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? Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit The Drug Connection Who is Charles Watson? False Witness Paul Watkins & Brooks Poston Page 72 Danny DeCarlo Page 86 Diane “Snake” Lake Page 97 Ronnie Howard & Virginia Graham Page 101 Linda Kasabian Page 105 Barbara Hoyt Page 117 Page 127: Demystifying Susan Atkins Page 140: Stupid Cupid Page 162: Bruce McGregor Davis Page 182: The Bug Page 195: The Real Race War Page 207: This Holy Swastika Page 225: Charles Will Is Man’s Son Page 238: The Dictator Page 263: Krishna Venta Page 277: My Interpretation Page 290: Words Page 311: Why Charles Manson is Entitled to a New Trial Page 315: Charles Manson’s Rap Sheet Page 319: Playacting with Lies Page 326: Epilogue Page 333: Sources “I didn’t do what they say I did. I know what I did. God knows what I did. And what makes me so mad about it is that I don’t have any god damn thought in that circle at all. That’s not me. I’m not this fucking clown that you guys play-acted in this god damn Helter Skelter shit.” Charles Manson 1
The Manson Myth
he name Charles Manson has become synonymous with evil and over the past 43 years the name Charles Manson still strikes fear and repulsion in the minds of many. It comes to no surprise that the name Charles Manson has been tagged “killer,” but more precisely the “killer” of actress Sharon Tate. In reality, Charles Manson was never actually convicted of physically taking any life. In fact Charles Manson was never proven to be at the scene of any of the murders when they were happening. The murders at 10050 Cielo Drive on August 9, 1969 and 3301 Waverly Drive on August 10, 1969 have been forever linked to a man who wasn’t even there. How did this happen? This essay will go inside of the motives as well of the myth of Charles Manson, which was partially created by scorned “Family” member Paul Watkins who wasn’t even a part of the “Family” at the time of the murders. In fact, Watson himself has admitted that he did not find out about them until months later. 2
The Manson Myth Preface Prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi took that story from Watkins and forced the defendants (mostly Charles Manson) to fit the motive he wanted: Helter Skelter. This book will use the words of the people who participated in the murders, state witnesses, defendants, people in the “Family,” and other people involved in with the “Family” through interviews, parole hearings, articles, and other first-word accounts to prove my theory and to disprove the Helter Skelter motive. And in the end, to support the fact that the murders were committed as copycat muders of the Gary Hinman slaying— to create reasonable doubt to free “Family” fiend Bobby Beausoleil. To this day, Charles Manson has never admitted that he ordered the murders. He has only said things such as, “I take responsibility for influencing them kids, but I did not direct traffic—I did not tell nobody to go kill for me.” The only people who have stated that Manson did indeed order the murders were the prosecution’s witnesses during the trial, who were all given incentives to testify. His codefendants all stood firm, claiming Manson did not order the murders until 1972 when they turned their story. In 1972, the death penalty was abolished, giving Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten a shot at parole. That is when their stories turned and all of the culpability went to Manson. The difference is that Susan Atkins still maintained that the murders were copycat murders to free Beausoleil. Facts are that these girls had absolutely no shot at parole unless they admitted the Helter Skelter theory, admitted Manson ordered the murders, and of course showed that they were reformed and they knew this. This is why they changed their stories. 3
The Manson Myth
Prosecuting attorney and Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi, with murder conspirator-turned-witness Linda Kasabian. Bugliosi contended that Kasabian was the lesser of the evil defendants, which is why he chose her to testify on his behalf. He told the jury that Kasabian had no clue the gang went out to murder, when in fact she held the knives on the way to the Tate home, took Stephen Parent’s wallet, and distracted Wojciech Frykowski as he was butchered by Charles “Tex” Watson She helped plan and may have suggested the murders for some sort of revenge.
The Manson Myth
What is Helter Skelter?
“Helter Skelter means confusion. Literally. It doesn't mean any war with anyone. It doesn't mean that those people are going to kill other people. It only means what it means. Helter Skelter is confusion. Confusion is coming down fast.” Charles Manson 5
The Manson Myth What is Helter Skelter?
efore I get into the book itself, I want to first explain briefly what Helter Skelter is according to the prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi.
According to the prosecution, Charles Manson was released from Terminal Island Penitentiary with years of anger and hatred for society. He built up a gang of misused, derelict, abused, and delinquent youths and held them captive while he fed them drugs, put them in sexual situations to drag down their morals and then fed their heads with his philosophies on life, death, and hatred for the privileged. Over the next two years, Charles Manson was in an endeavor to sell his music, but failed. This filled his head with a lot of resentment to the people who have had success in the entertainment industry, especially Terry Melcher, who had rejected Manson. This was Bugliosi’s reasoning for the Sharon Tate home on Cielo Drive being chosen. 10050 Cielo Drive was once inhabited by Terry Melcher, and Manson knew this. Bugliosi contended that Manson picked out that home himself, as well as the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca on Waverly Drive, and sent in a group of his now “brainwashed” soldiers to kill everyone in the homes and scrawl racist terms used by the Black Panthers on the walls in their blood. This would lead “Whitey” to believe that “Blackie” went on a murder rampage, killing all of these model white rich humans. This would anger the white establishment so much, that they would then attack the blacks causing a huge race war. Bugliosi said during this time the “Manson Family,” of 144,000, would make an exodus to their Barker Ranch hideout in Death Valley, where they would all crawl into their bottomless pit and wait 40 years for the war to end, which “Blackie” would be victorious. 6
The Manson Myth What is Helter Skelter? How would this help Manson and his “Family?” Bugliosi stated that Manson felt that since “Blackie” had never lead anything, that they would be too inexperienced and would be forced to hand the world over to Manson—the only white man alive. All of this, of course, was laid out in the Beatles’ 1968 “White Album,” prophesized to Manson as “God’s words” and backed up in Revelation 9—according to Bugliosi. However, this was merely a recycled vision from Krishna Venta (see chapter: Krishna Venta) who preached this very race war. Sound far-fetched? Sound humorous? Sound absolutely insane? Well, believe this: there are millions of people who believed this. Surely, since the prosecution proved this motive, it had to be right. But did the prosecution prove it? This book will also explain how the prosecution won this motive by forfeit and there was absolutely no evidence to support it. In fact most of the people who testified against Manson and the other defendants did it for some sort of incentive and personal gain, whether it is for money, for immunity to crimes, or some other lucrative and selfish deal. In my mind, a case cannot be proven unless the defense actually puts on a case, puts forward evidence, testimony, and witnesses for their clients. Since this never happened during the trial, everything the prosecution put forward on Manson—no matter how absurd—became “fact” by forfeit, by the “guilty” verdict. This essay does not condone murder, nor does it defend the actions of any of the people who were convicted for these crimes. The point is to finally bring out the truth— that the victims and the victims’ families deserve— and to expose those who lied.
The Manson Myth
Prosecution’s star witness Paul Watkins speaking with part of the defense team— attornies Day Shinn and Irving Kanarek. Watkins was the key witness to the Helter Skelter theory as a motive to the murders despite not being in the “Family” at the time of the murders. In fact, he was in Death Valley—six hours away. He admitted that he did not even know about the murders until many months after the fact.
The Manson Myth
Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit
“It’s obvious they have the right people. It was the motive for the crimes that was absurd.” Charles Manson 9
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit
ovember 16, 1970 will forever go down in the history books as the day the prosecution rested their case against Charles Manson and the three defendants; Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins. Three days later on November 19, 1970 the prosecution stunned everyone including the prosecution, jury, and defendants when they concluded their defense without putting on a second of defense, without calling any witness, or submitting any evidence to substantiate their case. Manson was easily convicted with a conspiracy theory. According to Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, she helped secure at least seventeen witnesses to testify on Manson’s behalf. None of these people who were subpoenaed to testify ever got the chance to testify. Could have this made the defense’s case? If anything it could have helped challenge testimony from key “witnesses” for the prosecution. Some of these people could have testified as a character witness to disrepute the prosecution’s theory that Manson was a “dictator-like” ruler of the so-called “Manson Family.” The theory which stated Manson not only kept tabs on everyone, but they simply did nothing unless Manson knew and directed their moves. This notion is not only absurd, but downright wrong. According to Susan Atkins, she was pushed out of the “Family” a couple times including a stint where she and other people from the group moved upstate in an attempt start their own commune. Here is an excerpt from Susan Atkins’ book Child of Satan, Child of God.
“Charlie, for reasons unclear to me, decided we should split up. I never understood Charlie’s reasoning in this. He seemed to feel the Family concept would never work, that we were just getting on each other’s nerves, or we just needed a change of scene.
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit
Mary, Pat, Ella, Stephanie, and I headed North in the old black school bus. We rented a house in the little town of Philo and launched a female duplicate of life at Spahn’s. It seemed that I was in charge— although others may have disputed this. It was outstanding even to me now how I could control people. The spookiest thing about it, however, was that I seemed to have the same sort of mind control over the girls. I found that I could actually read people’s thoughts. I knew what the other girls were thinking and could manipulate control over them. We were using drugs as much as we had been at Spahn’s, perhaps even more so.”
Atkins has never admitted to the Helter Skelter theory, in fact from day one she has stated that the killings—to her understanding—was an attempt to free Bobby Beausoleil. Charles “Tex” Watson has said similar, however he says the “Bobby” theory or the “Love of Brother” theory was partial reason for the killings. Watson goes on to say:
“Beyond getting money and bringing down Helter Skelter, there was a third, less important purpose: to clear Bobby Beausoleil of the Hinman slaying by committing a similar crime while he was in jail.”
Atkins also testified to this during her December, 1969 Grand Jury testimony, stating that during the killings no mention of “blacks” or pinning the murders on blacks ever happened. Surely, if these murders were in any way to try and start a race war by making it seem like hits from black gangs, there would have been some mention of it.
Vincent Bugliosi: As you were watching the television news coverage at the Spahn Ranch did anyone say anything inside the trailer? Susan Atkins: “The Soul sure did pick a lulu, but the Soul did a good job,” or something to do with the Soul, not meaning Charlie Manson picked a good one, meaning infinite Soul.
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit
Vincent Bugliosi: Did you say anything else when you learned who those four people were? Susan Atkins: Something to the effect that it served its purpose. Vincent Bugliosi: Do you say why this had been done? Susan Atkins: To instill fear into the establishment. Vincent Bugliosi: Did you say anything about black people at that time? Susan Atkins: Not at that time, no. Vincent Bugliosi: Did you ever say anything about black people with respect to what took place at the Tate residence? Susan Atkins: No.
So, both Atkins and Watson state the Beausoleil connection. This, of course it doesn’t make the “Love of Brother” motive the key reason behind the murders, but it does add validity to the claims of key “Family” members who claim the “Love of Brother” motive. Bobby Beausoleil himself has also admitted this connection in the interview with Truman Capote.
Truman Capote: The truth is, the LaBiancas and Sharon Tate and her friends were killed to protect you. Their deaths were directly linked to the Gary Hinman murder. Bobby BeauSoleil: I hear you. I hear where you’re coming from. Truman Capote: Those were all imitations of the Hinman murder-to prove that you couldn’t have killed Hinman. And thereby get you out of jail. Bobby BeauSoleil: To get me out of jail. (He nods, smiles, sighs-complimented) None of that came out at any of the trials. The girls got on the stand and tried to really tell how it
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit
all came down, but nobody would listen. People couldn’t believe anything except what the media said. The media had them pro-grammed to believe it all happened because we were out to start a race war. That it was mean niggers going around hurting all these good white folk. Only-it was like you say. The media, they called us a “family.” And it was the only true thing they said. We were a family. We were mother, father, brother, sister, daughter, son. If a member of our family was in jeopardy, we didn’t abandon that person. And so for the love of a brother, a brother who was in jail on a murder rap, all those killings came down.
So, if this motive is unfitting, what does Beausoleil have to gain by lying? He has nothing to gain and everything to lose. It’s obvious that Beausoleil wants out of prison. He has communicated this desire from his first interviews. Going against the prosecution’s theory only hurts his parole chances and until he admits to the prosecution’s theory he probably will never be paroled. But to this day, Beausoleil denies any connection to the “Family” as a member, and only as a friend. He also claims that the murders of Sharon Tate, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Stephen Parent, Jay Sebring, Rosemary LaBianca and Leno LaBianca were merely copycats of the Gary Hinman murder, in which he was the slayer. The link between these murders and the Hinman murder to the prosecution was the blood inscriptions on the wall. The prosecution also concluded that Manson wanted Hinman dead in a hope to claim the $20,000 jackpot Hinman had on his person. But no money was ever found at the Hinman residence. This makes no sense. If Hinman had a large sum of money, he’d have something of value on him from a recent purchase or perhaps a few hundred dollars “spending cash” on him. Hinman was so broke that he had to sign over his cars to Beausoleil as payment back for the bad drugs. 13
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit Sandra Good has been one of the most vocal supporters for Manson since he was convicted in 1970. In the 1990’s she began a campaign to make the real motive for the murders known, which in a way did nothing but go unnoticed. It did put Manson back in the media spotlight. This was a double-edge sword. The media regularly begged Manson for interviews and didn’t hesitate to edit them out of context to make him seem scarier than he really was. However, it did put the Manson case back out there for a new generation of people to research the case. Germany produced a documentary in the mid 1990’s titled: Menschensohn, or translated as Man’s Son. In this documentary Sandra Good spoke out in defense for the convicted in what a lot of people would consider a very cold statement as she tells the reason for the murders, discounting the Helter Skelter theory.
“The main reason, the main catalyst for those killings, were to get a brother, Bobby Beausoleil, out of jail. He’d been arrested for killing Gary Hinman. Tex and Susan Atkins owed Charlie favors. He had put his life on the line a number of times for Susan Atkins, he had helped Tex out of a real sticky situation. When Bobby got arrested for the Hinman murder, everybody wanted to get Bobby out. Charlie’s strong thought, coming from years in prison, means you stand by friends; you stand by your brother. He was raised by war veterans, World War II, World War I. Brotherhood. Brotherhood goes deep. There is a time to kill, believe it or not- it’s called war. When those young people went out to do what they did for Bobby, there were other reasons for killing also which I can speak of because I was complicit and I can explain to you our war on the system.”
In that same documentary, Manson tells the interviewers that the participants in the killings killed for their own reasons and most definitely not under his direction. Of course we are all tired of hearing Manson deny ever ordering the murders. But, I will add that from day 14
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit one his story has remained consistent as the other’s involved have told different stories that change with every interview. What does that tell you?
Charles Manson: Now these other kids, they say they wanna stop the Vietnam War and they wanna do this and they wanna do that, and they got these thoughts… What can I do about it? I’m supposed to stop everything? I’m not a policeman, what am I supposed to say, ‘You’re wrong’? How can I sit down and tell the generation of children that they’re wrong because they’re fighting for what they believe in? They believed in what they picked up, even when they didn’t understand it and it all fell back down on ‘em, what did they do, they grabbed for me. It was all my fault, I was responsible. Why [do] I got to be responsible? Because they THINK they were doing it for me? I wasn’t in the job of influencing, I don’t care if people are influenced or not, you know. I ride a motorcycle, guy, you know, I’m not in business. Interviewer: Maybe you didn’t want to but they were still influenced. Charles Manson: Alright, well that’s not my fault, what do you want me to do, I’m spending the rest of my life in jail because people like me? You know, I’m trying my best not to be liked anymore so that maybe, you know, maybe they won’t punish me as much.Bobby saved my life and I owed Bobby one life back. So I said to Tex, ‘You go pay Bobby what you owe me.’ He said, ‘Well how do I-’ I said, ‘I don’t wanna know nothing, man. I don’t want any part of no conspiracy, I’m not breaking no law, I don’t wanna go back to jail. You know what to do, do what you do, don’t come to me with it. Just get the brother out of jail.’ That’s all there is to that. He said, ‘Whoa whoa,’ I said, ‘No whoa whoa to it.’ I said, ‘Susie!’ she said yeah, ‘You remember those dudes I fought for you when they were gonna rape you and take you off?’ She says yeah, I said, ‘Go with him and do what he says.’
Beausoleil tells Oui Magazine in 1981 why he murdered Hinman and of course he did not implicate Manson as the man who gave the orders. He also says the “$20,000” motive is incorrect. 15
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit
A. Bardach: Who actually wrote Political Piggy on the wall in Hinman’s blood? B. BeauSoleil: I didn’t, but I had it written. Well, it was my idea to do it. Susan Atkins’ was on that wall. The whole thing was to take the heat off the trail. Gary Hinman was into his revolutionary communism. His whole living room was a library of Communist literature. I figured I’d make it look like one of his cohorts, you know. A. Bardach: Make it look like a Black Panther killing? B. BeauSoleil: I wasn’t thinking about blacks necessarily. A. Bardach: That was Manson’s trip? B. BeauSoleil: It’s never really been his trip. I mean, he’s from the South. West Virginia. Since he’s been in, he gets along with blacks better than anybody. B. BeauSoleil: (cont) I didn’t go there with the intention of killing Gary. If I was going to kill him, I wouldn’t have taken the girls. I was going there for one purpose only, which was to collect $1000 that I had already turned over to him, that didn’t belong to me. A. Bardach: When had you given him the $1000? B. BeauSoleil: The night before. A. Bardach: You paid Hinman $1000 for 1000 tabs of mescaline and then returned to the Spahn Ranch? B. BeauSoleil: The whole transaction with the Straight Satans motorcycle club took place at Spahn’s Ranch. There were a few Satan Slavers hanging out there as well. The Straight Satans took the mescaline back to the motorcycle club at Venice where they were intending to party, they were really mad about it. A. Bardach: Alright. You arrive at Hinman’s and asked for your money back? B. BeauSoleil: I demanded it. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I had a motorcycle band on my back. A. Bardach: And Hinman refused to return the money?
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit
B. BeauSoleil: Right. I was carrying a knife in a sheath at the time, more for utility than anything else. A. Bardach: Who gave you the gun? B. BeauSoleil: I gave the gun to Susan Atkins. We were sitting at the kitchen table. I was looking for something worth $1000 that I could take back to these people. If he moves, I said, shoot him. She wasn’t going to shoot him. I was right about that. But he decided to be a hero and dove at the gun. A. Bardach: Both prosecutor/author Vincent Bugliosi and Ed Sanders maintained that Charlie Manson came to Hinman’s during the night and slashed off Hinman’s ear with his knife. B. BeauSoleil: Yeah, yeah. That was the prosecution’s theory because they wanted to get Manson into the act (laughs). They tried every trick in the book and I’ll tell you why. You see the Sherriff’s Homicide Department wanted to get Manson involved in my case, which was very difficult because Manson was not involved. A. Bardach: When did you decide to kill Hinman and why? B. BeauSoleil: Gary Hinman would not have died if he had not told me that he was going to blow the whistle as soon as I was gone.
This story is noticeably a lot different than the story Vincent Bugliosi presented to the jury during the trial. What does this mean? This mean one of them is lying. When we ask which one is lying, we have to wonder who has the most to gain from this lie. Most of the people who have testified to the “$20,000” motive were not directly related to the murder. Most of it was based on “I heard someone say” and “I was told” second-hand hearsay presented as a first-hand account. 17
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit On Bugliosi’s side, putting Manson at the top of this murder secures a conviction of Manson. Manson had already been convicted for the Tate and LaBianca murders. There’s no way a jury would not convict him of the Hinman murder. Linking Beausoleil to Manson would also secure his conviction. Beausoleil’s first trial ended with a hung jury. It is common practice for an attorney prosecuting a case to pick the motive that he or she feels is the most likely to convict the person or persons they feel is accountable for the crime. This motive is not always the right motive. Do I feel that Bugliosi believes Manson is to blame? I unquestionably believe that. However, I also believe that Bugliosi doesn’t necessarily believe that the murder were committed for the reason that he says. In fact in a 40th anniversary documentary for the I.D. Channel he spoke to Bill Curtis and he, himself sort of let it slip out that he didn’t believe that Manson believed in “all aspects” in Helter Skelter.
Bill Curtis: Do you think Manson actually believed all that [Helter Skelter race war]? Vincent Bugliosi: [laughs] That’s a very good question, Bill; very good question. In fact people don’t ask me that question. [laughs] Um, I don’t believe that he, himself, believed in all aspects of Helter Skelter. My view is that everyone that did it, they already had murder to a certain degree coursing through their veins. Bill Curtis: Really? Vincent Bugliosi: But I also believe they wouldn’t have committed these murders if they didn’t already have something inside of them— a deep hostility towards society, their parents, et cetera. I think they defendants— Watson and the others— sincerely are sorry for what they did.
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit Another fascinating thing that Bugliosi stated in this interview was that he felt that the killers—Van Houten, Watson, Atkins, Krewnwinkel, Beausoleil, Davis and Grogan—already had murder “coursing through their veins.” This challenges his theory that Manson broke down their morals, inhibitions, and “programmed” them to kill. Having murder inside of them responsible for their own actions, not someone over top of them pulling their proverbial puppet strings. Something that Manson was regularly accused of doing and convicted of doing. My opinion on the motive may not be popular opinion, but I am in good company as many high profile individuals also believe in the “Love of Brother” motive, or simply that Manson did not order the murders. I would rather not name these people to protect them, but I mention Iggy Pop and Hank Williams III. Two people who have verbally supported Manson. Doris Tate, the late mother of late Sharon Tate, has also stated that she does not feel Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter theory is accurate. In the book Restless Souls she mentions it.
“Though I’m grateful for Vincent Bugliosi’s helter-skelter motive and the convictions it brought, I don’t buy into it for a second. There’s something more, some deeper motive for the killings. Even though Manson talks in riddles, he seldom lies. So I watch and wait for that morsel of truth that might slip from his lips, revealing the true motive.”
During the Ronald Reagan, Jr. show in 1991, Doris Tate also stated that she felt that the true killers have made Charles Manson a scapegoat.
“Reality is created by the court room, whether I want it to be reality or not. The District Attorney is responsible for Helter Skelter. The District Attorney created Helter Skelter, I didn’t.”
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit I am not saying that Doris Tate in any way supports Manson—she does not and has been more than vocal on her belief that Manson is at fault.
“This man was not guilty of murdering my daughter. Of all of the seven murders, he did not commit none of them. I feel he has taken the blame for all of them. And the ones that should be blamed should be Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins…”
Throughout the entire trial the defendants were struggling to tell the real motive. Manson’s supporters on the outside were also trying to tell the real motive, but no one would listen. Every time an alternative motive was spoken, it was quickly nay-sayed. If the motive didn’t include the words “Helter Skelter,” the media refused to cover it or believe it. Wrapping this chapter up, here is a quick Q&A session between Laurence Merrick, the producer of the 1973 documentary Manson, and some of the “Manson Girls.” This was printed in the book Death to Pigs by Robert Hendrickson.
Sandra Good: Actually Linda suggested the Tate house, because she had been there, and she got in the car and she drove to the Tate house. Laurence Merrick: Linda who? Sandra Good: Kasabian, which that was not allowed to come out (in court) either. Brenda McCann: She got burned on a dope deal there. And another girl wrote us a letter and told us about a contract that was out on some of the people in the Tate house, because they were selling some bad dope, that may have caused a couple people to die. Laurence Merrick: Who sold bad dope? Brenda McCann: Somebody outta that house.
The Manson Myth Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit
Sandra Good: In fact it wasn’t planned, it was just done. Laurence Merrick: Some of you knew about the, before the murder? Sandra Good: It wasn’t planned, as things were moving, some people could feel it was going to happen. We knew we’d do anything to get Bobby outta jail.
In 1970, before the trial started, Aaron Stovitz, who was the first prosecutor on the Manson case— and was pulled off the case— made a statement that coincided with this theory.
“Chief prosecution council Aaron Stovitz has since admitted he was interviewed. In the interview the prosecutor was said to have claimed the Tate murders took place to throw police off the trail after Manson follower Robert Beausoleil (22), was arrested for the murder of Gary Hinman (34). The prosecutor said he believed the reason for the Tate murders was to show the police that Hinman’s true murderer was still at large and was not Beausoleil.”
Was he pulled off of the case by Vincent Bugliosi because of his dissimilarity of opinion on the true motive? The Official Tate/LaBianca Murders Blog interviewed Stovitz in 2004, before his passing and had a scandalous statement:
“Hey Son, your interest is grand, and you aren’t wrong about Manson being wronged, at least legally, but before you go get too stressed, ask yourself- don’t you think he’s happier now that Vince made him who he is?”
Yes, Mr. Stovitz, Manson is happy that Bugliosi made the world believe he is a monster. 21
The Manson Myth
A pre-murders Susan Atkins. Atkins went to her grave saying that the Helter Skelter motive was incorrect and that the murders were to free Bobby Beausoleil. She did say that it was Charles Manson who suggested the copy-cat murders to free Beausoleil in fear that he may snitch on Manson for shooting Bernard Crowe. Atkins wrote a book titled The Myth of Helter Skelter that was never published except on her website SusanAtkins.org. The book Charles Manson Now stated that before Atkins’ death, Manson tried contacting her on numerous occasions, begging her to tell the truth before she dies.
The Manson Myth
The Drug Connection
“My total sellout to LSD, marijuana, and hashish, and to sex with virtually any attractive man, landed me in the hospital for four months. I was half dead from gonorrhea and a complete physical breakdown.” Susan Atkins, 1967 23
The Manson Myth The Drug Connection Before I get into this chapter, I will start off by saying that I do not believe the Tate and LaBianca murders were over drugs or to secure drugs. However, I do feel that the victims were selected because they were known names in the drug circle that Charles “Tex” Watson, Linda Kasabian and Susan Atkins ran in. I also believe that they may have been selected due to some sort of botched drug transaction between these three and at least one of the victims on a prior date. When these murders are spoken about in any capacity, it is rarely noted that drugs were indeed found on the premises. Not only were drugs found, but Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger and Jay Sebring were all tied to drugs—both as dealers and habitual consumers. In fact, the very night of the murders Sebring and Frykowski had drugs delivered to 10050 Cielo Drive by an individual named Joel Rosatu. Here are some excerpts from the homicide report from the murders at 10050 Cielo Drive, also known as the “Tate Murders.” Joel Rosatu was later murdered in an unrelated case. This was also posted in various newspapers.
On 9-8-69, investigators received information from Karlene Ann McCaffrey, receptionist for Sebring, Inc., that Joel J. Rostau, residing at 840 North Larabee Street, apartment 119, had delivered narcotics to the Tate residence on the night of the homicide. Rostau informed McCaffrey that he had delivered cocaine and mescaline to the house but that Frykowski and Sebring wanted some additional narcotics and that he had gone back down the hill but was unable to locate the other narcotics they requested and therefore he did not return to the Tate residence. McCaffrey stated that on August 7, 1969, she had talked to Sebring and he had informed her that he had been burnt on $2,000 worth of bad cocaine. McCaffrey stated that in her opinion Sebring would do almost anything to get back at the person who had burnt him.
The Manson Myth The Drug Connection
McCaffrey was arrested on 4-13-69, along with Rostau after two armed men had entered Rostau’s apartment at approximately 0600 and tied both Rostau and McCaffrey up and subsequently shot Rostau in the foot. When Sheriff’s investigators arrived at Rostau’s apartment, they conducted a search and found a quantity of marijuana, cocaine and hashish. The District Attorney refused to file on McCaffrey, but did file Possession of Narcotics for Sale against Rostau. Rostau is presently out on $5,000 bail awaiting trial in Beverly Hills. On 9-16-69, investigators Bachhelder and Lee interviewed Rostau at which time he stated he had only met Jay Sebring once or twice, but he was on friendly terms with Frykowski.
The follow up to the “Tate Homicide Report” was the progress report, in which each of the victims was investigated in an endeavor to find out more about them. Hopefully this investigation would give an insight on potential suspects. This investigation also provided a lot of drug activity between Frykowski, Folger and Sebring.
Thomas John Sebring , 9810 Easton Drive, Los Angeles, male Caucasian, 35 years of age, 5-6, 120 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. The victim was a hair stylist and had a corporation known as Sebring International with a statewide distributorship featuring male cosmetics, hair sprays, etc. He was unmarried and had been engaged to the previous victim, Sharon (Tate) Polanski. He was considered a lady's man and took numerous women to his residence in the Hollywood Hills. He would tie the women up with a small sash cord and if they agreed, would whip them, after which he would undress them and have sexual relations. He was a well-known user of cocaine, staying high on the drug most of the time. Sebring put on a big front, living in a large house with a butler, an expensive foreign car and at times hosting expensive parties. It is believed that all of these actions were to impress potential backers of his corporation in his financial worth, while in fact his capital resources were very limited. Abigail Anne Folger , female Caucasian, 25,5-5, 120, hazel eyes, brown hair, residence since the first of April, 10050 Cielo Drive. Prior to that she lived at 2774 Woodstock Road.
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She is an heiress to the Folger coffee fortune and has a financial statement of somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000. She has been living in a common-law relationship with another of the victims, Wojiciech Frykowski, for the past two years. Folger supported Frykowski, paying for the rent at the Woodstock address and supplying him with money for his drug habit, which included marijuana, hashish, mescaline, MDA and cocaine. Folger also used these drugs in large quantities. Folger saw her psychiatrist, Marvin Flicker, M.D., for one hour a day, five days a week. Her standing appointment was 1630 each day. She discussed her use of drugs and her disappointment with Frykowski. Doctor Flicker stated that he thought she was almost ready to leave Frykowski. She was building up enough nerve in her own mind to go it alone. This, of course, is Doctor Flicker's opinion.. Wojiciech Frykowski , male Caucasian, 32, 5-10, 165, blond hair, blue eyes. Frykowski was a writer; however, he has been unable to sell any of his work in the past years. He has been living in a common-law relationship with Abigail Folger at both 2774 Woodstock Road, prior to April of 1969, and since April of 1969, at 10050 Cielo Drive. Frykowski was a native of Poland and had lived in England, France, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He met Abigail Folger in New York and accompanied her to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles. He had no means of support and lived off of Folgers' fortune. He used cocaine, mescaline, LSD, marijuana, hashish and MDA in large amounts. He was an extrovert and gave invitations to almost everyone he met to come visit him at his residence. Narcotic parties were the order of the day, and the parties continued on into the early morning hours.
In short, according to the LAPD, Roman Polanski not only allowed, but invited drug dealers and addicts to live with his pregnant wife. There’s no way in the world that he did not know what kind of people Frykowski, Folger and Sebring were. In fact, it’s safe to say that he was very much a part of that lifestyle and allowed it in his home. In Paul Krassner's book Confessions of a Raving Unconfined Nut, he talks about Jay getting burned on $2,000 worth of cocaine and says that 26
The Manson Myth The Drug Connection Sebring sought vengeance on the burner by “tying him to a chair and sodomizing him.” According to Krassner, Frykowski also participated and the incident was recorded and reviewed by the LAPD after the murders. This story was also brought up in Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders. Joel Rosatu, according to the investigation report, was found battered tied to a chair. The official Tate murder investigation report also stated that Rosatu was found tied to a chair. Kinky. Oddly enough, in the book Charles Manson Now by Marlin Marynick, it was written that Charles Manson had been in the car of Abigail Folger prior to the murders in a drug-related sale. It was written that Charles Manson identified razor cut marks in her glove compartment, verifying he had knowledge of that. However, the source of that information was sketchy and this may or may not be true. In that same book, it was also printed that Roman Polanski did know of the drug exploits of Frykowski and even knew he may have had mob hits against him and feared that those hits may occur while he was living at his residence. So, if this is true, I again ask: Why did he allow that element into the home of his pregnant wife? Why did William Garretson, the individual living in the guest home at 10050 Cielo Drive, tell the investigators that he heard nothing and saw nothing on the night of the murders? But in 1999 he appeared on an E! documentary where he not only disclosed he heard gun shots that sounded like “firecrackers,” but he heard Abigail Folger screaming, “Stop, I am already dead.” He also said that he saw Patricia Krenwinkel turn the door knob in an attempt to enter the guest home, but hastily turned around and ran away. Garretson also let out a bombshell; he went hitchhiking up Benedict Canyon to get cigarettes and on his way back he was picked up by a man who cautioned him not to go back to 27
The Manson Myth The Drug Connection the Cielo Drive home. If this is true, this is huge regarding motive. It not only blows the doors off of the prosecution’s theory, but puts someone else in the know and a suspect at the home long before the murders happened. Perhaps someone scoping the home? To this day, Charles Manson has never disclosed that he gave the orders for the murders. He has admitted knowing about them. His excuse for not going to the police was simple: He doesn’t snitch. With someone like Manson who lived his life in prison and lives by prison law, this is completely understandable. It may not be right morally, but to someone who is institutionalized, it is purely survival law. The motive Manson gives for the murders seem to change. One interview he will say they were trying to stop a war. While in other interviews he states the murders were to free Bobby Beausoliel. But he has never admitted anything that even resembled the Helter Skelter motive. Even Northeastern University criminologist Jack Levin believes he is telling the truth when he says he did not order the murders. BBC’s Bill Scanlon Murphy researched the motive extensively, and according to him drugs were involved in the murders. His version includes Manson returning to the Tate residence to clean it up. I believe that Manson did, or he sent people to clean it up. Witnesses have stated that voices arguing from the home were heard around 4am. This was long after the murders were committed, so someone did return. This was written by Neil MacKay in the article Charles Manson vs. The Mafia in 1999:
“Bill Scanlon Murphy says he has proof that Tex, and other family members had been at the Polanski house on at least one previous occasion in connection with drugs. They knew on the night of the murders that Jay Sebring had $40,000 worth of mob drugs on
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him and they, more precisely Tex, went to rip him off. Manson did not go to the house or take part in the killings, but he was aware of the plan and keen for it to succeed. The robbery blew up in the gang’s face when Sharon, Sebring and the coffee heiress Abigail Folger and her lover Wojiciech Frykowski tried to bolt. They were shot and stabbed to death by Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkle. A fourth member, Linda Kasabian, remained as a look-out outside. “When they told Charlie what happened, he freaked,” says Murphy. “He started swearing, saying ‘I’m just out of the fucking can and you are gonna put me right back inside, you assholes’.” One of the most staggering new claims made by Murphy is that Manson effectively admitted that he returned to the Polanski house more than an hour after the killings to tamper with the murder scene. Until now, it has been believed that Manson had never so much as set foot in the Polanski house. This may be true Manson’s close friend Bobby Beausoleil, had killed Gary Hinman in a wrangle over drugs. To cover his tracks, Beausoleil daubed the words “Political Piggie” in Hinman’s own blood on the walls of his house. Hinman was known to associate with members of the Black Panthers and hoped the slogan would attach blame to the black movement. With that in mind, Manson rearranged the Polanski house bodies to put the Panthers in the frame. “He’s never going to get out, he knows that,” says Murphy. “Why should he throw away the only thing that makes him feel alive. And, anyway. He’s so incapable of rational thought, he wouldn’t be able to even attempt to express the truth.” After hours of interviews, Manson finally said to Murphy: “I’m not an entertainer, I’m not a cult leader, I’m a thug. But all I’ve got left is my rap, if you take that away from me, I’m nothing.”
My take on this is that Susan Atkins left her knife at the Tate residence— which probably happened when Kasabian dropped it—and returned to Spahn Ranch. When they told Charles Manson of what 29
The Manson Myth The Drug Connection happened and the fact that evidence was left, he freaked out and went back to the residence to help clean it up and plant evidence. It is a fact that a pair of horn-rimmed eye glasses were left at the scene. In the book Manson In His Own Words, it was stated that he planted it to “throw off the investigation.” In the 1988 interview with Geraldo Rivera, Manson speaks about the confrontation with Susan Atkins after the murders and it is similar. He doesn’t remark going back to the Tate residence, but his version is very close to Murphy’s version.
Geraldo Rivera: Susan Atkins comes home to you with bloody fingers. She says, “Charlie, look what I did for you.” Charles Manson: Yeah. “I give you the world. I just killed myself and I give you the world.” Geraldo Rivera: So, how’d you react? Charles Manson: I says, “You dumb fucking cunt, I already had the world, you just put me back in jail again.” And that’s what she did, she put me right back in jail.
It’s not any secret that the “Manson Family” used drugs and used them a lot. Their drug use was mainly limited to natural hallucinogens like mushrooms, LSD, peyote, belladonna and gypsum. Manson forbade drugs like speed, which Charles “Tex” Watson abused along with Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel. Strangely enough, these three were involved in the murders. Watson lays it all out in his book Will You Die for Me? in great detail many times throughout the book: “Charlie, for all his use of acid, was absolutely against speed. He believed it was bad for
your body. But when a young guy from one of the neighboring ranches began sneaking it
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over, Susan-Sadie, and Bruce Davis, and I started carrying it around in the bottom of a cigarette package. Later we hid it in a Gerbers’ baby-food jar under the porch of one of the buildings. Even after the murders, when I was up in the desert, I tried to get Bruce to find our little baby-food jar of speed, but somehow it had disappeared. I was willing to kill for Manson, but I wasn’t willing to give up my speed.” Sadie, Katie, and Linda, I reeled over to the porch where Sadie and I kept our Gerbers’ jar of speed hidden. Despite all we’d been taught, I was spinning inside, trembling. I took a couple of deep snorts of speed and went to get the clothes and rope and bolt cutters. On my first try, the speed I’d sniffed before we left threw my balance off and I ended up tumbling down to the pavement. One of the many effects of speed is to make the intention or thought of an action and that action itself almost inseparable, as if you leap ahead in time and experience your next move before you actually make it. I slept very late Saturday, then spent part of the afternoon working on dune buggies and snorting speed with Bruce Davis. Charlie gave me a light tab of acid. While people were getting things together, Sadie and I took the opportunity to hit our speed bottle and I gave myself three good snorts in each nostril.”
So, here’s my question to Watson’s statement: How were you brainwashed enough to blindly kill for a man, but you were not brainwashed enough to listen to him when he demanded no speed be at the ranch? That makes no sense at all. The story goes on in the book Charles Manson Now by Marlin Marynick where “Vickie” sated something similar. “Tex Watson got into drug dealing after he left the ranch and went to LA. Apparently
Tex owned a wig store. He fell in love with a woman named Luella and she got pregnant,
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but Luella went to Mexico and had an abortion. Tex became angry with Luella for terminating the pregnancy and at the same time he grew upset over one too many drug deals gone wrong. So, he relocated back to the ranch, a move Vicki described as a “huge mistake for everyone there.” Vicki said that Charlie eventually moved Tex and Susan Atkins out of the main part of Spahn Ranch because “they were going out and starting there own little drug ring, and they would bring speed all this other stuff to the ranch, which Charlie didn’t like.” Vicki told me that the drug ring was “the beginning of the end.” She assured me that judging by the extensive interactions she witnessed at the ranch, Manson never tried to manipulate anyone’s mind.”
Even in Watson’s book Will You Die for Me?, he speaks of selling drugs as if it was a glamorous lifestyle. After a brief stay at Spahn Ranch, he left for Hollywood where he dated a girl named Luella and quickly started a drug sales ring, in which he even mentions that an individual from the mafia supplying him drugs. “The first time I hitchhiked over to her apartment I ended up moving in. Luella was like a
lot of good-looking, hip (but not hippie) women living in Hollywood at that time. She didn't have a real job; she kept herself going by dealing a little grass and LSD among her friends-nothing big time but enough to get by. She had an old Hollywood-Spanish apartment with eucalyptus trees all around and a patio that overlooked the driveway to an exclusive private club for professional magicians and entertainment stars. Sometimes we'd sunbathe on the deck, drinking beer and smoking grass while we watched all the big limousines drive up for parties, dumping out beautiful people whom we could never quite recognize. It was an easy life that Luella and I fell into. Combining her contacts with mine, we found we could sell a lot more dope than she'd been doing on her own. We charged $15 a lid on grass that we bought from our vending-machine friend in $95 kilos (2.2 lbs.) and then broke up into 36 lids. We discovered affluence: a new stereo system and records (one of the first albums we bought was the Beatles' White Album, and we played it over and over until I knew it by heart), expensive clothes, clubs and restaurants where you
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laid down five bucks just for a beer. I even had my hair cut and started getting it styled by a friend I'd known back in my wig-shop days. And there were parties. As our dealing got more extensive, I ended up keeping different batches of grass in numbered olive jars, since each kilo had its own distinct taste and high, and when people came over to party we'd give them a choice, eventually all the way from number one to number eight.“
Notice in this excerpt that he mentions two things; listening to the Beatles’ White Album over and over. This was something that was put on Charles Manson. Watson also references having his hair styled by an “old friend.” Was this hair stylist Jay Sebring—a fellow drug dealer and hair stylist? I will also add that Manson refers to Leno LaBianca as “the Mafioso.” Was this the same Mafioso that supplied Watson’s drugs? Watson’s book quickly mentions this era of his life and then skips to his return to Spahn Ranch in March of 1969. He fails to mention the Bernard Crowe incident or why his relationship with Luella failed. For the ones who may not know, the Watson/Luella situation lead the the Bernard Crowe shooting, which was a drug deal that Watson set up to rip off Luella and Bernard Crowe for $2,500 (which would be about $13,000 today). One thing lead to another and Crowe called Spahn Ranch looking for “Charlie,” in which Charles Manson answered and assumed responsibility for Watson’s drug burn. Manson ended up shooting Crowe in the stomach to protect Luella. This lead to Manson thinking Crowe had died. And with all of the rumors that he was a Black Panther, he feared retaliation by the Black Panthers. Nuel Emmons wrote in his book Manson in His Own Words, Manson’s thoughts on the Watson/Atkins situation:
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“Those two— Sadie and Tex— who screamed the loudest and cried the hardest that I influenced their lives and actions, where themselves instrumental in what I feel was the biggest blow to the life of love we were living and led to murder and chaos.”
Digressing, here is what www.KCI.org has to say about the abuse of meth, something that Watson, Atkins and Davis had admitted to abusing. This may explain the psychotic actions of the aforementioned.
“The drug literally changes the brain in fundamental and long-lasting ways. It kills by causing heart failure (myocardial infarction), brain damage, and stroke and it induces extreme, acute psychiatric and psychological symptoms that may lead to suicide or murder. Symptoms of prolonged meth abuse can resemble those of schizophrenia and are characterized by anger, panic, paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, repetitive behavior patterns, and formication (delusions of parasites or insects on the skin). Methamphetamine-induced paranoia can result in homicidal or suicidal thoughts.”
Since Bugliosi’s theory was that Manson kept them sober for their murder spree—so they could be keen, crafty and thorough—this contradiction was never introduced as evidence. If you remember what I wrote in the chapter: Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit, no evidence at all was introduced by Manson’s defense team. In the book Taming The Beast, Ed George wrote in 1976 Manson gave his versions of the crimes and here was his motive behind the Hinman murder:
“That [Hinman murder] was another drug deal gone bad. Some bikers said Bobby [BeauSoleil] sold them some bad shit and they wanted their money back. When Bobby went to the supplier, Hinman, he refused to make good, leaving Bobby’s life on the line. They argued, and Bobby and some of the girls ended up killing the guy. They even wrote a message on the wall in Hinman’s blood, something like “Political Piggy.” That Beatles album writing stuff was not me. That was kids’ idea all along; I wasn’t even around.”
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A mock-up dummy of Malibu musician and drug dealer Gary Hinman. Vincent Bugliosi told the jury that Charles Manson “cut Hinman’s ear off,” which is something Manson regularly repeats—probably because he thinks it makes him look “harder.” In reality his ear was not severed, but cut. The cut extended down his cheek. Coincidentally (or was it?) the cheeks of Abigail Folger and Sharon Tate were also cut. Was this a way to link the crimes?
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Who is Charles Watson?
“Tex took the witness stand, and this is record, and he said “I don’t know whether I am Charlie Manson or my mother.” Tex didn’t have his own mind one way or the other.” Charles Manson 36
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? ho is Charles Watson? This is a serious question, because quite frankly the name “Charles Watson” is rarely murmured in context to the Tate/LaBianca slayings. This is disquieting because he is the confessed slayer of all seven victims. Watson has admitted in his book Will You Die for Me? that he physically took the lives of all seven victims when Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins couldn’t. Watson often speaks about being the lead of these murders when it suits his need, almost bragging. However, when he is in front of the parole board he cries victim. Mae Brussell may have some very “out there” conspiracy theories, but in 1971 she spoke on her radio show about Charles “Tex” Watson and the lack of media attention on his trial. The Manson trial was a media frenzy and it seemed like once he was convicted and sentenced, no one longer cared. Meanwhile Watson was on trial alone for his part in the murders. Watson was tried separately and he should have been tried first since he was the lead killer.
“I call it the Manson trial because nobody talks about it being Charles Watson's massacre. That's the boy who killed seven people, but the news media associates the name Charles Manson [with the killings]. He made the picture on the cover of Life; He is the man that you associate with killing Sharon Tate. Many people don't even know the name Charles Watson, because you're not supposed to know it. Right now there's a hung jury in Los Angeles on the decision of whether Charles Watson is guilty of murdering seven people. He was in the home. He did the stabbing forty times. He wrote "death to the pigs" on the door. The jury can't decide if he was guilty.”
Brussell seemed to think that Watson was at fault and Manson was a scapegoat. I kind of agree with her theory. Whether or not Manson was
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? morally liable for the murders—or at least accessory after the fact—it seems that people rarely mention Watson. In fact on blogs when the Tate/LaBianca murders are mentioned, 95% of the time the post is tagged #Charles Manson and not #Charles Watson. How can this be? How did the name Charles Manson become so powerful that the name Charles Watson is commonly ignored? In Paul Watkins’ book My Life with Charles Manson, he mentions speaking with Watson after he testified. His description of Watson is pretty scary. It would be the description of the most notorious serial killers in American history.
“If I have ever seen a specimen of death, it was Tex. When we asked him what really happened at the murder scenes, he told us. He didn’t explain, he just narrated the events in a monotone as they happened. The bodies of the Tate and LaBianca victims had a total of 159 stab wounds; most of them inflicted by him. “I just killed them… that is what I had to do. I heard Sadie cry, “Help me,” and I helped her. Then Katie needed help and I helped her. It seemed like I had to do everything.”
It almost sounds like even back then Watson was bragging about his deeds. Like most sociopaths who murder, they want credit for their deeds. According to Diane “Snake” Lake, as written in Tex Watson: The Man, The Madness, The Manipulation by Bill Nelson, Watson was quite proud of his deeds and felt the need to boast about them. This was his time in Olancha, California when he was staying alone with Lake.
“Watson was now back in California, ready to face the charges against him. He boasted to “Family” members at Spahn Ranch, confessed to Diane Lake in the desert showing her the newspaper article about Sharon Tate, even said “it was fun to trash the Tate house” at Barker Ranch, and confessed to his Texas attorney Bill Boyd, who told him to keep quiet.”
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Before his capture in Texas, the girl he was perusing as a love interest testified that he seemed normal. That there was no sign that he had actually murdered seven people. How can someone— who isn’t a sociopath — murder seven people, then go back to life like nothing has happened? This was of course before he was arrested and extradited back to Los Angeles. That is when his story turned; he became “insane” and “suicidal.” This excerpt is also from the Bill Nelson book Tex Watson: The Man, The Madness, The Manipulation.
“His new attorney, a public defender for Los Angeles, instructed Watson to keep quiet. Now in California, he seems demented, strange, quiet, losing weight. It was nothing more than his manipulation of the system. He did whatever was necessary to achieve a goal.”
In Nelson’s other book Manson: Behind The Scenes, he states that Catherine “Cappy” Gillies told him in 1990 that Watson once threatened to slit her throat. This shows Watson’s psychotic tendencies and that he had rage that was not programmed by Manson. Manson loved Gillies and surely would not want Watson to slit her throat. A similar example was written in the John Gilmore book The Garbage People. Much like Nelson, Gilmore was not convinced with Watson’s act.
“Tex, finally extradited to California, was to lose fifty pounds vegetating in a solitary cell. While the others were being tried, he was being force-fed with tubes through the nostrils. Described by medical examiners as “catatonic” and “in an acute psychotic state,” he was sent to Atascadero State Mental Hospital. He saw himself getting off scott-free, beating it, getting out— free. He once joked about the gun busting while he beat one of his victims in the head. He said something about his fist being more powerful than the way the gun was made. But he believed in killing, and killing with a knife was the way to do it. Not kicking in heads, though he felt a lot of joy in that too.”
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? But Watson still would not fess up to his crimes. He fought extradition for many months in an attempt to miss the Manson trial in hopes the media coverage would die down—and it did. This was advice given to him by his attorney and it was purely a legal tactic. While Watson was awaiting extradition, he mentions in his book Will You Die for Me? that he asked to have every Beatles album sent to his cell, which was a cell in the jailhouse ran by his uncle the sheriff. Not only did he eat very well— as his mother sent him food daily—but he had the music of his favorite band: The Beatles. Nuel Emmons wrote in his book Manson in His Own Words, how Charles Manson felt about Watson and how the media had ignored him.
“Most reports on Tex Watson overlook his activities in California before he became associated with me— the two years he spent using drugs and pushing dope, burning everyone he came into contact with is forgotten. What has mostly been established is that prior to meeting me he was the pride of Capeville, Texas and I corrupted him. Not true. He was such a freeloader that even the big-hearted Dennis Wilson sent him packing.”
Charles Manson met Watson at the home of Beach Boys’ drummer Dennis Wilson. But Watson joined Manson’s gang at Spahn’s Ranch much later, after Wilson had asked Watson to leave his home and after his relationship with Luella failed. Story goes that he traded his pickup truck to Manson for “rent” to stay at the ranch. Throughout his time at the ranch, Watson had a history of burning people in drug deals and being a sketchy individual fixated on money. His L.A.P.D. arrest reports listed his aliases as Mad Charlie and Crazy 40
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Charlie. How would one acquire such nicknames? One could only imagine what Watson did to get called “Mad” and “Crazy.” Could it have been from his overdose on belladonna root in 1968? According to Family lore—as written in the Ed Sanders book The Family—Brenda McCann acquired belladonna root from a local kid and began to cook it in the Saloon at Spahn’s Movie Ranch. This is a big no-no, and it turns out the vapors from the cooking root only poisoned McCann for days, but Watson grabbed a whole root and devoured it. He proceeded to jump on a motorcycle and take it for a ride. He was found tripping on the side of the road near Van Nuys High School, crawling. He was arrested and booked. Later in the year— as the story goes—Watson decided to earn some extra money selling drugs. He brought his partner in crime Luella to the home of Black Panther Bernard Crowe on Woodrow Wilson Drive, right outside of Hollywood to acquire drugs or sell drugs—the story changes. In the end, Watson burned Crowe and Luella for $2,500 and fled, leaving Luella. Later in the day Crowe called Spahn Ranch asking for “Charlie,” and of course Manson answered. Crowe thought he had Watson on the phone and told him if he doesn’t return his money-- that he was going to “fuck Luella to death.” According to Manson, he told Crowe that he has nothing to do with that—that he has the wrong guy and hung up. According to the 1994 interview with Bill Murphy, Manson said that Crowe called back again and threatened to burn down Spahn Ranch unless he got his money back. At this time Watson had taken the money and absconded, leaving Manson to deal with his problems. Feeling cornered, Manson asked Danny DeCarlo to come along, and Manson stated that “all of a sudden, DeCarlo was too busy shoveling shit to help 41
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? me out” Tom “TJ The Terrible” Walleman ended up with the task of going with him to the Crowe residence in an attempt to fix the problem. They grabbed DeCarlo’s .22 caliber revolver and left. Once Charlie made it to Crowe’s home, Crowe would not give up Luella and one thing lead to another and Crowe was shot. Manson, Luella, and Walleman fled thinking that Crowe was dead. This created a lot of panic and paranoia, but I will get to this in a later chapter. Why did Watson decide to burn Luella and subsequently, Crowe? Was it because she had an abortion? He seemed pretty displeased with her over her abortion in his book Will You Die For Me?. Or was Luella just a casualty in the Crowe burn? Was this just a money move and Watson didn’t care who he hurt?
“Except for improving her drug business, it seemed that I was pretty much bad news for Luella. After we'd been together for a while she had to go to Mexico for an abortion that was messed up so badly she ended up spending a week at the U.C.L.A. Medical Center. Then, when I decided to show her a special good time, just for the two of us, and took her on a trip down through Mexico and back up to Palm Springs, we got caught in a dust storm in the desert and I smashed her VW into the back of a truck. The car was totaled and she got a bad gash on her head.”
When it came to money, it seemed like no matter what Watson was there to take it. There’s Bill Scanlon murphy’s theory that Watson chose the Tate home because Sebring was there with $40,000 of mob drugs. It’s also commonly reported that Linda Kasabian stole $5,000 from her ex-husband and gave it to Manson. It is often stated that Manson “conned” her out of the money. Not only is this false, but it was actually 42
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Watson who conned her out of the money and in the style that it’s regularly reported that Manson had conned her. Here is a portion of Linda Kasabian’s testimony on July 31, 1970. What she says about Watson sounds a lot like what they have put on Manson.
Linda Kasabian: Okay. I met Tex, and Tex took me into a dark shed, shack, whatever you want to call it, and he made love to me, which was an experience that I had never had before. Paul Fitzgerald: You had never had sexual intercourse before? Linda Kasabian: No. I am saying that the experience I had in making love with Tex was a total experience, it was different. Paul Fitzgerald: In what respect? Linda Kasabian: That my hands were clenched when it was all over and I had absolutely no will power to open my own hands, and I was very much afraid, I didn’t understand it. And I questioned Gypsy about it later and she told me it was my ego that was dying. And I told him that I was on my way to South America, and we had all this money, and we were going to do these things. Paul Fitzgerald: You had all what money? Linda Kasabian: We had some money that Charlie Melton had inherited. Vincent Bugliosi: The way it developed is that apparently Tex told her to go steal $5,000, whereupon she did go and steal the $5,000, and gave it to Leslie, I believe. She didn’t keep it for herself. She is about to testify to this. And I think the defense is now bringing in through the back door what the court indicated it could not do. Judge Older: I don’t see it that way. She is now relating a conversation that she had with Tex, one of the defendants in this case. I think it is permissible. Paul Fitzgerald: Would you continue with the conversation you had with Tex Watson?
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Linda Kasabian: Yes. I told him that we and these people were going to go to South America by boat and sail around the world. And we had this money, and it seemed to me as soon as I mentioned money he started going on this trip, and telling me that it wasn’t their money; that it was everybody’s money and it was just there to take, and that there was no right and wrong. It was just theirs, ours. I said, “Hey…” He told me, you know, that I should go and take this money. I said, “Hey, I can’t do that, he’s my brother.” He said, “But there is no wrong.” And he just kept going on and on. And I accepted it and that was about the conversation.
While I am on the motive of money, I would also like to point out what Watson said in his book Will You Die for Me? about money and the Tate murders. When mentioned alone, it seems insignificant. However, when grouped with these situations where he worked dirty to get money, it sort of makes sense and comes together. Watson was a con man. Why would he want their money if these murders were to incite a race war?
“I want all the money you’ve got here,” I barked, and Abigail took Sadie into her bedroom and gave her the money in her wallet. When they came back with only seventy dollars, I shouted: “You mean that’s all you’ve got?” “How much do you want?” Frykowski asked. “We want thousands!”
When all of this is put together, in my mind it points directly to Charles Watson. He admitted in his book Will You Die for Me? That he chose the Tate home because he’d been in it before. The prosecution contended that Charles Manson selected it because of a previous altercation with property owner Rudy Altobelli, in which Manson noticed Sharon Tate. The prosecution stated that the Tate home to Manson symbolized the establishment and reminded him of his failures in the music industry. Now if this were true, why wouldn’t Manson had killed Terry Melcher or Dennis Wilson instead? 44
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Earlier in 1968, a couple murders were committed in close proximity to Charles Watson that are still unsolved. Marina Habe— daughter of actress Eloise Hart—was murdered December 29, 1968 and left on Mulholland Drive, near Beaumont Drive. This is in very close proximity of Beverly Hills, right on the other side of Runyon and Benedict Canyon where Cielo Drive is located. Oddly enough, Woodrow Wilson Drive— where Bernard Crowe was shot—runs into Mulholland Drive. According to many sources and rumors, Charles Watson may have met Habe while she was in Hawaii. This may or may not be true. Habe’s autopsy said her last meal was a vegetarian meal, characteristic of meals at Spahn Ranch. The Wikipedia page for Marina Habe also references that a Manson Family member stated that she was friends with one of them and may have been slain by one of the Manson Family. Other rumors say that Watson’s Hollywood apartment may have been close to Habe’s. None of this has been proven, but still could be true. Habe was murdered by multiple stab wounds, much like the ones Watson inflicted onto many of his other victims. Earlier that year on November 15, 1968 an elderly man named Karl Stubbs was murdered in Olancha, California. Olancha is a small town on the outskirts of Death Valley in close proximity to Barker Ranch. The interesting facts about this murder are that Charles Watson knew Olancha and even stayed there after the Tate/LaBianca murders with Diane “Snake” Lake. And that this may have been before he came to stay at Spahn’s Ranch with Charles Manson. What does that mean? Well, if Watson was responsible for this murder, it means that he had killed before and without any manipulation by Manson. Sadly, the link 45
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? was quickly investigated and excused despite an eye witness putting Watson at Stubbs’ home. Probably because it went against the Helter Skelter motive and would have created a lot of reasonable doubt as to the notion that the Tate/LaBianca killers were seemingly normal teenagers who fell victim to the mind of Charles Manson. If this is the case, Karl Stubbs may never rest in peace due to legal tactics. Below is the verbatim report from a police officer from Olancha, California:
“ I spoke to the witness that lived behind Karl. She told me that Karl crawled to her trailer and told her husband that there was a boy and two girls that came in his house demanding money. Every time the boy would kick him in the head the girls would laugh. The witness said that Karl was totally lucid but he could not see. He died hours later. A year later, Tex Watson confessed the Tate/LaBianca murders to Diane Lake while there were in Olancha. Olancha is the gateway to the Barker Ranch via Hwy 190. The case was investigated by the California Department of Justice. Tom interviewed the investigator who said that the investigation “fell through the cracks”. It was not until Tex was finally extradited from Texas, after everyone else was tried, that the clerk at the store recognized Tex on TV as one of the kids that followed Karl home from the store. It is unknown if this was ever reported to Law Enforcement.”
The local Inyo County newspaper The Journal ran a story about Stubbs’ murder, it made some creepy parallels to the Tate/LaBianca murders and especially Watson. 82-year-old Olancha Man Dead of Nov. 12 Beating – Attackers Laughed… The article proved to be very interesting backed up with an eye witness who claimed he saw Watson enter Stubbs’ home:
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson?
“Before he died, Stubbs told deputies that the two young men and women who assaulted him were laughing and giggling as they ransacked his house and stole between $40 and $50.”
Money. He was murdered over money. With Watson’s history of taking money; burning Bernard Crowe, weaseling Linda Kasabian out of $5,000, and of course telling Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger that he needed “thousands” after she offered him $70, I can see Watson beating a man for money—even if it is $50. Obviously, whoever assaulted Karl Stubbs may not have intended to kill him, but he did die and it is a murder. If this is indeed Watson’s murder, it may not prove that Watson is a cold-blooded killer, but it does prove that he was an ostensibly angry, violent man. Who were the “laughing” girls, laughing as Watson beat Stubbs? Was it Susan Atkins? Patricia Krenwinkel? Brenda McCann? It wasn’t Linda Kasabian or Leslie Van Houten, because this was long before they attached themselves to the group. While on the run in Death Valley, the “Family” was in a state of panic and paranoia, waiting for an impending retaliation for the Bernard Crowe shooting as well as expecting the Feds to come in any minute to bust them for the Tate/LaBianca/Hinman and Shea murders. During this time, the prosecution stated that Charles Manson begun teaching everyone how to murder and armed everyone with knives and guns. It may be true that Manson— with help from Danny DeCarlo— did arm everyone. He was expecting some sort of retaliation from shooting Bernard Crowe. This was one of the reasons he made the exodus to Death Valley. However when everyone started speaking to the presses, the prosecution took notice and put them on the stand. 47
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Barbara Hoyt told the jury that it was Charles Watson who ran a “school for murder.” And on August 6, 1971 the newspapers reported it:
“Charles “Tex” Watson conducted a school for murder for female members of the Charles Manson Cult shortly after the seven Tate-LaBianca slayings, a state witness testified Wednesday. Watson’s instruction on how to use a knife were “not to stab straight—to turn it to the side and move it around to cut up more stuff,” said Barbara Hoyt. She said stabbing instructions followed a discussion of “how to kill if it came down to it.” Watson said when using a knife, it’s either “them” or us.”
Since the Manson trial had no defense portion, contradictory evidence like this was not put forth. This revelation is huge—it proves that Watson was a violent, psychotic individual who prided himself on murder and mayhem. Watson loved the outlaw lifestyle. Barbara Hoyt also testified a similar story that Diane “Snake” Lake had. She said that Watson “kept buying newspapers,” and she thought it was weird because “we were trying to get away from everything.” She added that there was little money to buy food because he was spending it on newspapers. Why would Watson be buying so many newspapers? Simple; he was proud of his work and he loved to read about it. Something that is uncharacteristic of the “mindless robot” he claimed to be from the works of Charles Manson.
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Vincent Bugliosi told the jury that Charles Manson knew Sharon Tate lived at 10050 Cielo Drive and that he sent his “robot,” Charles Watson, to murder her and anyone else who stood in the way. He said that Manson saw Tate as an elegant symbol of the “establishment.” Manson knew a lot more famous people than Sharon Tate— who wasn’t that famous. Certainly not as famous as others Manson knew or had met like; The Beach Boys, Neil Young, Jane Fonda, Yul Brenner, Deanna Martin and Deidra Lansbury. If Manson wanted to make a statement to Hollywood, he would have ordered one of their deaths. July 12, 1971 Watson went under psychiatric evaluation. During this evaluation he not only blamed everything on the girls, but completely minimized his role in the murders stating that Linda Kasabian drove, and they ordered him what to do. Here is an excerpt from his evaluation as well as an excerpt from Watson’s book Will You Die for Me? that proves Bugliosi’s theory wrong.
Interviewer: Had you actually been in the house before? Charles Watson: I’d been in the house before. I’d been in the front room. I told the girls we were going to the house where Terry Melcher used to live because I knew the place, the layout, and that when we got there we were going to kill everyone we found and get their money. I had Linda wrap up the knives and gun in a rag on the floor and hide them at her feet. If we were stopped by the police on the way, I told her, she was to throw the whole bundle out the window.
Not only does that prove Bugliosi’s theory incorrect, but it also puts Linda Kasabian in as a co-conspirator of the murders. That is something that she had denied on the stand and stated that she had no previous knowledge that the murders were going to happen.
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Linda Kasabian also stated that it was Charles Manson who tied up the LaBiancas, something she would have absolutely no knowledge of since she never went into the LaBianca’s home. This “fact” was probably coached via the prosecution. In fact a lot of the things Kasabian testified were incorrect. I will get to that in a later chapter. Bugliosi said that Linda Kasabian drove because she had the only valid license, and was used strictly for that. But this is not true. Charles Manson actually had a license issued to him in 1967 and was valid until November, 1969. Various other “Family” members also had licenses as well as fake licenses. What is even more perplexing is that Bugliosi’s theory that Kasabian drove is false. Watson admitted in his book Will You Die for Me? that he was the one who actually drove. During Susan Atkins’ December, 1969 Grand Jury testimony, she too pinpointed Watson as the one who chose the home because he knew it. She also stated that Watson drove, not Kasabian.
Vincent Bugliosi: Who drove the car? Susan Atkins: Tex. Vincent Bugliosi: Did Tex tell you where you were going to go? Susan Atkins: He told us that we were going to a house up on the hill that used to belong to Terry Melcher, and the only reason why we were going to that house was because Tex knew the outline of the house. Vincent Bugliosi: Did Tex tell you that he knew the interior of the house? Susan Atkins: Yes, he described it to us as we were traveling. Vincent Bugliosi: How did Tex describe the interior of the house to you? Without going into detail, did he describe where the rooms were located in relation to each other?
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson?
Susan Atkins: Yes. Vincent Bugliosi: Did Charlie Manson ever tell you that he had been to Terry Melcher’s former residence? Susan Atkins: No, not to my recall. Vincent Bugliosi: What did you discuss in the car, Susan, as you drove to Terry Melcher’s former residence? Who said what? Susan Atkins: Tex did most of the talking. In fact, to my recall, he did all of the talking. Vincent Bugliosi: Did Tex tell you why he and you three girls were going to Terry Melcher’s former residence? Susan Atkins: To get all of their money and to kill whoever was there.
Much later, on April 14, 1971, Watson had a court-appointed medical evaluation with Dr. R.D. Walter. As he spoke to Dr. Walter, he actually laughed when talking about how mangled the body of Frykowski was. He also referred to the victims as “running around like chickens with their heads cut off.” It’s interesting to say the least, but it is also pathetic how he blamed everything on the girls. Poor Charlie Watson— the girls blamed everything on innocent little Tex. Notice that when Watson tries and blame Manson, the doctor doesn’t buy it.
Charles Watson: I had a gun and a knife in my hand. The car stopped and I just pulled the trigger…about ten days later I couldn’t believe I’d done it…there was no hesitation, she said “get him”, and I got him…no thought…I could just feel my body get sucked in like a monkey. No feeling at all. Dr. R.D. Walter: So? Charles Watson: The next thing I knew, I was walking into the door of the house and there Sadie was. Nothing happened for a little while….then all of a sudden people started
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson?
coming into the other rooms…to the effect a man was coming after me…I looked…I had the gun in my hand…I shot around or at the person and he fell on the floor…no more shells. Dr. R.D. Walter: How did you feel then? Charles Watson: I had no feeling. Sadie would kick me to get me going. Then I saw Katie stabbing and stabbing this guy and I had a knife in my hand…and I did the same thing…the guy was all messed up. (defendant laughing at this point) All of a sudden Sadie hollered again…the second guy was real big and she was stabbing him all over and blood was spurting everywhere and she was hollering for me and I came over and he fell outside of the house…I got over and the body was totally messed up so I decided to hit him again and again in the head until his head cracked open. Dr. R.D. Walter: So? Charles Watson: All of a sudden Katie was outside and had the woman on the lawn…and she was already dead but I stabbed her anyway. The girls told me to and when someone tells me to do something I do it. Charlie told me over and over to make sure everybody was dead. Dr. R.D. Walter: Why are you denying everything? Examiner’s note: At this point the defendant is angry and raises his voice. Charles Watson: I’m not denying, I’m telling the truth. Dr. R.D. Walter: How do you feel about what you did? Charles Watson: It was fun tearing up the Tate house, OK. Dr. R.D. Walter: It was fun? Charles Watson: You should have seen it, people were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. (Defendant is laughing) Dr. R.D. Walter: What do you feel…who are the victims of this situation you are in. Charles Watson: Myself.
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Classic sociopathic thinking; he feels no remorse for the victims and feels as if he is the victim. Watson is the definition of sociopath. He found comedy in the death of the victims, joked about it, pushed all of the blame off on the girls and Manson, and thinks he is the victim. It is scary that people actually believe he is a victim. I wonder if the “faceless blobs—“ as he called them— that he murdered thinks he is a victim? Dr. R.D. Walter’s summation on Watson included the diagnosis that he was in fact in a “psychotic state” as well as a “walking time bomb.”
“Watson has a large amount of suppressed hostility and anger and is considered to be a “walking time bomb”. He can be a dangerous individual under certain circumstances and his violence potential is above average.”
After Watson intentionally starved himself in a part of an “insanity” act and was checked into a mental home, he was deemed medically “insane.” He then pleaded innocent on the grounds of insanity. Watson began an elaborate hoax that he remembered nothing—that everything was a blur. This may actually be true since he admitted that he was on speed during the murders. Everything may have been a blur to him. Ironically, when he wrote his book he remembered every tiny detail. Was this because he actually remembered, or did he just regurgitate the prosecution’s case against him and the others? Watson wasted no time blaming everyone but himself. He was on trial alone, and the Manson trial ended abruptly when no evidence was put to support Manson’s claim that he did not order the murders. This meant that there was no information from that trial that could be used against Watson. 53
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? During the Manson trial, the prosecution put forth the theory that Susan Atkins murdered Sharon Tate. At the trial Watson went with that as well as various other errors the prosecution put forth including putting Leslie Van Houten as Rosemary LaBianca’s killer. Within Susan Atkins’ December, 1969 Grand Jury testimony she stated it was Watson who had murdered Tate. Something Watson later admitted. She also said he was the one in charge and gave the orders.
Vincent Bugliosi: Did Tex do anything to Sharon Tate at that point? Susan Atkins: Tex told me to kill her. Vincent Bugliosi: To kill Sharon? Susan Atkins: Yes, and I couldn’t. I just—in order to make a diversion so that Tex couldn’t see that I couldn’t kill her I grabbed her hand and held her arms and then I saw Tex stab her in the heart area around the chest. Vincent Bugliosi: You saw Tex stab Sharon in the heart area? Susan Atkins: Yes. Vincent Bugliosi: You saw Tex stab Abigail three or four times? Susan Atkins: Yes. While he was doing that, Katie and I were looking for Linda because she wasn’t anywhere around. In fact, we started calling for her. We didn’t want to call too loud, and then Tex walked over to Frykowski and kicked him in the head. Vincent Bugliosi: He was lying down when Tex kicked him in the head? Susan Atkins: Yes, and the body didn’t move very much. I believe it was dead at that time. Vincent Bugliosi: What happened next?
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson?
Susan Atkins: Then Tex told me to go back into the house and write something on the door in one of the victim’s blood. Vincent Bugliosi: Did he tell you what to write? Susan Atkins: He said, “Write something that would shock the world.” Something to that effect. I had previously been involved in something similar to this where I saw political piggy written on the wall so that stuck very heavily in my mind.
This next page or two will be various excerpts from Watson’s trial, and then a contradiction printed in his book Will You Die for Me? I am the Devil…
“Frykowski stirred at the sound of my voice and mumbled something like: “What time is it?” I kicked him in the head. As he struggled up in confusion, mumbling: “Who are you? What do you want?” I answered, “I’m the devil and I’m here to do the devil’s business.” Will You Die For Me? “ (from the book: Will You Die for Me?) Interviewer: Do you remember where you got the line “I am the devil and I am here to do the devil’s business?” Charles Watson: I didn’t say anything like that. (from 1971 psychiatric evaluation)
Do you feel remorse?
“I told him (Manson) what had happened-it had been messy, like he wanted, lots of panic, everybody dead. Sadie told him my line about the devil, and he grinned, pleased. When he asked why we didn’t go to any other houses I just shrugged. Then he looked each of us in the eye solemnly. “Do you have any remorse?” he demanded. “No,” we each replied. (from the book: Will You Die for Me?)
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? However, Watson changes his story in front of a jury during crossexamination during his trial.
Vincent Bugliosi: According to record, you told Mr. Manson that there was a lot of panic, that it was very messy. Charles Watson: I didn’t tell him that. Vincent Bugliosi: Did the four of you say “no” when Mr. Manson asked you if any of you had remorse? Charles Watson: I don’t remember him asking that question, or not.
Leave something witchy.
“Leslie went out of the room and got Tex and he came back in and we left the room And he – on the way out, he told me to do something witchy.” (Patricia Krenwinkel, 1993 parole hearing)
So, this sounds like Watson inculcated the girls to “leave something witchy?” Oddly enough, in the July 9, 1971 psychiatric evaluation of Watson, he was asked if Charles Manson gave him any explicit orders prior to the murders and he said:
“He told me to go with the girls. The girls know everything to do.”
And when the interviewer asked if he saw Manson that night he responded:
“Yes, but I didn’t talk to him.”
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? The scary thing is that for some odd reason, the general consensus on the killings is that the girls did most (if not all) of the killing. Watson is regularly overlooked as a participant. In the German documentary Menschensohn documentary, Manson tells them flat-out of Watson’s participation:
“Let me tell you something and here’s the truth: the girls didn’t kill anyone. I’m telling you, the girls didn’t kill anyone… Tex killed ‘em. Tex went stone crazy and killed anybody in his path.”
Who tied up the LaBiancas? The prosecution used Linda Kasabian to put Manson as the man who tied up the LaBiancas. Here is Watson’s versions of this event.
“Charlie pulled off a leather thong that had been looped around his neck and had me tie LaBianca’s hands with it. I must have cinched him up pretty firmly, because he immediately protested that it was too tight, especially when we turned him onto his back again with the weight of his body pressing down on his wrists.” (from the book Will You Die For Me?)
Watson admits in his book that he was the one who tied up the LaBiancas. However, when questioned during cross-examination at his trial, he denies it.
Vincent Bugliosi: Do you remember what he [Manson] told you [when he returned to the car]? Charles Watson: He said that he tied up the people inside the house. To go in and do what we did last night.
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Truth is that Watson went in first with Manson, and Watson tied them up. Does this make Manson blameless of any charges related to these murders? Not at all, but it does count as a yet one more strike against the prosecution’s theory. It also puts Watson as an active, willing participant and not a “robot.” During his trial and his 1971 evaluation he had stated that it was Susan Atkins who had killed Sharon Tate. However, it seems now he takes full responsibility for that murder. In fact Susan Atkins had never confessed to killing Sharon Tate contrary to popular belief. She had told her cellmate that she did, in a long elaborate story in which she said she made up to “scare” the inmates in an attempt to create fear, so they wouldn’t mess with her. Charles Watson seems to almost brag about killing Sharon Tate almost every opportunity that he gets. In his book Will You Die for Me? he admits that Bugliosi got it wrong.
“Later, Prosecutor Bugliosi-because of some things Susan-Sadie bragged about in jail in one of her attempts to get attention-was convinced that it was she who killed Sharon Tate, but his suspicion was not true. It was my hand that struck out, over and over, until the cries of “Mother … mother …” stopped. Suddenly it seemed very quiet. It was over.”
In 1978 Watson spoke with the LA Times and again admitted that he was Sharon Tate’s slayer, as if he was very proud.
“She was pleading to me and pleading to me, but I didn’t even have a moment of hesitation. I took a knife and just slit a big slit across her face. And I just kept cutting her and carving on the body and started stabbing her in the chest— I’d say maybe 15 cuts and stabs. She was crying and saying, “Oh mother, oh mother.” She said, “Just let my baby live. You can kill me, but let my baby live.” I was actually the executioner.”
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Later in 1978 Headquarters Detective ran a story on Watson and his upcoming parole date. This article featured an interview with Watson’s ex-cellmate named “Chet,” who made some very unsettling claims.
“A lot of guys in the prison think they’re bad. Some of them are, but when it comes to being bad in every sense of the word, I have been bad before and I can play the role pretty good. When I killed those people, they didn’t exactly stand there and not do anything. I stabbed that guy [Frykowski] fifty-one times in the chest. I stabbed him so many times in the chest that my hand was sinking into it up to my elbow. I stabbed him so hard that the handle of the knife broke off. These people don’t know what bad is. I wrote the book on bad and I did it more than once.”
Chet stated that Watson went on and bragged how he forced Leslie Van Houten to stab an already deceased Rosemary LaBianca, and how he let her take the fall for committing the murder. Leslie Van Houten was granted a retrial in 1977, which ended in a hung jury. She had a third trial in 1978 in which she was reconvicted with second-hand hearsay testimony from Barbara Hoyt, Paul Watkins and Linda Kasabian. Watson would have testified the truth on her behalf since he was an active participant in the murders, but his reasoning why he did not was purely selfish and sociopathic.
Charles Watson: She should be allowed to go free. She didn’t kill anyone. I was standing over this woman and I noticed Leslie down on the floor. She was terrified! I saw her knife lying beside her and there wasn’t a drop of blood on it. But I was dripping blood all over the place and some got on the handle of her knife. I didn’t want to leave without everyone having at least stuck a knife in the body of one of the victims. I told her to do her part. She was like a wet rag. I pushed her towards this lady sprawled out face down on the floor. The lady was dead. I pushed Leslie down beside her. She shook her head. I turned her face up towards me. I had blood all the way up my arms and I had a knife in my hand. She was one scared girl.
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson?
HQM: If she didn’t kill anyone, I said, aren’t you going to help her out? Charles Watson: What! If I brought that kind of attention down on me, I’d never get out. No way am I going to blow my chance to get out just to testify in Leslie Van Houten’s behalf.
Watson repeated something similar in his book Will You Die for Me? He also stated in that same book that he was the one who carved “WAR” on Leno LaBianca, not Patricia Krenwinkel as the prosecution had said. Krenwinkel claimed to not recollect if she did or did not, but she too has went with what the prosecution said happened. Not what she remembers. There’s also more than enough evidence to link Watson to the LaBianca home, a home that the prosecution stated was picked out of “random.” Not only did Linda Kasabian live with Harold True for a short time right next door to the LaBiancas, but Watson also lived very close. There was another link to the LaBianca home: Susan Struthers. To add even more coincidence to this situation, after the murders Rosemary LaBianca’s daughter Susan Struthers stated that Charles Watson should go free and even defended him publicly on the television show The 700 Club and at his parole hearing. It’s even in print in various sources that Watson lived next door to Struthers prior to the murders. Struthers inherited as much as $2 million from her mother. Could this have been murder for hire? Watson sure loved money and wasn’t against killing anybody. What great plots; to kill, get paid, and then push it off on the Hinman murder. Susan Struthers was also linked to a biker named Joe Dorgan, who Manson has claimed to have known. Dorgan may have been a part of the Straight Satans Motorcycle Club, who frequented Spahn Ranch. 60
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? This link has never been proven, but backed with all of the other coincidences stands pretty strong. Here is an excerpt from the Bill Nelson book Tex Watson: The Man, The Madness, The Manipulation:
“Susan, the daughter of Rosemary LaBianca. At the time of the murders, she was a rebellious youth. She was known to keep company with motorcycle members, some believe to be the same group that ran with the Manson Family. She lived with Joe Dorgan, her live-in lover rode with the Straight Satan’s club, a few doors down from Charles Watson. She went with Joe Dorgan to the [LaBianca] house. She entered the house through the kitchen. Joe and young [brother] Frank saw Leno’s body badly butchered by [Charles] Watson. Two days later, without consent, she emptied the contents of the house with a moving truck. Susan became the executor of the estate of Rosemary [LaBianca]. The 2.6 million dollars that was written about in Helter Skelter was not really hers. Rosemary was wealthy, but she did not get it through conventional means. Susan began writing Charles Watson in 1990 and was at his parole hearing. She says that she “forgives Watson,” and that “21 years is long enough, Charles has changed. He should be free.” Susan expresses forgiveness, but only to Tex [Watson.] No communication with the other killers. Deputy District Attorney Stephen Kay told her after the hearing, “Susan, you disgraced your mother today.””
Struthers’ character appeared in the made-for-TV-movie Forgiven: The Charles “Tex” Watson story. She also appeared on The 700 Club in 1991 defending Watson. The movie Forgiven: The Charles “Tex” Watson Story was partially based on her efforts to get Watson out of prison. Strangely enough, days before the murder of her mother, Bill Nelson believes that “Family” members Catherine “Gypsy” Share and Steve “Clem” Grogan were inside of her home. 61
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Even more odd, after the murders were committed someone went back into the home and arranged the fireplace logs in an odd sequence in front of the fireplace and put a door knob in the refrigerator. According to author Bill Nelson, Susan Struthers is the prime suspect of doing this since she was into odd black-magic type rituals. Struthers was also made the executor of her mother Rosemary LaBianca’s estate inheriting as much as $2 million. Nelson also claimed that Watson and Struthers lived in the same apartment complex at the same time prior to the murders. Additionally, Watson has said the primary motive for these murders were for money to bail Mary Brunner and Sandra Good from jail. Watson was a burn artist who had burned at least one man for money, so in his world money talked. A murder-for-hire job would not be out of line.
“Someday I will be famous, and I don’t care what I have to do to get there.”
— Susan Struthers
Doris Tate has always had a bad feeling about the relationship between Watson and Struthers. According to Doris Tate’s journal, she said that, “I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was more going on than mere forgiveness.” Doris Tate has been vocal about not believing the “Helter Skelter” motive as the reason for her daughter’s murder. I honestly believe that Doris Tate believes that Watson’s connection to both victims’ homes is more than damning. I am not alone with this assumption. In fact it seems like everyone but Vincent Bugliosi thinks that this connection explains why the LaBianca home was targeted. 62
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? Bugliosi’s “the LaBianca home was chosen out of random” theory is incorrect. We have already learned that the home was not a random hit. February 25, 2012 the New York Post ran an article written by Suzannah Chalan—who after reading the Alisa Statman book Restless Souls—also strongly believes there’s more to the Watson/LaBerge relationship. In fact the article mentions Watson using LaBerge as his “Trump Card” as a ticket out of jail, and even bragged about it to his a fellow inmate, much like “Chet” in 1978.
“But none of this stopped LaBerge from writing to Watson, after she discovered that he had, like she had, “found God.” She reached out to Watson through his mail-order ministry, called Abounding Love Ministries. She wrote to Watson for a year anonymously, until 1987, when she visited the killer — and told him that she was Rosemary LaBianca’s daughter. They continued speaking for three more hours, and she followed up with several more visits and regular correspondence. Patti Tate had no inkling of this when, in 1990, she met LaBerge at her daughter’s middle school, where LaBerge had coincidentally (or not) sent her own daughter. They began to chat and Patti revealed the name of her sister, Sharon. Suzan’s eyes grew wide; “You’re never going to guess who I am. Rosemary LaBianca is my mother!” LaBerge said. Patti was taken by the coincidence and felt comfortable with another victim. So she let her daughter stay the day at LaBerge’s house, which was just two miles from her own. Meanwhile, Suzan shared the news with Watson’s wife, who relayed the message to him in prison. He thought this was the key to getting his parole date set. “Suzan LaBerge, née LaBianca, is my ace in the hole,” Watson boasted to another inmate. “The Tate kid is playing in Suzan’s yard as we speak.”
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson?
Patti learned about the connection only a few hours later — and ran to LaBerge’s house to collect her daughter. “It was just horrifying. Possibly the most horrifying experience of her life,” Statman told The Post. Later that year, LaBerge did testify on Watson’s behalf, but the Tate family was also there to speak out against parole. LaBerge went on about Watson’s “loving side” as Doris, Sharon’s mother, looked on in disgust. LaBerge proved not to be an ace — his parole was denied (and continued to be a total of 14 times). And according to Statman, “no one believes” the story of the prison meeting, especially when they likely knew each other long before. That maybe the “random” targeting of the LaBianca house wasn’t so random. Suzan and Tex lived an estimated 200 feet apart in nearby apartments in Los Angeles for six months prior to Watson’s move into Manson’s home base, Spahn Ranch. Suzan’s then-boyfriend was a member of the motorcycle gang Straight Satans that often frequented Spahn Ranch. “There’s lot of speculation that they knew each other. And take that where you will — you can only imagine what that might mean,” Statman said.”
When author Bill Nelson learned that Vincent Bugliosi was going to do a 20 year anniversary revised edition of his book Helter Skelter, he jumped at the chance to aid Bugliosi in the revisions with the extensive amount of new facts and contradictions to the errors of the book Helter Skelter including the information on Watson and Struthers. Nelson claimed that Bugliosi snubbed the newly discovered information, aside from information and contacts with certain “Family” members.
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? When Bugliosi turned down his offer, Nelson ranted on his now defunct website Manson Family Murders. “I contributed greatly to the up dated edition receiving calls often from Bugliosi to
learn the location of different Manson family members. The only criticism I have of the up date is the publisher and prosecutor/author missed a golden opportunity to put to rest many of the statements in the original book. Mr. Bugliosi now knows that neither the Tate house nor the LaBianca house were “random” selections. Bugliosi also knows that Tex Watson lived in the immediate area of the LaBianca house, and that Watson knew the boyfriend of Rosemary’s daughter and indeed Suzanne Struthers! (Rosemary LaBianca’s daughter) Struthers dated Joe Dorgan, member of Satan’s Slaves, who was deeply involved with Manson and others. Manson has admitted “I rode with Dorgan” and this information is accurate. Manson still has ties to the lake where Leno and Rosemary spent their last day alive. They also learned, during the research for the update, that Gypsy confirmed that she and Susan Atkins had been swimming in the Tate pool. Gypsy also confirmed, and Bugliosi knew it, that the Manson family had “creepy crawled” the LaBianca house within two weeks of the murders of Leno and Rosemary. When Nelson asked Bugliosi about some of these changes, he indicated it would mess up the galleys. Well, It sure could have been included in the up-dated portion!”
Many people had negative opinions on Bill Nelson, as do I. But it’s hard to deny that he had a lot of information on the “Family” due to many years of extensive research and stalking. Sadly, the true information Nelson had acquired made the opinion in Bubliosi’s coveted book Helter Skelter fall down like a house of cards regarding the motive: Helter Skelter. In Watson’s book Will You Die for Me? he disclosed he did lie during the trial, as well as any interview he gave during that time. He casually dismisses the lies as him trying to protect himself. However, he has 65
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? stood firmly on the notion that he was indeed a mindless “robot” programmed by Charles Manson. Here was his conclusion to the lies as printed in his book:
“Self-preservation won out in court and I admitted only what I felt I had to, what the prosecution already knew. I admitted shooting or stabbing everyone at the Tate house except Sharon. I denied killing her since Bugliosi and a previous jury was convinced Susan Atkins had done it. I claimed that Linda had driven to 10050 Cielo Drive, and tried to lay all the evidence of premeditation on Charlie or one of the girls. Also, since all the other witnesses to the events outside the LaBianca house had said that Charlie went in alone to tie up the victims, I went along with that story, figuring it made me look that much less responsible.”
That it did. The jury was hung on whether or not Charles Watson was innocent on seven murder charges. He was never indicted on an eighth charge for the murder of movie stuntman and Spahn Ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea. During Bruce Davis’ 1994 parole hearing he had stated that Watson was there and Watson stabbed Shea. To this day, Watson has never mentioned that murder—a murder that he was never charged with. He is smart enough to know that there is no statute of limitations for murder. Being indicted on new murder charges could mean the death penalty—a fate he escaped from in 1972 when the death penalty was temporarily abolished in California. Watson still dismisses his active, viable role in the murders and puts it off as either possession of demons or programming by Manson. In 1978, the Ellensburg Daily Record printed this account by Watson:
“I feel Manson was possessed by demons and I think I was possessed by the same spirit that Charles Manson was possessed by. The psychiatrists called it shared madness. That is, we were all in one devil and we did what the devil said do. I am not blaming what I did on him, or evil spirits. I yielded myself to it, so I take the blame.”
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? However, in that statement Watson did say, “I am not blaming what I did on him.” But quite recently, he posted an interview on his website Abounding Love, which he was asked something similar.
Question: Do you think you were possessed by the devil? Charles Watson: Possessed? I don’t know, but I was definitely influenced by the power of sorcery. I’m not saying “the devil made me do it,” or that Manson made me do it; but there were powerful demonic influences that I had given myself to. I was totally out of control.
Again, he states that the “devil” made him do it and not Manson. After the Manson trial had concluded, Vincent Bugliosi’s theory was that Manson indeed programmed Watson and the other defendants to kill for him. Bugliosi used the same strategy during Watson’s trial. However, in Bugliosi’s book Helter Skelter, he either in accident or simply to make Watson look worse admitted the opposite:
“By the time I’d finished [cross-examining Watson], it was obvious to the jury that he was in complete command of his mental faculties and always had been. I tore to shreds his story that he was simply an unthinking zombie programmed by Charles Manson.”
So, Bugliosi’s decision was that Charles Watson was not programmed by Charles Manson. That Watson was not controlled by Manson. That Watson acted out from his own will, and killed because he wanted to kill. Not because he was forced to kill, or brainwashed into killing. This, Mister Bugliosi, makes the Helter Skelter theory null and void since Watson was an admitted lead of the rampage. 67
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? If you remember what I wrote in the chapter: Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit, you will recall that in 2009, Bugliosi said that he doesn’t believe that Manson believed in all aspects of Helter Skelter. To get Manson for trying to create an apocalyptic race war, Manson would have had to absolutely believe in all aspects. In 1988, Geraldo Rivera asked Charles Manson about Charles Watson and Manson dismissed him as a man who tried to emulate him, and did not do it successfully—referring to the Crowe/Luella drug burn.
“What did Tex do? Tex went crazy, man. He tried to stand up and walk where I was walking. He tried to be a man in a woman’s body and it didn’t work to well. And he, he went out of his mind.” “Tex went to pay the brother back. He went to pay the brother back-- to get Bobby out of jail.”
To this day, Manson has stated that Watson participated in the Tate/LaBianca slayings to pay Beausoleil back. It makes sense since the people who partook in the Tate/LaBianca murders were all linked to Beausoleil in some way, or Watson. Susan Atkins: Was at the Hinman slaying, involved with Watson’s drug ring and swam in the 10050 Cielo Drive pool. Patricial Krenwinkel: Involved with Watson’s drug ring. Leslie Van Houten: She was one of Beausoleil’s “girls.” Linda Kasabian: She was infatuated with Watson, involved with Watson’s drug ring and new the Tate and LaBianca homes.
Facts are, if Manson sent people to murder, he would have sent people he trusted and knew could do the job. People he knew well. He barely 68
The Manson Myth Who is Charles Watson? knew Kasabian and Van Houten, why would he send them? In my opinion, if Manson wanted people dead, he would have sent Bruce Davis, Steve “Clem” Grogan, Brenda McCann, Catherine “Cappy” Gillies, and Catherine “Gypsy” Share. If Watson was willing to not only burn Luella for money and/or drugs and leave her for dead, it clearly shows that he lacks conscience.
“Manson was a sorcerer, a false prophet. He was a charismatic leader who used magic, rituals and drugs.”
Whatever it may be, there’s a lot more to this story and a lot of unanswered questions. Watson has stood on the story that it was Charles Manson who brainwashed him into committing at least 7 murders. This excuse is more than convenient as it takes a lot of the blame off of him, makes Charles Manson to blame and makes him a victim. The amazing thing about this is that it is widely believed as fact. It is not coincidence that when Watson came to live at Spahn Ranch, it’s when everything started to turn to death and murder. Watson introduced hard drugs like speed to the ranch and brought a lot of baggage— baggage that lead to the Bernard Crowe shooting, extreme paranoia, and subsequently the Tate and LaBianca murders.
The Manson Myth
Above: a 1971 mugshot of Charles “Tex” Watson after he was extradited from Texas to Los Angeles. Below: A photo of Black Panther and Manson shooting victim Bernard Crowe. Crowe refused to “snitch” on Manson.
The Manson Myth
“The Los Angeles Herald Examiner reported on January 15, 1971 when the defense announced that they were not going to call any witnesses and they rest (without defending Manson or the three girls) a nineteen year old shapely blond named Juli Shapiro stood up and asked to testify— that she had proof that a key prosecution witness had been coerced, bribed and threatened— she was removed from the court and the trial went on.” The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme 71
The Manson Myth False Witness
hroughout the Manson trials many people testified for the prosecution. Many of them could only testify to the facts of the murders and what happened inside the homes of the actual murders. The others were witnesses against Charles Manson and the other defendants. Most of them just repeated hearsay or things they had read in the media and newspapers. Some of them downright fabricated their stories and some were given incentives to testify. This chapter will take a look at seven most devastating witnesses— Linda Kasabian, Brooks Poston, Danny DeCarlo, Diane “Snake” Lake, Ronnie Howard, Virginia Graham and Paul Watkins— against Charles Manson and give you an insight as to why these people were not honest, not credible, and not reliable and even caught in their own lies—sometimes on the stand. However, their testimonies were still used. 1. Paul Watkins & Brooks Poston I lump these two together because they appeared together in various newspapers, documentaries and testified against Manson together. Their stories about Manson were also very similar. Brooks Poston met Manson at Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson’s Malibu home and followed Manson to Spahn Ranch. He was a misfit at Spahn Ranch and never really participated with any sex with the girls, LSD parties and basically shoveled manure during his entire time at Spahn Ranch. When Charles Manson and a handful of others visited Barker Ranch in Death Valley in 1968, he was left there and began mining with a Scientologist named Paul Crockett. Poston once remarked that he was terrified of Charles Manson and his move to Death Valley was something he needed. 72
The Manson Myth False Witness In my opinion, Poston was a disturbed individual. He not only saw Charles Manson as “God,” but claimed that he had put in in a trance for three days in which he “died” under Manson’s order to “go die,” when he was unable to perform sexually during an orgy. Poston claimed that Manson verbally assaulted him regularly and picked on him for his lack of sexual prowess. I admit, that was a dick move by Manson, but we have all done it. Whether or not it was simple “picking on,” how does this constitute any form of “mind control?” I personally don’t think that Manson did this for the reason the prosecution had given—to break Poston down, to use it as a tool to program him. He did it to be a dick. In a 1988 monologue by Paul Watkins, he stated that Brooks had problems even after Charles Manson was put away.
“Brooks wasn't able to function in a lot of cases so therefore he was seen as sort of a hanger on who couldn't do very much, couldn't function sexually, or musically, or wasn't ever very assertive about anything; generally screwed up. It got to be sadder and sadder. There was something wrong, so I eventually just pulled away.”
Oddly, in the Robert Hendrickson book Death to Pigs, Poston had nothing but good things to say about Manson—almost protecting him.
Laurence Merrick: Did he teach the girls to steal? Brooks Poston: I don’t know. Laurence Merrick: How did they make money, how did he get the money? Brooks Poston: Well, through panhandling… he’d have the girls go out and panhandle the streets. Some of the girls had pretty rich dads and he’d get the girls to write home and ask for money, and out would come a check for $500.
The Manson Myth False Witness
Laurence Merrick: And who would they give money? Brooks Poston: They’d give it to Charlie. Laurence Merrick: And what would he do with it? Brooks Poston: Sometimes he gave it away, sometimes be bought candy with it. Sometimes he’d pay taxes with it, not his, George Spahn’s. He gave $2,000 once, to pay George’s property tax. Laurence Merrick: Why would George let him be at Spahn Ranch? Brooks Poston: George pretty much liked the girls. Laurence Merrick: George made love to the girls? Brooks Poston: Not that I know of, but the girls were there constantly. They were always paying attention to George and keeping him company. His own family wouldn’t come around often. And the people that worked there, really didn’t pay attention to him. Laurence Merrick: George used Charlie and the Family as much as Charlie used him? Brooks Poston: Yeah. Laurence Merrick: Did he ever steal a horse and sell it? Brooks Poston: No, he got some of George’s cars running. He brought George an old Studebaker once, fixed up some trucks; made sure the ranch had food.
Not only did Poston shoot down a lot of the prosecution’s theories in this interview, but substantiated Manson’s story of how he helped George Spahn pay his land bills. Poston did go on the stand and play victim, (probably) as coached by Vincent Bugliosi. In Charles Watson’s book Will You Die for Me? he stated that after the “freakout,” which was essentially an LSD party gone bad with a batch of 74
The Manson Myth False Witness LSD, that Poston was damaged and never recovered. All the same, what was said this LSD party was early on in the game according to Paul Watkins’ book My Life with Charles Manson and was in no way a tool for Manson to damage the participants. It was just a bad experience—even for Manson who ended up running down Santa Susan Pass, freaking out half-dressed and in a state of horror and panic while his beloved “Family” were in a scurry to find the missing Manson. In the same interview from Death to Pigs, Poston speaks about it and you can get a really good idea of how damaged this guy really was even after his “deprogramming” by Scientologist Paul Crockett. Paul Crockett was interviewed in 2012 by Star City Radio, and he said that Poston was nearly insane and spouting suicidal words like, “I will be dead before I am 19,” and basically starving himself to death. Poston was in no way, shape or form a credible witness against Charles Manson. In fact, Poston needed psychiatric help, not some insane miner telling him to stare at a doorknob all day.
Brooks Poston: During the freakout there were a lotta people who took large doses of acid. And people jumping in and out of the fireplace. It’s a wood fireplace and the people were laying in it with their hair in the fire. People were flying through the windows, laying on the floor, hitting other people in the face. Charlie wasn’t even there at that time. Charlie done took off. Laurence Merrick: Why didn’t you fuck the girls? Brooks Poston: I didn’t fuck the girls, what all I did was die. Laurence Merrick: Why? Brooks Poston: They didn’t turn me on for one thing.
The Manson Myth False Witness
Laurence Merrick: Were they pretty? Brooks Poston: I don’t know, maybe I’m weird. Laurence Merrick: Why did Charlie tell you to go die? Brooks Poston: Because I wouldn’t fuck. Laurence Merrick: Did you believe he was Christ? Brooks Poston: Yeah, I believed he was Christ. Charlie, like the whole idea of what Charlie was scared the shit out of me. Laurence Merrick: What manifestation did he give you, that he was Christ? Brooks Poston: Mostly it happened when I was on acid. Like he’d tell me nothing means anything, to give up my thoughts. In my case it’s closer to a miracle that I’m alive, because when I was on acid Charlie was Christ and to me if he told me to do something, I’d do it. He told me that I should go die, and so I tried every way that I could think of to die. Laurence Merrick: Did he teach you to hate? Brooks Poston: No, I learned that by myself.
Later on, Paul Watkins was sort of pushed out of the “Family” by Charles Manson. Whether it is because Manson didn’t like Watson, didn’t trust him, or just had bad feelings about him, he did send him off to Death Valley. Watkins claims this was to “prepare for Helter Skelter.” Watkins reunited with Poston and resident miner Paul Crockett at Barker Ranch. Poston told Watkins how Crockett “deprogrammed” him and now is free of the grips of Charles Manson. After much persuasion, Crockett also deprogrammed Watkins. One of the tasks was making him stare at a doorknob for days, as stated in Paul Watkins’ book My Life 76
The Manson Myth False Witness with Charles Manson. Crockett then put Poston and Watkins to work in the mines. In my mind, Crockett was a very intelligent man and he used these two as his personal slave miners and filled their heads with fear— probably so they would stay by his side as his personal slaves. After all of the arrests at Barker Ranch and Charles Manson was in jail, Poston, Watkins and Crockett were living in the Shoshone caves destitute. They later moved to the small town Ballarat and decided to sell their story to the presses. This was purely a move to make money and nothing more. Since day one, Paul Watkins was a man who starved for the spotlight. He regularly called himself “Manson’s second-incommand,” and pushed himself in front of the cameras. Paul Watkins, too made himself seem as if he was majorly disturbed. In his book My Life with Charles Manson, he told the story of Brooks Poston’s three day “death” from the mind of Charles Manson. In that same book he also gave a very interesting description of his new messiah Paul Crockett when he met back up with Manson.
“There’s this old prospector up there (Paul Crockett)— a far out old dude— he put a psychic gate up across the canyon. No one can get in unless they have true love in their hearts.”
In a very odd change of opinion, in 1988 Paul Watkins made a tape where he mentions Crockett with a very different opinion on him. Watkins largely dismisses Crockett as a crazy man. One of my theories was that Crockett kept Watkins and Poston around purely as slaves, feeding them with a bunch of psychological hogwash. What Watkins says about Crockett sort of solidifies this theory. 77
The Manson Myth False Witness
“I don't have something going with Crockett, I don't run to him all the time, as a matter of fact I see him as quite destructive. For example: he would have kept me there with this tumor growing on my neck, paying him a $100 a session, telling me to think the tumor away. He told me to get rid of my wife because she was causing it. Get rid of my children because they were causing it, divorce myself from my life and come live near him and keep paying $100 a session until I was cured. I probably would have died. The chances were very good and I probably would have died had I not gone and gotten some help.”
The scary thing is that Watkins truly believed this. In the Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, it was written that it was actually Paul Watkins along with Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, and Patricia Krenwinkel who first started to decipher Beatles lyrics. On November 5, 1970 Watkins testified against Manson. When asked about how Charles Manson programmed him by Ronald Hughes, he said:
Attorney Ron Hughes: Can you tell me about Charlie’s powers? Paul Watkins: It’s a maze of agreements and implied agreements.
What does that even mean? Manson brainwashed people with lies? During this same testimony Watkins stated something else that was beyond belief. This was reported in the L.A. Free Press publication:
“Clem, had his member bit off by a girl named Bo in the Spring of 1969 at the Gresham Street house in Conoga Park, and blood spurted in all directions. Manson, through magical healing powers, was able to sew it together and heal the sutures, that even the scars were removed.”
The Manson Myth False Witness Magic? Is he serious? This may have seemed to be a bit of comical relief for the jury, but he was serious. On many occasions Watkins mentioned that Manson was a “High priest of Black Magic.” How could he get such an absurd thought? December 5, 1969 the papers started to run the story that Watkins, Poston and Crockett sold. In these articles, Watson again repeated these claims that Manson was simply a magician. They also made these outlandish claims that somehow Manson was crazy because he forbade the consummation of meat.
“Crocket and his young friends have been negotiating for big money, “Maybe hundreds of thousands,” the miner says, for their version of life in Charles Manson’s netherworld in the desert. “It’s got everything,” Watkins said. “Everything.” “Yeah,” said Poston. “Sex, black magic and murder.” “The whole thing,” Watkins said. “Was held together by black magic. You don’t believe it? Well, it really exists, and it is powerful. We could show you.” “He [Manson], Poston said. “Believes that he— and all human beings— are God and the Devil at the same time. He believes that all human beings are a part of each other.” The three nodded in agreement, and Crocket laughed, “But you can’t kill a bug, not an animal, not a snake. Nothing. There were snakes all over the desert. They would get in the cabins. But you could never kill one. They picked up the snakes in the house and carried them outside and turned them loose.” “And you couldn’t eat meat,” Watkins said, “Because you were killing an animal. It was crazy. To this day two girls [Good and Fromme] who were a part of the [Manson] family, living in Independence, won’t eat meat.”
The Manson Myth False Witness Watkins actually admitted in this article that they were out for money. It was obvious that he only came forward because he saw an opportunity to make money. He not only loved the money, but he loved the spotlight. In the 2006 documentary Inside the Manson Gang, Watkins stated that, “wouldn’t it be far out to have someone follow you around with a camera? I always dreamed of being followed by cameras.” That statement sums up Watkins perfectly. Even after Watkins and Co. went to the media, Watkins somehow wedged himself back into the “Family” in an attempt to take Manson’s place. He lead the singing group—as seen in the 2006 documentary Inside the Manson Gang—and Steve “Clem” Grogan somehow got an idea that he was acting as an informant for the prosecution. Before he knew it, Watkins woke up inside the van of actor Mark Ross—burning alive. He narrowly escaped with his life Like clockwork, he went to the prosecution as a “star” witness against Charles Manson to the Helter Skelter theory. Watkins was the man who brought that theory to the prosecution’s table. Scorned, marked for death, and without his beloved “Family,” he went to the jury, telling his version of events. But Watkins was not a part of the “Family” during the time of the murders. In fact, he did not even learn about them until many months later as he heard about them from gossip, second-hand, third-hand, and bunk information. He knew nothing about the murders, yet he became the “star” witness against Manson and the three defendants. So, keep in mind that in 2012 Crockett spoke to Star City Radio, and he completely denied Poston and Watkins talking about Helter Skelter. In fact it is fact that they were the last to find out that the “Family” were 80
The Manson Myth False Witness responsible for the Tate and LaBianca murders. But Crockett being Crockett he did imply that he foresaw the “Family” being responsible for the Tate and LaBianca murders before he even met Charles Manson.
Star City Radio: Were they telling you about Helter Skelter? Paul Crockett: They never talked about that. Star City Radio: No mention of the motive "Helter Skelter?" Paul Crockett: None. Star City Radio: Interesting. Paul Crockett: I was up there with these guys for eight months. Star City Radio: They were just telling you what life was living with Charlie Manson. Paul Crockett: Saw news about the Tate murders on TV and I said "You reckon Charlie did that?" and they said "Oh, no Charlie would never do that."
During all of this second-hand, third-hand gossip Watkins heard about the murders and more accurately, the murder of movie stuntman and Spahn Ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea. Watkins’ story that he told the prosecution included Steve “Clem” Grogan beheading Shea. In the 1973 documentary Manson, Watkins stated that it was Grogan who told him that he had “stabbed Shorty over and over,” and “Shorty wouldn’t die,” and that Grogan “Took a machete and lopped his head off, and his head went bloop, bloop, bloop.” However, during Watkins’ December 1970 testimony, he stated that it was Charles Manson who had told that story. How did he confuse the two? Well, he didn’t confuse the story—he made it up and made it fit 81
The Manson Myth False Witness his situations at the time. Now, I do believe that Grogan may have bragged about the murder. But the story he had bragged about was proven false. In 1977, Grogan lead authorities to the body of Shea and he was not only completely intact, but in one piece. Part of the story given to the prosecution was that Shea was indeed cut into nine pieces. October 21, 1971 newspapers reported that Grogan would be indicted for murder, partly based on Watkins’ testimony.
“The State claimed that Grogan, 20, while following Manson’s orders; decapitated Donald “Shorty” Shea, 36, after the family tortured the dying man with knives.”
In Vincent Bugliosi’s book Helter Skelter, the same thing was written:
“Meanwhile Clem, t/n Steve Grogan, pleaded guilty to a grand theft auto charge stemming from the Barker raid. Van Nuys judge Sterry Fagan heard the case. He was aware of Grogan’s lengthy rap sheet. Aaron (Stovitz) also informed the judge that Grogan was exceedingly dangerous; that he had not only been along the night the LaBiancas were killed, but we also had evidence that he beheaded Shorty Shea.”
Since Shea was found intact, this was basically incorrect. So, how did the prosecution have “proof” of this if it never happened? Was it Watkins’ words? That is hardly evidence. During the 1994 parole hearing of Bruce Davis, he not only implicated Charles “Tex” Watson in the murder, but said he stabbed Shea. Why wasn’t Watson ever convicted for this murder? Why won’t Watson ever speak about it? Davis also stated that he took a machete to Shea’s neck, not Grogan. It is a fact that there was machete marks on the back of Shea’s skull. Davis is being vague—Davis hit Shea with the machete, not 82
The Manson Myth False Witness Grogan. Grogan did not murder Shea, but he did help and was just as guilty as anyone else. Watkins’ lies put Grogan at the top and it also failed to involve two key players in the murder: Charles “Tex” Watson and Bill Bass, (Aliases: William VanSickle, Bill Vance, David Lee Hamic. Real name: William Rex Cole)— who was never question or tried for this murder.
"I was in the car when Steve Grogan hit Shorty with the pipe wrench. Charles Watson stabbed him. I was in the backseat with...with Grogan. They took Shorty out. They had to go down the hill to a place. I stayed in the car for quite a while but what...then I went down the hill later on and that's when I cut Shorty on the shoulder with the knife, after he was...well, I don't know...I...I don't know if he was dead or not. He didn't bleed when I cut him on the shoulder. When I showed up, you know, he was...he was incapacitated. I don't know if...you asked if he was unconscious. And I...in fact I did touch Shorty Shea with a machete on the back of his neck, didn't break the skin. I mean I just couldn't do it. And then I threw the knife… and he handed me a bayonet and it...I just reached over and...I don't know which side it was on but I cut him right about here on the shoulder just with the tip of the blade. “
Watkins’ lies proved advantageous at Grogan’s trial (and Van Houten’s retrial) to rightfully convict him, but his lies took blame off of at least two killers who were never charged for the crime. This is not justice, and people only cared if Charles Manson was found guilty for these crimes. No one seemed to actually care about the truth. In the Nuel Emmons book Manson in His Own Words, Charles Manson also complains about the same thing. Of course, no one will listen to his words, right? We all know Manson is such a liar.
“Much later Bruce Davis, Clem Grogan and I were convicted for the slaying of Shorty Shea. At the time of our conviction, Shea’s body had not been discovered. However, when Shea’s body was found (many years later) it was still intact. Testimony also indicated that numerous members of our group participated in his slaying, but somehow
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the prosecuting attorney saw fit to ignore that part of the evidence. The D.A. was so caught up in his theory of “Helter Skelter” and obsessed with making the world believe I was a satanic pied piper, looked over many participants.”
Until Watkins death in 1990, he stayed on his story and never budged. Why would he have kept his lie? Well, Watkins did get a book deal out of it, it was reported that prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi helped edit. When I say “edit,” I mean makes sure his book My Life with Charles Manson supports his Helter Skelter theory. Watkins also joined Bugliosi on his Helter Skelter book-signing tour, again in his beloved spotlight. Watkins never admitted his lies or acknowledged that he may have been wrong or simply put: out of his mind. Watkins did record a monologue in 1989 where he admitted that Bugliosi “made things up.” In a twist of ironic fate, when Grogan was paroled in 1985—a sentence in which Watkins testimony was key “evidence,” which turned out to be pure speculation, conjecture and lies—Watkins gave him a phone call. Did Watkins forget that Grogan was the one who set Mark Ross’ van ablaze with the intent to kill him? Did Watkins call him because he felt bad that he had put him in prison with lies? Whatever reason it may be, the conversion was transcribed and posted on the now defunct Manson Family Today website. Here it is abridged for length.
Steve Grogan: Is this Paul? Paul Watkins: Yes. Steve Grogan: So what’s happening? Paul Watkins: I thought I’d call and see how you were doing.
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Steve Grogan: I’m ok. It’s really surprising how expensive everything is now, you know, after being in the joint 15 years. Paul Watkins: I’m living in a shack in the desert in Tecopa. Steve Grogan: Are you nervous? Paul Watkins: No. Steve Grogan: Hey it’s cool, that’s all over. Paul Watkins: Well, Charlie always did have a way of knowing everything. Steve Grogan: You know it’s against my parole to associate with anyone in the Family. Paul Watkins: Well, if it’s not cool, maybe I shouldn’t be talking to you. Steve Grogan: You know if I hadn’t got put in the joint, I don’t know how far I would have gone. I sure was a crazy kid. I’ve been working with kids who are just like I was, there right into the same thing. Paul Watkins: Yeah, will things ever change? Steve Grogan: How’s Brooks doing? Paul Watkins: He’s playing around a little – he’s really into his music. You know how this is costing me a bit, maybe I should call you later. When are you there? Steve Grogan: How’s your father? Paul Watkins: Oh, he died a few years ago. Steve Grogan: Oh that’s too bad, you know what I really found out? Your parents are really important to you. Mine stuck with through this whole thing. Is your Mom still out in Calabases? Paul Watkins: I haven’t kept in touch with her for years. After my dad died she became reclusive.
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Steve Grogan: You should go see her, go find her. It’s important.
Steve Grogan went on to assume a new identity— which I do not feel the right to mention—and became a very well respected session musician virtuoso of many stringed instruments in San Francisco.
2. Danny DeCarlo It’s only right to go onto Danny DeCarlo, because in my opinion he was a key player in the Donald “Shorty” Shea slaying. DeCarlo came to Spahn Ranch while Manson was in Death Valley in 1968. He became sort of the Ranch’s “defense contractor,” supplying the ranch with guns, ammo and drugs. He was a player in the Straight Satans Motorcycle Club’s Venice Beach chapter and quickly became a key “Family” member, or at this time they should be called a “gang.” DeCarlo’s arsenal proved important after Charles “Tex” Watson had pulled his drug burn, which lead to the shooting of Bernard Crowe. The following day, Tom “T.J. The Terrible” Walleman had told Manson that he heard that a high-ranking Black Panther member had been killed, and they vowed to retaliate. Walleman fled, saying that “I ain’t into no snuffing.” This scared the hell out of Manson and he was sure that the Black Panthers would retaliate. It was a fact that Bernard Crowe was a Black Panther member. It was in his L.A.P.D. arrest jacket, but the media and prosecution downplayed this and said it was untrue. The “Family” album compiled during the investigation by Sgt. E.G. Williams concluded 86
The Manson Myth False Witness as follows: Crowe, Bernard; Male Negro; LAPD# 838 344C; Member of Black Panthers. The prosecution and many witnesses had stated that it was Manson who had armed the “Family,” and taught them how to shoot in preparation for Helter Skelter. However, Danny DeCarlo claims that it was he who not only introduced guns to Spahn Ranch, but taught them all to shoot including Manson. Here is an excerpt of an interview conducted in the mid 1970’s by a Canadian TV show The Fifth Estate:
Reporter: You taught the girls how to shoot, how to clean a weapon and how to break it down? All that stuff. Danny DeCarlo: Yeah. Reporter: Who was the best shot? Danny DeCarlo: The best? Reporter: Sadie? Danny DeCarlo: I’d say Sadie was; just on a machine gun— firing a machine gun. Reporter: Did she get off on that? Danny DeCarlo: Well, everybody did. I did too— watching them. Reporter: You made your own ammunition? Danny DeCarlo: Yeah, we made everything. It’d take maybe an hour to make 700 rounds and in a matter of minutes it was all gone. Reporter: When did Charlie start to change? He didn’t like your stolen credit card racket, didn’t like the weapons, didn’t like the guns. Was it after you started teaching the girls how to shoot?
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Danny DeCarlo: It was a couple months, because at first he wasn’t into it. When I first went to the ranch I brought my whole arsenal up. He [Manson] said what are we going to do with a machine gun? I said that’s protection. He said man, we don’t need nothing like that. I show him how to use a gun. Then he started getting into it. Then we brought him an M1 and he’d just fire it into the sky as long as he could hear a lot of noise and see dirt kick up, it made him feel good. We had fun shooting guns.
It’s quite obvious that DeCarlo was pretty proud of his deeds. He definitely took pride in his work. When Bugliosi put DeCarlo on the stand, he pretty much regurgitated anything the prosecution laid down for him in exchange for immunity to felonies including aggravated assault, drug possession, firearms and grand theft. DeCarlo had every reason to lie, especially since he now owned a gun shop in the Pacific Northwest. Other rumors were that DeCarlo was given $5,000 to testify, which probably is true. Another witness for the prosecution—Ronnie Howard—said that she too was given money to testify ($25,000). DeCarlo said that he was offered money, but did not accept it. So, basically DeCarlo had more than enough reason to lie and probably did lie. In fact, I believe it goes without saying that he did lie and involve himself as little as possible. In my opinion, DeCarlo wanted Shea dead more than anyone else. If they did believe Shea snitched to the cops and had the ranch busted, then Shea was a target to anyone who was impacted by the bust. DeCarlo not only was arrested during the Spahn Ranch raid on August 16, 1969, but was publically humiliated when his Straight Satans jacket was shredded by L.A.P.D. on film. He also lost all of his guns and 88
The Manson Myth False Witness ammunition, motorcycles, parts and anything else he had at the ranch as everything there was confiscated by the police. This was more than enough motive for a hardened biker in a 1% gang to have a man murdered. In fact, this is a lot more motive than the reason the prosecution gave for Manson ordering the murder: Shea was once married to a black woman. On the aforementioned 1970’s interview on The Fifth Estate, DeCarlo recounted the Shea murder with girlfriend and ex-“Manson girl” Sherry Cooper, and actually broke out in laughter. To me, it seemed like he was quite proud of it and made some unsettling comments.
Sherri Cooper: Yeah, Shorty was pretty stubborn, himself. He didn’t like Charlie, and he let him know. I can’t say that I got along with him, or if I really liked him as a person. I never hated him or nothing, but if I liked him or not… Reporter: You didn’t want him in nine pieces, especially? Sherri Cooper: I mean, no, I wouldn’t care. [laughs] I mean I can have a personality difference, but I don’t care what they do as long as they ain’t doing it to me. Reporter: But Charlie didn’t like people to talk back, and Shorty talked back a lot? Sherri Cooper: Well, I guess it was towards the end and Shorty was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Danny DeCarlo: [Laughing hysterically] Sherri Cooper: He was off and on, he left, he just got off there at the wrong time and the wrong place. Reporter: So, it was timing? Someone who happened to be at the wrong place, the wrong time?
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Danny DeCarlo: That’s it. He got dismembered. [Smiles] Yeah, he must have felt bad about it. Reporter: Who? Danny DeCarlo: Shorty. Yeah, I mean nine parts? Not too much meat can be in nine parts. [Claps hands and laughs]
Shea was obviously not dismembered, but at this time the truth had not been discovered yet. So, of course he will still go with what had been “proven,” beyond a “reasonable doubt” in a court of law. DeCarlo and Cooper conclude the interview with some more braggart, cocky statements about how they loved the lifestyle with the “Family.”
Danny DeCarlo: It will never be again. It will be nothing but— be talked about. It will never be… Sherri Cooper: It was an experience. All it was— was an experience. Danny DeCarlo: And I would not want to… Sherri Cooper: I wouldn’t trade it for nothing, either. But I think we have been through a couple experiences since then that wouldn’t…. you know. We’ve been through a couple experiences since then that we’re not going to talk about. I mean, you do something. You do it. And it’s done. What can you do? It’s done. Snivel about it for years? What can you say? I’m sorry, you know? Big deal. Danny DeCarlo: We have no restrictions on life— to what we want to do. We just do it. [Snaps fingers]
What does this say to you? Would you trust DeCarlo on the stand in a case against someone he aided in a crime spree? 90
The Manson Myth False Witness After DeCarlo testified, he left town. A few years later, the L.A. Free Press ran an article about L.A.P.D. Narcs wearing Straight Satans jackets, which were seized in the Spahn Ranch raid: Biker club warns about narcs wearing Straight Satans’ colors
“Danny DeCarlo, had been living with the Charles Manson tribe at the time of the TateLaBianca murders, and for that reason he was forced to appear in court, although he could testify no more that he had been living with the Family and that he knew the members. The Man told Danny if he did not appear they’d off the Straight Satans.”
“He could testify no more than he had been living with the Family?” Are you kidding me? DeCarlo basically substantiated 95% of the socalled Helter Skelter theory, as suggested by the prosecution to the jury. DeCarlo’s testimony was just as, if not more damning than anyone else’s. I will give the Straight Satans the benefit of the doubt that they are not lying to protect a snitch, but this is what DeCarlo had told them to justify him snitching. When Manson got his “day in court” November 20, 1970, which was a testimony right before the jury deliberated—in which the jury had been removed from the courtroom to avoid Manson brainwashing one or all of them into a not-guilty verdict— he spoke about Danny DeCarlo. Of course, it was all lies, right? Since Manson never told the truth. In my opinion, Manson was spot-on with his description of DeCarlo.
“With Danny DeCarlo’s testimony. He said that I hate black men, and he said that we thought alike, that him and I was a lot alike in our thinking. But actually all I ever did with Danny DeCarlo or any other human being was reflect himself back at himself. If he
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said he did not like the black man, I would say, “Okay.” I had better sense than tell him I did not dislike the black man. I just listened to him and I would react to his statement. So consequently he would drink another beer and walk off and pat me on the back and he would say to himself, “Charlie thinks like I do.” But actually he does not know how Charlie thinks because Charlie has never projected himself.”
DeCarlo had a lot to gain by lying and/or reciting what the prosecution laid down. Not only had DeCarlo’s gun been used in the Crowe shooting, but it was the gun used in the Tate murders. It was a gun that was linked to Manson, this is true. But it was the same gun that was traded to movie stuntman Randy Starr for DeCarlo’s bread truck as laid out in the Ed Sanders book The Family. With the way the prosecution was getting people left and right on “conspiracy” charges, this could have easily had DeCarlo in jail with the rest of the defendants. The prosecution convicted Susan Atkins on conspiracy charges to the LaBianca slayings and she was not even there. They convicted her on the fact that she simply knew about them. The gun backed with the fact that DeCarlo’s sword was used in the Hinman slaying would almost guarantee that DeCarlo would have been a prime candidate for conspiracy to murder charges. DeCarlo’s motive for testifying against Manson and Beausoleil were purely selfish—to avoid his own criminal charges. DeCarlo had an ongoing trial for smuggling drugs over the border and the prosecution made that charge disappear. He told the papers that there were “three federal charges pending against him including illegal registration of a firearm.” So, what was the 92
The Manson Myth False Witness other charge? It was a charge he would rather not mention—a rather violent charge. According to a police report from March 24, 1969 Danny DeCarlo was charged with Assault with intent to do great bodily harm on his own wife Miriam DeCarlo. According to the report, Miriam called the police.
“Officer Smith #12696, Unit #27633, LAPD Devonshire district, stated that the above victim called from Topanga Canyon stating she had just been beaten up by her husband while at the above location (Spahn Ranch). We then question the victim, who stated that approximately 11:00pm, she arrived at the Spahn Ranch and entered the main building where there were approximately 25 persons sitting about. She then confronted her husband (Suspect #1), and requested that he return their 10 month old son to her or she would take him to court. She stated that he stated that if she takes him to court, that he and the “Straight Satans” would kill her.
The report goes on to include Charles Manson as one of the assaulters—that he “dragged her from the room by her hair.” This was after Danny DeCarlo “kicked her all over the body with steel-toe engineer type boots.” Was Manson just trying to get her out of there before Danny DeCarlo killed her? Charges were dropped on Manson. Was Danny DeCarlo serious when he threatened to kill her? Of course he did not want to mention this case to the media or the jury. It would have completely blown the false facade that he put up as a biker who “followed” Manson for the girls. Subsequently, he told the media that he was “hesitant about testifying,” that “I don’t dig it, man. It’s bad news among bike people. 93
The Manson Myth False Witness A snitch gets killed.” He also said Manson “persuaded him to live at Spahn Ranch.” Bullshit. This explains why he left Los Angeles. There are rumors that he was put in some sort of witness protection. I personally have never seen any evidence of this. Truth is, DeCarlo prided himself on being a gun expert. It was the gun that was traded for his bread truck that shot Bernard Crowe and was used at the Cielo Drive massacre. DeCarlo could identify it. But at the trial he identified it as Manson’s. Irving Kanarek retorted with the accusation that DeCarlo was no “gun expert.” The newspapers stated that DeCarlo “turned his head, spit on the floor, uttered an obscenity and proceeded to point the gun at Irving Kanarek and pulled the trigger.” This is fact. What a great witness for the prosecution. It’s also fact that DeCarlo’s testimony was damning to Manson. It was planned to be that way. The prosecution found DeCarlo—a man who was heading to prison—and gave him a sweet deal of a clean record. Much like they did to Linda Kasabian, Virginia Graham, Mary Brunner (see the following chapter: Stupid Cupid), and now DeCarlo. More often than not, if you give someone immunity to crimes, they will talk. It’s the selfishness everyone is born with. This selfishness carried on to the Beausoleil/Hinman case. The Ed Sanders book The Family reported that after the Hinman slaying, that the Straight Satans took the sword used in the murder and destroyed it. This proves the conspiracy to murder link—at least in the Hinman case.
The Manson Myth False Witness The bad drugs sold to Bobby Beausoleil were then sold to the Straight Satans. Beausoleil stated in an interview with Seconds Magazine that it was DeCarlo who told him to go to Hinman’s and get his money back and how, not Manson as the prosecution stated. Beausoleil also explains that DeCarlo lied and testified that Beausoleil himself confessed the murder to him.
“It was something that I felt that I had to deal with. Gary said that he didn’t have the money. I reached desperation, and actually did what Danny DeCarlo had suggested, which was to hit Gary with the gun, to make sure he knew that I was serious. I hit him a couple of times on the head with the gun, which shocked him. He said, “Bobby, this isn’t like you!” And it wasn’t.”
He then explains how Danny DeCarlo lied to avoid prosecution for his own felonies:
“He testified that I told him, in a conversation after-the-fact, what had happened. He related, “Well, this is what Bobby told me … ” at the trial, and of course that had never happened—I never had any such conversation with him. But one of the girls that had been with me, Susan Atkins, was his live-in girlfriend in his shack out at the ranch. Now I assume what happened is that she had told him, and he later changed it to “Bobby told me … “
Beausoleil could have easily turned prosecution’s witness against DeCarlo with these facts, but he didn’t. Beausoleil’s first trial ended in mistrial, then in his second trial—after Manson was thrown into the act—he blamed it all on Manson. Later, he said he did that in an attempt to avoid a murder charge since Manson had already been convicted of 7 other murders. In fact, Bugliosi had told the jury that Manson completely cut off Hinman’s ear. This was completely false; even the autopsy documents showed that Hinman’s cheek was cut and 95
The Manson Myth False Witness his ear intact. He admits that Manson was not connected in a 1981 interview in OUI Magazine.
“That (Helter Skelter) was the prosecution’s theory because they wanted to get Manson into the act. They tried every trick in the book. Actually Hinman’s ear was never cut offnever gone. It was more that his cheek was sliced that intersected the edge of his ear and you can see it in his autopsy report. Bugliosi told the jury Manson cut his ear off, but it’s there in the autopsy[report]. You see the Sheriff’s Homocide Department wanted to get Manson involved with my case, which was very difficult because Manson was not involved.” Susan Atkins is now a Jesus freak in jail. She gave five different testimonies and in one of them, she claimed that she killed Hinman. Gary Hinman was into his revolutionary communism. His whole living room was a library of Communist literature. I figured I’d make it look like one of his cohorts, you know. I wasn’t thinking about blacks necessarily. It’s never really been his [Manson’s] trip. I mean, he’s from the South. West Virginia. Since he’s been in, he gets along with blacks better than anybody. I didn’t talk to anybody about it. But Susan Atkins has a motor mouth. She was the one, not me, that Danny DeCarlo had the conversation with. The district attorney and Danny DeCarlo were drinking buddies and that is how he [DeCarlo] got the two felony charges and a federal gun charge dropped in return for his testimony.”
Again digressing, in 2010, Beausoleil updated his website BeauSoleil.net with the news that he will be writing his book. In this update he posted a rough-draft of the prefix of the book. In this he again admitted that Manson wasn’t to blame, but he was to blame for the murder of Gary Hinman.
“My decision to create an elaborate deceit would never rest easy with me. Even then, as I examined my face in the mirror, my misgivings heckled me; the inner voice, unbidden, like a distant shout: liar! Time and times innumerable that voice would be
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silenced. I insisted that I was innocent, that it was really Charlie who had done that awful thing. I lied to myself most of all, rationalizing that that rationalization was valid, when deep down I knew that I had told the big lie because I was a coward—because I lacked the courage to look my parents and my brothers and sisters in the eyes and tell them the truth.”
In a 1994 BBC interview with Bill Murphy, Manson had stated that the only advice he gave Bobby was to “go and get your money.” Manson has never denied cutting Hinman’s cheek, but his murder happened three days later. In my opinion, DeCarlo is as responsible as Manson for the Hinman murder. Manson should have been charged with aggravated assault for cutting Hinman, but not with murder charges or conspiracy to murder charges since there’s absolutely no proof he ordered the murder.
3. Diane “Snake” Lake Diane “Snake” Lake’s life before Charles Manson was pretty similar. At a young age she was on her own, living at a biker’s commune before she met Manson. She was there for most of 1968 and 1969 as well as the “Family’s” exodus to Death Valley. She also lived with Gary Hinman. With this being said, her testimony was a combination of coercion, trade for immunity to crimes and her own lies. Most of the above was proven at the trial, but her testimony still stood and was used against Manson and the other defendants. She was also asked to testify against Leslie Van Houten in her 1977 retrial with a testimony that was merely second and third-hand hearsay conveyed as fact. 97
The Manson Myth False Witness November 5, 1970 the newspapers reported that Lake had been caught in a lie that hurt her credibility.
“The defense was prepared to show that the young woman had testified in front of the Grand Jury that she was in Death Valley at the time of the slayings, although she said at the trial that she was at Spahn Ranch”
Death Valley is about 6 hours away from Spahn Ranch, so this proves that she was not even around at the time of the slayings, so her testimony should be treated as hearsay, not fact. She was charged with perjury. Later on during her testimony, she admitted that she had read the book—which was written based on the “confession” of Susan Atkins— The Killing of Sharon Tate prior to testifying.
“Miss Lake said a technician at Patton State Hospital gave her a copy of the book The Killing of Sharon Tate shortly after she was admitted. “I asked her if I could read it,” and she said, “Yes, but don’t let anybody see it,” said Miss Lake”
You can’t get any more blatant than that. My question to this would be was it just a coincidence that the technician gave her the book, or did someone from the prosecution ask the technician to give it to her? A November 5, 1970 newspaper reported that Lake had actually dropped the bombshell of her reading of that book without the jury present, so they could not factor that into her testimony. This is not only ridiculous, but downright scandalous.
The Manson Myth False Witness It gets better. The same newspaper reported that Lake had said she was held at Patton State Hospital “without anybody knowing,” and that she asked the psychiatrists why she was being held there and they told her, “Because of the Manson trial.” Mind control? This sounds like they were trying to pump her head full of information to testify. Sound like an absurd conspiracy theory? Well, we will never know because the judge cut off any crossexamination of Lake after she had stated that fact—even after the defense had evidence to prove that “Lake was coerced into testifying.” This was immunity to the previously stated perjury charge. When this happened, Manson yelled, “Deaf, dumb and blind.” She was at one time diagnosed schizophrenic, but it was quickly changed to “normal” after she began to figure out something was amiss. This too was reported in newspapers on November 5, 1970. Newspapers on November 10, 1970 reported that Lake officially admitted that she had lied.
“Lake admitted that the prosecution had promised her immunity from prosecution if she agreed to testify at the trial of Manson and the three defendants.”
So, in short, the prosecution fed her head with lies and she in turn testified those lies, was caught and they charged her with perjury. However, they promised she’d walk on those charges if she would still testify against Manson. Her new story was that she lied because she felt that she would be killed by the “Family” if she told the truth. I wonder who fed her with that! Sketchy. 99
The Manson Myth False Witness November 11, 1970 the press ran more stories on her testimony, and this one she was caught in even more lies. Lake had stated on the stand that she told the technicians at Patton State Hospital that she “feared for her life.” She also once again confessed that she was not at Spahn Ranch at the time of the murders. Later on in her testimony she said she “possibly told a doctor that she feared for her life.” Even later on this changed to she has “never told anyone that Charles Manson threatened me.” During her statement she also implemented Sandra Good in the murders, and was questioned and re-question and on named Sandra Good many times.
“Kanarek then reminded the young witness: Isn’t it true that Sandra Good was in jail at that time?” Lake then summed up her entire testimony by saying that her “memory was bad,” and that “it was possible that she was mistaken about the things she testified to Monday and Tuesday.”
Her testimony was kept. Not only was it kept, but the judge would not allow the defense to cross-examine her. After Lake testified, she briefly re-joined the “Family”, criticizing the prosecution stating:
“You see, things that goes around comes around the same way. You’ve decided to kill Charlie— Sadie— and the others. So you see, there’s twelve of us, and what that means is that there were twelve who were standing beside Jesus long before the Romans came up to do away with him and nailed him to the cross— which is what you’re doing to Charlie; nailing him to the cross. It is your sins— not his. See, what you have done in that courtroom has been an act of propaganda. You have sentenced people to death for actually giving heart to life. You have taken what is true, and turned it into a lie. That is how you live— how you all live.”
The Manson Myth False Witness After all of this, it is absolutely amazing that her testimony was not only allowed at Leslie Van Houten’s retrial, but also aided in helping reprosecute her as it helped prosecute her in 1970. Virtually everything Lake testified was proven lies, opinion, hearsay, conjecture and basically… false.
4. Virginia Graham & Ronnie Howard Again, I will be lumping two into one because these two individuals are one in the same. Not only did they share a husband, but both had absolutely no credibility. Both were out for two things: immunity to their jail charges and money. Graham and Howard were two of the inmates at Sybil Brand Institute that Susan Atkins had made a “confession” to while she was being incarcerated for the Hinman slaying. When they went to the police, their stories basically broke the Tate/LaBianca cased wide open. While their story had a lot of truth in them—including the names of the actual killers—their stories were severely flawed and full of false “facts.” “Facts” that were incredible and some that were comically absurd. Before the Robert Hendrickson book Death to Pigs was finished, he posted a little teaser on his website ExclusiveFilms.com. In this teaser, he posted proof that Howard admitted that she was paid off. She also admitted that a lot of her testimony was based on Graham’s lies. However, she refused to say anything because she was afraid that it all would be exposed as lies—and she would lose her $25,000 award. 101
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Ronnie Howard: Virginia and Danny DeCarlo stepping forward. But they told me that the cops uh, have propositioned every one of us, including me, myself They made a deal with me and told me that they’ll cinch it, that I’ll get the whole twenty five grand.” (Drops a Bombshell) Ronnie Howard: Well, I didn’t wanna… I couldn’t say anything against Virginia The other star witness. And tell em that Virginia was lying, because then, goodness, that wouldn’t be too good for the prosecution, would it? Because they would say, “Well, if Virginia lied and they’re both friends, then Ronnie may have lied too.” Richard Lopez: They’re all lyin’!
Why wouldn’t Hendrickson and producer Laurence Merrick go to the defense team with this revelation? It could easily be used to discredit these key witnesses during the trial. It was simply put in the 2006 documentary Inside the Manson Gang by Laurence Merrick, himself:
“Without a conviction, we got no movie. In order to secure a conviction, certain deals have to be made— nothing personal, just business.”
This was a reference to the 1973 documentary Manson. Merrick was the individual who gave Manson the infamous “Nixon” paper. According to SusanAtkins.org, Susan Atkins admitted that the story she told at Sybil Brand Institute was an attempt to strike fear into her cellmates, which would lead to them respecting and even fearing her. This would assure her safety while she was inside. However, this backfired severely. 102
The Manson Myth False Witness The story she told to her cellmates was based on truth, but saturated with lies and exaggerations to make herself seem scarier. Atkins “confession” included an elaborate story of how she was “balling” Zero when he had committed suicide. This was impossible since Zero died while Atkins was locked up. Her “confession” also put her as Hinman’s slayer, and again this was untrue since it was Beausoleil who killed Hinman. We all know that Atkins also confessed to killing Sharon Tate as well as a very detailed story of how she did it. She did not kill Sharon Tate, and I will elaborate in a later chapter: Demystifying Susan Atkins. In the Robert Hendrickson book Death to Pigs, in an interview conducted in 1970 and lost in a film vault for nearly 40 years, Howard and Virginia Graham’s ex-husband (and Howard’s new husband) Richard Lopez admits that there was money involved in her testifying against Manson and the defendants and the fact that Graham admitted she was going to lie.
Laurence Merrick: Ronnie, when you were up for an award of $25,000, who muscled in? Say it. Ronnie Howard: You mean the about the deal the cops made with me? Laurence Merrick: How much? Ronnie Howard: Five grand a piece. Laurence Merrick: You afraid of them? Ronnie Howard: Naw, I’m not saying I’m afraid of them, but I know they could make it very rough for me. Laurence Merrick: And you helped break the Tate-LaBianca case, how?
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Ronnie Howard: Because I gave the cops the names of the people that did it. And that’s how Virginia (Graham) got into the act. The only trouble is Virginia has a great tendency to exaggerate… Richard Lopez: The truth. Ronnie Howard: With her lies. Anyway, Virginia told me, Steinberg arranged for the press conference, that’s when she added anything. She said “Well, they’re guilty anyway,” she said, ”So why not add a few juicy facts, why not make it juicer?” Laurence Merrick: You call it a lie, you enhance it. You know what Virginia says? Virginia said they… She told them they were gonna kill Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Tom Jones, Steve McQueen, The Pope, Elvis Presley. I mean she made it so interesting. Ronnie Howard: I’m surprised she didn’t add a few more. Laurence Merrick: She added, she added. Ronnie Howard: Well, I didn’t wanna… I couldn’t say anything against Virginia and tell them Virginia was lying, because then, goodness, that wouldn’t be good for the prosecution would it? Richard Lopez: They’re all lying. Ronnie Howard: I just told it the way it was told to me. Laurence Merrick: Yes, yes, built it up big…
Howard basically admits two things: She admits that the so-called “celebrity hit list” that every news station reported, tabloids still report, and people still believe existed, was a fabrication. That they simply “spiced up the story,” because “it’s obvious that they are guilty.” Howard also admits that she was indeed paid for her testimony. Apparently, the detectives also wanted a portion of that money she 104
The Manson Myth False Witness received and in turn they would wipe her record clean. She stated that they did not wipe her record clean and she went back to jail. Sadly, even though Howard has admitted that Graham’s stories were lies, Graham still speaks against Manson and the defendants. In fact, Graham testified against Susan Atkins at her 2009 compassionate release hearings when she was dying of cancer. Howard was not available for contradiction because in November of 1979, Howard returned to Los Angeles from Las Vegas with her husband Richard Lopez. She was approached by a Gypsy Cab while her husband went inside to retrieve their luggage. She was found beaten to death. Vincent Bugliosi said that it may have been a retaliation murder, because “Everywhere she went, she was known and the Manson snitch.” Some people also believe it could have been the detectives who she supposedly made deals with. However, it is probably an unrelated, tragic mugging and beating. Another eerie coincidence was that almost two years prior in 1977, the man who conducted the interview—Laurence Merrick—was murdered outside of his Hollywood studio. Eye witnesses claimed they had seen a man hanging around his studio, “asking questions about Merrick and the Manson film.” In the 1973 documentary Manson, she concluded her interview by saying, “I should have just kept my mouth shut.” 5. Linda Kasabian What can I say about Linda Kasabian that hasn’t been said before? Why is it that all of the negative facts regarding Kasabian are widely 105
The Manson Myth False Witness dismissed as propaganda used to discredit a witness? I mean, Kasabian’s testimony did put “Satan” away in prison for life. The poor Kasabian was an innocent bystander who was a love-sharing hippie caught up in the chaos that ensued on August 9th and 10th, 1969. Right? Truth is Kasabian was a known troublemaker, a known drug dealer, a known drug addict, and a known liar. In fact during Charles “Tex” Watson’s trial, Watson’s attorney Sam Bubrick pointed the finger at Linda Kasabian saying she was the ringleader of the murders at Cielo Drive, something that the defendants at the Manson trial, as well as plenty of witnessed during the penalty phase had also stated. Bubrick’s closing argument included some defaming remarks about Kasabian:
“When Watson was in high school back in Texas playing football, what was Linda Kasabian doing? She was going from commune to commune, traveling from man to man, living off boyfriends, shooting speed, selling drugs, living by her wits."
I could really write an entire book on Kasabian alone and I will try and keep her section as short as I can and to the point. Since there was no defense portion at the Manson trial, there was no contradiction to Kasabian’s testimony except during cross-examinations. After the defendants were convicted, they did give people the ability to testify on Manson’s behalf, but this was only to spare him from the gas chamber and not to prove him “not guilty.” During these testimonies many witnesses testified that it was Kasabian who had wanted these murders to go down. The prosecution defended these accusations with the explanation that they were merely trying to 106
The Manson Myth False Witness discredit the one witness whose testimony was so valuable that without it there was no case against Manson. Over the years, when more and more information leaks, a lot of these accusations that Kasabian may have been the mastermind are substantiated. When Bill Nelson wrote his book Manson: Behind the Scenes, he provided proof that Linda Kasabian lived with her husband on Waverly Drive at the home of ‘Family” confidant Harold True. Harold True lived next door to the LaBiancas. Until this, the prosecution’s theory was that the LaBiancas were chosen at random—something Kasabian substantiated. Why would she lie? Was it to hide the fact that the LaBiancas were her neighbors? Another odd fact is that before Harold True lived on Waverly Drive, he lived on Chandler Drive with Paul Watkins, Sandra Good, Lynette Fromme and Sue Bartell. As for the LaBianca murders; Bugliosi even said, “Nobody knows why the LaBiancas were chosen.” during a 1970 interview. In 1991, Charles Manson appeared on the television show Hard Copy and he also admitted this link. Manson went a bit further and said they had crashed in the LaBianca home when it was vacant, before the LaBiancas moved in. When attorney Irving Kanarek cross-examined Kasabian after her testimony, he asked her something interesting:
Irving Kanarek: Mrs. Kasabian, on the night, on the second night that you left Spahn Ranch, did you know that you have participated with three other people, who all together, you and the other people, had killed five people? Linda Kasabian: No.
The Manson Myth False Witness This was a lie because Kasabian obviously knew they killed the night prior because she saw Frykowski pleading for his life and distracted him while Watson stabbed him to death. She knew they killed because she saw Watson murder Stephen Parent. And most importantly, she knew they killed because—according to Watson—she held the knives on the way to the Cielo Drive house. Kanarek knew he had caught her in a lie, and Kasabian’s reason for the lie is laughably absurd. The jury bought it.
Irving Kanarek: Directing your attention, Mrs. Kasabian, to the second night and your state of mind, your thinking as you left Spahn Ranch on the second night, did you know what you and three other people done the night before, causing the death of five people? Linda Kasabian: I don’t understand the question. Irving Kanarek: You don’t understand that question? Linda Kasabian: Right. Irving Kanarek: What about the question do you not understand? Linda Kasabian: Well, I don’t know what the answer is. Irving Kanarek: You mean you don’t know the answer that Mr. Bugliosi wants you to say?
Kanarek was on the right track. It was blatantly obvious that her testimony regarding this night was coached. Kasabian was not at the murders, but just in the car that delivered them. Kasabian never went into the LaBianca’s home on the night of the murders, but she somehow
The Manson Myth False Witness knew everything that the prosecution theorized went on, however that theory was proven incorrect by the actual participants. After the murders were committed, Kasabian had many times to leave and go to the police. She used the excuse that she feared for the life of her child to explain why she did not leave Spahn Ranch. If this is so, then why after she fled Spahn Ranch with her child, did she not go to the police then? Was it because she knew she was as guilty as anyone else who were inside of those homes on the nights of the murders. In 1970, Laurence Merrick interviewed informant Ronnie Howard in for the 1973 documentary Manson. In this interview, Howard stated that Susan Atkins told her that Kasabian was a willing participant and knew what her deed would be.
“Kasabian got immunity, and she was just as guilty as the rest. Sadie told me that when they left the ranch, everybody knew that they were out to slaughter some pigs that night. Kasabian was one of them and she gets immunity and here I am. I tell the police and I get a few more years added onto my parole for it."
Kasabian joined the “Family” while Manson was off on a hiatus. He returned to Kasabian and said in the 1988 Geraldo Rivera interview that he barely knew her and only spoke to her a few times.
“I only knew Linda Kasabian; I seen her three times in my life, maybe two minutes of my life. She came up to the ranch for about a week! The biggest thought was getting in her body. I wasn’t thinking about sending her down to be no troop.”
If this is indeed true, then how did Manson “program” her to basically be his personal “robot” as the prosecution’s theory suggested? To make 109
The Manson Myth False Witness the Helter Skelter theory true, she had to have been under Manson’s “program.” Or is it easier to assume that Kasabian went on her own will? If she went on her own will, what did she have to gain for it? Did Kasabian have ties to the occupants at the Cielo Drive home? When Susan Atkins took the stand during the penalty phase, she testified that Kasabian had ties to the Cielo Drive home and suggested that home in the copy-cat killings to free Beausoleil.
“Linda (Kasabian) overheard our conversation that Bobby (BeauSoleil) had been arrested for the death of Gary (Hinman). I said I’d do anything to get my brother out of jail. “I know some people in Beverly Hills,” Kasabian said, “that burned me on a drug buy, you can make it (Hinman’s murder) look like somebody else did it if you copycat the murders— we can make more of the same. They’ll cut Bobby loose.””
Again, the prosecution discredited this testimony by telling the jury that they were trying to protect Manson. Again, the jury bought that with no doubt in their minds. Did Atkins lie to protect Manson? That could be true, but Catherine “Gypsy” Share took the stand and said something similar:
Irving Kanarek: Did Miss Linda Kasabian ask you to go out to the Tate residence? Catherine Share: No, she didn’t ask me to go out to the Tate residence. She asked me to go out and do some killing.
Like a broken record, the prosecution discredited this statement with the convenient excuse that, “Manson made her say that.” Kanarek then 110
The Manson Myth False Witness put Kasabian’s ex-roommate and friend June Emmer on the stand August 3, 1970. Her words against Kasabian were harsh and she substantiated the claims that Kasabian had problems with drugs and lying and that she was bragging about staying in a $250,000 home inhabited by movie stars. Could this be the Cielo Drive home? That home’s value was stated to be $250,000 in 1969.
Irving Kanarek: Now, while she stayed at your house did Linda Kasabian discuss with you LSD? June Emmer: Yes. Irving Kanarek: Now, directing your attention to the matter of acid and LSD, would you please tell us whether or not Linda Kasabian told you that she had consumed acid or LSD? June Emmer: Yes. She told me when she was carrying her baby, Tanya, she took it, and for me not to believe everything I see in the papers about taking LSD as far as having a child. Irving Kanarek: What did she tell you concerning her stay in California? June Emmer: She had a ball there and really enjoyed it. Irving Kanarek: Did she tell you that she had been in a $250,000 house? June Emmer: Yes. Irving Kanarek: Mrs. Emmer, at one time while you were discussing a $250,000 home with Mrs. Kasabian, did you ask her why she was at this house? (Objection by Bugliosi; Requested an offer of proof as to the validity of the question.) Irving Kanarek: Well, I believe the Sharon Tate home, your Honor, is worth about $250,000. And it is our belief that Linda Kasabian was in that house, that Linda Kasabian
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had a participation in these murders that is far and much greater than Linda Kasabian has testified to. June Emmer: Yes. Irving Kanarek: What did she tell you? June Emmer: She told me she couldn’t tell me. I said, “Why not?” I said, “What kind of people do you know with that kind of money?” She said, “I just cannot tell you.” Irving Kanarek: Do you have an opinion, Mrs. Emmer, as to the truth, honesty and integrity of Linda Kasabian? June Emmer: I know she lies. Aaron Stovitz: May that be stricken your Honor, as pure speculation, pure conjecture, and pure malarkey? Judge Older: It is non-responsive. The answer is stricken. Irving Kanarek: Did her father tell you what his opinion was concerning her reputation? June Emmer: Yes. Irving Kanarek: You had occasion to observe her, and among other people besides yourself? June Emmer: Yes. Irving Kanarek: All right, would you tell us what, then, her reputation for truth, honesty and integrity was in the fall of 1969 in the community in which she lived in Miami? June Emmer: She was a liar. Irving Kanarek: What was her reputation was it good, bad? June Emmer: All I can say is she just lied, that is all.
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Irving Kanarek: Did she ever state to you-did she ever state to you anything concerning the taking of any other drugs other than LSD or acid? June Emmer: She told me she took them all.
What does this testimony prove? Well, it proves that even people close to Kasabian—who knew her prior to the “Family”— said she had a bad reputation and was a habitual drug user who “took them all.” Kanarek was trying to disrepute the prosecution’s witness with fact—not only fact, but first-person accounts. Not second-hand and third-hand hearsay, which the prosecution used against Manson and the other defendants. Why would she lie? What’s to gain? Immunity to seven counts of murder, in which she was at first indicted for. However, after Susan Atkins refused to work with the prosecution during her Grand Jury testimony, the prosecution dropped Atkins as a witness and went on to Kasabian, offering her a sweet deal of walking free of all charges. Kasabian fled Los Angeles after the murders and went to Utah and then to New York. She only turned herself in when she had been told she had been indicted on murder charges. She did not turn herself in for the good of the case, that’s for sure. In Vincent Bugliosi’s book Helter Skelter he admitted that before Kasabian turned prosecution’s witness he went to the County Jail and made sure that she was not “harassed” the way Atkins “is harassed.” In 1999 author and Manson researcher Bill Nelson wrote an article on the now defunct Manson Family Today website on his research of Kasabian for the past thirty years. Here’s what he found. Not only did it 113
The Manson Myth False Witness coincide to what June Emmer had said, but various “Family” members including Atkins and Share. “Linda Kasabian was the state’s star witness during the Manson family murder trials
for the Tate/LaBianca murders. She had only been with the Manson family a brief time and had arrived from a commune in New Mexico with her husband Bob. None other than Tex Watson seduced Linda the first day she arrived and upon learning that Linda had some $5,000 in her truck, Watson conned her out of it. Watson believed this act of theft would endear him even more to his quasi-Jesus Christ figure, Charles Manson. Kasabian had the only valid driver’s license in the Manson family and that has always been the reason given as why she was chosen to go along with the killers. Do not think for one moment that other Mansonites ceased driving just because there was no legal license in their wallet or purse. The Manson family lived off stolen credit cards. They mostly all had fake IDs and licenses as well. Charles Manson also had a valid driver’s license. Kasabian did not stay at the car as instructed by Tex, and she walked back up the long drive to the Tate property. She witnessed the murder of Voytek and asked Susan to make it stop. Kasabian said she would never forget the eyes of the pained victim as he slumped on the porch and then on the front lawn. Atkins reportedly responded that it was too late. It’s hard to believe that she asked for “it to stop”, she knew what was going to happen. Kasabian could have ran and asked for help, but she chose not to. Kasabian drove the car the second night of murder. She left with Manson, Grogan, and Atkins before the murders of Leno and Rosemary. Thus, Kasabian became an eyewitness to both nights and could testify for the prosecution. The prosecution would rather have her in prison with the rest of them but they granted her immunity when indecisive Sadie backed out of her Grand Jury agreement to turn star witness. After the trials Kasabian has chosen a life of crime. No, not murder. But drugs, drug abuse, weapons caches and is a derelict in society. The daughter she had at Spahn Ranch became known as “Lady Dangerous” and is a felon. Kasabian’s son was arrested more than 22 times. Why did I think it important to run this story? Because the former star witness who helped put away the Manson family has continued a life of crime. She, and her daughter,
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have participated in the drug business. Drugs which destroy the lives of everyone they come in contact with. Tanya, just a young child at the Spahn Ranch, is currently known as Lady Dangerous by Washington state authorities. To even consider that Linda would allow drugs in the home of the grandchildren is inconceivable.”
With all of this said, it is without a doubt a fact that Kasabian was tied to the Cielo Drive and Waverly Drive homes. August 10th, 1969 it was stated that Kasabian, Atkins, and Grogan were sent to Venice Beach to the apartment of actor Saladin Nader to murder him, but the plan was aborted when Kasabian knocked on the wrong door. Kasabian was also associated to Nader as she and Sandra Good had met him days prior and had sex with him. Three for three. According to the prosecution, Kasabian had stated that Manson told her to do “whatever Tex says.” But Watson had stated that Manson had told him “the girls know what to do.” So, which is it? Of course, since the defense team for Manson and the other defendants never had a chance to put on a defense and state their case, Kasabian’s version became “fact” by forfeit. Susan Atkins’ unpublished book The Myth of Helter Skelter summed up Kasabian in an attempt to prove that her only motive for testifying was to evade seven charged of murder, and doing so she would testify anything that was laid out by the prosecution. Not only that, but she was also used to testify against Leslie Van Houten during her 1977 retrial. Kasabian never went inside the Waverly Drive home, so how would she know what went on inside? First off, Linda claims that Charles Manson went into the LaBianca home himself and tied up Leno and Rosemary. However, she said she 115
The Manson Myth False Witness did not enter the home herself. She later states that she had been to the area before, next door in fact. She knew the area very well because she recognized it right off the bat. So was it a coincidence or maybe she picked the house out herself? Who knows, but the house was familiar. Charles “Tex” Watson said in his book Will You Die for Me? that he and Manson entered the house together, discrediting what Linda Kasabian said under oath. Watson also goes on to say that Manson told the LaBiancas that they are “just there for money and no one will be hurt.” Watson said the murders were more for money to bail Mary Brunner than anything else, but also to free Bobby and of course that silly “Helter Skelter” thing. Watson also says that he, himself tied up the LaBiancas and Manson left with a wallet. When the girls entered the home, Watson asked Patricia Krenwinkle “Did he say kill them?” and she said “yes”. This is also inconsistent with Kasabian’s testimony that he told the girls “to do whatever Tex says.” According to the prosecution, Kasabian had no clue that any murders were going to happen—that she thought these were going to be robberies. Bullshit. Atkins went on to say in The Myth of Helter Skelter that:
Linda had carried a knife that night. Linda stood lookout at the Cielo house. Linda had collected the weapons and bloody clothing after the crimes at the Cielo home. Linda discarded the weapons and bloody clothing after the Cielo crimes. Linda had gone out the next night knowing what would happen. Linda did not go to the police after she left Spahn’s Ranch. Linda did not go to the police even after she got her daughter back. Linda did not go to police even after she went back to New York.
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Linda only offered to make a deal with the District Attorney after she had been indicted on murder charges. Linda only offered to make a deal with the District Attorney if she would be given immunity to all counts of murder.
The problem with Atkins’ book is that nobody believes her. She is still seen as a remorseless baby killer—as laid out by the prosecution— despite Watson admitted that Atkins killed no one, that he was Sharon Tate’s slayer. No one will believe anything except what the media reports and that is always that Atkins is a cold-blooded killer of an 8 month pregnant Sharon Tate. And that makes everything she says a lie. When Manson was finally able to testify—in front of an empty jury box—he spoke about Kasabian:
“You sat here for nineteen days questioning that girl. She got immunity on seven counts of murder. You set her up to be a hero, and that is your woman. You set this woman up here to testify against me. And she tells you a sad story. How she has only taken every narcotic that is possible to take. How she has only stolen, lied, cheated and done everything that you have got there in that book. But it is okay. She is telling the truth now. She wouldn’t have any ulterior motive— like immunity for seven counts of murder.”
6. Barbara Hoyt The first question I want to ask is: Why would Barbara Hoyt want to testify erroneous information? The answer is that she too was scorned and feared for her life. When the “Family” heard that Hoyt may have overheard a conversation about the murder of Sharon Tate and was subpoenaed to tell that story to the jury, some of the “Manson Girls” asked Hoyt along on an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii. While Hoyt was 117
The Manson Myth False Witness there, a few of the girls slipped ten tabs of LSD into her cheeseburger and left her while they hopped a plane back to Los Angeles. Hoyt freaked out and collapsed and woke up in a hospital. She was convinced that the “cheeseburger caper” was anticipated to kill her and Ruth Ann “Ouish” Moorehouse, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Catherine “Gypsy” Share were arrested on attempted murder charges. They insisted that it was merely an attempt to “scare her” into not testifying. The charges went from “conspiracy to commit murder” to “conspiracy to dissuade a witness from testifying” and “conspiracy to bribe a witness.” Hoyt had every right to fear for her life. I can almost guarantee you that Share was just itching to kill someone. Susan Atkins stated in her book Child of Satan, Child of God that Share once threatened her, “Susan, if you blow my scene, I will kill you.” Out of nowhere, Hoyt knew absolutely everything about the murders at Cielo Drive and held nothing back when she told the prosecution. Hoyt’s confession included “facts,” that have since been factually contradicted—or in better words, proven lies. While at Barker Ranch in Death Valley, Hoyt said she heard Susan Atkins confess the Sharon Tate murder to Moorehouse. Skipping back to the chapter Who is Charles Watson?, it is a fact that Atkins did not kill Sharon Tate. So, this was either Atkins pumping herself up and making herself seem “hard” to Moorehouse, much like her Sybil Brand Institute confession or it was a lie that was coached from the prosecution. Almost verbatim to what the prosecution had stated happened, Hoyt’s testimony stated that she “became suspicious after “Family” members 118
The Manson Myth False Witness watched television reports about the Tate murders with delight.” This was also put in the Helter Skelter 2004 movie, in which the “Family” cheered at the television. Upon watching the movie, Charles “Tex” Watson wrote a review on AboundingLove.org of the movie stating that, “After the crime, we reported to Manson in the bunk house, very lowkey with him not happy, and there was no celebration by the family in front of a television.” Two things in this statement stand out; Watson’s version that there were no celebrations discredit Hoyt’s testimony and that “Manson was not happy.” Why wasn’t he happy? Was it for the reason Manson had said—that he was pissed at the crew when they told him they had murdered? Hoyt’s testimony also included “facts,” such as that they made Sharon Tate die last so “she could watch the others die.” This was an obvious attempt to corroborate the prosecution’s claim that Tate was the target. Her claim was that after she overheard this confession, she and Sherry Cooper fled Barker Ranch and that Charles Manson caught up with them in Ballarat. And after Hoyt and Cooper expressing that they wanted to leave, Manson gave them money for tickets to Los Angeles and left. Of course, the prosecution had to add that Manson “was planning to send someone to Los Angeles to kill them.” Back in the Danny DeCarlo section; notice that his girlfriend who was laughing and bragging about the murder of Donald “Shorty” Shea was Sherry Cooper. Hoyt’s testimony also included the murder Shea, and her testimony was the key piece to the puzzle which convicted Charles Manson, Steve “Clem” Grogan and Bruce Davis for the murder and completely missing Charles “Tex” Watson and “Bill Vance.” 119
The Manson Myth False Witness Newspapers reported Hoyt’s testimony which included statements like: Manson told her that “Shorty committed suicide with his help,” and that on the night of the murders she heard “blood-curdling screams from Shea.” She said the screams were coming from a nearby creek bed and that they were “prolonged and painful—like a horror movie, only worse.” She later claimed that Manson told her that “Shea had been murdered and buried on the side of the stream.” She also confirmed the testimony of Paul Watkins when she stated that Shorty was “cut into nine pieces by the family.” All were untrue, but believed. This testimony, backed with the testimony of Paul Watkins nailed the coffin. However, both testimonies were completely incorrect. How did two different people repeat the same misinformation? During the 1994 parole hearing of Bruce Davis, he told a different story. Why would Davis lie? His lie would serve absolutely no purpose, in fact going against the prosecution’s theory and stating the truth would do more harm. When Davis told the story of Shea’s murder, he stated that it was “early morning.” He also stated that Shea was not buried at that time. Steve “Clem” Grogan did say at one of his parole hearings that he was the one who buried Shea, and lead the authorities to his grave which was down a ravine beside a train track about 2 miles from Spahn Ranch. The stories Grogan and Davis give are nearly identical and both contradict both Hoyt and Watkins. From the October 19, 1978 parole hearing of Bruce Davis:
Presiding Officer White: Can we move into the Shorty Shea case? Mr. Bakes: Tell me what happened: Tell your particular version of it.
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Bruce Davis: We were going down the road toward San Fernando Valley, and Tex stabbed Shorty. He said, "Pull over here," and we pulled over and they pulled him out of the car, and pulled him down the bank. Mr. Bakes: Who said "pull over?" Bruce Davis: Tex told Shorty, who was driving, to pull over. Mr. Bakes: Did he stab him before he pulled him out of the car? Bruce Davis: Well, yes. I didn't actually see that. I was-- the back seat was between us. I would assume he must have.
And this is from the October 20, 1981 parole hearing of Steve Grogan:
Presiding Member Roos: So Charles Manson was in the back seat with you? Steve Grogan: No. Mr. Robinson: Tex was sitting in the front seat and you were sitting where? Steve Grogan: Then we pulled off the road. Tex got out. The car was still in gear. I think he just had his foot on the break, and they got out and they looked around the bushes like he was looking for some parts. And Tex was urging me, you know, come on hit this guy. I kept hesitating. He pulled out a knife that he had. I guess that’s what finally, you know, put me over the edge. I just hit the guy. I wasn’t really – there was no accurate shot or nothing like that. Presiding Member Roos: Who did that? Steve Grogan: I imagine Tex did. I didn’t actually see him stab him. My head was turned, you know. The car had left. My peripheral vision, I didn’t catch what was going on. Came out of the car and he was laying on the ground and semi unconscious state. He was already going or something. And at that point Manson arrived on the scene with another person.
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Presiding Member Roos: Did Manson stab him too? Steve Grogan: I don’t know. He might have slashed him. I don’t recall if he stabbed him. Presiding Member Roos: So you stabbed him and Tex stabbed him. Anybody else stab him? Steve Grogan: I think Bruce might have stabbed him in the arm
Hoyt and Watkins’ testimony that Shea was buried on Spahn Ranch land lead to an extensive grave search, which yielded nothing. Not only were the stories that they told lies, but they also wasted a lot of time. The story that Shea was beheaded was purely lore. Probably something Grogan made up for the same reasons Atkins fabricated her stories—to sound “hard.” Hoyt had witnessed nothing, she heard someone bragging and exaggerating and she repeated it. Later, at Grogan’s 1981 parole hearing he did say that he was told to tell people that he dismembered Shea.
Board Member Tong: I think you indicated that at the time of the killing, correct me if I’m incorrect, that Manson said to mutilate the body and that you surmised that it was a means of bringing the group more under his control, because the group was beginning to shift away from him; is that correct? Steve Grogan: Yeah. At the time – it wasn’t really at the time of the murders. It was after the murder, sometime after. The murder that he told me that, you know, calculate that story if anybody asks. Mr. Robinson: Just for clarification, he didn’t tell you to mutilate the body? Steve Grogan: No, he told me to say that we had mutilated the body.
The Manson Myth False Witness Why would he want them to lie? Why would Grogan lie and why would Grogan take so long to tell the truth? Here’s an excerpt from The Garbage People that explains why. Grogan basically just wanted out of prison and knew the whereabouts of Shea’s body would be the ticket out of prison— and it was.
“Grogan’s tier-mate and fellow “Family” member Bobby Beausoleil told him to just fess up and tell them where Shea was buried. That will surely prove he is telling the truth. Grogan did just that in 1977 and Donald “Shorty” Shea’s body was dug up, all in one piece minus a hand which was removed by an animal. “
The autopsy report not only proved what Grogan was saying to be true, but verified testimonies from Barbara Hoyt and Paul Watkins were a lie. This should have resulted in a re-trial, but it did not. To this day no one knows why both Charles Manson and Steve Grogan testified in court that they decapitated Shea. It was a lie that basically sealed their fate in this case So, why did the papers report on October 29, 1971 that “The State claimed that Grogan, 20, while following Manson’s orders; decapitated Donald “Shorty” Shea, 36, after the family tortured the dying man with knives.” They were wrong. I have proven they were wrong. Here are the problems with the Shea case that Hoyt’s lies caused: The jury was not sequestered, so they heard all of the (later proven) false stories from Barbara Hoyt published in the media of Grogan beheading Shea, as well as the rumor that he was manually masturbated as he died. 123
The Manson Myth False Witness When Prosecutor Bugliosi filed for the indictment, he stated “I have proof that Steve Grogan beheaded Donald Shea.” However, he could not produce this proof since he was working on the words of Hoyt and Watkins, and not “proof.” The time of death that the actual killers have stated is different than the time of death Hoyt states.
Charles Manson was convicted of murder for stabbing Donald Shea. However, the real “Charlie” who stabbed him— Charles “Tex” Watson— evaded conviction. Two other named participants in the murder— David Hamic (Bill Vance) and Larry Bailey remain at large because the stories Hoyt and Watkins produced did not tell the real facts and the real participants. Prosecution listed Charles Manson in the car that took Donald Shea to his death. Ruby Pearl said she saw Manson, Watson, Davis, Grogan and others force him into the car. The people who murdered Shea were hardened criminals. They would not have murdered him when Ruby Pearl was a witness. They would have waited. He was not murdered then. If Davis, Grogan, Watson, Hamic and Bailey were all in the car with Shea, there would be no room for Manson. Prosecution said that Manson wanted Shea dead because he caused the Spahn raid and married a black woman. Donald Shea was once married to a black woman, but long before he met Charles Manson. He was separated from her at the time of his murder. Charles Manson filed for an appeal when Shea’s body was found. The court would not even read it. It was proven that Manson was convicted by perjured testimony. Charles Manson later asked for a new trial for the murder of Shea, and the court would not even hear it.
In my opinion, people really don’t care about the real story of Shea’s murder because he was not as significant as the victims at the Cielo Drive and Waverly Drive homes. He was not a movie star, nor was he 124
The Manson Myth False Witness rich. He was an out-of-work stuntman who was destitute and living at a horse farm, shoveling manure for his room and board. Sadly, a lot of books, documentaries, and movies completely skip over Shea’s murder, as if he doesn’t even matter. The prosecution used his murder as one more notch in the gun of Vincent Bugliosi, one more reason he’d surely be a shoe-in for Los Angeles District Attorney. Shea’s body was not even found yet, and the entire trial was based on “what they heard,” “what he said,” “what we think happened.” Not fact, nor anything backed by evidence. The prosecution’s theory was Manson stabbed Shea himself and neither of the participants testified that they had seen him do so. Grogan said that Manson was not in the car. Bruce Davis stated that Manson came in a second car. However, eye “witnesses” have stated they saw Manson get in the car with Shea. Someone’s lying. Facts are that most of the people who testified in the Shea trial really did not know anything about the murder. They merely “heard” about it and they recited what they heard, backed with their own opinion and what they “thought” the person spilling the beans meant. This extended to the Hinman portion of the trial as well as the Tate/LaBianca murder trial. The facts remain: the “evidence” used was merely opinion stated as truth; assumptions stated as “eye witness accounts.” In the end, Charles “Tex” Watson remains un-charged for this murder, yet he was the ringleader spouting out commands as he did in the Tate and LaBianca slayings.
The Manson Myth
The Manson Myth
Demystifying Susan Atkins
“I don’t believe this claim that Susan is under a hypnotic spell of Manson. I think she is just trying to talk her way out of it. She’s sick and she needs help. I have tried for three years to get the courts to keep her of the streets; had they done so, this might have never happened.” Edward Atkins, Susan’s father 127
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins hen Susan Atkins passed away in 2009 she took a lot of secrets to the grave, as well as the public opinion that she was “the worst of the Manson girls,” and that she was this insane character who stabbed the pregnant Sharon Tate to death. Now, I am not justifying Atkins’ actions, nor am I saying that Atkins did not deserve jail time. Atkins actively participated in the killings. She was at the Gary Hinman slaying and she was at the Cielo Drive massacre. But, when she made her jailhouse “confession”— stating she not only murdered Sharon Tate, but drank her blood— the world’s impression of Atkins was forever engraved. It seems like no matter how many times Charles “Tex” Watson confessed that he was indeed the killer of Sharon Tate, the media, the prosecution and everyone else still blames Atkins. In a way, it is justice because Atkins did hold Tate down, allowing Watson to murder her. However, the person who actually killed her (as laid out in the chapter Who is Charles Watson?) seems to escape all blame. In the 1973 documentary, case informant and former Sybil Brand Institute inmate Ronnie Howard “spilled the beans” to the media and prosecution on Atkins. The story Howard told was disgusting, violent and almost unbelievable. Howard stated that Atkins told her that she had murdered Gary Hinman, “balled” Zero (John Philip Haught/ Christopher Jesus) when he killed himself. And when he shot himself, she licked up the blood. This testimony, supplemented with the confession that Atkins stabbed Sharon Tate to death after murmuring, “Look bitch, I have no remorse for you,” was used to convict Susan Atkins and make her one of the most hated females in American history. 128
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins Susan Atkins said on SusanAtkins.org, she only told that story to “scare” her cellmates. She stated that at one time Charles Manson told them that:
“If they get arrested and are in jail, they have to exaggerate to make themselves look tough to they don't get victimized.”
When Vincent Bugliosi caught wind of this “confession,” he instantly went to her with a deal: testify for the prosecution to the Helter Skelter theory and we will give you immunity to the gas chamber. That prompted Atkins to testify in front of the Grand Jury, where she stated that she stabbed Wojciech Frykowski in the leg, but did not kill Sharon Tate and that the murders were copycat killings and not to spark a race war. Bugliosi did not like this and dropped the idea of giving her a deal to testify. When she was alerted that her testimony would be used against her she said, "I understand this, and my life doesn't mean that much to me, I just want to see what is taken care of." So, if she didn’t kill Sharon Tate, how do we know Watson did? Well, in his book Will You Die for Me? he went in great detail and took complete responsibility for it. When Atkins wrote The Myth of Helter Skelter, she spoke about that and the fact that the knife she handed Kasabian—her knife—that Kasabian lost, had no blood on it. But, Bugliosi conveniently dismissed that bit of evidence.
“I told Mr. Bugliosi the truth. I hadn’t killed Sharon Tate. Years later, when he wrote his book about the crimes, Mr. Bugliosi stated he got the impression I was lying to him about this – that I had, in fact, killed Sharon Tate. Mr. Bugliosi was wrong about a lot of things. And he was wrong about me killing Sharon Tate. Even though he’s wrong about a lot of things, I’ve never caught Mr. Bugliosi deliberately lying about anything.
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins
I can also point to the fact that I said I hadn’t killed Sharon Tate during my Grand Jury testimony in 1969. This was the testimony I was told by the Prosecutor had to be true or I could be executed. That’s a strong incentive to tell the truth. Mr. Bugliosi, of course, believes I lied about that part of the crime in my Grand Jury testimony. I am happy to point out that even Mr. Bugliosi admits my rendition of the crimes as told to the Grand Jury was corroborated in every instance by the version Linda Kasabian gave. Charles Watson has stated I didn’t kill Sharon Tate. In addition, the Prosecutor has since admitted the knife I was carrying the night Sharon Tate was killed was actually found at the crime scene. It was tested for blood and it was found to be clean. It had never struck anyone. There is no dispute it was my knife, as Linda Kasabian was the one who handed out the knives and she identified it. And there is no dispute there was no blood on it. The Prosecutor has apparently insisted the fact my knife wasn’t used doesn’t prove I didn’t kill Sharon Tate at all - claiming I could have borrowed Charles Watson’s knife.”
Pretty much everyone who knew Atkins has dismissed her as a liar, or more precisely as a “habitual liar.” This extends to the media and the public. Everyone feels that everything Atkins says is a self-serving lie. I also believe that she is a liar, but is being honest about this. After her testimony to the Grand Jury, an attorney named Richard Caballero wedged himself as a representing public defender for Atkins. He convinced her to tell him the entire story and let him tape it. During those sessions, she spoke about the murder of Tate.
“So I went over and put Sharon (Tate) in a headlock. Then she began begging to me to let her go so she could have her baby, and wow, I realized she was pregnant. Sharon was so quiet. Tex came back in and said “Kill her!” Then Katie (Patricia Krenwinkel) like an echo said “Kill her!” Then I said “Tex, I can’t kill her. You’ve got to do it.” So, Tex stabbed her in the heart again and again.”
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins Caballero then somehow talked Atkins into selling him the rights to her words and life story. Here is a timeline breakdown of how Caballero took advantage of Atkins and bled her dry, earning a significant amount of money in a very short amount of time. This was taken from an article written by Ed Sanders in the L.A. Free Press publication:
November 18, 1969: Susan Atkins’ cell mates spill the beans on her “conversations” with them. November 26, 1969: Richard Caballero shows up to Susan Atkins’ hearing in Malibu. December 1, 1969: Richard Caballero takes Susan Atkins to his office in the presence of Vincent Bugliosi and records her story. December 4, 1969: Susan Atkins is taken to Richard Caballero’s office for another taping session. According to Susan Atkins, Caballero attempted to “touch” her. December 5, 1969: Susan Atkins testifies to the Grand Jury of the story she told Richard Caballero. December 7, 1969: Richard Caballero announces to the press that he is afraid Charles Manson will “conjure up a vision and hurt his client, Susan Atkins.” December 8, 1969: Susan Atkins signs over rights to her story to Richard Caballero including the “writing and/or sales of the story of my life.” 40% will go to “attorneys,” and the rest will be split 40/60 between Caballero and Atkins. December 9, 1969: Richard Caballero publishes Atkins’ confession and opens an escrow account. December 10, 1969: Judge Keene issues a gag order on Susan Atkins, despite presiding over and signing the court orders on her deal with Richard Caballero. Richard Caballero is officially assigned as Susan Atkins’ attorney as a public defender, using county money. December 11/12/13, 1969: Time Magazine, Newsweek and LA Times attempt to buy the rights to Susan Atkins’ story, but Caballero decides not to sell it to them because he feels he can make more money selling it to a European publication. December 14, 1969: Paul Caruso double-deals and sells his xeroxed copy of Susan Atkins’ confession to the LA Times, never disclosing the amount.
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins
December 18, 1969: Royalties start to come in to the escrow account created by Caballero; $81,000 ($506,000 today) as of July, 1970. January 22, 1970: Richard Caballero makes Susan Atkins sign over 50% of her 60% for “attorney fees” despite being her public defender, paid by the county.
It’s quite obvious why Caballero wanted to “defend” Atkins, and did a horrible job at it. This would have entitled Atkins to a re-trial, but in doing so she would again face the death penalty. So, she never sought a new trial. She was caught between justice and the gas chamber. Atkins was no angel, and she was certainly deserving of prison. But she was obviously a very mentally disturbed individual who prided herself others believing she was evil. Then when the entire world bought the media lies hook, line and sinker, she resented it. After informant Ronnie Howard testified a false story to the jury against Atkins, she wrote her a nice letter.
“I am going to save my soul, the body my soul is housed in can be destroyed for all I care. To live forever is all I want, and I really don’t care about that. When I first heard you were the informer I wanted to slit your throat. I snapped that I was the real informer and it was my throat I wanted to cut. Well that’s over with now as I let the past die away from my mind. You know it will turn out okay in the end anyway. “M” or no “M”, Sadie or no Sadie. Love will still run forever. I am giving up me to become that love a little more every day.”
No matter what Atkins said, no one believed her. In a 1981 interview with OUI Magazine, Bobby Beausoleil summed her up with very few words: “Susan Atkins has a motor mouth.” 132
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins She did it to herself. She was convicted of the LaBianca killings, despite never even stepping into the Waverly Drive home. The prosecution stated that she knew about the murders, therefore she is responsible through the “conspiracy law.” But also in that car that delivered the killers was Steve “Clem” Grogan, who also knew about the murders, but the prosecution said that Grogan was too “stupid” to prosecute for the murders. So stupid he acted a death penalty down to a parole date. She also confessed to many people that she was the killer of Gary Hinman, which is absolutely absurd. In her book Child of Satan, Child of God, she said Manson ordered her to kill Hinman and programmed her to do so. ““Why don’t you go kill Gary and get his money?” His eyes stared hard into my face. The tension between us was palpable. But within me, I could hear the words, “I’ll show him. I’ll show him I can be just as tough as he can.” My body was frozen. I knew I wasn’t rational. “I’ll show him,” I had said. I was out of control. I was a scared young woman. But somehow I sensed Charlie was a scared little man.”
It is a fact that Hinman’s slayer was Beausoleil and he stated that the murder was over bad drugs, not a large sum of money that Manson wanted. In the end, Atkins was roped into testifying in front of the Grand Jury. She testified to a story that the prosecution disagreed with, and she was set free back to where she started. She sold her “rights” to her name and story and subsequently was bled dry by her own attorney. The
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins entire world saw her as a blood-drinking baby killer and she was the only one to blame. Her Grand Jury testimony was used against her, and rightfully so. Bugliosi stated in his book Helter Skelter that they needed her testimony. “Without Susan Atkins’ testimony on the Tate case, the evidence against two out of the
five defendants [Manson and Kasabian] is rather anemic. Without her testimony on the LaBianca case, the evidence against five out of the six defendants [everyone except Van Houten] is non-existent.” That was it. Without [Susan], we still didn’t have a case.”
She ended up being hated by her own Manson “Family,” and it seemed that they were already growing tired of her. She had a reputation for having a big mouth and being completely “untrustworthy,” as Danny DeCarlo once put it. When it comes to the crimes, I personally believe that her memory is cloudy. Her story of what happened after the murders differs from Watson’s version (see chapter: Who is Charles Watson), and she seemed to want to tell everyone about the murders. She most certainly was not Manson’s favored girl as the media seems to report. In the Ed Sanders book The Family, he too painted a picture of the residents at Spahn Ranch disliking Atkins. July 28, 1968 Bobby Beausoleil and Diane “Snake” Lake overheard Susan Atkins telling Spahn Ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea that, “Charlie killed a black man and I don’t know who else…”—Which was untrue—Mary Brunner became furious and told Atkins that she is going to “kill her if she doesn’t keep her mouth shut” and apparently slammed her head against the wall stating 134
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins that “Shorty knew too much.” At least one account of this event put Manson as the one who did that to Atkins. That was false. There was also a time when they were on the run and Manson, Atkins and a few others wanted to stay at the Fountain of the World Church on Box Canyon Road and Atkins had them all kicked out by running her mouth, calling the sisters “the ugliest pigs I ever seen.” Manson had some choice words for her after that. Again, it goes to show you that Atkins was not liked very much at Spahn Ranch, which explains why Manson actually exiled her from the Family. Before that, he sent her, Mary, and Katie to Mendocino to try and scope out a place to live. She was arrested up there for contributing to a minor. That took her out of Manson’s hair for a good 6-8 months. Sources also say Manson told her to leave the ranch for using drugs while pregnant with Zezose Zadfrack Glutz. Upon Susan Atkins’ return, she came back with the clap, spreading it to most of the Family. It was written in Nuel Emmons’ book Manson in His Own Words that “She blamed it on Clem, but the girls beat her up pretty bad for it.” It was said that Juan Flynn had it so bad that it took months to cure him. Bobby Beausoleil stated that Susan Atkins had it so bad that her feet blistered up and was not able to wear shoes. Yummy. The fact that Manson sort of exiled her probably made her want to prove herself to him even more. It also probably drove her towards Charles “Tex” Watson and his drug ring. According to the Marlin Marynick book Charles Manson Now, Manson asked Atkins and Watson to leave the Ranch because they were consuming speed—something he forbade—and told them to love on the side of the creek. This was right before the Tate and LaBianca murders. 135
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins With all of this said, it doesn’t make Atkins look any better. I do hope it will open people’s eyes and realize that what the media and judicial system reports isn’t always the truth. Atkins is wrongfully branded the “worst” Manson girl. This completely ignores the fact that Patricia Krenwinkel not only took control of the murders, but stabbed close to 100 times. Atkins, well she may have only stabbed Frykowski’s leg and then could not follow through, as per Watson. Atkins started her life of crime in drugs, armed robberies and run-ins with the police before she met Manson and it extended past Manson. Manson did not create Atkins— she created herself, the media fed it. In 1987, Manson spoke to LIFE Magazine and had this to say about her. Manson also told me that he “will forever be bonded to her.”
“If they let Susie tomorrow, she’s still going to be in jail. She’s imprisoned herself. She’s playing Jesus for parole. But I got nothing against Susie. I love her. But I wouldn’t want her around me.”
Manson has stated that Atkins knew a lot more than she has ever revealed. In fact, before her death in 2009, Manson told author Marlin Marynick that he begged her to reveal the truth. He said that she never responded, or perhaps never even received the letters. In 1999, author and comedian Paul Krassner wrote an article for GettingIt.com as a part of a 30th anniversary remembrance. Krassner was a good friend of Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme for some time and has researched the case. The article he wrote mentioned an investigator named Hal Lipsett, and his findings on Atkins and her association with the victims. 136
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins
“When Hal Lipset, the renowned private investigator, informed me a few years ago that the Los Angeles Police Department seized pornographic films and videotapes found in Polanski's loft and, additionally, certain LAPD officers were selling the tapes, that seemed like a clue. One police source told Lipset that there was seven hours worth of Polanski's homemade porn, and that it was worth a quarter of a million dollars. Lipset gave me a litany of those private porn flicks. There was Greg Bautzer, an attorney for Howard Hughes, with Jane Wyman, the ex-wife of then-California Governor Ronald Reagan. There was Cass Elliot in an orgy with Yul Brynner, Peter Sellers, and Warren Beatty. This trio, along with John Phillips, had offered a $25,000 reward for the capture of the killers. There was Sharon Tate with Dean Martin. There was Sharon with Steve McQueen. And there she was with two black bisexual men "The cops weren't too happy about that one," Lipset recalled. I eventually tracked down a reporter who told me that when she was hanging around with the LAPD, they showed her a porn video of Susan Atkins, one of Charlie's devils, with Voytek Frykowski, one of the victims. This contradicts the official story, which is that the executioners and the victims had never met until the night of the massacre. But apparently the reporter mentioned the wrong victim, because when I wrote to Charlie and asked directly, "Did Susan sleep with Frykowski?" he answered, "You are ill advised and misled. Sebring [one of the victims] done Susan's hair and I think he sucked one or two of her dicks. I'm not sure who she was walking out from her stars and cages, that girl loves dick, you know what I mean, hon. Yul Brynner, Peter Sellers...."
This holds a lot of merit. It is true that videos were found in the Polanski/Tate residence and even William Garretson, the lone survivor of the Cielo Drive Massacre, had said he witnessed them making films when he appeared on the E! Network’s Manson special in 1999. The films were explained by Roman Polanski as private videos of he and his wife. However according to the Tate Homicide report, it stated that victim Jay Sebring was known for “filming” videos with girls he had just met. In a Truman Capote interview with Bobby Beausoleil, he too 137
The Manson Myth Demystifying Susan Atkins mentioned these videos and told Capote to “even ask the cops, not they they’d tell you the truth.” In 2009, after battling cancer, Susan Atkins passed away and took the answers to all of these questions to the grave. I sincerely hope that she found the peace in her afterlife that she could not find while being alive. She contributed to a lot of horror and she had to do her time in prison. I do believe that she found God and that she was honest about it. I am also sure she was forgiven. Charles Manson never hesitated to call Susan Atkins nasty names. It’s clear that he still held a grudge against her for lying in the first place and causing them all to get busted. Her “confession” to Ronnie Howard was all lies (but based on truth), so he sort of has a point. But Manson has always said that he still loved Atkins. In fact, when asked about her death by Crime Magazine in 2009, he said:
“She believed that Jesus was coming on earth. She was preparing herself for Jesus on earth. She left the hospital with Jesus. Susie don’t die. Susie never dies. You believe everything people tell you but you won’t believe what I tell you. You know, we go through changes and we change bodies. Susan Atkins is an angel. Susan Atkins lives in eternity with God. If you believe, she still lives.”
I think he is right. Susan Atkins was definitely no saint and I feel like she had her share of mental issues, but she certainly was not this woman the media made her to be. That persona was an image created by the media and peoples’ imaginations.
The Manson Myth
The Manson Myth
“[Manson] had his people, I had mine. If anybody was influenced, it was him. By me.” Bobby Beausoleil 140
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid
s the story goes, Manson and the “Family” met Beausoleil at some parties—probably at the now infamous Spiral Staircase. Beausoleil said in a 1981 interview with Oui Magazine that he “met him in Topanga Canyon, around ’66.” This is not true because Manson was still in prison in 1966. More accurately, he met him in late 1967 or 1968 when he auditioned for Manson’s band The Milky Way.
“I joined a band, The Milky Way, that Charlie was in. That's how I met him. He was a very talented songwriter, good musician lyrically, just excellent. He was somebody with an incredibly intense, vivid expanded imagination because of all the time he's done.”
On his website Beasoleil.net he expanded further:
“The best thing, though, was Charlie and his singing, and his kind of Dylan-esque sounding lyrics. At that time I didn’t listen to them too closely, but when I did I liked them, I liked the songs. I wanted to work with him and get him into the studio. He strummed a guitar and he strummed it well, I will say that. He provided a good rhythmic foundation for his own music. He could have been a really good drummer, had he gone that way.”
Beausoleil was also working on a film called Mondo Hollywood with Jay Sebring, who was a victim of Charles “Tex” Watson in the Cielo Drive massacre. This may be purely coincidence, but also it may also prove what Manson has said before—that “we all ran in the same circle.” In the Nuel Emmons book Manson in His Own Words, he said that when he met Beausoleil the girls just loved him and admired him. He was an actor and musician with bands called The Grass Roots and Orkustra and had sang backup for Frank Zappa. He had a bright future ahead of him— that’s if he played his cards right. 141
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid Beausoleil commented that his appeal to Manson was his creativity, not the girls in Oui Magazine.
“Charles Manson was lonely. He used his women to attract a man because he liked having other men around to do men things with. What man couldn’t be attracted by having the opportunity to go to bed with several women-- to cater to his every fantasy-whatever? I didn’t have that attraction to that group. I didn’t need it. His women could not attract me. He could attract me because I admired his creativity.”
Of course, this sort of breaks the myth that Beausoleil was a true diehard “Family” member and that he was basically there for the girls. In 1970 testimony, Paul Watkins testified that his job was to “recruit” girls to join the “Family” and recruited Leslie Van Houten as per the theory the prosecution laid out. He was lying. Van Houten was Beausoleil’s girl, and she only stayed with the “Family” after Beausoleil’s arrest, however she had spent time with them off and on before then. In a 1977 interview, Van Houten expanded that Manson respected the fact that she was Beausoleil’s girl, and would not speak to her or touch her. So, how did Manson “program” her?
“When I first met Charlie, he was kind of upset that I was there because I had been with a friend of his— Bobby Beausoleil— and he was frightened that my being there— staying at the ranch— would come between he and this other fellow.”
Not only does this make Van Houten a prime candidate to help with the copycat murders to “free” Beausoleil, but it backs up the things Manson has said about this that were similar. Manson did not even want Van Houten there. Manson dug Beausoleil way too much to ruin their friendship. 142
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid
“Charlie made a commitment that he would be willing to die for his family. And when you make this commitment, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of: I would be willing to kill for the Family.”
The John Gilmore book The Garbage People had an entire chapter dedicated to Beausoleil. In those pages it painted Beausoleil as a man who truly envied Manson, and vise-versa. According to the Ed Sanders book The Family, Beausoleil followed Manson to Death Valley in 1968, but hitchhiked out of there when he became bored of the scene. The book John Gilmore The Garbage People summed up Beausoleil’s opinion on he and Manson’s relationship:
“Our relationship right from the start was what you might call ‘open-ended.’ And right from the start I was sure something was going to be coming down. If we merged the two personalities, I knew, and so did he with the way he knew things, that we’d indeed raise Hell on earth.”
The book also mentioned the meeting between Beausoleil and Van Houten and it is obvious that Van Houten was Beausoleil’s girl.
“Leslie claims that Bobby had the most beautiful face on any man she’d ever seen. “He was an angel,” she says, “and I told him I would love him forever.” She told Bobby, “I’ll go anywhere in the world with you.” He said, “Would you come to hell with me?” “Take me,” she said to him.
In 1973, he told Truman Capote something similar; contradicting his explanation that he was not a “Family” member.
“Everybody always wants to know how I got together with Manson. It was through our music. He plays some, too. One night I was driving around with a bunch of my ladies.
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid
Well, we came to this old roadhouse [The Corral], beer place, with a lot of cars outside. So we went inside, and there was Charlie with some of his ladies. We all got to talking, played some together; the next day Charlie came to see me in my van, and we all, his people and my people, ended up camping out together. Brothers and sisters. A family.”
A year later Van Houten participated in the LaBianca murders, part of a string of murders the Family claimed were orchestrated in an attempt to make it look like Gary Hinman’s murderer was not Bobby Beausoleil and still at large, thus freeing Bobby. Leslie Van Houten was not a Manson girl, she was Bobby’s girl. In fact she barely knew Manson at the time of the Tate/LaBianca murders. She admitted this in the excerpt of the 1977 interview that I previously posted. Beausoleil went his separate ways from the “Family,” and in the Summer of 1969 he sold the resident motorcycle gang at Spahn Ranch some bad mescaline that he was supplied from his friend Gary Hinman. Beausoleil held Hinman responsible—plain and simple. In the 1981 Oui Magazine interview he lays it out.
A. Bardach:. Why did you go to Gary Hinman's home on July 25th, 1969? Bobby Beausoleil: I didn't go there with the intention of killing Gary. If I was going to kill him, I wouldn't have taken the girls. (Mary Brunner and Susan Atkins). I was going there for one purpose only, which was to collect $1000 that I had already turned over to him, that didn't belong to me. A. Bardach: When had you given him the $1000? Bobby Beausoleil: The night before. A. Bardach: You paid Hinman $1000 for 1000 tabs of mescaline and then returned to the Spahn Ranch?
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid
Bobby Beausoleil: Right. The whole transaction with the Straight Satans motorcycle club took place at Spahn's Ranch. There were a few Satan Slavers hanging out there as well. The Straight Satans took the mescaline back to the motorcycle club at Venice where they were intending to party, they were really mad about it. A. Bardach. Why did you bring Susan Atkins and Mary Brunner to the Hinman house? Bobby Beausoleil: Because they were friends of Gary Hinman. Mary Brunner was close to him because she stayed with him for a while. She was as close as anybody could be with him. The girls didn't even know what was going on. They just wanted to go and party and see him. No one was going there with any intention of killing Gary Hinman. A. Bardach: In neither of your trials, nor in Ed Sanders' or Bugliosi's books, is there any mention of the Hinman murder stemming from a drug burn. Bobby Beausoleil: I never testified about it. I never told anybody. I didn't know how to deal with it. What happened to me that day was the culmination of a whole lot of pressures that had been on me for several years. A. Bardach: Alright. You arrive at Hinman's and asked for your money back? Bobby Beausoleil: I demanded it. I wasn't going to take no for an answer. I had a motorcycle band on my back.
Needless to say, Beausoleil’s version of the truth is very much different than the prosecution’s version and wholly contradicts that Manson sent Beausoleil there to take $20,000 from Hinman in the name of Helter Skelter. When Beausoleil made it to Hinman’s residence, he refused to give him his money back. Beausoleil told Oui Magazine that they got into a scuffle and he beat Hinman pretty bad. Hinman threatened to call the cops, and instead Beausoleil called Manson for advice. 145
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Bobby Beausoleil: He told me that he was going to the police (and tell them) that I had come and assaulted him to get money from him. I had my back against the wall. He said, I'm going to tell the police what you did to me. Up until that point I had assumed that everything was square between us. This guy is a drug dealer. He's playing the game. And if you're going to dance, you've got to pay the fiddler. You burn somebody, that's the way it is. A. Bardach: How did Gary Hinman die? Bobby Beausoleil: Stabbed in the heart twice. He did immediately. A. Bardach: Did Susan Atkins and Mary Brunner simply stand around and watch you kill Hinman? Bobby Beausoleil: Well, no one wanted to kill him. They had just come along for the ride. A. Bardach: What did the girls do? Bobby Beausoleil: They didn't know what to do. He (Gary) was closer to them than he was to me. Susan Atkins seemed to think, Oh what fun, how interesting. Mary Brunner was just scared to death. Mary Brunner just faded into the woodwork. She was a librarian. Susan Atkins is now a Jesus freak in jail. She gave five different testimonies and in one of them, she claimed she killed Hinman. (laughs.) A. Bardach: Who actually wrote Political Piggy on the wall in Hinman's blood? Bobby Beausoleil: I didn't, but I had it written. Well, it was my idea to do it. Susan Atkins was on that wall. The whole thing was to take the heat off the trail. Gary Hinman was into his revolutionary communism. His living room was a library of Communist literature. I figured I'd make it look like one of his cohorts, you know. A. Bardach: Make it look like a Black Panther killing? Bobby Beausoleil: I wasn't thinking about blacks necessarily. A. Bardach: That was Manson's trip.
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Bobby Beausoleil: It's never really been his trip. I mean, he's from the South. West Virginia. Since he's been in (prison) he gets along with blacks better than anybody.
Beausoleil’s first-hand account of the murder is a lot different than the versions the prosecution’s witnesses tell. They obviously testified hearsay and second-hand information as fact— or more accurately were coerced/extorted/bribed. Beausoleil goes on with his theory in a 1981 interview with Seconds Magazine on how Danny DeCarlo knew enough about the crime to testify, claiming that he never talked to him about it.
Bobby BeauSoleil: I called the Ranch and got Charlie on the phone and said, “Look, man, you’ve left me with this problem. You came and cut this guy, there was no need for that. It’s your problem.” And he essentially told me, “Well, you know what to do as well as I do.” He just kind of put it back in my court. Seconds: And later that was alleged to be an “order” from Manson, telling you to kill Gary. Bobby BeauSoleil: Yes, as in: “You know what to do”—that’s how it was characterized. Seconds: Which is completely meaningless, really. Bobby BeauSoleil: Similar words in a completely different context. Seconds: Who testified that he had said this? Bobby BeauSoleil: I don’t remember. It was probably Danny DeCarlo. He was one of the star witnesses against me. The other star witness was Mary Brunner. Seconds: What was DeCarlo’s motivation in testifying? Bobby BeauSoleil: He stood to go to prison for a federal gun charge, and grand theft auto. I think it was for a stolen motorcycle.
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Seconds: He was just trying to save his ass on charges that were absolutely unrelated to your whole situation. Bobby BeauSoleil: He admitted as much on the witness stand. He testified that I told him, in a conversation after-the-fact, what had happened. He related, “Well, this is what Bobby told me … ” at the trial, and of course that had never happened—I never had any such conversation with him. But one of the girls that had been with me, Susan Atkins, was his live-in girlfriend in his shack out at the ranch. Now I assume what happened is that she had told him, and he later changed it to “Bobby told me … “ Seconds: That’s a fair assumption, given her predilection for telling everybody everything, all the time. Bobby BeauSoleil: No doubt about it—it’s completely in character for her. Seconds: It seems like she would tell anybody anything they wanted to hear. Bobby BeauSoleil: Seems that way. Mary Brunner testified that she was there, and that she saw me stab Gary the second time. I stabbed him twice in the chest. I had stabbed him once, and then she heard something and came running into the room and saw me stab him again. She was threatened with the loss of her child if she didn’t testify. It was insane. Everything about my second trial was absolutely incredible.
It is true, Mary Brunner testified to elude murder charges of her own in connection with the Hinman slaying. She also had her baby Michael Valentine “Pooh Bear” Manson taken from her in an attempt for authorities to gain leverage in having her turn prosecution’s witness against Beausoleil, Manson and Bruce Davis. She went with it and testified to what the prosecution laid out for immunity to murder charges and to get her son back. Brunner went public with her claims that she was coerced when she gave Sandra Good her statement to read to the news cameras. 148
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“Friday morning I testified as a witness to Bobby. What I said at that time was true. Bobby did not stab Hinman and neither did Charlie, Bruce, Sadie or me. I can’t say who did it, but he was not a part of the “Family.” I would not say who did it before, and when the police told me that Bobby was blaming it on me and threatened me with parole violations, and murder charges, and the loss of my kid, I was frightened and put it on Bobby. I only testified to thing things I said in the original statement because I was told that I would be prosecuted if I didn’t. The affidavit I made in May is true. And I offered to Mr. Graves to take a lie detector test, however the judge did not permit it. They said either I cooperate with the investigators or I be arrested immediately for murder. Judge Keene doesn’t want the truth, he wants the conviction of Bobby and the only other man he would accept as the killer was Charlie.”
Additionally, Brunner went on record in the 2006 documentary Inside The Manson Gang with a claim that she was drugged and then interrogated and threatened with the loss of her son to implicate Manson and/or Beausoleil. She also mentioned the fact that Beausoleil tried to blame the murder on her.
“The Detectives Whiteley and Gunther offered me some kind of drug-- I can't remember which-- And a couple drinks to get me less nervous. And then they were seeing about getting my probation violated immediatley behind my connection with the Family. Then they say, "Sadie's been telling us all about you. Sadie said you helped kill Gary Hinman. But, then Bobby said you did all the killing of Gary Hinman. You got a son, don't you? You got your son to think about."
When Beausoleil was convicted, according to newspapers, Brunner stood up and shouted.
“My lawyer told me to go along with you because you indicated I’d be arrested for murder! You are a corruption of the Constitution! I told you that Friday and I would have stuck with that If you wouldn’t have come up with your jackass statements!”
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid Obviously, it was Beausoleil who killed Hinman. But even Beausoleil stated that when all of the friction started, she disappeared off into the woodwork. But, who was the “other man” there? Was Brunner lying, or may it have been a Straight Satan who were burned on Hinman’s drugs? Recently the website BiblicallyIncorrect.com wrote an article on who this “other man” may have been.
“ Bobby Beausoleil didn’t kill Gary Hinman out of anger or rage. He didn’t kill him for love or money. In fact, Bobby Beausoleil didn’t want to kill Gary Hinman at all. He had absolutely not motive for killing Gary Hinman…except self-preservation. Danny DeCarlo gave Bobby a gun and sent him to Gary Hinman’s house for the sole purpose of getting his money back. He told him to use that gun on Gary Hinman if he didn’t give him his money. He told Bobby to act like a man. Danny scared the “beJesus” out of Bobby. Bobby knew that if he didn’t get Danny’s $1,000 back from Gary Hinman that Danny and his motorcycle gang, the Straight Satans, were going to be coming after Bobby. Bobby was a 20 year-old kid in fear for his life when he went over to Gary Hinman’s. He wasn’t afraid of Charlie Manson. He was afraid of Danny DeCarlo and his motorcycle gang. He knew that if he failed in this mission, or ran, that he was going to be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life. And, one day this motorcycle gang would catch up with him and torture him to death…..or worse yet…..they would go after his family.”
In DeCarlo’s testimony, he put Manson at the top as the man who ordered Beausoleil to kill Hinman. Beausoleil vehemently denies this and aside from his trial—where he actually blamed it all on Manson, saying Manson killed Hinman—he has stuck to this story for 40 years. Beausoleil’s reason for blaming it on Manson during the trial was based on the fact that Manson had already been given the death penalty for the Tate and LaBianca slayings, and Beausoleil was trying to get off 150
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid scott-free. He explains this on his website Beausoleil.net in a small taste of his upcoming book Dead End.
“I had rationalized that it would be better for my parents and siblings if they believed that I hadn’t killed anyone. My decision to create an elaborate deceit would never rest easy with me. Even then, as I examined my face in the mirror, my misgivings heckled me; the inner voice, unbidden, like a distant shout: liar! Time and times innumerable that voice would be silenced. I insisted that I was innocent (liar!), that it was really Charlie who had done that awful thing (liar!). I lied to myself most of all, rationalizing that that rationalization was valid (liar!), when deep down I knew that I had told the big lie because I was a coward—because I lacked the courage to look my parents and my brothers and sisters in the eyes and tell them the truth.”
In the Nuel Emmons book Manson in His Own Words, Manson tells a similar story on why Hinman was killed.
“ For several weeks, Bobby was moving Gary’s stuff off on a group of bikers, without any problems. But one morning three of the bikers came riding into the ranch and wanted to see Bobby. The bikers said the latest batch of stuff he had sold them was bad, laced with poison. Some of their own group had gotten deathly ill and some of the people they sold to were also sick. They wanted their money back. Bobby told them to give him the unused mescaline and he would return it to his connection and then give their money back. "It was bad shit and we dumped it. Just give us $2,000 back," said the leader. "Man, I can’t buy that, my connection won’t go for it," replied Bobby. The leader said, "Tell us where your connection is, well get our bread." I spoke up, "You guys know better than that. Well see our man, if he thinks the shit could have been bad, he’ll make it good for you. Give us time to talk to him." The three guys fired up their bikes and pulled out of the yard, saying they wanted to hear from us the next day. Bobby and I discussed the validity of their complaint. None of our group had gotten sick, but we weren’t sure if we had used the same batch. The only thing to do was to go talk to Gary about it…”
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid So, what happened to Hinman after Manson arrived? Beausoleil has stated that Manson never gave the orders for Hinman to be killed, and the prosecution’s reasoning behind the murder was wrong. Beausoleil did claim (see chapter” False Witness - Danny DeCarlo) that DeCarlo was the one who told Beausoleil to go get his money and how to do it. DeCarlo was a part of the motorcycle gang The Straight Satans, whom had been burned on the bad drugs. Beausoleil also said the sword Manson used to cut Hinman was given to him by The Straight Satans. In 1998 Beausoleil laid it out for Seconds Magazine.
Bobby Beausoleil: He had a couple of beat-up vehicles, however. A Fiat with a Toyota engine and a VW bus with a smashed-in front. They were both junkers, but I figured that between the two of them they might be worth a thousand bucks, so I said, "How about those two cars?" and he signed over the pink slips for the two wrecks. I'm figuring the business is concluded, we've balanced the score as well as we can and I've got something at least which I can take back, and hopefully it will be good enough. What I didn't know was that while Gary and I had been wrestling over the gun, one of the girls had called the Ranch. They didn't tell me afterward. Gary and I were in this tense situation, and I didn't know that one of them had called the Ranch. Shortly after all this, while I'm concluding business with Gary and getting ready to leave, suddenly someone comes to the door. At this point the gun was put away, and Gary was not being held against his will. He'd got a couple of lumps on the top of his head from being hit with the gun, but other than that he was unscathed. There was a bullet hole in his kitchen sink, but we were both okay with walking away from it and letting it go at that. He was not real happy about losing his vehicles, but he was writing them off. Now suddenly there was someone at the door, and Gary answered it. It turned out to be Manson, with Bruce Davis standing behind him. Now following my previous line of conjecture, I would assume that Manson believed that Gary was still in control of the situation, because Gary answered the door. Manson didn't give him a chance to say anything more than "Hi, Charlie" before he struck Gary across the face with a sword. Seconds: Manson had brought a sword with him? Bobby Beausoleil: Yes, it was a little, short sword that one of the Straight Satans had given to him. It was something he affected at that time, and he'd brought it with him
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and slashed Gary across the face with it. He walked in and kind of blustered around for a few minutes. I assume he realized his mistake fairly shortly thereafter. Seconds: You had the situation resolved and then it suddenly erupts in a whole other direction. Bobby Beausoleil: Yes, and now I've got a situation where Gary had a severe slash across his face and a kind of nick where the sword had cut his ear. I heard Manson say something to me like, "That's how you be a man." He called this showing me "how to be a man." Then he and Bruce left. Gary was bleeding pretty badly from his face, and I didn't know what to do. The girls were still there, but Manson had left. He was gone in five minutes or less. One of them, either he or Bruce, drove one of Gary's vehicles away. I don't remember how or why this came about. Seconds: Did Manson see what he'd done as just an act of taking control of the situation? Bobby Beausoleil: I guess. Like I said, I can only assume that he thought his girls were in jeopardy, and he had to come and save the day. He slashed Gary across the face before he'd given himself enough time to really assess what was going on, because had he done that, he would have realized that Gary didn't have the gun, and wasn't threatening anyone and there was no need to slash anyone across the face. But what resulted from this was that now I had a severely wounded guy on my hands who I'm afraid is going to go to the cops. He wanted to get medical treatment, understandably, and he wanted to go to the hospital. I didn't want him to go to the hospital, because I knew if he did, that would bring the cops in. I was in a panic, and the only thing I could think of to do was to try to fix him up myself. I'd had some experience sewing up my dog, Hocus. I wanted to try to just cool him out. I was desperate. It was a desperate effort to try to make things right with Gary so that he wouldn't go to the cops. He would seem to cool out for awhile, he would chant for a while, and then he would decide, "No, this is isn't gonna workI need to get to the hospital." Seconds: The situation had spiraled out beyond any point of salvaging it. Bobby Beausoleil: So it seemed to me at the time. I didn't know what to do. I drove back to the Spahn Ranch with the two girls in the VW bus. Now how all this evolved into the theory that Manson ordered me to kill Gary . . .
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Seconds: Which is what is claimed in Bugliosi's book? Bobby Beausoleil: That's what was alleged at my trial. That was the sort of framework that the prosecution was trying to establish as the explanation for the so-called "Manson Family Tate/LaBianca murders," that Manson was directing everything and issuing orders, and that I was "under his orders."
That being said, Beausoleil lays it out as a drug burn that spiraled out of control. Manson tried to step in—probably in place DeCarlo—and save the day. Beausoleil explained that one of the girls called Manson at the ranch, and in my opinion Manson may have thought it was the Bernard Crowe (see chapter: Who is Charles Watson?) situation repeated. Sadly, Manson took the fall for “masterminding” the entire situation. Beausoleil summed up his attitude during this point of his life as being “just a greasy kid in a greasy leather jacket and boots, with chips on both shoulders the size of ammunition boxes.” Manson did not make Beausoleil. After his trial, he has tried to be as vocal as he could be— defending the fact that Manson was not involved. He sums up the reason for the prosecution getting Manson into his case as merely a “money move.” And I believe that to be true. Look at how much money one man mad off of Susan Atkins (see chapter: Demystifying Susan Atkins) with just a little pull. In 1981 he explained it to Oui Magazine:
“That was the prosecution’s theory because they wanted to get Manson into the act. They tried every trick in the book and I’ll tell you why. The Tate/Labianca Murder fell under jurisdiction under the Los Angeles Police Department. However, Shorty Shea and Gary Hinman’s murders both came into jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department/LASO and the Sheriff’s department were in competition. Actually Hinman’s ear was never cut off- never gone. It was more that his cheek was sliced that intersected the edge of his ear and you can see it in his autopsy report. That slash on his face occurred the night before
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he died. Bugliosi told the jury Manson cut his ear off, but it’s there in the autopsy [report]. You see the Sheriff’s Homocide Department wanted to get Manson involved with my case, which was very difficult because Manson was not involved.”
What would Beausoleil have to gain by this lie? He has everything to lose and it makes absolutely no sense that he would lie to protect Manson, while hurting every chance he has for parole. And I do believe that Beausoleil has a small chance for parole. While he doesn’t blame Manson, he has said over the years that he is quite bitter towards the “Family,” including Manson. Beausoleil’s first trial ended with a hung jury. There was a good chance that he’d be acquitted, but once they connected him to Manson, he was convicted instantly. Beausoleil resents that connection and has said it was the reason he was convicted and still in prison. It is true. During the trial for the Stockton Murders in 1973, Beausoleil was asked to speak as a character witness for the defendants which included some former “Manson Girls.” Other character witnesses included other incarcerated “Family” members—namely Charles Manson. When Beausoleil took the stand, he used his time to express his contempt with the system and the people he was connected with.
“I’m at war with everybody in this courtroom. It’s nothing personal, but you better pray I never get out.”
Simply put: he is not protecting anyone but himself and certainly not Manson. It was written on Beausoleil.net on how he really felt about the fictitious Helter Skelter theory and discredited it as merely an attack on the 60’s hippie subculture, much like the Kent State shootings. 155
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid “I guess because I know the truth, to me that explanation seems ridiculously simplified.
How can anybody not see through that? Murder by Beatles records—this is what happens if you listen to Beatles records and take LSD!? What could be a more blatant attempt to discredit the youth movement of the ’60s than that? To use that theory as the basis of convicting these people stretches credibility to the breaking point. All of those books that were written about those events—Bugliosi’s, Ed Sander’s, and others—have a certain thread of factual truth, these collections of “facts.” I suppose these chronological recordings of events that happened are reasonably accurate in terms of these facts, but the real truth of it does not come through those books. That’s happened at my parole hearings as well. On more than one occasion I’ve seen Vincent Bugliosi’s book, Helter Skelter, sitting right there on the table in front of the D.A. attending the hearing, where you can be sure that everyone in the hearing room is going to see it. And then, despite the fact that he wasn’t even working in the district attorney’s office at the time when I was convicted, he begins this account of what he believed my relationship with Manson to be, based vaguely on something that is in this book—not based on the facts of my crime or the evidence that was presented at my trial. It’s just conjecture, presented as truth. That wasn’t brought about by any sort of “death cult” or any sort of “Satan worship” or any of those things that were alleged. None of those things were happening. There were more guns around; there were more hard people around—the bikers and so forth. But that was because of the times and also the fact that all communes, and any groups of mostly young people, were targeted by law enforcement for harassment, at the very least. So there was a certain element of desperation that was present with everyone involved in the youth movement, it extended pretty much across the board. This was because of the backlash, this threat from law enforcement and politics and all of that. The National Guard went onto a college campus and shot four kids—this is what was going on in those times!
In 1981, he told Oui Magazine something similar:
A. Bardach: How accurate are the descriptions of Manson and the family in Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter and Ed Sanders’ The Family?
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Bobby Beausoleil: They are both so pathetic because neither one took the proper approach to begin to understand what happened. Everything gets lost in blood and guts, devil worship, all that stuff that never went on. This satanic crap and brainwave master never went on. These things were taken out of light-hearted conversations. There is truth in all these books. There are facts. Period. A. Bardach: Where did the writers go wrong? Bobby Beausoleil: They were never in a situation where they experienced that kind of desperation. A. Bardach: Describe that kind of desperation. Bobby Beausoleil: The desperation which leads somebody to go out and almost… Yeah. Kill crazily. Just throw away their lives and murder people. A. Bardach: What created this so-called desperation? Bobby Beausoleil: They were a bunch of people with their backs against the wall. This wasn’t mere discontent. This was lunacy. At least in their minds, they were at the end corner of the world. They couldn’t travel any more together without a caravan of law enforcement people behind them. The only place left to go was the desert. They were at the end of the edge of the world and they were scared to death of being pushed off the edge. The desert is death. They wound up in Death Valley trying to live off the bugs.
Upon Beausoleil’s conviction, Judge Keene stated that he felt no remorse for Hinman’s murder, in which Beausoleil struck back:
“You’re right when you say I have no remorse. Because the definition of remorse is a strong feeling of guilt and I have none. Let me quote my favorite book: “He who judges his brother, shall be judged. He who leads into captivity, shall be lead into captivity.”
When the bailiffs lead him out he shouted at Judge Keene, “You can’t judge me. Only God can judge me and God is on my side!” 157
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid Later, when asked about this by Oui Magazine, he excused it by admitting that it was pure cockiness.
“My biggest mistake was simply in killing Gary Hinman. I told the judge that I didn’t feel any remorse, because I wouldn’t give him that satisfaction. That’s the only reason I told him that. As far as I’m concerned, that man is a helluva lot more diabolical than Charlie Manson ever was. But the thing is I’ve felt a great deal of remorse within me. I’ve worshipped life my whole life. What’s heartbreaking to me more than anything else— is that killing Gary Hinman has negated all of my creative efforts. The world doesn’t concentrate on anything other than that one mistake I made in my life. And it was a big mistake. You can’t give a life back.”
After reading this chapter along with the chapters; Why Welter Skelter Doesn’t Fit, Who is Charles Manson?, and Demystifying Susan Atkins, give it some good thought. If you still think that the murders were for what the prosecution theorized (to spark a race war Manson dubbed Helter Skelter) or a more simplified “copycat” string to mirror the murder of Gary Hinman in hopes he would be freed from jail on the premise of reasonable doubt. If the shoe fits, wear it. As a bookend to this chapter, I will explain some of the more obvious similarities between the murders. Vincent Bugliosi told the jury that there no similarities between the Hinman and the Tate/LaBianca slayings. Other than the physical evidence, it’s impossible to ignore the participants and the fact that during the trial, Leslie Van Houten claimed to have been at the Hinman murder. Van Houten contradicted Susan Atkins’ testimony that she was the one who stabbed Hinman because he fired a shot at Charles Manson and feared for his life. 158
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid We all know that Atkins did not kill Hinman. But was Van Houten at the Hinman murder? I say it is unlikely, but it should be considered. Not all of the participants were named in the Shea murder and Steve “Clem” Grogan was not mentioned in the LaBianca slayings. It would make sense that Van Houten would have participated in the LaBianca slayings because of her infatuation with Beausoleil. But it would make even more sense if she was at the Hinman slaying. Hinman murder scene: Victim has multiple stabs in chest Hinman’s blood on wall “Political Piggie” Hinman’s cheek is slashed Pillow over Hinman’s head Hinman was a drug dealer House was in disarray Hinman burned Bobby Beausoleil on drugs Participants: Bobby Beausoleil, Susan Atkins, Mary Brunner
Tate/Labianca murder scenes: Blood on walls, similar phrases Chest stab wounds Abigail Folger’s cheek is slashed Pillow cases over victims’ heads Voytek Frykowski was a drug dealer Rosemary LaBianca may have been a suspected dealer Both homes were in a disarray Bobby BeauSoleil hinted that Frykowski burned them on drugs
The Manson Myth Stupid Cupid Participants: Leslie Van Houten (Beausoleil’s girl), Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle, Tex Watson (owed Bobby his life via Manson), Linda Kasabian (Tex’s girl)
Not only were these crimes similar, but probably the only fact they were not connected was the fact that the Los Angeles investigators would not cooperate with the Malibu investigators. Remember that the LASO would not even link the LaBianca slayings with the Tate slayings. They blew them off as coincidences or “copycats.” From day one, the investigators refused to work with each other. But when the media became involved, and the case had become world news, it seems like every county in California where the “Family” had been were in a scurry to find unsolved cases to pull the publicity their way. In the early 1990’s Charles Manson and other “Family” members spoke with a German crew for a documentary called ManSon: Menschesohn. In that documentary Sandra Good explained in more detail than before exactly why the murders were committed. She stated that the murders were indeed to free Beausoleil, but were also as a statement that the “Family” as a whole were at war with the “system.”
“The main reason, the main catalyst for those killings was to get a brother, Bobby Beausoleil, out of jail. He’d been arrested for killing Gary Hinman. Tex and Susan Atkins owed Charlie favors. He had put his life on the line a number of times for Susan Atkins, he had helped Tex out of a real sticky situation. When Bobby got arrested for the Hinman murder, everybody wanted to get Bobby out. Charlie’s strong thought, coming from years in prison, means you stand by friends, you stand by your brother. He was raised by war veterans, World War II, World War I. Brotherhood. Brotherhood goes deep. There is a time to kill, believe it or not- it’s called war. When those young people went out to do what they did for Bobby, there were other reasons for killing also which I can speak of because I was complicit and I can explain to you our war on the system.”
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Bobby “Cupid” Beausoleil, also known as “Cherub.”
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Bruce McGregor Davis
“I don’t hold anything against Manson. I wasn’t a kid that got manipulated. I was just looking for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and to ride on a motorcycle. I was never a vicious person, but I was indifferent. I wanted the immediate approval of the people I was with, and I didn’t care what they did.” Bruce McGregor Davis, 2010 162
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ruce Davis first met Charles Manson in 1967 while Manson was heading to North California. After each of them realizing that they had a lot in common they promised to meet again at a later
Authors Howard Davis and Bill Nelson both suspect that during this time Davis was actively murdering and terrorizing innocent people and publically bragged about it. The media dubbed this killer “The Zodiac Killer.” Both Davis and Nelson believe that Davis may have had a hand in at least some of the killings. In fact, Davis wrote a very compelling book about it called The Manson/Zodiac Connection discussing the parallels with the Zodiac Case with Bruce Davis and his activity with the “Family.” Davis told me that he made it to California in about 1962. By 1966 he was living in Anaheim, California. About the same time a woman named Cheri Jo Bates was murdered—a Zodiac killing. He left Tennessee after he and his father had a falling out. He did not get to see his father before he passed away, and Davis told me that it was devastating. He began to medicate with hard drugs and acting out violently—much like his father. His tag under his 1961 high school yearbook photo was “Angry Young Man.” In 2011 Davis and I were discussing how pivotal parenting is in how a child turns out. He agreed with me and while he did not blame his father for the crimes he committed, he stated that his father’s influence on him did not help at all.
“Grandaddy was a harsh and violent person and Daddy inherited it from him. He was a hard drinker and a fighter. He met Mama in Mobile, Alabama in 1940. Grandmama – Mama’s mom—died during the birth of my uncle and Granddaddy fell apart. Mama was the eldest child and took it upon herself to help support the kids. My sister was born in
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1941 and I in 1942. My parents’ marriage was chaos from the start and didn’t get much better until my father passed away in 1968. Daddy was mean when sober and worse when drunk. His example to me was, “Do whatever you want—just don’t get caught.” When I visited Tennessee in 1967 with Manson, Daddy was very different. I was still hurt and angry. He gave me the use of his Buick Riviera and credit card—I knew something was different, but I didn’t care. The next year he died, he was only 55. I was still angry and did not attend his funeral.”
The Tate Family Legacy website wrote that Davis had not only been molested by his uncle at age 12, but raped by his English teacher at age 13. This may have contributed to his approach on the lifestyle he sought, and the lifestyle he lived at Spahn Ranch. However, it does not excuse it. Davis admitted that his draw to the “Family” were the “girls, motorcycles, guns and drugs.” He also stated that he saw a father-figure in Manson, even though Manson was only a few years older than Davis. It was said at his 1994 parole hearing that in Manson’s absence, Davis “ran the Family.” This is probably true. In fact, during Charles “Tex” Watson’s 1971 trial testimony, he said the same.
“Bruce was always real loud, loud talking, and he was just running around kind of trying to be Charlie all of the time putting out— all he would do is just go around preaching Charlie’s philosophy all the time, you know. He was trying to be Charlie.”
Ironically, in the 2006 documentary Inside the Manson Gang, film director Robert Hendrickson spent time with the “Family.” During their music jam and tripping session he remarked to Catherine “Gypsy” Share how similar Davis looked and talked. Share remarked back to him, “I told you we were all going to be here tonight.” 164
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis One of the times I spoke with Davis, he told me that doesn’t hate or blame Manson at all. He also shocked me with a statement he made that completely contradicts what he tells his parole board when I asked him if he would have turned himself in if he was never indicted on murder charges. He tells his parole board that he is genuinely sorry for his actions—and I am positive that he is. But he told me in 2010 that:
“What would I have done if I beat the murder case? Likely, I would have walked away thinking I was pretty hip, slick and cool.”
This may seem like an honest, simple statement. But to me, this sounds like he is acknowledging that he was working on his own and not by the “program” of Manson, as he tells his parole board. To me, he is saying he would have gone on with how he was living his life prior. Was the “Family” using Davis as a substitute to Manson? It was said in the Ed Sanders book The Family, that Davis not only acted like Manson but could “sing just like him” and was an excellent musician. He would also preach with the same mannerisms as Manson. Basically, he was Manson. My opinion is that Davis was so envious of Manson’s life at Spahn’s and his music, he wanted to be Manson. After Manson was arrested in November of 1969 for the final time, Davis stepped in to sort of lead and direct the “Family,” according to the book The Family. At his 1994 parole hearing, Davis stated that when the murders started he’d known Manson “about a year,” but had only been with him “2 or 3 months” all together. So, whatever Davis had done, he did at his own will. He had the ability to come and do when he pleased. He left and returned because he wanted to. 165
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis Davis was a Scientologist and a lot of his philosophies also rubbed off on Manson. Manson studied Scientology a little bit while being in prison, but here was Davis—a full-fledged Scientologist who not only went to their churches, but traveled to England to help the cause. Throughout 1967 and 1968 he would come and go from the “Family,” doing Lord knows what. Author Howard Davis suspects that he was masquerading as the Zodiac Killer. When Davis returned to Spahn Ranch, he claimed it was after the Crowe shooting and the entire Ranch was in a panic waiting for retaliation. He subsequently helped the “Family” prepare for their exodus to Death Valley, and was a part of the Hinman murder. The gun Beausoleil took was Davis’ and Beausoleil (see chapter: Stupid Cupid) says he called Davis to come and get Hinman’s car(s). Davis recalls it at his 1978 parole hearing:
"Here's what happened. I did buy the gun. Bobby took the gun when he left initially from the ranch. When I got to the house Bobby still had the gun. I may have had the gun in my hand. He might have handed me the gun. I know I didn't put it on the man while Charlie did whatever he was supposed to have done. I wasn't even...when that happened, I wasn't present. I was there but I didn't have a gun on me. I was in the kitchen looking at...there was other people in the house. And they had a scuffle. Something was going on. I didn't see it. But when I got back Gary had like a towel or something like this on his head. I don't know. But there was...you know, like he had been cut or something."
He again spoke about it at his 1993 parole hearing:
" I was right there. I cut him on the shoulder after he was dead.”
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis Davis has never denied his connection to the Hinman or Shea murder. He also only admits he was at the Hinman house prior to the murder, which I believe is true. However, I don’t believe he is being completely honest about the murder of Spahn Ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea. In Davis’ 1977 psychiatric evaluation, Davis stated that, “I didn’t kill them, I am not sure [Shorty] Shea is dead,” which is pure bullshit. He knew Shea was murdered. Davis admits—or insinuates— he knew Shea was dead in his 1994 parole hearing:
“I stayed in the car for quite a while but what...then I went down the hill later on and that's when I cut Shorty on the shoulder with the knife, after he was...well, I don't know...I...I don't know if he was dead or not. He didn't bleed when I cut him on the shoulder."
It was mere days before the “Family” left Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth and headed to Death Valley in a convoy of stolen trucks, dune buggies and semi-trucks full of supplies. Davis joined them and lived in Death Valley until their bust on October 12, 1969. Davis was arrested, booked and released a few days later and boy was he active. November 5, 1969 he was staying in Venice Beach with other “Family” members Catherine “Cappy” Gillies, Madaline Cottage, “Country” Sue Bartell, Nancy Pitman and Christopher “Zero” Jesus (real name John Phillip Haught) at Mark Ross’ home. Zero had run with Manson and the gang in Death Valley prior to the arrests and may have “known too much.” On that day, Zero died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head—or so they told the police. 167
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis Cottage said that she had been lying in bed next to Zero when he noticed the gun in the leather case, picked it up and removed the gun from the case. Cottage said that Haught had spun the cylinder and placed the gun muzzle to his right temple and fired. The others said, “Cottage exclaimed that "Zero" had shot himself, just like in the movies." They then called the police. Bruce Davis told the officers that he had picked up the gun. When the gun was dusted later for prints, neither Haught nor Davis' prints were found. The leather case was also devoid of prints. It was obviously wiped down—why? Later a Manson case researcher Bill Nelson would state that he was told that Davis' prints were found on the gun. There’s no proof of this. The gun was found to have been fully loaded. The officers were not aware that Davis and the girls were members of the Manson family. Almost a month later, they connected this “suicide” with the “Family” and on December 3, 1969 the papers ran the story: Suicide Youth Member of Hippie Cult
“The youth was identified as Christopher Jesus, 20, shot himself in the head while playing Russian Roulette with a fully-loaded revolver.” “We have the death listed as a suicide,” said a detective. “The gun was fully loaded; he would have to be blind to not have seen that.”
November 21, 1969 two more murders happened. During the Manson trial, the newspapers ran articles trying to link the murders of Doreen Gaul and James Sharp to the “Family.” They dubbed the murders The 168
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis Scientology Murders. The Manson/Zodiac Connection book wrote this about the Gaul/Sharp murders:
“On November 21, 1969, the bodies of James Sharp, 15, and Doreen Gaul, 19, were found in an alley in downtown Los Angeles. The two had been killed elsewhere then dumped there. Each had been stabbed over 50 times. Both James Sharp and Doreen Gaul were Scientologists, the latter a Scientology ‘clear’ who had been residing in a Church of Scientology commune less than two miles from the Labianca residence. According to several sources, Doreen Gaul was a former girlfriend of Manson Family member Bruce Davis, who, like Manson himself, was an ex-scientologist. [Davis] disappeared shortly after being questioned [about another murder].”
According to the book Helter Skelter, they were stabbed 50 times each, and Gaul was beat with a motorcycle chain. There were motorcycle parts found near the dump site of Marina Habe (see chapter: Who is Charles Watson?) and she too was stabbed multiple times—a trademark of the “Family” murders. Davis denied knowing Gaul, but admitted he dated several women from her “boarding house.” Much later, when Davis was questioned about these murders and offered immunity if he would confess, he retorted with a cocky statement:
“I am not very impressed with your offer of immunity since I am serving a life sentence for two murders.”
It was also stated that Davis was also heard saying that he “was going to get Manson out of jail, or kill somebody” around the time of the murders of Gaul and Sharp. There is also a possibility that Charles “Tex” Watson may have had something to do with them.
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis November 24, 1969 Davis again leaves for London to work at the Scientology Headquarters—or was it to flee after a string of murders? On December 2nd, 1969 “Family” member Sandra Good's husband Joel Dean Pugh, 29, was found dead in a hotel room at the Talgarth Hotel in West Kensington. His throat was slit twice. His forehead was bruised. There were slash marks on both wrists. Two bloody razor blades were lying near the body. Hotel Manager Joseph Falk said he found it unusual on the morning of December 2nd, when the maid found Pugh's door locked. Falk's seven year old son would often visit Pugh and they would read comics together. Pugh never locked his door. Later that afternoon Falk unlocked Pugh's door with his passkey, but could not fully open the door; feeling a weight on the other side. Falk saw blood on the walls and immediately called the police. According to the Pathologist Dr. Richard Pearce, “there were no wounds that could not have been self-inflicted. But there was no sign of struggle or violence.” The Coroner John Burton therefore concluded that Pugh had taken his own life. The constable did not try to find prints in the room or on the window. A letter from an unknown Family member, found in Sandra Good's vacated motel room in Independence CA read: "I would not want what happened to Joel to happen to me." Bruce Davis was in England at this time, and was back in Los Angeles some time before February 24, 1970 when he was arrested in Bakersfield, California in an attempt to buy firearms with a fake license. 170
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis He attached himself with the “Family” once again and appeared in the 1973 documentary Manson and regularly attended Manson’s hearings and City Hall. During the filming of that documentary, a warrant for Davis’ arrest was issued and with the help of the “Family,” Davis hid out in Death Valley with Brenda McCann (real name Nancy Pitman) who was wanted for forgery charges. Manson had become unhappy with defense attorney Ronald Hughes, and told him “I never want to see you in this courtroom again.” He failed to appear when court resumed on November 30th, 1970. This was not the first delay in the trial caused by Hughes, who was trying his first jury case. On December 2nd, 1970 Bruce Davis and Brenda McCann turned themselves in to a media frenzy of newsmen. Missing Member of Manson Hippie Family Surrenders
“The fugitive family member, barefoot, bearded Bruce Davis, 27, made a dramatic street corner surrender Wednesday amidst a crowd of newsman and giggling Manson girl followers. He had been sought for nine months on murder charges of the musician Gary Hinman. His companion Brenda McCann, 18, also surrendered on an outstanding warrant. She and Davis were reportedly married recently in Las Vegas, Nev. Asked what relation his surrender might have to Manson’s trial, Davis said, “he would do it for me. They want to kill bodies; they’re putting murder charges on everybody.” He later said without further explanation that “some other people were supposed to be cut loose” as a result of his arrest.”
When after several days Hughes failed to appear a search for him was launched. At Sespe Hot Springs the Hughes’ Volkswagen was found. It 171
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis had some of Hughes' trial transcripts in it, but supposedly a psychiatric report on Leslie Van Houten was reported missing. On March 23rd, 1971 after an anonymous caller told Los Angeles County officers that Hughes' body was buried "behind the barn" at Barker Ranch, two Inyo County deputies spent four hours searching the ranch to no avail. March 29th, 1971— the day Manson and his co-defendants were found guilty—Hughes’ body was found. Paul Fitzgerald viewed the body in the Ventura County Morgue and said that he was "firmly of the opinion it was Hughes." The cause and nature of Ronald Hughes' death was ruled as 'Undetermined'. Later, Sandra Good said that Hughes had been murdered the "first of the retaliation murders." In 1978, Headquarters Detective spoke to a “Family” insider who made said he knew why Attorney Ronald Hughes was murdered.
“Apparently Ronald Hughes was trying to get Leslie Van Houten to spill the beans on some of the unsolved murders surrounding the Family, and shortly after he went missing. The day the guilty verdicts were read, his body was found in Death Valley. Watson stated that Bruce Davis and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme were the ones who would have benefited from Hughes’ death, being involved in those “other” murders.
So, this really leads someone to believe that perhaps Ronald Hughes may have had some dirt on Bruce Davis and one (or more) of the many other murders that he was suspected of committing. Hughes got too close and coincidentally when Bruce Davis was on the run, Hughes was later found dead. This makes four people dead in places Bruce was or recently had been. Two unsolved, two ruled “suicide.”
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis But could there be a more reasonable explanation of the death of attorney Ronald Hughes? It wouldn’t be impossible to fake a drowning to disguise a murder in 1970. To make the death of Hughes even more confusing, June 2012 Robert Hendrickson was interviewed by EarCandyMag.com and they put yet one more twist on this case.
Ear Candy Mag: You mention [in Death to Pigs] that Leslie Van Houten's lawyer Ronald Hughes - was supposed to marry Nancy Pitman at Spahn in order that she may become legally emancipated. Hughes disappeared on November 30th, 1970 – and then on Dec 2nd Bruce Davis and Nancy Pitman turned themselves in to the police. Do you think Hughes might have been murdered for not following through on this? Robert Hendrickson: Of course he “might” have been? But, because he knew too much! For the “play” to be performed as planned, ALL the defendants’ attorneys had to be onboard.
What if this is true? What if Ronald Hughes was supposed to marry Nancy Pitman? What if he decided not to? Would Pitman actually kill him—or have him killed—because of this? It is fact that Pitman and Davis were in hiding together and both turned themselves in after Hughes went missing. When they turned themselves in, a reporter even said to Davis, “We heard you got married.” One thing is certain, and that is we will probably never have an answer in the death of Ronald Hughes. If his death was a murder, it was probably because he was not cooperating with the other defendants and trying to make his client Leslie Van Houten “guilty by association,” which makes the co-defendants “guilty” by action of that defense. I personally feel that his death was an accidental drowning by flash flood. There has been no evidence to support any other claim that I know of aside from the occasional accusations by Vincent Bugliosi. 173
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis March 14, 1972 Bruce Davis was convicted of two counts of murder for his participation in the Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea slayings. Other than being question, he was never indicted or charged in the murders of Doreen Gaul, James Sharp, John Phillip Haught, Joel Pugh or Ronald Hughes. Upon sentencing, Judge Choate remarked to the jury, “Bruce Davis knew what the intent of the Manson Family was and willingly engaged in their activities.” Basically stating that Davis was not under Manson’s “program,” nor was he brainwashed. Judge Choate went on to say:
“These were vicious murders indicating a depraved state of mind on the part of the defendant. I don’t want to give the impression that he was at all a dupe or the foil of Charles Manson. (Bruce) Davis is older than most of the youngsters who were led by Manson. He is more intelligent and educated and capable of independent reasoning. For reasons known only to him he did not exercise this capability.”
It wasn’t over for Davis. In the mid-1990’s the aforementioned author Howard Davis and Bill Nelson started to link Davis to the string of unsolved Zodiac killings. The mainstream media pushed this off as simply another Zodiac conspiracy theory, but ex-“Family” confidant Larry “White Rabbit” Melton was also claiming the same. Melton even claimed that it was Sandra Good who made the infamous black Zodiac hooded outfit. He also claimed that he received a personal letter from Charles Manson telling him to “shut up about the Zodiac.” In the 2000’s, Melton went public with his claims that he knew were there were bodies buried at Barker’s Ranch and he had personally seen Manson shoot three hitchhikers and he buried them. However, in 2008, after a long search for these graves, nothing turned up. As Melton 174
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis pointed to where people were buried, and officials dug, no bodies were found. Melton was a liar, probably out for attention like everyone else. But as silly as the whole Manson/Zodiac thing may seem, Howard Davis compiled a timeline in his book The Manson/Zodiac Connection with interesting parallels between the Manson case and the Zodiac case. Howard Davis’ theory is that key “Family” members aided Bruce Davis to carry out some of the Zodiac crimes. In fact, it seems that anytime something substantial happened with the “Family,” it was then retaliated with a Zodiac letter, a Zodiac attack/murder attempt, Zodiac phone call or a Zodiac murder.
1966 Bruce Davis lives in Anaheim 10/30/66 Cheri Jo Bates murdered (Zodiac) 07/??/67 Bruce Davis meets Charles Manson 12/30/68 Marina Habe murdered (suspected Family murder) 12/??/68 Bruce Davis leaves for London 04/25/69 Bruce Davis returns from London 05/18/69 Rose Tashman murdered (Zodiac) 05/27/69 Darwin Scott murdered (suspected Family murder—Manson’s uncle) 06/24/69 Virginia Smith murdered (Zodiac) 07/01/69 Bernard Crowe shot (Family) 07/04/69 Ferrin/Mageau attacked (Zodiac) 07/17/69 Mark Walts murdered (Family friend, Family suspect) 07/27/69 Gary Hinman murdered (Family) 07/29/69 Jane Doe of Santa Barbara murdered (Beausoleil suspect) 07/31/69 Hinman’s body found 07/31/69 Three Zodiac letters sent to papers 08/05/69 Jane Doe of Santa Barbara’s body found 08/07/69 Bobby BeauSoleil indicted for Hinman murder 08/07/69 Zodiac letter sent to paper 08/09/69 Tate murders (Family) 08/10/69 LaBianca Murders (Family)
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis
08/27/69 Donald Shea murdered (Family) 09/27/69 Hartnell/Shephard attack (Zodiac) 10/01/69 Fellippo Tennerelli “suicide” (Family friend, Family suspect) 10/09/69 Manson, Vance and Davis go to L.A. 10/11/69 Paul Stine attack (Zodiac) 10/12/69 Barker Ranch raid 10/13/69 Zodiac letter sent to paper 10/22/69 Manson indicted for arson 10/22/69 Zodiac phone call to police 11/05/69 John Phillip Haught “suicide” (Family friend, Davis suspect) 11/08/69 Zodiac letter sent to paper 11/21/69 Sharp/Gaul murdered (Bruce Davis suspect) 11/24/69 Bruce Davis goes to London 12/01/69 Joel Pugh “suicide” in London (Family friend, Davis suspect) 12/01/69 Bruce Davis leaves London 12/10/69 Tex Watson court hearing 12/10/69 Zodiac postcard sent to paper 02/21/70 Hood/Garcia murder (Zodiac) 02/24/70 Bruce Davis arrested for firearms 03/15/70 Bruce Davis released from jail 03/21/70 Anstey murdered (Zodiac) 03/22/70 Kathleen Johns attacked (Zodiac, later identified Davis) 03/24/70 Paul Watkins almost burned to death (Family) 04/18/70 Pan Tan hanged (Zodiac?) 04/20/70 Zodiac letter sent to papers 11/27/70 Ronald Hughes found dead (Van Houten’s attorney, Family suspect) 12/02/70 Bruce Davis surrenders for murder 04/24/78 Final Zodiac letter sent to papers 10/19/78 Bruce Davis first parole hearing, finds God
Couple this list of case parallels with the actual police sketches of the Zodiac Killer that look striking similar to Bruce Davis, and yeah—I can definitely see why he would be a suspect. Do I actually believe that 176
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis Davis is the Zodiac? No, I don’t. But I do believe that Davis may be responsible for some of the murders on the aforementioned list; Mark Walts, Doreen Gaul, James Sharp, Joel Pugh, and maybe Ronald Hughes. I do believe that Bruce Davis was a serial killer. During the height of the whole Manson/Zodiac craze, Bill Nelson wrote Davis a letter with his claims—a letter that Davis never responded to or has mentioned since. If he has nothing to hide, wouldn’t he have mentioned it? Whether it be mentioned in jest, in humor, in anger, in denial or in annoyance—contradict it! “ I was the one who introduced television cameras into your parole hearing. You know
that for a fact. I was the one who said on television prior to a parole hearing that you should be the “primary suspect” in the unsolved Zodiac murders. I have read the 1973 interview by Lt. Earl Deemer, retired-now deceased regarding your knowledge of Doreen Gaul and her murder with James Sharp. You retorted at the time “I am not very impressed with your offer of immunity since I am serving a life sentence for two murders.” Now that you believe you are near a parole date, I wonder if the authorities had enough insight and ability to haul you in for another interview, if you might sing a different song. You did know Doreen Gaul. You knew her intimately. She was in Scientology, had achieved the “Clear” status the night of her murder. November 21, 1969 should be a date that lives in the recesses of your mind as you close your eyes at night. There was a letter from the “Zodiac” found in her belongings after her murder. My personal opinionnot that you asked for it- is that you and Tex did the dirty deed together, then left for Las Vegas where four days later you both were bragging that you were going to raise some money to get Manson out of jail, or start killing some people. You did not count on a snitch calling the LAPD about that did you? That is how we know about it. You lived in the same Scientology house as she did. She had been threatened prior to her murder, hit in the head (September) like it was some kind of warning. Her father told me that she was asking to come home and he replied that he would send a round trip ticket.
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis
Doreen Gaul said to her father, “No, Dad, I want to come home for good. This Scientology is a bunch of crap.” Witnesses heard her screaming in the alley “Oh no! Jimmy. Jimmy!” Just like the case with the murder of Shorty, in the back of the Spahn Ranch and not in the middle of the day driving down the Santa Suzanna Pass, Barbara Hoyt was not supposed to hear his screams…. but she did! You have been to Riverside, California but you have refused to admit it. I only learned about it when I met your church going buddy from Morrow Bay, the talented Black former Kansas City Chiefs pro football player, “Bruce told me he had been to Riverside.” Riverside is the scene of an unsolved murder of Cheri Jo Bates, 10-30-66, a young attractive future flight attendant, like Beth. Zodiac left a note after that murder too. The language matches that of Doreen Gaul. But, you knew that. Riverside PD has tried in vein to match DNA with their “favorite” local boy, but are now silent that there is obviously no match with Bill Bennett. The poor man has been drug through the mud for decades for her murder but he did not do that one either. You admitted in the recent parole hearing that you went to Tahoe. Bruce, that is another unsolved scene from the Zodiac murders. Donna Laas. The sister of Darlene Ferrin has identified you as the man seated in the white four-door sedan, in Vallejo, CA that July 4, 1969 night at Terry’s restaurant. Positive ID! I have it on videotape. You are fortunate that the SFPD is not interested. Putting her hand to her chest, she said, “I never thought I would see that man again!” Remember Modesto, and the horror filled night ride for Kathleen Johns from Riverside? The wheel that came off, the offer to give a ride, and the silence for many minutes before she asked a question? Well Bruce, Kathleen gave a pretty interesting response, hyperventilated, and had to catch her breath when I showed her your photograph from the day you surrendered in Los Angeles, December, 1970.”
If what Nelson wrote in this letter was true—and he claims that is is— then what do you think? Do you think Davis may be the Zodiac, or perhaps have killed some of the people that were later linked to the Zodiac? I believe the latter. 178
The Manson Myth Bruce McGregor Davis When Davis surrendered December 2, 1970 reporters asked him if he was aware he was going to be tried for “two counts of murder,” in which Davis laughed and responded, “Is that all?” In one of our conversations, Davis had told me that his wife begged him to tell her about all of the bad things he has done. I wonder what he told her. Bruce also explained to me why he surrendered:
“When I surrendered in December, 1970— it was the first albeit unconscious step in my rehabilitation. I knew the charges were serious— murder is the most serious— and that Manson and the others had already been convicted. So, anyone associated with him could never be found not guilty. I knew I was going to prison— I couldn’t imagine how long. That was 40 years ago this December. I believe my 40 years in this desert are coming to an end.”
In 2009, Davis was suggested by parole—a suggestion that was overturned by then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Davis has been appealing his decision and is expected to have a parole date at his 2012 hearing, which has been postponed as of July, 2012. In one of our last conversations, Davis was telling me about accepting his parole denial and the analogy he made was a bit interesting and a bit like he accepts his fate.
“What if someone came at you with a sharp knife? Not good, right? But what if that someone was a doctor who was going to cut something left inside, would kill you? If you knew it was life or death you’d try to hold still even without a painkiller. Fear increases pain— accepting it does not make it go away, just easier to take.”
The Manson Myth
The Manson Myth
Bruce Davis’ striking resemblance to Charles Manson
The Manson Myth
“Bugliosi looks in the mirror every morning when he shaves, that’s the only person in Bugliosi’s world. Just him. Ask his wife, she knows it. He had the dates right and the names right, but he had a million illusions that had nothing to do with my reality.” Charles Manson 182
The Manson Myth The Bug
nyone familiar with the Manson case knows the name Vincent Bugliosi. To the masses he is the man who put away “Satan.” He cracked the Tate/LaBianca murder cases and uncovered a sick, deranged “hippie cult” and its leader Charles Manson. His theory was that Manson took a gang of disturbed youth and indoctrinated them with his racist views on the establishment and fed them with hatred through the use of drugs and used them to commit a string of heinous murders in hopes to spark a race war dubbed Helter Skelter. (See the chapter: What is Helter Skelter?) However, to a lot of others Bugliosi is nothing but a crooked attorney who bent and fabricated evidence, coerced, extorted, and used anyone and everyone who would talk to testify on his behalf. He didn’t care about the credibility of the witness or their ulterior motives of testifying for some incentive. In fact, he made the evidence fit Manson and not Manson fit the evidence. But why would Bugliosi do this? Well, I do believe that he believed Manson was guilty of conspiracy to murder and should be put away. I do not think he believes in the motives that he presented in the trial. Bugliosi did what he had to do to convict Manson, who was now on the front of publications all over the world—before his trial even started. Bugliosi knew that if he convicted Manson that he too would have a lot to gain. The election for Attorney General was right around the corner. Sadly, when it comes to the Manson case Bugliosi is the “go to” guy. It seems like whenever there is any Manson-related event, the news shows scurry to interview Bugliosi to once again regurgitate his weak, tired theory. In any debate, there is no way that the media personalities will listen to anyone who disputes him. It’s like he has the public brainwashed with his theory on Manson. Look at the public’s general 183
The Manson Myth The Bug perception of Manson. Anyone who knows the name “Manson” will tell you “he brainwashed a bunch of girls to kill a movie star.” I have seen time and time again that whenever websites reference the crimes, it will quote Bugliosi’s book Helter Skelter like it was a bible with citations like it was a bible verse. The main source for information for many—Wikipedia—is one of the most notable. As stated in the chapters; Why Helter Skelter Doesn’t Fit, False Witness, Who is Charles Watson?, and Demystifying Susan Atkins you will get an idea of the tactics Bugliosi used to secure his conviction. Hopefully it will open some eyes as to the character of this man. He’s nothing more than what he has accused Manson of being: a con artist, a manipulator, and a man who used the lives of others to make a substantial amount of money—blood money. Bugliosi was sued at least twice— that I know of—for printing defamatory or libelous information in his book Helter Skelter. So, my theory of that book being full of sensationalistic, embellished misinformation, isn’t all that off. In 1974 a newspaper ran a headline: Transcripts indicate Bugliosi Lied in Manson Case This was the start of a long string of lies and criminal activity exposed by Attorney George V. Denney, III which started during the Manson trial in 1969. While Bugliosi was preparing to prosecute Manson, he was using his powers in office to unmercifully stalk and harass a man named Herb Weisel, whom he alleged had sex with his wife and fathered his child. This incident resulted in harassment, criminal activity, lies, coverups, extortion and pay-offs. 184
The Manson Myth The Bug May 7, 1974 George V. Denney, III went public with the dirt he unearthed on Bugliosi and it wasn’t pretty. “News Release: George V. Denny III, attorney in two Bugliosi cases, charges Attorney
General candidate with committing perjury, fabricating false evidence for and lying to police investigators, and making hush money cover-up payments. Vincent T. Bugliosi, who is now seeking to become Attorney General of California, has lied to you ladies and gentlemen of the press, has lied to the people of this State, has lied to officers of the Santa Monica Police Department in the course of their investigation of a charge involving Bugliosi himself; and has conspired to fabricate false evidence to further thwart that investigation. In addition, Mr. Bugliosi has committed willful and deliberate perjury in a deposition which I personally took of him in connection with the civil action which arose out of slanderous statements he made about a plain citizen of this State at the close of Bugliosi’s campaign for District Attorney of Los Angeles County in 1972. I am here today to document these charges for the news media and for the voters. My wife has joined me here because in laying ALL of the facts before you, I subject us – my whole family – to a potential liability of $15,000. The liability is real enough if Mr. Bugliosi wishes to avail himself of the hush money contract he insisted be signed before making a cash pay-off to keep the press and public from learning the truth. When I came before some of you reporters on the last day of the D.A.’s race here to announce my filing of a slander action on behalf of Herb and Rose Weisel against Bugliosi, I told you that it was not a campaign trick or publicity gimmick. I told you that the suit would not be dropped after the election but would go forward until Mr. Weisel was vindicated. Well, it wasn’t dropped and it did go forward, and Mr. Weisel has been vindicated. Mr. Bugliosi had harrassed Mr. and Mrs. Weisel unmercifully over a three month period in 1969, using his position as deputy district attorney to get their unlisted phone number and to locate Herb Weisel’s place of employment. Bugliosi had apparently become
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obsessed with the idea that Mr. Weisel might have fathered Bugliosi’s son during the few months when Mr. Weisel was employed as a milkman at Arden Dairy. When Bugliosi discovered that the Weisels would hold a press conference four days before the D.A.’s election, he didn’t wait to hear what they were going to say about that period of harassment. He jumped the gun the night before the Weisel press conference and gave two reporters a phony story. The public was supposed to believe that Mr. Weisel was the suspect in a purported $300 theft from Bugliosi’s home. A theft which was never reported to the police and which – if it occurred while Mr. Weisel was a milkman between October, 1964 and January, 1965 – was well past the three year statute of limitations when Bugliosi started harassing the Weisels four to four and a half years later in March, 1969. Well, the Weisels had guts enough to stand up and be counted back in 1972. They filed their action against Bugliosi, and even though unfortunately it was literally election eve, some of you reporters observed that what they said in their suit was important enough to tell the voters about. Today, May 7th, isn’t election eve. And today I want to tell you all the conclusion of “the milkman” case. The complete story is given in the Bugliosi Fact Sheet which has been given to all of you along with supporting materials. But briefly, in the course of his deposition Mr. Bugliosi perjured himself not just once but many times. Wilful, deliberate perjury on material matters concerning admissions of his harassment of the Weisels; admissions made in the presence of two attorneys and Bugliosi’s own distraught wife. But Mr. Bugliosi has sought to cover himself and to cover his tracks. He settled the Weisel case. But he did so in a way that should earn him the title of a “one man miniWatergate.” He insisted that he get all of the court reporter’s steno-tapes of the nine untranscribed depositions I had taken. He required all parties and attorneys to sign the Liquidated Damage Agreement requiring a $15,000 payment from anyone who disclosed its terms or even its existence. And when he paid to keep everyone quiet, his payments were all cash -- $100 bills. I know because I am the attorney who received $12,500.00 in cash for the Weisels from Vincent T. Bugliosi so that he could try to sweep under the rug the misuse of his office as a deputy D.A., his slander of an innocent citizen, his lies to you of the press corps, his own ignoble perjury, and his final cash capitulation.
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And now I lay down a challenge to Mr. Bugliosi through whatever medium he hears or reads these words: IF ANYTHING I HAVE STATED OR WILL STATE IN THIS NEWS CONFERENCE ABOUT YOU IS NOT TRUE, THEN SUE ME FORTHWITH – IMMEDIATELY – FOR LIBEL AND SLANDER. YOU HAVE A READY-MADE FORM IN THE PLEADINGS FILED AGAINST YOU IN THE WEISEL CASE. BUT DO IT NOW, VINCE, WELL BEFORE THE ELECTION, SO THAT I CAN PLACE YOU UNDER OATH IN A CIVIL DEPOSITION, A DEPOSITION THAT WILL BE TYPED UP AND FILED IN COURT, NOT SECRETED OR DESTROYED BY YOU.”
After this, what could Bugliosi say? In the chapter Demystifying Susan Atkins, I ran down how much money her public defender Richard Caballero made off of Susan Atkins. This was small beans compared to what Bugliosi has made off of the Manson case. Manson speaks about Bugliosi’s swindling in a 1985 interview with High Society Magazine:
“Let me ask you the same question. Do you people think you got an unfair deal? You got a guy up there representing the people, and he picked off your whole generation. I am talking about the district attorney [Bugliosi]. I put an ad in Free Press for defense funds, I got $14.93. Some woman put an ad in the paper for a dog with a broken leg, and she got something like $8,000. It’s partly the public’s fault, and partly the system’s fault, because they cover up the truth. You say to the lawyer, “Let me tell you like it is,” and the lawyer says, “Oh no, we can’t sell it that way.” When the district attorney can make himself millions of dollars on a defendant, what does that do to the initiative?”
Bugliosi found it easier to sell a case that was full of sex, drugs, murder, manipulation, brainwashing and chaos than it was to sell a simple case of “copycat” killings and that is fact. If the motive of the murders being committed in an effort to free Beausoleil was the suspected motive 187
The Manson Myth The Bug from day one, do you think Manson would have been on the front of LIFE Magazine and Time Magazine? No way. Bugliosi used this case as a catapult into the seat of Attorney General. After the Manson case was over, he retired as Deputy District Attorney and started his campaign for Attorney General. The release of his book Helter Skelter, as well as a movie deal, coincided with the start of his campaign. But, the allegations from George V. Denney, III put a serious hurting on his campaign. Especially when Denney let loose of a revolting claim that Bugliosi beat a pregnant lady who he believed was pregnant with his child—for not getting an abortion. In typical Bugliosi fashion, he paid her off and fabricated evidence to wipe the crime out of the system. Here is an excerpt from that report:
“On 6-25-73 at 1900 hours, Officer Rahm was detailed to 2220 Ocean Park Blvd. #A regarding an assault and battery. Upon arrival, contacted the victim, Virginia Cardwell who related the following. She stated that at approximately 1600 on this date, she was in the bedroom of her apartment when her boyfriend, Vincent T. Bugliosi, (The former Assistant District Attorney of Los Angeles County) entered her apartment through the rear door. He came into her bedroom and began to beat her. She stated that he threw her onto the bed, jumped on top of her and began pulling her hair and choking her. He then struck her in the face several times with his fists, then threw her to the floor and pulling her off the floor by her hair. He then grabbed her throat and choked her approximately three more times. Approximately 1 ½ weeks ago, she told him that she believed she was pregnant. Upon hearing this, Bugliosi became very angry and threatened to kill her if she had the baby. He then gave her $448.00 in cash for an abortion. Cardwell told him that she did not believe in abortions and be again became very angry and threatened to kill her. She was
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in fear for her safety, so she told Bugliosi on Friday, June 22, that she did have an abortion. She stated that she have him the name of a doctor which she picked out of the phone book. When he came to her apartment this afternoon and began beating her, she stated that he accused her of being a liar and told her that he checked with the doctor’s office and with the hospital and had learned that she had not been treated there. Cardwell could not remember the name of the doctor that she gave to Bugliosi. While beating her, he stated such things as “I’ll break every bone in your body – this will ruin my career.” He also demanded that she tell him the truth as to whether she had had an abortion, stating that she would not leave the apartment alive if she lied to him. She described him as being extremely angry and upset. After remaining in the apartment for a few minutes, he then left. Cardwell was insistent that a police report be filed, stating that she wished to press charges for the assault and battery because she fears he will attempt to harm her again. She also gave a description of his vehicle a 1973 Buick silver/black with possible California license 327 HEY.”
Notice the part: “While beating her, he stated such things as “I’ll break every bone in your body – this will ruin my career.”” Bugliosi only cared about his career—or more accurately, how much money he was set to make or lose. He was only concerned with the public’s opinion on him and not the welfare of anyone else. This is obvious in his self-serving book Helter Skelter as well as how he prosecuted the case. I do believe that his book is accurate when it comes to the depiction of the trial and the investigation. However, his motive and theory is nothing but a modern day witch hunt. His history on Manson is weak, biased and clearly an attempt to make Manson look horrifying and evil that and the end of the book Bugliosi emerges as a superhero. 189
The Manson Myth The Bug Bugliosi was so concerned about the public’s opinion on him because until this report came out he was sure he was a shoe-in for Attorney general. It is sufficient to say that after the Denney Report that Bugliosi would not win that coveted Attorney General spot—and he didn’t. He was killed in the elections and didn’t even come close. Probably what Denney wrote about the Virginia Caldwell incident shut the doors on his campaign. “Mrs. Virginia Cardwell, a young divorced medical assistant who lived with her young
son in a small apartment in Santa Monica. I am not here today to leer over Mr. Bugliosi’s adulterous affair. It is important, however, because of his response in mid-June to her announcement that she thought she was pregnant. Again, the particulars are laid out in the Fact Sheet, provided you. The situation exploded when Bugliosi discovered that Mrs. Cardwell had not gotten an abortion which he had paid for and had insisted she get. On Monday afternoon, June 25, 1973, Bugliosi burst into Mrs. Cardwell’s apartment, enraged at his discovery, and beat her up and choked her. Whether by accident or design he only left marks on her in two places, her left eye and right arm. (These 8 X 10 photos show them several days later.) Once again, being a criminal defense attorney, I well understand such “lovers’ quarrels,” and such exercises may not necessarily disqualify one from holding high office. It is what followed that makes Vincent T. Bugliosi unfit for Attorney General or any other office in this State. The story of his assault on Mrs. Cardwell hit the press and the airwaves; so next morning, using his secretary to gain entry, Mr. Bugliosi accosted Mrs. Cardwell in her apartment. Using his not inconsiderable persuasive talents, he worked on her for almost four solid hours to recant her report of his assault and present a totally false story to the Santa Monica detectives waiting to question her. Overborne by his threats and pleas – as well as feelings she still retained toward him despite the beating – she agreed to follow his “scenario.” According to the new Bugliosi script, their relationship was purely that of attorney-client – which it had never been. Supposedly they had never seen each other socially, and the reason she had “made up”
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the whole assault and battery complaint was that he had refused to refund to her $100 she had supposedly paid when she purportedly consulted with him on June 14th to get delinquent child support. Not satisfied with concocting this false story for Mrs. Cardwell to tell – thereby subjecting her to criminal charges based on her original complaint – Mr. Bugliosi and his secretary conspired to fabricate a false receipt for the non-existent $100 payment of June 14th. The secretary did, in fact, prepare such a receipt there in the apartment using plain bond paper and Mrs. Cardwell’s old portable typewriter for the job. That was supposed to be good enough to fool the detectives. Well, Mrs. Cardwell went and told the new Bugliosi version to the police. And so did Vincent T. Bugliosi – almost word for word the same as they appear in the follow up police report. And the City Attorney came within a hair of filing false report charges against Mrs. Cardwell. But he dropped those plans at the urgent pleading of Mr. Bugliosi when Bugliosi discovered that his compliant girlfriend wasn’t going to be represented by a lawyer chosen and paid for by him, a lawyer who would quietly plead her guilty, pay her fine (with money provided by Bugliosi) and then let the whole matter quietly disappear. He begged the City Attorney to drop any charges and forget the whole thing when I informed him that I would be representing Mrs. Cardwell and that I would be crossexamining him when he took the stand as the prosecution’s star witness in a really contested jury trial on such a false report prosecution. But again, that’s not the end. After the criminal aspect of the case had disappeared, Mrs. Cardwell acquired a civil attorney who contacted Mr. Bugliosi’s attorney concerning a projected civil damage action for the assault and battery. To make what is now a very long story shorter, suffice to say that Mr. Bugliosi’s penchant for pay-off cover-ups once more came to the fore. According to what Mrs. Cardwell told me before anything was ever signed or any money paid, the old Liquidated Damages Agreement was trotted out again – this time with a $50,000 stinger for anyone who divulged the settlement. And the rather considerable sum of $5,000 cash plus retention of the still unspent $450 “abortion” money was offered by Bugliosi and accepted by Mrs. Cardwell.
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Was the Liquidated Damages Agreement signed? Well, I have never seen the Agreement, but Mrs. Cardwell just won’t discuss with me anything about the case any more. Was the $5,000 in cash paid? Well, on December 11, 1973, I received a check for $713 from the trust account of Mrs. Cardwell’s civil attorney, and I was only to get that reimbursement of costs from a settlement or judgment against Mr. Bugliosi. And I know too that any time I have mentioned the Bugliosi case to Mrs. Cardwell since the first of the year her smile reveals over $1,000 worth of dental work that she suddenly could afford at just the time I received my reimbursement check. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bugliosi’s attempts to cover up his attack on Mrs. Cardwell, his own lies and his fabrication of phony stories and phony evidence may bind others to silence, but his payment of hush money to Mrs. Cardwell doesn’t bind me. The people of this State deserve to know about Mr. Bugliosi – all about Mr. Bugliosi. I am no politician. What I have said today may be too blunt for some people. I have used words like “liar” and “perjurer” and “fabricator of false evidence.” I have used those words because they fit Mr. Bugliosi. And because they do fit him – and fit so horrifyingly well – Vincent T. Bugliosi is UNFIT for the post he now seeks.”
Unfortunately, these incidents are all but forgotten. For a while it hurt Bugliosi, but he had made so much money off of the Manson case that he really didn’t need that Attorney General seat—the sales of his book Helter Skelter and the following movie set him for life. So, what am I getting at? Why did I feel the need to post all of this? Well, it was my way of showing that if Bugliosi was caught fabricating evidence, coercing witnesses into testifying what he paid out, paying off people who cooperate, and used violent force on a witness—things that Manson and other “Family” members accused him of doing during the Manson trial—then what makes him above doing the same thing in 192
The Manson Myth The Bug a more substantial case— a case that would not only earn him a large sum of money, but put his name in the history books—eternally known? But at what cost? The public’s opinion on Bugliosi may be positive, but according to The Vincent Bugliosi Story by George V. Denney, III, Bugliosi’s wife Gail was at the end of her patience with her husband’s actions; stalking their ex-milkman and then the Virginia Caldwell incident.
“I told her [Gail] that he [Bugliosi] should be seeing a psychiatrist. She said that she had been after him for a long time to do it, but he wouldn’t go. She said, “I know he’s sick. He’s got a mental problem.” She apologized for all of the humiliation her husband [Bugliosi] has caused us.”
Gail then cried and pleaded that they not go public with her husband’s actions. They went public with the stalking case and Gail then denied even talking about her husband and testified under oath to that. Two peas in the pod. With all of this being said, I am hoping to open the eyes on Vincent Bugliosi and what he was capable of. This is just a small portion, feel free to find The Bugliosi Story by Attorney George V. Denney, III and read for yourself.
“I am not the guy you try to make out of me. That’s not me. That’s some guy in someone’s imagination who wanted to make a couple hundred million dollars for himself. He got rich. He had a good game going— he had a better game going than I did.” Charles Manson, 1981
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The Real Race War
“Islam is on the rise and Christianity is going down. Mostly, they keep quiet. They’re smart enough to not run off their mouths. They lie low, they’re like snakes. They lie low and they wait and they strike when the time is right and nobody sees them.” Sandra Good 195
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hen Charles Manson was convicted on January 25, 1971, the generic term “Helter Skelter” became a reality. When it became a reality, so did the Black Panthers vs. Rich White race war that the prosecution laid out in—no pun intended—black and white for the entire world to read. So, do I believe that the murders were to spark that race war? No. Manson was deathly afraid of retaliation by Bernard Crowe and the last thing on his mind would be to provoke the Black Panthers. Why in the world would he initiate it? He was so afraid that he permitted guns at the ranch (see chapter: False Witness – Danny DeCarlo), something that he was completely against. In fact he told Charlie Rose in 1986 that he discarded all of their guns long before then, that he “didn’t need them.” When all of the Crowe paranoia started, the “Family” was armed and set up as all night lookouts while the rest got everything together as they intended to all head to Death Valley. This was not “Helter Skelter,” and the members of the “Family” have widely stated that Manson never used that term except in its true meaning; chaos and confusion. In Paul Watkins’ book My Life with Charles Manson, he went as far as stating that Manson basically prophesized the White Album by quoting it before its release; interesting to say the least. Truth is—and this was repudiated by several members of the “Family”—that Manson was actually preaching racial acceptance for a long time. It was the Crowe incident where he became disenchanted with the Black Panthers, who he blamed for all of the ensuing chaos after the Crowe shooting.
The Manson Myth The Real Race War In the Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, Manson was quoted speaking a lot of anti-racist doctrine to his beloved group.
“We— the white man— came to this country. We ran the Indians out. Then we show them a treaty and we say “peace” and they sign the treaty and we come in and wipe them out. We bring the black people over here to work for us and they are dumb because they are not allowed to live in love. We rape their women and we kill them because they are nothing to us, you know? We have, as a race, we have killed anything darker than us, or put it down, or put it away, or we have controlled it.”
Charles “Tex” Watson even went a bit further in his writing The Terrorist Connection by claiming that Manson was in fact pro-Black and anti-White, which to me makes sense. I will write more about this in the next chapter: Holy Swastika.
“Today, Manson is believed by many to be a white supremacist. To the contrary, in the '60s he was anti-white. It has been falsely reported that Charles Manson was driven by his hatred for the Jews. He has been compared to Hitler, having carved a swastika upon his forehead. In reality, Manson hated society in general; who he called 'whitey'. He blamed society for all his failures. His plan had nothing to do with the Jews specifically.”
Watson was not the only one making these claims. In fact, the entire “Family” seemed to be spewing this exact thing. So how did this get turned completely around by the media and prosecution? I don’t deny that during the paranoia of the feared Crowe retaliation, the “Family” may have become tired of blacks— or more accurately the communist Black Panther Party who Manson blamed for all of the chaos that ensued after the Crowe incident. But the race war Manson spoke about was not Black Panthers, it was Black Muslims. 197
The Manson Myth The Real Race War In the 2006 documentary Inside the Manson Gang, director Robert Hendrickson indicated that Manson may have had an inside to the Black Muslims and was linked to them from his days in Terminal Island Penitentiary. Nuel Emmons’ book Manson in His Own Words confirmed this.
“In prison there is very kind of belief imaginable. Some are good, others are bogus. What is good and right for one person isn’t necessarily so for the other guy. Though I wasn’t black, I picked up on what the Black Muslims were practicing. I found them solid in their beliefs so I watched them and began to appreciate their rituals and traditions.”
At the end of the 2006 documentary Inside the Manson Gang, the text read: “In 1972, Black Muslims, mostly recruited from North California prisons, tried to ignite an actual Black and White race war, to become known as the Zebra Murders.” Was this just a strange coincidence, or did Manson really know about these planned attacks on white by Black Muslims? Could they have informed him before he was paroled from Terminal Island? My theory is that he was either told, warned or overheard Black Muslims speaking about these planned attacks and it was always something in the back of Manson’s mind. When he began consuming hallucinogens—namely belladonna— it consumed his mind. The “race war” he warned his “Family” about was nothing more than warnings and certainly not prophesized by the Beatles. The Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme all but confirms this notion. Throughout the trial Manson and the “Family” spoke about the Black Muslims. In fact, during Paul Watkins’ testimony, he was using the 198
The Manson Myth The Real Race War terms “Black Muslims,” and not “Black Panthers.” When Bugliosi corrected him, he said, “No, the Black Muslims.” Bugliosi was so obsessed with getting his Black Panthers motive to stick, that he did not care about the truth—or at least where the lie Watkins created originated from. Watkins basically took Manson’s theory of the impending attacks and exaggerated them beyond belief. See the chapter: False Witness – Paul Watkins & Brooks Poston for more on that. During Watkins’ testimony, he was asked about the Black Muslims by Bugliosi:
Paul Watkins: “Then the Black Muslims would come out of hiding and wipe them all out.” Prosecutor Bugliosi: “Wipe the white people out?” Paul Watkins: “Yes. By sneaking around and slitting their throats.”
Of course, “their” being whites. It was no coincidence that around the same time, the girls were on the sidewalk holding signs that read “Black Power,” sometimes surrounded by minorities including Mexicans and Black men. Also, in the Robert Hendrickson book Death To Pigs, Sandra Good said:
“Islam is on the rise and Christianity is goin’ down. Mostly, they keep quiet. They’re smart enough to not run off their mouths. They lie low, they’re like snakes. They lie Low and they wait and they strike when the time is right and nobody sees ‘em.”
The Manson Myth The Real Race War So, did the prosecution have it all wrong? Or was it Watkins who took this information Manson shared and create his own story—which he first sold to the media—and go to the prosecution with it as revenge for his near-death experience with Steve “Clem” Grogan? Whatever the reason, the prosecution bought it—hook, line and sinker. But in Bugliosi’s defense, it was a very fascinating theory— one that would gain him a lot of attention. Something required if he wanted to win the seat as Attorney General. During the trial, Manson also spoke about this upcoming attack by the Black Muslims:
“The Black Muslims— they know the way, they’re ahead of us. Fifty years ahead. They are way ahead of the Black Panthers, dig. They know what’s happening. And I turn them on because I’m the only white guy in here that knows Mohammed. They got things going on in the sewers that you wouldn’t believe!”
Sadly, even as silly as it seemed, people would not even consider anything but the Black Panthers and the Rich White apocalyptic race war dubbed Helter Skelter. The media and the prosecution had essentially brainwashed the public. LIFE Magazine dubbed Manson a “cult leader” and it stuck. Something that never made sense to me was Bugliosi’s claim that from the very minute Charles Manson was released from Terminal Island in 1967 he was full of hate, and his resolution was to head to San Francisco and look for his “targets”. However, nothing that has surfaced about Manson (e.g. documents, words, audio) backs up this notion. First off, the first Manson girl Mary Brunner collected him as did most of his so200
The Manson Myth The Real Race War called followers. They followed him around; he did not force them or in Bugliosi’s words “program” them to do so. Pretty much everything that has surface about Manson in these early years (1967 - 1968) has depicted Manson as a very peaceful man full of love. He is called a racist, yet there have been many quotes from these years of Manson preaching anti-racism and defending the black race. Even his so-called brainwashed minions were spouting out anti-racist quotes no doubt repeated from Manson. In an interview conducted with Manson at Universal Studios in 1967— when he was recording songs that would later appear on LIE and All The Way Alive— he states he is anti-war. So, if he was anti-war why would he be trying to start a war? Truth is that so-called race was not aimed towards Black Panthers, but a race war he heard about while in prison of a looming attack between Black Muslims and Whites. This so-called race war actually happened in 1972 and was dubbed The Zebra Murders. You’d think if this man was full of hate his “followers” would have been spouting out hatred, his songs would be full of hate and his words being quoted 1967 – 1969, would be full of hate. Truth is his music is about love, the desert, and anti-war. Most of his quotes from that era are all anti-racist, anti-violent, anti-hate. It just doesn’t add up. Either something drastic and very ugly happened within— almost instantaneously— that turned Manson from this loving guy into a monster, or it’s all Bugliosi’s bullshit. Now even Manson admits that when Crowe was shot and it was discovered he was a Black Panther that paranoia swept Spahn Ranch of retaliation from the Black Panthers. That is quite understandable, but still doesn’t back Bugliosi’s theory. 201
The Manson Myth The Real Race War June, 2012, EarCandyMag.com interviewed director of the films Manson and Inside the Manson Gang Robert Hendrickson. In this interview, Hendrickson mentions Manson’s ties with the Black Muslims. He even states that Manson’s prison buddy Phil Phillips witnesses Manson associating with the Black Muslims.
Ear Candy Mag: I really like how you just present possible motives without forcing them down your throat! But, there is a lot to process: the Muslim angle, the Vietnam War angle, the strike against law enforcement angle, etc. Did all of these become apparent to you when you were transcribing the film? Or did any of these realizations occur when you were actually filming? Robert Hendrickson: The Muslim connection did not become significantly relevant to me until after 9/11, when in 2007, I was putting “Inside the MANSON Gang” together and came across a copy of Clark Howard’s “Zebra”. Then, in 2008-10, the “transcribing” process became a series of “ah-ha” moments. I remembered Phil Phillips talking about his and Charlie’s relationship with Muslims in prison, but it was certain dialogue in “Zebra”, combined with specific “transcriptions” that really blew the Manson case wide open for me. There are specific keywords, phrases and beliefs that Charles Manson could only have picked-up from the Black Muslims in prison, which are also expressed by the Black Muslims in “Zebra”. Thus, if Manson talked to Family members about a Black and White race war, he got the idea from the Black Muslims in prison. With regards to the Vietnam War, the Family and I discussed the issue at length. As for law enforcement threats and harassment, back then the friction was always apparent to me, but the issue of an actual violent conflict did not come to a full realization until I understood the transcriptions, more clearly. Ear Candy Mag: You infer that the murders might be devices to draw attention to the horrors of the Vietnam war. You have Katie talking about carving ‘war’ on Leno Labianca's stomach and saying, "Here's one man who won't send his son to war". Not referring to a black and white war, but the establishment's Vietnam. I know this is a stretch, but could it be considered a bizarre sort of “performance art”?
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Robert Hendrickson: Why would such a thought be considered a “stretch”? Almost everything we Americans do takes some form of an acted out performance. Every society, culture and civilization that ever existed, since time began, has practiced “performance art” in the form of “human sacrifice” before its public. Even “war” is considered performance art. I know that, at the time, professional “performance art” was enjoying a resurgence (IE: Andy Warhol works), but to even think that the bizarre Manson Massacre was actually some form of “performance art” is just downright plausible. Now, here’s two relevant questions for you! (1) Did you know that in 40-plus years of dealing with this case, to my knowledge, nobody has ever associated the Tate/LaBianca massacres with “performance art”? The fact is, no matter what or which “motive” for the Manson murders you prefer to believe; the actual “massacre” was and is considered an expression of “performance art” and the Crime/Trial of the 20th Century is one big epic play/opera – without a foreseeable end. (2) Would Mitt Romney’s 1960’s physical assault on a young man’s body, which included the cutting of his hair, be considered a “criminal” expression of “performance art” today? Back then? Ear Candy Mag: The biggest surprise to me was the possible influence of the Black Muslim’s on Charlie. Throughout the book, the Black Muslim was talked about by Paul Watson, Sandra Good, and Phil Phillips. Do you think that Bugliosi recognized this? Or did he think that was even too far out compared to the “Helter Skelter” motive? Robert Hendrickson: At the time in the 1960’s, nobody even knew what a Black Muslim was, let alone an ordinary Muslim. First and foremost, Vincent Bugliosi was an attorney/prosecutor, whose job was to get a jury to convict Charles Manson. That’s it! All this BS we hear today about right/wrong, Constitutionally correct, etc. is just that – BS. That Bugliosi sold a Black and White race war motive to a bunch of “moon rocks”, as the failed OJ prosecutor Marsha Clark calls jurists, may not have required a “judicial genius”, but it sure didn’t hurt to have one on-board. That said, if Bugliosi played-up the issue of “Black” Muslims, he would have had to explain the existence of Black Muslims organizing and preaching against “Whitey” and “Christians” in California prisons. Then, if the Black Muslims taught Charlie about the coming Black/White Battle of Armageddon, why were “they” not also on trial as co-conspirators? Then you have to explain why Muslims have it in for Christians and pretty soon you need a jury made up of all college graduates with history degrees, just to comprehend an otherwise simple
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Black/White race war. I doubt that Bugliosi was unaware of the delicate Muslim/Christian conflict connected to his so-called Helter Skelter race war motive, but simplicity SELLS. Complicated things do not. And when a prosecutor “builds” his case, that means precisely that. He carefully builds (puts together) for the jury, ONLY the “necessary” information (evidence) needed to accomplish HIS goal, which is to get a conviction. Otherwise, Bugliosi never even had a meaningful conversation with Sandra Good – and Phil Phillips (Manson’s best friend in prison) isn’t even mentioned in the prosecutor’s best-selling book. Paul Watkins introduced the “Black Muslims” into his Helter Skelter analogy, but nobody even pressed such an important issue further. So, to me it seems like Bugliosi saw the writing “Death To Pigs” on the wall, but got hungry and went to the refrigerator, where “Healter Skelter” was written on the door, which caused HIM to have an “ah-ha” moment. If only we could ask Merrick and his wife what Bugliosi actually thought – they all became close friends – but Merrick was murdered and his wife is in seclusion.
Truth is that after the trials were over, in 1972, the Black Muslims started attacking whites at random. This lasted a few years and started in San Francisco and branched throughout California. Only sixteen murders could be proven, but the more truthful count was at least 71 in California and 100 suspected related murders total. All the same; Black Muslims attacking whites at random. These attacks were dubbed The Zebra Killings and were largely covered up and ignored by the country afterward. But, it’s hard to ignore that Manson had mentioned Black Muslims, attacks, and the murders starting in San Francisco. He also disclosed that he befriended Black Muslims in prison and the killers were largely recruited from prisons. 204
The Manson Myth The Real Race War So, is it possible that when Manson spoke to his “Family” about these Black Muslims that he met in prison talking about this attack that he was being serious? Is it possible that Charles Manson knew this was happening? Somehow, somewhere, in some way, Manson knew about these upcoming attacks. The words were spoken; you can’t erase that. It’s really hard to dismiss it as coincidence when there were a lot of “Family” members screaming it on the sidewalk during the trials. Do I think the “Family” wanted these attacks to happen? Yes, but not while they were in Los Angeles, but while they were in Death Valley. Manson, himself, spoke at ease about the Black Muslims but refused to acknowledge— and still does— the race war against the Black Panthers. During the trial, Manson admitted that he believed the Black Muslims would indeed attack the whites because of what the whites had done to them.
“The sword of Mohammad will swing back and chop off the heads of the whites, because the Whites have done it to the Mohammadans, which was a love civilization.”
Does a statement like this make him a racist? For some reason, the prosecution made it seem like it did and they made the jury believe the same. In 1971 when Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme spoke to the papers, she explained that Manson indeed was friends with Black Muslims in prison and that Manson was at One with the “negroes.” I believe this without a doubt.
“We understand what Negroes have been through. Charlie had total understanding of them. He’s been close to them in the penitentiaries and understands what they been through. He loves them. He’s his father, the black man is Charlie’s father.”
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This Holy Swastika
“The swastika is a Sun God symbol, symbol as the sun as God, not a dead man on a stick.” Charles Manson 207
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t comes without saying that the swastika has become Charles Manson’s trademark, so to speak. It is easily the most identifiable characteristic about his likeness. Whether we like it or not, take any photo and draw a swastika on its forehead and immediately: Charles Manson. Most people just accept it as a sign of hatred, and a sign of the Nazis. It comes to no surprise that those two things are associated with Manson. He is considered to be a racist-Nazi-Hitler worshiper. If you read the chapter: The Real Race War, you will read a first-hand account from a “Family” member—Charles “Tex” Watson—who said that Manson was actually “anti-White.” When I spoke to Manson in 2011, I asked him to explain why he put the swastika on his head and was it for shock value. This is what he told me:
“When I was in prison—I was in prison for a long time. There was this Indian—Native American— that called himself “Walks on Top.” He was in this all Indian cell with a red lock on the door. The red lock was a warning to the guards that the inmate inside was a fighter and Walks on Top was a fighter. He would cuss and fuss at the guard and make them come into his cell and he’d beat them up. They would always chain him to the wall and let whites beat him up. Walks on Top hated whites—he stole a pig and brought it to his reservation to feed his family. They beat him up and put him in prison. He beat the people up in that prison and they put him in a tougher prison. I was the only white man he let into his cell. We played cards a lot. He had a swastika on his head and I asked him, “Why you got that for?” and Walks on Top said, “Protection from White Man. Protection up here.” I ran with some Yaquis in Mexico before I got busted and they called it a turning log.” So, when I was busted and the D.A. put me in the gas chamber, I put that sign on me. It made a lot of people mad and cause a lot of confusion—that was for me.” I got you on my forehead, Walks on Top—ghostdancers.”
The Manson Myth This Holy Swastika In 1971, when Manson was convicted for the Tate and LaBianca murders, he carved an X on his forehead and explained it to the media:
“I am not allowed to be a man in your society. I am considered inadequate and incompetent to speak or defend myself in your court. I have Xed myself from your world. The lie you live in is falling and I am not part of it. You have murdered the world in the name of Jesus Christ. I stand with my X, with my life, with my God and by myself. My faith in me is stronger than all your armies, governments, gas chambers or anything you may want to do to me. Love is my judge. I have my own constitution; it’s inside me. I am not allowed to speak with words so I have spoken with the mark I will be wearing on my forehead.”
When he was sentenced to death, he branded a left-facing swastika on his forehead. The reason he gave me appears valid. In fact, here is an excerpt from a newspaper article from 1971, where Manson is trying to clarify it to the Judge—but he doesn’t buy it.
“The Judge suggested that swastikas were not suitable for the courtroom because it might offend Jewish jurors. Manson replied that he was wearing Indian symbols and not Nazi signs. A juror of Jewish background was asked if he’d be prejudiced by the swastika, despite Manson’s explanation that they were Indian symbols. He said he would.”
So, the popular retort to Manson’s current explanation of his swastika is that the “Native American” excuse was something he recently came up with. However, this proves that as far back as his trial he was saying this. In my mind, if Manson was brash enough to put a swastika on his forehead for racist reasons, he would be brash enough to admit its true meaning. 209
The Manson Myth This Holy Swastika In the past years, a photo of Linda Kasabian sitting against a wall with a swastika in an observable Native American pattern has surfaced. She is surrounded by people that have been cropped out and one man has a guitar. Was that Manson? If so, this is another piece of evidence that proves the Native association with the swastika. In a 1992 interview with Michal ben Horin, Manson also tells her the reason for his swastika was an inspiration by Walks on Top. He also dismisses the Hitler link as laughable.
Michal ben Horin: When you put that “X” on, did you associate it with Hitler? Charles Manson: You make Hitler into a big person because he was your fear and you were afraid of him. Your mother was afraid of him. I’m not afraid of Hitler. Hitler was a little teardrop that fell from the prison’s eye. Michal ben Horin: What does the “X” mean? Charles Manson: You know what it is? It is an Alcatraz Indian. It’s an Indian called “Walks On Top.”
Manson also told Geraldo Rivera in 1988 when he suggested that it was to represent his association with the Nazi party that, and Manson gets pretty annoyed with the accusations:
Geraldo Rivera: You a Nazi, Charlie? Charles Manson: No. No, I can’t even spell the word. Geraldo Rivera: I bet you could. Charles Manson: See what I’m saying? Now see what I’m saying. When you think I lie, then that’s because you got a lie in your heart. And then you come back and you say you’ve got heart, but you’ve got no heart without, with lie. A lie beats, your heart beats
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in truth, man, you see what I’m saying? In other words, if you’re lying, you’re not lying to nobody but yourself. Nobody else cares.
In 1987, when Penny Daniels interviewed him, she constantly asked him about it and he evidently wanted to talk about other things like his ATWA organization. But, she pressed him and he basically told her that it was for shock value—to get people to notice him and listen:
“How do you communicate to a whole group of people? You take the worst fear symbol (the swastika) and you say ‘there, now I got your fear!’, and your fear is your power and your power is your control. I don’t care what church you go to, or what race you are, what color you are, or what boogliblababa or any of that nickel and dime self-important trash.”
Manson’s spirituality has been a mystery, but as he talks he lets go tidbits of information regarding it, and in my opinion he does take a lot of Native American philosophy mixed with a lot of Eastern religion. Manson has voiced his belief—and based a lot of his ATWA philosophy—on the Sun and the Sun God in a 1998 correspondence with the All The Way Alive website.
“There’s only one soul; there’s little bits and pieces of it. There’s only one Sun. We all come from the Sun; all the energy, every molecule, every element, everything we’ve got comes from the Sun. The Sun’s god. That’s why the swastika was always on the Sun.”
This theory reflected onto his art as well, drawing swastikas in the sun. Most of this puts down the theory that he wears it as a Nazi. Manson was never really tied to the Nazis or Aryan Brotherhood aside from his 211
The Manson Myth This Holy Swastika early days in prison—they attached themselves to him. Manson admitted that he used them for protection. Between 1973 – 1975, Manson set up a half-way house for the Aryans when they were paroled. A house maintained by Sandra Good and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. According to the Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, when Manson realized the Aryans were taking advantage of the girls and using them for drugs, sex and to commit crimes, Manson put a stop to it. Subsequently—according to the Ed George book Taming the Beast—a hit was put on Manson by the Aryans. Coincidentally, around this same time other former “Family” members were attacked and stabbed in prison in race-related incidents. Another event that sort of disproved the fact that Manson is a racist, and a connection with a Black Panther was printed in Geronimo Pratt’s autobiography The Triumph and Tragedy of Geronimo Pratt. Geronimo Pratt is an ex-Black Panther member who was framed and convicted of murder by the same Hall Of Justice as Manson at roughly the same time. Pratt’s defender was Charles Holepeter, the attorney that was forced on Charles Manson (and he eventually fired). Evidence was withheld, fabricated and witnesses coerced into lying on behalf of the prosecution—sound familiar? See the chapter: The Bug. The only difference is that 26 years later Geronimo Pratt was released from prison and Manson is still incarcerated.
“He heard a chirpy voice cry, “Geronimo!” Charles Manson’s hairy face peeked from cell no.1. Pratt nodded. He was glad to see a familiar face. They’d been held together in the Los Angeles County jail.
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Manson set an outcry of other yells and shrieks: “Hey! They got Geronimo in here!” “It’s the man!” “Home boy!” He began to chant “Geronimo! Geronimo! Geronimo! Geronimo!”
In March 1974 after Geronimo was given the wrong pills and nearly overdosed, he received a kite from Manson saying “you’ve been set up, stay out of yard today,” possibly saving Pratt’s life. Manson saved the life of a Black Panther? Why would a racist do something like that? Ed George also mentions in his book Taming the Beast that they at least knew each other. One thing that Charles “Tex” Watson has been vocal about—that works for Manson’s case—is that Manson was not a white supremacist, nor did he preach Hitler as the prosecution proposed during the trial. On Watson’s website AboundingLove.org, he did a review on Helter Skelter and contradicted the theory:
“Strange as it may seem, I never heard Manson mention Nietzsche or Hitler. I do remember in the book, Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi had a shocking parallel between Hitler and Manson. He wrote that both men were influenced by Nietsche, had similar statures and wounded pasts, and were illegitimate children. With their charismatic and hypnotic eyes, Hitler and Manson could easily influence others. I find it hard to believe that Manson was emulating Hitler without my knowing it.”
But, there were “Nazi” magazines found at the ranch upon the bust. Whose were they? It may have belonged to the Straight Satans. They were an admitted racist organization, and Danny DeCarlo admitted that he was racist. Watson stated that he “vaguely remembers those magazines.” I will put this out there: the initials for the Straight Satans are S.S., and to me that says it all. 213
The Manson Myth This Holy Swastika It is also fact that Manson has a connection with World War II. He’s stated many times that, “I am locked in the second world war”— meaning that he has been locked up since 1944, during WWII. He’s also connected through his father who fought in WWII. Manson also defends the SS guards who fought in WWII, and were then executed by the United States for “following orders.” While this opinion may not be a positive one, he has a good point as stated in a 1992 interview with Bill Murphy:
“When you go to war, and you’re a soldier, and you fight for your God and your Country, that’s not criminal. That’s honorable. That’s what you must do to be a man. If you don’t fight for your God and your Country, you’re not worth anything. If you have no honor, then you’re not worth Patty’s pig. Decrees of the war were written in Switzerland, in Geneva, the conferences that were made, by the men at the tables, clearly stated that anyone in uniform would be given the respect of their rank and their uniforms. Then, when the United States won the war, and got all the Germans in handcuffs, they started breaking their own rules. And they’ve been breaking their own rules ever since. You’ve got to overturn that decision that hung six thousand men by the neck. You killed six thousand soldiers for obeying orders. That’s wrong, and the world has got to accept they’re wrong.”
This in no way is saying that he supports the Nazis, but of course people take it this way. Quite frankly, whatever Manson says is taken negatively. Even when he says something encouraging, it is nay-sayed and dissected with an explanation that he only said it as a tool to somehow manipulate the situation. He has become the personification of evil, despite rarely saying anything publically that could be taken as
The Manson Myth This Holy Swastika evil. When he is interviewed it seems that the interviewer relentlessly tries and provoke him to do so, but always fail. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme summed it up perfectly:
“Everyone has wanted to make Charlie small, yet a monster. Stupid. With hypnotic powers. A fascist and a Commie. And prejudiced nigger-lover. A macho punk. Both Christ and the Devil, or on the opposite side of everything.”
In an odd coincidence, Manson has admitted that he did sort of idolize Irwin Rommel, who fought for the Germans in WWII—taking the name Desert Fox from him. The interesting thing about this is Rommel was not only Anti-Hitler, but he plotted to assassinate him. Hitler became conscious of the plot, and called for his execution. Rommel turned himself in to protect his family and was executed. Rommel was also against the murder of any Jew. Rommel was a hero. But Manson loved the photos of Rommel in his dune buggies running across the African desert. Perhaps those publications were merely depictions of Rommel? In one of my conversations with Manson in 2011, he told me straight up that if you are in prison, “you roll with your own race or you become a target.” Manson expanded stating that people who “don’t stick to their own race on the yard, have nobody—no protection. They walk alone on the yard and get called snitches and get stuck. Prison is a concentration camp and we all have to stay with our own race.” But Manson has also admitted that he associates with a lot of Mexicans in prison. Manson defended that by saying that “is why I am in PC” which is protective custody.
The Manson Myth This Holy Swastika Manson has also told me that he isn’t racist because “I don’t care what fucking color you are,” but he doesn’t think we should mix races because “that is what killed off the Indians and any race inferior to whites.” Manson now wears a tattooed swastika that is right facing. He had it tattooed on in 1985 after an attack by inmate Jan Holstrom, who doused him with paint thinner and set him on fire burning his face and hands. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s Manson sported a left-facing swastika that looked like it was lightly tattooed in over his brand scar from 1971. The fire all but erased it as seen in the photos in a 1985 High Society Magazine. The tattoo was apparently meant to replace the one that had been burnt off. In the following years, he has stayed that he wanted it back to represent that he “never got his rights in the courtroom.” He has also stated “that’s my father.” I think that it had become his symbol and trademark. It was what he was known for—sort of like Alfalfa’s hair on the Little Rascals. In the 1990’s, Sandra Good ran a Manson website and wrote an essay on the meaning of the swastika:
“The Swastika or Fylfot, a.k.a. gamma cross, croix cramponee, croix gamme, and so on, is found early in Sanskrit, interpreted as equivalent to “So be it” or “Amen”. Recorded 10,000 B.C., it has been found on artifacts and structures in Greece, Rome, India, Japan, China, Persia, Libya, Northern Europe, and the Americas. Interpretations of the meaning in the direction of the arms of the swastika masculine/feminine, outerworld/innerworld, war/peace, sun/moon, and various opposites - lend to a general notion of turns of behavior, of rule, of culture — all interpretation. The four arms have been used to signify the four winds of the four
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directions, the four elements, the four that add up to one. The cross marks the center, which everyone knows is the center of themselves and the center of the physical world. The “Runic Swastika” Comes from Scandinavia, said to have signified recycling, regeneration, a return to Mother Earth, Mother Sea, themes familiar to any pagan or Druid. The “Crux Dissimulata” and the “Gammadion” are variations used by Christians as well. If what I read is true, the Cross did not become the principal symbol of the Christians until the ninth century.”
No one’s ever going to believe anything but what the prosecution “proved” at the trial. As far as I know— and I have researched this case extensively— I have never heart a first-hand account of Manson making a racist statement other than petty shock-value responses like “Hitler was misunderstood,” or “I was impressed with the 6,000 Germans who were hung for not signing the paper—I haven’t either.” Then when Manson states “Hitler was a monster and you can’t rule a nation with fear” it is ignored. Paul Watkins’ theory that he brought to the prosecution put Manson as a man who hated all minority races and often degraded blacks, Jews, Mexicans, etc. Watson has denied those accusations. It’s also quite surprising that the “Family” consisted of many Jewish people— Catherine “Gypsy” Share, Barbara Rogenberg, Mark Ross, etc. There were also Latinos—Juan Flynn, Christopher Jesus, Juanita Wildbush, etc. And there were other minorities that came and went in Manson’s circle. This makes no sense if Manson was a hardcore racist. Manson often spoke about the White’s oppression of minorities and Native Americans.
The Manson Myth This Holy Swastika In fact, the ATWA organization included a correspondence with Manson where he answered a subtly racist piece of mail from someone writing to him asking, “What do you think of the United States now having a black president?” This question obviously annoyed Manson because he replied with a long, very detailed letter—something he rarely does. Here is an abridged response from Manson:
“You cannot color people in the real’s real— what makes a person — man — woman is all colors. You can tag people, but you can’t color TRUTH, LOVE, compassion. Black is not a person, you can call a person black and if you did that would be an African person— if a African person was born in France, he wouldn’t be an African person he’d be French. To me that’s just tags. Your media has lied to you and you are DISTORTED, TWISTED, WARPED, off track and out of line. To disrespect anyone or anything is FOOL’S play on the self and that’s what I did. I disrespected myself for even responding to this crap letter.”
Manson was obviously defending Barack Obama, despite Manson being vocal as someone who doesn’t support Obama at all. When Manson blog MansonAtwar.com reposted this, the post received over 4500 notes and most of them were negative. This was a great lesson to me that people want Manson to be racist. They want him to be bitter. If he defends anyone who is a minority, it really gets under people’s skin. The average response was basically, “How can he defend Obama, he has a swastika on his forehead.” This quote was printed in the Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, again it shows that Manson relates to minorities—being in a down position all of his life. 218
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“We have, as a race, we have killed anything darker than us, or put it down, or put it away, or we have controlled it.”
During his trial he spoke to the news reporters and a reporter asked him if he is guilty of murder. He responded:
“I’ll plead guilty to the Indians.”
It seems humans will believe anything that is printed. I hope that this chapter opens your mind to Manson’s usage of the ancient symbol that we call the swastika, which means “all things good.” It has been a positive symbol for 6,000 years and was tainted in the late 1930’s by Nazi Germany. Until around 1940— when we ceased using it— America used it vastly in our advertisements, food logos, post cards, architecture and Arizona road signs even had swastikas emblazoned on them. It has been a very important sign for Native Americans for centuries, often referred to as whirling logs. Natives etched swastikas on arrows for good luck, painted them on loin cloths as a sign of fertility and painted them on their headdresses as a sign of mental strength. Manson claims he “picked the symbol up from the bottom when it was broken and unwanted like me. I took it from the last cell at the bottom. I believe it is a symbol of honor.” The website AllTheWayAlive.com has a few quotes from him regarding the swastika. Here are some: 219
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“You say it’s me that’s prejudiced and it’s not that way. I am a reflection. Bottom line is not to prejudge is almost impossible because it’s nature to be for self first and look out for number one - your own life, and if that’s not what you look out for, you’re prey and food for who is eating you.” “This swastika to me is four L’s—a wheel, a sun circle, a teepee pole—a symbol for the complete all, forever. Dad, chief, knowing, truth, peace, wisdom.” “I’m not trying to lead or follow or do nothing but have peace on earth. And that’s what that thing on my forehead is; it’s a peace symbol. One world.”
It goes on to state that: “People put it on Hitler, but Hitler put it on himself.” In 1969, he was interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine and he was quoting as saying, “The black people were the first to have power.”
Quite recently, the Order of ATWA blog posted a quote from Manson explaining his views on race:
“There is only one mind — and it ain’t got no color. That’s why I told you you gotta be reborn. You only got one people, man. I mean, there are differences in nature — a cocker spaniel is not a sheep dog and a sheep dog is not a pit bull — but you can’t rightly judge one thing against another.”
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A postcard from Manson asking for this photo of a Native American basketball team. Manson used to play basketball in prison in the 50’s and 60’s. 221
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Sandra Good and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme in Federal Prison in WV.
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Sandra Good and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s usage of the swastika.
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Charles Will is Man’s Son
“Charlie used to sign his name Charles Willis Manson, which read: Charles Will Is Man’s Son.” Vincent Bugliosi 225
The Manson Myth Charles Will is Man’s Son
he prosecution’s theory of Helter Skelter incorporated the fact that Charles Manson called himself Jesus Christ as well as The Devil. The theory stated that Manson lead his “followers” to believe that was indeed Jesus Christ. One of the key pieces of evidence to back up this theory was Manson’s driver’s license. His name printed on it was Charles Willis Manson. Bugliosi stated that he chose that name as an alias because it simply read “Charles Will is Man’s Son,” signifying his claim to be the son of man, or Jesus Christ. Charles Manson laughed at that idea, discrediting it as “trash.” Manson’s justification for the alias made a lot more sense; it was an alias he used on his license because he planned on “driving around, which was against my parole.” He stated that he took the name from his ex-wife Rosalie Willis, who he married in 1955. This alias was one of the nearly dozen that he used including other plays on his factual name— Charles Milles Manson— such as; Charlie Deer, Charles Miller, Charles Miller Manson, Charles Mills, and Charles Mills Manson. When “Family” members are asked about this, half of them laugh at the idea that Manson called himself “God.” It seems like the only ones who agree that he did were the ones who testified against him (see chapter: False Witness). Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme made a statement on the now defunct website SqueakyFromme.org:
“He didn’t ask me to call him God. We thought that was really funny. You think we’d be with somebody we had to call God?”
So, how did that get started? People were clearly under the impression that he was calling himself Jesus Christ—and that license has absolutely no evidence supporting this, but a piece of evidence that the 226
The Manson Myth Charles Will is Man’s Son prosecution forced to fit as evidence. Truth be told, Susan Atkins admitted how this rumor started and of course she was the one behind it. She started it. In her book Child of Satan, Child of God she made numerous references to it:
“I longed to see Charlie. I walked out of the bus. Charlie was there, alone. He was wearing a long white robe. I knew immediately that he could be God himself, if not, it was something close to it.”
And later on in the same chapter, she spoke more about this “Jesus” man she had just met:
“The men were clustered around him. I counted: there were twelve men. With his long hair and beard, his eyes staring from face to face, he seemed to Jesus speaking to his twelve apostles. The thought struck me while and touched me. That’s when I felt he might be Jesus Christ.”
As stated in the chapter: Demystifying Susan Atkins, she was obviously a bit off-kilter. She acknowledged that she had great problems both emotionally and conceptually before she met Manson in 1966 – 1967. It’s more than obvious that she was searching too hard for a Christ figure and accepted anyone as that. Paul Watkins wrote in the book My Life with Charles Manson that Manson would actually become annoyed with Atkins’ claims that she was telling everyone that he was Christ. But Watkins did say that he also started to “go with the idea” and when someone would ask him if he was Jesus Christ, he would just “smile or wink” at them. I do agree that
The Manson Myth Charles Will is Man’s Son this was a dick move on his part, but we have all done similar things in our lives. During Atkins’ grand Jury testimony she was asked if Manson ever told her that he was evil—she said “no.”
Vincent Bugliosi: Did Charlie show you how to become a real woman? Susan Atkins: He didn’t show me, he gave me my — in other words, I gave myself up to him and in return for that he gave me back to myself. He gave me the faith in myself to be able to know that I am a woman. Vincent Bugliosi: During this one to one-and-a-half year period on the bus were all of you girls Charlie’s girls, so to speak? Susan Atkins: We were called Charlie’s girls, but Charlie often, in fact every day he told us, “You people do not belong to me, you belong to yourself.” Vincent Bugliosi: Did Charlie ever tell you that he was evil? Susan Atkins: To my knowledge, no.
If Manson never told her that he was “evil,” which means he did not tell her that he was The Devil, and he never told him that he was Jesus Christ, then how did this get so out of hand? During one of my many conversations with Manson, he explained one of the reasons this story got out of hand:
“I always told them kids that everyone is God, and everyone was the Devil. Everyone has good and bad. That turned into Charlie thinks he is God and the Devil by the DA, and I went with it. They reflected that on me and I reflected it back.”
The Manson Myth Charles Will is Man’s Son In 1991, Manson spoke with Ronald Reagan, Jr. and said the same thing. Manson clearly was being honest with me.
“The devil’s inside you, man. Each guy’s got his own little devil, and that’s the doubt and fear that you’ve got inside yourself.”
Manson later said that, “If I knew that 40 years later I’d still be fighting it, I’d never have said that.” In 1987, the NBC network got their hands on Manson for an interview. The entire time he was battling erroneous information and a young interviewer who was trying to ask “edgy” questions—ones that Manson will get every interview. Early in he became annoyed with her and said a lot of pretty mean things. She constantly asked him if he was Jesus Christ, and his answer was:
“I think the public is full of it. They’re a bunch of ants that want to eat me up. And they feed on fear and things they are insecure about. They want to blame someone else— like a bunch of chickens pecking on each other. Well, I fell under that pecking order and I was convicted for being the father of this country. I was convicted of being Jesus Christ and the Devil. Now if that makes any sense to your reality, public, there’s something missing in your world.”
Manson does admit that while he and the Family would play Magical Mystery Tour, they all recreated the crucifixion of Christ, but it was never a ritual. He later explained that he respected and admitted Krishna Venta, who called himself the second-coming of Jesus Christ and ironically led a “cult” in the same vicinity of Spahn Ranch just two miles away on Box Canyon Road. It was Venta who staged crucifixion recreations, not Manson. (See chapter: Krishna Venta.) 229
The Manson Myth Charles Will is Man’s Son What is even more interesting that virtually the entire “Family” has said this very same thing—observably other than the ones who testified against Manson. In 1970 Catherine “Gypsy” Share stated in the LA Free Press publication that the Feds busted into Barker Ranch and asked:
“Where’s Jesus Christ? We’re here to crucify him!” Then they put it on the Inyo transcript “Charles Manson AKA Jesus Christ. They put it on him. He never deemed himself a holy man, nor anything else.”
Charles Manson has a better explanation on how he became called Jesus Christ in 1985 on a KALX radio show:
“I used to run with this man named Christopher Jesús (get it Jesus Christ?) who spelled his name J-E-S-U-S and we called him “Zero.” And the cops had this list of who’s who— and they come up to me and asked if I was Jesus.” (asking about Christopher Jesús). I said “no, my name is Manson.” and they said “Yes, you’re him. Manson, son of man, you’re him.” So when they booked me in jail they booked me as “Jesus Christ.”
Christopher Jesus was suspected Bruce Davis murder victim, see chapter: Bruce McGregor Davis. I think that Manson may have said things that led some of the “Family” think he called himself Christ. “Family” members like Steve “Clem” Grogan stated in the Marlin Marynick book Charles Manson Now that he thought Manson was Christ because, “I saw him breathe on a bird and bring him back to life.” Brooks Poston stated that, “Charlie never said he was Christ, but “he represented Christ to me.” 230
The Manson Myth Charles Will is Man’s Son Poston said Manson only said things like “they crucified me” and “I was on that cross”. Nevertheless, Manson still talks like that and says similar things, perhaps in metaphor—which Manson speaks a lot of. With much coincidence in the LA Free Press Brenda McCann (real name Nancy Pitman) gave the same story as Share regarding the police giving Manson his “Jesus Christ” moniker. This story was widely repeated by other “Family” member, so I believe it to be true:
“I was sleeping in the sun with my shirt off— they threw a rock at my back to wake me up. And when they had us all lying on the ground together and Charley wasn’t there, one of them asked, real rough-like, ” Where’s Jesus Christ? We want to crucify him!” Then they put on his Inyo transcript “Charles Manson, AKA Jesus Christ.” They put it on him. We never deemed himself a holyman, nor anything else.”
In another newspaper in 1971, McCann went on to tell a similar story to Grogan’s:
“One time we were out in the desert and there was this little bird that had died and Charlie just picked it up in his hand and breathed on it and it flew away. And I never considered it until the police came asking, ‘Where’s Jesus Christ? We want to crucify him!’ “
In an attempt for Paul Watkins to justify why he coalesced with Manson and the “Family,” he explained it in his book My Life with Charles Manson as:
“People would ask me how a man like Charles Manson could ever be considered Christlike and the answer is simple: he listened to each of them (girls). He concentrated on what they said. He sympathized with their problems, knew their idiosyncrasies. He allowed them to express their fears, hopes, aspirations. He didn’t judge, he merely
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listened and focused all of his attention on them. He became friend, brother, lover and father. He taught the girls not only to love their minds, but love their bodies.”
So, in short, he was just being a good man to them? Watkins also mentioned Manson using this to his advantage for laughs. In the same book, Watkins remarked how he had Diane “Snake” Lake paranoid that the satellites in space are taking her pictures—that she has to hide from them. And she became really afraid and hid all day in a bush, much to Manson’s hilarity. Yes, this is an asshole move—but it doesn’t prove what Watkins tried to imply and that was the fact Manson was using this to “program” Lake. Another event was a time at Spahn Ranch when Manson had become annoyed with Watkins. He told him to walk to Box Canyon and get on the cross at The Fountain of the World and hang there. Watkins got up and started to walk in the direction of Box Canyon Road and Manson called him back—undoubtedly wondering how someone could be so simple. But, I digress; people are so quick to believe anything said in the presses against Manson. In fact, another perfect example would be when a website called GlossyNews.com ran a satyr article about Manson and his run-in with prison officials when he was caught with a cell phone. People actually believed it was actually Manson’s words explaining his situation:
“When I got back to my cell, I started punching a bunch of sixes into the thing, you know, like 666 and stuff and then I heard some guy yelling ‘hello, hello.’ Jesus Christ,” said Manson.”
The Manson Myth Charles Will is Man’s Son Charles Manson will forever be known as Jesus Christ and a man who has “hypnotic eyes” and the ability to make people who what he wants. It’s accepted that Manson brainwashed people to kill for him. That is an accepted theory as laid out by the prosecution and won—albeit by forfeit. But it was won and it is regurgitated in virtually every book on the case, websites, encyclopedias, documentary and news shows.
“I’m God, I’m the devil, I’m every kind of thing you can think of but at the same time I’m nobody. I’m a maniac, I’m keen, I’m clever, I’m sharp, I’m insane. I’m everything, but at the same time when I say something, they say “no, you can’t say anything.” But, if I’m everything why can’t I defend myself in court? If I’m so smart to overtake the world I must be some kind of genius. Yet, I’m so inadequate that I can’t even walk into a courtroom to put on a defense. Come on! If I had any real power, like they’ve said, I wouldn’t be here, would I? I’d put everyone under my spell and just walk out of this shit hole. But every time I believe the stories and try to do that, some dumb-ass guard slams a door in my face!”
On February 16, 1970, before Manson’s trial had begun—and he was representing himself— he filed a writ to the judge for two things; a change of venue and a public opinion poll. Manson stated that he thinks the public—which his jury would be selected from—actually believed all of the propaganda that had been printed in the presses. He once said, “They had me on the front of LIFE magazine and convicted before I ever stepped a foot in the courtroom.” The judge shot down both notions.
“I think it’s not anywhere’s like anything we have ever done in this country. You know it is getting so far out of proportion that actually to me it is a joke, but actually the joke might cost me my life. It might be a joke to a lot of people, and a lot of people have made a lot of money, but I think it is very serious. I think a hearing should be called so we could get these very same people who wrote these articles and find out from them
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where they get their information to write the articles, who feeds them the information to write the articles. The media is used by the District Attorney to try a man before, trial.”
Don’t be fooled, Manson will talk a lot about the concept of God. He goes in and out of rhetoric and it’s really hard to understand if he believes in God, or doesn’t. He has said that he does believe in good as stated in a 1991 Hard Copy interview where he said, “I’m so dumb, I still believe in God. Man, you have to be stupid to believe in God.” In a 1987 interview with Penny Daniels, Manson stated that he disagrees with the Christian interpretation of Jesus Christ on the cross, as it represented something negative.
“Life is God. All life; bugs, birds, trees, everything that is alive is God. The sun is God. But, we’ve got God over here on a cross. We got a dying man on a cross, we’re all kneeling down, and hoping if we die there’s a better place somewhere else. You got a whole bunch of people hoping that they die creates a hell of a big energy. And I call it a death wish; it’s mother’s death wish.”
Manson’s philosophy isn’t simple; it puts all humans as a part of a complete all. An “all” that includes good, evil, God, Satan, Air, Trees, Water, Animals, the sun and stars. To Manson, this makes everyone “One” and everyone is God, as well as Satan. Manson spoke to Nuel Emmons in 1985 and had this to say, once again referencing the holy crucifix:
“Jesus on that cross: we know he’s there. Is the cross there? I know the cross is there. You don’t have to put me on the cross to witness the cross. I can see the cross. In the will of the child. The child has a will. You tell a child to come here and the child will walk over. You tell the child to sit down, he will sit down. He’s just in the will of the child. God and
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his children are in the will of the child. It’s just as simple as the Bible said you must believe the little children before you get into the Kingdom of Heaven. If the Christians had believed in the Bible, then we wouldn’t have all this conflict. Evidently, the only ones that are in conflict now are the Christians. They don’t seem to believe in their own God for some reason.” “Someone asked me if I was Christian. I said what else could I be? Like it or not; I was born in a Christian hospital, I walk on Christian streets, we are Christian armies, Christian governments. Everything here in America is Christian, so how could I be anything else? This is your religious freedom.”
Needless to say, Manson’s philosophy is complex. But people still flock to Manson and treat him as the prosecution stated he symbolized himself to his “Family.” In my opinion, all of these websites who call Manson a “messiah,” or a “prophet” or put him on a holy pedestal are only hurting his cause. In reality, they are endorsing the theory that the prosecution put on him. A lot of them are fighting tooth and nail to discredit it, while subliminally confirming it. Manson told a terrified Geraldo Rivera in 1988 that “I am Jesus Christ, whether you want to admit it or not—it’s a thought.” Manson’s spirituality transcends father than organized religion as he allies himself with a lot of Native American spirits. It’s known that Manson has a lot of beliefs that coincide with Native American philosophies (see chapter: This Holy Swastika) as he explained to Charlie Rose in 1986:
“I’m spiritually allied with the scorpion and the wolf. Spiritualism scares you people because you got this little stereotype church that you’re buying and selling and you’re trying to put God in a building. God is much bigger than that little church. Spiritualism is a lot more than they put in libraries and books. I’m allied with certain awarenesses of the desert.”
The Manson Myth Charles Will is Man’s Son At times it also seems that Manson has quite distaste for Christianity. He’s been more than vocal on that as of late, but this has gone far back. I personally believe Manson has a love-hate relationship with Christianity, and blends Christian philosophy with other religions and spiritualties to sort of form a belief that he is contented with. Manson explains it to Ronald Reagan, Jr. in 1991:
“If you go behind the church and look at the preacher; they’re playing with the boyscouts in the dark. And they’re as nasty as anybody in the streets and they’re without conscience and without morals. And then you pass into the church, through the doors and it’s “Aw, there’s so much love, and we love you and you’re so wonderful!” I’m God to my friends, the Devil to my enemies, to my own and my Family I am the warrior.”
In 1994, Diane Sawyer from ABC News asked him straight out and Manson answered her—straight out.
Diane Sawyer: You had them thinking you were Jesus Christ; how did you do that? Charles Manson: Just being myself. All men are Jesus Christ. Diane Sawyer: They are? Charles Manson: Sure. That’s basic Christian philosophy.
As a footnote to this chapter, I’d like to share something Manson said to me in late 2011, right before he started his 15 month sentence in solitary:
“I don’t believe in death, man. I believe that when I die I will wake up the next day and have to deal with the world that I have created. “
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The Manson Myth
“They say he beat the girls at the ranch. He never beat them girls. That’s all in the cops’ heads. “ Phil Kaufman 238
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art of the prosecution’s theory that Charles Manson ran Spahn and Barker Ranch like a “Hitlerian dictator.” This part of the prosecution’s case is huge, because Manson had to be put at the top as a man who reigned his “Family” with an iron fist. Bugliosi stated that Manson kept such close tabs on all of his “Family” that he knew what they were doing at all times. Bugliosi contended that since Manson ran his “Family” that way, he had to of known where they were at on the nights of August 9th and 10th, 1969. In fact, Bugliosi said that the “Family” did nothing unless it was so ordered by Manson. Bugliosi also introduced the notion that food was rationed and there was a certain “pecking order” of who ate; first it was Manson, then the guys, then the kids, then the dogs, then the girls. He also stated that Manson took everyone’s IDs and credit cards as a way to hold them. As Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme once stated, that the ID holding was a way for “George Spahn to know who all was at the ranch,” and that she was the one who took them, not Manson. Fromme was one of the girls who helped Spahn run the ranch and keep everything in order. Not only were Bugliosi’s claims completely unfounded, but they were straight from his imagination, proposed as opinion and displayed as fact. This was one more theory that Manson’s defensive team never even attempted to contradict. Instead they rested without even putting one word up in Manson’s defense and things like this became fact. Not only has Charles “Tex” Watson contradicted most of the prosecution’s theory on Manson’s so-called dictatorship, but Watson has dismissed a lot of it on his website AboundingLove.org when he reviewed the 2004 movie Helter Skelter:
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“The movie did tell the story, but roles were overplayed, especially Susan Atkins, and there were factual errors. For instance: ID's were not all put in one box. Dogs did not eat before the family did. There were no girls kissing one another, and there were no orgies as depicted. I don't remember Manson ever physically abusing the girls.”
Even though that is a review for a movie, it is huge because the movie was based on the prosecution’s theory almost verbatim. Most of the “Family” have long expressed that there “were no leaders.” In the 1973 documentary Manson, Brenda McCann stated that “Charlie wasn’t our leader, he followed us around.” During the penalty phase of the Manson trial, Fromme had a chance to take the stand and testify.
Lynette Fromme: Periodically, a lot of people would come. Paul Fitzgerald: Many would come, but in a sense few were chosen? Lynette Fromme: Oh, we did not choose anybody. They would choose themselves. Paul Fitzgerald: But you stayed for a long time. Lynette Fromme: Forever. Paul Fitzgerald: When you arrived at Spahn Ranch, was Manson your leader? Lynette Fromme: Manson was never our leader in the first place.
Even Susan Atkins has said the same thing: “Charlie told us that we belong to ourselves,” according to her Grand Jury testimony.
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Vincent Bugliosi: Did Charlie show you how to become a real woman? Susan Atkins: He didn’t show me, he gave me my — in other words, I gave myself up to him and in return for that he gave me back to myself. He gave me the faith in myself to be able to know that I am a woman. Vincent Bugliosi: During this one to one-and-a-half year period on the bus were all of you girls Charlie’s girls, so to speak? Susan Atkins: We were called Charlie’s girls, but Charlie often, in fact every day he told us, “You people do not belong to me, you belong to yourself.”
This was repeated many different “Family” in many books including My Life With Charles Manson, The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, Manson in His Own Words, and Taming the Beast. In order for the prosecution to get a guilty verdict, they had to put Manson at the top. In order to do this, they had to make him the leader. It’s obvious that Manson was the eldest of the bunch and in like most “hippie” communes, there’s always a sort of capricious leader who makes sure everything is flowing right and the “go-to” person whenever there is a problem. The so-called Manson Family was nothing more than a commune, not a cult. The “Family” fit no criteria to be a cult. The world “cult” was put on them by the media and it stuck. This is an excerpt from 1985 High Society Magazine where Manson explains the “Family” concept.
High Society: How did the family get started? How did you gather this group of people? Charles Manson: Whoa, now that’s another false premise. I didn’t gather no group of people. This gathered a group of people [he gestures towards his crotch]. If I lay down,
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and I fuck it, it generally follows me around— and it does the washing, and it does the cleaning. High Society: I read that you beat the women. Charles Manson: I don’t have to hit a woman, man. I throw rocks at them and run them off. If you want to hang around, behave yourself. If you don’t, go somewhere else. High Society: What was the intent of this group of people, this commune? Charles Manson: I didn’t have a commune. I had a motorcycle, a sleeping bag, and a guitar— I used to do this [he mocks guitar strumming]. The broads would come and say, “Could I be with you?” High Society: What about the Family? Charles Manson: The D.A. had to have a family in order to win the conviction. He put the Family on me to win.
That was one of the things that the prosecution put on him—that he used fear to control the group. That he would regularly beat the girls to sort of “keep them in line.” With this fear, he broke down their morals and then injected his “warped” philosophies with the use of LSD. To me, this sounds like a bunch of fantasy, but the scary thing is that a lot of people accept this as fact. Other people believe that Manson has this “way” that he can con anyone to do anything. In the Paul Watkins book My Life with Charles Manson, he claimed that Manson was so good at it that he walked up to a random home and talked the man into giving him his car. If this is true, I will definitely admit that Manson must be a good talker. This wasn’t the only account of Manson’s ability. He also had a woman give him a brand new 1968 Mustang, win which he gave to a young boy. Then there was Paul 242
The Manson Myth The Dictator Watkins’ friend, Juanita Wildbush, who gave her RV and $15,000 to Manson. These people barely even knew Manson and it goes without saying that Manson did not program these people, nor did he brainwash them. The easiest clarification was that in the 1960’s, it was common practice for people to disassociate themselves with their belongings. Much like Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys; he gave Manson most of his belongings. Here Manson speaks to Penny Daniels about that ability in 1987.
Penny Daniels: Charlie, people have said that you have powers— that you can make people do what you want them to do. Charles Manson: Why, certainly. Penny Daniels: How so? Charles Manson: By making them do what I want them to do. Penny Daniels: How do you do it? Charles Manson: See these two guys here with that stick? He has power with that stick to do what he tells me to do. I’ve been under that stick for 43 years. Penny Daniels: What’s your “stick?” Charles Manson: Turn it around and give it back to you. Penny Daniels: Are you saying you use violence? Charles Manson: No, I don’t deal in violence. I ain’t a violent person.
I am not saying that I don’t believe that Manson became violent. I do believe that after the “Family” left for Death Valley in 1969 that Manson indeed became very violent and paranoid. The fact that he has admitted 243
The Manson Myth The Dictator to me that he was using belladonna root a lot during this period, combined with lack of sleep and the exhaustive paranoia of the Crowe, Hinman, Tate and LaBianca happenings on his mind, he became an emotional wreck. In 2011 Manson himself told me that one night he was so deprived of sleep and “loaded” on belladonna that he “saw blue demons rise out of the dirt and chase him.” He stated that he jumped in his dune buggy and tore out and “when I looked to my right, I saw the demon running beside me.” He went on to say that this was a day or so before “they came and got me,” meaning a few days before he was arrested in the Barker Ranch raid. In 1970, Ruby Pearl—who was the caretaker of Spahn Ranch and friend of George Spahn— was interviewed and she too said nothing but positive things about the “Family.” Now, if Manson was running the ranch like a compound, I am sure she would have seen.
Ruby Pearl: They were actually wonderful people. They were artists and musicians, they were singers and they had wonderful personalities. Each and every one of them. They never quarreled and never caused or caused any trouble. They did everything we asked them to do. They did the dishes, the cooking and they took care of our cowboy clothes. They did the washing and little chores all around the ranch. They even helped with the horses. Reporter: What about Charles Manson, himself? Ruby Pearl: Well, Charles came later. He was introduced to us as their idol and leader. And he was always interested in music. That was the sole interest of Charlie Manson. He sat on the rock and played guitar, he’d get up and walk around. He’d get a pen and paper and go write music. Everywhere he went some of the girls would try and follow him and laugh and talk and sang.
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Reporter: You painted a very poetic picture of this community. How do you relate this to the fact that some of them have now been accused of being involved in one of America’s bizarre murders? Ruby Pearl: The only thing that I can say to that is that after their music fell through they became morbid and started thinking about other lines. Reporter: Were they taking drugs, do you know? Ruby Pearl: We could never prove it, but off and on we heard they were. The only thing that could have cracked their minds. Reporter: Did you witness a change in the attitude or behavior after the events of the Tate estate? Ruby Pearl: No… no.
A few things about this interview stick out; Pearl says Manson was introduced as their “leader,” which sort of disproves the “Family’s” theory that there were no leaders. She also states that “Manson came later.” This was because Manson was not allowed at Spahn Ranch in the beginning and he was forced out. He went to Death Valley and then had a place on Gresham Street in Canoga Park. I find it impossible for Manson to keep tabs on everyone and rule Spahn Ranch “like a Hitleresque dictator” as the prosecution suggested. Spahn Ranch was not a large space. The area where the buildings were at was smaller than a supermarket parking lot. Contrary to popular belief, Spahn Ranch was also not “secluded,” but right on Santa Susana Pass which connects with a high-traffic Topanga Canyon Boulevard about 1.5 miles away. Topanga Canyon Boulevard is right off the 5 interstate. The place was on the outskirts of Los Angeles in 245
The Manson Myth The Dictator Chatsworth— which is a small area. But the neighboring neighborhoods Reseda, Northridge and Canoga Park are highly populated areas. After getting repeated requests for interviews—which Manson took advantage of—he lashed out at the media in 1980, with the accusation that they are creating a problem by doing these interviews and making him a pseudo-celebrity. “I feel that it is pitiful. Pitiful that society has created such a situation. First of all, I ain’t
got a family. There never was a family. That’s just a product of the prosecuting attorney’s fabrication. Second, it’s pitiful that the parents aren’t closer with their children, so their kids won’t be looking outside their homes for something to join, or someone to follow. Let me tell you something. I have been in prison all my life. I didn’t produce those kids, they are a product of their parents and the society of the 60’s. I did not recruit them. It was the other way around. In 1967, I came out of prison a child. It was me looking for guidance and a way of living. It was the kids who took me in. Through them I learned how to maneuver and live in the streets without starving At some point I may have become some pivotal person for them, someone to revolve around, a source of entertainment and good times, some place to return to. But from the beginning, my advice was “don’t do anything that will cause us to end up in jail.”
It’s hard to disagree with Manson. The media did create the “Manson” character. Once, in a joking manner, Manson said to me, “You know, in 50 years kids won’t even know I was alive. They play-act me on TV so much that I’m going to be like Dracula. Kids now don’t even know Dracula was a real man.”
The Manson Myth The Dictator Between 1970 – 1980, there were about a dozen movies that were based on the so-called “Manson murders.” Some of the movies just took the idea of a brainwashing hippie and murderous girls, and some told the story completely. All of them took the Manson myth and exaggerated the crimes. Now when people of this generation are interested in the Manson case, they watch these movies and take them as fact. Life in Death Valley was no easy time for any of the “Family.” Between the scorching heat, the lack of water, dwindling cache of food, and paranoia, some of the “Family” wanted out. In fact, of all of the people who were at Spahn Ranch, only about a dozen decided to make the move to Death Valley. Again, this disproves the prosecution’s theory that Manson wouldn’t let anyone out of the “Family,” and that these people were brainwashed. If they were indeed brainwashed, they would have followed their guru, also known as Jesus Christ to the desert. Most of Manson’s actions during the time in Death Valley has stuck with him and has become what he was known for. Even Barbara Hoyt stated that she was not afraid of Manson until he went to the desert, “He got meaner when he went to the desert.” This was well after the murders, and only lasted as couple months as they were busted in October of 1969. Manson admits that he became very controlling and wouldn’t let anyone walk about in fear that they would be picked up by police. There have been many publications that has stated that Manson starved the “Family” in Death Valley and this wasn’t true. It is fact that there was food found at Barker Ranch, as stated in the Bob Murphy book Desert Shadows. Murphy was one of the men who busted the “Family.” 247
The Manson Myth The Dictator Here is the list of food found during the Barker Ranch raids October 10 and 12, 1969. This does not include the food found in a car delivering more goods to Barker, or the food found at Myers Ranch where some of the girls and the kids stayed.
14 cartons of candy bars 8 large rolls of cheese 4 gallons of peanut butter 3 gallons of honey 5 half-gallon jars of jam 2 half-gallon jars of jelly 5 huge boxes of crackers 3 boxes of graham crackers 2 cases of canned milk 40 gallons of wheat germ, corn meal, and flour
And there was absolutely no way that the people at Spahn Ranch were starved. Not only was the “Family” fed well, but the food extended to George Spahn, himself as well as all of the ranch hands and the transients who frequented the ranch. In 1970, Sandra Good spoke to the LA Free Press and told them why they felt they were being “starved.” Simply put: they didn’t eat meat.
“They said we were “emaciated” and “malnourished” because we didn’t have meat up there, and we’ve dropped a lot of the load that city people carry around. Anyway— the man came in full force and busted us. Three girls were in the bunker on a mattress, and it was another dawn raid, and the cops shot through the roof of the bunker and barely missed a girl’s head.”
The Manson Myth The Dictator Manson was also known to run people away from the ranches who he felt were “bad news.” Sandra Good mentioned it in the 1990’s on her now defunct ATWA.be site:
“This fact is well documented by the statements of even such pro-prosecution people as Paul Watkins. Manson was known to run people off who abused drugs. Tex Watson and Susan Atkins have both stated in their books that their use of speed was hidden from the other people at the ranch. No substantial amount of any kind of drug was ever seized during any of the numerous police raids on Manson and his associates.”
If Manson was running a “cult,” a cult that he ran like a “dictator,” he would not have done this. No way, no how would he have let anyone leave. Truth is many people left. Many people came and went. Susan Atkins said in her book Child of Satan, Child of God that she left many times. Charles “Tex” Watson stated in his book Will You Die for Me? that he too left a few times. Everyone came and went as they pleased and that is documented fact. Manson regularly traveled around and left the ranch. He lived in various places around the ranch as many “Family” members stayed. When he went to Death Valley in 1968, he left most of the “Family.” This would make it impossible to be the man the prosecution said he was. No debates. If anyone felt threatened, they could have easily left. Spahn Ranch was about 45 steps to Santa Susana Pass and that was a mile and a half to a very heavily traveled Topanga Canyon Boulevard. This was not a Jim Jones cult where the members were taken to a different country. 249
The Manson Myth The Dictator According to the Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, it was written that it was actually Brenda McCann who gave the group the label “Family.” It was later applied to their music group, which they called “The Family Jams.” No one referred to the group as “The Manson Family” until all of the busts happened and the media applied that label. Manson told Tom Snyder in 1981 that:
“All of that stuff they pushed off on me wasn’t me. They said I had this great family and there was these followers and leaders. There was no followers and leaders.”
Paul Watkins also attested to this in his book My Life with Charles Manson in a first-hand account of Manson’s words:
“Here, we have no leaders. I’m not the leader; how can I be the leader when I have to wipe your asses and get you a blanket? The leader is the slowest one among us; because we always have to wait for him. He sets the pace. Pooh Bear and Zezos are the leaders, dig, cause they got us waiting for them and that’s the way it should be, cause they can teach us not to think and to do what we feel and be on point of what love is.”
It’s well documented that Manson absolutely hated when people referred to the group as “his people,” or “Charlie’s girls,” and often reminded them that “you belong to no one.” Some allegations were that Manson held the “Family” together with Satanism, witchcraft, magic, and other rituals (see chapter: False Witness – Paul Watkins & Brooks Poston). The Ed Sanders book The Family actually made the “Family” dog-sacrificing, blood-drinking, capewearing Satan worshipers. This is one of the most outrageous claims I have ever heard. First off, Manson forbad the killing of any animal including dogs, snakes, and birds. Second, Sanders got this notion from 250
The Manson Myth The Dictator a comment Susan Atkins—the proven habitual liar—made that she once drank dog blood. Bobby Beausoleil stated on his website Beausoleil.net that there was absolutely no devil worship going on:
That wasn’t brought about by any sort of “death cult” or any sort of “Satan worship” or any of those things that were alleged. None of those things were happening. There were more guns around, there were more hard people around—the bikers and so forth.”
In Paul Watkins’ book My Life with Charles Manson, he went as far as to say that Manson actually used his music to program his “followers.” He even went into great detail, breaking down songs and explaining what the true meanings were. I will say that I am a big fan of Manson’s music from 1967 – 1969, and most of the songs preach peace, love, acceptance, living off the land, and living in the desert as well as giving up your ego. If Manson was using those words to program his “followers,” that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I think more people need to be programmed with peaceful thoughts. When Manson was accused of brainwashing his “followers” by Geraldo Rivera in 1988, Manson snidely replied:
“How the hell did I brainwash 35 girls in less than a year? That’s impossible. You’re making me out to do the impossible. You don’t understand you are making me a legend.”
In fact, the days leading up to the murders Manson left the “Family,” as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme explained, “Because he just needed a break from us.” Manson left after the Hinman incident, probably out of 251
The Manson Myth The Dictator paranoia and disgust on how the situation spiraled out of control. Here is the timetable of Manson’s absence.
August 3: Manson left Los Angeles for Big Sur. August 4: Manson meets new girlfriend Stephanie Schram, buys gas in Lucia, California. August 5: Manson auditions at the Esalen Institure in Big Sur, California. August 6: Manson and Schram return to Spahn Ranch. August 6: Bobby BeauSoleil arrested for the murder of Gary Hinman. August 7: Manson and Stephanie Schram go to San Diego to visit her sister. August 8: Manson and Schram return to Spahn Ranch. Manson learns about Bobby BeauSoleil’s arrest. Mary Brunner and Sandra good arrested. The girls tell Manson of their plan to get Bobby out of jail. August 9: The Tate Murders happened.
In my opinion, this timeline is troubling for the prosecution’s theory because if Manson was planning to spark Helter Skelter, then why would he have left the “Family” before the murders were to start? On the same note, why would they have happened the very night of his return? I admit that it is an unfortunate coincidence that the murders happened the night Manson had returned. According to the Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, this is what happened when Manson left the “Family” on August 3rd, 1969 and returned on August 8th, 1969:
“With all the troubles, the ranch didn’t seem like a good place for contemplation. Charlie went up to Big Sur, leaving Lyn to keep things moving at the ranch. When he saw Charlie had gone, Bobby also decided he needed time to reflect. He headed up the coast in Gary’s [Hinman] Fiat. On August 6, 1969, the Fiat broke down and Bobby fell asleep in the car. An officer found out the car was wanted in a murder investigation and he busted Bobby. Bobby called the Spahn Ranch to explain what had happened. The girls were upset. They would, some of the girls said, do anything for love of brother, and Bobby was a brother and more to them. What would make the cops let Bobby out? If they knew they had the wrong man, they’d have no choice.
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If people kept getting murdered in the same way Gary did, it would be obvious the killer was still at large. Charlie returned, finally, on August 8, with a new girl. Charlie was told about Bobby’s arrest. He got upset. “Charlie said to his followers, “I’m getting my shit together right now, loading it in my truck and getting the fuck out of here. I am not going back to prison because a bunch of kids can’t handle their own problems.” Lyn went to him, “No, you can’t go, love is one!” she said. “We are one! If one goes, we go together.” Sadie and all the others seconded Lyn.”
Up until this time Manson had been arrested a half a dozen times and all arrests violated his parole. If this is so, then why wasn’t Manson sent back to prison for a parole violation to finish his ten-year sentence? Was it a coincidence that a raid happened right after the Tate and LaBianca murders for unrelated crimes? Manson was arrested twice after the murder spree and both times he was cut loose either on technicalities or by lack of evidence. According to Preston Guillory—as printed on CounterPunch.org— a former Malibu policeman, (it was the Malibu force who helped on the Spahn Ranch raid and ironically, Manson had been arrested in Malibu at least twice) stated the reason why, and that Manson was their target. He said they were under surveillance for a long time, which means the detectives witnessed the Tate and LaBianca murders and did nothing about it. “We had been briefed for a few weeks prior to the actual raiding of Spahn Ranch. We
had a sheaf of memos on Manson, that they had automatic weapons at the ranch, that citizens had complained about hearing machine-guns fired at night, that firemen from the local fire station had been accosted by armed members of Manson’s band and told to get out of the area, all sorts of complaints like this.
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“We had been advised to put anything relating to Manson on a memo submitted to the station, because they were supposedly gathering information for the raid we were going to make. Deputies at the station of course started asking, ‘Why aren’t we going to make the raid sooner?’ I mean, Manson’s a parole violator, machine-guns have been heard, we know there’s narcotics and we know there’s booze. He’s living at the Spahn Ranch with a bunch of minor girls in complete violation of his parole. “Deputies at the station quite frankly became very annoyed that no action was being taken about Manson. My contention is this–the reason Manson was left on the street was because our department thought that he was going to attack the Black Panthers. We were getting intelligence briefings that Manson was anti-black and he had supposedly killed a Black Panther, the body of which could not be found, and the department thought that he was going to launch an attack on the Black Panthers.
I believe this. COINTELPRO admitted during the Geronimo Pratt trial for his release that they were out to stop the Black Panthers in any way possible. And that Pratt’s framing for murder was just a part of this. I believe that the law enforcement would be willing to stand by and allow someone like Manson to attack the Black Panthers. Perhaps this is the reason why Manson was never arrested for the shooting of Black Panther Bernard Crowe. Crowe may have gone to the police, and perhaps the police did nothing about it in hopes a full-scale war between the Black Panthers and the Manson gang would ensue. Guillory went on to explain the law enforcement’s surprise when Manson’s gang did not attack the Black Panthers, but indeed attacked the rich white: “Sheriff’s Department suddenly wondering, ‘Jesus Christ, what are we gonna do about
this? We can’t cover this up. Well, maybe we can.’
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I bet those memos are no longer in existence. The memos about what Manson was doing. Citizens’ complaints. All those things I’m sure have disappeared by now. It shows the police were conscious of the fact that he had these weapons in violation of his parole. You’ve got at least involvement here on the part of Manson’s parole officer, on the part of the Sheriff’s Department, probably the sheriff himself, and whoever gave him his orders. Manson should have been [imprisoned] long before the killings, because he was on parole, period. He was living at the Spahn Ranch with an outlaw motorcycle gang. I feel that, to say the least, the sheriff of Los Angeles County is an accessory to murder. The raid was a week after the Sharon Tate thing, and the intelligence information was coming in for about three weeks prior to the raid. They just didn’t want any arrests made. It was obvious they wanted the intelligence information we were gathering for some other reason. Three days after they were arrested, 72 hours later, they were all released–lack of evidence–after this mammoth raid. It appeared to me that the raid was more or less staged as an afterthought. It was like a scenario that we were going through. There was some kind of a grand plan that we were participating in, but I never had the feeling the raid was necessary or that it required so many personnel. Now, if you were a police official and you were planning a raid on the Spahn Ranch, utilizing 102 deputies and helicopters and all that, one would think that with all the information coming out a month prior to the raid, wouldn’t you have them under fairly close surveillance? If you did have them under fairly close surveillance, wouldn’t you see them leave the Spahn Ranch to go over and kill seven people and then come back? So the hypothesis I put forward is, either we didn’t have them under surveillance for grand-theft-auto because it was a big farce, or else they were under surveillance by somebody much higher than the Sheriff’s Department, and they did go through this scenario of killing at the Tate house and then come back, and then we went through the motions to do our raid. Either they were under surveillance at the time, which means somebody must have seen them go to the Tate house and commit the killings, or else they weren’t under surveillance.
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You have to remember that Charlie was on federal parole all this time from ’67 to ’69. Do you realize all the shit he was getting away with while he was on parole? Now here’s the kicker. Before the Tate killings, he had been arrested at Malibu twice for statutory rape. Never got [imprisoned for parole violation]. During the Tate killings and the Spahn Ranch raid, Manson’s parole officer was on vacation, so he had no knowledge of Manson being incarcerated, so naturally Manson was released, but why wasn’t a parole hold put on him? Prior to the Spahn Ranch raid, there was a memo–it was verbal, I would have loved to Xerox some things but there wasn’t anything to Xerox–that we weren’t to arrest Manson or any of his followers prior to the raid. It was intimated to us that we were going to make a raid on the Spahn ranch, but the captain came out briefly and said, ‘No action is to be taken on anybody at the Spahn ranch. I want memos submitted directly to me with a cover sheet so nobody else can read them.’ “
Manson has always admitted that he knew that the murders were going to happen, but they were not his business and that all he did was hid the killers after the fact. Of course, this makes him guilty of accessory after the fact and harboring, but this collection of words is more or less to disprove the Helter Skelter theory, not to adjudge Manson innocent or guilty. Manson told reporters in 1983, that he knew that people were going to be killed but he didn’t know who.
“Did I know it was going to happen? Yeah, I knew it was going to happen. To who? No. To when? No. To how? No. But I knew it was going to happen.”
A few years later in 1986, Manson told Charlie Rose this very thing:
“I was raised up that you don’t get involved in other people’s business. If they are doing something— that’s them. They got to ride that beef. There’s a jailhouse law: ride your
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own beef, do your own time. And I’ve done it all my life. If Tex goes off and he kills eight or ten people— and Bobby comes back and says “I killed him,” I say “man don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to hear it.” It’s not my affair.”
There are obviously laws stating that if you know about a murder that you must act on it and notify authorities. No one said Manson was a model citizen or someone who was law-abiding. Manson himself has admitted that he is nothing more than a criminal as he told Vanity Fair in 2009:
“I’m mal hombre. Nasty. I’m in the bull-ring. I run in the bulls with the heart of the world. I don’t play, I shoot people. I’m bad, I’m a mean guy. I’m an outlaw, I’m a criminal. I’m everything bad. You must know what to do. That’s what Tex told in his book. He said that he didn’t tell me what to do, I knew what he wanted me to do and I did what he wanted me to do. Do you understand that?”
Paul Watkins stated in his book My Life with Charles Manson, that Manson and the “Family” was one—no leaders. This of course was before the murders and before the exodus to Death Valley—when everything changed.
“Throughout my experience with the Family, we often acted out roles, becoming parents, brothers, sisters, and friends for one another. Some of the scenes were devastating, but we got through them. We all took part in these scenes and a strong kinship resulted. Acid only intensified it, made it more indelible. Charlie directed it, but he could not control it. It was something no one could control. “The public has always known Charles Manson as a murderer. They did not meet him, as I did, on that evening on March 1968 in Topanga Canyon. When I met him, there was no violence in the Family, no talk of Helter Skelter; in fact, it was the complete opposite.
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Charlie’s love was real. It had some integrity. But the public met Charlie through the media only after the murders; by then, the whole story was already tainted with blood.”
In the end, most of the negative accounts of Manson come from the “Family’s” time in Death Valley after the murders. This was when the dynamic of the “Family” had changed, and everything was based on paranoia, fear, and arming themselves to be protected against retaliation. Gone were the days of love, music, kinship, and enjoying life. Instead allowing people into the “Family” circle like Charles “Tex” Watson and Danny DeCarlo started a downward dissent into the chaos that Manson and the “Family” are known for. In the Ed George book Taming the Beast, Manson explains his theory on why things went bad:
“The group was too large. Too large to control. The one thing the girls promised me wouldn’t happen, happened. They not only included me, I became this fucking allpowerful, godlike ringleader. A guy who could stop watches and spin clocks with a glance. The demonic leader of “Charlie’s Angels,” only those girls were no angels.”
Despite the allegations by the parole board, the media and the prosecution, Manson has taken some responsibility for his part in the murders. His part may not coincide with what the prosecution has put forth, but he has not denied “everything” as people believe. In 1985 he told High Society Magazine that he feels responsible.
“I influenced all kinds of people, doing all kinds of things. My attitudes were like waves that went through their minds, but I never realized how people were looking up to me, because I never had anyone look up to me before. I have been in jail since I was nine years old. I have only been out six months here, three months there, so when I finally did
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get out for a couple of years, and people gathered around me and said, “You do that good,” or, “We like you, you’re a nice guy,” I’d say, “Who me?” So I played good guy for them, and as long as they were good to me, I’m good back to them. They were good to me all the way, and truthful.”
In that 1999 article on CounterPunch.org, Paul Krassner’s description of the so-called Manson “Family,” seemed pretty accurate. It wasn’t a cult, or a hippie commune. Spahn Ranch was a hub for a gang of misfits—the Manson Family was a gang. Krassner included: “Charles Manson was never a hippie. His real family included con artists, pimps, drug
dealers, thieves, muggers, rapists and murderers. He had known only power relationships in an army of control junkies. Manson was America’s Frankenstein monster, a logical product of the prison system.”
In 1970, Manson told Rolling Stone Magazine what kind of leader he really was. Everyone wanted to call him a leader, so he admitted that he was the leader as someone who took care of things.
“People said I was a leader. Here’s the kind of leader I was. I made sure toilets were clean. I made sure the animals were fed. Any sores on the horses? I’d heal them. Anything need fixing? I’d fix it. I was always the one to do everything nobody wanted to do. Cats need feeding? I’d feed them. When it was cold, I was always the last one to get a blanket.”
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“Charlie told me what he knew about it as we wound our way up Santa Susanna Pass to Box Canyon and turned left. "It might be a good place to hang out…you know, hide under the cross when the shit comes down at Spahn's.” Paul Watkins 263
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will admit that my knowledge on Krishna Venta and the Fountain of the World is vague at best. I have done quite a bit research on Venta and his beloved Fountain, but since resources on him are very hard to come by and all state the same facts, I had to use what I found to formulate my opinion. In the past few months I researched Venta and came across many conflicting stories on him. The most accurate by far came from Fountain of the World historian Shawn Sutherland. In 2008 Sutherland provided information to the International Cult Studies of America on Venta and the Fountain. His synopsis on Venta was alarmingly similar to that of Charles Manson. Here is his profile on Venta abridged for length: “Born Francis Pencovic in the San Francisco of 1911, Venta was an interesting
candidate for messiah. Pencovic’s body (or so he claimed) became the host vessel for the “Christ Everlasting,” an eternal spirit being who had died on the cross at Calvary 2,000 years earlier. This time around, his Earthly mission was to gather the 144,000 Elect foretold in Revelation and deliver them from an apocalypse heretofore unseen by mankind. Armageddon, prophesied Venta, would begin as an armed race war in the streets of America. If Venta's vision of the future sounds oddly reminiscent of "Helter Skelter," it must be noted that strong debate exists regarding whether Charles Manson, who periodically lodged at the Fountain of the World circa 1968 and 1969, was privy to the teachings of the dead cult leader during his respites there. In this conflict, Communist Russia, with its nuclear weaponry, would render military aid to African-Americans. But the Soviets would eventually reveal their true stripes, insisted Venta, by enslaving their African-American allies and terminating religious freedom worldwide. Still, fear was unnecessary, for Venta was actively gathering the 144,000, and knew of a hidden North American valley in which his Elect could hide during the bloodshed until the ordained day came for them to exit their secret refuge en masse, cast out the Soviet empire, free the enslaved, and restore religious freedom to mankind.
The Manson Myth Krishna Venta Anyone who has followed Manson’s life knows he has spoken a lot about Krishna Venta and the Fountain of the World. It’s quite obvious that the time that he spent here made a huge impact on him and his philosophies. When the old Krishna-Venta.org site was still up, the moderator mentioned meeting Charles Manson and observing some of the Fountain brothers teaching him many religious practices including feet washing. Something that he was known to do even after his days at the Fountain of the World. Author and former Fountain of the World member Jon Fisher published a book titled The Spiritual Teachings & Biography of Master Krishna and within that book he too mentions Manson and the “Family:” “In the summer of 1968 Charles Manson joined the cult. My stepfather, who served in
World War 2 as a tail gunner in bombers over Japan, tolerated ‘Brother Charles’ until it was discovered that the lunatic was giving drugs to some of the kids. The ‘family’ was allowed to stay in the cult until they found other housing, but Charles was required to stay in his bus on the upper parking lot. This experience had a traumatic effect on the entire Manson ‘family’, and the rest is history. Krishna Venta had tremendous influence on Brother Isaiah of Alaska, Charles Manson in 1968 and even Jimmy Jones. Charles Manson lived at the Fountain for a few months and learned a great deal from myself, my step-father, and other Fountain members.”
When I spoke to Manson, he also talked a lot about the Fountain to me. Manson told me that he loved it there at the Fountain, but the girls always felt really out of place and would end up arguing back and forth with the brothers and sisters of the Fountain.
The Manson Myth Krishna Venta Paul Watkins (see chapter: False Witness: Paul Watkins) seems to be the only “Family” member who loved to speak about the Fountain of the World. Sadly, most of Watkins’ words have been proven lies including his words on the Fountain and Manson’s ties to it. While I was researching Venta, I ran into the blog My Search for Krishna Venta and read a lot on Watkins. The blog’s author took great objection to Watkins’ testimony on many events that he reported happened. Watkins testified in court that Manson would hang on the cross on the top of Skull Rock above the Fountain of the World. Watkins also testified that while under Manson’s “program” that Manson ordered him to hang from the cross. It was also written in the George Bishop book Witness to Evil:
“Watkins testified on direct examination that Charlie asked [Watkins] if he would consent to be crucified on a cross at the Fountain of the World, a minor religious sect with headquarters not far from the Spahn Ranch. Watkins allowed as how he was quite willing to be crucified if Charlie wanted it that way. Fitzgerald asked him how he planned to go about being crucified. "Well," Watkins replied cheerfully, "I didn't know how I was going to get up on that there cross...I just figured Charlie would take care of it."
Want to know why he had no idea how? It’s because he made this up. Why do I think he made it up? Well, Shawn Sutherland—the go-to guy for Krishna Venta— replied to this “fact” on his blog My Search for Krishna Venta and what he said was real fact. Sutherland’s extensive research on Venta led him to the conclusion that Watkins was lying. He also made the case that I have stated in this book many times—he contended that Ed Sanders took what he wanted to hear and he printed it as absolute fact.
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“The only problem with this testimony is that, as is the case with Ed Sanders' The Family and Paul Watkins' My Life with Charles Manson, not one single remaining Fountain member recalls the cross to which Sanders or Watkins were referring. Again, there was the cross constructed as a publicity vehicle for Krishna Venta in the 1950s, but no one from the Fountain can recall what had become of it by the latter 1960s. On this note, some have suggested to this author that the cross appearing in the book 5 to Die was actually erected after Manson's conviction and not even on the Fountain property line.”
Sadly, even I believed that the “Family” did re-enact crucifixions on the Fountain’s cross. But the fact is that the cross only stood up until Venta’s assassination and was re-erected after Manson’s conviction. This means when Manson was a part of the Fountain in 1968, there was no cross on the top of Skull Rock. In Ed Sanders’ book The Family, he too mentioned the cross atop Skull Rock. Sanders’ version pretty much regurgitated other stories and added his personal summation.
"There was a large rock at the Fountain of the World that looked remarkably like a huge skull. At the top of the 'skull' was a wooden upright cross. Fountain members, so one is told, were wont to strap themselves up on the cross for penitential mediation sessions."
Shawn Sutherland of the My Search for Krishna Venta blog again shot back discounting Sanders’ conjecture, opinion and gossip written as fact; he is right. This has been done countless times in both cases. It seems like people will only believe the more sensational story, rather than the truth. 267
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“Not a single Fountain member whom I've interviewed can place any cross matching this description. The Fountain did construct a cross in the 1950s to be used in Passion Plays at Easter in order to generate publicity. However, no one who lived at the Fountain in the latter 1960s can account for its whereabouts during that period. As well, the bit about Fountain members strapping "themselves up on the cross for penitential mediation sessions" has been slammed by all Fountain members. The terminology used to describe it is better left unpublished. Sanders' admission of "so one is told" says much about the research he conducted in generating this portion of "The Family," i.e., another example of a writer incorporating gossip into his text and presenting it as fact.”
So, did Charles Manson crucify himself? If he did, where did he do this? It is fact that the alleged cross that he tied himself to does not even exist. And there is no evidence of any cross being erected at Spahn Ranch, Devil’s Canyon, Barker Ranch, or in the Malibu areas that the “Family” frequented. It is my opinion that it was Paul Watkins who was the culprit for all of this misinformation regarding Venta and the Fountain of the World. Paul Watkins has a lot to say about it in his book My Life with Charles Manson, again stating that there was indeed a cross at the Fountain. Of course, like many infamous “Family” events, Watkins put himself in the middle of it as the focal point.
“Charlie told me what he knew about it as we wound our way up Santa Susanna Pass to Box Canyon and turned left. "It might be a good place to hang out…you know, hide under the cross when the shit comes down at Spahn's. And the way Shorty's been running at the mouth, it might be anytime.
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We got there around ten a.m. and parked the truck on a hill, then trudged down the path to the auditorium. The place was about half full, and one of the brothers was already into his rap. He acknowledged us with a smile as we sat down. After a long uninspired spiel proclaiming the virtues of moderation and human compassion, the speaker—tall, stoop-shouldered, and clad in a full-length robe—told the history of the Fountain and Krishna Venta, its founder, had undergone a rigorous purification process, part of which included hanging on the cross for three days. Charlie sat beside me fingering the beads around his neck, his hair long and uncombed down his back. He sniggered to himself as the speaker raised his arms to symbolize the crucifixion. "For three days the honorable Krishna Venta remained pinioned to the cross you see there on the hillside." He gestured toward a window which fronted on the ravine. “For three long days...” Charlie couldn't contain himself. "Hey, brother, that ain't nothin'," he blurted out smiling. “That's nothin'…three days ain't nothin'. Paul here could hang on the cross for a week. No problem…right, Paul? "Sure," I grunted. "Sure, I could do that. “Come on!" Charlie urged, getting to his feet. "Let's go on out there. Paul, so you can hang. Come on.” “
Manson has referenced a cross, “coming down off a cross,” and a lot of other statements that made me believe Watkins’ stories of hanging on the cross. After reading various posts on the My Search for Krishna Venta blog, my mind changed quickly. It was literally impossible for Manson, Watkins, or anyone in the “Family” to have hung on the cross at the Fountain. 269
The Manson Myth Krishna Venta There was no cross, so this never happened. The cross was long gone by 1968 – 1969. Someone isn’t telling the truth. Let’s just conclude this by me reiterating the chapter False Witness: Paul Watkins by again pointing out how unreliable of a source Watkins really was. After reading the majority of the Jon Fisher book The Spiritual Teachings & Biography of Master Krishna Venta, I noticed a lot of similarities between Watkins’ stories of Helter Skelter as preached by Charles Manson. It is fact that Watkins was the one who brought the Helter Skelter theory to prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and was a star witness to the motive. Was Watkins too enamored by Krishna Venta that he took Venta’s teachings and applied them to Manson? Or was Manson the one who believes Venta’s theories and believed them so much that he applied them to his own visions? While Manson’s history on Venta is at best incorrect, he still looks up to Venta as a positive influence on his philosophies and outlook on life. But, that’s not where it ends. In the Jon Fisher book The Spiritual Teachings & Biography of Master Krishna Venta, there are some very striking similarities with Venta’s teachings and what was later put on Manson. Manson has always said that “they put that cult [The Fountain] on me.” Venta’s teachings included that he believed that there was an impending race war coming to America. “In 1965, there will be a racial war in America— a racial war of Blacks against Whites. We do not like this, but it is coming,” Venta warned. Obviously, in 1965 Venta was long gone and while there were some race wars around that time like the Watts Riots, his prophecy was inaccurate. Did Manson hear this and 270
The Manson Myth Krishna Venta apply this theory with his fears of Black Muslims attacking whites as told to him while at Terminal Island Penitentiary? Venta’s teachings also included his followers of the “chosen” would total 144,000 as laid out in Revelations. Sound familiar?
“The true mission of Master Krishna Venta at this time is the gathering of 144,000, by the Elect of God, as recorded in Revelations. For a period of forty years, while destructive and devastating forces of evil encircle the Earth.”
Bugliosi’s theory of Helter Skelter included the “Family” making their exodus to Death Valley to hide from this “race war” for forty years. Oddly enough, but most likely not at all related, Venta’s teachings of his people from Planet Neoprates mostly landed in the deserts of India when they came over on a rocket ship. I can definitely understand how Venta’s story would capture the imaginations of many including Manson and Watkins—and even I at one time believed all of the misinformation. Manson’s account of Venta has been ever-changing over the years. Sometimes he says he blew himself up and other times he says Venta was blown up during a “sex orgy.” In the 1996 CD Charles Manson Speaks, he tells an incorrect story on the demise of Venta, which to me sounds like he is trying to apply Venta’s ideals and teachings to coincide with his own.
“Krishna Venta blew himself up in the Fountain of the World in Box Canyon, California. Krishna had a cult and they were based on the water and there was the Feather River project that just started. And Krishna seen it because he had a big fountain in his cult area and when it dried up it stopped, and he said, well, you can’t buy and sell the water.
The Manson Myth Krishna Venta There is not a fountain that I know about at the Fountain of the World. However, there is a close by Chatsworth Lake which is relatively close and behind the Fountain area. Even in the Nikolas Shrek 1989 documentary Charles Manson Superstar—which is generally regarded as a very factual documentary— this misinformation is spewed as fact.
“Krishna Venta built his Fountain of the World commune in the Santa Susanna Mountains, not far from the Spahn Ranch where Manson and his Family would settle over a decade later. Krishna Venta was killed in 1958 in a dynamite blast ignited by a jealous husband who disapproved of the guru’s sexual teachings, but his legend lingered in the area to inspire Manson to attempt to take over the cult years later. Atop this skulllike rock formation at Fountain of the World, Manson held crucifixion rituals that culminated in Family orgies.”
In 2010 in a recorded phone call by World Order Media, Manson talks about Venta and his story was different than Shrek’s. Manson went from one motive of an assassination to a suicide in later years.
“A long time ago, like in 1948, they had a guy called Krishna Venta who had a cult called Fountain of the World over in a place called Box Canyon. And his fountain turned off, and he got all his girls together and put dynamite underneath the house and he blew the whole thing up in protest about the water. We stood around the site where he blew himself up.”
During my conversations with Manson, I asked him about Venta and explained to him that his history on him was incorrect. Manson told me that he really did not know much about Venta other than “what I heard
The Manson Myth Krishna Venta about him,” and “what people told me he did.” He concluded that, “Krishna Venta died like Christ and I always thought that was far out.” In 1969, Manson wrote a song called Going to the Church House which has the lines where he references getting blown up, dying and going to a church. I asked Manson if the song was about their experiences at the Fountain he simply replied, “No, we did that song in the desert in front of a fire.” Paul Watkins’ stories of the Fountain and Manson were even testified at the trial for the murder of Donald “Shorty” Shea. Watkins’ theory was that Shea was murdered because he was keen to Manson’s plot to take over the Fountain. This motive was a complete opposite to the theory the prosecution and Vincent Bugliosi surmised— which was that Shea was murdered because Manson thought he was behind the Spahn Ranch raid and that Manson disliked the fact that Shea was once married to a black woman. Watkins stated in the 1973 documentary Manson that Manson’s intention was to overtake the Fountain and use it as a headquarters to bring children to “program” them to go to the desert.
“Well, Charlie was trying to take over this religious organization called the Fountain of the World. And Shorty had lived at the Fountain of the World. And, so, he knew what Charlie was doing at the Fountain. Charlie wanted to use the Fountain as a base of headquarters to go out and kidnap kids, bring them there, tune them in or program them, or take them out to the desert.”
In the end, it’s quite obvious that Krishna Venta was a huge influence on Manson and his “Family,” but how did it all get blown so far out of 273
The Manson Myth Krishna Venta proportion? Was it Watkins who was starved for a father-like Christ character that he was the one obsessed with Venta? Why did Watkins invent so many incorrect stories surrounding the Fountain and Venta? Jon Fisher wrote in his book The Spiritual Teachings & Biography of Master Krishna Venta that he believed that the “Family’s” “experience had a traumatic effect on the entire Manson ‘family’, and the rest is history.” Looking back at Venta’s teachings, and mentioning 144,000 followers hiding from an impending Black vs. White race war in an underground cavern for forty years leads me to believe that it was Venta who invented what Vincent Bugliosi later called Helter Skelter, not Manson. Other than their philosophies and their beliefs on where their former leader Krishna Venta came from, the Fountain seemed like a very humanitarian, peaceful, and loving group of people. At the time Manson attached himself to the Fountain, Manson was still a peaceful man. This was before everything went to hell. It is a fact that Manson gave the Fountain a $2,000 donation— which was part of a “gift” from Juanita Wildbush. Manson also gave the Fountain an old pickup truck as a payment to allow some of the girls stay there. However, it was no secret that Manson himself was not a hit at the Fountain and wore out his welcome quick. In 1988, Manson told Geraldo Rivera his take on how he became known as “Jesus Christ and he mentioned Venta.
“I didn’t evoke any name, they put that on me. The spirit laid that over on my track. They said I was Krishna Venta. Krishna Venta died in Box Canyon in 1949. And they put that cult over on me. That was the cult that was in Box Canyon in 1949 when I was in
The Manson Myth Krishna Venta
reform school. Twenty years before I even grew up. They put that guy on me and said I called myself , and I stood up on the cross and I did, I didn’t do all that. That wasn’t me”
Manson has stated many times that Venta died in 1949 (and sometimes 1948), but he actually died in 1958. Manson is probably mistaking the 1948 plane crash in the Simi Hills of a passenger plane en route to the Burbank airport. This is a major event in in the Fountain’s history, which Venta and the Fountain saved 15 people from certain death. It is my opinion that Manson took Venta’s teachings and prophecy of an impending race war, and applied it to what the Black Muslims told him in prison about their plans on attacking whites and this the socalled “Helter Skelter” theory was born. Do I believe Manson preached Helter Skelter in the way Bugliosi had suggested? Not at all, but I do believe Venta’s theory was discussed. My main reason for adding Venta to this book was to prove that this theory was not from the “twisted mind of Charles Manson,” as Bugliosi has stated time and time again. I know for a fact that Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel were both at the Fountain, as were many other members of Manson’s group. It is also a fact that all of the members of the Fountain still saw Venta as a leader and a God. They were surely still preaching and believing his words. This does not put the blame on the Fountain, but it does shed some light on how this theory and motive may have been born.
The Manson Myth
The Manson Myth
“One thing I demand of anybody that I’m with is, I ain’t lying to you, so don’t you lie to me, because if you lie to me, I might just knock you down on the spot. Because I don’t like lies, not even a little bit. Because lies is what’s held me in prison 36 years.” Charles Manson 277
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hroughout this entire essay I have interjected my opinions as explanations of certain events. These are obviously my takes on the situations from my vast research on this case. I have read over fifty pieces of literature on this case and continue to do so. What shocks me the most is how some books completely contradict the last. Some books deviate from the truth so much that it becomes a work of fiction. Some books are merely recitals of the Vincent Bugliosi book Helter Skelter. In my research I have found a recurring element to the “Family,” and that is that they were a peace-loving group whose purpose was to live communally and enjoy each other’s love. This element remained until sometime in late 1968 when Manson returned to Spahn Ranch after a hiatus. What was so different at the ranch? Apparently in Manson’s absence, outlaw bikers have infiltrated and settled camp. One of the outlaw bikers was a man named Danny DeCarlo. Not much later, Charles Watson left the scene and moved to Hollywood with his girlfriend “Luella” and started a drug-dealing scene— this lead to the drug burn and the Bernard Crowe shooting. Within the guilt that Manson had for the shooting— as he was preaching to his so-called followers that they don’t need guns— came the fear that Crowe was a Black Panther and the Panthers were sure to retaliate for the shooting. Upon DeCarlo’s own admission, he armed the “Family” and taught them to shoot— including Manson. After this, the “Family” made lookout posts and Spahn Ranch became a fortress. Watson returned to all of this talk of a “war,” which was merely a response to the Crowe shooting that Watson caused. Manson and the “Family” feverishly searched for ways to get money to move to Death Valley— this included theft and robberies. My opinion was that some of the “Family” did not want to go back to Death Valley 278
The Manson Myth My Interpretation and Manson used the “war” Watson may have created with the Black Panthers as leverage to scare them. Manson used the words he learned at the Fountain of the World combined what he had heard from the Black Muslims in prison and created fear— not to incite a race war, but to scare them to Death Valley with him. Dennis Wilson refused to pay up for recording Manson’s tune Never Learn Not To Love, and Terry Melcher shunned him when he heard about the Crowe shooting, and Manson became desperate. According to an article from December, 1969 about the Fountain of the World, Melcher was seen speaking to Manson. This was after Melcher supposedly severed ties with Manson. What were they talking about? Manson said in Ed George’s book Taming the Beast that the door was never shut between he and Melcher, but he feels the publicity scared him away. This need for money may have led to the Gary Hinman murder. Bobby Beausoleil claimed that Hinman supplied him with drugs, in which he sold to those outlaw bikers and Danny DeCarlo. Was this sale an attempt to put some money into the “Death Valley Fund?” I do believe that Manson went to the Hinman residence because he was in fear of another “Bernard Crowe” incident. In fact, Beausoleil claims that Manson charged in the home and cut Hinman because he felt that Mary Brunner may have been in trouble. Whatever the reason was, Beausoleil has stated on many occasions that Manson never gave him the order to kill. Manson was obviously scared off after this and headed up north to Big Sur. In the Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, it states that Manson even told his beloved “Family” that he was done and may never come back. It states that Fromme then begged him to stay and that everything will work out.
The Manson Myth My Interpretation While Manson was away, Beausoleil was arrested and charged with the Hinman murder. Manson visited the Esalen Institute in Big Sur right around the time that Sharon Tate may have been there. There’s been no true evidence to this, but if it is true then what happened? Did they have a run-in that had a negative turnout? When Manson decided to return to Spahn Ranch after a brief stint in San Diego— where he met his then girlfriend Stephanie Schram— and heard about Beausoleil’s arrest. Virtually every account of this event has Manson freaking out. This bad news obviously upset him. From this time on the stories become plentiful of what actually happened. What is fact is that Manson sent Sandra Good and Mary Brunner to Sears with some stolen credit cards to buy the “Family” some things to boost their morale. Good and Brunner were also arrested. When the news got back to the ranch, this is when Bugliosi claims Manson said, “Now is the time for Helter Skelter.” Did he actually say this? Some accounts say he did, while others never mention it. According to the Jess Bravin book The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme, it was written that Manson was approached by the girls with a plan to free Beausoleil, which was simply put, “Let’s do copycat killings.” The Nuel Emmons book Manson in His Own Words stated that Manson was so upset over the three arrests and bitter towards how chaotic the “Family” had become that he said, “Okay.” It also states that the girls wanted him to do the killing, but he said, “No way” and used Watson because Watson owed him big. Manson mentions this in the 1988 Geraldo Rivera interview. “I said, go pay the brother what you owe me.” Is this how it happened? Does this make Manson guilty? I personally think that Manson knew what was about to happen, but since it was not his plan, he didn’t care either way. I do not think that Manson brainwashed hos so-called followers and ordered the killings in an attempt to spark a race war. 280
The Manson Myth My Interpretation Manson does admit his influence and has never denied that. He’s never once admitted that he ordered the murders. In his 1992 parole hearing he states this.
“I influenced a lot of people, unbeknownst to my own understanding of it. I didn’t understand the fears of the people outside. I didn’t understand the insecurities of people outside. I didn’t understand people outside. And a lot of things that I said and did affected a lot of people in a lot of different directions. It wasn’t intentional and it definitely wasn’t with malice or aforethought.
In my mind, I think the murders were indeed an attempt to free Beausoleil, but the victims were chosen because of previous run-ins with Watson and perhaps Kasabian. Both have admitted ties with the home before the murders. I believe that partial reason was an attempt to get money for Good and Brunner’s bail as well as their Death Valley Fund. At the end of the day, the girls have admitted that Manson never told them to kill, that it was Watson. I have never once believed any of the participants were under any sort of mind control. This notion is laughable because it would exonerate the participants from any culpability. If you are not in your right mind, you surely did not commit crimes with malice and forethought. Manson has never ceased to shoot this theory down. An angry Manson lashed out at Hard Copy reporters in 1994, when they did an episode dedicated to Manson’s so-called mind control ability.
“You wanna blame me for what they did, for mind control? It’s kinda stupid, actually. They did what they did, it’s not my responsibility.”
There certainly is a difference between influence and control, and even then the person who commits the crimes is responsible. There’s no away around this logic. The fact that the media has essentially brainwashed the public into thinking Manson has this great power to control is what drives this theory of mind control. 281
The Manson Myth My Interpretation Manson addresses this in the German documentary Menschensohn, and he’s rode this since day one. Anyone who doesn’t agree with it are probably disagreeing because they have this already-conceived opinion on Manson.
Charles Manson: I wasn’t in the job of influencing, I don’t care if people are influenced or not, you know. I ride a motorcycle, guy, you know, I’m not in business. Interviewer: Maybe you didn’t want to but they were still influenced. Charles Manson: Alright, well that’s not my fault, what do you want me to do, I’m spending the rest of my life in jail because people like me? You know, I’m trying my best not to be liked anymore so that maybe, you know, maybe they won’t punish me as much.
But all of this doesn’t explain the LaBianca murders. Why did they happen? Were they really randomly chosen as Bugliosi’s theory? All evidence points towards another house chosen due to a prior conflict. Kasabian lived next door with Harold True and Watson lived very close to Rosemary’s daughter. These are not coincidences. Why did Manson go along? Was it really because he felt the Tate murders were too messy? How would he know exactly how messy they were? The prosecution’s theory was that Manson tied up the LaBiancas, but we all know Watson did as per his confession. On many occasions Manson has stated that he went there to get a “black book that controlled the music.” What if this was tied into the fact that Melcher was meeting with Manson after the murders at the Fountain of the World? Maybe it was a favor for Melcher? Did Manson go to the LaBianca home, not to make sure things were done right, but to make sure this “black book” was obtained? Susan Atkins did forget her knife at the Cielo Drive home, was this the reason she did not go to the Waverly Drive home? 282
The Manson Myth My Interpretation The generic theory of Helter Skelter leaves way too many holes open. Its focus is to use fear to convict. This theory has way too many “whys.” Sad thing is that so many people accept the Helter Skelter theory even though it was never proven, nor was it ever substantiated. Susan Atkins has always maintained that the murders were not for “Helter Skelter,” and Patricia Krenwinkel has said, “I think…” and “It seems…” an awful lot with no solid confirmation: “Yes, this is why it happened.” Vincent Bugliosi has been caught fabricating evidence and a lot of other sketchy tactics to het his way in the courtroom. There’s no doubt in my mind that he did this with the Manson case as well. It would take a blind man to not see it. In 1992, Manson told a very understanding Ronald Reagan, Jr. about what Bugliosi did to him.
“It’s all been covered up by a district attorney who wanted to make money and make movies and write books. And everything that the public knows is basically a spin-off of the books and the lies that have been used to cover the reality of what you call the Manson Family.” “You get back what you put out, is that right or wrong? If you don’t believe in god, you believe in the balance of karma, the balance of your own will. The balance of what you know to be truth, you know. Whatever you do is on you. You got to be judged by your god. Don’t judge me, man, behind what Tex did.”
I make no excuses for Manson and his so-called “followers” were convicted of doing. I do think Manson was set up to be a media commodity. He was on the front of LIFE Magazine, convicted by the media and public, dubbed a “Cult Leader” and murderer six months before his trial even started. This was the same thing the media did to people like the West Memphis Three and Edward Humphreys, the man who was being set up for a frame-job before Danny Rolling confessed to the Gainesville slayings.
The Manson Myth My Interpretation The only killing that I think Manson should have been convicted for was the one the media generally overlooks: the murder of Donald “Shorty” Shea. I think Shea was killed because his “snitching” lead to the loss of dune buggies, money, guns, ammo, and the humiliation of Danny DeCarlo. I personally feel that DeCarlo wanted Shea dead, and Manson wanted DeCarlo in his gang so badly that he made sure his wishes were granted. The entire Shea case was bungled and the trial was a farce. People involved in the murder were overlooked, the incorrect motive was “proven” at the trial, and the false story that Shea was beheaded became fact due to a couple false witnesses (Hoyt and Watkins). When Manson was included in the Shea murder, there was no way that he would not be convicted for it. Manson has never claimed to be a saint and sticks to the fact that he lives by prison law. This law states “don’t snitch.” He justifies the murder, but has never admitted participating in it. According to the parole hearings of Grogan and Davis, they say Manson was there but they are not sure if he participated. Manson told his 1992 parole board that he is not a good person. That he never pretended to be one, but he also doesn’t lie.
“I’m real with you. I don’t pretend. I’m not bringing you a bunch of phony garbage. I’m not trying to tell you that I’m a good guy. I’m just myself, whatever that is.”
When it’s all said and done, Manson’s story of the murders has never changed while the other participants’ stories change with every parole hearing or interview. What does this say? I was always told if someone’s 284
The Manson Myth My Interpretation lying that their stories will change each time they are asked while someone who is honest will have a similar story. It’s easier to remember fact than to try and remember what you said. My reason for compiling this essay was to explain the real Manson by using the words of others. Manson is a very misunderstood man and a lot of the negativity associated with his name is largely because of his interview antics of the 80s and 90s. Manson has never shied away from the cameras and shocking tabloid TV viewers with his actions on screen. But I will say, most of these antics was nothing but acting as Manson admitted in the 1987 interview with Penny Daniels. This essay was also meant to show how unfair the trial was. The trial was based on fear and trying to make the evidence and motive fit Manson. The trial was meant to make Manson seem so outrageous that he’d be considered “Satan” and the public would look at Bugliosi as the Manson who put this “Satan” character away. This would be used as a tool to put Bugliosi in the Attorney General seat as explained in the chapter: The Bug. The trial was a media circus and would make it impossible for anyone involved to get a fair trial. But that was ignored and Manson’s attempts to get a change of venue were denied by the judge. Manson’s face was used by the media for profit and he had no say in it. The courts refused to protect Manson from it. The prosecutors—Bugliosi and Stovitz— both were caught funneling information to that media, but why? Was it to ensure the public’s opinion on Manson was so negative that there would be no way he wouldn’t be convicted? I stand strong on the fact that Manson deserves a retrial. It will never happen because the public wouldn’t stand for it. Hypothetically, if 285
The Manson Myth My Interpretation Manson was ever released from prison; he’d have to go into hiding. He is more recognized than our Vice President Biden. Even so, Manson has expressed that he does want a retrial and even asked for the help of Attorney Giovanni Di Stefano in asking for one. It wasn’t shocking when this attempt failed, but it shows that even after 43 years, Manson just wants a new trial. He doesn’t want out. He doesn’t want sympathy. He just wants to be heard, even if he remains in prison as a result. In 1992, he told Michal ben Horin this same thing.
Michal ben Horin: Do you really think, Charlie, that if you had a retrial you would have won? Charles Manson: It didn’t matter. It wouldn’t matter if I win or lose; it’s that I got my rights. I didn’t break the law. I know that and god knows that. I know what happened, nobody else knows what happened
In 1988, Manson told Geraldo Rivera that “I don’t care about your society. The public’s a bunch of assholes. When it comes down to it, they’re for sale.” Referring back to a teenager named Edward Humphreys who was not only wrongfully accused of the 5 Gainesville, Florida slayings, but was in the middle of a frame-up. Humphreys not only made it to the cover of Newsweek with the taglines “Psychopath” and “Murderer,” along with his photo, but the local law enforcement gave the media the name and address of Humphreys. Why would they do this? So the media would plaster his face and name everywhere, thus convicting him through public opinion. It worked. When the papers ran a story that the hairs of Humphreys was found in at least two murder scenes, it basically made him the killer to about 90% of the people who read that story. I know, I 286
The Manson Myth My Interpretation lived in Gainesville at the time of these murders and I too was sure Humphreys was behind it. The media sold me. People suspected Humphreys because he was “weird,” and the law enforcement forced the evidence to fit him. He wound up in jail and served 21 months in solitary confinement before the real killer, Danny Rolling, was found and eventually confessed to the murders. Later evidence found at all of the scenes linked Rolling without any doubt. Humphries was released from jail and later lashed out at the media. His words were very similar to what Manson has been saying since 1969.
“I feel 100 percent sure that the media is the main reason our country is the way it is. I mean, people watch too much TV – five, six hours a day. Well, they’re influenced so much by what they watch and they think, “Oh yeah, I saw they got the suspect. Glad they caught him.” They don’t even think about what the word “suspect” means. They just think, “Well, he probably did it because there he is on TV.” And then, as far as newspapers go, half the things that [they] deal with are just negative things about people. When I got out of jail and got a job, when I got good grades in school, they weren’t calling me. What are they going to say when I get off probation?”
So, why did I bring up Humphreys? Well, just as a little side note to prove that if the prosecution wants you in prison, they can easily manipulate the system to make sure you are convicted. Look at what happened with the West Memphis Three. In 1987, Manson told Penny Daniels:
“We didn’t get a trial, we didn’t get our rights. We didn’t get anything. We were tried by the news media, we weren’t tried by the court room… The news media was selling it. It was making money, they was buying and selling it. And when it’s making money, they’re gonna sell it. They don’t care who’s got to pay the price for it, but we had to pay the price for it.”
The Manson Myth My Interpretation I would like to end this chapter with an excerpt from the Michael White book Crucified: The Railroading of Charles Manson:
“Charles Manson did not kill anyone. Charles Manson did not and does not possess any supernatural powers. Charles Manson was guilty of being the elder statesman of a group [of] society’s misfits. His so-called power was merely the wisdom that accompanies life experiences. He had answers to youthful questions. He offered self-worth to rejected, insecure kids. Their weaknesses suggested his strength. The common denominator of this group, or alleged “family,” was not Charles Manson. Hedonism was the fiber that held this group together. The “hippie” lifestyle of the sixties. Drugs, sex, rock ‘n’ roll and no job nor authority impositions were the overwhelming attraction.
The Manson Myth
The Manson Myth
“If people knew they couldn’t die, if they couldn’t be punished for anything they ever did, what do you think would happen? Absolute evil. Strip away the concept of retribution, bring down the walls of fear, and the true evil nature inside humans will gush forth.” Charles Manson 290
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was raised for one thing: survive. Put it like this: I am in the zoo looking at you. And if you come in my cage wrong, I will eat you. I will bite you. I will tear you to pieces. If you come in right, well okay. I am vicious. I am terrible. I am awful. If I am invoked. Now, you can call that devil. You can call it Satan. You can call it God. You can call it anything you want. But don’t invoke me, because if you invoke me you got another war. I don’t want to be no part of hurting nobody. I don’t like to get hurt, I don’t to hurt nobody. I don’t want to die, therefore I don’t want to kill nobody. Even though in my own spiritual self, I know there’s no such thing as die— that’s a game. Life and death is one. You got to consider, 36 years in jail is a long time. Some people can’t survive a year; they’ll go crazy. You know, I have sat 15 years looking at the wall with the cockroaches. Just sitting there. I don’t read books. I don’t watch TV. I don’t listen to the radio. It’s okay when Sharon Tate’s mother gets up and say, “I wish someone would kill Charlie Manson?” What if I get up, and I get two or three guys coming home and I say, “I hope someone kills Sharon Tate’s mother.” I think she would lose. If she wants to play battle like that, I think she would end up second best. But I don’t want to do that! Someone said, “She hopes someone kills you!” Well, I told them, “Tell her to come— why don’t she come and do it?” I never hurt her daughter. I never thought about her daughter. I didn’t care about he daughter. It had nothing to do with me.” — Charles Manson, 1985 (Source: KALX)
“I’ve kept my peace of mind. Most people would be dead by now if they had lived through what I lived through. I mean dead in their souls— dead in their minds. But I am a contradiction, I slipped through. I like solitary. The only men I’ve ever met who really tell the truth are the men you find in solitary.” — Charles Manson; February 13, 1970
The Manson Myth Words Terry Melcher has never admitted that he liked Charlie’s music. In fact, he’s said the direct opposite. The story (as seen in the Helter Skelter remake) became that Charlie misunderstood Melcher and thought he was going to come down and watch them play and hopefully sign them to a record deal. According to Brooks Poston and Paul Watkins, there was more to it. Poston and Watkins both testified against Charlie at the trial so this leads me to believe that they are being honest about this.
Brooks Poston: Melcher was at a taping session at the ranch and they were stoned and he (Melcher) got down on his knees in front of Charlie and said, “You’re gonna kill me.” And Charlie said, “No man, you can’t program me to do that.” Melcher kept saying it and finally Charlie ran him off with a knife. Paul Watkins: Gregg Jackobson (Melcher’s associate) called up the Gresham Street house when we were all living there making music like crazy, and he called up and says, “Terry will be here tonight to hear you play.” So we got out, put up all the tapestries and we got candy and rolled all the joints and got all ready for Terry to come. We waited and waited and waited and Terry didn’t come when Gregg said he would come and that pissed Charlie off. Brooks Poston: Gregg pulled the same one though, a couple of times. Gregg said he’d show up, but he didn’t. (Source: Death To Pigs)
“Last Thursday Manson, Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Atkins appeared in court for resetting their trial date. After Charlie’s court-appointed lawyer was granted both a trialseverance and a psychiatric evaluation “for” him, Charlie finally told the judge that he did not get along with any of those motions. The judge cut in telling him he was not to speak— that was for his lawyer to do his talking. “You said I could have a new lawyer— right? Well I would like Mr. Reiner to
The Manson Myth Words
regain my pro-per status,” he said “Motion denied…” the judge began to shuffle through his papers. “Your honor, would you look at me? You’re speaking to another man,” Charlie asked of him. “I can not give up my voice in this case” Charlie said. At another moment Charlie explained to the judge, “In the last court session you might have noticed that I seemed to ignore you. That, Mr. Keene, is because in the session before this you totally ignored me.” Charlie stood up, walked to the wastebasket, tossed in the Constitution in. “There,” he said, “there’s your foundation— you put it in there, not me.” The guards were up at arms. Charlie came back and sat down and in all honesty he told the judge, “I wanted to throw it at you but I didn’t want to hit you.”” (Source: LA Free Press)
Sandra “Blue” Good’s Top 11 lies about Charles Manson:
1. Lie - Charles Manson is a murderer. The assumption that Charles Manson is some kind of murderer has been so widely and blindly accepted that many people regard is as a fundamental truth. Manson’s picture graces the covers of numerous books on mass murder. Media interviewers assume that he is a killer. (Geraldo to CM: “You’re a massmurdering dog.”) Yet Manson has never killed anyone. The prosecution never claimed that he killed any of the persons for whose murders he was convicted (He was never present at the Tate residence; he left the LaBianca residence before anyone was killed; he was not present when either Gary Hinman or Shorty Shea was killed.). And aside from some wholly unsubstantiated rumors (e.g. that he shot someone in the head with a .45 in Death Valley) there is no evidence that he ever killed anyone in a murder that he wasn’t charged with. 2. Lie - Charles Manson was obsessed with the Beatles. This lie was presented by D.A. Bugliosi as part of his construction of the elaborate and false “helter skelter” motive. With this lie we are asked to believe that a 30-year-old long term prison convict would be susceptible to the teenybopper-oriented media hype of “Beatlemania”. Not very
The Manson Myth Words
likely. Of course, Manson heard the Beatles’ music, and the group was a part of his world as much as it was a part of everyone’s world in the late 1960’s. But to say that he was obsessed with the Beatles is simply not true. The best evidence of this is Manson’s own music. Of all of that music that is available, either through unauthorized professional releases or underground circulation, none of it sounds like anything recorded by the Fab Four (except possibly Rocky Raccoon, but that is really the Beatles copying the same mountain/country musical style that did influence Manson). If Manson was obsessed with and idolized the Beatles, wouldn’t he have emulated their musical style? 3. Lie - Charles Manson wanted to be a rock and roll star. In American society celebrity and attention have become so important to so many people that anyone who excels in certain fields (especially the fields of music, motion pictures, television, sports) can achieve a position of status and adoration that was formally reserved for great statesmen, military heroes, and members of royal families. In America today, recognition, in any form, is taken as greatness. Because this “cult of celebrity” is so much a part of the contemporary American psyche it is plausible to many people that fame and approval are desired by everyone. Thus is Manson supposedly affected by the influences and yearnings of American society. But Manson is not a part of that society, and nothing in his history demonstrates that he ever had a desire to be well known. To the contrary, all of his behavior indicates a desire to get away from society and live in the total obscurity of the desert. 4. Lie - Prior to December, 1969 there was a group of individuals known as “The Manson Family”. The people at Spahn Ranch never referred to themselves by any collective name. (There was a musical group at the ranch called “The Family Jams”.) The term “Manson Family” was coined by the news media, adopted by the prosecution, and has been used since as a convenient way to categorize a group that in fact never existed in any organized form. 5. Lie - Charles Manson was the undisputed “leader” of that group. Since there was no group, there was no leader. 6. Lie - Manson and his associates abused drugs. While the people at Spahn Ranch did use substances such as marijuana, LSD, mescaline, peyote, and psilocybin, there was no widespread use of any drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, or any of the spectrum of drugs commonly known as “downers”. This fact is well documented by the statements of even such pro-prosecution people as Paul Watkins. Manson was known to run people off
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who abused drugs. Tex Watson and Susan Atkins have both stated in their books that their use of speed was hidden from the other people at the ranch. No substantial amount of any kind of drug was ever seized during any of the numerous police raids on Manson and his associates. 7. Lie - Charles Manson is 5’ 2” tall. This petty and pointless lie has been told by D.A. Bugliosi from the time of the publication of Helter Skelter to as recently as his December 8, 1995 appearance on the Discovery Channel’s program Rivals. Bugliosi spent over nine months in a courtroom in close proximity to Manson, so he must know that this claim is not true. The only reason there can be for him repeatedly saying it is that the height 5’ 2” is so abnormally short for a white American male that it adds yet another freakishly unique aspect to the Manson caricature. In fact, Manson is at least 5’ 6”. This is born out by the height indicated on the California Department of Corrections record card reprinted on page 118 of The Manson File. It is also born out by the personal experience of the Webmaster St. Geo, who has observed Manson during over 100 visits at California State Prison - Corcoran. The photo in Helter Skelter which purports to show Manson as being 5’ 2” is clearly incorrect and probably faked. This can be shown by continuing the height scale to Manson’s left down to 0’. If Manson was 5’ 2” tall, as the scale indicates, the scale should reach 0’ where his feet meet the floor. It doesn’t. It goes below his feet, out of the photograph, and off the page. Click here for a demonstration of this. 8. Lie - The motive for the Tate/LaBianca killings was to ignite “Helter Skelter”. This is an important lie since it supposedly points the finger of guilt at Charles Manson and demonstrates that he had a personal motive for the Tate/LaBianca murders to take place. Motive is important, for while a prosecutor is not required to show motive they usually do because: a. it is usually pretty obvious, and b. motive is strong circumstantial evidence of a person’s guilt. (Actually, it is more than that. It is an absolute requirement, one of the three things a person always has when they commit a crime. The other two are means and opportunity.) But conversely, lack of motive is strong circumstantial evidence of a person’s innocence. Bugliosi, as we have said elsewhere (see Rights/New Trial) immediately assumed Manson’s guilt and then arranged all the “evidence” to suit that premise. No other version of the crime or interpretation of any of the evidence was even considered. Unfortunately, the D.A. had trouble finding any motive tying Manson to the crimes. A large part of Helter Skelter, over 60 pages, is devoted to overcoming this troublesome flaw in the “Manson is guilty” scenario. And the only motive Bugliosi could come up with was the literally unbelievable ‘helter skelter’ motive. Briefly, this motive is as follows: Manson and his “family” were white racists who hoped to provoke a race war
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by committing atrocity murders against whites which would be blamed on blacks. The ensuing outrage over these murders would cause whites to retaliate, thus beginning the war (“Helter Skelter”). While this war was raging Manson and “the family” would be waiting it out in a bottomless pit in Death Valley. (The “bottomless pit”, as presented by Bugliosi, is just one aspect of the ‘helter skelter’ motive which, if truly believed by Manson et. al., would have rendered them psychotic and probably incompetent to stand trial.) The blacks would win the war but not know how to run the world, so they would have to hand the power over to the only white people left on earth: Charles Manson and his “family”. Literally fantastic. The real motive was to get a brother, Bobby Beausoleil, out of jail by committing “copycat” murders that would convince the authorities that Beausoleil could not be guilty of the murder (of Gary Hinman) for which he had been arrested on August 6, 1969. This motive is much more realistic and has much more circumstantial support than the DA’s fantastic ‘helter skelter’ motive. It’s the real motive. There’s only one thing wrong with it from the prosecutorial point of view: It is not a personal motive for Charles Manson. 9. Lie - The book Manson In His Own Words is Manson’s book. “Is there any way to stop (that) book? That thing has been a curse. It’s destroyed us all, (and) ATWA for over ten years. That should be enough.” So commented Manson in a recent letter. The most obvious evidence that the book is not really Manson’s is that the words presented in the book are so unlike the diction of Charles Manson, spoken or written, that not even such notable Mansonphobes as D. A. Bugliosi and Ed Sanders believe that the words are his. This is not surprising, since the circumstances of the interviews that Emmons conducted for the book did not permit him to use a tape recorder (except rarely) or even to take notes. As a result of these limitations (and because of other motives Emmons may have had)much of what is presented as Manson’s words (and presumably his thoughts) are really the words, thoughts, values, and perceptions of Nuel Emmons, not of Charles Manson. And many of the incidents described in the book never even occurred. 10. Lie - Manson’s father may have been black. Bugliosi offers this allegation in his book as a possible and convenient explanation of Manson’s alleged hatred of black people (Shades of Hitler’s Jewish grandmother!). It is a ridiculous contention. In the first place, Manson is totally lacking any of the physical Negroid features that one would expect to observe in a mulatto. In the second place, Bugliosi bases this allegation on the questionable premise (itself based on old and probably inaccurate records) that the “colored cook Colonel Scott” was Manson’s father. But even if the mysterious Colonel Scott was Manson’s father, it is unlikely that he (Scott) was “colored”. To see this, one
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would only have to examine the newspaper articles from the Ashland, Kentucky Daily Independent that covered the murder of Colonel Scott’s brother, Darwin Orell Scott, in May of 1969. The photograph of Darwin Scott (the brother of Manson’s supposed father) that accompanies the articles is clearly of a white man. 11. Lie - Manson and his associates may have been responsible for as many as 35 murders. The basis for this lie is a single statement made during an LAPD interview with Juan Flynn on August 18, 1970. “(Manson) admitted — he boasted — of thirty-five lives taken in a period of two days.” That’s it for the “evidence” of additional murders beyond the nine for which convictions were obtained. Bugliosi spends over ten pages of Helter Skelter listing murders he hints that Manson or his associates may have committed, but there is no real evidence to support any of these contentions unless you believe the premise “Well, these murders happened around the same time and Manson and his friends were homicidal maniacs, so they must have done them.” Here we will address three of Bugliosi’s examples: 1. Darwin Orell Scott; Ashland, Kentucky; May 27, 1969 - Darwin Scott was found hacked to death in his modest apartment on May 27, 1969. Apparently Manson’s motive for this murder was that Scott was the brother of his alleged father, “Colonel Scott”. Despite the claims of several Ashland residents that Manson was in the area around the time of the death, even Bugliosi admits that Manson was probably in California on the day of the murder. Newspaper articles about the crime say that Scott was known to have large sums of money in his apartment and that local police believed money was the motive for the slaying. Scott, who had a record for breaking and entering and forgery, may have been involved in the area’s illicit liquor trade. Police found 86 fifths and 28 pints of whiskey in his apartment. 2. Joel Dean Pugh; London, England; December 1, 1969 - Joel Pugh was found in a London hotel with his throat and wrists slashed. Pugh is usually described as the husband of Sandra Good. In fact they were never married. Although Pugh is also described as a “former Manson Family member” in Helter Skelter, he never met Manson or any of the other so-called Family members. After Joel Pugh’s death his parents journeyed to London to satisfy themselves with the official verdict of suicide. After checking all the medical records (Pugh’s father was a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota) and the files at Scotland Yard they were satisfied that the death was, indeed, a suicide.
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3. Marina Habe; Los Angeles, California; December 30, 1969 - This one is easy. There is simply no evidence whatsoever to connect anyone from Spahn Ranch with the murder of Miss Habe. But she was killed in Los Angeles, so Bugliosi included her as a possible victim of the “Manson Family”. (Source: ATWA.be)
Here’s an excerpt/abridged transcript from March 7, 1970— the day Charles Manson had his pro-per status unfairly ripped from him. Judge Keene took it away when Charles Manson wanted to finish his thought the the judged interrupted. Throughout the entire testimony the judge repeatedly interrupted him and when Charlie finally got upset, he used it against him, removed his pro-per and forced an attorney on him. This was the day Mark Ross, Catherine Share and Sandra Good were held in contempt of court for five days. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: May I respond before you go any further? THE COURT: I don’t think there’s any point at this point to respond because I want to tell you what I have concluded; tell you at this point what I’m basing my conclusions on. I want to tell you, at this point, what I have concluded based upon your performance in Department 100, your performance in Department 106, and your performance in Department 107. At the time that I permitted you to go and act as your own attorney, in pro per, I felt that I had a constitutional obligation. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: You still do. THE COURT: To permit you— I agree. I have a constitutional obligation to permit you to act as your own attorney, if I am satisfied, based upon your conduct, that you are capable of making an intelligent waiver of your right to act as an attorney it becomes crystal clear to me and abundantly clear to me that you are incapable of acting as your own attorney. Now, this, incidentally, is not just my opinion. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: You’re going to conclude before I get to say anything? THE COURT: I will permit you to be heard. Go ahead.
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THE DEFENDANT MANSON: The things that you’ve said are the things that you’ve said. I can’t deny what you say, and I won’t try. You give me three weeks to become an attorney. Now, nobody else will help me. I asked for assistant counsel. It says in the Constitution of the United States that I am allowed assistant counsel. I told you that I didn’t think I was capable of being a lawyer, that all I wanted to do was maintain my voice, and that’s all I’ve asked for. THE COURT: Mr. Manson— THE DEFENDANT MANSON: Wait a minute, now. Wait a minute. THE COURT: Mr. Manson— THE DEFENDANT MANSON: I didn’t interrupt you. THE COURT: Mr. Manson— THE DEFENDANT MANSON: Let me finish. THE COURT: Mr. Manson— THE DEFENDANT MANSON: I’m a man, too, Mister. THE COURT: Mr. Manson— THE DEFENDANT MANSON: I have a voice. Do you hear it? THE COURT: Mr. Manson, this is one further indication of your inability— THE DEFENDANT MANSON: My inability. THE COURT:— to act as your own attorney. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: My inability. THE COURT: Because in this courtroom this Court will dictate who will speak and when they will speak, and I will indicate to you at this time, Mr. Manson, that those rules will be heeded and when I speak.
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THE DEFENDANT MANSON: Put the ambition that’s in your heart on that paper, and you go wash your hands. They’re dirty. THE COURT: Mr. Manson, your status, at this time, of acting as your own attorney is now vacated. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: Am I bound and concluded? THE COURT:— your inability to abide by the very rules that we have provided or permit people to act as their own attorney in the event they are capable of doing so. Your status as— THE DEFENDANT MANSON: This doesn’t mean anything to you, does it? THE COURT: Your status, Mr. Manson, is now changed. Your status as acting as your own attorney is now vacated. You are no longer acting as your own attorney. This Court will now find, based upon the information contained in the file, that you are perhaps, as you allege, indigent. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: I won’t accept him. THE COURT: That may or may not be the case. The attorney that I am going to appoint at this time is a recognized highly capable trial lawyer and I am going to appoint him to represent you in this matter. His name is Charles Hollopeter. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: I won’t accept him, your Honor. THE COURT: He will be your attorney of record. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: Sorry. THE COURT: Mr. Manson— THE DEFENDANT MANSON: You can kill me but you can’t give me an attorney. I won’t take one. THE COURT: You better hear me out. If you want to select your attorney, you select the attorney and I’ll substitute Mr. Hollopeter out and substitute whatever attorney you select into this case.
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THE DEFENDANT MANSON: I understand I have a right to speak in my own defense. THE COURT: Do you understand what I have told you about Mr. Hollopeter? He is now your attorney of record. DEFENDANT MANSON: Judge Keene, may I sincerely say something? THE COURT: I think that the hearing is now at an end. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: There is no love in your courtroom. THE COURT: Your status as a pro per— SANDY GOOD: You are a mockery of justice. THE COURT:— is now revoked. THE DEFENDANT MANSON: There is no God in this courtroom. CATHERINE SHARE: You are a mockery of justice. You’re a joke. THE COURT: Would you please take those four people, I want their names— CATHERINE SHARE: There is no justice in the courtroom. THE COURT: I am going to find that these four people are in direct contempt of this Court. MARK ROSS: You said the court was over, your Honor. We were under the impression you dismissed us. SANDY GOOD: You wouldn’t let him speak anymore, so we can speak. THE COURT: I find that you are in direct contempt of this Court by this outlandish outburst. I find you in contempt of this Court— MARK ROSS: I certainly am in contempt of this Court. SANDY GOOD: All right. May I say your conduct has been most outlandish.
The Manson Myth Words Interview with Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe from 1971
Reporter: I've been told that Charlie Manson shot you, is that true? Bernard Crowe: Hmm. Could be. Reporter: Well, let's not kid each other around, now. It's either true or it isn't true. Did he shoot you? And if so, when and where? Bernard Crowe: Yes, he shot me. Reporter: When did this take place? Bernard Crowe: August 1st, 1969 on Franklin Boulevard next to the Magic Castle; apartments. Reporter: In an apartment house? Bernard Crowe: Yes, an apartment. Reporter: Now, uh, why? Bernard Crowe: I refuse to answer on the grounds it may [incriminate me]. Reporter: Well, is there some reason why you'd rather not answer that? Bernard Crowe: Yeah, I'd rather not answer that question. Reporter: Well, let me ask it this way: was it a personal dispute of some kind? Or what? Bernard Crowe: Yes, sir. It was a personal dispute. Reporter: Was there anyone else involved? Bernard Crowe: Yes. Reporter: Well, who was that? Bernard Crowe: Charlie Watson. (Notice he is referring to Tex as “Charlie.”)
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Reporter: You mean Tex Watson? Bernard Crowe: Yes, Tex Watson. Reporter: Were you having a dispute with Tex and Charlie interfered, or how did it happen? I don't mean to push you on this, but since you have admitted he shot you I'd like to know why. Bernard Crowe: Um. Uh. Reporter: You were having a dispute with Tex or with Charlie and out of this grew the shooting and [tape cuts] and awareness is through fear? Bernard Crowe: Yeah, one or the other: fear is through awareness—fear through awareness or awareness through fear—something to that effect. Reporter: Now, Charlie Manson said this? Bernard Crowe: Yes, he said that and he walked out. Reporter: And he walked out without his shirt? Bernard Crowe: Yeah, he walked out and he took the shirt of my friend. Reporter: I see. Bernard Crowe: With him. Reporter: What kind of gun did he shoot you with? Bernard Crowe: Uh, Um; from looking at it... [attorney whispers in Crowe's ear] Um, just a revolver. Reporter: A revolver? Bernard Crowe: Yes. Reporter: Without going into any further detail except for caliber, what caliber was it? Bernard Crowe: [attorney whisper in Crowe's ear] I will not comment on that.
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Reporter: Oh, alright. Now, how seriously were you shot? Bernard Crowe: Pretty seriously; critical. My heart had stopped twice on the operating table, and they had sent telegrams to my family telling them they don't think I'd make it. In fact, I still have the bullet in my back. Reporter: You still have the bullet in your back? Bernard Crowe: It's in the muscle and it formed a scab over it. And they didn't want to take it out—I believe it was kind of close to my spine is the reason why they didn't want to take it out. [Attorney whispers into Crowe's ear] And also, I'd like to have that bullet removed from my back. Reporter: You would like to have it removed? Bernard Crowe: Uh, huh. Reporter: Why would you like it removed at this point? Bernard Crowe: Actually it could do me bodily harm, as a medical term. I have been advised that it... um. Reporter: Cause some future problems? Bernard Crowe: Yes, and in the future as far as getting into my blood stream-- poison from the lead. Reporter: I see. Bernard Crowe: And sickness after time. I have been informed by medical... Reporter: If you had this bullet removed, would you return it over to the police authorities to compare with the weapon that Charlie Manson has been accused of using? Bernard Crowe: [Attorney whispers into Crowe's ear] I rather not comment at this time. Attorney: You heard him.
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Reporter: Tell me how long you knew Manson and Tex Watson? Bernard Crowe: Um, not bef... no comment. Reporter: Okay, now without perhaps... Bernard Crowe: [Attorney whispers into Crowe's ear] Um, so I say that same night I met— that same night. Reporter: I see. Bernard Crowe: That same night. Reporter: Now, were you introduced to them by a third party, or... Bernard Crowe: Yes, I was. Reporter: Uh, huh. Without going into it, I suppose it was some sort of business deal going on and as happens there are disputes in business and that sort of thing. Bernard Crowe: [Attorney whispers into Crowe's ear] I'd rather not comment at this time. Reporter: Okay. What is your feeling about Charlie Manson at this time? Bernard Crowe: Well, my feelings for him is, uh... I believe that, uh... [attorney whispers into Crowe's ear] I feel as if he is, uh...[tape cuts] I think that, um... Reporter: How long were you—how long did you linger between life and death? Bernard Crowe: Uh, I would say I could not actually pinpoint the certain times I tried to get up and to move around and then I'd collapse. Uh, I cannot really pinpoint. I was in the hospital for 18 days and I would say that the majority of those were pretty critical. But I feel that it takes as much courage to die as it does to live. Reporter: Well, I know you by the name "Lotsapoppa." Where did that name come from? How did you get a moniker like that?
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Bernard Crowe: Um [laughs], it seems like everyone that meets me seems as if I am a daddy to them. Because I'm always trying to give some sort of advice, I guess. You know, but I don't practice what I preach. Reporter: What do you weigh? You look like you weigh about 230-240. Is that maybe where it came from-- your "Lotsapoppa?" Bernard Crowe: Yes, about 290-3, more or less. Reporter: That's... Bernard Crowe: Yes, it was just that, uh, friends of mine that named me that: Lotsapoppa. Reporter: Well, I think they would have to be a friend to get away with it. Bernard Crowe: Yes. [laughs] I think it was out of divine order. I consider it a pet name. Reporter: Is there anything you want to tell me that I haven't thought to ask you about? Bernard Crowe: Um, I don't believe so. Reporter: Well, now I understand you do a little writing and you could, if somebody was interested, collaborate with them on a magazine story. Perhaps even a book, or a technical advisor for a movie and stuff? Bernard Crowe: Oh, yes. Yes, I am— I am ready for all of that. I am capable of acting or whatever. And, um, as far as the story is concerned, I wouldn't mind giving it to anyone who would like to have it. Reporter: Well, it has been a pleasure talking with you. And I know I had to drag some of this out of you and I hope you're not sore with me about that. Bernard Crowe: No... Reporter: But that is my business.
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Bernard Crowe: I felt those— brought to me because of manifestation is my fault. And whatever happened to me was because of me. No one else but me. So, you're just doing your job. Reporter: Thank you very much. Bernard Crowe: And I am glad I can cooperate with you. Reporter: I appreciate it, thank you. Bernard Crowe: Alright.
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Manson through the years: Manson has been in some sort of lockup for over 60 years of his life.
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Most of the “Manson Family” and most of the associates from 1968 – 1970. The Prosecution stated that the “Family” was mostly female, and that was certainly untrue. The prosecution merely blew off most of the male “members” as acquaintances.
The Manson Myth
Why Charles Manson is Entitled to a New Trial
“A new trial?! I didn’t get the first one!” Charles Manson 311
The Manson Myth Why Charles Manson is Entitled to a New Trial
f all the multitudinous violations of Charles Manson's rights which have occurred since his arrest in 1969 none is as substantial as the denial of his constitutional (Sixth Amendment) right to defend himself at his trials. From the very beginning Manson has always voiced his desire to represent himself. On December 17, 1969 Manson made a formal request to do so in the courtroom of Judge William Keene. "Your Honor," Manson said, "There is no way I can give up my voice in this matter. If I can't speak, then our whole thing is done. If I can't speak in my own defense and converse freely in this courtroom, then it ties my hands behind my back, and if I have no voice, then there is no sense in having a defense. Lawyers play with people, and I am a person and I don't want to be played with in this matter. The news media has already executed and buried me.... If anyone is hypnotized, the people are being hypnotized by the lies being told them.... There is no attorney in the world that can represent me as a person. I have to do it myself." Manson was examined by Joseph Ball, a former president of the California State Bar Association. Ball's assessment of Manson, presented in court on Christmas eve 1969, was that he was "an able, intelligent young man, quiet-spoken and mild-mannered. We went over different problems of law, and I found he had a ready understanding.... Remarkable understanding. As a matter of fact, he has a very fine brain. I complimented him on the fact. I think I told you that he had a high I.Q. Must have, to be able to converse as he did. And he feels that if he goes to trial and he is able to permit jurors and the Court to hear him and see him, they will realize he is not the kind of man who would perpetrate horrible crimes."
The Manson Myth Why Charles Manson is Entitled to a New Trial Judge Keene relented. "It is, in this Court's opinion, a sad and tragic mistake you are making by taking this course of action, but I can't talk you out of it.... Mr. Manson, you are your own lawyer." This situation existed until March 6, 1970. At that time Judge Keene, upset over some supposedly "outlandish" and "nonsensical" motions filed by Manson, vacated his status as his own attorney. Why the "outlandish and nonsensical" motions were not simply overruled was not explained. Whatever the real reason, Keene's action violated Manson's constitutional right to defend himself. Any defense presented after that ruling (and in fact there was none) was invalid, and in direct opposition to the Sixth Amendment right to self-representation. This issue was brought up in Manson's Appeal. In that appeal the California Justices denied Manson's request for a new trial claiming that a federal ruling which affirmed the Sixth Amendment right did not apply to Manson because the decision came after his trial and "was not to be given retroactive application". This interpretation of the law was later overruled in Bittaker v. Enomoto, wherein a United States Federal Appeals Court ruled "Although California defendant's trial occurred prior to United States Supreme Court's Faretta decision confirming to state defendants the constitutional right to self-representation, denial of the California defendant's right of self-representation was a federal constitutional defect requiring setting aside of his conviction". Manson is mentioned specifically in footnote # 2 of this decision. The right to self-representation is as fundamental and undeniable as any other right. It is every citizen's constitutional right. That is why Colin Ferguson, the seemingly deranged Long Island Railroad gunman, was allowed to defend himself at his trial. It doesn't matter if the 313
The Manson Myth Why Charles Manson is Entitled to a New Trial defendant's defense may be unconventional. Self-representation is his constitutional right. The denial of Charles Manson's right to represent himself during his trials is a fatal flaw in the legitimacy of those trials. Manson's convictions, and his present incarceration, are illegal. Over the years Manson has filed several habeas corpus petitions with the Los Angeles County Superior Court protesting his imprisonment based on the claim that he was denied the right to defend himself. All of these petitions have been dismissed at the Superior Court level with no explanation other than that the petitioner (Manson) had failed to establish that the claims made in the petitions warranted the granting of the writ. This is a standard rubber-stamp denial. None of the legal arguments advanced in any of these writs has ever been addressed. This is to be expected. The California Court System knows what it has done to Charles Manson and is afraid of the consequences it faces if Manson is given his rights. Manson will never get any relief on this question from the California court system. Only if he appeals a new writ through the California legal system to the Federal level will he ever get a fair hearing. Then he would get a new trial. No convicted person in the United States is more entitled to a new trial than Charles Manson.
Why Charles Manson is Entitled to a New Trial was first posted on the ATWA.com website.
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As you can see, nowhere it does it state that Manson was caught “sodomizing a young boy” as written in the Vincent Bugliosi book Helter Skelter. Surely, this would be on his permanent criminal record. 318
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Playacting with Lies
“Over thirty years I told you I broke no law, yet you keep lying and say I was given a fair trial in court, and because I got no school in my brain you play me for fool.” Charles Manson 319
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t would take more time than I have to play faces with people who playact with lies.... I believe God will be much worse on the unreal as they are on themselves each day as they create more guilt, fear, and hate. Thirty years I've been punished, not for what I did, but for what people needed to balance the fear and confusion going on in between their ego games. Over thirty years I told you I broke no law, yet you keep lying and say I was given a fair trial in court, and because I got no school in my brain you play me for fool. The reason I don't write and try to help myself in what's called "you people" is because it's used and mixed up with all the confusion "you people" play with your fears for money and past implants from the same twisted school heads who would eat earth and or anyone else before they would bend to God’s will. They would spend 2000 more years running from themselves before being in God and God being in them. Even if they say it, they still won't give up what they know is bad for them and earth. They run on fear-based teachings coming from wars and schools where they hide and won't accept anyone with a brain unless it's got papers signed by dead people. I've retired fifty years of lunch buckets and seen you grow up, eat your children's minds, and retire lunch bucket after lunch bucket. You lock your best servant up because you fear the other side. You're playing with past mind sets. Thirty years and I've not met four people who could set and talk to me looking in my eyes. Each finds an excuse to justify their pee-wee brains by calling someone else crazy or playing me as the evil and bad because I'm not like them.
The Manson Myth Playacting with Lies It's not if I'm bad or did crimes, it's "We want you to be like us." And at the same time you all follow TV movie hate images to hell. I stood up for you all and was burned, was disrespected, and fucked over more by the people of Christ. That showed me and the millions of eyes that watch me (that) there was no love there. So God loves the love given. He gives it right back because God is love. I don't need school to learn what's in my own mind. And they don't teach you how to use your brains, they teach you how to get a job and work for the god money and come back justifying and dancing the lies and ego, will for greed etc. I don't want to be the judge. Two P.A.'s were fired for making two black inmates cut their hair. I want to fire the people who took the weights off the yard and are trying to cut beards and hair. The WORD of the warden of Death Row said "Death Row is coming down now. What must we do, as CDC, to keep you from treating us as pigs and killing us?" (The) deal was cut and set. "OK, you respect us, we respect you." We are not dogs. We are men and would like boxes from home so we can have slippers for our feet and a bathrobe so we don't need to run naked to the shower. (We want) some of our lives back to be as human, a radio we can change and listen to what we want and end the CDC brain.... Radio and TV would help some of the men who are confined for a long time. (We want) our music (guitar) and music programs funded by the MAC, our welfare to have a wife and visits without a bunch of cops trying to show more manhood to convict’s wives who already killed people for disrespecting their loved one’s family.
The Manson Myth Playacting with Lies There are those among us who would fight for God and country, and soldiers who have served are not pigs. And CDC who respect are not pigs. They will be just as much human as they let us be. Your hat is a little off center, my crowned jewel.... You’re blinded by unlove zombies who need others to feed on, and you keep me helpless because you're helpless, locked in your fear and doubts of what may happen or "What will so-and-so think?", etc. Your prison is much worse than mine. I'm thirty years locked in cages and picked on. Why don't you give me thirty more days in my cage and take some more of the summer away from me? Has the last thirty days of my life been good for you? Has hurting me and using me to look over your doubts and fears helped you? Thirty days of my time – one day at a time – is about twenty years of yours. I did wonder why earth people got old so fast. Staying a child, I just never went to school and learned how to be a people. Rich people get favors. Manson is rich, but not permitted to do art or send photos or art. Everything I owned was taken time after time and called "contraband." Anything I do, I'm accused of making money, like it's a sin. My life itself has been outlawed ever since my father died in the War and my mom went to prison for trying to feed me at fifteen years old. For over fifty years I've been raised in your punishments, not for what I did or do, (but) because I'm not a bully like you. I've done nothing to no one. I owe no one, and people keep using me bad. I have learned that the rights they say you have are only if you have money or a place you 322
The Manson Myth Playacting with Lies were born into. Being right is not enough. Respect is not respected as should (be). Respect is covered up by a bigger fear. Fear is a big control in some minds. P. S. - Everyone that’s getting off on gun laws are not on line with ATWA. Pollution is gonna kill us all as people fight each other for bunkum plays. You can't keep playing law and order when prisons are filled with poor people that have been fighting for change in ATWA, (when) you keep claiming their efforts and running for office and making movies, and others play act our efforts for money. Money is not the answer. Covering us up, distorting – you law and order freaks are breaking all the laws one way as they kick down on others with their misunderstandings and warped thought patterns. How can you keep destroying Manson family when you are the Manson Family? Not giving us our rights don't give you rights and to keep thinking you got any more rights than Manson is pure bunk. You got the same rights you give. You get the same protection of your own life that you give life. Charles Manson, 1999
Playacting with lies was first published on the ATWA.com website.
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Charles Manson is NOT 5’2”
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The Devil’s Hole in Death Valley. This was the “Bottomless Pit” Manson spoke about as an entrance to an underground river. The prosecution stated that the “Bottomless Pit” was fictitious and one of Manson’s delusions of Helter Skelter as prophesized by the Beatles. 325
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“Deep down inside every one of you, you know I’m right. You have the proof. An ex-con comes out of jail, and all your children, the children of your doctors, lawyers, Harvard graduates, they come flocking to me for the answers. To me, not you who raised them, but to me, a man with no formal education.” Charles Manson 326
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y purpose for compiling these words was not an attempt to prove Manson “innocent,” but it was an attempt to use the words of the people closest to the “Family” and prove that the prosecution’s case was incorrect. This book was not meant to show Manson as a man who should not be in prison, but as a man who was wrongfully accused. The charge of “murder” was unfitting and he never had a chance to defend that charge in the court of law. He asked to represent himself and had his pro-per stripped from him mostly because the judge was having a bad day. I hope that it helped you think differently about the case, and if you believed the prosecution’s theory of Helter Skelter that this essay allowed you to understand that the case against Manson was founded on an incorrect motive— a motive that was created by a disillusioned and scorned ex-“Family” member who was out to seek revenge against the “Family.” A motive that was second-hand prophecy by Krishna Venta. I tried my best to use the participants’ words against themselves and against the theory. I have been researching the case for many years and I am aware that I see things different than some people. I tried my best to use the most reliable sources and I stand to be corrected whenever it is necessary. Over the years, I have spoken to many people involved in the crimes. While most of them maintain that Manson is 100% to blame, others agree that the prosecution’s theory was incorrect, but it didn’t matter because they felt that Manson was guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. 327
The Manson Myth Epilogue However, the facts are that there was an enormous amount of evidence that proved the Helter Skelter theory incorrect. Manson has never denied knowing about the murders, abetting, and harboring the killers after the fact. He sometimes even admits that he belongs in prison. But in reality, it’s more about the public opinion of Manson. The case put against him made him to a real-life Svengali. Manson once said that, “you didn’t need to lock me away. The media has put me in a prison that I will never be able to escape.” I intentionally did not speak about Manson’s ATWA cause because this essay was based on his case and not ATWA. For Manson’s official words on ATWA and his case, please check out the websites ATWAATWAR.com and MansonDirect.com.
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Tom “TJ The Terrible” Walleman 329
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The Manson Myth Sources
The Family by Ed Sanders, Da Capo Press, ISBN-10: 1560253969 Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi, W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN-10: 0393322238 Manson in his Own Words by Nuel Emmons, Grove Press, ISBN-10: 0802130240 Charles Manson Now by Marlin Marynick, Cogito Media Group, ISBN-10: 2923865065 Will You Die For Me? by Tex Watson, Fleming H. Revell Co, ISBN-10: 0800709129 Child of Satan, Child of God by Susan Atkins, Logos International, ISBN-10: 0882702297 Life and Times of Lynette Fromme by Jess Bravin, St. Martin’s Press, ISBN-10: 0312156634 My Life With Charles Manson by Paul Watkins, Bantam Books, ISBN-10: 0553127888 Death to Pigs by Robert Hendrickson, Tobann International, ISBN-10: 1450779352 Taming the Beast by Edward George, St. Martin’s Griffin, ISBN-10: 0312209703 The Manson File by Adam Parfrey, Feral House, ISBN-10: 1936239361 Desert Shadows by Bob Murphy, Sagebrush Press, ISBN-10: 0930704290 The Garbage People by John Gilmore, Amok Books, ISBN-10: 1878923137 The Spiritual Teachings of Krishna Venta by Jon Fisher, CreateSpace, ISBN-10: 1438248261 Last Man Standing by Jack Olsen, Anchor, ISBN-10: 0385493681 Zebra by Clark Howard, Richard Marek Publications, ISBN-10: 0399900500 Manson/Zodiac Connection by Howard Davis, PenPower Publication, ISBN-10: 0962908428 Manson: Behind the Scenes by Bill Nelson, PenPower Publication, ISBN-10: 096290841X Restless Souls by Alisa Statman, It Books, ISBN-10: 0062008048 Long Prison Journey of Van Houten by Karlene Faith, Northeastern, ISBN-10: 1555534813 The Man, Myth, Manipulation by Bill Nelson, PenPower Publication, ISBN-10: 0962908401 The Railroading of Charles Manson by Michael White, ISBN-10: B0056AFCCU Manson’s Right-Hand Man Speaks by Tex Watson, Abounding Love, ISBN-10: 0967851912 Charles Manson vs. The Mafia by Neil McKay, Scotland on Sunday The Myth of Helter Skelter by Susan Atkins, SusanAtkins.org Huffington Post: Paul Krassner “The Mystery Behind the Manson Murders” Huffington Post: Paul Krassner “My Acid Trip with Squeaky Fromme” The Vincent Bugliosi Story by Attorney George V. Denney, III “Then It Came Down” Truman Capote interviews Bobby Beausoleil, 1973 OUI Magazine interviews Bobby Beausoleil, 1981 High Society Magazine interviews Charles Manson, 1985 Life Magazine “The Manson Murders,” 1970, 1987 Charles Watson interview, Headquarters Detective, 1978 Tom Snyder Interviews Charles Manson, 1981 Charlie Rose Interviews Charles Manson, 1986 Nuel Emmons Interviews Charles Manson, 1985 KALX Interviews Charles Manson, 1985 Geraldo Rivera Interviews Charles Manson, 1988 Penny Daniels Interviews Charles Manson, 1987 Michal ben Horin Interviews Charles Manson, 1991 Ronald Reagan, Jr. Interviews Charles Manson, 1992
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Bill Murphy interviews Charles Manson, 1994 Leslie Van Houten interview, 1977 Lynette Fromme interview, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1987, 1994, 2004 Sandra Good interview, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1985, 199? Barbara Hoyt Various Interviews/Parole Hearings, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Paul Watkins interview 1969, 1975, 1978, 1989 StarCity Radio Interviews Paul Crockett, 2012 StarCity Radio Interviews Stephanie Schram, 2012 E! Interviews William Garretson, 1994 Hard Copy Interviews Charles Manson, 1994 Trial/Hearing/Grand Jury Transcripts, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 Susan Atkins interview, 1978 Steve Grogan Parole Hearing, 1981 Bruce Davis Parole Hearing, 1978, 1994 Charles Manson Parole Hearings, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1992, 1997 Inside the Manson Gang, Tobann International, 2007 Manson, Tobann International, 1973 Charles Manson Superstar, Video Werewolf, 1989 Six Degrees of Helter Skelter, Echo Bridge, 2009 Paul Watkins taped monologue, 1988 The Gainesville Sun MSNBC “Manson 40 Years Later” MansonDirect.com AllTheWayAlive.com Eviliz.com AndyCarvin.com Beausoleil.net Krishna-Venta.com BackPorch Tapes FromSpahnRanch.Wordpress.com MySearchForKrishnaVenta.Wordpress.com MansonATWAR.Tumblr.com TruthOnTateLaBianca.com CharliesArt.com TateLaBianca.BlogSpot.com SqueakyFromme.org ExclusiveFilms.com SusanAtkins.org AboundingLove.org MansonFamilyMurders.com MansonFamilyToday.info ZodiacMansonConnection.com CharlieManson.com
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LosAngelesFreePress.com CrimeMagazine.com ATWA.be ICSAHome.com CounterPunch.org ATWAATWAR.com Tate LaBianca Radio on StarRadio.com Conversations with Charles Manson 2010-2011 Conversations with Bruce Davis 2009-2011 Correspondence with Charles Watson 2008-2012 Michael Channels “The Colonel” Evil Liz Greywolf Ed Sanders Star “Scabboy” McKloskey A.C. Fisher Aldag George W. Cabocki Laurel Canyon Rider The residents of Topanga Canyon, Chatsworth, Shoshone, Tecopa, and Death Valley