"The vultures. They're going to start coming now. Everybody is going to want something, and nobody is going to trust anybody else. You're about to see the ugliness in people. Just wait."
Michael Jackson said this in 2008, the year before he died, to Bill Whitfield. For the last two and a half years of Michael Jackson's life - December 2006 to June 2009 - Whitfield, along with Javon Beard, were arguably the closest people to Jackson. But not the Michael Jackson any of us know. Not the Michael Jackson any of us have read about. Not the Michael Jackson any of us have heard rumors about. Not the Michael Jackson any of us have adored. And not the Michael Jackson any of us have hated.
As the personal security detail for a reclusive, mostly out of work Michael and his three children, Prince, Paris, and Blanket, Whitfield and Beard saw Michael Jackson, the father. Michael Jackson, the man. And Michael Jackson, the human being. And although other people came in and out of the family's life, Bill and Javon were the constants. The ones who spent time with the family, almost every single hour of every single day.