Monday, December 11, 2017

The End of an Era

"Living is what Scares me.... Dying is easy"
- Charles Manson

" Its always our own self that we find at the end of a journey. The sooner we find that self, the better"
- Ella Maillart

Ya know... 

I came into this world in the "Summer Of Love" almost literally. I was born in the Spring of 1967. Not three months from when Charlie Manson walked into the Haight Ashbury District for the very first time. I was too young to be a part of what, I always have believed to be, the most exciting years our nation has ever experienced. At least as far as individual freedoms and hope. I have had to settle for spending my life reading about it to settle my curiosity. It seemed that magically almost overnight, society went from black and white to color. Like that scene in Wizard of Oz when Dorothy first opens the door in Munchkin City. Things just became a whole lot more wide open than people were used to thinking were possible. As I got older, I became more and more curious as to what the counter-culture movement was all about? From what I could find in books, records and radio, all roads seemed to lead to California. From the Beach Boys as a tot, and then the Doors records we used to play in basement I grew up in as a boy, to the Greatful Dead shows I used to trade bootlegs of in High School- I have been infatuated with all things Musical, Hippy, and California for most of my life. This fascination has led me to study many movements and cliques of the late 60's period, where it seems all 3 of these subjects were intertwined, and at their peak. Scientology, The Process Church of Final Judgement, The Hog Farm, The Panthers, The Diggers, the Merry Pranksters, The BEL ( TY Patty) - I have delved into all of them. Same with the rock and roll scene. From the earliest clubs on Sunset Strip, and the musician networking in Laurel Canyon, to the music coming out of the Bay area and the creation of Psychedelic Rock and the Jam-band sound. I read every book and listened to every tale I could find. But the one story that stayed with me the most, and has haunted my dreams, after all these years is the story of Helter Skelter and Charles Manson. It is not really a Hippy story in my opinion to be honest, but that it is how I came across it, so it will always be catalogued in my memory with that period of time...

I have read in many places that two events ended the "Spirit of the 60's". One was the Murder of Meredith Hunter in Livermore California, at the Altamont Raceway, during a free Rolling Stones Concert. The other was the Manson murders of Sharon Tate and her friends, followed by the slayings of Leo and Rosemary Labianca the following night. I would argue that although there was plenty of ugliness, drugs, Hippies and bikers involved in both stories to merit a comparison, only one has truly withstood the test of time, as judged by public interest, to really merit consideration as the turning point in a cultural shift. I am quite sure that while 90% of America no longer remembers the events of the Northern California raceway where one tragedy took place late in 1969, almost everyone who has heard the name Manson raised an eye when the Mastermind of another tragedy in the same year passed away last month in a Bakersfield Hospital.

Today, I take a final look at the life of Charles Manson.....

His Youth: 

I wouldn't wish the childhood of Charles Manson on anyone. At the age most of us are wondering what the difference is between a number two pencil and any other pencil, Charlie was struggling to keep food in his mouth, clothes on his back, and a roof over his head. Boy's schools, and reform programs tossing you back and forth, while you are handed from relative to relative, is not a really an enabling or nurturing environment for success. Charlie was dealt a bad hand for sure. He was stealing and breaking minor laws to get by at a very early age, and in many ways he really had no choice. Charles Manson had a tragic youth. Although there was some love, and a few family members who were showing him some type of example, he was pretty much left to himself by the two people who matter the most in all of our upbringings - Mom and Dad. Living on the run, and moving from one crime to another just to get by was a sure recipe for trouble. Trouble is exactly what young Charlie kept finding. Constantly and consistently, until he was finally through his childhood and teenage years, Charlie would spend a good deal of time in confinement. There was not much promise or hope in the earliest years of Manson. It wasn't until he was a grown man that he would get a real taste of freedom and possibility. But when he got it, Ohhhh what a taste he got....

His Big Break and Opportunity:

In march of 1967, Charlie was released from prison and given permission to go to San Fransisco just in time for what was probably the greatest multi-month psychedelic party in the history of our Country. Charlie was able to find housing and a girlfriend, or two, and to play his music with others who were living free and enjoying the vibes of the times. Imagine the man who had just spent so many years shuffling along in the black and white world of prisons and reform schools walking into all of that visual stimulation. Ahhh, The sounds and the colors of The Haight in summer of 1967. Much like the aforementioned Dorothy, this young man from the poor, rural part of nowhere America, must have felt like he was in some new place very far from anything resembling what he used to call home. And it must have been truly amazing. What an incredible time of peace and love. Charlie had an opportunity to understand the human side of people, and all the good that they are capable of. Sharing and kindness were all around him. Charlie had a chance to make anything he wanted of himself, and the possibilities were limitless. He caught a break coming out to this environment. It was the first of a few good things that would happen to him. He was starting to meet people who would support him, and give him friendship and love. It gave him a chance to start fresh and make something positive with his life if he so chose. What he chose instead was to start to gather a group of people and go in another direction....

His Family:

From Mary and Squeakster who were his first, to Sandy, Patricia, and Nancy who were maybe his most loyal. From Ruth and Diane who were too young to know any better, to Gypsy and Leslie who knew exactly what they were getting into. Charlie had an effect for sure on the Girls. For not the love and dedication of the core group of girls, I say this Family never sticks together and none of the rest of it ever goes down. The girls were the glue and bond that kept the whole thing together. With the men I believe it was different. I believe there were a couple who bought the rap such as Brooks, and maybe Bruce and Tex to an extent. However, I think the guys just went along with whatever the message of the day was, in order to get high and laid. In any case, and for whatever reason you want to pick, Charlie was able to put together a core group of 20 people or so who more or less stayed together on the promise of a daily diet of things all people that age were interested in back in the late 60's. Intoxication and the opposite sex. But again, this gave Charlie both the chance to have an easy life and to enjoy the places and times in which he was very fortunate to be living. Even more, during this period he was able to meet some of the real movers and shakers of the moment in his loved profession- music. From Neil Young to Dennis Wilson, Charlie got a rare opportunity to get on the inside. Maybe he just wasn't good enough, or maybe he just didn't take it seriously enough? Who am I to judge today. In any case, when it didn't happen, instead of looking for another way to make himself happy, he decided to take a turn towards a much darker place. And once he went in that direction, the momentum started picking up at an alarming speed.  To some in his circle, this was a sign it was time to leave. Others believed it to be "cool". Those back then learned it was otherwise so, but there are those who believe that Charlies darkness was "cool" to this day. It wasn't just acid and the 60's that caused normal people to buy into Charlies ideas. Charlie has an extended family which somehow morphed from the kids and young adults of the Spahn and Barker ranches, to a small assorted group of cliques of people who still correspond, speak with, and visit with him to this day. In all his adult life, his ability to draw some in never seemed to diminish. It has always been a challenge for me to understand why some could read, and hear, what those who were in the original Family had to say about what life was like with Charles Manson, that would make them wish to become a part of it, or champion what he said and did? Because what started out as a fun group of people taking acid and making love in the sun, at some point became a hardened group of criminals, who stole, assaulted, and murdered people under the leadership, and in most cases direction of, Charles Manson...

His Crimes:

The crimes of Charles Manson are many. From his earliest days he was stealing and breaking minor laws. As he got older the crimes got more serious. Even long before the TLB crimes he was raping, pimping, stealing, forging, and doing all types of  criminal behavior as one would expect from a person who spent more than half of their formative years in confinement of some type. There were dozens of people all over the country who were hurt, robbed, or cheated by Charles Manson before he ever played one note on his guitar. But this blog is mostly about one specific set of crimes, so let me address it one last time clearly and finally. Then the rest of you can battle over it for as long as you wish....

TLB:  I do not know for sure what the real motive for the TLB crimes is. And Neither do you.

I suspect strongly that there is some basic element of all of the the motives we fight over here. I think its possible that some of the girls believed they were trying to get Bobby out of Jail. I think Charlie may have had some personal reason for choosing the locations that we may never know. I think Charlie had personal ways to push each individuals buttons to get what he wanted from each specific individual. I also think, he knew there were limits to how far he could push certain people in his Family. And you know what else I think?

I think that Helter Skelter was probably the button he pushed for at least a couple of them.

Bugs lied and embellished, and used every trick in his book to get his guy and make his story. That is true. But, it is also true that there is more physical, testimonial, and circumstantial evidence to support the Helter Skelter motive than there is any other motive put forth by anyone else. Scream as you may, we have been over this so many times. There was just too much evidence of Helter Skelter to simply ignore it. I think Bugs could have worked out an angle over drug burn, or copy-cat, or music business envy and just as easily involved Charlie and sold books. But he chose Helter Skelter as the starting point to build his case, and novel, on. I think there was a simple reason for that. There was more to back up and justify a Helter Skleter motive than anything else. Does not mean it was the only motive, or the real ultimate motive, But it is fair to say it was around and probably played some part for, at least, some of them. And, I have read and listened to a couple of the people involved say that Helter Skelter was the reason they did it, so I think that the actual murderers reasoning for doing what they did is good enough for me.

I think all of this. I do not know. If you want to insult my mother, beat me up, or call me names- then have one last time at it. The one thing I do feel strongly about is that whatever the real reason for the crimes, Charlie was aware of it, and involved with the crimes in as far as deciding the locations and choosing the participants. I am going to end my time studying this case certain that this is the truth. Charlie was as responsible for TLB as any of the actual killers in that aspect. For ten years now I have been reading books, and watching movies and documentaries. I have visited the locales. I have read or listened to almost every parole hearing any one of them has had. If I am sure of any one thing after all of this time, it is that Manson knew exactly what was going on with both the Tate and Labianca murders, and he and he alone called the shots. Many people give many reasons for why Charlie never tried to put on a normal defense, nor took his parole chances seriously. I think its because in his heart he knows that he couldn't defend himself in this case. Charles Manson accepted what he did, even if none of his supporters ever did or will. Manson was many bad things, but not a hypocrite. He went out of his way in the courtroom to show who was in charge and called the shots, how could he ever admit later on that someone else was the boss? Charlie made his famous speech in court and he didn't try to explain that he wasn't involved, he used his moment in the spotlight to try and make people understand his way of thinking and how it justified what happened. It is a real tragedy to me is that Manson has never shown any remorse or sense of responsibility for any of the people he hurt in any of those years. None of the victims of the crimes he was involved in, nor any of the young lives he ruined when he led young kids into harms way, over and over again. He offered no answers or explanations. He just left us with questions. the greatest among them, of course, being- Why?

Senseless Tragedy. To me that will be the real legacy of Charles Manson. But, there are others...


I wrote a post about this time last year about what I thought the legacies of Manson would be. It was called "Blurred Lines", and although I am not going to rehash the entire post again here, I did reread it myself. Today, I will just summarize....

Manson will leave behind real family. Children and Grandchildren. I hope they can live life free of the shadow the name represents. They lost family and I am sorry for them all for that.

Manson leaves behind an extended family of friends and supporters. People are mourning his loss and celebrating the life he lived in his memory. They will carry on his causes, defend his name, and make sure his side is heard. I do not get you, but again, am sorry for your loss.

Manson will be the subject of much media and TV. We will continue to get movies, specials, documentaries, and books well into the future. This story blends all the essential ingredients. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, celebrity, the wild west, and of course throw it all into a Hollywood locale- add the perfect Evil Bad Guy and you have the crime story gift that just keeps on giving. There is a great line the movie Gladiator when Proximus tells Commodus to " Win the Crowd. You must give them something they have never seen before, and you will win the crowd." Well, Manson gave us all something we had never seen before alright. And it appears to have won over at least some segment of the population who show no signs that their interest in this subject is slowing down.

Manson leaves behind his music. Covered from many established artists, and available all over the internet, Charlies music will stick around for the curious to seek out, and his loyal base to reminisce to. There are a few versions of a couple of Charlies songs that actually stick with me, although to be honest- I like the music Brooks and Paul did in the Hendrickson documentary better than anything Charlie ever did.

Charlie leaves behind his name. Manson will be a word that represents evil long after my time has come I suspect. It has become ingrained in our societal conscious as a representation of murder and darkness. Frankly, I think Tex is a lot more deserving of that distinction, But, Tex was smart enough to get himself tried separately and keep his mouth shut, and Charlie had a fatal desire to turn his trial into a performance which he personally controlled in front of the jury, press and world. So Manson himself has as much to do with that as anyone. Charlie is mostly responsible, through his own actions, for creating his own myth.

 Finally, Charlie leaves behind all of us. The curious. From the TLB Scholars, to the casual lurkers. Charlie leaves behind questions. What was it really like? Why did they really do it? Who really knew what and when? We could go on and on, and most of you certainly will. Like any fascinating tragedy, we are stuck in perpetual limbo trying to understand the understandable. From giggling children smoking pot and having orgies, to blood stained robots, stabbing innocent people to death, and joking about it. How does that happen? To those people, and in that time and place? It just doesn't make sense. Maybe it's not supposed to. If we really knew the truth, what would we do next? Would that be the end? Does it ever end? Only we can decide the end of our own journey's. And I can only speak for myself in regards to this journey. Mine ends with Charlies and Charlies journey is over. This is where I get off.  In the last couple of years we have lost Manson, Hendrickson, and Bugliosi. with each passing of the major players, the chances of learning more real valuable truth grows greater and greater. I sometimes wonder if this isn't going to end up being Charlies last laugh at all of us. That a community of smart people would spend so much time trying to make sense out of a guy who once said that "No sense makes sense".

I have to imagine that Charlie stopped caring about this as much as we do, a very long time ago. I know that for me the death of Charles Manson is very much the end of an era. For the last ten years, I have been watching and waiting for something relevant to shake up the history of the case. Waiting for Charlie, or someone to say something that would finally shed some light on all of the unknowns. Waiting for someone to finally let us all know who was right and who was wrong. Charlie, most importantly of all, could have ended all of our fighting over motive at any time he wished. Just one coherent conversation or letter. But there is no chance for that now. Charles Manson has passed away. Charlie has had his final say on this subject.

And now I have had mine.....

- Your Favorite Saint

Saturday, December 9, 2017

2018 Manson Blog Tour

The dates of the 2018 Tour will be from April 18 to April 23 in LA.

If anyone is interested in attending please email either myself or Deb. There's no charge, but you need to make your own travel, lodging and other arrangements.

The exact itinerary is never announced before the Tour but the links below will give you an idea of what it's like.

Past tour links:

Tour 2017: Slipping in the Mix with Steve Grogan
Tour 2017: The James Willet Murder Area
Tour 2017: Mendocino
Tour 2017: NorCal Facts About The Victims
Tour 2017: Haight-Ashbury
Tour 2017: Sacramento

MansonBlog Tour 2016: Jane Doe #59
MansonBlog Tour 2016: The Gun Toss And Steven Weiss' House
MansonBlog Tour 2016: Independence, CA
MansonBlog Tour 2016: Death Valley, The Racetrack Playa and The Michigan Loader Site
MansonBlog Tour 2016: Nude Hippies And The Origin Of An Icon
MansonBlog Tour 2016: The End Of Summit Trail

Manson Tour 2015: Earth Day at Spahn Ranch
Manson Tour 2015: A Discussion With George Stimson: Part I
Manson Tour 2015: A Discussion With George Stimson: Part II
Manson Tour 2015: Olancha - Karl Stubbs' Neighbor and Hannum Ranch
Manson Tour 2015: Goler Wash
Manson Tour 2015: Gary Hinman's Bus -- Not
Manson Tour 2015: Benedict Canyon and the Surrounding Areas: Report on Strange Sounds, Gunshots, Indications of Violence, Related by Persons who were in Hearing Distance of the Polanski Residence on the Night of 8-8-69 and the Morning of 8-9-69

Manson Tour 2014: Stoner's Spahn Ranch Hike
Manson Tour 2014: The Museum of Death and The Sounds of Laurel Canyon
Manson Tour 2014: A Day With Aes-Nihil
Holy Cross

2013 Tour: Robert Hendrickson at The Silent Theatre
2013 Tour: Cielo Drive
2013 Tour: Easton Drive / Rudy Weber
2013 Tour: LaBianca
2013 Tour: El Coyote
2013 Tour: Lotsapoppa
2013 Tour: Westchester/Venice
2013 Tour: Hanging out with Michael on his Back Porch!
2013 Tour: Spahn/Chatsworth

2012 Tour Day 1: Vegas & Pahrump
2012 Tour Day 2: Devil's Hole, Father Crowley Point & Olancha
2012 Tour Day 3: Trona, Ballarat & Barker Ranch
2012 Tour Day 4: El Coyote
2012 Tour Day 5: Lower Topanga, Spahn, Box Canyon

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

History Channel Manson Speaks: Inside the Mind of a Madman.

Here are the links to the recent History Channel Manson related program Manson Speaks: Inside the Mind of a Madman.  The show will likely repeat a few times here in the US but for those outside the US it might not be available for a while.

The show focuses on unsolved murders that have been loosely connected to the Family by Bugliosi, other authors and Manson pundits.  The main unsolved murder discussed is that of Reet Jurvetson who was known as Jane Doe 59 for over 45 years until a DNA match finally identified her.

The suicide of John Haught is also discussed.  The surprise to this discussion is that Mark Ross was located and interviewed.  I found his participation in the project the most interesting, particularly because he was so evasive.  The show speculated that the reason Mark Ross changed his name to Aesop Aquarian was that he was hiding from the Family because he feared them.

I think there was another reason.  In the early 70s a new commune sprouted up in Los Angeles headed by Father Yod and went by the name The Source Family .  Since many of the members changed their names to things like Electric Aquarian and Isis Aquarian, it's far more likely that Mark Ross changed his name to Aesop Aquarian because he joined this commune.  Which left me wondering if Mark isn't somewhat like Brooks Poston who needed a blueprint of someone else's making to conduct their life.

My sincerest condolences to Simon Wells whose excellent investigation into the death of Joel Pugh was taken completely out of context by the show.  They couldn't have placed Simon's work in a worse light.

Joan Huntington, Laurence Merrick's wife, was interviewed.  It looked like she had a great album full of pictures of the Family.

The show shanghaied Clem and got him to speak.  There is no video, only audio of this encounter but we here at the blog can confirm the encounter took place outside of the restaurant where we saw him on our last tour.

I was in the program for what can only be described as a cameo appearance.  The lighting on me was terrible and I don't want to talk about it!

All in all the show departed from the same old, same old of previous productions but fell short of believability regarding the unsolved murders.  The masses who are not into the details of the case like we are will probably find it to be a great show.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Barbara Hoyt Passes

We don't have much on this and learned of her death from a post that Debra Tate made on Facebook today, sent to us by a friend of the Blog.

Rest in Peace, Barbara.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Family Man


By Terry Ott

So, Charlie Manson is no longer with us, but is the age and mythology of Helter Skelter dead as well?

The mainstream media Manson death watch and good riddance over the past 72 hours might tend to indicate that what former Los Angeles assistant district attorney Vincent T. Bulgliosi wrought back in 1974 with what became the biggest selling true crime book of all time at 7 million copies shifted, will survive the death of the "cult leader."

Bugliosi's Helter Skelter, subtitled The True Story Of The Manson Murders absolutely enthralled millions of readers, attracted by the fact-stuffed and insider nature of the text. And seeing that it was Vince T who presented the state's case and won death penalty verdicts for Manson and seven members of his "Family," what later became a sometimes mythological narrative constructed by Bugliosi in Helter Skelter would still seem to have book shelf life as you can bet that many more copies of the book will be purchased in the next three months or so. When one LA detective at the murder scene of Sharon Tate, Abigal Folger, Voytek Frykowski, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent described the crime as "a weird homicide," he most likely never knew how prescient he would be. And "weird," surely still sells.

Bugliosi, and Manson authors who have followed him have all pounded out the same basic narrative of what became known at the "Manson Murders" and the alluring but eventual toxic cocktail of Hollywood decadence and pop/counter culture accoutrements, specifically, the music of the Beatles  found on The White Album (The Beatles), released almost a year before the murders in November, 1968 and offered by Vince T as the "blueprint" for the Manson slayings as well as a weirdly believable thread to tie the whole mess to what Bugliosi claimed was Charlie's Helter Skelter world tour.

And when during the Easter Week of April 1976 the TV version of Helter Skelter appeared with an amazing doppelganger performance by Steve Railsback as Charlie, it is said the two part pyscho/horror-drama became the largest watched TV movie of all time-or at least at that time. Watch for this 4 hour television drama to reappear as well as a new interest in the Beatles' White Album music by those perhaps too young to have have been previously seduced by some of its more spooky and raucous and coincidental tracks threading to the Manson Family experience.

On the 30th anniversary of the of the murders, I wrote a retrospective for the National Post asking the question of what still drives the Charlie Manson murder mystique and I got some interesting answers.

Political science professor Henry Jacek of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario had the interesting observation that Manson "taps into what I think is a very important part of American culture: a pure manifestation of revolt against state and social authority, which is a common theme about American culture."

As for Manson's continuing media attraction, even tabloid whoring, I had also asked the question, has any other mass murderer been rock 'n' rolled like Charles Manson?

Jacek said: "I think the media are fascinated with anyone who has a personality and is articulate. The fact that Manson is intelligent makes him interesting. An unintelligent murderer is of much less interest that an intelligent one."Also featured in the story was Dr. Clara Livesy, author of The Manson Women. She wrote: "I was confused by the picture of him I was getting from others and from reading about him. he was, I heard repeatedly, mentally ill and deteriorating. Or still endowed with evil powers, ready to influence his alleged followers. These generalizations did not satisfy my curiosity because they did not explain anything."

Then, and now, the word "evil" gets thrown around a lot when describing Manson. The Satan too, as evidenced by a recent front page in the New York Daily News.

Or as Don Mclean once sang, "Helter Skelter in a summer swelter...cause fire is the devil's only friend," and Manson certainly at times embraced that notion that he was a modern day devil, if not the anti-christ. But then again, Charlie was always good at selling a story...

But for those that do not subscribe to the idea of evil, or devils and demons and slaves of Satan etc., but rather look at pyscho/sociopaths and mental illness and even timing and randomness and drugs and sex, the saga of Charles Manson and his crimes take on a slightly different aura, as evidenced by the voluminous and intuitive renderings on the Manson case by the contributors and operators of The Manson Blog.

The (still) imprisoned former Family members Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and Bruce Davis have surely come to understand that Charlie was but a conduit of the crazy times rather than the owner of the powers claimed him by Bugliosi and the larger media.

Van Houten and Davis have been granted parole but are still stuck in the joint, now going on 48 years, due to the governor of California's calculated political gambit. Perhaps that gambit will slowly dissolve now that a new post-Manson dynamic is in place.

So, with the "intelligent murderer" now departed at age 83 said to be "eaten alive" with cancer, again, the central question becomes what becomes of the Helter Skelter motive mythology.

Just because Bugliosi was able to win convictions against Manson and other Family members using a Helter Skelter motive presentation and score an after-law career bonanza with Helter Skelter does not necessarily mean that it will survive further scrutiny and revisionism.

Besides saying that "no sense makes sense," Charlie also claimed that the real motive for the Tate/Labianca slayings would never be known. Perhaps now that the head of the Family is mortally gonzo that prediction will prove true. But perhaps not.

Perhaps another look at the circumstances around the murders will at the very least modify the enduring template of Helter Skelter. Ironically, and even counter-intuitively, probably the best thing that ever happened to Manson was Vincent T and his 1974 and on Helter Skelter circus. Vince made Charlie into an international superstar, a happening that even Manson himself noted when he chided news-hounds and others that they were just as much responsible for the horror by continually perpetuating and re-enforcing it, especially the narrative of Beatles music motives and race war and paradise underground in Death Valley. Sexy stuff for sure yet, palpable nonsense or truth is stranger than fiction?

After Manson and the girls' death sentences were commuted in 1972 it is even money that the saga of the Family and its leader were destined to become but grisly footnotes to most until Bugliosi achieved a cultural sensation with Helter Skelter and perhaps to some degree re-wrote if not reinterpreted actual history.

And yet the bizarre trial and Bugliosi's Manson pulp blockbuster produced this continually repeated denial uttered by Manson at trial: "Mr. and Mrs. America-you are wrong. I am not the King of the Jews nor am I a hippie cult leader. I am what you have made of me and the mad dog devil killer fiend leper is a reflection of your society."

If anything could be said to be "good" about the life and times of Charles Manson et al, it may be that regardless of what was advertised as "the true story of the Manson murders," the "real"and accurate story is yet to be fully told.

Terry Ott is a Canadian journalist who has followed the Manson case since 1969.
He can be reached at

Friday, November 24, 2017

Battle erupts over control of Charles Manson's remains, estate

From the New York Daily News :

"There’s a battle brewing over the remains and estate of mass murderer Charles Manson.

Reports of two unverified wills surfaced Friday, with each leaving the killer’s estate to a different person. Manson pal Ben Gurecki told the Daily News he obtained a January 2017 will from Manson and passed it along to Manson’s self-proclaimed “son” Matthew Roberts in March. He said Roberts was named as the main beneficiary.

“I can assure you Matthew will be handling this,” Gurecki told The News Friday. “Matthew and I will be there next week in person,” he claimed. “Charlie will be given a headstone, a proper burial where people will be able to grieve, or deface it as they see fit.”

 Meanwhile, said Friday it obtained a February 2002 will from an unidentified Manson pen pal that disinherited all Manson relatives. The mysterious pen pal said he is the sole beneficiary and plans to claim Manson’s body before a 10-day deadline expires next week, TMZ reported.

Gurecki said he doesn’t know who the pen pal is but that the more recent will allegedly signed this year supersedes any that came before it.

The Chicago resident, who has posted recent prison calls with Manson on his YouTube channel, said he plans to meet Roberts in Kern County, Calif., next week.

“There are plans for Charlie’s remains to be handled with dignity and not by the Kern County Coroner,” Gurecki told The News. “(I) will absolutely not let this continue to be a circus.”

He said calls to coroner fell “on deaf ears” this week, so they hope an in-person visit will “resolve this situation.” He said they plan to inter Manson’s ashes somewhere the public can visit. “This is my personal last attempt to help a friend have the proper resting place that he deserves.”

Beyond the two alleged wills, Manson’s grandson Jason Freeman told The News earlier this week he also is interested in claiming Manson’s remains. A GoFundMe account set up this week to underwrite his efforts was shut down Thursday. Prior attempts to establish a genetic link between Freeman and Roberts were unsuccessful, CNN reported in 2012. State officials have so far declined to comment on any final wishes left by Manson."

Charles Manson Will Surfaces: Pen Pal Gets Everything

From TMZ:

Charles Manson left his estate to a pen pal ... and what the murderer left behind may actually be valuable.

The pen pal -- he asked us not to use his name -- began writing Manson in the '90s and the 2 exchanged letters and phone calls for 2 decades. The man even visited Manson in prison from time to time.

We obtained a copy of a crudely written will which we're told was drafted by Manson. It's typed but there's handwriting on the document. We checked the handwriting in the will against Manson's known handwriting, and they appear very similar. Check out the comparison.

The will -- dated February 14, 2002 -- leaves all of Manson's personal belongings, including cash, image rights and clothing to Manson's pen pal. More significantly, Manson leaves his "exclusive music catalog" to the guy. Manson fancied himself as a songwriter and even wrote a Beach Boys song the group recorded.

The will says Manson's body should be turned over to his pen pal. He says he will claim the body, but as we reported, if he doesn't do it within 10 days of Manson's death, the prison will cremate him.

Manson specifically disinherited his known children, ex-wives, in-laws, lawyers, friends, prisoners, inmates, cops, guards, and the State of California.

The man tells us he began writing Manson in the '90s out of curiosity, and after more than 50 letters with no reply ... Manson finally wrote back in 1997. He claims the 2 struck up a friendship through letters and eventually phone calls, and he met Manson in person for the first time in 2002 ... the same year Manson drafted the will.

He claims he visited with Manson several times after that and got his last phone call from him on October 21 ... just weeks before his death.

The 2002 will includes a handwritten note from Manson, saying ... "I'm not in the best spot to rest in peace" along with his signature. We're told the witness signature is that of a fellow inmate.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Charles Manson has died

It was announced by TMZ that Charlie passed away at 8:13 pm Sunday.  Debra Tate was the source.  She was contacted by prison authorities upon his passing. 

Charles Manson -- the man who masterminded one of the most heinous murder sprees in American history -- is dead  ... this according to the sister of his famous victim.

Debra Tate tells TMZ she received a call from the prison telling her Manson died 8:13 PM Sunday.
We're told the prison is contacting all of the victims' families.
Manson was recently wheeled into Bakersfield hospital and escorted by 5 uniformed cops. Our sources had said at the time, "It's just a matter of time." He was covered in blankets and looked ashen in the gurney.

TMZ broke the story ... Manson was taken from Corcoran State Prison to the hospital back in January where he was being treated for intestinal bleeding.
As we reported ... Manson was supposed to undergo surgery but it was deemed too risky.
Manson has been locked up since his arrest in December 1969 for the Tate-LaBianca murders. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit the slayings, which occurred one day after the next in August 1969.

Read the story here

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Charles Manson hospitalized in Bakersfield; severity of illness unclear

Authorities confirmed Wednesday that mass murderer Charles Manson is back in a Bakersfield hospital, though the severity of his condition is unclear.

Kern County Sheriff's Lt. Bill Smallwood confirms that Manson is at a local hospital but could not say more.

Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, declined to comment, citing federal and state medical privacy laws that preclude the agency "from commenting on protected health information for any inmate in our custody."

Waters did confirm, however, that Manson is alive.

In January, Manson, 83, was rushed to Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield for what authorities at the time would describe only as a serious medical problem.

Manson and members of his "family" of followers were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area in August 1969. Prosecutors said Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war he dubbed "Helter Skelter," taken from the Beatles song of the same name.

Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she was killed at her hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Four others were stabbed and shot to death the same night: Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32; Abigail Folger, 25, a coffee heiress; and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Tate's caretaker. The word "pig" was written on the front door in blood.

The next night, Manson rode with his followers to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three members to kill the couple.

Manson was initially sentenced to death. But a 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court found the state's death penalty law at the time unconstitutional, and his sentenced was changed to life in prison with the possibility of parole. He has been denied parole 12 times.

During his four decades of incarceration, Manson has been anything but a model prisoner. Among other things, he has been cited for assault, repeated possession of a weapon, threatening staff and possessing a cellphone.

LA Times story here

Monday, November 13, 2017


The author of this piece, Rachel Monroe joined us on the 2014 Tour. One of our unofficial traditions is forcing guests to write the first Tour Post which you can read here. Below are some of her memories of her time spent with us, her fascination with the subject matter and some honest, introspective thoughts on what she feels makes her tick. However due to contractual obligations a full reposting is not possible at this time. Instead, here is an excerpt and a link to the full piece. Looking forward to your responses...
On the second day I spent with the Manson Bloggers, we found a tongue hanging from a tree. This was in the northwestern fringes of Los Angeles County, the half-wild, half-suburban part of the city that the Manson Family once called home. These days, most of the land is owned by the state and nearby there is a church; on top of a hill, a ten-foot cross looms in right-angled judgment. The Manson Bloggers did not seem to notice the cross, because they had another mission in mind: finding the Manson Tree, a gnarled oak that's notable because Charles Manson used to perch in its crook and strum the guitar.

We had to scramble over a highway railing to reach the old oak. As we got close, I saw that some previous visitor had thrown a white rope over one of the tree's branches. Something was dangling from the rope—a sweet potato, I thought. Or some sort of lumpy, orangish doll. The Manson Bloggers knew better. “It's a cow's tongue,” Deb said. She was right. Up close, it was unmistakable, a length of moist muscle, obscene and obscurely violent. The tongue was covered with rainbow sprinkles, the kind you'd put on a child's scoop of vanilla ice cream. One end of the white rope was tied around the tongue's root, where it had once been attached to the back of the cow's throat. The other end of the rope was tied around a bottle of fish-oil pills. There was one AA battery inside the fish-oil bottle. On the ground was a crumpled-up shopping bag from H&M.

The Manson Bloggers and I stared for a moment in mute wonder. The tongue, the rope, the sprinkles, the fish-oil bottle, the battery, the H&M bag: it all spoke to some inexplicable ritual, a dark magic that somehow brought together cult murder, fast fashion, and nutritional supplements. I'll be honest, I was spooked. The bloggers took it all in stride. Maybe their world accommodated more strangeness than mine. Or perhaps they were just used to finding messages of violence in unexpected places.

Rachel Monroe is a writer based in Marfa, Texas. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Texas Monthly, Bookforum, Oxford American, and elsewhere. Her book A Life in Crimes, an exploration of women, crime, and obsession, will be published by Scribner in 2019.