Thursday, July 30, 2015

In Touch with Rudi Altobelli and Terrie Spahn

The July 1974 issue of In Touch magazine featured an article on great American tragedies of the late 60s and early 70s written by Barry Glassner.  The Manson murders were included in the article.  Glassner managed to depart from the usual recitation of the crimes by speaking with Rudi Altobelli and Terrie Spahn,  a granddaughter of George Spahn.

Altobelli comes off as if the murders were a personal affront to him depriving him of the full value of his home and he sure doesn't like Roman Polanski.  Included mid-article is an interview with Altobelli when he finally sold the home years later.  I guess he had to sit on that home for quite a while before realizing it's full financial potential.

Terrie Spahn, on the other hand, comes off as a reasonable, non-judgmental person, who attempts to see the brighter side of life.

Barry Glassner is the author of several books on social issues including of The Culture of Fear, a bestselling book that has recently been updated.    http://www.barryglassner.com/
Bel-Air, a suburb of the supreme suburb of Beverly Hills, is where the elite hip pose for Newsweek while talking of grass, group therapy and gayness.  I drive up Benedict Canyon and Chevy Chase Roads, trying to find a house on a street called Cielo Drive.

The street number of "The Tate House," where Sharon Tate Polanski and four others were brutally murdered on August 8, 1969, does not appear even after a half-hours search.  I finally decide to interview neighbors about the effect of the murders on their lives.

The answer comes from the loud barking dogs in every hallway and the alarm-system warning signs on each front door.  Nobody answers doorbells, even at those houses where piano playing and walking noises can be heard as I approach.  At last, a woman agrees to come to her window and point out the way to The House.  I trudge up a private road hidden by a corner, but once there can't figure out how to inform the inhabitants of my arrival.  A tall electric barbed-wire fence separates me from the building; for several minutes only the birds and the trees know that I'm there.

Then I find a telephone on a post behind some trees, pick up the receiver, and hear a loud male voice say "Well..."

I explain.

"So you're doing a story on this house," he replies.  "Why do you want to drum up old memories?  I have a lot of money invested in this home.  I've lost a lot.  I used to rent it out, but now I can't."

Another phone rings in the background and he's asking me to hold on.  When he returns, he says that he will not let me in, even though I sound like a songwriter friend of his.

The man never gives his name, but he does say that he has taken no additional security precautions since the day Manson's minions allegedly preformed their acts on Sharon Tate and her companions.
"What you see is what we've always had.  If you hadn't picked up the phone, I'd never had known you were there.  We did buy a dog, though.  If he attacks you, run into the car."
He takes a sip of something, thanks someone by kissing him or her, and continues:
"Yeah, I've owned this place all along.  This is a fucking private home, see, and I don't want it to be a museum.  They call it 'the house on the hill' now, don't they?  That's because of asshole Roman Polanski, you can quote me on that."
I ask him what he means , but he doesn't explain.  I try a question about how the neighbors have taken it all.
"Listen I don't even know my neighbors.  Try talking to them," he says.  Our conversation is obviously ending, and again I ask to see the house.  This time I am refused with a somewhat intriguing signoff:
"I have to go.  Just say that this is a house of love... In fact, if you want to make love, jump the fence."
I demur.  Driving away, I notice that the fence is 20 to 25 feet high and extends all the way up the steep hill.

Sunset Strip- the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, Dick Clark Productions, dozens of poster shops.  I visit a real estate agency, where a stately lady at the front desk tells me that I probably spoke to a talent agent, who she says owns the house with a fellow agent.


Near an out-of-business hot-dog stand once called "The Watergate," I find a phone booth and set out to reach somebody connected with the Spahn Movie Ranch, where Manson and his clan had lived.  The ranch, located in nearby Chatsworth, had burned two years ago, but my first dime gets me Terrie Spahn, the 20-year old granddaughter of former ranch owner George Spahn. 
Terrie Spahn says that her grandfather is now 87, blind, and not thinking too clearly.  When the fire hit the ranch- and several nearby miles of Chatsworth- her grandfather disappeared to someplace in Oregon.  "He was almost dead because no one was feeding him there, and he had lost 12 of his best horses in that fire. 
"Some of the girls still call him here sometimes, trying to reach him.  You know, almost 30 people lived there at the time, and most of them weren't involved.  Mostly the girls would take care of grandpa, and he liked that because he couldn't take care of himself and he's a dirty old man.  Of course he couldn't see what was going on because he's blind.
"I used to go up there and give them clothes I didn't want any more.  They were always real nice to me."  Terrie herself was just married at the time of the murders, working as a hairdresser.  When her husband died a while ago, she started using her maiden name again.
I ask if she thinks Manson's people committed the murders.  "I guess they were the ones," she says.




Monday, July 27, 2015

Lust and Marriage: Sweet, Sexy Portraits of Steve McQueen and Neile Adams

We live in an age filled with way too much information about celebrities — much of it shared by celebs themselves: tweets, photos, press releases, you name it, blithely chronicling marriages, affairs, divorces, sex tapes, public spats and all the other sordid and exalted endeavors that flesh is heir to. And yet, despite this unending torrent of information, it’s somehow rare to see portraits of famous couples who not only genuinely like one another, but are comfortably, obviously attracted to one another.

Of course, actors, actresses, musicians and reality TV mediocrities are more than happy to flaunt their sexuality. But their exhibitions often feel either cartoonish or desperate, rising from a place of calculation rather than from good old-fashioned, grown-up lust. To quote Mark Twain (who was commenting on another subject entirely), the difference between faux, manufactured sexuality and the real deal is the difference “between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”

Consider, then, these portraits (above and below) of Steve McQueen and his then-wife, the actor, singer and dancer Neile Adams, sharing some smoldering moments together in 1963. Here are two adults — comfortable in their own skins and clearly at ease with one another’s bodies — captured in postures recognizable to anyone of a certain age lucky enough to have enjoyed an intense emotional and physical relationship with another human being.

In other words, these two people are hot for each other. And that’s cool.

Below: In a video exclusive, McQueen’s ex-wife, Neile Adams, shares her memories of the ups and downs of their intense 16-year marriage.


Far from the studiously audacious antics of today’s stars, the casual, evident pleasure that McQueen and Adams take in one another in John Dominis’ photos comes across paradoxically, as quite innocent. Steamy, yes. Carnal, absolutely. But innocent.

That Dominis was able to make such informal, revealing pictures — especially of an actor as guarded in his personal life as McQueen usually was — speaks volumes about the photographer’s talent; about the unprecedented access that LIFE enjoyed during its heyday; and, finally, about the predictable, closely managed and utterly bogus “allure” of so many of today’s stars and pop-culture power couples.

With McQueen and Adams, through Dominis’s lens, we’re reminded of what sexual attraction feels like, and what it looks like. Unkempt. Raw. Thrillingly real.


- Ben Cosgrove is the Editor of LIFE.com


Steve McQueen and his wife, Neile, take a sulphur bath at Big Sur, 1963.

Original LIFE story HERE



Friday, July 24, 2015

Never aired TV special from 1960's


Hi readers! It's been a while, so wanted to bring you a little retro weirdness that I found. Perhaps you have seen it already. If so, please forgive me. I haven't been able to keep up much with the latest & greatest from Mansonblogland, except to make comments every now & then. Please enjoy weird, 1960's era tv special (documentary) that never aired featuring famous film makers & shakers, including Roman Polanski, with his beyond-beautiful wife, Sharon.








Wednesday, July 22, 2015

THE MURDER OF GARY HINMAN: Drug Burn or Robbery? by D. LaCalandra

One of the most often debated topics of the life, times and crimes of the so-called 'Manson Family' is that of the murder of 35 year old music teacher Gary Hinman and the true circumstances leading to his death at the hands of his friend Bobby Beausoleil on July 27th, 1969. Was it, as the official record states, the result of a thuggish attempt to rob Hinman to "finance Helter Skelter" as ordered by Charles Manson? Or was it the result of a drug deal gone sour in which Beausoleil was acting as a middle man between Hinman and the Straight Satans MC club?

Before we examine the details of the Hinman case, let us first look at an event which took place only 27 days earlier on July 1st. The near fatal shooting of Bernard "Lotsapoppa" Crowe at the hand of Charles Manson. We know, beyond any reasonable shadow of a doubt that the shooting of Crowe was the result of a botched drug burn in which Charles "Tex" Watson had ripped him off of $2,000. But let's look at what some of members of The Family had to say of the crime, including one that the Prosecutor of the Tate-LaBianca murders, Vincent Bugliosi, would used as a star witness and go as far as saying was Charles Manson's "right hand man", Paul Watkins.

Dianne "Snake" Lake: "Gypsy told me Charlie had shot a black leader to start the revolution" (LAPD Police Interview)

Brooks Poston: "and he’s talked about killing a negro, militant leader in Los Angeles" (October 3rd, 1969 interview with Inyo County Sheriff Don Ward)

Paul Watkins: "Just because he said he was fuckin' little white girls. He says, "don't fuck with the white woman", BAM! He said he shot him with a 45 right through the heart" (Interview with Lawrence Merrick)

..and what did Watkins say of the Hinman murder?

"He said uh...Gary wanted to come with the Family, see, ah uh, he says that Gary said uh, "Can I come with you and the Family?" And old Charlie, "Sure, how much we have in our bank account?" And uh, Gary said, "what do you mean in our bank account? And Charlie says, "Well, what's mine is yours, so what's yours in mine" And old Gary said, "Well uh, no thanks". Charlie told me had ten thousand dollars in his bank account"

Again, Paul Watkins is the man Vincent Bugliosi lead the public to believe was one of Manson's "right hand men". Now, if we had gone by what these individuals in this supposedly tight-knit "Family" had said of the Crowe shooting* we just might be arguing today as to whether it was was really over a drug burn or just because he was "fucking little white girls" and now a great deal of the testimony regarding the murder of Hinman has to be put to the question. Clearly, many involved in the Family were kept in the dark about the true nature of the crimes of July and August of 1969.

* Various different motives for the murder of Gary Hinman have been given. Inheritance, stocks and bonds, Hinman wanted to join the Family, Manson wanted Hinman to join and the best, as given by Mary Brunner: Manson wanted Hinman to join his pop group. Leslie Van Houten in her interview with attorney Marvin Part claimed the reason was to get money for Dune Buggies.

Now let's look at the murder of Hinman. Rarely, if ever during debate about the crime is it mentioned that in early October of 1969, Danny DeCarlo and the Straight Satans were suspects in the case. This fact never made it into any homicide report and was obmitted from Bugliosi's Helter Skelter. Mark Arneson who had purchased Hinman's Microbus from Charles Manson, sold it shortly thereafter to a person by the name of Louis Puhek. Puhek was pulled over in Venice, California (HQ of Straight Satans) after an all-points bulletin was put out for the vehicle on October 5th or 6th. After questioning Puhek, it was learned that a Danny DeCarlo was one of the possible owners of the vehicle. A request was then made by Hinman detectives to locate DeCarlo and for general information about him and the Straight Satans.

Before that requested was fulfilled however, they had received information on October 12th that a girl named Kitty Lutesinger in Inyo County. who they already had interest in upon learning her name from Beausoleil himself, had information about the Hinman murder and thus an investigation into the involvement of the Straight Satans was temporarily put on the hold.

In Helter Skelter, Bugliosi writes that Kitty told LaBianca detectives:

"Manson had tried to enlist a motorcycle gang, the Straight Satans, as his personal bodyguard. With the exception of one biker named Danny, the group had laughed at Manson. Danny had stuck around for several months. Only learning that the motorcycle gang hung out in Venice, California, the LaBianca detectives asked Venice PD if they could locate a Straight Satan named Danny"

Bugliosi doesn't tell us that Hinman detectives, who had passed what Lutesinger said on to the LaBianca detectives, were already looking for him. It's safe to assume they too received this information, on top of what Puhek had told them, which was significant enough for them to consider DeCarlo a suspect. Was Bugliosi twisting the facts on behalf of one of is golden boys?

During Beausoleil's first trial, Sgt. Paul Whiteley, head of the Hinman investigation said on the stand:

THE WITNESS: "He had nothing to do with this car, as far as I know. In other words, I originally received information fourth hand that Daniel Decarlo had possibly been in possession of a Volkswagen bus at some time. Just about the time that I received this information, I was called to Independence, California, where I talked to other witnesses who told me that Daniel Decarlo had nothing to do with the car; that it was another person, and I just completely dropped him at that time"

THE COURT: But it subsequently revealed that he actually did have something to do with it?

THE WITNESS: Yes.

But what? There were no further questions and by this point, DeCarlo was already in bed with law enforcement and Bugliosi. Granted, he states that upon interviewing Lutesinger, that he learned DeCarlo wasn't involved. But whatever information he learned later that revealed he did, he does not elaborate on.

It was Lutesinger who implicated Susan Atkins in the Hinman murder. According to Helter Skelter, it was Atkins who revealed they went to Hinman to get money he "supposedly inherited". But as Bugliosi points out, she wasn't being totally truthful (was she ever?) and Hinman detectives suspected such. Because unlike Kitty, Atkins did not mention Manson, nor did she admit to stabbing anyone. If she was smart enough to leave out Manson, Brunner and Davis, all whom were eventually charged and convicted in the Hinman murder, it's safe to assume she was keeping her mouth shut about the possible involvement of DeCarlo.

Let's examine Lustenginger for a moment. She, the pregnant girlfriend of Beausoliel didn't learn until "several weeks later", according to Helter Skelter that he was even arrested and "much later" that it was for the murder of Hinman. Even she was kept in the dark, so if the crime it's self was kept from her, how could she be a reliable witness as to what the motive was?

On November 12th, Vence Police Department contacted the Parker Center and told them an Al Springer, member of the Straight Satans and his friend Danny DeCarlo had information about the Tate LaBianca murders. In this interview, Springer talked about everything from the shooting of Crowe to the murder of Shorty Shea and implemented Manson, Watson and Grogan in the murders. Despite this, detectives were unimpressed. Though Springer testified in the Hinman/Shea trial, he was not asked to testify in Tate-LaBianca trial as it was unclear as to weather he had heard about these things first hand or just repeating things DeCarlo had told him. Still, Bugliosi considered his taped interview with detectives to be of great, yet overlooked importance.

In regards to Hinman, Springer says something very interesting:

"this other girl kitty, or Patty or something like that. She not only probably has talked to ya, but once she sees Danny, her on her own, from what he hears, she's going to let it all hang out too. Everything she knows right to a T, So I figured I'd get the ball rolling. because I don't want to see Danny get in trouble for something he didn't do"

Right here we have evidence of a possible conspiracy involving DeCarlo and Lutesinger to establish a story that absolves Straight Satans of any involvement, or perhaps Lutesinger was strong armed into establishing the story she laid out. Clearly, they KNEW Lutesinger talked to police. Did they know before or after? Was there more to them squealing than pending charges? Did Venice PD tell them Hinman and LaBianca detectives were looking for them? What exactly was Springer worried about Danny getting in trouble over? Whiteley said he learned DeCarlo wasn't involved, but as pointed out, Lutesinger and DeCarlo were talking to each other at some point and they knew she would "let it all hang out" again.

The day after they had interviewed Springer, they spoke with DeCarlo. One week later, Bugliosi would be assigned the Tate-LaBianca case and Decarlo would be his personal tour guide of the Spahn Ranch. A little less than two weeks after DeCarlo's police interview, Bugliosi would be assigned the Hinman case after Beausoleil's first trial ended in a hung jury, thanks in part to the jury not believing DeCarlo.

Back to Atkins, why did say inheritance? We know, that Gary Hinman wasn't the hippie in Topanga Canyon to inherit $20,000. It was Charlie Melton. While it's safe to say that many of the Family weren't the brighest bulbs, I still think that they, especially those involved in the actual crimes weren't so stupid to believe that not one, but two hippies in the Topanga area connected to the Family had inherited a large lump sum of cash at the same time. So we can cross the idea that anyone really believed that Hinman had $20,000 off the list of possibilities. Could it be, Atkins substituted Melton with Hinman under pressure in an attempt to conceal the true motive, so to not incriminate Danny DeCarlo? She did, after also tell Ronnie Howard she stabbed Hinman while Bobby held him (sound familiar?) and that she stabbed Sharon Tate, when we know it was actually Tex Watson. Role reversal seems to have been a staple in the Fanciful story telling of Sexy Sadie.

Ronnie Howard: "She says he was a hippie too and I asked her, I said, "Well, why did they do it?" She said, "Well he owed them some money or something. He owed this Bobby and her some money and some other girl. I heard them talking on the telephone. I heard them trying to kill him. So they got him out for a ride. He thought he was just going out for a nice drive" (November 25th 1969 interview with LAPD)

Owed is the key word. Granted, Susan was obviously engaging in her aforementioned fanciful story telling during her jailhouse confessions. It's also possible Howard got her facts mixed up, since her statement contains clues of the Shorty Shea murder and not that of Hinman. But Atkins was clearly going for shock when she opened up her mouth to Howard and Graham, So why no mention of an inheritance rather than a mundane scenario involving Hinman owing money to Bobby? Again, owned is the key word.

"Kid come to me and said Hinman owes me" - Charlies Manson (1992 interview with Bill Murphy)

Ella Jo Bailey is one ex-Family member who's testimony is often used by people who favor the official record. However, what they fail to look at, is that Bailey wasn't interviewed in regards to the Hinman case until March of 1971. After Manson was already sentenced to death in the Tate-LaBianca trial and needless to say, long after the Manson myth has already been established. She was, yet another example of somebody with pending criminal charges of her own. So it's more than safe to assume she was simply telling them what they wanted to hear. Ella, also never said anything about any inheritance. Her reasons were stocks, bonds and the two junk vehicles Hinman owned. One overlooked comment from her interview though, is that fact she mentions Susan saying something about drugs before they left for Hinman's house. She claims Bill Vance left because he didn't want to go out on any "Capers". Yet we know the ex-con already was engaging in criminal activity on the ranch. As we'll see later, there might have been a reason she mentions Vance in regards to the Hinman case. Further more, did in fact confirm Hinman supplied the Family with mescaline.Those who claim the topic of drugs in relation to Hinman never came up during any of the trials, can no longer say that.

From the People Vs. Davis on January 12, 1972:

GEORGE DENNY: They got some of their mescaline from Gary Hinman; is that right?

ELLA JO BAILEY: I believe so, yes

GEORGE DENNY: And you got some of it for the Family from Gary Hinman; is that right?

ELLA JO BAILEY: I don't recall ever --Gary Hinman turning over any mescaline to me.

GEORGE DENNY: But you used that which had been gotten from him; is that right?

ELLA JO BAILEY: Yes.

GEORGE DENNY: He manufactured it for the Family and others; isn't that right?

ELLA JO BAILEY: I don't know if he manufactured it.

In Death to Pigs, Lawrence Merrick asked Mary Brunner if Gary Hinman "was into dope dealing" and her reply was, "yeah". What did Hendrickson and Merrick hear at such an early date that prompted them to ask about Hinman and dope dealing?

"Hinman deserved to die. He was selling bad dope" - Charles Manson (1971, Hinman/Shea trial)

In 2012, a relative of Gary Hinman, or somebody claiming to be so, made a letter from Beausoleil available to read online. This letter has been used as "proof" that the Hinman murder did not involve a dope deal by those in favor of the court's findings. But let's look.

"However it would be hypocritical and disingenuous to say that Gary was a drug dealer. The story about the drug burn was just something put into my head by others, and there are plenty of reasons to be suspicious of the story considering its source. Gary wasn't the kind of guy to burn anyone in a drug deal or otherwise. I chose to buy into the story and allowed it to be part of the internal narrative I used to justify my decision to rob him. And later to rationalize some lame reasons for what followed."

Beausoleil says somebody "put into his head" by others, but doesn't say if it was before or after the murder nor does he name these "others". He then goes onto say:

"Back in the 60s everyone I knew traded in such things as pot and capsules of peyote cactus among friends and neighbors, and this includes me. None of us thought of one another as drug dealers"

So Bobby doesn't deny some sort of transaction too place, he only apologizes for the characterization of Gary as a drug dealer. A term that needless to say carries a lot of negative connotation.

Of the five people charged in the murder of Gary Hinman, only two have said that the that the true nature of the crime was drug-related. That is Charles Manson and Bobby Beausoleil. It's often questioned as to why this is the case and why none of them made this be known at trial. What must be understood is that Bobby Beausoleil was tried and convicted in a separate trial* in which his defense strategy was to lay blame on Charles Manson. Despite his efforts , he was convicted and sentenced to death in the slaying. Manson, Susan Atkins and Bruce Davis were tried together directly after the Tate-LaBianca trial. Atkins plead guilty having already been sentenced to death in the Tate-LaBianca trial and did not wish to go through with another trial. She received life in prison for the Hinman murder. Mary Brunner turned state's witness and testified in exchange from full immunity.

* Beausoleil had two trials. In both, he tried to beat the rap and deny any involvement.

..and what of Mother Mary? It should be said that Bobby Beausoleil has stated that neither Susan Atkins nor Mary Brunner were told why he was going to Hinman's home and maintains to this day that they were not sent by Charles Manson, they simply tagged along. This could very well be true. There is a more than likely chance that Beausoleil had too much pride to tell the girls he was more of less being pressured to recoup money for a group of tough guy bikers. Initially, Mary claimed that when being questioned by detectives, she was more or less pressured to repeat what Atkins had already told them and had threats of her son being taken away from her and being sent to the gas chamber. With the help of a good lawyer, she was able to strike up a deal to testify against her co-defendants in exchange for immunity. She then recanted her testimony against Beausoleil and claimed she was coerced into testifying and that the purpose of her testifying against Beausoleil was an attempt to absolve Charles Manson of guilt. Her initial reason for the murder? Hinman refused to join Manson's pop group. Another question one could ask is, why no mention of Danny DeCarlo if he was involved? In her police interview, she claims it was Bill Vance who accompanied Manson to Hinman's residence, rather than Bruce Davis. Obviously they were all very selective and careful as to who to name.

*Later on, her lawyer was able to maintain the deal made using the excuse her copporation helped the prosecution's case and charges were once again dropped.

Susan Atkins nor Bruce Davis have ever said that the murder of Gary Hinman was anything other than a botched attempt to rob him. However, both Atkins, before her death and Bruce Davis worked hard to get parole. In the eyes of a parole board, reality is on paper under the heading of "Statement of Facts". Parole hearings are not retrials and to go against what the records say are the facts is taken as deception. This is why Bruce Davis has been granted parole for a three years in a row* and Beausoleil denied at all 17 of his hearings to date. Atkins, claimed that after the shooting of Bernard Crowe there was a desperation to flee into the Death Valley and that money and Dune Buggies were needed, thus an idea to get funds off Hinman went into effect. If the murder of Gary Hinman was indeed not over a drug dispute, then this is most likely the true motive. But selling stolen property of a dead man is too risky of a business venture, so it's safe to say that murder wasn't apart of the original plan.

*Davis was granted parole in 2010, 2012 and 2014 but the decision was reversed by governors Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 and Jerry Brown in 2012 and 2014.

The changes in the story as presented by Beausoleil over the years has been a big reason people often cite that he and Manson have been lying about the drug angle. But has he really changed his story? The answer is actually no. Since 1981 the story has remained the same with the exception of some minor discrepancies and details. In his 2010 parole hearing, Beausoleil actually gives a logical explanation:

"Well, initially, I was too ashamed to admit to my parents that I had killed a man, and I made up a story that Manson had done it. And then later, in my first parole hearing in 1976, I wanted to accept full responsibility, but I wanted to do it without being perceived as a snitch*, because that would have been a death sentence in California at that time. So, I took responsibility for everything that had happened. I said that I had done it all, including slashing Gary across the face, and so that was the second version that I had told that wasn't entirely true. It was true other than that one part. And then subsequently, Manson himself admitted in this book that he had been involved in, admitted that he had slashed Gary's face, so I no longer felt an obligation to try to protect myself, and, you know, and being thought of as a snitch, because he'd already said that. So, I felt at liberty at that point to say exactly what happened, and that was, I think, in 1980"

*This may sound like a silly excuse to some, but in defense of Beausoleil, unlike Charles "Tex" Watson and Bruce Davis, he at that time was in San Quentin. A much harsher environment and he has, in the passed been involved in violent situations, one in which he was stabbed by another inmate.

In a 2009 documentary, Bugliosi dropped somewhat of a bomb shell when he said:

"Gary Hinman furnished drugs for the Family. He was not a member of the Manson Family, he was an associate"

In the end, it can not be proven for sure if drugs played a role in the death of Gary Hinman. But when one takes into consideration all that has been said and the progress and circumstances of the investigation and trial, I believe that there is good reason to believe there was in fact a drug transaction that escalated in a violent and deadly situation.


Sources:

The Family, Ed Sanders

Helter Skelter, Curt Gentry and Vincent Bugliosi

Death to Pigs, Robert Hendrickson

Police interviews, parole hearings and other documents found at cielodrive.com


Monday, July 20, 2015

Group Shot Taken From a Party During the Trial


From the blog of Chuck Boyd, a photographer who covered the Manson trial for CBS:
"The surprising thing about the overall group shot was that the prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi (far left) came to the party and posed along with one of Manson's lawyers, a bearded Ron Hughes who later died before the trial ended.  
The 3 lady reporters all came as members of "the family" and wore black t-shirts and had crosses painted on their forehead. The actual ladies who picketed outside the L.A. Hall of Justice each day had carved the image on themselves."
Another awesome photo I had never seen before. How disturbing is this? Ron Hughes who was representing Leslie Van Houten poses with Bugliosi AND reporters who are dressed mocking his client?


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Abounding Misery


"Murderers are not monsters they're men. and that's the most frightening thing about them"
                          - Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

" Charles is a man of peace and character, who shines brightly in a dark place. His identity has shifted from that of a murderer to a child of God. He no longer allows the crime to identify who he is. He sees himself as God sees him- a new creation of Christ"

                          - Manson's right Hand Man Speaks Out- PDF on Watson's website


Ya know, Someone once told me "A Church is a Hospital for sinners, not a Museum for Saints." 

Hmmm...

Today, I take a look at "Abounding Ministries" The website of Tex Watson. Watson Founded Abounding Ministries in 1980, and then along came aboundinglove.org in 1997. His site features his "Monthly Views", letters from readers, links to various religious works, and free PDF versions of his books. It talks about his family and youth as well as his childhood and early years, and of course his life with- and since- his times with Manson and the family. It claims to have received "Millions" of hits. As I have read all of it in its entirety over the years, I thought I could summarize it for those of you who dont have the time or stomach. For the purposes of this post, I went back to look it over recently, and it appears to have been given a touch up. If I could digress for one honest moment- the coolest thing about this site, in reality, is reading the Fake "Gratitude" letter he received from Stoner Van Houten. ( True story- I am not going to give out Stoner's real name without his permission- but trust me its there) Reading that was the one and only time I actually smiled in all the hours I have spent on Tex's site. It is not exactly what I call entertaining, or fun reading for the most part. But, this site did give me some insight into Tex's life in Texas and California outside of and around the crimes, and to me that stuff was sort of interesting. I know it is very hard to take anything he says at face value for the most part, but it seems to me that with the passing of time, and the gradual realization of the inevitability of his predicament, Tex has started to be more honest about his involvement and participation over the years. I do not believe a word any of them said 40 years ago when they were still young, and thinking there might be some way out eventually. I am starting to believe some of them now that they are older, more mature, and have had plenty of time to clear out their heads. So call me crazy, but I believe some of what Leslie and Pat say at their most recent parole hearings. And as well, I believe some of what Tex says in the various documents on this website. Having said that- let's take a look:

I awake around 5 a.m.. to read, meditate and pray. I eat breakfast and work as the bio-hazard janitor in the facility where I live. The prison serves two hot meals daily, plus issues a sack lunch at breakfast, but I eat mostly food from the prison canteen and from quarterly food packages. I have been a vegetarian since I was 23 years old. There is a track around a grassy yard available for walking or running and exercise. Some inmates play baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer or horse shoes, but I don't. I walk the track sharing my Christian faith, relating to many men. I'm often seen listening to Christian music and Bible teachers on the radio as I walk the yard. Prison visits are allowed on Saturday and Sunday. Bible studies, services and other functions are held in the prison chapel, where we have a vibrant body of believers in Christ. I also spend time listening to the Lord and writing the content for this web site.

If you are interested in this type of day to day minutiae regarding the current life of Tex Watson- I guess this would be a very interesting site for you. Obviously, this is going to be a website controlled by a person who has put quite a bit of thought and effort into painting himself in the most flattering light. There is much about  religion and what it has done for him, and many tales of how he is passing that on to others. He mixes in enough Manson stuff to keep the readers engaged, as he probably understands where his "millions of hits" are coming from. However, for the most part he goes to great lengths to use this website to try and sell the new Tex Watson and convince us that how he identifies himself these days- is the reality of who he really has become. Now, I know some of you are aware about his life inside. His marriage, kids and the times he basically ran the prison chapel with Bruce Davis. Doris Tate, God bless her soul, took the fight to them, and fought hard for real changes in the system- and won! And of course, Tex doesn't spend a whole lot of time on that. But this post is about his web-site, so I will leave the true story of Tex's life behind bars for another time.

Anyway. I guess I should tackle this in some kind of coherent order. I will try to make some sense where there is no sense so to speak. Let me start with the books.

" Will You Die for Me" is basically the autobiography of Tex Watson. It was written as told to Chaplain Ray Hoesktra. Chaplain Ray was a well known man in the prison system. Famous for converting the worst of people over from the dark side. This book covers Tex's childhood, college years, and his first trips to California, Then it goes through his entire experience with the family, up to and including, his trial and incarceration. He spends two chapters on the two August nights of the murders, and does not go easy on himself or try to downplay his own participation. Tex does actually won it. He posts a review of this book on his website I actually agreed with:

"A riveting story not only because it is a first-person account of the Manson murders by one of its murderers, but because no punches have been pulled..."

Here is a couple of examples of Tex taking some personal responsibility, and pulling no punches in "Will You Die for Me":

They began pleading with us for their lives, and suddenly Frykowski started kicking and fighting,jerking at the towel that bound his hands. “Kill him!” I ordered Sadie, but he dragged her down as she flailed at him awkwardly with the knife, stabbing him in the legs several times. Then she had lost the knife in the cushions and Frykowski was loose, tearing her hair and pulling her down onto the floor. I would have shot him, but he and Sadie kept rolling and fighting, so I finally threw myself on him and beat him over the head with the butt of the gun until it broke, a section of the grip dropping to the floor. He was enormously powerful, fighting for his life as he dragged the two of us across the hall toward the front door, knocking over the trunks. As we staggered out onto the front porch, he kept screaming, “Help me. Oh God, help me!” I stabbed him over and over, blindly, the whole world spinning and turning as red as the blood that was smearing and spattering everywhere. Finally I shot him twice and he slumped onto the stone porch. I looked up and realized Linda was standing on the walk, staring at me in horror. She must have been there when we first came out, as well, since I could suddenly remember her screaming to Sadie, “Make it stop!” and Sadie shrieking back that it was too late.

 Finally I stood up and went back inside with Katie. Sadie was sitting next to Sharon on the couch as the pathetic blond woman sobbed, begging us to take her with us and let her have her baby before we killed her. It was the first time I'd realized she was pregnant, and for a moment it almost seemed like a good idea. But then Katie hissed, “Kill her!” and Charlie's tape whirred, “Kill her!” inside my head and I looked at Sadie. But she just sat there holding Sharon, so I reached out and made the first cut across her cheek. Later, Prosecutor Bugliosi, because of some things Susan-Sadie bragged about in jail in one of her attempts to get attention, was convinced that it was she who killed Sharon Tate, but his suspicion was not true. It was my hand that struck out, over and over, until the cries of “Mother . . . mother . . .” stopped. Suddenly it seemed very quiet. It was over.

I apologize for the graphic descriptions he gives for those with a weak stomach, but they do illustrate my point. Tex doesn't go easy on himself or say anything which is self serving about his participation. I know they have all changed their stories a million times, but as I said earlier, as they age and their heads clear up- they seem to becoming more and more honest about what really happened- if not why. Although this book did give a fair and unbiased look at the actual crimes- of course, it also made a few attempts to humanize Tex and I didn't buy any of that bullshit at all. Here is one example of Tex trying to look like he is not "A Total Monster":

I have no doubt that things would have continued just as Charlie planned-for another night, for three more nights, ten, however long — if later that Sunday afternoon my mother had not called Willis Carson in Los Angeles and asked him to get in touch with me because she hadn't had a word from her son in six months. That call, and Willis's to the ranch that followed, set up my lie about the F.B.I. having come to my parents' home in Copeville, accusing me of murder. And that lie stopped the killing and sent us all to the desert where, nearly two months later, I refused to murder again for Manson and headed home to Copeville, with its peeling white wood and railroad, home to the store and the gas pumps and the kitchen — back to the world I thought I'd blasted out of my mind forever.

So here Tex is basically telling us that although he was the major force in the TLB killings, he was also the hero who saved the day for many other innocent folks. This book, much like the rest of the website is full of these types of contradictions. Tex seems to want us to believe that he is willing to admit that he was totally responsible for the crimes, but that he is also deep down a very compassionate guy with a big heart. He cant seem to process that those two just cant go together. He appears to be trying to be honest and credible enough to get us to feel we can now believe in him when he says he is harmless and changed. Sigh.... Anyway, This book did contain some semi- interesting stories about his youth and his early times in California. He did paint a pretty good picture of late 60's Los Angeles,  which is a big interest of mine. And for a time, it seems, Tex was living a life I have dreamed about quite often....

From listening to the music you sometimes got the impression that there was nobody in California over thirty. The first thing Richard showed me was Sunset Strip and I began to think the songs were right. The rows of discotheques and clubs and psychedelic shops were packed with young people, and they looked different from any people I'd ever seen before. The men wore beards and long hair and beads; the girls danced along with nipples outlined beneath their thin blouses. People played flutes on the corner and walked barefoot on the concrete. A girl brushed by me murmuring, “Grass? Acid? Speed?” Rich took me into the famous Whiskey a Go-Go, and as the rock blared I stared at the dancers, couples moving to the beat in the most unabashedly sexual movements I'd ever seen in public. It was a long way from Texas and if freedom was what I'd been looking for, I was certain this was it.

So, there are one or two interesting tidbits in this book if you take enough time to sift through the nonsense. His retelling of the crimes, and the detail he goes into, made me every uneasy. He does talk about Crowe and Gary, but not Shorty. He explains how and why he came and went into, and in and out of, the family. It was also interesting for me to realize that, in total, Tex was only in the picture for 9 months total. Also, it was interesting to learn  how after meeting Charlie at Dennis Wilson's house, he had to start out his time with the family sleeping in a tent with Dean away from the others until he "earned" his way in to staying with Charlie and the others. The last parts of the book talk about his times in jail. He starts with the arrest in Texas and covers all of his pretrial and post trial time in various mental institutions and clinks. He speaks about the efforts that both of his " Families" made to communicate with him, and of the all the health, and emotional issues he had to deal with. ( Poor Tex huh?) It ends with him getting very excited in the final chapters, because he gets to speak about his discovery of the lord. This is where I get off...

The other book on his site is called "Manson's Right Hand Man Speaks Out". This is basically a book of 200 questions and Answers. It only lists Tex as the Author, so I assume he is posing these questions to himself? He never really says where they come from. This is what it does say:

An interview for everyone, covering 10 intriguing subjects chapter by chapter. For the historian, you’ll find factual information. Parents will receive counsel for raising successful children. Students will be assisted with their research.Teenagers will find answers. And for those searching, they’ll find the Truth and see at last how to stop the pain! this book of 200+ Questions and Answers unveils fresh, new insights into the 1969 Manson madness. 


After the murders in 1969, Watson turned from Manson and returned to his family as a prodigal son. He has used his many years in prison productively. The interview you are about to read is one project with which he felt it necessary to be involved. Never attempting to shift blame from himself, he hopes to share new insights into the Manson madness, and to share positive solutions to problems in society, including victim mentality, the death penalty, prison reform and forgiveness. He prays that many will learn and be touched by these efforts.


 So, in this book- we get lots and lots of questions answered, but both the questions and answers are edited by the person who is trying to benefit from the excersize of going through them? I am confused. Well that makes about as much sense as anything else in this case I guess. But, let's not be pessimistic. Lets just take a look a few of the highlights. We can just take new, reformed Tex at his word and put some of these questions to bed forever right?

 Q: Is Bugliosi's book, Helter Skelter fairly accurate?
A: Yeah, 85%, for what it covers, especially on Manson's philosophy, since he interviewed so many people close to Manson

See- told you so lol Here is one more and then I am done with H/S- I promise!

Q: Did Manson believe this Helter Skelter Philosophy, or was he just into controlling people?
A: Yeah, he believed it, but we also let him control us. Remember, I ran from Manson on December 1, 1968, the day  we listened to the White Album together. That day he began to formulate part of his philosophy from the Beatles, because to him their music confirmed his black-white revolution theory. For the next three months, while I was away, he persuaded the hard-core family members with this madness. So much so, that when I was drawn back to the family at the end of February, all they could talk about was Helter Skelter coming down fast. To them, I was ignorant and blind and had a lot of catching up to do. I didn't know what they were talking about. My head was spinning from all this new insight
  
He seems to demonstrate a somewhat grudging  respect for Bug's for the most part when he speaks about him. But, moving on from the motive thing, here were a few that were interesting to me:


 Q: Do you think there's something innately wrong with someone who could commit such a horrible crime?
 A: I believe there is something innately wrong with all of us by nature of being born. As a Christian, I believe sin passed  upon all mankind through Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden of Eden. This is why we need to be born- again. We all have a heart problem that causes us to trust in ourselves instead of God. But I understand your question. I think you are asking if some of us are born naturally as murderers and some not. I'd say no, we don't inherit it from our parents; it's acquired as we grow up, through the circumstances of our lives and the choices we make.

Isn't that last question both strong and yet weird sounding if he is posing this to himself ? Here are a couple of other old rumors Tex can clear up lol :
  
 Q: Did Manson ever teach the beliefs of Friedrich Nietzsche and Adolf Hitler?
 A:Strange as it may seem, I never heard Manson mention Nietzsche or Hitler. Again, I was away from the family for three months when Charlie laid out his take on Helter Skelter. I've heard that magazines were found in a bus we left in the desert, all having articles on Hitler and even Rommel and his Desert Corps. I faintly remember those magazines. Family members who were close to Manson during the months I was gone, knew his views on Hitler all too well. I did hear about that.

 Q: How about the beliefs of Scientology and The Process Church?
 A:I never heard Manson mention Scientology or The Process Church. He did meet up with a Scientologist named Crockett in the desert. Crockett was instrumental in deprogramming Poston and Watkins, and stood toe-toe with Manson. This was the only mention of Scientology. I remember them arguing back and forth for hours.

Here is one I am always curious about with all of them:

Q: Are you in touch with other former Manson family members?
A:No, I'm not. I do hear things about them through the media and through the grapevine, but I have no direct contact with them. Bugliosi did a great job following- up on former members in his updated version of Helter Skelter. I hear that many have become Christians and truly love the Lord. Some have died in accidents and some from natural causes. Others are in hiding, trying to go on with ordinary lives. Only a couple of the girls still follow Manson. I pray their eyes open up to the truth that is found only in Jesus Christ.

The Music:
  
Q: Did the music influence you in a negative way?
     A:Well, it certainly didn't influence me in a positive way. These musicians were, like me, looking for answers in drugs, rebelling against parents and society and living in sexual immorality - each one related to the other. They sang about love, peace and freedom; all the things I was lacking. I was caught up in rebellion, searching in all directions, but in unbelief toward God; especially my parents' God. I believe music was one of the influences that helped me dishonor my father and mother. I was under the influence of the same drugs that influenced the musicians. This made it easier to identify with them, and it made what they were singing about more believable; the music had an even greater influence over my mind and took me into what seemed to be a magical world. 

     The Drugs:

 Q:Was Manson using drugs, or were only the members using them?
 A: I'm asked this question a lot. People seem to think that Manson had all of us drugged out, while he remained sober so he could easily manipulate our minds. This may be true, but a sorcerer such as Manson uses mind-altering drugs himself in order to contact spiritual beings, and gain supernatural powers. He was definitely using drugs like the rest of us.
 
And one final sample regarding the crimes:

 Q: How did you feel the day between the Tate and LaBianca murders and shortly afterward?
 A:I'm ashamed to say it, but I didn't have a lot of feelings. My conscience had become hardened because of my own rebellion. My feelings were dulled through the effects of drugs. But I did have some feelings; more than I admitted to Manson. I was supposed to be without feelings according to Manson's teachings, but in reality, my feelings were all mixed up. I was depressed, downhearted, spiritless and even disoriented during the crime and afterward. I remember sitting in a dry creek bed by myself. I couldn't believe it was me doing what I was doing. I just wanted it to stop, but I felt pressure to go along the next night. I remember thinking as we drove around, “Please don't let Charlie find a house to do the same thing in.”

So that should give you an idea of what type of Q/A Tex has with himself. If you want more- there are about 195 more of them you can read if you care to. I found some of these questions to be interesting, and some to be self serving. Again, probably in both cases, calculated and purposely so. I did find it to be worth reading if you are interested in the perspective of Tex. I am myself. I am much more interested in getting insight into the mind of Tex than I am Charlie. To me, Tex is a much more vicious sort of character than Charlie. Maybe not as "cool" or "hip" to most people. But Charlie is not cool or hip to me. I could have seen him coming a mile away, and would never have fell for his bullshit. Tex, however, is another story. Tex is much harder to figure out to me. And in my opinion those out there who are into Charlie for the darkness and the "Evil" he represents- are missing the boat. Tex Watson should be your Huckleberry. This is the mind you want to get inside of to understand evil. This is the guy who people should be having nightmares over. Charlie carved an X into his own head with a pin. Tex carved up a pregnant woman with a knife. I think Charlie gets too much notoriety sometimes, for the things Tex did. 

The final gem to mention in the Tex Trilogy is called " Forgiven- The Tex Watson Story." This 28 minute video docudrama was made by students at Biola University and has interviews with Tex and that wacko Sue Laberge woman- who you probably know was the daughter of Rosemary Labianca. So, with a title like that, and with the (very sad and pathetic) involvement of a victims family member- I assume you can guess where this is going as much as I did. But I watched it anyway. You hear his voice and you get why they called him "Tex." He talks real slow and has an easy country manner to him. He sounds very relaxed when talking about himself in this video. He tells the same story as he does in his books, but it is a little different hearing him explain it, and watching his eyes while he talks. They keep cutting in to the interview with some sort of movie scenes which act out his story as he is explaining it.  I am not sure if it was the students doing reenactments, or some old Manson movie I have just never seen? If that is the case, it is easily the worst Manson related movie ever made. I really hope it was the students. Tex mentions several times during this show, or whatever it is, that he was "deceived". He wasn't aware of what was going on around him. He blames drugs many times for his condition, but then periodically stops to say he doesn't blame drugs for the crimes. At one point about 14 minutes in- he does both of these things in the same sentence. Then, of course, the second half becomes all about God. Key the slow guitar music, and now it is o.k. for him to start laughing and smiling...

At about 17 minutes Susan shows up in the video, and any hope of sense or reason goes right out of the window. What in the hell is wrong with some people? In my entire life I will never get people like this Laberge person. NEVER! I am not going to give her the importance of repeating one word of the garbage that comes out of her mouth. Suffice to say, God may understand, and forgive people like this, but I am quite sure I never will. This man tortured and took the life of her mother, and she sits there and works for him to help him gain favor? Sickness in my opinion. And as for Tex- some Charlie like manipulation skills - no? I think that if you want to listen to the daughter of a viciously slain woman tell you why to forgive the animal who did it- there is a video on this site where you can find it.

Aside from the these invaluable forms of Tex information- there are a couple of books on Christianity on the site Tex wrote as well, but I don't give a frog's fat ass about any of that. You can go and read that nonsense for yourself if you must. There are testimonials, and links to other religious types of stuff which all show you what a great command Tex has of the subject. It contains plenty of letters from readers who tell him what an inspiration he is to them for their own personal reasons. I learned from Stoner he even answers some of them ( Until he realizes he has been "Stonered") 

And then there are the monthly views. These are small thoughts from the mind of the madman, always ending with prayer and some scripture. In his latest monthly view- The theme is Change. It opens with a part of a recent letter he received from some Jack-ass in San Diego. The letter tells Tex how wonderful his new website looks and how happy he is Tex is able to help so many people. He thanks Tex for helping to get over some issue he had with his parents and now everyone in his family is lovey-dovey. Then Tex goes on to talk about the importance of Change. Change is Possible! Let Change Happen! The Power to Change! A Changed Life! These are the headings of the rest of his "Monthly View" Tex fills in each of these headings with bible quotes and inspirational messages. All designed to make you see how he is not the same twenty year old kid on drugs who made those horrible mistakes I suppose.

And that people is Tex's website in a nutshell. That is what Tex's website is really all about. It is a carefully crafted vehicle to sell people an image of a changed man. A man of god, who is an inspiration and help to many others. Someone who went to the darkest of depths only to survive the inner emotional battles and emerge to find his way into the brightest of light. ( I should trademark that)  The only problem for me is that I am not buying it. Tex Watson is one of the most dangerous bastards who ever lived. I know that people will throw lists at me of people who killed many more as far as total victims, and who did more savage things as far as brutality. I know people have murdered children, and committed acts of terror.

I get all of that, but here is the thing to me about Tex that sort of separates him in my mind:

Terrorists and rapists and child molesters, serial killers usually have some kind of a past history of violence, or some kind of extenuating circumstances that trigger them. They, more often than not, have some type of history which, at least, can sort of explain their behavior. Tex was literally the boy next door. He could have been the guy sitting next to any one of us in algebra class. He came from a good family and no history of abuse or mental unbalance. He is the guy you never saw coming. He is the one in a million who defies all profiles of a future predator, or multiple murderer. That really makes me scared. Charles Manson standing in front of me talking his shit would not scare me. I have seen a thousand scumbags talk shit in my life and probably met a few who were better at it than Charlie was. You humor them and walk away, or never get close in the first place if you are smart. You should be able to recognize them from a mile away really. But, waking up to the clean cut kid who grew up down the street from my house standing over me holding a gun and knife, and telling me he is the Devil-and at my house to do the Devils work- would scare me out of my wits!

Look, maybe that is just me. We all have our own personal demons and fears in this world, just like we all have our own personal saviors. Tex Watson says he has found his savior, and has dedicated a website to him. From the Devil to God- Tex has seemed to have been able to connect with both extremes. Once again he has says he has gone through changes. I have doubts that Tex is changed inside very much. I understand why he would spend the rest of his life seeking change. I think he has spent all of this time and effort trying to convince himself more than anyone else that he has changed. Because I think he has come to terms with what happened, and what he did, and now he needs to make himself feel better. And that is not an easy thing for him to do. Tex says he has found salvation, but I don't think that is true. God couldn't help Sharon Tate, or any of the victims, and he can't help Tex in this case either. God doesn't pass out amnesty cards to murderers just because they start spouting his name. Tex will face his judgment at some point down the road, and when he does- no amount of preaching or praying he has done expo-facto of the heinous crimes he has committed is going to help him. Tex hasn't seemed to grasp that when you do so much damage to others, you don't get to forgive yourself. Tex wants to determine his own time-table for repentance, but he doesn't get to do that in my book. Someday, Tex will meet up with his Savior, and my bet is that his soul will not be saved. I believe he will finally have to answer for his sins. If I am still walking this Earth on that day I will take a big hit, drink a beer and smile. For Sharon, Jay, Abigail, Rosemary, Leno, Steve, Shorty and Voytek will have finally gotten the real justice they deserved....

  - Your Favorite Saint


Monday, July 13, 2015

Charlie Don't Collect


As the current NBC television series Aquarius demonstrates, Charles Manson did not fade away into obscurity after his murder conviction and sentencing in 1971. Instead he has lurked just under the surface of American consciousness, breaking through every few months just to remind people that he is still around. One such surfacing was during the "Charlie Don't Surf/Guns N' Roses" contretemps of the early 1990s.


"I wore the T-shirt because a lot of people enjoy playing me as the bad guy and the crazy." 
                                                                                                                         -- Axl Rose


It started with something as simple as a T-shirt. While today Manson-themed T-shirts are fairly common, in the early '90s they were less prevalent and there was still some daring connected with wearing one. One outfit producing such apparel was Zooport Riot Gear, run by brothers Dan and Richard Lemmons in Newport Beach, California. Two surfer dudes, the Lemmons brothers offered a complete line of clothing for their casually attuned clientele. Among those offerings were T-shirts emblazoned with the famous image of Manson from the cover of Life magazine on the front and with the captions "Charlie Don't Surf" (a line taken from the movie Apocalypse Now) and "Support Family Values" on the back. (The brothers also sold ball caps and watch caps with similar images and slogans.) The shirts soon caught the eye of rock musician Axl Rose of the then popular group Guns N' Roses. Rose had also worked out a version of the classic Manson song "Look At Your Game, Girl" for inclusion on his group's current album The Spaghetti Incident?, a collection of cover versions of songs by other artists, and he took to wearing the shirts while performing in concerts in support of the album. Thus, by highlighting both Manson's image and his music, Rose scored a "bad guy and the crazy" twofer. (The song is not listed or acknowledged on the CD and is technically presented as the last half of track 12. Manson gets a tip of the Rose bandana at the end of the song when the singer says, "Thanks, Chas.")


To its credit, MCA Records (the parent company of Geffen Records, G N' R's recording label) recognized that even murderers are due royalties on songs they composed (See Jim Gordon and "Layla") and thus sent a letter to Manson acknowledging the fact that he owned 100% of the royalties due for "Game" and that he would be paid accordingly.

Below, letter and copyright license agreement from MCA Records acknowledging Manson's right to royalties from the Guns N' Roses recording of "Look At Your Game, Girl"




It was only a matter of time before all of this in-your-face behavior attracted the attention of, well, just about everybody. Newspaper editorials voiced their outrage at the glorification of the country's most infamous mass murderer. Manson prosecutor Stephen Kay said, "These men [the Lemmons brothers] are taking advantage of kids who don't understand what Manson stands for or what he did. They're making a folk hero out of a cold-blooded murderer."  Manson's former co-defendant, Susan Atkins, also made her opinion known when she wrote, "How can anyone endorse this profiting on the infamy of such a hideous criminal? ....To make a novelty out of a person like Charles Manson, whose self-serving wickedness (I can attest) is beyond any of your comprehension, is truly unconscionable.... While, to a younger generation who was not alive at the time, Charles Manson must seem like a cartoon character, I can assure you.... that his depravity and depth of cruelty make him a truly base human being, deserving of no one's attention, let alone admiration."

A shop window in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Franciso, 1993
Below, the Hazleton (PA) Standard Speaker is appalled.


But the most significant person to get wind of the whole affair was Los Angeles attorney Nathaniel Friedman. In 1971 Friedman had won a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of his client Bartek Frykowski (the son of "Manson Family" victim Voytek Frykowski) against the convicted killers of his father, i.e., Charles Manson, Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian (who was adjudicated as responsible for the murder in the civil suit). The original judgement was for $500,000, but since no payments had ever been made on it interest had accrued over the years until the new judgment amount was $1,411,482. Lawyer Friedman sprang into action on behalf of his client and served notice on both Zooport Riot Gear and Geffen Records that any royalties or payments due to Charles Manson would immediately be seized in order to pay off the civil judgement. 

And that's what happened. The paperwork was filed, the parties involved were notified, and when the dust settled over $75,000 had been paid by Geffen Records and Zooport Riot Gear towards the settlement of Bartek Frykowski's suit (or at least towards the lawyers fees). 

Below, the Petition for Order Approving Service of Writ of Execution. Manson is puzzled at the signature of the approving magistrate, which was apparently done by rubber stamp.





Below, the Notice of Levy against Geffen Records. Manson protests, "Song was written in the 1960s."

Below, the Notice of Levy against Zooport Riot Gear

Below, Notice of Partial Satisfaction of Judgement in the amount of $72,608.26,
leaving a balance due of $1,338,873.74 


Royalties from both the recorded song and T-shirts sales slacked off soon after the initial excitement however, so Frykowski was still awaiting over $1,000,000 in awards at the time of his death in Gluchy, Poland on June 8, 1999 at the age of 40. (Frykowski died of stab wounds that the local coroner determined were self-inflicted.)

Charles Manson himself took the whole episode in stride. And as a token of his appreciation to the Lemmons brothers and their infamous sartorial offerings that had touched off the whole affair he created an artwork that was grotesque even by his standards. The Texas Hemorrhoid, a monstrosity made of paint, plaster, rocks, and miscellaneous debris, was sent out of the California State Prison at Corcoran in late 1993 and immediately dispatched to Los Angeles where it was presented to Dan Lemmons by Sandra Good in a gas station parking lot. (The Lemmons brothers were natives of the Lone Star State, hence the artwork's name.)

Above, The Texas Hemorrhoid
Below, Sandra Good presents The Texas Hemorrhoid to a dumbfounded Dan Lemmons of Zooport Riot Gear in Los Angles, California in 1993.


"Thanks, Chas."


Friday, July 10, 2015

Bill Nelson Taunts Sandra Good In The Barker Ranch Log Book


Hello my friends!

Sandra Good will screw up once too often and qualify for California's 3 Strikes Law. Then it will be good-bye "Blue" stay alone George.
Myers Ranch is burned out -- Where were you George & Sandra Good?
Spahn Ranch burned the last day of Barbara Hoyt's trial testimony, now Myers!

Bill Nelson
Author
www.mansonmurders.com
P. O. Box 1585
Costa Mesa, CA 92628

OK Blue -- Guts enough to keep this statement in this book?

6-30-99 Bill Nelson

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In Memory of Dennis Rice

A big thank you to Chatsworth Charlie for sending this YouTube that is a remembrance of Dennis,  showing him give a talk at one of the prisons.  He talks about the Hawthorn Shootout and is quite animated discussing it!




Monday, July 6, 2015

Ruth Ann's Sacramento Arrest

Los Angeles Times
October 15, 1975
Page D1

Ex-Manson girl Tells of Quitting 'Family'
Says She Didn't Appear for Sentencing Because of Pregnancy

By William Farr

Ruth Ann Morehouse, still wearing a bandage over plastic surgery she underwent to remove the forehead X that had marked her as a member of the Manson family, Tuesday made a brief and tearful court appearance in Los Angeles.

"She has divorced herself from the Manson family for some time now," her attorney, Paul Fitzgerald, told Superior Court Judge David Fitts.

Morehouse was brought to court from Sacramento, where she was arrested a week ago on a four year old warrant issued while Charles Manson was on trial for the Sharon Tate-Leno La Bianca murders.

Known as "Ouish" to other members of Manson's cult, she initially was charged with conspiracy to commit murder for her part in what came to be known as the "Honolulu hamburger caper."

Four other members of the "family," including Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme, who is now awaiting trial for allegedly attempting to assassinate President Ford, were codefendants in the conspiracy case.

According to the county grand jury indictment against them, the group of Manson followers persuaded Barbara Hoyt to fly to Honolulu with Morehouse in October, 1970.

Morehouse reportedly spiked a hamburger with LSD before giving it to Hoyt for consumption.  the whole plan purportedly was to keep Hoyt from testifying at the Manson trial.

All five were allowed to plead no contest March 23, 1971, to the lesser charge of conspiracy to dissuade a witness, and the murder counts were dropped.  The other four received 90-day jail sentences April 16 of that year but Morehouse did not show up for sentencing.
With Morehouse at his side, unsuccessfully trying to fight back her tears, Fitzgerald told Fitts that she did not appear for sentencing because she was nine months pregnant at the time.
"The 'family' told her she had to shave her head and that she had to have her baby in jail." Fitzgerald explained "And she wanted none of that."
Instead she left to live with her sister in Carson City, Nev. and four days after her arrival there had the baby, Fitzgerald said.  In the interim between now and then, she married a Reno builder, had another child and recently was divorced.
Fourteen months ago, according to Fitzgerald, she moved to Sacramento but did not rejoin Manson followers Fromme and Sandra Good who also lived in the capitol city.
Fromme and Good called Morehouse's sister several times in Nevada and insisted that Morehouse had to come back with the 'family', Fitzgerald said.
The FBI found Morehouse's sister in Carson City and the sister informed the federal agents Morehouse was in Sacramento.
The FBI did not arrest her but did inform Sacramento authorities who subsequently picked her up on the long-standing warrant last Wednesday.
Fitts said he wanted and up-to-date probation report on Morehouse and set her bail at $1000.00 pending a November probation and sentencing hearing.  She was released later in the day after a member of her family posted the bond.
On November 4, 1975 Ruth Ann again appeared in court to be sentenced.  Judge Fitts did not give Ruth Ann any jail time, instead he ruled that because she was abandoned by her father when she was 14 years old and "thrown willy-nilly into the Manson cult" she could go free with time served.  She intended to go back to Minneapolis to live with her mother.