April 12, 2004 12:00 PM

How much plastic surgery has Michael Jackson really had?

Despite a face scarier than any of the fictional zombies in his “Thriller” video, Jacko, 45, owns up to only two procedures—both breathing-related nose operations. In a February 2003 Dateline NBC feature, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Wallace Goodstein estimated that Jackson has had well over 50 surgeries, many performed at the hands of Goodstein’s former partner Dr. Steven Hoefflin. Hoefflin said in a statement in 2002 that he hadn’t worked on Jackson since 1998 and had advised against further work at that time. Experts surmise that besides repeated nasal carving, the bizarre entertainer has also undergone a lip reduction, face-lift, cleft-chin creation and assorted eye work.

Where is Jimmy Hoffa?

After serving time for jury tampering and fraud, the ex-Teamsters leader was released from prison in 1971 and told he needed protection. “I don’t need a bodyguard,” he said. Whoops. The fate of Hoffa, who disappeared July 30, 1975, has passed from mystery into legend. According to rumor, he was murdered to stop him from regaining union power, his body variously strangled, mangled or buried under New Jersey’s Giants Stadium. The whodunit took a fresh turn recently when ex-union official Francis J. “Frank” Sheeran claimed in a deathbed letter that he incinerated Hoffa’s body in Detroit. Though Sheeran’s daughter says the letter is fake, the FBI is investigating. “Whenever we get new leads,” says special agent Dawn Clenney, “we run them down.”

Did Britney cheat on Justin?

She denied it, claiming the MTV’s TRL royalty fell out of sync in 2002 because of respective career pressure. He never directly commented on the breakup, but he serenaded a Britney lookalike in the “Cry Me a River” video with the lyrics “You don’t have to say what you did/ I already know.” Proof? Nah. We’ll have to wait for a future Behind the Music to find out the truth.

Who killed JonBenét?

Seven years after the body of JonBenét Ramsey, 6, was found in the basement of her family’s house in Boulder, Colo., her murder still haunts the community. While Boulder police had long suspected the involvement of the child beauty queen’s parents, John, 60, and Patsy, 47, the Ramseys put the blame on an outside intruder. Recent developments, including the takeover of the case by the Boulder D.A., may give more credence to the Ramseys’ theory. Colorado authorities have submitted a DNA sample found on JonBenét’s underwear—from a male not related to the family—to the FBI’s national data bank, hoping that a “hit” will finally solve this tragic mystery.

What happened to Monica’s blue dress?

The famously stained shirtwaist from the Gap brought a President to impeachment in 1998 and the nation to the edge of its seat. Clinton-smitten White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who once bragged she’d never have the dress dry-cleaned, eventually handed it over to authorities when she was questioned in the matter. The Justice Department returned the evidence to her in 2001. Now 30 and designing handbags, Lewinsky once told Barbara Walters that she’d “burn it” if she got it back. She may, however, retreat from that extreme. If the spots haven’t been removed, the dress could fetch as much as $2 million from collectors.

Was Vince Poster murdered?

After eating his lunch at his desk on July 20, 1993, White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster told an aide, “There are lots of M&Ms left. I’ll be back.” Roughly five hours later, he was discovered dead in a Virginia park with a pistol in his hand. Foster, 48 (at right with the Clintons and wife Lisa), was visibly unraveling while defending the First Couple over Whitewater, an old real estate deal gone bad. Several investigations concluded his death was suicide. But rumors of foul play—to silence him over Whitewater—have never waned. On dozens of Web sites doubters still claim that he was killed in a White House parking lot and that his suicide note was a forgery. One conspiracy theorist has even petitioned the Supreme Court for public access to Foster’s death photos.

Who was Deep Throat? And what’s on the missing 18½ minutes of the Watergate tape?

Static on an audio tape and a shadowy figure who whispered secrets in a parking garage helped bring about Richard Nixon’s Aug. 9,1974, departure from the White House, the only resignation of a U.S. President in history. In their 1974 bestseller All the Presidents Men, reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein credited a highly placed source dubbed Deep Throat for much of their success. Many have tried, but no one has decoded the mystery man. Or woman. Amateur sleuths point to FBI official W. Mark Felt, ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Gen. Alexander Haig, even Diane Sawyer—though the secretive scribes have ruled out the last two. Former Nixon counsel John Dean added four more names in his 2002 e-book Unmasking Deep Throat—Pat Buchanan, speechwriter Ray Price and Nixon staffers Steve Bull and Ron Ziegler. Says Dean: “Throat’s the one with guts. Even if he’s ashamed to admit it.” Maybe Throat’s on the 18½-minute gap, part of a conversation about Watergate that Nixon had taped. Nixon secretary Rosemary Woods claimed she may have erased it by mistake. What’s missing? We’ll never know. Despite numerous attempts to recover the missing minutes, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration finally declared them irretrievable last May.

Who shot Tupac?

Biggie? Suge? The government? Conspiracy theorists have run rampant deciphering the fatal 1996 drive-by shooting of Shakur, 25, in Las Vegas. Two separate 2002 investigative reports have added to the confusion. Nick Broomfield’s documentary Biggie and Tupac implicates the driver on that fateful night, Death Row Records kingpin Marion “Suge” Knight. Los Angeles Times writer Chuck Philips points to evidence suggesting that the L.A. street gang Southside Crips supplied the triggerman, seeking retaliation for an earlier fight at the Grand, while rival rapper the Notorious B.I.G. provided financial backing.

How do Donald Trump and Don King get their hair that way?

A penchant for self-promotion isn’t the only characteristic these sometime business partners have in common. Both of these bigheads come with some bad hair. Trump, 57, brushes off questions regarding his orange-tinted comb-over by casually explaining, “I don’t have a stylist! It’s just the way I’ve combed it for a long time! ” King, 72, whose gift for elocution is often overshadowed by what appears to be the result of an electrocution, has repeatedly explained his no-fuss volcanic coif as “an aura from God.”

Was Diana really murdered? And did she know she was going to die?

Conspiracy theories still echo through the Parisian tunnel where Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed died in what is arguably the world’s most famous car crash. Although a French investigation concluded that the 1997 tragedy was an accident, the British government has opened its own inquiry. Among the reasons why: In an explosive letter from Diana published last year, a British tabloid claimed she accused Prince Charles of planning “an accident in my car, brake failure and serious injury,” so that he could marry again. Meanwhile, Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed, has repeatedly accused British agents of engineering the crash to keep Diana from marrying a Muslim. Whatever the truth maybe, experts agree on one down-to-earth fact: If Diana had been wearing her seat belt, she might have lived.

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