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Pop Vox - Is Michael Jackson in Heaven or Hell?

During the court's announcement of the Conrad Murray verdict, we asked the crowd about Judgement Day.
Κείμενο Monika Bukowska

Right as the verdict was announced in the case of Conrad Murray, we headed over to Los Angeles City courthouse to learn a lesson in faith. Amidst the mosh pit of characters supporting either side of the case—justice for Michael Jackson, victory for the doctor—was there any clarity on Judgement Day itself?

We stepped up to the sidewalk theater where a woman had just fainted from all the police shoving. Journalists were bonking people on the head with cameras, Occupy protesters were milling about, and there was mixed-message chanting ("Guilty! Guilty!" or "Nobody for President!"), insane signage, and general commotion. In the middle of all this, we asked: Is Michael Jackson in heaven or hell?


You designed your own bag here?
Michael: Yes, for Michael Jackson. It’s Swarowski crystals and porcelain. And then there’s a patch on the back of his face, with an autograph.

Beautiful. Do you believe in heaven and hell?
I do believe it is a heaven and it is a hell.

Where do you think Michael’s at?
To be truthful and honest with you, I don’t know where Michael went because I’m not God. We can’t put anyone in heaven and we can’t put anyone in hell. It’s how you live your life. It’s all about God has the last say-so.

Do you believe in heaven and hell?
Anthony: Heaven, yes.

Where do you think Michael Jackson is?

Where’s that?
It’s a state, it’s up there, a mental heaven.

What’s it like?
Good, love, it’s all about love. 24/7 love.

Then what’s hell?
Burning in fire, negativity. Anything negative energy.

Do you think that doctor’s gonna go there?
No, I think he’ll be in limbo. I can’t say where he will go. I don’t know if he did it intentionally. It could be deeper than all this, it could be a conspiracy.

So what’s Michael Jackson doing in heaven?
Getting ready for an ultimate divine concert.

Hi, what do you think about all this?
Ashley: I’m happy because he has to go to jail. It’s very happy for me and my mom. He killed somebody that was very famous and he did it on purpose and it wasn’t right.

Do you believe in heaven and hell?

Where do you think Michael Jackson is?


And what do you think heaven’s like?
I don’t know.

What about hell?
Bad, evil, hot.

Where is it?
Under earth.

Do you think the doctor will go to heaven or hell?

Because he did something really bad to someone who was really nice to people. Why would he go to heaven?

How long have you been here today?
Since 10.

Ten in the morning? Did you guys have school today?
We had school today but…

But you didn’t have to go because of this?

Do you believe in heaven and hell?
David: If there is a hell, it’s really large and it’s really crowded.

What about heaven?
There must be, because there’s so much hell on earth.

Where do you think Michael’s at?
Oh, he’s in heaven, he’s right next to God right now. He’s up there with Elvis and everybody.

What’s it like there?
They’re having a big concert. Remember that song by Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers? [singing] If there’s a rock ‘n’ roll heaven / You know they gotta have a hell of a ba-aa-aand!

Awesome. You think Michael’s having a good time?
He’s free now, but unfortunately he left his children behind him.

Do you have children?
No. I want them but I haven’t found the right woman. Well, I did but she lived in New Jersey. I didn’t want to move to New Jersey.

Do you believe in heaven and hell?
Calvin: You know what? I don’t believe in hell. I really don’t. Because I’m trying to find a place out here in this universe that’s supposedly hotter than the sun.


Where do you think Michael Jackson is?
If he lived right hopefully he didn’t go back in the recycle bin and have to come back down here and live another life. I think we’ve all been here before, and there was some lesson we didn’t learn before and so we went to the recycle bin. I learned my lesson this time and I don’t plan on coming back. Hopefully wherever he’s at, he’s OK.

What do you think about the doctor?
It all depends on whether or not he learned his lessons this time. If not, I guess he might go to the recycle bin.

Hi, I like your sign. Do you believe in heaven and hell?
Mike: Yes.

Where do you think Michael’s at?

What do you think it’s like there?
He’s a man of peace, I saw him flash the peace sign.

Where’s hell?
You can make hell on earth if you don’t have peace in your heart.

Where do you think the doctor will go?
Well, he won’t have a practice anymore.

What do you think is going to happen with the verdict?
I don’t care, I’m out here to Occupy LA. [starts chanting “All night, all day, Occupy LA!"]

Hi. Do you believe in heaven and hell?
Gwen: Yes, I do.

Where do you think Michael Jackson is?
Hell is mankind’s grave, a place where we all rest until when Armageddon starts the resurrection and we all go to the light. And heaven is going to be right here on earth. The earth is not going to be destroyed. So right now Michael is in hell. He is in the grave, in the resting place where my grandmother is, my mother, my sister, all my relatives… [becomes unintelligible as people around start shouting, “Victory for the doctor! Justice!”] Anyway, as I was stipulating, we all go to hell when we die. People have been misdirected.


So is he resting in peace?
Yes. Michael had a tough life growing up, he had a lot of problems going on in his life and he needed a lot of support, more than he received.

Where do you think the doctor will go?
He’s going to hell when he dies. God is gonna be the one to judge him for what he did. ‘Cause he knows what he did was morally wrong. I took propofol when I had my colonoscomy test in 2010, and it burned the hell out of my arm. The doctor told me it was gonna burn me. I said, “Don’t give me nothing that was given to kill Michael Jackson. I don’t want that.” And before I could say that, it was in my arm. I can’t believe that a doctor would’ve gave him this drug knowing it’s only for anesthesia purposes, which will put you to sleep. So he was malicious malice negligent, and it shouldn’t be involuntary manslaughter, it should be voluntary murder.

Do you believe in heaven and hell?
Daniel: I believe in heaven.

Where do you think Michael’s at?
Somewhere in another state.

What do you think he’s doing?
He has a nice house.

Do you go to school?

You didn’t have school today?
I’m homeschooled.

What do you want to do when you’re older?
I want to play football.

Is Daniel your son?
Derek: Yes, this is my son and I’m the manager.

What kind of vision do you have for your son?
Well, he wants to be a football player but I think at the same time he loves entertainment. We have a lot of record companies that want to sign him to a record deal so we’re gonna see what happens.


Have you been here every day?
We’ve been out here three or four times since the trial started. And he’s out here to honor Michael Jackson, he loves the Jackson Five, he loves the history of the Jackson family. We’re here to pay tribute.

Where do you think Michael Jackson’s at now?
A lot of people are saying he’s not dead, he’s dead, you know, I really don’t know. He’s somewhere good, I can imagine that.

What do you think he’s doing?
Wherever Michael goes, I’m sure he’s gonna put on the greatest performance that we know. I wish I could see it but unfortunately that’s not the case right now.

Do you believe in heaven and hell?
Beatrice: Absolutely. The Bible says there is a heaven and there is a hell, and there is a judgement. Every man has one day to die. And after death, there will be a judgement. That’s the purpose of the judgement.

Where do you think Michael Jackson is?
I do know what the Bible says: To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

What do you think heaven’s like?
Praise the Lord, the Father is there. The Son is there, and the Holy Ghost.

And what do you think hell is like?
The Bible says that is damnation. Burning… fire… FOREVER!