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Jackson Treasures In Public Hands

Some of Michael Jackson's most prized possessions have just come to light, and until very recently they were sitting in a warehouse in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Jackson, who faces charges of child molestation, repotrtedly is the subject of grand jury hearings in Santa Barbara, Calif. A gag order prevents the district attorney from confirming that the jury has begun hearing evidence in the case.

Reporter Kirstin Cole from the CBS New York City station, WCBS-TV, reports that decades worth of Jackson memorabilia, once a part of the family's private collection, is now owned by Henry Vaccarro and was until very recently sitting in a warehouse in New Jersey.

From hundreds of stage costumes, to a possible explanation of Michael Jackson's lighter skin, to a hand written warning about family child molesters, Vaccarro has given CBS News a behind-the-scenes look at a lifetime in the public spotlight.

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Vaccaro says, "The shame of this whole thing is they let their personal possessions fall into a stranger's hands. heir whole life history is here."

More than 20 years worth of the Jackson family's most private and prized possessions, valued at nearly $6 million, were lost in a court judgment to Vaccarro.

He says, "I don't want their money. I don't want to hurt this family. But what they did to me, aa I just wanted was my money."

This collection of keepsakes, including Jackson Five costumes, was seized to pay off a $1.5 million debt. A Jackson family company bought Vaccarro's world-famous Kramer Guitar Company and never paid him for it.

Vaccarro says, "We had judgments against Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, Tito, Randy, Reebie, Marlon, Jermaine and LaToya."

So after 10 years, a storage facility filled with the family's mementos was seized to pay off the debt, and Vaccarro gave CBS News a tour of what now amount to his possessions.

Glimpses of the private Michael Jackson are found: pictures from a family vacation, a Hollywood-style backyard party, attended by Whoopi Goldberg.

And there's much more, gold records, hundreds of signed magazine covers and publicity photos. According to Vaccarro, this treasure trove was destined for a failed Jackson family venture, a chain of restaurants filled with family mementoes.

There are stage costumes still hanging in a concert wardrobe case and personal notes including a hand written one, signed "MJ", possibly from Michael Jackson to his deceased sister-in-law, Dee Dee (wife of brother Tito).

It reads: "Dee Dee, please read this article about child molestation and please read it to Taj, TJ, and Tarryll, it brings out how even your own relative can be molesters of children, or even uncles or aunts molesting nephew or nieces. Please read. Love MJ."

There are tiny sparkle socks and in a cosmetics drawer, a chemical compound that reads:"Danger Skin Bleaching Agent."

Vacarro says, "I'm not saying that Michael Jackson uses this. I'm just saying it was in his wardrobe case."

Despite persistent rumors, Jackson has repeatedly denied using any skin bleach.

Young boys are seen throughout Michael's effects: pictures of them, a sketch - apparently signed by Michael - adorning the Neverland Ranch's welcome packet.

What was of the most puzzling of all the discoveries made by Vacarro in the six months he spent sifting through two trailers full of memorabilia? A simple handwritten note: "Dear Rubbers," it reads. "I had to go. See you later, love MJ."

Vacarro later found something called the Rubberhead Club kit in what appears to be a child's handwriting, including a typed list of rules. No. 13 reads: All members must be in bed (alone) by 3 o'clock in the morning.

And with close to a year beforeMichael Jackson's trial on sex-abuse charges gets under way, this fascinating collection may shed a little more light on the mystery that is Michael Jackson.

The items have since been shipped to an undisclosed location in Europe.

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