Monday, June 4, 2012

Transcription of the chat on the LA Times website this morning

Los Angeles Times reporters Richard Winton and Hector Becerra joined City Editor Shelby Grad for a discussion about newly-released audio recordings that may help shed light on other slayings possibly committed by Charles Manson and his followers.

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Shelby Grad:
Welcome to another edition of LA NOW LIVE. I'm Shelby Grad...

Today we're going to taking about a potential break in the infamous Manson murders.. They involve an audio tape the LAPD would like to review. And whether the tape might reveal unsolved murders involving the cult...

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/01/local/la-me-manson-tapes-20120601
Monday June 4, 2012 9:00

Shelby Grad:

We;re joined by Times reporters Richard Winton and Hector Becerra.

Welcome!
Monday June 4, 2012 9:00

Hector Becerra:
Hi Shelby.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:00

Shelby Grad:
Now this is the tape we're talking about:

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Texas this week granted a request from the LAPD to review eight cassette tapes containing hours of conversations between one of Manson's most fervent followers and his late attorney. The lawyer made the recording while interviewing Charles "Tex" Watson after he and other Manson family members had been arrested in 1969.

No one knows what's on the tapes, but they possibly represent the first new clues concerning the Manson murders in years. That was enough for the LAPD to take another look at the case, and it has Manson scholars excited about the possibilities.

Detectives believe that Watson may have discussed "additional unsolved murders committed by followers of Charles Manson," according to a letter sent to the U.S. Justice Department by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:01

Shelby Grad:
Hector, how did the LAPD find out about the tape?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:01

Hector Becerra:

Richard can probably answer that better, but the LAPD does not have the tapes yet. Pending a successful appeal, they should get them in about a week or a bit longer.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:02

Shelby Grad:
Hector, you talked to some Manson experts about the tape. What are they saying?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:02

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:
They dont get the tapes for another week but the lawyer for Watson could appeal
Monday June 4, 2012 9:03

Hector Becerra:
The LAPD has known about the tapes for quite a few years but they could not get them for a number of reasons, including attorney-client privilege. The attorney died recently however.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:03
   
Matt: 
What will the chain of custody be? Who has them right now?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:03
   
cielodrive.com: 
Has anyone talked with Kendrick Jan and found out if they'll appeal the judge's ruling.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:03

Hector Becerra:
Shelby, experts disagree about cases of deaths they believe could be tied to the Manson family. But generally, those we spoke to mentioned at least one death they considered to be suspicious.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:04

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:
So far Watson's lawyer has not taken any telephone calls.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:04

Shelby Grad:

There are some specific deaths that some experts believe are suspect, correct?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:05

Hector Becerra:
Charlie Rudd, a retired Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant, investigated the disappearance of Manson defense attorney Ronald Hughes in 1970. He strongly believes that Hughes drowned or was battered to death by rocks and debris during a rainstorm that swelled a creek near Sespe Hot Springs. Rudd said there’s no evidence the Manson family was involved. But others believe Hughes, who had angered Manson, was a victim.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:05

Shelby Grad:
Richard you also talked to some experts about some suspicious deaths, right?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:06

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:
Yes there are three deaths that constant come up, Ronald Hughes- the attorney, Joel Pugh in London and John Vaught. all are presently not listed as homicides,
Monday June 4, 2012 9:06

Shelby Grad:
Richard, tell us about those cases
Monday June 4, 2012 9:07
   
cielodrive.com: 
John Haught, not vaught
Monday June 4, 2012 9:08
Richard Winton @Lacrimes:

Yes. Stephen Kay who prosecuted the case believes the Pugh death deemed a suicide in December 1969 is the most likely homicide. He does not believe the death is a a suicide and based that statetments he heard from the family and the mode of death
Monday June 4, 2012 9:08

Shelby Grad:
thx
Monday June 4, 2012 9:08
   
ZeroToOne: 
How'd they learn about the existance of the tapes, Richard?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:08

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:
My Typo on that name John Haught,
Monday June 4, 2012 9:08

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:

I understand the court informed the District Attorney's office which in turned informed the LAPD. There are very few people in the LAPD and Da now with extensive mansion family knowledge
Monday June 4, 2012 9:10

Hector Becerra:
One thing: In most of these cases, the suspicions currently come down more to gut-feelings and circumstantial connections than any forensic evidence.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:10

Shelby Grad:

Good point... And none of the case are currently considered homicides...
Hector, you talked to a guy who actually dug up on old Manson compound a few years ago looking for bodies... Tell us about that?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:11

Hector Becerra:
Yes Shelby, that was Paul Dostie, a former Mammoth Lakes police detective. He went out there with his Labrador Buster and said he and others found clear signs that there was evidence of human decomposition having taken place at a ranch in Death Valley. But four years ago investigators and scientists searched and dug up Barker Ranch and found no such evidence. Dostie believes they didn't dig deeply enough.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:12

Shelby Grad:
Hector, you've written a lot about the Manson case over the years... Why do you think it still holds such a fascination?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:13

Hector Becerra:
The case has fascinated in part because of Charles Manson himself as a bizarre cult leader, but also the brutality of the murders and the Hollywood connection, with pregnant actress Sharon Tate being murdered at the home she shared with director Roman Polanski. It was also probably the time in American history. Some, like Joan Didion, said it really marked the jarring end of the "flower power" era.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:14

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:
As Simon Wells who has written extensively on Manson tells me ultimately it is crime meets celebrity nature of the horrendous acts and reps a time in history
Monday June 4, 2012 9:15

Shelby Grad:
One reason for all the interest in the tape is that Manson apparently bragged about there being many more killings, correct?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:16

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:
Ye Stephen Kay tells me Manson bragged to his family being involved in 35 killings but of course he gave no facts
Monday June 4, 2012 9:17

Hector Becerra:
Yes, Manson apparently told a cellmate that there were 35 to 40 victims. Was it true? Who knows. But considering what he and his followers did, naturally there was good reason to believe it possible.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:17

Shelby Grad:
Yeah, it's hard to believe anything...
Monday June 4, 2012 9:17
   
ZeroToOne: 
Why the varying reports of when the tapes were actually recorded? I've read 1969, 70 and '71. If he was extradicted to LA in Sept. '70, seems they must've occurred before then (While Watson was in Tx w/ his lawyer). If they were made in '69, before Susan Atkins' (first) version was reported (on the front page of your paper) in mid.-Dec., '69, they'd prob be VERY valuable, no? Is there an actual date imprinted on the tapes container or in docs related to them?
Monday June 4, 2012 9:17

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:
The answer to the timing is post murders but before trial. I dont have more precise information. I gather from participants that they probably dont come before Atkins
Monday June 4, 2012 9:19

Shelby Grad:
Last question -- Richard, when will we know what's on those tapes??
Monday June 4, 2012 9:19

Hector Becerra:

ZeroToOne, I don't know the answer to that. Frankly, we have no idea what's on the tapes as far as what Watson say, or what's physically imprinted on the outside as far as a date. But you're right, that would seem to matter, possibly quite a bit.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:19

Richard Winton @Lacrimes:
I expect a couple of weeks but obviously Watson's lawyers could other ideas. I dont expect the LAPD to announce the content plus they neeed to consult with more expert Manson people who can provide greatest meaning to statements
Monday June 4, 2012 9:20

Shelby Grad:
Richard and hector, thanks so much for joining us!

Hector Becerra:
Thank you.
Monday June 4, 2012 9:21

Shelby Grad:
And thanks for joining us! See you tomorrow for another edition of LA NOW LIVE.





6 comments:

Panamint Patty said...

thanks for checking that out, Matt. Patty missed it...

Brian Davis said...

Great job "CieloDrive.Com" !

You asked the most important question and had to correct Mr LA Times ! LOL !

Typo my ass...you cold busted his ignorance, imo !

Love your website too.

wengr said...

Hmmm, I wonder who these Manson experts are who will be called in to evaluate the tapes? I do hope that LAPD appreciates that if there are no longer any people in house that can properly evaluate the recordings, that possibly the best option is to release the content as the more interested ears on them the better.

Panamint Patty said...

Right on, wengr.

starship said...

I humbly offer my services as a Mansonian interpreter to the LAPD. For a small, reasonable fee of course.

Shak El said...

Pugh family always believed it was a suicide and was suprised to find out that others thought otherwise in H.S. Simon Wells in his book really puts this to rest. The idiot who said pugh family thought it was murder is ignorant or lying.