Friday, July 1, 2011

42 years ago today: It Begins



The story of Bernard "Lotsapoppa" Crowe

July 1st 1969-Charlie needed some money and ordered Tex to find some. Tex called his ex girlfriend Louella for money. She had none to give. Charlie again told Tex to get some money. Tex came up with a scam to burn someone. He called Louella with a really good deal on some weed. She hooked him up with a drug dealer Bernard Crowe.

Crowe and his crew drove Tex to the apartment where he would buy the weed. Slick Tex went into the building by the front door with Crowe's $2,500 and kept going right out the back door where T.J was waiting with the getaway car. Back to the ranch. After some time Crowe knew he was burned. He called the ranch demanding his money back or he was coming to the ranch to kill everybody.

On July 1, 1969 Charlie went to meet Crowe at his apartment to "smooth things over". He ended up shooting Crowe. After Crowe hit the floor Charlie demanded the buckskin jacket one of Crowe's henchmen was wearing. He quickly turned the jacket over to Charlie (see arrest photos below in which he is wearing said jacket).  After that T.J.split the whole scene and reappeared after the arrests.

The next day on the radio was a broadcast about someone dumping a dead Black Panther near U.C.L.A the night before. Charlie assumed it was Crowe.

The paranoia begins. All of a sudden there were alot of black people visiting the ranch riding the horses. Charlie was convinced all the black people were spies for the Black Panthers. That was when Charlie started posting armed guards at night and ordering the Family to sleep scattered in the back hills. This was the beginning of the end: the seed of the killings to come.











25 comments:

MrPoirot said...

In that pic taken from a youtube interview it appears Crowe is sitting in a wheelchair still recouping from Charlie's gunshot wound. The question had been asked why didn't Crowe retaliate against Charlie. He didnt retaliate because he was not walking very well. Later on both he and Charlie were in jail. There are two reasons Crowe wasn't capable of retaliating.

eviliz said...

i found the picture on google. as you can see it is just his face.
i never knew he ended up in a wheel chair for a short time.
i recall reading he refused surgery because he was afraid of it and, the bullet was still in him.
i wonder if he is still alive? maybe someone here knows.
as far as retaliation, he obviously had at least one other guy with him when Charlie showed up at that girls apartment. i wonder why he didn't send someone else after charlie.

Matt said...

Crowe died Feb 1, 1993 in Los Angeles.

MrPoirot said...

It looks to me like Crowe is in a wheelchair in your pic. He ia definantly sitting and one of the two men standing beside him is his atty. Crowe is atill not fully recovered in that pic.

Crowe nearly died July 1, 1969.

orwhut said...

Liz,
Thank you for the information on the jacket. I'd had it in my head that it was the work of Brother Eli.

eviliz said...

orwhut said...
Liz,
Thank you for the information on the jacket. I'd had it in my head that it was the work of Brother Eli.

jacket? i am lost on that one, i don't recall any jacket talk.

orwhut said...

I thought you were the one who put up Bernard Crowe's picture. Above the picture, it says.

"After Crowe hit the floor Charlie demanded the buckskin jacket one of Crowe's henchmen was wearing. He quickly turned the jacket over to Charlie (see arrest photos below in which he is wearing said jacket)".

The story that I read is that the "family" acquired a quantity of buckskins and the girls tried to sew them into clothing but couldn't stitch the leather satisfactorily, so, Charlie hired Brother Eli, aka Victor Wild, to have the clothing made in his leather goods shop.

Ken619 said...

I've read both stories

MrPoirot said...

Charlie looks more like a starving frontier trapper from 1880s than a man from 20th century America. But yet Charlie was a man who couldn't even have fit in on the desolete frontier of the old West. He was never able to fit into any society no matter how fringe it was. Even in prison he gets segregated from the rest of the prison population because he doesn't fit in.

ACFisherAldag said...

Um, no, Charles gets segregated so some gangbanger won't make his blood by killing him, same as any other celebrity. He gets along fine with guards and personnel, and other prisoners... no matter their race or religion. He also has thousands of fans and supporters. So, this statement isn't true.

rfoster1 said...

I knew a pimp that was shot in the back and survived...initially. He refused to seek medical treatment because he was on parole and feared being returned to prison. Instead, he died from the ensuing infection. It was a long, agonizing death.

Ken619 said...

Hey Liz, ask and it will appear:)

eviliz said...

orwhut- i getcha now. i always considered it a shirt not a jacket that's why i was lost.

eviliz said...

rfoster1 said...
I knew a pimp that was shot in the back and survived...initially.

YOU knew a pimp?

orwhut said...

Liz,
It always looked like a shirt to me too. I called it a jacket because that's the way it was described in the text near the picture and I thought it would prevent confusion. It didn't work.

beauders said...

imagine how awful manson must have smelled in his buckskins upon arrest. the whole time they were at barker ranch he didn't change into anything else. that is approx. two months. i wonder if there was any water in the barker ranch pool, does anyone know?

MrPoirot said...

The swimming pool probably only had water after desert flash flood. The whole escape to the desert thing was bizarre. Twice Charlie took them out there. He knew it was tough to survive out there yet he also had those cockamamie dreams about 12 kinds of fruiting trees as if there was a grocery store with free food just beneath the surface. Im not sure why Charlie kept going to Death Valley other than he liked it. Just being out of prison wasn't enough. He had to escape society as a whole yet even in Death Valley he fucks with other people and gets arrested. He knew from the previous trip to Death Valley that he could only last a short while in the desert. Paul Watkins thought Charlie began to go violently insane in death Valley in January BEFORE the murders. Perhaps Charlie's desert trips were a real life metaphor. He wanted to get out of humanity but no matter how far he went his mind wanted to go even further. He was fighting madness and the madness won. He'd have been better off if he had been executed. That would have given him his ultimate desert escape from the world where his mind wouldn't stop racing. Charlie hated himself because he too was part of the same humanity he despised. Most psychopaths kill themselves before they go as wild as Charlie did. His madness had no limits.

Matt said...

There's no question in my mind that he would have retaliated - eventually. Charlie thought he would too, obviously.

Smart retaliation would not be immediate - not when they are holed up with armed guards on rooftops and on surrounding hills. The smart way would be after healing up. Give the guy time to sweat ... and eventually let his guard down.

MrPoirot said...

Go take your ritalin Col.

rfoster1 said...

Eviliz said, "YOU knew a pimp?"

Yes Lizzy, I've known numerous characters in my life, not all of them regular nine to fiver's.

leary7 said...

Looks like the Col and MrP are headed for a steel cage death match. I will be in MrP's corner. Though I find the Col entertaining to a degree, his anger and compulsion to belittle folk who think different is disturbing.
On a side note I just finished re-reading Helter Skelter for the first time since the 70's. One person I had forgotten about and who seems to have been fairly important to the initial investigation was Al Springer. I have been pushing the AIG theory in relation to TLB - Anger Idiots and Guns - when I read Springer's quote on page 90 I think where he refers to the Family as "a bunch of loose idiots". Springer had nothing to gain by giving the cops info, in fact he had a wife and kids and knew what happened to Shorty so coming forward was extremely ballsy of him. Interesting guy. Anyone have any updates on him?

fiona1933 said...

rfoster1 said...
I knew a pimp that was shot in the back and survived...initially.

I knew a drug dealer who shot himself through the head by accident, and survived being flung in a hatchback, driven at speed through the Manchester streets, slamming up against the windows, toted upstairs and dumped on the carpet, left to bleed into the Axminster while his pals consumed his drugs, (just to make sure the cops wouldn't lay hands on them and cause him problems, you understand) and ultimately flung back in the car, slammed back through the streets to the hospital, and tipped out near casualty.
He did not die. Remarkable.
He was never the same again, though.

eviliz said...

"Inflammatory comments of a racist or anti-semitism or anti-christian nature are not permitted on this blog. Nor is ganging up on other members. That's not what we are here for. There are other blogs for that. Let's back to the subject at hand before Liz gets Evil.

charles said...

I attended a photography seminar in Malibu from Feb-May 1969.My father met George Spahn during the war so George found me a place about quarter mile beyond the ranch.I used the payphone near the corral daily and hitchhiker.I was from Boston and got to know Shorty Shea,also from Mass.I never knew he was murdered till recently.BTW I saw many blacks riding at the ranch in cowboy gear.There was a rocky wash path to the left of the buildings up to the top of the hill. I took many photos.George told me to keep my distance from the girls.He never mentioned Manson.I still have the old revolver with the strange pocket holster he gave me for $7.Harrington& Richardson. 32 Hammerless 5 shot revolver.I bought a 1957 Buick Century from George's friend.Removed the Calif.tag and placed my Maine tag. Maine was one of 25 states that didn't require insurance in 1969.Most states had non photo driver lic.I started giving rides to family girls and others.I was 20 then but stopped because George said they will shoplift and use you.I saw and talked to Manson but he didn't impress me.Davis made Fake ID's for $5.Looking back I would say the family was in a paranoid.OH yeah...I could tell Susan Atkins was stupid and not one to use in a life of crime. The car they used was a 1959 Ford that belonged to ranch hand Swartzy a friend of Red's. George died about 5 yrs after I left. The ranch burned in 1970?.What an otherworldly era that was.

charles said...

I stayed near Spahn attending a photography seminar from Feb-May 1969. I traveled from Maine.My Dad knew George from WW2.I remember many blacks riding horses. I used the payphone at the corral daily.George told me to watch out for the girls but nothing about Manson.I still have the old 32 cal revolver with pocket holster he sold me for $7.I missed the craziness. I never knew Shorty was murdered till recently