Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DETECTIVE MAGAZINE March 1978

This sounds to Eviliz as an attention whore looking to make money
from good ole boy Charles "Tex" Watson's misfortune.

"I was housed in quad D and first saw Charles "Tex" Watson a week after I arrived there. Mike, an inmate who had been there for several months, filled me in on the inhabitants.

On our floor alone there were forty-one murderers, twenty rapists and ten child molesters." -Inmate Charles Starkey "See that guy over there, the one watering the flowers?" Mike would say.

"He chopped up his family and put them in the deep freeze. And the guy who just left was busted for collecting."   "Collecting what?" I asked.   "Redheads."  "What's wrong with that?"  "Just the heads, man, just the heads!"  "Yet, despite this constant meeting with murderers and rapists, my knees got weak and I felt a chill envelop me when I first saw Watson. It was, appropriately enough, at the chapel. Mike told me there were some nice women at the Colony who visit church services so we decided to go."

"When we arrived at the Protestant chapel, I noticed one inmate giving orders to the rest. He turned to talk to the guest and they hung on every word he said. But it was when he took over the service that he showed his ability to control and captivate. All he did was raise his hands and a hush fell on the chapel."

"All right brothers," he called out, "Let's show our guest just how much spirit the Christians here can show." "He turned towards the alter and asked that all join in a few moments of silent prayer. Then he prayed aloud. It was a very moving prayer. He reached under the podium and took out a tambourine, saying 'Now let's praise the Lord with song'. He hit the tambourine against his thigh in time with the music. The chapel was filled with Christian good spirit. After Mike and I left, he kept muttering about how hypocritical those guys in the chapel were-what with half of them in for child molestation or rape or murder. Who was that guy leading the services, I asked.

He looked really startled: You don't know who that guy is?

I found out quickly enough. It was Charles Tex Watson, Helter Skelter's number one man. He had been convicted of brutally murdering seven people. He was Charles Manson's lieutenant and private executioner. Yet there he was leading a Christian service under the worshipful eyes of those young ladies. I decided to find out what made this guy tick, why he had killed all those people and what he was doing as a Born Again Christian.

We met by accident through my work as a clerk in the Clothing Distribution Department.
The phone rang and I answered my usual - Clothing Distribution Department, Inmate Starkey speaking.

Well, howdy, Inmate Starkey. This is Charles Watson and I was wondering if y'all could do me a favor? You see we've got some converts to the Lord and there's going to be a baptismal service...
He wanted some of our laundry carts to baptize the people in. I asked a supervisor and he said, Well, whatever Tex Watson wants, Tex Watson gets. What was the persuasive and deceptive hold Watson had over the inmates and staff alike?

I delivered the laundry carts myself. Tex was standing at the end of the courtyard, sniffing flowers. He sure didn't look like much. He was pale and real thin. How on earth could that scrawny little runt murder seven people? That takes a bit of strength.

He offered me a cup of coffee which I accepted. That's when I saw his 'sanctuary'. It was a small office in the chapel littered with religious books, posters of evangelists, of Jesus talking to little children. He asked me where I was from and I told him Texas.

Hey, great! I'm from Texas myself. There's not too many of us Texans in California prisons. We have to stick together. We also found out we lived in the same quad. I'm in room 8172, I said. But I don't think the man will let you come down the hall. Yes he will.

And, he did too. Tex Watson was allowed to go anywhere in the institution under the cover of Christian work. That was the beginning of my personal relationship with Tex. From that day until my release from the California Men's Colony we saw each other nearly every day. We talked sports, Texas, the law. And we talked of Charles Manson, of the Manson family, of Helter Skelter and two nights of terror.

When Tex thought back on those days, a vacant look would come into his eyes and he'd stare into the sky.

I want to tell you something, Chet, A lot of guys in the prison think they're bad. Some of them are, but when it comes to being bad in every sense of the word, I have been bad before and I can play the role pretty good.

When I killed those people, especially that foreign guy, Frikowski, or whatever his name was, they didn't exactly stand there and not do anything. I stabbed that guy fifty-one times in the chest, and I didn't think before I was done that I was going to be able to make it.

I stabbed him so many times in the chest that my hand was sinking into it up to my elbow. I stabbed him so hard that the handle of the knife broke off. These people don't know what bad is. I wrote the book on bad, and I did it more than once.

Chet, I am going to tell you something no one else has ever heard before. I'm going to tell you what Helter Skelter was all about. It was like this. Charlie (Charles Manson) had a plan, a good plan, but even good plans should be tested.

Helter Skelter was an over-all plan and it had to be tested in some way. The Tate and LaBianca killings were that test!

The Tate murders were because Charlie and I more or less knew the layout of the place. The LaBianca murders were just a matter of picking out a home that represented wealth.

But neither one was anything but a test, a test for something bigger than ripping off a few people.
That's when he told me of the plan to choose three large cities on the West Coast and subject them to a massive plot, a plot to frighten and terrorize their entire populations, to literally scare the people out of their wits.

What if on a single day in these three cities, he said, his eyes dulling with the pleasure of recollection, commandos in groups of three and four were to go into the homes of five of these cities leading citizens--a well known police officer, a member of city government, a prominent corporate executive, and two rookie cops?

And while the heads of these households were away, what if any and all living things were destroyed? Just like Sharon Tate and the LaBiancas. And, after the families were killed -- children, animals, anything that breathed -- what if photos were taken of each victim and these were distributed on the streets, in mail boxes, to schools and campuses?

It would be warning to the population to give in to the demands of the terrorist group. And it wouldn't take an army, just the right type of individuals.

He said they shouldn't have been caught for the murders they had committed and that everything had gone as planned. It was a test to see if total terror in a manner of unequalled horror could go undetected. If it were successful, then the over-all plan, conceived by Manson, would have been started.

Let's say we could have shocked the nation in our test, he said. Then certain measures were to be left to show we meant business. In widespread areas, we were to kill infants, holding them by their ankles and smashing them against fireplaces. Wives and loved ones were to be hung from the rafters.

Dogs and cats and any living things were to be brutally and viciously beaten to death. And the blood of the victims was to be used to inscribe messages of sadistic humor on the walls.

When I asked Tex what he personally thought of such wholesale and brutal slaughter, he replied, Man, I was so caught up in the whole thing. Manson had us completely. I was ready to do as was needed.

According to Tex, there was more. They were to use the cash and valuables taken during the raid to buy weapons. Charlie was going to select four of his most loyal followers and they would board planes. Money that we had gotten together would be used to bribe a certain person involved at a strategic point of entry. He would allow the four to pass through the metal detectors unhasseled.
After the plane took off, they would take over. To insure that demands were met, deaths would begin within an hour after take-off, deaths of unsuspecting persons. The pilot was to be instructed to contact authorities and to handle all negotiations.

To let the authorities know they were serious, an address was sent to them minutes after a murder was committed on that location. Whoever was sent there would be greeted by a scene of horror. And a warning would be issued to expect more of the same. It would have worked too. It would have happened!

When he said this, he took on an air of superiority, as if he were better than other people because he had killed more.

A week later, I read where Leslie Van Houten, one of the Manson girls and a convicted murderess, had been granted an appeal whereas Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle and Charles Manson had been denied.

She should be allowed to go free, Tex said. She didn't kill anyone.

It went like this...

I was standing over this woman and I noticed Leslie down on the floor. She was terrified! I saw her knife lying beside her and there wasn't a drop of blood on it.

But I was dripping blood all over the place and some got on the handle of her knife. I didn't want to leave without everyone having at least stuck a knife in the body of one of the victims. I told her to do her part. She was like a wet rag. I pushed her towards this lady sprawled out face down on the floor.
The lady was dead. I pushed Leslie down beside her. She shook her head. I turned her face up towards me. I had blood all the way up my arms and I had a knife in my hand. She was once scared girl.

If she didn't kill anyone, I said, aren't you going to help her out?

What! If I brought that kind of attention down on me, I'd never get out. No way am I going to blow my chance to get out just to testify in Leslie Van Houten's behalf.

Tex went on to describe how the girls would put on sexual shows for Manson and himself. They did whatever he commanded. But Leslie really didn't like it. A lot of times I would catch her crying. He told me no one left the family, not if he or she valued his or her life.

Charlie always had us spying on each other. If he felt someone was close to splitting, that person would be taken care of. There's lots of places in the desert to hide a body. And Charlie always wanted something brought back to prove the murder had really been committed. A finger or something.
Leslie never went on these trips. Charlie didn't trust her that far. But one time after we got back, he took Leslie aside and made her open a rag. It was of a hand. From then on she did what she was told.

Tex also revealed to me that Manson's influence and power were strongly felt in the murder of attorney Ronald Hughes, lawyer for Leslie Van Houten, a murder not yet solved. Hughes was trying to get tapes made and influence one of the girls to spill the beans about still unsolved murders, he said. He was going to work a deal for immunity. This got back to Charlie through the grapevine, and he made known he didn't like it one bit.

Hughes got fired. Certain followers became afraid of what he might know. He got dead. The only ones I know who could have benefited from his death are two who were involved in other deaths. They're both in jail now. One's Bruce Davis and the other is that woman who tried to kill President Ford -- Squeaky Fromme.

When Tex talked to me about the murders and Manson's master plan to place the West Coast and eventually all of America in a state of siege, he showed absolutely no remorse. In fact, he talked at times like it could still happen and that the uncaptured members of the Manson family were still operating on the outside.

Yet here was a man who believed himself to be a devout Christian and who prayed to the Lord daily. Why?

He was convinced that his efforts at a new 'religious conversation' would help in setting him free eventually. An example of the way Tex operated was when an evangelist from the south announced he was coming for a weekend of Christian revival.

Tex got really wrapped up in the preparation and I asked him why all this stuff for just one evangelist? Chet, he said, this dude may just be my ticket out some day.

When that evangelist came, he brought all kinds of people with him; an old man who had been a member of the Bonnie and Clyde gang; a reputed member of the Mafia; a former Hollywood actor.
Tex and the evangelist spent a lot of time behind closed doors.

You know what partner? he said one day.

I just might be out of here some day soon. This guy from the south is really interested in me. I asked how the evangelist proposed to get him out.

He wants my life story. And how I was convicted for the murders of seven people and how I'm now a Christian.

That will get the ball rolling so that by the time I'm up for parole I'll make it. And that's not far away. This southern guy will get people to write letters.

Big People.

And he will be able to swing some politicians my way.

Soon after that, in the early spring of 1976, the evangelist returned. This time he brought so many people the service had to be held in the gymnasium. There was one scene I'll never forget. Tex, the bigwig at the Protestant chapel, was making presentations -- certificates for the guests.

When Tex gave certificates to a pair of sisters who were entertainers, they kissed him. I wonder if they remembered that he had wiped out one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. They also filmed the whole scene.

Once again Tex and the evangelist plotted in the back room. When the good evangelist left, Tex told me --

I'll be water skiing on some lake in about two years, three years at the outside.

The thought was appalling. Here was a man who killed seven people without remorse. Here was a man who had mapped out a plan that would strike terror into the hearts of all Americans and who believed this plan could still be carried out. Here was a man for whom human life was nothing more than something to be toyed with.

The possibility of him being loose in a year or two was too scary to consider. Yet his carefully-laid plan was on the verge of succeeding. He had already hypnotized many into believing that he, Charles Manson's number one killer and right-hand man in any eventual implementation of Helter Skelter, was ready to return to society.

The thought was appalling. Even for a man like me, who's done his share of time. But never for murder. And believe it or not, I still love this big country. I'm just scared of what could happen after getting to know the real meaning of Helter Skelter.

The author of the story received one year for robbery at CMC and became a confident of Watson.


Thanks to AustinAnn for the article





9 comments:

Leigh said...

I wouldn't be surprised if this were made up - or at least embellished...andI wouldn't be surprised if it weren't. Tex is a world-class scumbag and nothing on display in this article strikes me as out of character. I would love to know what Alisa Statman makes of this article, since Restless Souls did such a good job of showcasing the real Tex behind all the Bible-thumping BS.

orwhut said...

I checked to see if a member of the Barrow gang would have been alive to accompany the evangelist to the prison. Three survived until some time in 1974. Two lived until well passed that year. The thing I couldn't track down, was a killer who collected red heads. Does anyone know about such a killer?

ST. Circumstance said...

I dont buy this too much myself. Certain parts of it ring true. Tex did a have a strong relationship with a Reverend. On his own website he speaks about meeting "Reverend Ray" and turning to God... Who was Raymond Hoekstra.
Also- he did have unusual privileges in jail for awhile until Doris got wind and shut him down.He was supposed to be under the supervision of a reverend while he was working in the chapel- and they found out that the Reverend was only there a couple of times a week- leaving Tex alone in the offcies to use computers, phones and such for his personal use. He had Bruce " working" with him for a short time. He eventually went back to janitorial work after his stint running the prison church

But some of it also sounds like donkey doo doo. The LULU stuff in particular. I have read All of Tex's books- every one of his shitty monthly views, and all of his website. He has a certain arrogance to the way he presents himself post incarceration, and he doesn't seem like a typical prison braggart- he tried to act above that sort of stuff and some of this sounds like typical prison bragging...

Its a very interesting article :))

Bee Grass said...

"I stabbed him so many times in the chest that my hand was sinking into it up to my elbow."
That is one deep chest. That knife must of went all the way through the body and came out the other side.

starship said...

Some circumstantial substantiation perhaps?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIiDqibj2gE

I tried to find the other interview where she says the power failed and the lights went out for a bit and how scary that was, but couldn't. Perhaps it's actually in her book.

fiona1933 said...

He says in his book his hand disappeared in Voytek's chest. And I don't think he tried to help Leslie. Plus, there is other evidence of him working his ticket, with Rosemary's daughter. And I have seen a parole report or something, about how Tex and Bruce used their 'evangelism' to gain power in the prison.

Bee Grass said...

I wonder if Tex gets to carry a shank when he is doing his bodyguard duties?

Bee Grass said...

Starship, the interview about the power failure was in her book. If you search Google books for "Tex Watson Kathy Lee Gifford" you can read it starting at page 63. Kind of funny how she describes the inmates yelling "Sing Helter Skelter!"
She also writes how Tex wrote her several times afterwards trying to get her support for parole.

starship said...

OMG Bee Grass, that was a hoot! So, when I get a chance I will look to see if any pat Boone special may have been produced that would have included this...perhaps on youtube?

Thanks...I heard her tell the story but requesting HS is just too much.