Manson II and Abigail Folger From Maury Terry’s Ultimate Evil,Chapter XXIII – In Death’s Valley: The climate

was certainly favorable for Mentzer to have known Frykowski, Folger, and others in the circle, possibly including Evans. But did he? "He definitely knew Gibby Folger," a Los Angeles contact said. "I knew both of them then, and saw them together at lunch in a restaurant in Newport Beach with a couple of other people not long before the murders." I found support for that account by locating a person who claimed he shared the Mentzer-Folger table that day. "I was with them on that occasion," said the source, who was an undercover operative for the FBI. The source wasn't an FBI agent, but was recruited by the Bureau in the late sixties to infiltrate the anti-war and drug scenes in California. "Folger knew Mentzer," he said simply. This was explosive information. Mentzer allegedly knew one of the Tate victims and Berkowitz had said Manson II told the New York group that a real motive for the murders existed. Mentzer apparently would have been in a position to have known that.

From Chapter XXIV Murder Reigned in Southern California: Billy Doyle, who was close to Mama Cass, also knew Roy Radin suspect Bill Mentzer, said a Los Angeles source who was acquainted with both men. "I was in the same room with them. They were part of the same scene; they know each other," the informant reported. So Mentzer not only knew one of the Tate victims—Folger—he also knew Billy Doyle, according to the source. We were getting ever closer to Manson II and the hidden secrets of the Cielo Drive nightmare. […] Vincent Bugliosi suspected Manson had contact with the Process in San Francisco. But the prosecution didn't pursue that suspicion. Similarly, the district attorney's office said it sought but was unable to find a link between Manson and a Cielo Drive victim, which would have significantly altered the perception of the case. But we learned that Charlie and Abigail Folger were friends for a time in San Francisco and that Manson hooked up with the Process there as well. […] The Folger information comes from a reliable informant who knew both Folger and Manson. The source said he had dinner one night in September

1967 with Manson, Folger and two other individuals at a small seafood restaurant near Golden Gate Park, not far from the Haight. One of the others at the table was an aspiring actor and stuntman named Donald (Shorty) Shea. He later headed south to Los Angeles and found work at the Spahn movie ranch. Shorty Shea was murdered by the Family in the fallout from the Tate-La Bianca slayings, allegedly because he knew too much. He indeed did. Unknown by the police and prosecution, Shea had known Manson and Folger in San Francisco two years before the murders and actually went down to L.A. in Manson's company, according to the source. This revelation also seriously impacts the case. Two people seated in that seafood restaurant that night in 1967 were later murdered on the instructions of a third. The source's statement—which was supported by that of another California informant who said Shea also knew Bill Mentzer's associates— destroys Helter Skelter as the only motive for the slayings and clearly demonstrates there were other factors involved. The New York informants had hit the target again. Ed Sanders had heard that Manson attended a fund-raising event in San Francisco that was chaired by Abigail Folger's mother. He also knew that in 1967 Manson met disciple Mary Brunner at the University of California, Berkeley, where Brunner worked in the library and Folger at the university's art museum. And he had received information that Manson met Folger at Mama Cass's home. But Sanders wasn't able to flesh out the Folger connection. We were. "Gibby had more money than she knew what to do with," the source states. "She was into finding herself and new directions, and she was always investing in things, including a surfboard shop in Encinitas [near San Diego]. And not long before the murders, about six weeks, she got involved in putting up some cash for a small recording studio. It's possible that Terry Melcher, who knew Manson well, had a link into that studio." This was another twist; Melcher wasn't believed to have been associated with Folger, but the source says he might have been. "That night in San Francisco, she loaned ten grand to a small theater," the informant continues. "And she had also given money to Charlie from time to time." But then she stopped. "Manson turned against her when she refused to lay out any more bucks for him, and also because she wouldn't come across for him sexually. Charlie wanted to make it with her, but she shot him down." So Charles Manson, who would soon orchestrate orgies and command sex at will from his young followers, was spurned by Abigail Folger. Add another item to Charlie's own list of reasons for willingness to oversee butchery on Cielo Drive. "It made sense that Shea was killed after that," the contact says. "He knew both of them, and he could tie things together that nobody wanted tied." From another informant, it was learned that the $10,000 Folger agreed to advance that 1967 night was to help out a San Francisco arts house known as the Straight Theater, which was located on the corner of Haight Street

and Cole. Not coincidentally, Manson lived at 636 Cole during this period, and the Process was ensconced at No. 407 on that block. On September 21, 1967, a rock group called the Magick Powerhouse of Oz (with the word "magic" deliberately spelled with Aleister Crowley's k on the end) played the Straight Theater to celebrate something occultish known as the "equinox of the gods," September 21 being the first day of autumn. Lead guitarist and sitar player for the Powerhouse was none other than Bobby Beausoleil, who became a Mansonite and participated in the 1969 Gary Hinman murder. Manson, Folger, the Straight Theater and Beausoleil; the connections are fascinating. Beausoleil was tightly woven to author and bizarre-film maker Kenneth Anger, who was into the biker mystique and later conducted a magic ritual involving a satanic pentagram during an October 1967 march on the Pentagon. Anger was in the process of filming an occult movie that autumn; it was called Lucifer Rising. Beausoleil, twenty, played the part of Lucifer in the picture and his group was to perform the movie's music, such as it was. So, Sanders reported, Anger was present at the Straight Theater that night to film the soiree. Following the path a step further: Anger, LSD guru Timothy Leary and others were involved in the formation of the Himalayan Academy, which a source described to me as "a new-age research foundation of altered states of consciousness." The academy was stocked with various types of expensive equipment, such as oscilloscopes and electronic measuring devices. It was a mindbending experiment of the first kind. Sources say the academy was comprised of at least fifty members, plus another hundred or so hangers-on. There was considerable wealth on the academy's roster of sympathizers, and informants report that Abigail Folger contributed money here as well. Folger had also attended sessions at Esalen, which was neither geographically nor philosophically far from the Himalayan Academy. In fact, Folger may have been at Esalen on August 2 or 3, 1969, just before Manson arrived there. A phone call, probably made by Folger, was placed to Esalen from 10050 Cielo Drive on July 30, the Wednesday before the weekend of August 2-3. If Folger went to Esalen, her reason may have been simply to attend a sensitivity seminar, or it may have been related to other matters connected to the oncoming murders. However, no one has discovered if she even visited the facility at that time. But she was not in Los Angeles. Sanders reported that Frykowski entertained another young lady at Cielo Drive that Friday night, demonstrating that Abigail was away. Regardless, the sources say that Folger put some capital into the Himalayan Academy—and that Charlie Manson was also connected to the society. "Folger donated to the place, and it was there that Manson was first exposed to the Process," an informant says. "The academy was into all sorts of things and the Process was invited to speak there. That's how it happened."

The source didn't know if Folger was associated with the cult. But according to the informant, Manson joined the cult and later convened with the group in Mill Valley and at a dwelling in San Anselmo occupied by a well-known personage aligned with the LSD scene. Both cities are in the Bay Area. This scenario raised an inevitable question. Los Angeles sources earlier said that Roy Radin/Manson II suspect Bill Mentzer frequently traveled to the San Francisco area, the Stanford campus in Palo Alto, and stipulated that he knew Abigail Folger. "Mentzer knew Manson and all the cult people," the other informant said. Another crucial piece of the puzzle apparently was now in place. And what about the relationship between Manson and the doomed Shorty Shea? "They knew each other well enough in San Francisco to travel up to Seattle together to visit a commune started there by Brother Love Israel," said the informant, who dined with them. "They were tight long before the Spahn ranch and the murders." Authorities had placed Manson in Seattle, but they apparently didn't know why he was there—or whom he was with. […]

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