The motive for the mob-style execution is claimed to be a failed deal between Thompson and Goodwin involving stadium racing in SoCal. When things went sour, Thompson successfully sued for around $750,000, forcing Goodwin into bankruptcy. Prior to the killings, Goodwin was overheard making verbal threats against Thompson. Goodwin's lawyer claims that no connection exists between the defendant and the two hitmen.
Mickey Thompson is probably best-known nowadays for the products that carry his name, but he established his reputation by being one of the most innovative racers on the track, in the dirt, and at the salt flats. The "Christmas tree" lights used at nearly every dragstrip owe their existence to Thompson, and he also developed the frightening - and fast - "slingshot" dragster chassis. The crowning achievement of his career, however, was piloting the first piston-powered wheeled vehicle beyond the 400 MPH mark in 1960. Thompson's many accomplishments earned him a posthumous induction into the Motorsports International Hall of Fame in 1990.