Michael Jackson’s Grave is Empty, So Where is His Body?

When Michael Jackson died unexpectedly on June 25th, 2009, and some 12 days later the world caught a glimpse of his 14 karat gold casket lined with blue velvet (which he wasn’t even in by the way!) at his public memorial in Los Angeles’ Staples Centre, it was still a hotly debated question exactly where The King of Pop’s final resting place would be within the Jacksons’ inner circle.

Many reports at the time speculated that Jackson would be buried in Hollywood’s favourite, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where the likes of Walt Disney, Sammy Davis Jr. and Liberace were also laid to rest. Others expected grander plans in which his priced Neverland ranch would become a memorial site for fans and public to visit and pay their respects to the artist, much like Elvis’s Graceland. Unfortunately, neither came into fruition and you’re likely to be surprised with what actually happened to Michael Jackson after his very public memorial service.

According to reports, the Jackson family initially strongly felt that the King of Pop’s burial site should have been at his Neverland ranch, 150 miles north-west of Los Angeles, where he lived until 2005 and the property the artist was most synonymous with. A spot was even chosen next to the ranch’s train station, where Jackson used to ride the train, which he named after his mother, Katherine, every day to go from his house to his private zoo.

However, it is against California law to bury a body outside a cemetery. But the family intended to challenge this, Jermaine Jackson, the singer’s brother, stating ‘The people who make the laws can change the laws.’

But to obtain legal consent would have taken months at least, and if Jackson was buried at Neverland, his family faced an uphill battle with nearby residents to open the area as a place of pilgrimage similar to Graceland. So, Forest Lawn Memorial Park was chosen as the initial burial place for Jackson in till the legislation is granted, and plans agreed.

But, according to US media reports quoting a friend of the family, the Jacksons wanted the coffin entombed in concrete immediately after the private funeral — which was held in secret — because of fears that a crazed fan could try to dig it up.

It’s been reported that Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s mother, was so paranoid and scared someone would steal his body that she shockingly kept his corpse on ice for months — before the Jackson matriarch settled the family feud and had her beloved son’s remains secretly cremated to thwart ghoulish efforts to rob his grave.

The family kept the secret for safety reasons and to fulfil Michael’s wishes. But Katherine privately revealed the truth to several trusted friends.

So, on September 3rd, 2009, the family held a private burial service at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California, where Michael’s empty casket was entombed in a structure known as the Great Mausoleum. About 200 of their closest friends attended the intimate ceremony, including Michael’s ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley and long-time friend Elizabeth Taylor.

After holding the small ceremony and entombing the empty coffin in the mausoleum, the infamous Jackson clan chose somewhere sentimental to say their final goodbyes. Choosing to scatter Michael’s ashes at his beloved Neverland ranch, which was so special to him.

In particular by ‘The Giving Tree’, one of his favourite spots on the property, where he would spend hours there writing and reading poetry. Close sources say, the family wanted him to rest in peace in a familiar place.

Although Michael sold the 2,700-acre property near Santa Barbara before his death for $22.5 million (now back on the market for $67 million), a close source to the family has said, his three children — Prince, Paris and Blanket — still have access to the ranch and can go to the property whenever they want to visit him.