Aspen’s verdict: Jacko’s nuts |

Aspen’s verdict: Jacko’s nuts

Chad Abraham
Red Onion bartender Al Heide puts on the news for patrons awaiting the Michael Jackson verdict yesterday. Aspen Times photo/Mark Fox.

The theme from “Star Wars” boomed overhead in The Red Onion Monday afternoon as Michael Jackson made his way into court in California.It was a nice, surreal addition to the conclusion of Jackson’s long, strange trip through the judicial system. A jury found the musical icon not guilty yesterday of molesting a 13-year-old boy. And while it was a total victory in the courtroom for Jackson, his bizarre lifestyle remains an issue for many, including a couple of Aspen visitors sitting outside the Onion.Jessie Bash, of Cleveland, said there have been just too many acts of weirdness committed by the pop star – from dangling his newborn son over a Berlin balcony to shopping in a ski mask at the Glenwood Wal-Mart – for him not to be mentally unstable.

“There’s been so many questions for so long that there’s got to be a point where someone stands up and says, ‘OK, if it’s not guilty, then we at least need to follow up with some major counseling,'” Bash said.”Get him help,” interjected her friend, Julie Horning, of Grand Rapids, Mich.Inside the Onion before the verdict was handed down, Al Heide tended bar and lamented what has happened to the little Jackson who sang with his four siblings three decades ago.”I was listening to him when I was growing up. I liked him back in the ’70s,” he said, adding that he never had any reason to dislike Jackson.

“It’s definitely some weird stuff. I can understand him being unethical with some of the stuff you hear about, sleeping with kids and all that,” Heide said. “But was he just sleeping with them or was he really sexually assaulting them? I guess we’ll find out.”Over at the Jerome, also before the verdict was read, Texan Jody Ozier said she was not a fan.”I think he’s a nut case,” said Ozier, a resident of Wichita Falls. Yes, but did he do it? “I hope he’s guilty because I think that’s weird. It’s not sweet to sleep with little boys. I can’t imagine the parent allowing that – that’s pretty nuts.”Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is