Monday morning, I talk to true crime writer Aphrodite Jones.
A resident of New York, she’s the author of the 2007 book "The Michael Jackson Conspiracy."
I’ve read all eight of her books and previously interviewed her in January 2007.
Luke: "I wondered what you thought when you heard the news?"
Aphrodite: "Like everyone else, completely shocked and very saddened. Frankly, I was looking forward to his comeback. I really thought he would perform in England. In all the accounts I heard, he was practicing daily and working out, had a trainer, and was ready for a comeback. The last thing on anyone’s mind was that he was going to vanish from the planet like that."
"I’ve had contact with his following and his camp because of the book that I wrote. I’m flooded with emails… People are now moving on to whether there was any foul play. Did the doctors around Jackson enable him to accidentally overdose?
"There’s a lot of concern on the part of the family. There always was. I spoke to Joe [Michael’s father] years ago. He wanted to extract Michael away from his handlers. This is the reason why. He felt that Michael was being ill-advised. Of course you can’t control your own child but Joe really did try to see if he could have any influence over Michael. He did try to save his life. The family had considered trying to do an intervention with Michael at some point but apparently that never happened. That was something that I heard through the grapevine. It’s not something that they would confirm, but I believe it to be true."
Luke: "How was their reaction to your book [on Michael]?"
Aphrodite: "They were very appreciative of the book. I met with Joe, his dad. He was elated that there was a book that exonerated his son, showing that he was the target of a group of grifters. Jackson’s people all read the book. I never heard from Michael himself. I never expected to because I think that was a chapter he really wanted closed and behind him."
"I decided to take a stand and speak the truth about the witchhunt to get Michael Jackson in that trial. I’ve been hearing from Michael Jackson fans for the two years since the book came out. It’s been published in France and in Japan. It’s being published now in other places in Europe. I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of people who’ve come forward to say, thank you for standing up to the rest of the media and for speaking the truth and in essence doing a mea culpa. I was wrong. I covered this. I had him guilty before proven innocent. It was a case of a DA who had a vendetta."
Luke: "Do you think that all these trumped-up charges played a role in the decline of Michael Jackson?"
Aphrodite: "I do. I think the  trial was the beginning of the end for Michael Jackson. He had to sit there for so many months and look at his whole life on a stage in a legal scenario and watch so many people who he had tried to help, especially the accuser, come out and truly smear his character and ritually lie and make up allegations and watch other people come forward with angry and unhappy things about his life that nobody could withstand. Nobody could sit under a microscope and think we have lived a perfect life. That five months wore on his spirit to the point that he felt broken. He had so many people betray him at that trial, it wore down his spirit to the point where we haven’t seen him again."
Luke: "It changed the way most regular people viewed him. Not the fans but just folks. In my mind, Michael Jackson and abusing boys just runs together in my head for the past ten years because that’s the message that we’ve gotten from the news media."
Aphrodite: "People got too focused on whatever the personal allegations were and lost sight of the legacy of this man. And now with his death, things are coming back into perspective.
"Let’s face it: Those were only allegations. They were not substantiated."
Aphrodite Jones has a TV series on Discovery network starting next year.