Thursday, October 18, 2018

1959 Ford

I have to say, I am impressed with Quentin Tarantino's recreation of SPAHN RANCH for his upcoming movie. Attention was put into making it look authentic.  I kinda wish I could of gotten in contact with Tarantino, but I don't know how to go about that. I wanted to let him know about my car, in case he wanted to use it in his movie. It would be a blank canvas for him to make it look as authentic as he wanted, and it would be the same kind of car that was used on August 8-10, 1969.

I wasn't going to say anything because it doesn't look like it's going to happen but...

One of the times (probably 1980) when I saw the 2 part, made for television, 1976 HELTER SKELTER movie, the 1959 Ford really caught my eye! The double headlights, the front grill, just the whole shape & style of the car looked neat to me.

Fast forward to the end of 2016, I spotted a 1959 Ford for sale on Craigslist. I sent a message to the seller, but no reply.  I messaged the seller again after 2 weeks, still no reply. Another 2 weeks I messaged the seller again and finally got a response, the car was still available.

The seller had it listed for $1,500 and it was going to need a ton of work.

I'm in Arizona and the car was in California, in the Los Angeles area. So February of 2017, my sister & brother-in-law took me to California to go see the car. It had rust holes along the back & sides of the roof, more than I could see in the picture posted in the craigslist ad. And I would need to have other things fixed that I couldn't see.

I told the seller to let me think about it, $1,500 is a bunch of money for a car that doesn't actually run. The seller told me he would be willing to work on the price because he knew the car was going to need a lot of TLC.

I went back home to Arizona and kept in contact with the seller like once a month, just to make sure he still had the car.  After making a couple of offers the seller finally said the lowest he would go is $800 for the car so I accepted his offer.  This was in July 2017.  I asked my sister & brother-in-law if they could help me bring the car back, whenever they had time.  My brother-in-law was going to be starting a new job soon so we had to go at the beginning of August.  I didn't realize until weeks later, that on the day that we went and picked up the car, I paid the seller & the seller wrote out the bill of sale, it was August 8, 2017.

I tried to save money by going to this guy who didn't have a steady job but worked on & fixed cars. He was recommended by my brother's friend. I've had quite a bit of work done on the car here at the house by this "shade-tree" mechanic but the last few times he came to work on the car, he acted like it was a bother. After he put the new generator in the car, I couldn't get it to start anymore,  and trying to get the guy over here to find out what is going on with the car & why it won't start was like pulling teeth.

Funny but true story...
While the car was parked in the driveway, I tried out the gears on the car, because the seller had told me the car didn't go in REVERSE.  I put the car in REVERSE and it went backwards. I put the car in DRIVE, and it went forward. So the guy drained the transmission and put a new filter, gasket, and we filled it with new transmission fluid. We opened up the gate to take it for a test drive but while backing out, the engine quit on me. He said he needed to adjust the carburetor better because he had just rebuilt it. So the guy came back a few days later, adjusted the carburetor, and we set out to take the car out for a test drive. I back out of the yard and onto the street, put it in DRIVE to pull up to the curb, but the car doesn't move FORWARD. He tells me to put the great shift in all gears and try to pull forward, so I do and still, no go. Only moves in REVERSE! So I had to drive it to the corner, make a U-turn, and pull it into the backyard, all in REVERSE!
I thought about naming the car

The younger guy who was working on the car for me, told his mechanic friend about the transmission. He came & took the transmission home to rebuild it for me. After about 2 months, he brought the transmission back and I paid him $1,000 for rebuildingit. The younger guy came over the next day and put the rebuilt transmission in the car. We tried out the different gears, but it still didn't work. It was doing the same thing.

As of right now, for the past 7 months or so it's been sitting on jack-stands in the yard, so I'm going to have a mechanic who has his own shop go through everything to make sure things were "fixed" right. To me, it seems like everything that was worked on was put back loose!
We'll see what happens...

Quick update:
I just talked with the mechanic who has his own auto shop.  He said he'll be coming over next week to work on the car, so hopefully the car will be road-ready in a few months.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Reflexion by Lynette Fromme; Part Five: pp. 366 - End

The final 111 pages...

On Manson controlling the group:
When we were out of money, bikers offered us stolen credit cards, but we didn't want them. Paul suggested that we could sell something. "Well, we don't sell anything..." Charlie maintained seriously. His eyebrows rose, and he popped a grin. "...but we could trade it for money." It was a joke. We really didn't have a thing worth selling. Bill knew a club where girls who were so inclined might dance topless, but I don't know if anybody did. Despite what was later said to the contrary, we were a democracy, jokingly called an "Orwecouldjust." ("We could..." "Or we could..." "Or we could just..."). It was a consensus style government, everyone adding to the pool of thought. Charlie was both credited and blamed for having the most input, but anyone with ideas was welcome to toss them into the circle. 
On Charlene Cafritz who - to refresh your memory -  was Carter Cafritz's (the son of Morris Cafritz who was a real estate developer, one of Washington’s leading commercial and residential builders from the early 1920's to the mid-60's) wealthy ex-wife who was reported to apparently be a heroin addict and died of an overdose in 1970:
When it came to getting money Charlie went for what he knew. Her name was Charlene, a boot and whip-style girl with a curvy body. I read later that she was some kind of heiress, but he never mentioned it. He had met her at a party in Beverly Hills and invited her to The Ranch. She didn't come. She had invited him to her ranch in Nevada, and instead of going alone, he asked Sandy, Brenda, Paul, and me to go with him.  
Charlene's Nevada ranch had an old-time hotel with a cowboy cafe at the front. Tired and hungry from the overnight drive, we went in for breakfast. Charlie sent one of the workers to let Charlene know that he had arrived. I almost missed seeing her. She was coming toward Charlie, but, after seeing the rest of us, she wheeled on her high heeled boots and let the screen door slam behind her. He went out to talk to her, and pretty soon an employee showed the rest of us to a bare rustic room with two beds, no telephone, and no TV. I don't know what gave me the impression that this ranch was more about women than horses, but I knew about Nevada's Mustang Ranch and I was beginning to think that Charlene might be running such an establishment. In any case, it was not an entertaining trip for us - we slept most of the time - and the next day Charlie returned to say we were leaving. As we drove away, he said that he had offered Charlene a place with us, but she didn't want it. I found out later that she had offered him a Cadillac, but he refused it. Apparently, this wasn't about stuff or money.
A letter from Sandy says that Gary Hinman was homosexual and had a thing for Bobby. Either I never heard this or I just forgot it. Either way it adds a new sland to that part of the story.

One night during the time they operated a "nightclub" in the saloon, Charlie got into a tangle with a biker over the biker's treatment of one of the girls. Once the fight started "Charlie ducked under his arm and behind him, reached between his legs, took a grip, and escorted that guy out the door by the collar of his shirt and his balls".

On corn chips:
Brenda read aloud to herself the list of ingredients in a small bag of corn chips, including the then commonly added chemical preservatives BHA and BHT. In typical understatement with just a touch of amazement, she said, "Wow, now they embalm you before you die."
This made me laugh because as teens my friends and I used to joke that there should be a warning label that said something like, "If you eat this and then you die, you won't rot!"

So far in this section she reminisces about different Family members. I won't ruin it. Buy the book. This bit about Clem I found interesting. It brought back to mind one of the first questions I asked Robert Hendrickson about him.:
Clem was actually classic as a country brother. He once gifted Sandy and me with a beautiful china teapot. Inside it was a beautiful live tarantula. The surprise was not left to chance. He stood by to supervise the discovery. Another time, he woke Ouisch and me, telling us tp "be still and just watch" the snake he was putting into bed with us. His mischief and adept handling of creatures were parts of his charm, but Clem was no hick. Like Bobby, he came from a smart suburban family, and in some ways was a typical teenager, rejecting the past to form a world of his own.
And this about Clem from a letter from Sandy.
Like Sadie and Brenda, Clem would turn a question back at the questioner, or give pat answers as a way of "reprogramming" himself. In reply to "How are you?" Clem would say "perfect." If asked when his birthday was, he'd say "today." I understood his meanings and reasons, but his refusal to give a straight answer could be exasperating. I sensed his rebelling at the conventionalities that hung on in my speech, but he was never sarcastic or mean-spirited.
Charlie had been urging Gregg Jakobson to arrange the meeting with Terry Melcher, not because he wanted a recording contract - he had walked away from contracts - because when we went to the desert, we wanted to leave behind a message.
The iconic crow photo:

"There exists a fuzzy photo of Charlie by the boardwalk with the raven on his forearm. I believe Pearl took it. He's wearing his embroidered vest, and his oddly cocked brown felt hat, and his upper lip is swollen, cut by a shard of wood that splintered off some project he was working on. The raven was a wonder to him and he spent a lot of time with it." 
From a letter from Manson: 
"That bird got into my head as if I was part of it. I didn't want it to be raised dependent on humans so I would take it far away and let it go. I'd drive miles back to the ranch and that bird would be sitting there. Part of me wanted to keep it but I wanted it to be free from humans because I wanted it to be free from them also. You got to be careful for the wildlife. If you make friends with them, they run to other humans who are not friends. The raven flew to land on a guy's shoulder and he thought Alfred Hitchcock's bird movie was after him. He almost knocked the bird's head off before I got between them."
On Bug's assertion that they were attempting to steal Spahn Ranch:
For a long time George had been trying to swallow a heart burning expression someone - he thought a city assessor - had used to describe The Ranch. They'd called it "an eyesore." Since he couldn't trust his own eyes or depend upon the hands, he felt helpless and enraged. He told me he felt "cornered" because if they were to leave him for even a day, the horses would go hungry, and the business would be lost. The humiliation of needing people he often despised was enough to make him wish to be done with it, to have the satisfaction of wielding the final stroke rather than succumbing to impotence. He could sell. I thought it would take years to get a buyer, and meanwhile something would work out.

In my mind, The Ranch would always be ours. In revolutionary times, it would be a safe place to rest and refuel before moving on. The Fountain of the World would be another. A prosecutor would allege that we were leveraging George for the deed, but who needs a deed in the midst of lawlessness.
Sandy, on parental neglect (Sandy is spot on here regarding abuse & illness, IMO):
My mother didn't have a maternal bone in her body. On my first day of kindergarten she dropped me off at the school and drove away. If she'd stayed long enough to see that I found the right classroom, she would have seen that the school wasn't even open. She had brought me on the wrong day. A policeman found me wandering around, totally disoriented and crying hysterically.

I think that I began to feel the tensions of my parents' relationship even before I was born, and later to show the extreme physical effects of a child who had formed no attachment with the mother. Mostly it played out in respiratory issues. In infancy I had two tracheotomies and in childhood countless painful exploratory procedures. Doctors back then did not know much about the correlation between parental neglect and abuse and childhood and adult illness. I was in and out of the hospital and oxygen tents. When I was ten a surgeon removed most of my right lung. I still wonder if that was really necessary.
The Bikers:
Outlaw bikers demonstrated both traditional patriotism and insolent rebellion. Some members of the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels once barged into a crowd of anti-war marchers to stomp heads, their president, a military veteran, offering the U.S. president their service as guerrilla fighters in Vietnam. Some of the same guys wore German helmets, swastikas, Iron Crosses, and death's heads because they were imbued with a warrior spirit, because they looked "cool," and because they obviously made conventional U.S. citizens feel uncomfortable. Charlie was not the only one to think these rebels could be a force in protection of life. The Merry Pranksters, Grateful Dead, and Rolling Stones, among others, strategized them as allies; the U.S. government did not. 
Charlie took bikers on some wild dune buggy rides. He composed a song with them in mind, and interact-ed as if he lived in them, but despite their outlaw leanings many of them were traditional in their thinking. Our ideas were new and strange to them, and if they saw a revolution coming, they didn't envision hiding in the desert. They seemed to be more about illicit ways to make money.
This sure did pique my interest:
Two weeks after the ranch raid, Frank Retz called police to arrest Charlie for trespassing. They found him asleep in the farmhouse, a marijuana roach and one of the girls nearby. I think it was Gypsy because she went to the station and claimed the roach. She was not charged, and Charlie was released. Frank said he thought the police raid had taken care of the job he wanted done, but now he would have to do it himself. He openly announced that he would hire and arm a man to watch over the property. Pearl suggested Shorty Shea, and he made no secret of his intention to take the job.
Cappy describes the burning of the Michigan Loader:
Headed for refreshment from a hot desert day - a day spent close to the ground motionless as lizards, motionless as the air that let the Sun's heat turn the earth's crumbled rock to blazing dust, the same dust we had all become - two dune buggies of nude night bodies flew over the hills along the ridges and down the banks into the beds of forgotten rivers. This night had no moon but freedom was a-rise. The dune buggy engines hummed into the vast darkness. We neared the opening to a canyon that gave birth to a hot spring. Our heavenly hot springs popped into view - but SOMETHING of huge and grotesque proportions loomed out of the darkness beside it. A ruthless monster had invaded our unblemished desert home, a thing that had leveled a nearby hill and had stopped just short of shoving it into the pool of steaming water. A U.S. Government monster. Ouish's loud exclamations rebounded off the mountain walls. Then sparks lit within our eyes. We all laughed and charged to the dune buggies, lugging out gasoline and all the match-es we had stashed. What a beautiful picture it would make exploding in huge tongues of flame to return to the earth it was trying to destroy! We doused the tires and the seat with gasoline. Lit matches found their places. POOF! POOF! POOF! THE FLAMES WERE TITANIC. THE WHOLE MACHINE WAS ON FIRE... until the gas evaporated. Just how much of a Michi-gan loader burns? More gasoline - everything saturated once more - more matches - ah! And finally the seat caught a-blaze.

We slid into our pool beside the fire. And after a long bath, dawn came creeping. Goosepimply and wet we stood in the chill air, viewing the remains of the monster. There it stood unscathed - only a few patches of blistered paint and a gorged seat on melted rubber feet. We left our mark and sped off laughing into the morning. 
Sandy on Sadie and Katie telling her in September about the murders:
... I asked them if others knew about this. They told me they didn't know. Their move was for Bobby and there was really no need to say anything to anyone. After the girls left the trailer, I thought about what they told me, I could not judge them.
Paul Watkins was only called Little Paul after the Family made the final move to Golar Wash. It was to distinguish him from Paul Crockett.


The book ends with the Barker Ranch Raid. Very little is mentioned about the murders or the motives. What Fromme has presented us with is her experiences with Manson and the group. In my opinion she did an excellent job of helping me see things through her eyes.

We all have our reasons why this little piece of history reels us in. My fascination with the whole story has always had less to do with the crimes and more to do with the communal/tribal aspects of The Family. I've been waiting decades for a core member to write a book like this one. I devoured it. I'll likely devour it again and again.

Some of her descriptions of leaving home and learning to commune with nature reminded me of the North Pond Hermit, Christopher Thomas Knight, who lived almost without human contact for 27 years in the woods in the North Pond area of Maine. I'll never forget something he later said:
"Solitude bestows an increase in something valuable, perception. But...when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. There was no audience, no one to perform for...To put it romantically, I was completely free."
My reasons for reviewing in the fashion I did were (again) to bring to the fore things that either I did not know previous to reading this work, things that I found either uber-fascinating or just plain amusing. If she had gone through a major publishing house the book would have been much different. I'm appreciative of her choice.

If you haven's ordered Reflexion yet, you are missing out. It is a must read.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme on the Radio Sunday Oct. 14th

George Stimson posted this on a Facebook page.

Tune in this Sunday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time for Lynette Fromme's first ever LIVE radio interview, with the Reverend Derek Moody, the self-proclaimed high priest of rock and roll, on radio KSKQ 89.5 FM out of Medford and Ashland Oregon. (If you are out of radio range you can stream it on Lyn will be discussing her book Reflexion, the Pacific Trash Vortex, and anything else that time allows for.

Don't miss it if you can!

Live stream listen HERE 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Reflexion by Lynette Fromme; Part Four: pp. 253 - 365

Sorry for the delay in getting this one to you, I've been otherwise distracted. But, the "shit Matt didn't know, piqued his interest or cracked him up" tour continues with the large section of the book dealing with 1969 and Spahn Ranch. This is the last section and the largest so I'll cover it over two posts.


Bo Rosenberg came to the Family after she stayed with the group of hippies at Spahn in the back house but elected not to go with them when they were gifted by Manson with The Black Bus to go to Oregon.

I love Lynette's description of Watson when meeting him at Dennis' house. Nothing like I've heard before:
I asked Charles about his businesses. "Wigs," he said. He sold hairpieces from a beach house in Malibu. He didn't tell me that he supplemented his income by dealing marijuana and lightweight drugs. I figured the wig business would be cut short. He was so personable he could have sold homes, cars, magazines, or anything but wigs on southern California beaches. He was politely aggressive, interested in girls, and ultra confident, even with the awe shucks guffaw. He wore the thrill of victory like wings on his head. This Hollywood he'd always heard about was the destination of dreams - not that he wanted to be a celebrity. Just being in the same house with one was not much short of meeting God.

Brooks was brought to Spahn by Dean on one of his trips to court in Mendocino. Huh...

Regarding Manson as a mastermind leader:
In less than two years, county prosecutors would indict Charlie as a 'mastermind' and 'dictator,' but Charlie didn't dictate by ordering or making rules. Most of us had had enough rules made by people who didn't follow them. He ruled by example. He still had the sharpest eyes and ears, and the most experience of anyone at the back of The Ranch. In the circle at night, we treated him as a kind of shaman, giving him sound space in exchange for his insights. They emerged not in sermons or elevated speeches, but in extemporary, often musical, response. And when his humor crept up on us, or we were amazed, or enlightened, or thrilled by what he said, he shrugged off personal attachment to the words. Once he said, just reflect thought as it goes by in the air? He could send a dart through the eye of an ego, yet his ability to target disease while leaving healthy thoughts and behaviors strengthened drew people to him. I never considered then that he had a unique and different relationship with each person, and only later did I learn others' interpretations of what he said. What I witnessed of his interactions were fostering discovery of the natural world, and a human unity I'd never seen or experienced. His leadership qualities were an unspoken fact, but, if you asked him, he was just living the time of his life.
She mentions Family member Chuck Grey (never heard of that one).

Lynette denies that she was "assigned" to George, that all the girls cleaned, cooked and kept him company.

When Clem crashed Dennis' Ferrari, Charlie gave him Juanita's camper van to "Go see the Mendocino coast and the redwoods up north." (he didn't go). That made me laugh heartily for reasons unknown. The camper probably looked something like this:

Her description of TJ had me gasping for air:
TJ was a sometimes visitor, older than most of us, balding, and missing front teeth for which he had loose replacements. He had already been through the military (demolitions), marriage and divorce (demolitions). 
Cappy was short for "Capistrano from Santa Susano".

This tidbit about The Fountain interested me:
We visited The Fountain of the World several times before offering our help with their programs and community charities in exchange for a safe place for Mary and Sunstone to stay. Katie soon joined them, specifically to work, and she wound up managing their kitchen.
Regarding The Bug's "LSD mind control":
In the two years I'd seen Charlie take psychedelics, he was the sanest, most stable person in any group. His prosecutor would speculate, and then claim as fact that Charlie issued LSD to each of us, while secretly refraining from taking it so he could program and control us. We took acid separately and together so whoever had the stash "issued" it, and I don't think Charlie's ability to program and control would've been hindered by LSD, but here is what he said: "Spirit is a power that can't be controlled. I don't move it. The two ways to lose it are when I try to use it, and when I fear and fight against it." 
Right after this, she describes a group acid trip on stronger than normal A that they afterwards referred to as "The Freak Out". I howled laughing through every bit of it. I won't ruin it for you. The book was worth every word just for these few pages.

The aforementioned Chuck Grey was arrested for taking an older woman at knifepoint on Santa Susana Pass and raping her. Lynette couldn't wrap her head around it based on "his good looks and access to girls." After being driven away in a squad car he was never seen again.

George Spahn had a wife, still living at the time the Family was on the ranch. She stopped by briefly a few times. George said she didn't want to live on the ranch. I did not know that.

During their winter months at Barker Ranch they made the acquaintance of an astrophysicist engineer named Clint Anderson and his wife Stella who lived "on a distant dark hill". Charlie and Clem were fond of them. From (what I assume is) a letter from Clem:
I used to squat on Clint Anderson's kitchen floor while he ran down to me universal laws - celestial concepts that my mind could barely grasp. I was intoxicated with the wine of his wisdom and knowledge. He was gently humble, as if plugged into and talking for the whole magnificant (sp) universe. I walked out of his little desert cottage with the top of my head gone and my brain touching the heavens. One time when I was leaving the Andersons, after bringing them a heap of goodies and supplies, they told me that if ever I feel a touch like a spring breeze on my shoulder, and soft whisperings, to know that it's them in the spirit visiting me. I've felt those feelings several times through the years, and one time found out that Clint had passed. They were magical beings.
Lynette insinuates that in late 1968, Sadie was off: "The radio has been telling me to do things!"

“Karate Dave” is mentioned here and there throughout the book but this bit was interesting to me:
Charlie was driving the three-wheeler around The Valley one night with three of us girls in the back when, at a stoplight, we met Karate Dave on a rust-dusted Indian motorcycle - a nice old bike. Dave wasn't bad looking either. He was atypically clean-cut, blond, and masculine, and he came home with us after a few more stoplights. Charlie called him Karate Dave after learning he had a black belt. 
The problem with Dave was that he wasn't done rebelling against authority figures. He was a military AWOL, and if he can be believed, he'd escaped the police twice after being handcuffed. Charlie told me that in order to respect his peers Dave needed to be beaten at his art and none of our guys was trained in the marshal arts. Charlie said this to him: "Challenge yourself, man, compete with yourself. You got more than twenty acres of hills, caves, and boulders to master. Can you run through here at night without breaking your foot or falling on your face? You can knock people down, but can you pass through a place without leaving a trace that you were there? With-out disturbing a dog or a pebble? Challenge yourself, Man." Dave had a good false ID but he was another person who had to avoid the police.
When Sandy became pregnant by Bobby everyone was surprised because "their relationship wasn't exactly dovey".

On why they left Spahn Ranch for The Yellow Submarine:
Then [George Spahn] told me something that stung, and I didn’t repeat it to anyone. After asking me how we got our money when so many of the men did not have jobs, he let on that he thought Charlie was foolish for giving money away. 
"Was he foolish for giving it to you? I asked."  
He said, "Yes." 
This time I was furious. I yelled, "Well, do you want us to leave"? And he was so stubborn, and so mad, he said yes. 
We took three hours leaving, cleaning, packing, and petting the dogs, and as the 3-wheeler roared out of the drive with the last of us, the wind hit my face and I saw the whole crazy, crooked ranch in the wet bolts of color, and it felt like I had lost my world.
On Little Patty who she describes as a tough east coast girl (and a bit woman on woman lovemaking):
... one day as we were about to pass in the hallway, she approached me with that smile and spoke to me with that voice, and before I understood her intention, she pressed herself into me, tenderly kissing my mouth. I smiled into her eyes, shook my head, and Little Patty graciously understood. Although the guys being fewer, received the attention of more than one woman, and we women were comfortably physically affectionate, none of us who lived together demonstrated a desire for homosexuality. Not to my knowledge.
On the White Album:
We acknowledged the genius that had created the album, but we did not believe that the Beatles were talking to us, unless you included us in the soul of the world. The album was just interesting.
They missed the ranch. George missed them. They agreed to come back to Spahn. George wasn't thrilled about the men, but they worked out a deal anyway. During this period they expected that violence would come to the cities so they began hoarding staples for when the time came where going shopping would become impossible...

Danny DeCarlo appears at this point with his large gun collection. He made ammo himself. This is when the bikers began appearing but none stayed. Just DDD.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Linda Kasabian

She looks better than the last pic I saw. She's gained weight and looks healthier.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Law: Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Felony Murder and One for the Colonel

It seems to me that these topics come up frequently. 

The defendants in the Tate-LaBianca trial were indicted for murder and conspiracy to commit murder. At the conclusion of the trial Vincent Bugliosi also sought an instruction to the jury on the felony murder rule  due to Linda Kasabian’s claim she thought she was going on a ‘creepy-crawl’ the night of Cielo Drive and her description of a ‘creepy-crawl’. He also based the requested instruction on the residential invasions, cash, clothing, wallet and food taken on the two nights, the felonies of burglary and robbery. 

The key impact of both crimes is that Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Felony Murder do not require the defendant to actually kill anyone or even be present when someone is murdered to be guilty of murder. That, of course, rather obviously is directed at Charles Manson.

The third area of the law, below, relates to the oft expressed statement that if a witness commits perjury during a capital trial (a murder trial) that they are guilty of murder. Not exactly. 

Conspiracy to Commit Murder

The Law

The statute is California Penal Code section 182. It may have changed since 1970. Here are the actual
jury instructions from the Tate-LaBianca trial. Jury instructions are based upon and generally paraphrase the statutes, in part, and add legal concepts developed by appellate courts. In other words, they are an accurate statement of the law.

“A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit any crime, and with the specific intent to commit such crime, followed by an overt act committed in this state by one or more of the parties for the purpose of accomplishing the object of the agreement.

In order to find a defendant guilty of conspiracy in addition to proof of the unlawful agreement, there must be proof of the commission of at least one of the overt acts alleged in the indictments. It is not necessary to the guilt of any particular defendant that he himself committed the overt act if he was one of the conspirators when such an act was committed.

The term "overt act” means any step taken or act committed by one or more of the conspirators which goes beyond mere planning or agreement to commit a public offense and which step or act is done in furtherance of the accomplishment of the object of the conspiracy.”

“Each member of a conspiracy is liable for each act and bound by each declaration of every other member of the conspiracy if said act or said declaration is in furtherance of the object of the conspiracy. 

The act of one conspirator pursuant to or in furtherance of the common design of the conspiracy is the act of all conspirators. Every conspirator is legally responsible for an act of a co-conspirator that follows as one of the probable and natural consequences of the object of the conspiracy even though it was not intended as a part of the original plan and even though he was not present at the time of the commission of such act.”


“It is not necessary in proving a conspiracy to show a meeting of the alleged conspirators or the making of an express or formal agreement. The formation and existence of a conspiracy may be inferred from all circumstances tending to show the common intent and, may be proved in the same way as any other fact may be proved, either by direct testimony of the fact or by circumstantial evidence, or by both direct and circumstantial evidence.”

The Elements of the Offense

To be convicted of conspiracy to commit murder the prosecution must prove all of the following beyond a reasonable doubt. 

1. The defendant has to enter into an agreement with at least one other.

2.    The defendant agreed to intentionally kill. The target does not have to be identified.

3.    Some member of the group commits an any act that moves the plan forward in the state of California. Some member of the conspiracy does something to bring about the murder.

4.    The defendant is then liable of every act committed by every participant even if he wasn’t present. He is liable even if he personally didn’t intend the specific act to happen if it was a probable and natural consequence of the plan. 

Felony Murder

The Law

The statute is California Penal Code section 189. Here are the actual jury instructions from the Tate-LaBianca trial. 

“The unlawful killing of, a human being, whether intentional, unintentional or accidental, which occurs as the result of the commission or attempt to commit the crime of burglary or robbery, and where there was in the mind of the perpetrator the specific intent to commit such crime [burglary or robbery] or crimes, is murder of the first degree. 

The specific intent to commit burglary or robbery and the commission or attempt to commit such crime or crimes must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”


“If a human being is killed by any one of several persons engaged in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, the crime of burglary or robbery, all persons who either directly and actively commit the act constituting such crime or who knowingly and with criminal intent aid and abet it its commission, or, whether present or not, who advise and encourage its commission, are guilty of murder of the first degree, whether the killing is intentional unintentional, or accidental.”

The Elements of the Offense

To be convicted under the felony murder rule: 

1.    The defendant must intend to commit the underlying felony (burglary or robbery) not murder.

2.    Someone is killed during the course of that felony by anyone, intentionally or accidentally.

3.    It doesn’t matter whether the defendant was actually present when the underlying felony was committed if he aided and abetted the underlying felony he is liable for the murder. 

4.    Again, as long as the defendant assisted with the robbery or burglary he doesn’t have to be present when the murder takes place. 

The felony murder rule is generally referred to as ‘accomplice liability’ and is based upon what legal scholars refer to as the probable consequences doctrine. That doctrine says that some crimes have such a high risk that a death is a probable consequence of the crime. 

California SB (Senate Bill) 1437 eliminates what is called ‘accomplice liability’ under the felony murder rule. That statute passed the state assembly on August 29th and the state senate on August 30, 2018 and as of the writing of this post was on the governor’s desk. 

The reason for SD 1437 summarized as follows: 

“It is necessary to amend the felony murder rule and the natural and probable consequences doctrine, as it relates to murder, to ensure that murder liability is not imposed on a person who is not the actual killer, did not act with the intent to kill, or was not a major participant in the underlying felony who acted with reckless indifference to human life.”

The new law reads as follows: 

(e) A participant in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of a felony listed in subdivision (a) in which a death occurs is liable for murder only if one of the following is proven:

(1) The person was the actual killer.

(2) The person was not the actual killer, but, with the intent to kill, aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, solicited, requested, or assisted the actual killer in the commission of murder in the first degree.

(3) The person was a major participant in the underlying felony and acted with reckless indifference to human life, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 190.2.

This change might possibly impact Leslie Van Houten. SB 1437 also says this: 

Section 1170.95 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

(a) A person convicted of felony murder or murder under a natural and probable consequences theory may file a petition with the court that sentenced the petitioner to have the petitioner’s murder conviction vacated and to be resentenced on any remaining counts when all of the following conditions apply:

(1) A complaint, information, or indictment was filed against the petitioner that allowed the prosecution to proceed under a theory of felony murder or murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine.

(2) The petitioner was convicted of first degree or second degree murder following a trial or accepted a plea offer in lieu of a trial at which the petitioner could be convicted for first degree or second degree murder.

(3) The petitioner could not be convicted of first or second degree murder because of changes to Section 188 or 189 made effective January 1, 2019.

The last section may be a problem. 

Perjury During a Capital Trial

The Law

California Penal Code Section 128 states: 

Every person who, by willful perjury or subornation of perjury procures the conviction and execution
of any innocent person, is punishable by death or life imprisonment without possibility of parole. The penalty shall be determined pursuant to Sections 190.3 and 190.4 [emphasis added].

The Elements of the Offense

First, you have to willfully perjure yourself. You have to lie voluntarily. 

The key here, however, is the underlined portion of the statute. In order to be executed for committing perjury during a criminal trial, three things must occur: 

1.    The person you testified against was innocent.

2.    The person against whom you testified falsely was convicted. 

3.    The person against whom you testified falsely was executed. 

So, let’s assume hypothetically that Bugliosi somehow managed to coach Kasabian well enough that she was able to invent everything she said. We also have to assume she wanted to participate in the scheme and even came up with some zingers on her own. Finally, lets assume Manson was at Esalen from August 1st to the 15th and had no idea what happened. Unfortunately, he can’t prove it because he jumped the fence. He’s innocent. 

Kasabian gets on the stand and lies. Bugliosi asks the questions that help her lie. Manson is convicted. The Supreme Court does not intervene and Manson is subsequently executed. Both Kasabian who committed perjury and Bugliosi, who ‘suborned’ her perjury could be tried for murder and could be executed. 

What is historically stated inaccurately on this blog is that just because you lie during a murder trial you can be convicted of murder. That is false. 

One issue that has been debated by 'legal scholars for over 100 years is whether these crimes, known as inchoate crimes should be crimes at all. The defendant actually does not commit the crime for which he is prosecuted and convicted. He participates in a robbery (felony murder) or allegedly agrees to someone else committing murder. This is seldom proven by an actual 'recorded' agreement but nuances, circumstantial evidence. In this case that comes down to seven words: Now is the time for Helter Skelter and a few comments made by a con man whose schtick was a race war or philosophical discussions with Gregg Jakobson.

This is especially the case with the felony-murder rule. At least with conspiracy to commit murder they have to prove you agreed to commit murder. With felony murder you are there or participated in crime #1 and end up in prison for life (or worse) for murder.

I, personally, support conspiracy laws. I agree with the state of California on the felony murder rule.

Pax vobiscum 


Friday, September 28, 2018

Sneaking Into Sneakyville

A couple of intrepid souls sneaked into where the filming of Spahn Ranch will be for Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.  From the looks of things they have done a pretty good job of recreating the ranch.

They are building the sets at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley.  Corriganville was once a movie ranch, like Spahn and Iverson Ranches.  It closed in 1965 when Bob Hope purchased it.  The project Hope planned did not take off and he abandoned it a year later.  Corriganville is now a regional park.

The Boardwalk

A couple of the vehicles they have gotten for the filming

What would the film be without Dune Buggies?

Looks like they are going to make this area into the horse arena

An old school bus was acquired

George Spahn's house

A barn, couple of old cars and George's house in the distance

The boardwalk, old vehicles and the bus

The boardwalk, an old wagon like the one that was in front of the ranch and a trailer similar to the one that was parked next to George's house

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Not So Lost Manson Tapes (A Rant)

The Lost Manson Tapes

I went into viewing this “special” with way more knowledge than then casual viewer.  Regular students of the case who follow this blog know Robert Hendrickson very well from his frequent postings on the message section of the blog.  I was blessed to know him and his wife Tobyann for over a decade, after he screened his second Manson Doc, INSIDE, at a special standing room only screening here in Hollywood.   I tried to get Anchor Bay to release blu rays of both documentaries I held a special screening at INSIDE at William Morris which led to quite a lot of consternation.

I was also able to introduce Matt and Tobyann to one of the early blog Tours, hosting them at dinner at El Coyote, the night prior to a Cinefamily screening of Manson.  I also took Tobyann and Robert to dinner at El Coyote the night of the screening of the shittiest Manson 16 mm print ever at the New Beverly.  Robert spoke after and it was glorious.  Tobyann and Robert came to a party I hosted and spent most of their time speaking with George Hamilition.  “I’ve seen some shit” became the byword of the afternoon.

And then Robert was dead.

I met multiple times with his stepson, Alan, who called him Dad and tried to help him figure out what to do.  His brother was living in the family’s endlessly renovated house, Tobyann’s 99-year-old mother was moving in and Tobyann was definitely suffering from some dementia.  He wanted to capitalize on the footage that Hendrickson had.  This was a conflicting situation- Robert had never actually done that much with the footage and I never understood why.  When I got to his three file cabinets at one point, eighty percent of the files were lawsuits he filed against Amazon and Ebay for selling bootleg dvds the mob had made of Manson.  He never released a legit one which would have shut the bootleggers down.  He preferred to spend most of his time on Quixote legal battles that likely did not make him much profit.

People are odd.

Six weeks before he died I bounced an idea off of him that he loved.  My company has tried since 2000 to do the accurate version of the story.  Not the BUG approved one, the true story, what really happened.  The closest we came was August 2001 and then the terrorist attacks killed that deal.  We recently wanted to do a TV miniseries on the TLB story and could not find a “way in”.  The original script we had was through Mary and Paul’s eyes which made sense up to a point.  But what if we told the story through ROBERT’s eyes?  A young filmmaker, back from the Nam trying to do what sounds like a ludicrous fictional film ends up “embedded” with the Manson family.   That is a pretty cool point of view.

Robert was excited.  So, when he passed, I wanted to explore a way to tell that story in his memory.  With his death, I no longer needed life rights to do so, but I always envisioned (never clearly) a way to tell the story cutting together real footage of the real players.

This still might happen.  I hope so.  With movies coming out next year that all sound like they are continuing the official BUG bullshit approach, it would be nice to tell the real story at last.  Tarantino riffing on Christopher Jones’ life might be the end of the trail, with the truth so warped in the public’s eyes there is nowhere else to take it.

I helped Alan find the releases and pretty much all the paperwork he needed in Hendrickson’s files.  You can imagine the head rush as I found the signatures of Mary, Nancy and the rest, still there after almost fifty years.   Alan dug around for what footage he could find.  Robert had wanted to do a ten-hour miniseries if you recall so there must have been a lot.

I drifted away for a beat trying to figure out my show, and heard that Alan, who tours with Frankie Valli, had gone to his co-worker Dean and they had made a deal with a UK company Naked Tv to use the tapes for a TV special.  I thought that Robert would turn over in his grave, but felt good that maybe this would pay for Tobyann’s care.

In the meantime, while this played out over the next two years, Naked reached out to members of this blog looking to contact Manson Family members.  I am not sure, but I believe they told them to bugger off.   I mean even if Matt knows where Ousich is, it doesn’t mean he has to help some bs UK tv company find her.

Then the show was picked up by Fox, which made me think it might be good, not because it was Fox but because someone bought it.  THEN they decided to put in on Monday night, the lowest night of the week.  Well the final ratings were abysmal, just awful.

And so was the special.

I promised a review, not endless back story-


The Lost Manson Tapes is really a hodgepodge TV show that utilizes the following elements

-          Paid interviews with Catherine Share and Diane Lake and Mark Ross
-          Random Interviews with some people who agreed to talk to them, including shrink’s and Peter Coyote
-          Hendrickson’s footage
-          Other Footage

It is easy to review the entire show as “boring, derivative, garbage, seen it all before” hit because that is what it is.  By the first commercial break it was clear that they were going to try to tell the whole story again.   I mean Christ.  So, the best thing to do is to look at the elements I list above and see what they did with them individually.


Catherine Share, on top of everything else, was part of the Hawthorne Shootout, where the Family tried to rob some weapons to break Charlie out of Jail.  This included many hundreds of bullets being fired at police officers.  Catherine Share was shot in the shoulder.  She was sentenced to ten years to life.  Catherine Share is not some nice old grandma looking back on her life and saying “I am not really horrible.” She first surfaced on some bullshit show five years ago with BUG going back to Spahn.   This show PAID a woman who shot at police to say basically nothing I mean go back and listen to her and her alone- no insights.

Dianne Lake has a book to sell. Dianne knew about the murders and did nothing.  Yes, she was a child, Yes, she testified.  But she was not the star witness.  But my scorn for Snake is actually based on Bill Molesto Nelson’s work. You see, he was an idiot and a pedo but I think he quoted things correctly.  I think he was one of the people who never realized how quotes make him look bad.  And in his book, he describes tracking down Snake and her husband and being told, essentially, “You know, you almost got yourself in trouble we are in hiding and not talking to people.”  But Snake has a book to pimp.  She says a few things and then kinds of goes to the background.

Mark Ross   shows up with his nonsense alias Aesop Aquarian and now is some hero who claims Charlie wanted him to kill a judge.  Horseshit.  The last TV show I saw had Mark in a van being grilled as the guy who killed a girl who had nothing to do with Manson.  Can’t these specials get their shit right? 


Peter Coyote is lying or mistaken.  The Doctors all say what doctors say.  This entire section is horseshit


We are told that this footage was lost for forty years.  It was in boxes in a side room at Hendrickson’s house.
They use probably less than 20 minutes of the footage in the whole special.
We have seen almost all of the twenty minutes, except the clappers and Merrick’s offscreen voice.
They incorrectly play Manson vocal footage not from Hendrickson.
They play the clip of Manson from MANSON that I do not think Robert shot or smuggled any camera in.
They show Mary, and TJ and Nancy and Squeaky with ZERO CONTEXT.  Who is TJ?  Who did he kill?  Why are we watching him?
No context for Paul and Brooks for that matter.

We are excited to see footage that was LOST, except it wasn’t and anyone who saw Hendrickson’s two docs over the years saw it all before.


There are other things in here like the crime scene and funeral footage but we have seen it all before and it is shown very much out of context.

BUT the biggest bullshit in the special?   Trying to summarize the case WITHOUT footage of Linda (especially) and Sadie/Katie/Leslie and Tex.  Hendrickson never shot them, so this special marginalizes them.

The second biggest bullshit?   The special says that not only did Charlie purposely brainwash everyone over YEARS but he had a plan all along, to kill Tate et al.  Even assuming Charlie was purposely brainwashing people (he wasn’t) to say he had a plan in 1968 that he implemented in 1969 is truly stupid and deranged.

The final bullshit in the special- NOBODY hired a private eye to find Hendrickson’s family.

If this is where we are headed in 2019, with celebrity filled “People who lived down the street from Sharon” movies and “CIA Mind controlled” books I weep for the future of TLB research.