Friday, January 30, 2015

The Larry Bailey Manifesto

WHY ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN?

by Larry Giddings, anti-authoritarian Prisoner of War



Introduction: The Anti-Authoritatian Movement & Political
Prisoners.
by Anarchist Black Cross (Toronto)

When we mount a movement to challenge power we must expect and prepare for repression as a matter of course.  The resurgence of anti-authoritarian organizations has paralleled a general increase in militancy among progressive forces in North America. The predictable state response to this militancy has been increased repression, including political imprisonment.

There are currently well over 100 political prisoners and prisoners of war held in North American prisons, representing many diverse political movements.  Among these are Native Americans, Puerto Rican independistas, Black/New Afrikan nationalists, white anti-imperialists and anti-nuclear, ecological, and animal liberation activists.  There are also anarchist/autonomist/anti-authoritarian prisoners-- captured activists from our own movement.

The further development and defense of our movement requires building an effective and consistent response to the state's repressive actions.  Providing moral, political and material support for those on trial and for long imprisoned activists, aiding their families, learning how to protect ourselves from arrest; these are all things we as individuals and as a movement can and should be involved in.

Let us introduce you to one of our comrades, Larry Giddings, captured by state forces in 1979.  Larry is imprisoned-- but still actively participating in our movement-- today.

Larry was born October 6, 1952, in Rosstal, Germany. His mother is Silesian/German and his father is of various European and North American extractions.  Larry spent his early years and some teens in Germany.  He spent approximately eight years attending school and living in Maryland, USA, until dropping out of high school.

Larry was wounded during a shoot-out and arms expropriation with four others on August 21, 1971, in Los Angeles, California. He was arrested at the scene.  Larry's legal/political defense focused on the need for armed struggle against the US government and judicial system and the liberation of prisoners.  Upon conviction, he received a 20 years to life sentence.  New laws, and his status as a "first-time felon", resulted in his parole after seven years.  Larry spent more than a year on parole, working and living with a multi-cultural, political, food, and prisoner support collective involved in progressive work in the San Francisco Bay area.  He later began clandestine activities.

On October 14, 1979, Larry was again wounded and captured along with Bill Dunne (an anti-authoritarian POW currently incarcerated in Terre Haute, Indiana) during the liberation of a comrade from a Seattle, Washington jail.  Convicted of aiding an escape, the shooting of a policeman, bank expropriations (used for funding their activities), and conspiracy, he received multiple sentences of life in prison and 75 years, all consecutive.  He has no known parole opportunities.

Since his imprisonment, Larry's anti-authoritarian commitment, non-nationalist political analysis and continuing activism, has resulted in police repression against himself and his friends. Imprisonment has not stopped Larry from making important contributions to the anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement. Supplementing this activism, Larry completed BA degrees in Sociology and Psychology with the University of Kansas.  He is presently working towards the completion of an MA degree in Sociology, in the area of social movements.

In Larry's view, anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism are integral to the anti-authoritarian analysis and practice. In Larry's own words:

"I seek a world where people live without cultural, racial, or national oppression.  This can only happen in a non-nation-state world, a world without borders.  My most inspirational historical example is that of the Seminole struggles of the 1800's, in Northern Florida, Oklahoma, and finally in Northern Mexico and Texas.  Indigenous People of various nations, Afrikans (both free-born and escaped from slavery), "renegade" Europeans and Maroons (ship-wrecked sailors and rebels from around the world) united under the banner of the Seminole and and resisted the imperial slavocracy of the US for decades.  Some of these Seminole People continue to struggle to this day.  These "Seminole Wars", as they are called, are filled with examples of non-authoritarian structures, multi-cultural developments and autonomy between a number of cultures united in struggle.  It is from these roots that I believe a truly dynamic and successful movement for a socially and ecologically sound world will arise. A respect for the Indigenous People of the world and the environment is a primary step in creating this world."

Have we supported Larry or has Larry supported us?  Sometimes it is hard to differentiate.  Certainly we have learned a lot from Larry and are priveleged to have worked with him.  He remains unquestionably a part of our movement.

Support for political prisoners and prisoners of war in North America is minimal: their existence is all but unacknowledged. Recognition of and support for anarchist/autonomist/anti-authoritarian prisoners is even more limited.  For years people like Larry Giddings have received little or no support from anti-authoritarians.  Indeed, Larry's existence is unknown to most of us even though he has contributed greatly to our movement both before and since his capture.  There is a growing movement within North America to recognize, support, and publicize the plight of political prisoners and POWs  We as anti-authoritarians have a responsibility to ensure that both captured comrades such as Larry, and anarchist/anti-authoritarian organizations on the outside are included as a force within this movement.

Anarchist Black Cross (Toronto)




Why Anti-Authoritarian?

By Larry Giddings



From within the primal ooze of social-political labelling I have, for a number of years, chosen "anti-authoritarian" as my own. Those that prefer specificity have argued that this term is not descriptive enough and does not declare a "particular" poltical evolution. Bandits, rebels, street gangs, "free speechers", Jeffersonian constitutionalists, untutored and politically unsophisticated teenagers in rebellion, anti-communists, undiscplined rabble, counter-culturists, libertarian socialists, democratic socialists, social democrats, council communists, syndicalists, anarcho-syndicalists, anarcho-marxists, anarcho-communists, anarcho feminists... and more, can all be considered "anti-authoritarian". Oh, just so you think I forgot, anarchists, little 'a', and big 'A' are considered anti-authoritarians. "Why can't I use one of the more 'acceptable' labels, one with a more distinctly 'left' connotation?", they ask.

Unfortunately, I found the term - anarchist - lacking as well. I'm not alone in this observation. The term "autonomist" has appeared in recent decades as a response to the perceived differences between "classical" anarchists, and younger more contemporary anti-authoritarian activists. In Europe, the original organizations of many thought to be extinct political ideologies are still alive. Small, they may be, but they are still around. So, younger anti-authoritarians/anarchists felt compelled to develop different organizational methods and their label. Similarly, having described myself as being part of the anarchist persuasion during the early '70s, it has been a circuitous route to the term anti-authoritarian.

"Anarchist", is generally accepted to mean: without authority, or without ruler. In that sense, especially - without ruler - I am, most certainly, an anarchist.

However, life isn't nearly so simple, and, as with most other labels, the term - anarchist - has become "value laden". Which means that when people read or use the term - anarchist - they readily identify it with particular ideological, social, historical images they have carefully or unconsciously filed in their brains. For the unconscious, the greatest majority of people, it represents everything from bearded bomb-throwing radicals, to pipe-smoking armchair idealists. For those with some political and historical knowledge, those who carefully file their definitions, an anarchist is someone that doesn't believe state power is the object of struggle with the dominant social order but, a socially responsible and autonomous humanity - is - the object of struggle.

At this point, the waters become rather murky. There are nearly as many definitions of anarchy as there are anarchists! Labourists and syndicalists view the General Strike as the jumping off point in the creation of a classless, racismless society; to others, a committment to the removal of technology, and anti-industrialism is the mark of a "true" anarchist. Any support for a national group or "nationalist" movement precludes one from being an anarchist, to others. Situationists, post- Situationists, social ecologists, social anarchists, anarcho- marxists, Christian anarchists, pagan anarchists - fill in the blanks. All definitions of "true" anarchists are based on good analysis.

Excuse ----- me!!! As a poor, mostly self-educated, imprisoned, non-dues paying member of any organization, or adherent to a specific anarchist "program", I conceded. O.K.!! Maybe I am not really an anarchist. Maybe, I should take a step backward and, dipping into the primordial ooze of labelling, find something not so insulting to true anarchists. So, I did. A friend, some years ago, suggested that I was an "eclectic" anarchist; since, I do believe that good ideas can come from most anywhere and good people even moreso. Then, there is the term "autonomous". "Autonomous", in the European sense, has been used to describe non-communist party dominated socialist and communist groups, as well as the ever more popular "autonomes" of Germany. The autonomes include many perspectives in its non-ranks. The term - autonomous - is still largely unknown in the u.s. So, anti-authoritarian was the term that seemed to work best.

Like most of us, my journey began as a "rebel", pure and simple. Against family, against school, against "adults", against most anything that got in my way of achieving some personal enjoyment and development in life. I left "home", left school, and dropped-in to the world at a large, to find all the impediments multiplied. Firstly, I recognized "ageism" as a repressive cultural force. Secondly, I left the "family", as an incubator of the state, was the most repressive institution. Thirdly, the state, the enforcer of economic disparity and manager of all other institutions, the inhibitor of change, was the target of my rebellion.

Within the structure of the state, I swiftly recognized the police and "criminal justice" system as the immediate arm of state authority. I was very clear on this when I was 14, 15, 16 years old. I had read lots of history, been active in street actions in Germany and preparing for armed action in the u.s. from 16 to 17 years of age. There was no doubt in my mind that armed revolution was needed to affect any real change in this system. I had learned, all too well, as the son of a career army sergeant, that force was the only thing that the state understood. Living near Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Annapolis, I witnessed - all too often, the results of "peace demonstrations" and sit-ins, and civil rights marches, not to mention anti-war demos. Discussion was out of the question. I wasn't willing to lay down and let the state, or anyone else, beat me bloody, attack me with its dogs and shoot me, without fighting back.

My less than perfectly executed expropriation of arms, to pass out to liberated prisoners and a good number of 16-18 year olds, much like myself, in L.A., in 1971, landed me in prison for 7 years. I spent those years evaluating myself and my actions and my goals. I had recognized a youth movement, armed youth including Black Panthers, Brown Berets and American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) activists, and others, and headed in the same direction. But, I had not worked closely with any of them. Mistrust between groups of activists, separtism: political and cultural, active campaigns by various police agencies (including the F.B.I.'s COINTELPRO program), served to support our already deeply taught "need" to function as separate communities. Except for fairly isolated events, such as the occupation of Wounded Knee, this idea of the necessity of racial/cultural separtism remained a dominant theme, especially in the armed revolutionary communities. Ideologically, I proclaimed anarchism as a goal. In practice, I operated nearly as separately as nationalists. Still, I rejected dictatorships of any kind.

In prison, from '71 to '78, I read, like a lot of prisoners. Amongst that mass of printed words, I began to read "feminist" literature. It was easy to identify with many issues raised by feminists. As the oldest son of working parents, I had been responsible for the care and keeping of house and brothers. Don't you know I hated being trapped, both as a servant and as a youth, with virtually no rights in this society. Children were, and still are, "property" of their parents, genetic parents or otherwise. The "law" treats them equally shabby. This study of women's writings and political analysis led me to recognize "gender" as a special category of social/political relations, other than economic class and age. Likewise, feminists pointed out, correctly, that it had been women who have provided the backbone and sustenance of nearly all movements. In the anarchist community, ecological issues, childcare and education, healthcare, the anti-war/anti-nuclear movements, anti-racism and prison abolition have been issues fought for - daily - by women. As the numerically largest class of poor, single women with children of all races - bare the brunt of the state's oppression. They struggle with these issues, whether they are "popular" or not. While men often "struggle" for a short period of time, and then abscond, women, especially those with children, have no choice but to continue to confront the state in all its forms. Also the women's movement of the '60s and '70s reaffirmed and expanded the concept of the "affinity group", an anarchist form of organization, in which small groups of compatible people function in a largely egalitarian manner - without hierarchical "command" structures.

In prison, I swiftly observed racial separation as a constant source of misunderstanding, and felt all such "separatism", national, or otherwise, as divisive. We could not change this society, as anarchists, or anything else, while observing and participating in tacit agreement with social and cultural apartheid - u.s. style. It was in these years I rediscovered a favourite historical period of mine. Instead of just an isolated period of "history", my experiences led me to realize the deeper social and political significance of the "Seminole Wars" of the early 1800s. This committment to a consciously multi-cultural, non-nationalist struggle, rather than an amorphous anarchism, propelled me to enter a collective that reflected that committment upon my parole in 1978.

This collective held property in common, supported prison abolition and prisoners' needs, women's struggles, and members were from a variety of cultures and races. Study of revolutionary political material was a constant and reflected the various origins of those involved. Anarchists, Marxists and socialists of several varieties, lived, worked and struggled for individual growth and with each other, as well as against the state. It was an "eclectic" community.

Twenty months after parole, I was captured in Seattle, for the attempted liberation of a prisoner. Once again - I was in prison. My time on the streets had gone much too fast. While recognizing other groups and struggles as necessary, I had focussed on a fairly narrow spectrum of activity. No strong alliances had a chance to grow in such a short time. The continuing destruction of the small armed "left" groups in this country and my personal experiences, caused me to look more closely at the relative isolation of many peoples and struggles. An anarchist, global revolution against the nation-state formation, must begin somewhere. It must survive to struggle. I began to re-evaluate my thoughts, actions and focus. Once again, I returned to the study of the Seminole formations. In doing so, I found a greater commitment to Indigenous, Native American, Indian struggles was necessary.

Recognizing genocide, colonialism and ongoing destruction of Indigenous People and their ideas as a historical fact, is one thing, implementing that knowledge in a meaningful way - is another. Rather than just acknowledging that genocide and colonialism exist, we need to actively struggle against it, now. Many Native Americans may not call themselves "anarchist", but many are, clearly, anti-authoritarian in views and practice. Instead of relying on European historical example, they rely on their long Indigenous history. Recognizing that much of what modern and 18th and 19th century activists call - anarchism - is in a large way a result of interaction between European intellectuals and Native American societies - is of paramount importance in this process. Closer interaction with and support of Native struggles clearly added "self-determination and autonomy" for Native people to my list of goals, along with the recognition that they have historical reasons for wishing to organize separately.

Feminism, Women's Studies, gender as a special category of oppression, led me to identify and accept struggle against other specific forms of oppression as valid. Recognition that Black/New Afrikan, Puerto Rican, Mexicano Peoples, and others also share specific and different historical, intellectual and social realities, swiftly followed. This recognition, in other than just an abstract way, is not "truly" anarchist, I have been informed on many occasions.

However, I would hold that the Seminole struggles were anti-authoritarian in practice, and perhaps even anarchist in reality. Rather than a mere ideological/philosophical position of "globalism", or a theoretical "anti-capitalism", or "alternative economy", or "utopian" multi-racial/multi-culturalism, -- they actually practiced, lived, loved and fought with those principles in the real world. Unlike many European based anarchist, and anti-authoritarian movements and struggles, which attempted to deny their own cultural imperatives, those that struggled in the Seminole way acknowledged and accepted their own special relations and histories. Rather than a false-universalism - one which excluded those that sought autonomy within their own movement, they practiced a true one.

Rejecting a "romantic" view of Native American struggles is a requirement before learning the lives and struggles of People as real. If, we tear away the mythology and romantic view of "Indians living with nature", we find a revolutionary movement in the Seminole. A movement evolving out of the "Red Stick" movement shortly preceding it, as well as the social political struggles of Europe in regard to wars, growing industrialism and the social theories and movements in England and France, there can be little doubt that the Seminole knew of these struggles. Seminoles had alliances with every class of people in the young united states, especially among the anti-slavery/abolitionist movements, allies in Europe, and the Caribbean. Furthermore, Florida was still a Spanish colony, though, in reality, the Spanish dominated only a few towns and some coastal areas. A number of Seminoles fought in battles and struggled with others as far north as Connecticut. Native Americans had been kept as slaves in Georgia and the Carolinas, at some points it was considered "illegal" to have Afrikans enslaved, but "legal" to enslave Indians. Their legal status shifted back and forth. But, the link between the "cimmarones" (Spanish for: wild and runaway), Maroon communities and others became stronger as they helped more and more people to escape from bondage and build a new society, one which might eventually be able to free territory in other areas, including Central America and Venezuela. Cimmarones became known as Seminoles.

De-centralized, participatory communities, multi-cultural and separatist communities, autonomous decision making and plans of action, caused the Seminole allies to be an incredibly committed and versatile foe to the u.s. The u.s. government's actions against this grouping was the most costly ever fought here, except for the Civil War of the 1860's. Some bands, ones that refused to submit, still exist. Others fled to the islands, migrated and mixed in with local populations, or were removed to Oklahoma, as members of the Seminole People. Still others escaped the reservation and fled to Mexico, where they waged a running war with the u.s. for decades more. Some bands still live in Mexico.

In my attempts to translate these events and my own experiences, I have observed the following: whether I recognize non-anarchist, nationalist, separatist struggles, or not, they are in existence. By ignoring their existence, because of some principle of - pre-agreement, a requirement that these struggles reflect my own notion of a non-nation-state future and multi- cultural struggle, I am ignoring history and the reality of their day to day lives. By ignoring their existence, and ignoring their struggle against what are most often our mutual oppressors, I ignore my own desire for a non-nation-state future. "Globalism", de-centralized social and economic systems, non-nation-state formations, will only come about through struggle. Through struggling together, trust and confidence in our ability and commitment to our dreams, is communicated. "Globalism", must come about through mutual understanding. It will not be imposed. A culture of anti-authoritarian struggle is necessary.

Anarchism, as a body of literature and activity which opposes centralized state domination of social political life, is growing ever larger. In recognition of the vastness of the sea of material available and the swamp of views represented, I have used the label - anti-authoritarian - to keep the door, so to speak. There is every reason to allow people to grow and learn and make additions to anti-authoritarian theory and practice. If we narrow our movement to some narrowly defined "true" anarchism, we have excluded many of those we wish to, or claim to wish to, communicate with. Young people, in particular, are much more open to the need for a multi-cultural practice than those of my own generation, for instance. It matters less, to me, that young activists understand every nuance of the struggles between historical anarchism and marxism, in its intricacy and confusion, than their day to day practice of an anti-authoritarian nature. None of us, not one, were suddenly endowed with all of this information. To expect young, or old, activists, to suddenly understand what took many of us decades to compile, or even to agree with it, is ludicrous, to say the least. In fact, it is from this new generation of activists that a new language of global struggle will emerge. The assuredly "Euro-centric" language and practice of anti-authoritarian/anarchist theory, is in for a very healthy, and long-overdue, infusion of life.

In effect, I would rather be called anti-authoritarian and spend my time and energy struggling to build a non-nation-state world, than to argue to infinity about the definition of a "true" anarchist. Either -anarchism- has the ability to retain an evolutionary approach to problems, analysis and struggle, or it will be rejected by yet another generation of activists, in favour of quick-fix, short-term, pseudo-democratic and authoritarian alternatives. Those that wish to trap themselves in an ideologically suicidal classicalism, may do so. I, for one, reject that crystalization of thought and practice, which would doom the fertile and living body of knowledge and experience we call anarchism, and, yes, anti-authoritarian.

Let us practice globalism. Let us be real, sincere, and effective allies to each other. Whether active in anti-nuclear, ecology, anti-racism, squatting, prison abolition, anti-colonialism, cultural movements, women's movements or others it is time to recognize each other. Practice the knowledge we have confidence in. Confidence. A lack of fear that contact with "others", somehow - unlike ourselves, will destroy us, or take away our knowledge, change us. Confidence will build flexibility. False confidence and fear, create rigidity. Can we reaffirm anarchism's roots by becoming anti-authoritarian? I hope so.


Write to Larry:

     Larry W. Giddings
     #10917-086
     PO Box 1000
     Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
     17837    USA


(published by Arm The Spirit)

And his supporters:

  Arm the Spirit
  POB 1242
  Burlington, VT  05402-1242  U$A
  email: aforum@moose.uvm.edu

  Anarchist Black Cross (Chicago)
  POB 81961
  Chicago, IL  60681  U$A
  312-455-0707
  email: thak@midway.uchicago.edu


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Steve Bekins, Sandy's Onetime Boyfriend

Recently I got a great press photo of Sandy and Squeaky.  I looked at the caption that was pasted on the back and was a little confused, it was dated 1992 and I knew that Squeaky was still in prison,  Also, it's obviously a picture taken when they were much younger.

I tracked down what article the photo accompanied and found it was in the third of  a three part article about Steve Bekins that appeared in The Portland Oregonian.  Bekins comes from the Bekins moving/van lines family and was a child of privilege. He has now spent most of his life in prison for various felonies. The whole three part article is quite interesting but I am only posting the third part that explains his relationship with Manson Family members.

If you would like to read the first two parts, just email me and I will send them to you.



Series: PROMISES KEPT (Steve Bekins) (3rd of 3 parts)
NOW THE HARD CON OF HIS DREAMS, HE WONDERS WHY?
Author: BRIAN T. MEEHAN - of the Oregonian Staff

Summary: Steve Bekins remains faithful to his dark sense of honor, but finds all too late it's an illusion

In the war on crime, the enemy is anonymous. After a decade of prison-building, we still know little about those who cling to the criminal life. Steve Bekins is one. Bekins veered from a life of affluence to join a society of convicts. For years, he gave little thought to reform. In Part 3, his story returns full circle to Portland. He faces bank robbery charges in federal court and the grim prospect he will live out his days behind bars.

Aunt Loretta seems lost as she totters into Courtroom 11. An FBI agent leads the old woman to the blond wooden gate and points her toward the witness box. Loretta McFetridge looks as harmless as a grandmother. But tucked in her purse is a bomb for defendant Steve Bekins. Her blue-backed diary will turn Bekins' defense into a pumpkin this Halloween evening.

Bekins is in the trial of his life in federal court in Portland. The stakes are high. The government added an armed career criminal charge to the bank robbery count. The prodigal son of a Bekins Northwest executive faces life. What's worse, federal parole has vanished and the prosecutor has a dauntless case.

Bekins was arrested within minutes after the Dec. 14, 1990, robbery of the First Interstate branch at Southeast 39th and Powell. He fled from police and ran over a motorcycle before crashing the old Plymouth. The motorcyclist was not seriously hurt. Bekins' driving was about par. Prison did not hone driving skills.

Police found $1,885 in his shirt -- a dollar more than was stolen. They also found a silver .25-caliber semiautomatic and a sheepskin coat. The gunman wore a mask, but when police put the coat on Bekins, tellers said he was the one.

Bekins unveiled his alibi at a hearing. He said John McFetridge, an ex-con and fellow dope fiend, had robbed the bank. The morning of the robbery, Bekins met McFetridge in Southeast Portland. He would bring the money he owed Bekins later. Bekins said McFetridge showed about 1:30 p.m., gave him the money and the car. Several spectators chuckled when Bekins explained why McFetridge would not testify -- he had died several months after the robbery in a March car wreck. Bekins' chief alibi witness was a dead man.

Nevertheless, the October trial had gone surprisingly well. His lawyer, Mark Kramer, produced two large photos of Bekins and McFetridge. The jury was stunned; there was an uncanny resemblance.
Bekins testified in measured, articulate tones. He seemed miscast as an armed career criminal. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kent Robinson tripped him on cross-examination, but Bekins had sown doubts.

All that was before Aunt Loretta.
Robinson gently questions Mrs. McFetridge. Her nephew lived with her in Salem, she says, and never mentioned Bekins.

And what about Dec. 14, 1990, the day of the robbery? Robinson asks.
John was home with me.
How can you be sure?
My diary, she answers. I keep a diary as a hobby.
Mrs. McFetridge plucks the gold-leafed journal from her bag and reads the entry for Dec. 14. She baby-sat for a neighbor from 10:45 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. Johnny was home watching TV.
A chill courses Bekins' spine. The diary says McFetridge was not in Portland for the morning meeting or the 1:30 p.m. robbery. He folds his big hands on the glass-topped table in the dock. Kramer scribbles furiously on a yellow legal pad. Two FBI agents whisper and smile.

On Halloween evening, Steve Bekins is on the last leg of a lifelong trek through 30 prisons and jails. He has spent 33 of 53 years behind bars. His journey began at MacLaren School for Boys. His father thought reform school would teach discipline; instead, the boy learned hate. His crooked trail led through the Oregon State Penitentiary; San Quentin and Folsom prisons in California; Terminal Island, Lompoc and Phoenix in the federal system.

The path has looped back to Portland, where the long, sad story began when a bright young boy's mother died of cancer. His wealthy father could not control him. After remarrying, the father sent his son away.

Steve Bekins went away to institutions and never returned. He rose in a society that honored loyalty and abhorred cops, weakness, steady employment and the cautious lives of ordinary citizens.
He lied to police but was true to his friends. He lived by the code of the convict.

In jail Halloween night, Bekins brooded. The old woman had ruined him. He saw it in the jury's eyes. He was going away forever. He would suffer like none of his victims had. He'd never harmed a robbery victim. He had never committed an act of violence -- except that one time back in 1973. But that was in prison. The rules were different. And the rat got what he deserved.

 - -
In the spring of 1972, California paroled Steve Bekins. He had served six years of a five-years-to-life tour for armed robbery. The release fit the pattern of his life.

He re-entered society in bizarre fashion. He moved in with the Manson family. A pal introduced him to the followers of Charles Manson. The women lived in Hollywood where the Tate-LaBianca murders had made them notorious. Lynette ``Squeaky'' Fromme and Sandra Good were not implicated in the killings. But they had a nose for trouble. Fromme drew international attention when she pointed a gun at President Ford. Her roommate, Sandra Good, later served 10 years for threatening executives.

The women dabbled in the occult and believed in mind control. They mailed nude photographs of themselves to convicts to curry favor for Manson. Bekins took LSD and smoked marijuana with the women. They worshiped this crazy Manson. When Manson shaved his head, the women cut their hair. When Manson carved an X on his forehead, the women did the same.

A marijuana arrest ended Bekins' counterculture hiatus. Eddie Bunker, a Folsom pal, posted bail and recruited Bekins for a holdup.

Three months after his parole, Bekins walked into Ahmanson Bank & Trust in Beverly Hills. Police had staked out the bank, but Bekins escaped with about $1,300. Police captured Bunker. He admitted driving the getaway car and named Bekins. Bunker later wrote books and became an actor, but Bekins considered him a failure. Bunker had cooperated with police.

Bekins took Good and fled to Portland. He was arrested for robbing a Kienow's store and sentenced to 20 years. With a bank robbery trial looming, the jailhouse rabbit was desperate to escape. He smuggled a meat saw into the county jail at Rocky Butte. An informer told on him. The guards couldn't find the saw. When he was transferred, he smuggled the saw into OSP. He beat the strip search by wrapping the blade in plastic and shoving it up his rectum -- one of the tricks learned in a life behind bars.

Bekins focused his rage on the informer. He would get this guy the way they did in San Quentin: with a knife instead of a fist.

He waited a year for the chance. He was tried in Los Angeles for the bank robbery. The federal judge gave him 15. Then, in the fall of 1973, he returned to OSP. The informer was there.

Bekins obtained a ``sword,'' a 2-foot-long, prison-honed shank, and stalked the informer. He kept his mouth shut. The hit would be sudden and final. Early one morning, he sneaked into the informer's cell and knocked him out with a pipe. The man sprawled on the bed. Bekins aimed for the heart and plunged the blade into the man's chest. The long knife pierced the mattress underneath. Bekins pulled it out and drove the sword again. When he left, he was sure the blood-spattered inmate was dead.

 - -
The Oregon hole was a nuthouse. Iron doors slammed. Guys jabbered day and night. Prisoners taunted guards; some hurled feces and urine on officers. The Segregation and Isolation building became Bekins' home in the 1970s.

The Oregon penitentiary had changed. Hoyt Cupp, the flamboyant new warden, was fearless. Cupp strolled the yard and joked that he was Boss Con. His candor won respect among inmates. He shunned protective custody and landed on gangsters. Unlike California, convicts served time in relative safety. Stabbings were rare and Cupp took pride in nailing the wolves.

Bekins was arrested a week after the knifing. Miraculously, the informer lived. Cupp couldn't make the case stick because the victim never saw Bekins' face. Bekins was released into the mainline where he joined forces with an old friend.

A court had returned Stephen Kessler to OSP. He and Bekins soon built OSP's most powerful tip, or gang. Marijuana was scarce during the previous reign of Warden Clarence T. Gladden, but now the pair had great success smuggling drugs.

``If there really is a mafia, he would be the mafia inside the prison,'' Harol Whitley, who was captain of the guards, said of Bekins. ``He had some class compared to other prisoners. I would say the same thing about Kessler. They had some charisma.''

The Kessler tip was called ``The Family. Cupp was determined to break the group, which traced its roots to MacLaren.

``In my 37 years, that particular group was the most difficult group to deal with,'' Cupp said of the MacLaren clique in an interview before his death in 1990. ``I don't know why. What happened? Something happened in society that developed a real tough group of people.''

Gary Gilmore was among the worst. He assaulted guards. He cut his wrists, mixed blood and water and smeared his cell walls.

Twenty years earlier, Gilmore was a no-name kid at MacLaren. Now, Gary was crazy.
Bekins fell out with Gilmore over Gary's dentures. Gilmore flushed his teeth down the toilet and said the guards stole them. He led the tier in a food strike. They wouldn't eat until Cupp bought Gilmore new teeth. Finally, Cupp agreed. But Gilmore found a way to screw it up. He slugged the dentist. At a hearing, Bekins snapped at Gilmore.

``You know what, Gilmore? Your problem is you never know when to stop, man,'' Bekins barked.
Oregon shipped the disruptive Gilmore to the federal penitentiary at Marion, Ill. Bekins was stunned when Gilmore was paroled in the spring of 1976. How could they let this guy out? he wondered. That July, Gilmore killed a service station attendant and a motel manager in a pair of two-bit robberies in Utah. He ordered his victims to lie down and shot them in the head. The nuttiness of the killings fit Gilmore. On Jan. 17, 1977, Gary Gilmore went before a Utah firing squad, the first American in a decade to be executed.
- -
Cupp turned the heat up on ``the family'' in the fall of 1975. Officials received an anonymous note that warned of a Kessler plot against the warden. Cupp moved to transfer Kessler, and the story hit the newspapers. It was fanned by reports that Squeaky Fromme and Sandra Good had visited Bekins and written to Kessler. A month earlier, Fromme had been charged with trying to assassinate President Ford. Cupp said the Kessler group was scheming to seize the prison.

Cupp tried to trade Bekins for a prisoner at McNeil Island, Wash., but McNeil Island vetoed the trade.

``He was a somebody,'' remembered John Akin, a former prison counselor. ``He would stand with his back to a wall. He would not let people up to where they would take advantage of Steve Bekins. . . . I respected people like Bekins in the big house because you knew where they were coming from. You knew they were rattlesnakes, but you still had to admire them.

``If Steve Bekins would have been born a hundred years ago,'' Akin added, ``he would have been either a hell of gunslinger or the town marshal.''

When the dust settled, Kessler went to Marion. Bekins returned to the hole at OSP. Cupp clamped down. No more personal property. No more contact visits. It was the most miserable 18 months Bekins ever spent in prison.

In the summer of 1976, Bekins' brother, Marshall, visited. The brothers had not seen each other for 20 years. Marshall brought news: Their father, Bruce, was dead.

Bekins didn't grieve. He and Bruce hadn't spoken in 16 years. But he loved his father still.
*``Even though we had this strange relationship, yes, I loved him very much,'' he said. ``I think I loved him even when he died. I always did. But I didn't talk to him from 1960 until he died. I never talked to him again. It was just a series of things in my relationship with him that just showed to me, just proved to me that he really didn't care."
- -
Bekins spent all but 18 weeks of the next 13 years in four prisons. The Oregon Board of Parole goofed in 1978 and paroled him, even though he owed the feds 15 years for bank robbery. He was burned out on crime. For the first time in his life, he wanted a decent job. It was way too late. He was almost 40 and had never held a job.

He retreated to heroin and was arrested for robbing a drugstore.
His friends teased him back at OSP. His 60 days of freedom had been pathetic. He couldn't make 20 bucks without getting caught.

The penitentiary was wide open when he returned. Kessler was gone, but marijuana smuggling boomed. In one incredible week, Bekins made $1,000 three days in a row.

But Cupp wasn't finished with him. In 1981, Bekins was accused of stabbing an inmate. He was down the hall when the assailant chased the victim before dozens of witnesses. But someone said Bekins did it. He denied it. Cupp asked him to take a lie-detector test. He took the test twice; the results were inconclusive. Finally, Cupp banished Bekins to federal prison.

He traveled through Lompoc, Phoenix, and Terminal Island, Calif. Boats floated tourists past the island prison in Long Beach Bay. Tour guides droned about prison history as women in bikinis waved to the convicts. Bekins enjoyed the view and waited for his release. The rabbit had lost his legs.

In November 1989, Bekins returned to Portland a free man. He knew nothing of the normal life. Jetliners and seat belts, the civil rights and women's movements, VCRs and microwave ovens, color TV, disco and rap, suburbia, baby boomers, hippies and yuppies all arrived while he was locked away.

Steve Bekins saw the public milestones whizz past from behind bars. Harry Truman was president when he went to MacLaren. Eight presidents later, Bekins was in the Justice Center jail for bank robbery.

He spent the Cold War in the cooler. He was in OSP when the Berlin Wall went up, in the Justice Center jail when it came down.

He was in OSP when John Kennedy was killed; in San Quentin when Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were slain; at Lompoc when President Reagan was wounded. He was in Phoenix when the Challenger exploded and the stock market crashed. He spent the Gulf War in the Justice Center jail.

Convicts, cops, wardens and guards came and went. Convict Bekins remained loyal to the code. In a strange way, his life was a success. He became the hard con he so admired as a youngster.

``Nearly all convicts will tell if you put the squeeze on them, but Bekins would never tell on anybody,'' said Whitley, the captain, who became a warden in Nevada and Utah. ``Of the 34 years I've spent in corrections, he's the only convict I know of who really lived by the code.''
But the life never made him happy.

``I tried to be this thing all these years. Why now that it's happening to me am I so disappointed?'' Bekins said. ``I wanted people to say, `Man, that's a serious guy.' Now I say, `Jesus, hey, I'm not that guy.' . . . Whether we are what we try to be, I don't know.''

His spirits bottomed after the 1990 arrest. He considered suicide. A friend said he could always do that. He shut his mouth; the days passed.

The younger inmates dumbfounded him. The convict code was dead for sure. Guys openly courted guards and snitched without shame. Over the years, he had seen standup cons weaken and turn. Others had died. At 53, Bekins felt like a prison dinosaur. And he was.

He thought of death. He didn't believe in God but couldn't fathom the end of himself. There has to be something else, like the odor that lingers after the match is out. When he thought of his life, his mind raced back to MacLaren. The keys were there. He had jumped on the path and never stepped off. For years, he had blamed his father, but time had worn the blaming thin.

``More than anybody else, I blame myself,'' he said in an interview after his bank robbery conviction.
``At the beginning, I blamed my father, but that was so many years ago. That wore out 30 years ago. Now I don't blame anybody but myself.''

The Justice Center jail population turned over several times. Bekins was a stranger in his hometown tank. He would recognize a name and cringe when he learned the inmate was the son of a guy he'd done time with a generation ago. His record impressed some. Their admiration made him nervous.
``The only thing I do know something about is jail. And now I see I don't know very much about that, either, because it's changing,'' he said.

``Nobody I know is in jail anymore,'' he added. ``They are all gone. Even though I've spent my whole life here, I don't know hardly anybody here. I know 50 guys in the state prison, maybe 100. But that's because they've been there forever. . . . There's 10 or 15 guys I grew up with and they are still around. And they have maintained the same kind of life that I have. And I still respect and like them. I call them my good friends, my lifetime friends. And everybody else is gone.

``To give advice to somebody is pretty presumptuous of me. Because I don't know, it's an illusion. I guess all the things that I thought were true were actually just what I thought. .
 . .
``Especially the convict code. It's an illusion. Although I understood it and believed it, it really wasn't there. It was only in my own mind.''
- -
At 10:16 a.m. on a blue March Monday, Steve Bekins rises before U.S. District Judge Malcolm F. Marsh for the last time. He declines when the judge asks if he has anything to say. He never liked making smart remarks to judges.

The lawyers had wrestled for months over a confused point of law. The argument about the sentencing guidelines and whether he should get life or 20 years seems moot. Unless he wins on appeal, he believes he will die in prison.

He stands ramrod straight in his jailhouse blues as the judge gives him 30 years. He doesn't flinch. At this late date, he doesn't want to crack. He will play the convict role to the end. It is all he has left.
Bekins will resume his familiar post in a country that jails more people than any other nation on Earth. His room and board will come from the $20 billion a year America spends to jail more than a million criminals. The war on drugs has filled new prisons. The number of inmates has doubled since 1980, tripled since 1973. Bekins wonders where it will end. Despite the crackdown, he knows it's easier than ever to buy dope in Portland. Something is coming down the line, he thinks. Something ugly.

Through his long criminal odyssey, a piece of his original self survived. The part that fueled his spark as a child, his perseverance as a youth, his loyalty as an adult. Burglar, pimp, drug addict and bank robber, he has been them all. But he also has been intelligent, charismatic and faithful to a dark sense of honor.

Hate drove him after MacLaren. Hate twisted him to embrace a code at war with society. He was doomed by his own tenacity. He had his chances. He made his choices. He never turned his talents to the good life. That is the riddle of Steve Bekins. He himself cannot answer why.

He kept the promise he swore at MacLaren. He spent his life getting even. He kept the promise and it cost him. He paid in lost views of the blue Sumpter sky, in the laughter of the children he never had, in the death that awaits in a drab prison infirmary.

``I'm thinking a lot about dying even though I don't plan to die in the next 20 years,'' he said. ``But I know it's coming and it's a pretty normal event. I guess prison is as good a place to die as anyplace else.''

Fifteen months in the Justice Center jail has him eager to move on. He looks forward to the penitentiary. He asked for Sheridan but doesn't expect to go to the medium-security prison. They probably will send him to Lompoc. It could be worse. He's been there before. The California weather is great. Plenty of handball when the afternoon wind doesn't blow you off the yard. He has friends there, too. After 30 years, he knows it's the people who make the penitentiary.

He feels an awful sense of relief. He won't have to worry about a job or money or where his next meal is coming from. His past embarrasses him; he won't have to worry about his future.

``The only thing that is important is now,'' he said. ``I've always known that. But it's becoming easier for me now to deal with just now. Why get anxious about tomorrow? Why worry about yesterday? Because now is all that I have.''

At 10:21 a.m. on March 9, two marshals handcuff Steve Bekins' big hands behind him and march the career criminal out of Courtroom 11. If he defies the odds and survives this sentence, he will be 79 when released. The year will be 2018. And Steve Bekins will have passed 59 of his 79 years behind bars.

Caption:
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme - Sandra Good Photo by DANA OLSEN of The Oregonian
staff  


Monday, January 26, 2015

Wedding of the Doll - Video of Sharon's Wedding


British Movietone footage of the wedding of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski.


Thanks, HellzBellz!



The Marriage That Didn't Happen

The window for the much publicized wedding of Charles Manson and Star that was supposed to take place has closed.  If you recall the prison conducts weddings on the first Saturdays of each month.  There are no more first Saturdays remaining before the wedding license expires.  The license was good for 90 days from the time it was applied for on November 7, 2014, by my calculations it will expire February 4, 2015.

Is anyone really surprised?  We never heard from Manson about the impeding nuptials, not one peep.  Generally, if he is given an opportunity, he will make some sort of statement.  He did say in the 2013 Rolling Stone article that any talk of a marriage was just hype for publicity and that he did not intend to marry Star.  So, did Star take it upon herself to apply for the license without consulting Charlie?  Will she again apply for another license and will we get to go through the barrage of publicity again?  I hope not!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Need a Copy of Your Hendrickson Ticket Stub

Was anyone here present at any of the Hendrickson screenings of MANSON at the Silent Theatre in Los Angeles in May of 2013 and still have their ticket stub?

If so, would you mind scanning it and emailing me a copy?




Friday, January 23, 2015

Sharon's Premonition II

Sharon Tate's Tragic Preview of Murder
Fate Magazine May 1970

All of the images here appeared along with the article.

by Dick Kleiner

The meaning of a psychic experience Sharon Tate related to me some years ago seems obvious now-- but it didn't at the time.  The lovely starlet understood it not at all-- but today it is clear she foresaw the manner of her own death.

In my capacity as Hollywood correspondent for the Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc., a news feature syndicate, I visited the set where Sharon Tate was working on a feature film on August 1, 1968.  I hade met Miss Tate once or twice so she recognized me.  Between scenes she invited me into her trailer.

We talked for a half hour or so about her film career, her current movie and many other things.  Then I asked if she ever had psychic experiences.  It wasn't an idle question.  I always ask the stars and celebrities I interview if they have had such experiences at any time in their lives.

I had begun asking that question perhaps 15 years ago and I find a large number of actors and actresses recall such experiences.  They range from simple and commonplace- Deja vu and such- to fantastically dramatic stories.

So I posed my pet question to Sharon Tate, one of the most beautiful girls to become a Hollywood star in many years.

She answered unhesitatingly, "Yes, I have has a psychic experience- at least I guess that what it was- and it was a terribly frightening  and disturbing thing for me.  It happened a year or so ago.  Maybe you can explain it."

I said I wasn't too good an "explainer" but I would like to hear her story.  And this is what Sharon Tate related.  Remember, we talked a year before August 8, 1969- the date she, Jay Sebring and the others were brutally murdered.

At the time of her experience Sharon Tate was being squired around Hollywood by Jay Sebring.  A steady twosome, both exceptionally attractive, they made a striking couple.

Jay was a popular man-about-town.  His profession (he was a barber but in Hollywood they called him a "men's hair stylist") might seem a strange on to yield a "man-about-town" but Jay made a lot of money styling the hair of the famous and near-famous in Hollywood.  He had become reasonably wealthy and had purchased an expensive home in as exclusive part of the Los Angeles area.

His house was in Benedict Canyon which cuts north from Beverly Hills into the mountains.  The house had been owned years earlier by Paul Bern, an agent who became famous when he married one of his clients, a girl named Jean Harlow.

Bern's house, now belonging to Sebring, was located right on Benedict Canyon, the street that parallels the canyon itself.  It stood only a mile or so south of Cielo Drive, a short street that cuts off from Benedict Canyon.

It was in a house at the end of Cielo Drive rented by Sharon and Roman Polanski, the brilliant young Polish director whom she married in 1968, the five murders took place.  But Sharon's psychic experience occurred in Jay Sebring's house.

Jay had been called to New York on business.  A New York promoter was talking about franchising Jay Sebring Hairstyling Parlors and Sebring was there to talk about the deal.  At the time by sheer coincidence Sharon had no place to live.  She had given up her apartment in the expectation that another she had rented would be available but there had been a delay.  She couldn't get into the new place for a week or so.  She was planning to move into a hotel when Jay said she could stay at his house while he was in New York.

She happily agreed, for she was anxious to see the house anyway.  It was famous in Hollywood.  Everybody knew that here Bern had brought Jean Harlow when they first were married.  Everybody knew, too, that from here Jean had walked out on him.  And here too Bern had committed suicide.
***
Sharon moved a few things into Jay's house in the afternoon, cooked a little supper, read for a while, then went to bed early, tired from the moving.  But she couldn't sleep.

"I had a funny feeling," she told me.  There was nothing else, nothing external, all internal.  It was just a "funny feeling" that disturbed her and prevented sleep.  Every little noise- and what house doesn't have its little noises?- made her jump although she wasn't ordinarily skittish or excitable.

She turned on a bedside lamp, mainly to regain a sense of reality.  It didn't shed much light but enough for her to see something stirring outside her bedroom door.  "I saw this creepy little man," Sharon said, shuttering involuntarily.  "He looked like all the descriptions I had ever read of Paul Bern."

The vision, or whatever it was, made no threatening move in her direction.  The figure came into her room but did not approach Sharon's bed.  He simply prowled around the room, going rather fast for what she took to be a ghost, and bumping into things.  He- or it- didn't behave as she thought a ghost should- nor like a prowler.  He was moving too fast, he was clumsy, and he seemed to be almost solid, rather than transparent. 

She didn't like what was going on.  She jumped out of bed and put a robe on and ran downstairs.  Shortly she wished she was back upstairs- for what she saw as she ran down the flight of stairs was enough to make anyone wish to be somewhere else.

"I saw something or someone tied to the staircase," she said.  "Whoever it was- and I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman but knew somehow that it was either Jay Sebring or me- he or she was cut open at the throat."

She said she almost flew past this apparition and raced into the playroom, wanting a drink to steady herself.  She was sure that Jay had a bar somewhere in the room or at least a liquor cupboard.  But she had no way of knowing where it was.

Mysteriously something seemed to tell her- although she heard no voice- that she should open up one of the shelves behind the bookcase.  She groped around and found a tiny button.  When she pushed it the bookcase opened and behind was a hidden bar.  Quickly she poured a stiff one and gratefully swallowed the liquor.

She tried to clam down to assess her situation.  She told herself the whole thing must be just a horrible nightmare.  To test it she pinched herself- and was delighted to realize she had felt nothing.  It was only a dream.

Next the same soundless informer who had told her how to find the bar commanded her- irrationally it seemed- to tear away the wallpaper at the base of the bar.  This was ridiculous!  But her curiosity overwhelmed her.  She tore at the wallpaper and it came away easily.  Behind it was solid copper, a lovely base for the bar, which had been papered over by some boorish former owner.  She peeled away all the paper until the beautiful copper was completely revealed.

Again she reminded herself it must all be a dream. The incongruity, the apparition upstairs, the awful thing on the staircase and now the crazy business of ripping away the wallpaper to find solid copper- those are the ingredients of dreams.  She pinched herself again.  Still no feeling.

She thought she could go to bed now and sleep. she started back upstairs.  The thing, mutilated and gushing blood, still was tied to the newel post in the downstairs hall.  Upstairs the creepy little man still prowled about.  She skirted the former and dodged the latter and made it safely into the bedroom.  Surprisingly, once in bed, she immediately fell into a deep and untroubled sleep.

She awakened, late the next morning, to the sound of a male voice from below.

"Hey, Sharon, are you home!"  She recognized Jay Sebring's voice.  When she went downstairs, he explained the business trip had been cut short and he was home again.

As he talked she remembered the nightmare and laughed.  He wondered what she was laughing about but she couldn't tell him.  It would have been foolish to describe the two apparitions and the crazy business with the bar.

Then they walked together into the playroom and suddenly it all became reality again.  There was the bookcase open and the copper base shining and the scraps of wallpaper on the floor.
***
Sharon Tate, talking about this in the trailer on the movie set, laughed again.  It was the only psychic experience she ever had in her life.  Was it a dream?  Or were there ghosts?  She asked me what I thought.

I didn't know what to tell her.  Perhaps the "creepy little man" was a ghost, the troubled spirit of Paul Bern.  Perhaps the business about the bookcase and the wallpaper was feminine intuition or an ordinary hunch.  But the apparition tied to the staircase- that horrifying figure she felt was either Jay or herself- that I couldn't explain at that time.  Now it seems obvious. What could it have been but a preview of the horrifying drama to come?




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Did Sharon Tate Have a Premonition?

By Dick Kleiner (syndicated columnist - August 1969)

HOLLYWOOD - (NEA) - It was just a creepy story, when Sharon Tate told it to me early in 1966. But now, three years and five murders later, it has acquired something more than creepiness.

She was a starlet then. Sensational to look at. They thought she was going to be a big star. Maybe she would have been. Maybe not. Anyhow, in '66, she was a girl of promise.

But there was something a little strange about her. Everybody noticed it. They thought, at the time, that it was because her first feature was an oddball terror thing called "13" - later they changed the title to "Eye of the Devil" - and maybe she was taking her work home with her.

You could look at her for hours. And listen to the nutty stories coming out of that beautiful head. I like stories of the supernatural. She knew that, and she had one.

It involved Jay Sebring. And the house in Benedict Canyon. No, not the house where she and Jay were killed. That was on Cielo, just off Benedict. But the houses can't be much more than a mile apart.

Sharon used to date Jay. This was before she met Roman Polanski, the man she married. She and Jay went together for a long time. Jay had just bought the house in Benedict Canyon.

It had once been owned by Paul Bern. It was into that house that Birn [sic.] had brought his bride, Jean Harlow. And it was in that house that Birn had committed suicide.

The beautiful girl told the story, calmly, matter-of-factly, it seems that Jay was in New York on business. And Sharon was between apartments. She called Jay and asked if she could stay in the house. Of course she could. [NOTE: According to the 1966 story, Tate said that she "had had funny feelings" inside the house, so when Sebring was out of town, she asked if she could spend the night "to see what would happen."]

She was there that night. That dark night. She was alone. She wasn't usually spooky [not a typo], but for some reason she was that night, in that house. She kept a light on, by the side of her bed.

"I saw a creepy little man," Sharon said. "He looked like the pictures I'd seen of Birn."

She ran downstairs. [Note: In the 1966 interview, Tate said that she was sitting in the downstairs den when she saw Paul Bern's ghost. In fact, there is no mention of her being upstairs at all during her paranormal experience.]

When she got downstairs, she wished she was still upstairs.

"I saw a vision of someone tied to the staircase," she said. "It might have been me. It might have been Jay. Whoever it was, it was cut open at the throat." [In the 1966 article, Kleiner writes, "And there were other visions, concerning a man and a woman, which cannot be printed, but mostly it was this vision of a man, seen in detail." The man Kleiner is referring to is Paul Bern.]

She needed a drink, for nerve-steadying purposes. She didn't know where the bar was. Something told her to open a bookcase. Inside, there was a hidden bar. She poured a shot.

There was some wallpaper below the hidden bar. For some reason, she picked at it, tore it away. It covered a lovely copper base to the bar. She wondered why it had been papered over.

Strange, how the mind works. Worrying about things like that when ghosts are wandering around upstairs and mutilated bodies are tied to the staircase downstairs. She thought it must have been a dream. She decided to find out and went back upstairs. The body - (Could it be her, could it be Jay?) - was still tied to the stairs. [Note: The 1966 article makes no mention of a bar, and of course, no body tied to the stairs.]

The creepy little man was still prowling around upstairs.

She went to bed and somehow slept.

When Jay came back back, the next morning, he woke her up. She remembered the events of the night before. It must have been a dream - but ...

"Hey," he called, "who tore the wallpaper off by the bar down here?"

No dream.

But three years later, a mile up the road, a nightmare. She and Jay were killed. Both stabbed, Three others killed, too.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Manson's First Post-Conviction Interview

Manson's first TV interview following his conviction (8/18/75). The Associated Press interview first aired on KTVU in San Francisco. Manson says they could have gotten off had they had the chance to make a defense, which Nixon prevented with his statement. He blames his lawyers. He originally wanted to present their own case because they knew the truth of what happened and why, but public opinion didn't want to hear that.




Friday, January 16, 2015

The Bob Ruby/Sandra Good Interview

Bob Ruby was a talk radio personality with a show in the New Orleans radio market.  At the time he did this interview with Sandra Good he was the number one radio personality in that area. 

This interview was conducted not long after Lynette Fromme tried to assassinate President Ford.  The interview would later be used against Sandra Good after she was arrested and tried in federal court for sending threatening letters to people and corporations in the name of The People's Court of Retribution.  Bob Ruby testified for the prosecution.













Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Billy Goucher's Grand Jury Testimony

                                                       Billy Goucher and Maria Alonzo

These are the pages from the grand jury testimony that Billy Goucher gave prior to testifying against Michael Monfort and James Craig for the murder of James Willett in Guerneville CA in 1972.

The newspaper articles about the trial are HERE.












Monday, January 12, 2015

John Lennon: Creative Ziggy Stardust and SADIE GLUTZ

Sent by blog reader "Chris from the UK"...

I often read the manson blog but have never posted.

I thought I'd send you this link in case you wanted to put it on the site.

It's one of John Lennon's last interviews and it has quite an interesting Manson connection.

At 36.00, John talks about how the response to the Plastic Ono Band album would have been different if it had been released under a pseudonym. One pseudonym he mentions is "Creative Ziggy Stardust and SADIE GLUTZ".

That's right, SADIE GLUTZ.

I assume that John had read a lot about the Manson family members and that name had stuck with him. I cannot see how that would just be a coincidence as it's such an odd name to use.




Friday, January 9, 2015

Larry Bailey



The man in the black shirt (at left at the start) is Larry Giddings (Larry Bailey) who allegedly participated in Donald "Shorty" Shea's murder as well as served prison time for the Hawthorne shootout. His turn to speak begins shortly after 45:00 in case you want to skip ahead.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I Learned to be a stuntman from Shorty Shea

Today we have a rare treat. "Pete P" was a child from Simi Valley who grew up to become a Hollywood stuntman. Pete became interested in movie stunts from his exposure to the stuntmen who worked at the ranches around Chatsworth, among them Shorty Shea. Pete is searching for any photos of himself with Shorty, so if you ever snapped any photos as Spahn he'd be appreciative if you checked your collection for him. You can reach him through us if you find any.

Pete, who is admittedly technologically challenged began searching the web in hopes of finding those pics. Searches for Spahn Ranch landed him in the good hands of MansonBlog friend Stoner van Houten, and now us. Below is his story:

Pete P. (center) with Eric Estrada (left) at a CHiPs reunion in Las Vegas

I would ride to Spahn Ranch on my mini-bike between the ages of 9 or 10 without my mother's knowledge. I was a bit of a black sheep to begin with, but after my dad bought me that mini-bike I was outta control. We lived on the corner of Elizondo Ave. and Currant Ave in Simi Valley.  A flood control wash was right across the street that runs right through the center of Simi. I rode that about 10 miles or so on the hard-packed parts. Then I rode a small service road along the railroad tracks for a few miles to Santa Susanna Pass Rd.

I was fascinated with stuntmen and I wanted to be one even at that early age. I knew Charlie (Manson) by sight and name, but I thought he was a stuntman. I figured everyone at the ranches were stuntmen. I already knew a couple of them from a neighboring ranch called Corriganville Movie Ranch - specifically Jimmy Babcock, Monte Laird and Joe Soto. Those guys would also frequently be at Spahn to do stunts for the various B movies that were filmed there.

I'm not computer savvy at all. I only learned to text a year ago. I was looking for photos of me at Spahn ranch. I do believe that people have them. People were always taking pictures there. The riding customers, the move people. Everybody. There was one in particular that I remember taking with Shorty. I was sitting on a corral gate. Shorty was standing next to me with his arm around me and with his other hand made a fist, like he was going to punch me. A girl who was frequently at the ranch took it, but I don't remember her name. If I could get one of those pictures it would be GREAT. So I started to look. When I got on-line, I was floored at how great the interest in this subject still is. It led me to Stoner, and now to you guys.

It was actually Charlie who introduced me to Shorty. I asked Charlie how to become a stuntman and he said, "First you have to be one" (He always talked in riddles). He also said, "You'll want to talk to Shorty". So that's when my career as a stuntman first began. My time with him lasted four or five months.

Shorty was a great guy. He taught me everything like how to take a saddle fall, how to throw a punch and how to take a punch. Most of my friends played sports, but I hung around Shorty. He took the time to show me things. He took a liking to me and an interest in teaching me. He also didn't treat me like a kid. He treated me like an equal. In exchange, I worked for him. I did things like clean horse stalls and other things. For instance, sometimes a ranch customer would be out for a ride and get off the horse to urinate and the horse would run away. So, part of the job was to go find that horse. I really liked it, even cleaning the stalls. If I got there early enough I got to help feed the horses. I loved things like that. My dad was a city boy and didn't like horses but I loved it. I liked cleaning and being a cowboy.

Charlie was always nice to me. He sometimes would ask to ride my mini-bike. I'd let him and he'd tear around on it and seemed to have fun like a little kid. But, Shorty didn't like Charlie and didn't want me near him. He said, "If you play with a bucket of shit long enough, you're gonna get some on ya". I know that people have the idea that Charlie was in charge of the ranch, but he wasn't. The wranglers thought he was a clown. They laughed at him - never took him seriously. Monte Laird slapped the shit out of Manson twice that I know about. I got there shortly after the first one. I witnessed the second, and Laird sure bloodied him up. I also saw Joe Soto throttle Manson good one day. You gotta remember, these guys were a different breed. If you pissed them off they didn't wonder "hey will this guy call the cops?". No, they'd rough you up and just laugh. Those guys were tougher than any bikers. I know that there are folks out there who see Manson as some mysterious guru, but he was a joke to those guys. I wound up having a long relationship with Joe Soto. From the time I met him as a kid at Corriganville Ranch until he passed away in 2009 at age 80.

The only other Manson Family person that I had any real exposure to was Tex. The thing I remember best was that he'd take us for ice cream. He had a pickup truck and we'd all (mostly kids and teenage girls) pile in the bed (since it wasn't illegal back then). Tex would spin the truck out leaving the ranch and we'd all slide around and bang into the sides and laugh. He was almost like a kid when we'd go on those ice cream rides. He was always nice to me.

I remember some of the girls, but I don't remember any of their names because I mostly hung around with the wranglers. I do though remember that sometimes they made brownies and would give me some. I also remember that they liked to take gum wrappers and fold them up to connect to each other and make chains. They had some really long ones going!

One day I got up early and went to Spahn Ranch because I wanted to help feed the horses. When I got there Shorty wasn't around and the horses had not been fed, so I did it. When I finished I saw Charlie talking to Tex and another guy. I asked about Shorty and Charlie said, "He went away on a trip." When I asked when he'd be back he said he probably wouldn't be back. I was very hurt. Shorty was my teacher and more importantly, my friend. He was also the first adult friend I ever had. It was the first time in my life that my heart was broken.

I first heard about Shorty's demise at home. My mom watched the news every evening because the Vietnam war was on and we had relatives over there. This one night the ranch was on the news. Miss Pearl (Ruby Pearl) was being interviewed. She said she was worried about Shorty and feared something very very bad had happened...

Donald Shea
1933-1969

Stoner's interview on Thursday:




Monday, January 5, 2015

Bobby's Parole Hearing Moved to February

I am not on Bobby Beausoleil's mailing list but a friend of mine is on the list.  That friend received an email saying that Bobby's parole hearing has been moved from October up to mid February.  Here is the text of the email.

My request to the Board Of Parole Hearings for advancement of my hearing was granted in consideration of the new materials Jason  submitted to the Board on my behalf. The hearing was advanced by ten months and is now scheduled to take place in mid-February. We have been preparing for this hearing for several years, and most of the prep work has been done; overall we are in good shape to proceed. However, there are still a few pieces that need to be done, such as gathering together some letters of support for my release from close friends and relations who may be inclined to write one. There is a bit of a scramble to get these things together in the weeks left to us before we must commence with the hearing.

A letter of support from you will be most welcome. If you would like to weigh in and express your point of view or your sentiments regarding my release on parole, I invite you to do so.

After so many years and so many parole hearings writing a letter may seem like an exercise in futility, especially with the politics that are unfortunately an influence in my situation. But there really is no telling in advance how these things will go. Parole dates are being granted, some surprising ones at that.  If the Board is leaning at all toward granting me a parole in this hearing a letter of support from you is likely to figure significantly in their consideration.

From experience I can tell you that a letter of support is most likely to be read by the Board if the length of the letter is kept to one page or less. Typewritten or handwritten, either way is fine, whatever your preference. The heading can be To the Board of Parole Hearings, In Support of Robert Beausoleil, or simply To Whom It May Concern. If you choose to write a letter, please address it to:

Support for Robert Beausoleil
c/o Jason T. Campbell, Esq.
Bay Area Lawyers PA
300 Montgomery Street, Ste. 660
San Francisco, CA 94104

Again, from long experience I know that there is no talking anyone into granting me a parole date. Doing the right thing is a choice we all make in the moment, and is not something that can be imposed on a person or entity by another. I am resolved to hold to the center and preserve my integrity whatever the outcome of this hearing may be. Honestly, this is the best I can do, and I will pray for the strength to hold true in this resolve.

I am grateful for your support, in whatever manner you choose
to express it.

In love and peace,

Bobby