. Nothing that mentioned that Jackson’s semen was found on these nudist magazines. If fact, not even his fingerprints were found on them and when Janet Willams, the police officer who confiscated them, testified on April 19 about them she admitted she had no way of telling if Jackson ever even opened these magazines [1]. Obviously, semen from Jackson on them would be a clear way to tell that he had opened them if such an evidence existed. And obviously if this evidence existed it would have been mentioned by the prosecution at some time in court. Instead the prosecution spent days on tedious fingerprint talk (found on Jackson’s heterosexual magazines) and analysis, but they did not make any mention of his semen being found on nudist magazines.

By the way, from Janet Williams’ testimony we also learn that District Attorney Tom Sneddon either was mistaken or deliberately lied in one of his motions and also in his opening statement about the location where the nudist magazines were found. He claimed that they were found in the upstairs bedroom section of Jackson’s room at the base of his bed along with his hard core pornography. Officer Williams, however, clearly refuted that claim in her testimony. She said that she found these magazines in the downstairs, sitting room portion of Jackson’s room in a box that otherwise had all kind of other books, art books etc. – not pornography. [1]

Eventually I realized that it was a section of a certain prosecution document that provided the inspiration for this story about ALS (alternate light source) findings supposedly “proving” that Jackson’s semen was on these magazines. However, the claim in that particular document is NOT what it was later turned into in Internet folklore. Whoever put that twist on it either did not understand what ALS was and what it could and couldn’t prove, or they deliberately and maliciously twisted the document’s meaning.

Here is the document in question: ALS detector

The document simply states that because ALS testing showed some fluorescents on the surface of these particular magazines they sent them to the Santa Barbara Department of Justice to further testing. It does not say it was semen, let alone Jackson’s. ALS cannot determine such things. Apparently someone simply jumped to the erroneous conclusion that these fluorescents can only be semen – and only Jackson’s – although these old, vintage magazines were clearly bought second-hand. In actuality, the prosecution document itself states that such flourescents can be anything from hair to fibers, as well as fluids.

Moreover, during the 2005 trial the prosecution’s own expert witnesses further explained what ALS is. It is not a detector of semen exclusively like some apparently like to represent it – it detects ANYTHING biological. Hair, fiber, saliva, blood, semen, sweat – just anything of biological origin. If such a fluorescent shows up on one surface of an item then the item is sent to a laboratory for further analysis (eg. DNA analysis) to see what it is exactly and whom it belongs to.

From the March 24, 2005 testimony of Lisa Susan Roote Hemman, a senior identification technician in the forensic unit of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department:

Q. Could you explain that for us, please?

A. I was asked to do a visual inspection of the contents, and I used an alternate light source which goes into the UV wavelengths. And when you look — search for body fluids, they will fluoresce under UV light, and anything that seemed to fluoresce, it could be body fluids, but it could also be other things. My job was to find items that weren’t on the paper when they were published, they were placed there later. It could be anything that fluoresced. And I separated those items out for further testing. And when I did that, I repackaged them into another bag and I sent them to the Department of Justice Lab to find out what those fluids or deposits were.

Q. How did you mark on a specific item where you suspected there may be some kind of body fluid or other substance that was foreign to that magazine or picture?

A. I sent the entire item to be reinspected by the Department of Justice. I also put a yellow tab, a post-it note, on the page that I suspected, but I  also requested that the Department of Justice reevaluate the entire magazine or piece of paper. [2] 

Later in her testimony some more was explained about ALS and what it actually detects:

Okay. Now, the alternative light source that you used during that one-week period from January 20 to January 26th was for the purpose of — oh — was for the purpose of determining whether or not there was bodily fluids?

A. Or any trace evidence, hair, fibers.

Q. And an alternative light source, can you describe that briefly?

A. Yes. What –

Q. Let me stop you for a second. We’ve already had a little testimony. What color is it, and did you wear goggles, or was there a different color? What did you do?

A. Yes, it’s basically a light source that goes through numerous wavelengths, mainly in the UV, and I wore orange goggles which narrows the band down and helps you see things fluoresce, or absorb the light, turn dark. And so basically I just went page by page, wearing those orange goggles, and using the UV light and examining each piece of paper.

Q. All right. Is this destructive of the evidence to do that?

A. No. The CSS — the light source has dials on it, which dial each wavelength, and the CSS is the one that we use mainly for searching for body fluids, and that one is not, as far as I know, destructive to DNA evidence.

Q. Okay. It’s not destructive to the paper?

A. No.

Q. Okay. So when you do an alternative light source examination of that sort, you can then do other tests on the materials –

A. Yes.

Q. — freely thereafter, right?

A. It’s harmless to the evidence that we looked at. [2]

From the expert testimonies we learn even more that completely debunks this Internet folklore that it was Jackson’s semen that was found on those magazines. On the same day (March 24, 2005) a senior criminalist of the California Department of Justice at the Santa Barbara Regional Crime Laboratory,  Charlane Marie testified about the results of their analysis of the fluorescents that were sent to them by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Q. Okay. And your job was to look at that with an alternative light source, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Did I ask you this? On 766, that’s your handwriting on the notes around the pictures?

A. It is.

Q. All right. And when you looked at the alternative light source, looked at the items with the alternative light source, did you find any suspected DNA to sample and analyze?

A. Well, the light source is just a presumptive searching tool, and all it’s going to tell you is if something’s glowing. If something’s glowing, biologicals do glow, so that’s one area that you might want to test.

Q. Okay. Is that what you were looking for?

A. I was looking for biological material, yes.

Q. Bodily fluids, pretty much?

A. Correct.

Q. The question is, did you find any?

A. I did not.

Q. So as far as you could tell, there was no DNA to be tested from the materials you were sent?

A. Well, there’s no seminal material.

Q. There’s nothing you felt — just to make it clear, I’m not trying to trap you here, but there was nothing that you found and you said, “Ah-hah, we ought to send this off to Sacramento or have a DNA lab do a further analysis of this”; is that correct?

A. That’s right.

Q. You pretty much packaged it back up and sent it back to Santa Barbara?

A. I did, yes.

I don’t think it can be any clearer than that.


[1] Janet Williams’ testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (April 19, 2005)

[2] Lisa Susan Roote Hemman’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 24, 2005)

[3] Charlane Marie’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 24, 2005)

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