Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thoughts on the LaBiancas and the motive on August 10th

NOTE: THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF ROSEMARY LABIANCA OR ANY OF THE VICTIMS OF THIS TRAGEDY. BUT, LIKE ANY GOOD DETECTIVE, WE NEED TO BUILD A CASE TO GET TO THE BAD GUYS. THE NOTATIONS HERE ABOUT ROSEMARY ARE MERELY PRESENTED AS A MEANS TO THE END … AND HOPEFULLY, THE TRUTH.
DISCLAIMER: WE WILL DELETE ANY COMMENTS THAT ARE NOT SENSIBLY AND SENSITIVELY PRESENTED.

As we think about everyone we've ever known (relatives, friends, and work) do we know a single average American family who had any one of the following incidents happen in their lives? Yet, they all happened to the LaBianca family:

A son who was arrested for Grand Theft - the only crime he was caught for? Probably.

A daughter who was arrested for credit card fraud (again, probably more but the only thing she was caught at), terrorized her mother, and later her step-father's family to the point that after a phone call from her after the murders, they fled their family home and never returned - confirmed by Alice, Cory, and Anthony LaBianca.

A future son-in-law who was in a dangerous motorcycle club, Satan Slaves, dealt drugs, & had a lengthy rap sheet.

A father who was friends with the mafia, skimming money from his own company, gambled heavily, and had numerous dummy corps to hide his funds and tax shelters.

A mother who led a double life.

A family home that was burglarized on numerous occasions before and leading up to … murder.



Rosemary's Double Life:

From numerous close friends and ex-husbands, Rosemary was gay or at the very least, a bi-sexual who seemingly married the men in her life for capital gain (see the second Labianca homicide report).

From her first husband, Henry Martin, we know that while she was with him, she was also having an affair with Charles LaBerge. She becomes pregnant by LaBerge, but moves in with the wealthier Martin until Suzan is born.

While Martin is away on business in Alaska, Rosemary takes off with all of their possessions, their 2 cars, and a valuable coin collection - Martin doesn't file charges because he still loves her. Two years later (and probably broke) she contacts Martin and asks forgiveness. They move in together for the next year - but the whole time they're together she's having an affair with Reba Gage and Charles LaBerge - both of whom she continues having affairs with while married to Frank Struthers - AND, while still living with Martin, she starts having her affair with Struthers (see the second Labianca homicide report).

Rosemary jilts Martin at the last minute and moves in with Struthers and later marries him while still having an affair with Gage.

Then comes Leno who, at the time of their meeting was relatively wealthy and stood to inherit a great deal when his mother passed away.

While married to Leno, Rosemary is still sleeping with Frank Struthers and Reba Gage. After the murders, Frank Sr. tells police that Frank Jr will becoming into a large inheritance from his mother. Later, Frank Sr. accuses Suzan LaBerge of ripping off Frank Jr in his inheritance.

It is alleged that at the time Suzan had emptied out the house and, before the police could get to it, a safe at Gateway Markets and then threatened any of Leno's family members that got in her way. Some members of her family believe that Suzan had a hand in the murders.

While married to Leno, Rosemary seems to try a lot of get rich quick routes. She gets her real estate license, her insurance license, opens a dress shop, and eventually begins getting into real estate, stocks, and securities.

People assume that Leno's financial troubles were due to gambling. Others believe that Rosemary bled him dry by spending lavishly, buying a house that was beyond their means (Working Way) and eventually having him invest in real estate, stocks, and securities and forming dummy corps to hide their funds and avoid taxes (see the second Labianca homicide report).

While Leno's getting poorer, Rosemary may be getting richer and hiding the money from Leno in secret accounts.

To avoid financial ruin, Leno sells the house on Working Way at a large profit and buys the family home on Waverly. With that money he continues to make bad real estate investments - Myca Corp and a Riverside Parcel investment scam. And, begins skimming off money from Gateway.

Leno misappropriated $200,000 from Gateway. They had a combined debt of $30,000 "their properties were extensively mortgaged".

In the mean time, Rosemary is moving out of her truck boutique and into a real store front - and possibly opened at least 2 others and co-owned (good friend) Lucy Larsen's Pet Shop.

During her interview with the police, Lucy tells them that she is friends with another lesbian (Charlene Abernathy AKA Charlie) that Rosemary was probably having an affair with her while married to Leno (see the second Labianca homicide report).

Larsen tells the police that Rosemary was in the real estate and insurance business and played the stock market and had an exclusive interest in commodities.

And, finally, Larsen tells the police that she and Rosemary had long talks about her problems with Suzan and that Rosemary feels threatened by Suzan. Then, Rosemary tells Larsen that "someone has been coming into our house … things have been gone through and the dogs are inside the house when they should be outside and vice versa."

There were reported burglaries of the LaBianca home beginning in 1968. Larsen thinks that one of Rosemary's children were behind them. Rosemary says no.

December 1968 Leno pays off $15,000 of his $200,000 to Gateway and in June 1969 he pays another $30,000 (equivalent to $187,500 in today's standards.)

Yet on June 24, 1969 Leno takes out a $15,000 loan from Hollywood National Bank.

From Peter Desantis (Leno's brother-in-law and partner in Gateway Markets): For all his debt, Leno was about to buy a ranch in Vista, CA for $127,000 - equivalent to about $794,000 in 2012 - and go into the investment business.

Sometime between June & August of 1969, Leno tells his mother that he wants to leave the company and go into the stock business.

Suzan LaBerge moves in and becomes engaged to Joe Dorgan - known felon, drug dealer and a member of the Satan Slaves Motorcycle Club.

April 9, 1969 Letter from Leno to his daughter Cory: "No new burglaries to report here. No new clues either. There's been a plain clothes detective hanging around here occasionally, but I'm beginning to doubt as to whether the "culprits" will ever be caught … I would sure like to get a ranch of our own soon. LA is getting to be a pretty scary place. There are a group of hippies that have taken over Griffith Park and two pot parties have been broken up by the police just next door. That's a little too close for comfort. I have a place priced out in Escondido." - Did he put quotes around culprits because he believed LaBerge was behind them?

Bugliosi says that the LaBianca house on Waverly was vacant at the time Harold True was living next door, but there's possibly a misrepresentation here - the house was probably not vacant, it was still the family home and completely furnished with Leno's family items. It was often visited by Leno and possibly inhabited without consent by Suzan and Joe Dorgan. They possibly got to know the peeps next door (Harold True & friends).

May 21, 1969 Letter from Rosemary to Cory: "We haven't had any more robberies, but every time I come home I expect to either find someone in the house or something missing. I think the police have stopped working on the case and we haven't heard anything from the insurance company.

Conversation between Leno and Peter DeSantis - date unknown but it had to have been in late July or August since this was when Leno was forced to sell his shares of Gateway - "I've got to get out of this town and can't unless I can sell my shares. It's a matter of life and death. I'm asking for my life." Desantis later called him and said they would make arrangements as a "birthday present" (August 6th).

Conversation between Leno and his mother Corrine: "We can't live in that house any longer. We can't sleep and never know when it will be ransacked again. You're the only one who can help me."

Phone call from Cory LaBianca to Leno August 9, 1969 Cory wants to come to Waverly to give Leno his birthday present - Leno tells her: "I don't want any of you to come up to this house. Sue and Frankie are at Lake Isabella and we have to go bring the boat back. We probably won't get back until Sunday."

The above are just the recorded conversations about robberies, ransacking, and safety. Could there be a lot more going on - and an obvious ongoing fear?

Then we find neighbor and bookie, Edward Pierce, AKA Phantom was suspected of being involved in a $600,000 stock swindle. He disappeared from his residence, 2743 Waverly on August 18, 1969. During the IRS investigation into Pierce (he was $100,000 in tax arrears) they found in his residence a collection of foreign coins and off-set minted coins. What are the odds of finding two people on the same street with an extensive (and expensive) coin collection, eh???

Another interesting note in the neighborhood: Leonard Posella and Sharon Ransom: Posella's mother lived "next door" to the LaBianca's. Posella's wife, said that on several occasions Posella visited Leno. Each time he came back with money or liquor and said, "It's okay. I know them and they better give it to me or else." (see the second Labianca homicide report). Posella hooks up with Sharon Ransom. Ransom and her former boyfriend Zorba are Satan Slaves.


Suzan LaBerge

Bill Nelson (God help us all) supposedly found proof that Watson and LaBerge lived less than 200' apart in apartments on Greenwood - much as we hate the guy, this is likely to be accurate.

A brief look at Watson: Before moving to Cali, Watson works for Braniff Air as a baggage handler. He leaves for Cali with over $4,000 in his pocket and a new car. Granted that could have been a lifetime savings, but that's equal to $25,000 by today's standards and considering he worked in his parents' store, how is this unachievable in the small town of Copeville, Texas. Did he started trafficking drugs while at Braniff and got an offer for bigger and better in Cali???

He arrives in Cali and immediately starts dealing drugs from his wig shop and rents a house in Malibu - not an easy thing to achieve so quickly for a small town Texas boy. He does well for a long time, but starts using, becomes sloppy, and begins burning people in his drug deals.

At some point, did he hook up with Suzan LaBerge - whether it was Greenwood, Waverly, Topanga, Laural Canyon, or Spahn's and the Satan Slaves?

Tex's apt. at 2024 Darcena Dr.
Suzan's apt was across the street (this side) from the white structure.
They are about 200' apart.

Did Rosemary spend her entire life scamming? Did it rub off on Suzan??? Did LaBerge, Dorgan, Watson and eventually Manson start scheming to get at her mother's perceived hidden wealth - what exactly this is, who knows, an off shore bank account, stocks, securities, cash, maybe even drugs? And, so, do they start going to the house while Leno, Rosemary, and Frank are not there, looking (unsuccessfully) for … something?

It's interesting that whoever is ransacking the house knows exactly when it will be un-occupied.

Leno's first wife, Alice, initially told police that she thought the murders had to do with stocks and commodities. She also told them that someone had again broken into the house the weekend before the murders while Leno and Rosemary took Frank, Suzan and the boat to Lake Isabella. Another failed attempt?

They can't find what they're looking for on their own, so are they left with no choice but to go there while Rosemary and Leno are home and confront them?

August 9th, Rosemary and Leno go back to the Lake to pick up Frank and Suzan. It is alleged that Frank later says that Suzan talked him into staying and having a little more fun. IF she is involved (and we don't know that) she did this for one of two reasons-- A: she didn't know her mother would be killed and Frank had seen Watson so he could later identify him, or B: she knew they'd kill them and saved her brother's life.

No one, including Lucy Larsen, expects the LaBiancas to be home before 2AM - Rosemary guestimated between 2 and 4 AM.

That night, Manson et al, drive around aimlessly for hours supposedly looking for a house to hit. At approximately 1-1:30AM (same time LaBerge is dropped off by her parents), Manson goes into Pasadena and stops at a house. He tells the others in the car to circle the block while he scouts the house. Did Manson stop to make phone contact with LaBerge or Dorgan to see if her parents were home yet?

Manson comes back to the car stating they're not doing that house because he saw pictures of children. From there he suddenly has a specific destination and gives driving directions to Waverly Drive.

The killers arrive at Waverly within an hour of the time that the LaBianca's arrive home - they had time to pick up a paper, park the boat, change into their PJs, and begin reading the paper.

Manson and Watson go in first, tie up the LaBianca's at gunpoint, tell them they won't be hurt if they give up A B or C. They give it up, Manson leaves and sends up Van Houten and Krenwinkel to complete the perceived (by at least the women) Helter Skelter plan.

Unlike the night before, Watson seems very content to take his time in the house - they desecrate Leno, take time to take a tapestry from the wall to write in blood, shower, ransack the closets, change clothes and eat - as if he knows that no one else will be coming to the house.

8:30PM The next night, Frank Jr. is dropped off at home. He suspects something is wrong, goes to the phone booth and first calls his parents house and when no one answers, he calls Suzan's work and eventually connects with her at her apartment that's five minutes away. TWO HOURS LATER, LaBerge and Dorgan arrive at Waverly.

Shortly after the murders, Suzan is accused by LaBianca family members of arriving at Waverly with a truck or cargo van and emptying out the contents of the house - Cory LaBianca says that she didn't get so much as a photograph of her father.

Suzan refuses to testify at the trial.



Cut to 1989/90.

In her book Restless Souls, and in this article Alisa Statman alludes to a plot between Tex Watson and Suzan LaBerge. But lets take a look at what seems clearly obvious to us.

Out of over five hundred cities in California, Suzan LaBerge just so happens to end up in the small town of Carpentaria, CA, where Patti Tate and her 3 children reside. Out of a class of over 130 children, LaBerge's daughter, Rommi just so happens to befriend Patti's daughter.

And, it just so happens, that LaBerge is now friends with Watson who is due for parole that year and will once again come up against Doris Tate and her victim impact statement and one of the strongest reasons for his continued incarceration.

And, so begins what could be an elaborate, unbelievable plot. Is it possible that Watson either blackmailed or paid LaBerge to pull off a sure-fire plan to get him a parole date - befriend him as a born-again-Christian, keep Doris Tate (and her powerful impact statements) away from his parole hearing while another victim (LaBerge) makes a statement for his release?

Was that the plan - for LaBerge to gain the trust of both Patti and her daughter and that either the day of or the day before Watson's hearing, Patti's daughter would go missing - about the only thing that would keep Doris from attending that hearing? In Doris' absence LaBerge would give the parole board such a moving speech for his release that they would grant him a date.

Is it possible Suzan and Tex thought they were going to make a fortune with their story once he was released with shows like Dateline and 20/20 in a bidding war for an interview?

Is it possible that what they didn't count on was the fact that Doris would have an informant at CMC tattling on Watson and giving away his plan? Or, that the whole thing would backfire and blow up in their face by…

...Bill Nelson. He latched onto the LaBerge/Watson friendship like a Terrier and supposedly exposed LaBerge's dark side. He uncovered court documents showing her as an abusive mother. He got her ex-husband, Wok, to admit that he was scared of her, scared for his children that were in her custody, and he confirmed that she was a Satanist not a Christian. Then Nelson went on to expose Watson and his wife's Medi-Cal fraud and found proof that both, (good Christians that they were) were not only ripping off the government, ripping off donators to his ALMS, but both were having numerous affairs.

So much for the loving born-agains' story of forgiveness and healing?

All of this proves nothing. What it does show is an almost unbelievable set of circumstances and coincidences that lead to 2 people being brutally murdered in their home.

The reporter who initially said that Rosemary left a $2 Million estate? Could it be that he got the information from someone who was close to Rosemary who believed that to be her net worth? Was it embellished from $200,000 to $2,000,000? Possibly. But even at $200,000 (1.25 mil in todays standards) that's a bucket load of money for 2 people who were so far in debt.

You've seen the probate papers, the LaBianca's had no liquid cash and no investments on the books and yet Rosemary, by all accounts, was flourishing. Could even be that Rosemary bragged to friends (and Suzan) that she had more money or investments than she actually did? Something's not right. Something is hidden AND, they were murdered. Was it by someone close to them for a reason other than a black and white race war???

Suzan LaBerge had a spotless record - not even a traffic violation or parking ticket. Is she rich? No, but she has managed to support herself and her children for more than 40 years without a career in above average income neighborhoods. She has changed her name on numerous occasions and seldom uses a verifiable address.

Suzan Struthers
Susan Struthers
Susan Rae
Suzan LaBerge
Suzanne Rae-LaBerge
Susan Berg
Susan Wok

All just idle speculation...






79 comments:

Suze said...

That is an absolutely incredible amount of coincidences! Too many to ignore. As you say Matt, it doesn't prove anything but neither does Helter Skelter.

If all of this is true, then I have a newfound respect for Manson's jailhouse code of silence. This is Watson's plot (even though likely to raise money for CM) and Charlie never snitched. He could have turned State's witness and got off way lighter.

ST. Circumstance said...

I have read this post a couple of times and it is excellent. Very Interesting. I did not know many of these things about Rosemarie's past.
This is a subject I am not very well informed about, so I proceed with caution. But this is excellent outside of the box thinking- it ties some things together. It is thought provoking for sure.

Here are some questions and thoughts from someone who is still learning about Rosemary's background- and still wants to take her side :) But is open to the truth wherever it leads...


"the LaBianca's had no liquid cash and no investments on the books and yet Rosemary, by all accounts, was flourishing."

I do not understand this? no money no investments and debt is easy to prove. having stocks and investments and a value for a deceased persons estate is finite and determinable. it had to be one or the other no?

even in 1969- if she had stocks and commodities + one or two or three business'+ Leo put some assets in her name for whatever reason- it isn't hard to end up with VALUE worth some money...

Value of an estate and cash on hand are not at all the same- and if they were dabbling in insurance- it is a safe guess they had insurance- and a large policy DOES count in the value of her estate.

If they had mortgages on the house and loans on the business and payments on the cars- that would be obvious. IF it was a FACT that she had an estate worth 2 million- they must have owned some things- and maybe he put all of it in her name for whatever reason. But if She had a couple of business' and she had investments and she tucked away some cash + and/or had assets property in her name and insurance- it is possible.

But I dont know.

As far as the rest of it- it doesn't paint a pretty picture. However- she wouldn't be the first woman in California to use men to improve there life, and whereas many just move in and lie around the pool all day- it seems Rosemary, at least, kept the wheels churning trying to help herself as well....

It sounds like maybe she manipulated a few poeple along the way- but if bugs is to believed- she came from a very poor and uncertain background- so maybe she learned to fight and fend for herself at an early age. she appears to have decided to make it and be unapologetic about getting what she wanted. But- she also seemed willing to work ,and take some of her own chances to do it as well.Did she make a dent? Some seem to think she did- this post says maybe she didn't.

but regardless

We celebrate SOME people who have acted this way when they succeed...

sometimes a few people get thrown out or used along the way- we have all heard these stories before ...

Still doesn't make it right?? O.k. I dont disagree.

There has to be some reason why Charlie picked that house. I have heard Harold True on the funniest tape recording ever say he knew the family. The Tex and Susan stuff is really interesting. Too many coincidences for sure. If Leno was really worried about things- more reason why Rosemary might wind up with assets/cash, or whatever in her name.

I keep thinking Bugs book is the first place where I read Rosemary had an estate worth 2 million. I dont have the book with me to check.

I dont hate Bugs as much as everyone else. I agree he used H/S to make a legend a millions- and he himself will manipulate something for his own good. But I dont think he would print a provable lie about a victims financial situation. Especially when it had no bearing on his own selfish cause- yet stating a provable lie could hurt his impeccable ( at the time) credibility...

Also- everything being mentioned- investing, collecting, stocks commodities- self employment- status jumping:

doesn't make Rosemary look like the greatest person- but meshes perfectly with everything I learned in finance class...
maybe, just maybe, she was very shrewd??

Very interesting indeed

Matt said...

ST. Circumstance said...
"the LaBianca's had no liquid cash and no investments on the books and yet Rosemary, by all accounts, was flourishing."


ST., take your time and read the reports & article I reference in the post. Everything is documented and it makes this easier to understand. My theory is that Rosemary was raised in an orphanage. Perhaps this made her overly needy (multiple lovers) and feeling like she had to grab what she could to survive (bleeding husbands financially). Leno didn't get into financial difficulty until he was married to Rosemary, then all hell broke loose. He began skimming copious amounts of cash from Gateway Markets, but Rosemary's situation was solid. I don't pretend to be able to connect every dot here. I leave that to you.

I will though, reiterate for everyone once again. Even if that is the case, she did not deserve to die - especially in this horrific way. Grifting and cheating are wrong, but not deserving of death.


ST. Circumstance said...

I didn't say that lol

I copied that quote from the original post-

it seemed contradictory to me in a way.

There should be a record somewhere in probate court of what the value of the estate was- we shouldn't need to guess about that is all I meant :)

I will read the reports. This is very interesting to me.

I am not TRYING to be a braggart or obnoxious- but I know a lot of wealthy people.

It is not uncommon at all in my experience for men to get in over there heads for a variety of things ( gambling,drugs,etc) and end up in financial trouble. At the same time quite a few of them have wives who have a vague idea of whats going on but resign themselves and just start squirreling away cash for the inevitable day when it all comes crashing down.

my best friends uncle just retired but for the last 15 he had to give his ex wife, my friends aunt, about 7K a month in alimony. I made a joke to her the other day, and asked if, now that her husband had retired, she was going to be able to make it without the steady money- she looked me dead in the eye and laughed.

" Jimmy- you have no idea how much I hid from him when we were still together"

it does happen is all I am saying

Matt said...

Sorry ST, the quote I meant to copy from you was:

I do not understand this? no money no investments and debt is easy to prove. having stocks and investments and a value for a deceased persons estate is finite and determinable. it had to be one or the other no?

Taken by itself, that could be true. BUT, when you minus out all of Leno's debts, you see the problem. Did she plan on leaving him soon?

And this behavior on its own is not indicative that she was cheating him. But look at the second homicide report and the statements made by those who knew her best. There is a pattern that makes me question whether she was acting in Leno's best interest.

I invite dissent on this. I WANT TO BE WRONG

ST. Circumstance said...

I think it might be fair to see just on the outside looking in that she may have put her own interests before Leo or anyone else-

I think we agree on maybe that her past is a reason for that

we def agree it isn't reason or justification for what she got.

At the end of the day- IF it is ever proved for once and all that people in the family personally knew anyone at either/both locations- it wont shock me...

it seems like it is almost inevitable.

and once we can prove they knew each other- we can start to get down to what really went wrong and start sorting through real motivations....

money- drugs- lust- revenge

lol things I can wrap my mind around

ST. Circumstance said...

My old friend AC used to make an argument that they were dealing drugs at Cielo- and that being around this made Sharon more susceptible to something bad happening to her...

I think, in all honesty and fairness, this post sort of implies something along those lines- although it was made with a disclaimer- when you mention motive in the title of a post and then lay out a list of negatives about a person- you are sort of Taking the reader down a certain road no??

this is no longer a criticism. I am starting to loosen my thoughts on this.

Maybe its time to take the first couple of steps down that road?

at this point- we are not really getting anywhere by playing politically correct...

IF big IF but IF the lifestyles of the victims put them in harms way- or contributed to the events that unfolded. Maybe we have to sift through some dirt to get to the ground underneath...

I am thinking - tastefully- this might be accomplished

I just am still not sure that is the case with Rosemary herself. I am starting to wonder if her daughter maybe is worth a closer look???

It is very thought provoking stuff

ST. Circumstance said...

This was a well thought out post and it was done tastefully...

it is fair and worth exploring

cielodrivecom said...

Harold True was interviewed by Aaron Stovitz in January of 1970.

MR. STOVITZ: Alright, while you were living at Waverly, did you ever meet the LaBiancas that lived next door?

MR. TRUE: I think some - I thought some old people lived there (inaudible) --

MR. STOVITZ: Well, it could of very well been.

MR. TRUE: -- I never saw anybody over there. I saw the gardener.

MR. STOVITZ: Could very well been that they moved in.

Do you remember, Mr. Knuckles, when they moved in? Was it the beginning of, uh ‘69?

MR. KNUCKLES: (inaudible)

MR. STOVITZ: No, no, they had owned the house. But they had moved away, and moved back. But, I could check the transcript and find out then.

MR. TRUE: ‘Cause I thought the house was vacant. But then somebody told me, no it wasn’t --

MR. STOVITZ: Alright now --

MR. TRUE: -- Unless he was a gardener.

orwhut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orwhut said...

ST. Circumstance said... I keep thinking Bugs book is the first place where I read Rosemary had an estate worth 2 million. I dont have the book with me to check.

It's on pg. 53 or 54 of the Kindle edition, $2,600,000. Vince seems to be going by probate records.

fiona1933 said...

Amazing stuff. Never heard any of it before. Where is this info from, please?

ST. Circumstance said...

Thanks orwhut!

fiona1933 said...

St circumstance: there was a neighbour quoted as saying that many hippies got lost on their way to "the Polanski place' and ended up at theirs, the neighbour's, that is. These were obviously not high-fashion hippies, but the type to make people look askance. Due to drugs, the Beautiful People and the lower hippie crowd were blurring together. What drugs do to inhibitions and standards is appalling. I read of a woman breast-feeding her baby and at the same time, poking about the other breast with her needle, for the 'nice fat veins' that come up in a milk-swollen breast. And nobody said anything.

fiona1933 said...

I would really like some information about the violence level in Topanga Canyon, the overdose level, etc. I want to do a piece on how the general lowering of inhibitions, meant to 'free the mind' and actually creating a climate of violence and indifference to it, contributed to the murders. I wonder if these very murders may have shocked some people out of hippieness.
Did you notice, Matt, in the Killing Of sharon Tate book, it opens with a description of how violent the Haight had become? Police, low-life both beating on hippies, but other hippies just watching.

Matt said...

Fiona, info was taken from the homicide reports, the probate records and an article. All are linked.

ST. Circumstance said...

Fiona I appreciate your thoughts

I was 2 months old in the summer of love, so it is hard for me to argue or compare types of hippies lol

I have read that quote as well, and I get that all types of people were running around with each other back then as well.

But please dont be so quick to blame everything on drugs lol

I am qualified to say drugs dont always blur the lines for everyone. it is possible to have your recreational fun with drugs and/or alcohol- and not cross the line or law as a result. you can still lead a productive responsible life and take care of yourself and your responsibilities, and get high every once in awhile ( or 4 times a day)

as for the breast stuff lol

If I saw that happening- I would have said something lol

Farflung said...

This is some good writing Matt, keeping such a great deal of information coherent isn’t easy. Naturally I’m drawn to the banalities of accounting and some changes in industry during that time period.

Two million in ‘stocks or commodities’ is going to have a paper trail, unless it was not legitimate then all bets are off anyway, so I’m going to assume it was via traditional transactions.

The income tax rates in the mid sixties could be best described as punitive, where the top brackets (defined as above $200k) were hit for 70 to 77 percent in taxes. To net two million, in less than five years, one would have to feed the tax machine between five and six million. Not impossible, but several times less likely than two million.

If Rosemary’s estate was from some poison tree, then you can count on the probate documents illuminating nothing. Even property and homes need care and feeding in the form of annual tax payments and the transfer of the same is a Byzantine process with triplicate paperwork. The simple mechanics of amassing such a fortune don’t make themselves known in her case. Even if she harvested Leno’s wealth, then Leno would have to show the same income somewhere.

Gateway Markets were a small chain of medium grocery stores. This was the time when the ‘Supermarket’ was showing dominance as the ‘Big Box’ store for food. Now you could go to one place and purchase meat, dairy, produce and soap, no need for a butcher shop, milk man or green grocer anymore and the consumer converted in droves. The smaller outfits and specialty stores were going out of business in the name of convenience and Gateway Markets was in all likelihood past their Zenith and experiencing some revenue retraction.

Their profile of moving from Woking Way to Waverly Drive, debt laden assets and pending termination from Gateway appears in alignment with a couple scratching to maintain a lifestyle and being in pseudo-denial (Rosemary boasting about wealth). Perhaps the probate documents will cast some illumination on the subject.

ST. Circumstance said...

Farflung sounds like he knows a hell of alot more than me about this :)

but it SOUNDS to me like what he is saying is that there have to be definitive records of her estate- WHATEVER it was....

and again- makes me wonder why Bugs would print something he hoped would become what it is ( famous and timeless) with verifiable falsehoods- and does he strike any of you as the type of would have been too lazy to do his homework????

ST. Circumstance said...



I am a Physician Recruiter
( head- hunter for Doctors) I live in Florida- the only state in the country where Physicians dont have to be covered by Malpractice Insurance....

I have seen many Doctors come here and open practices with no M/P- they put all of there earnings in their wife's names in case they are ever sued. this is VERY common in Florida. I do not know the mechanics behind how they do it- or the laws they tip toe around. But I know it happens all the time...

there are ways for married people to move money around...

again- what would Bugs have to gain by making that up??

I tend to believe the lady was worth some money. I am open to how she got that way lol

revatron said...

Joe Dorgan has yet to be connected with ANY motorcycle club, let alone the Satan's Slaves. The police were able to connect Zorba and Sharon to the Slaves, so why not Joe if he was one?

In the 2nd police report it states that Joe Dorgan gave Frank Sr. a gun shortly after the Labiaca's were murdered. IF Joe and Suzan were involved, I don't see why Joe would feel the need to protect Frank.

"It's interesting that whoever is ransacking the house knows exactly when it will be un-occupied."
You can pretty much count on houses being un-occupied during the day, when people are at work.

Why spend the night driving around "aimlessly" if you have a victim already lined up?

Meh, nice write up, I just don't like it.

Leigh said...

Thought-provoking stuff - and of course, Tex comes out of it, as usual, looking like the most diabolical SOB in a tangled, mangled web of unsavory characters. I'll have to digest this. I would love to have a chat with Alice LaBianca and Leno's kids about Suzan. Never understood her at all, and the story about her in Restless Souls was positively bone-chilling.

Leigh said...

I know someone who is a forensic accountant. I would like to have someone like that comb over any and all financial information related to the LaBiancas and see if anything pops. I don't know how worthwhile an endeavor that would be, but it could potentially be very useful.

Also - Matt, I appreciate that you've noted that you're not intending to cast aspersions on the LaBiancas or in any way imply that they deserved what happened to them. No one deserves that and that should go without saying. We have to be able to feel compassion for these victims while being dispassionate in surveying the evidence.

(Also, I don't know if I introduced myself before but hi - I post on Cats' site and I see you've linked to it here. Great to see some cooperation in the TLB blogosphere...)

Leigh said...

Farflung - thanks for the info. Should have read the comments before commenting.

starship said...

Yes, except for the homocide reports...where does this stuff come from? I would love to know as it's all very provocative stuff and definitely worth persuing if it's credible. Otherwise: Dorgan has not been connected to any motorcycle club...where are these letters published? Where are these acccounts of the conversations...with DeSantis and Corrine (Cory?) etc...Alice claiming the house was broken into the weekend before?

The Suzen-Tex thing has always been wierd and troubling. Restless Souls is an emotional document not a factual one. The story of Patti Tate and LaBerge and their daughters playing after school all the while at the same time Tex in prison hears about and brags to Doris' 'informant' who gets on the phone to call Doris who calls Patti who then runs in a panic...again, doubt it.

Doc Sierra said...

fiona1933 said
Did you notice, Matt, in the Killing Of sharon Tate book, it opens with a description of how violent the Haight had become? Police, low-life both beating on hippies, but other hippies just watching.
----------------------------------------
I lived about 3 miles from the Haight when I was a little kid. A few times we all got in the family station wagon and went on a tour of the Haight. I remember a couple of times seeing fights and the place and people were scummy and dirty looking to me as a child. One time we saw two guys fighting. One had a machete and one a crutch. The guy with the crutch was trying to fend off the guy with the machete but the crutch got chopped. We didn't stick around to see the final outcome. The point? My memory is violent, disgusting place that I never, on my worst day, would chose to live there.

revatron said...

Carpinteria is a desirable beach town about an hour north of LA County, fifteen minutes south of Santa Barbara.

There are one or two facts here, one or two lies, a few coincidences, and a whole lot of speculation. That's a recipe for a conspiracy theory.

CarolMR said...

This is my first comment. I wish I could say I was a long-time lurker, but I have only started to read this blog because I have recently heard such good things about it. Great post for me to begin with. I've always been interested in the LaBiancas - not the possible motive, but their personal history. I have read many times that on that horrible night Rosemary's main concern was for Leno. According to the killers, she kept screaming about Leno - Please don't hurt him, What are you doing to my husband?, etc. I've always found that touching - she was more worried for her husband than for herself. I don't know if Rosemary married Leno for his money, but I think she ended up truly loving him. Thanks for a great blog, Eviliz.

MissTone said...

Dunno what to think other than holy cow! Great reading! A lot that I didn't know, and a lot of speculation worth pondering. Thanks!

daniel said...

@revatron

' "It's interesting that whoever is ransacking the house knows exactly when it will be un-occupied."
You can pretty much count on houses being un-occupied during the day, when people are at work. '

Not on a summer weekend.

Kimchi said...

A lot of work went into this Matt....good job...it always made my head spin trying to put all the info together....again, good job...need to digest it now.....

Stacey L. said...

I couldn't sleep last night so I read this, then I really couldn't sleep. Thanks Matt....if I get an F in my class it's your fault. :-)

blipcrotch said...

Epic post. Thanks, Birthday Boy.

blipcrotch said...

Epic post. Thanks, Birthday Boy.

revatron said...

Daniel said...
"Not on a summer weekend."

Good point. But there are a number of ways to find out if a house is empty; look for cars, look for lights, listen for sounds, knock on the door, or simply just get lucky. Most burglars get lucky. And if they work at night, many do not care if the house is occupied or not.
The police report mentions that 3260 Waverly was also burglarized in the past. These burglaries prior to the murders may have nothing to do with the murders at all.

MissTone said...

Oh Sherlock Holmes, where are you??!!! This case can get one nuts.

MissTone said...

May I ask, why did Suzan stay back while Joe and Frank investigated? I would have at that point been more curious than scared. Unless I was involved.

daniel said...

@revatron

You also make a good point.

The boat being gone/there would be a tell to the folks responsible.

I still think we have a case of "probably will never know".

Great article though!

daniel said...

@revatron

You also make a good point.

The boat being gone/there would be a tell to the folks responsible.

I still think we have a case of "probably will never know".

Great article though!

daniel said...

Sorry that posted twice.

@revatron
It's good to be in a place where people say "good point" rather than "you're an idiot, get lost." I thank you for that.

Matt said...

Couyon Nunyaz, I deleted your last comment.

To say something like you did makes it look like you are going through the back door to say that Rosemary was a (I can't even repeat it). I don't know if that's what you intended, but I went to great lengths to explain that nobody is perfect and that NO victim's lifestyle made them in any way culpable in their own deaths. Go back and read it!

I also said before I even got started that:

WE WILL DELETE ANY COMMENTS THAT ARE NOT SENSIBLY AND SENSITIVELY PRESENTED.

ColScott said...

Brilliantly written by Matt, just really well done.

The thread that holds up (and always has held up) for me is this- rebellious daughter running with bad crowd causes slaughter of mother and stepfather.

But how?

I am of late reminded of the Mabel Monohan murder case- it's pretty famous and has very similar overtones to TLB. Strangers, home invasion, murder. In this case they thought there was cash in the house. And they were drugged out of their minds. They slaughtered the victim and didn't find any money.

Now what if they thought there was drugs and money at both places? They don't find it, there's unexpected people at Tate, they are methed out--> Chaos.


Tex knew Voytek. Tex knew Suzan.

First possibility ever that computes.

revatron said...

Daniel said...
"It's good to be in a place where people say "good point" rather than "you're an idiot, get lost."
&
"I still think we have a case of "probably will never know."

Agreed!

Jiri said...

Bravo Matt, Liz & Patty. Very nice. I had to read this 7-8 times before I was able to process all of those pieces. I don't know if it's true or not, but this theory holds water.

I want to also commend you on:

A) Going to great lengths to make it clear that this is not character assassination where Leno & Rosemary are concerned.

B) Adding that you invite dissent & fact checking.

This is incredible. I need to go read it a few more times...

ST. Circumstance said...

Ya know if Drugs were the motive or Robbery- then these were really even more senseless crimes than we already think they are...

we know that they didn't leave either place with any drugs or significant money... in fact- drugs were left behind.

Charlie went back to " show them the right way to do it"

if that meant getting more drugs or money- he wasn't much of an improvement...

in fact it seems the only difference the second night- as Matt pointed out- was that they seemed a lot less worried. taking a shower is a very vulnerable way to leave yourself in a strange house after you just committed a crime like that and aren't sure who may show up...

IF the point of both nights was to get money or drugs to make money for the desert or to take to the desert- why did they stop after two nights and zero success???

they were about as effective in this endeavor than they were in starting a race war no?

Panamint Patty said...

Thanks Jiri but Patty had nothing to do with this, it's all Matt. He da man!

revatron said...

I think they were able to remain calm(er) at the Labiaca's because they had more experience, none of their victims ran outside screaming, no gun shots, nothing to give them away.
Taking a shower seems pretty loose and comfortable, but then again, at that time of night why would they expect anyone to show up at the house?

ST. Circumstance said...

I guess- just seems very odd thing to do to me- and the fact that they were left with no ride and also took time to eat....

I mean they were pretty young and the murders were viscous. True Tex and Pat had one night under the belt..

lol but really- they got pretty comfortable really quick if that was the case...

but revetron it could be that they were...

and your right it was late at night- but still- do you ever really know? and do you really take that kind of chance in those circumstances??

I don't know...

ST. Circumstance said...

vicious

daniel said...

@ST. Circumstance

People on speed(Tex)do crazy things. I remember reading somewhere about the impulse to take things apart(radios and TVs) to figure them out and then having no desire to put them back together. It's just a "whatever" state.

People aren't things, I realize, but in his case and mindset at that time, they were.

Not defending Tex, btw. I hate his guts.

ST. Circumstance said...

Daniel- Hello :)

I dont know diddly scadoo about speed...

but isnt it like coke and doesnt it make you figedty and depress appetite???

I would think those type of drugs would make them even more inclined to be extra nervous and get the hell out of there- versus make snack and cool off....

but again- I dont know

Agreed- Tex blew

Cindy Lee said...

"...Rosemary also invested in stocks and commodities, and did well. How well was not known until her estate was probated, and it was learned she had left $2,600,000." (attributed to Vincent Bugliosi / Curt Gentry in "Helter Skelter")

Herein lies the problem. "Helter Skelter" is now universally accepted as the Bible of the Tate/LaBianca murder case, but by legal definition it is the creation of Bugliosi and Gentry. And, if they did not "create" "Helter Skelter" it would NOT be copyrightable by them as authors. Thus, most every alleged "fact" mentioned in any non-fiction book is re-written in terms that will satisfy the "expression" requirement, in order to obtain a copyright in the work. This is where a professional editor earns his pay.

Also, most books relating to the Manson Family were NOT even written by the actual involved party. Chares Manson did NOT write "Manson In His Own Words," Nuel Emmons did. Paul Watkins did NOT write his book, Guillermo Soledad did. Tex Watson did NOT write his book, some preacher did. For all we know Curt Gentry wrote "Helter Skelter" from Bugliosi's notes - taken by him and cops while they were employees of the City of Los Angeles.

It turns out, everyone has been using a Bugliosi / Gentry creation as the gospel truth, until now.

BUT someone called the Col and Matt have raised a REAL question.

So why is the truth about Rosemary LaBianca's $2,600,000 estate an issue? Because IF it is an actual fact, there exists another motive for the LaBianca murders. And that raises reasonable doubt with regards to the so-called "Helter Skelter" motive theory. We must then look to "WAR" and "Death to Pigs" for the whole truth.

ST. Circumstance said...

Cindy- are you implying they may have murdered Rosemary to inherit money??

Tex had something worked out with her heirs???

people who me understand I dont take Bugs as gospel for anything at all....

But again- why make a number like that up???

to what gain, or for what reason would he need to inflate someones personal financial situation?? he also pointed out Gibby had less than people would have imagined...

what does that have to do with H/S or anything he wanted to prove???

ST. Circumstance said...

Bugs was a self interested ego maniac or worse- but he did a good job of doing his job...

he was a relentless investigator and researcher....

People keep saying he made H/S up. I dont get that??

they family members painted the words on a door- a few vehicles, and I have heard at least two of them use the phrase in various interviews and videos. They were using the phrase. Bugs took it and ran with it and made into much more than it really was- but he didn't invent it out of thin air..

I dont think he did with this number either.

Farflung said...

I have always assumed the reason for the showers in the La Bianca home was a result of their ‘learning curve’. After the Cielo murders, Tex and company were almost caught by the homeowner of the place they selected to hose down after the killings. Instead of making the same error, they used the home where they could clean up, knowing the owner would not hassle them.

revatron said...

I agree, St., that it's an odd thing to do, but this is an odd group who, according to the slippy stories, would break into people's homes just for fun.
Speed does suppress the appetite, but watermelon is good all the time. (just playing)
It can make you paranoid, or it can make you insanely confident (kind of like the way Manson was speaking to police on the edge of the ranch. "yeah those are my banana clips, and there are rifles aimed at you right now.")
I know many people believe Manson when he says he was against hard drugs, but I still think he is the quintessential tweaker.

St. Said...
"People keep saying he made H/S up. I dont get that??

they family members painted the words on a door- a few vehicles, and I have heard at least two of them use the phrase in various interviews and videos. They were using the phrase. Bugs took it and ran with it and made into much more than it really was- but he didn't invent it out of thin air.."

I couldn't agree more.
I like what Farflung has said too.

Doc Sierra said...

Thanks a lot Matt. Thanks to you I was up all night reading and researching Rosemary. Very well written and very informative. I had no idea about some of what you posted before I read it. Great post. Keep up the good work.

CarolMR said...

Cielo and Waverly must have been teeming with fingerprints. Did any of the killers have their fingerprints on file at that time through arrest records, etc.? Was AFIS in existence back then? It would have been easy to match the fingerprints to the perpetrators of the crime.

JOHN LENNON said...

Matt...very good post, th for sharing

lurch said...

Hey Carol!
By the time of the murders all of those involved had been fingerprinted multiple times. Problem is that back in the 60's fingerprints were kept on file cards, meaning that someone had to physically check a print against EVERY card on file, and hope that they could find a match.

Now, these incompetant fools would have been busted within hours of the Cielo bodies being discovered. Ain't technology grand!

CarolMR said...

Lurch, thanks! Yes, technology is great, with tools like AFIS and, of course, DNA.

Kimchi said...

They now have the technology to bust within seconds. LASD has what's called a"Blue Check" device they use in the patrol cars and run prints during routine stops if warranted.....

Matt said...

Welcome, Leigh. Thanks for the kind words. Glad to see you and hope to see you more often.

Matt said...

CarolMR said...

Cielo and Waverly must have been teeming with fingerprints. Did any of the killers have their fingerprints on file at that time through arrest records, etc.? Was AFIS in existence back then? It would have been easy to match the fingerprints to the perpetrators of the crime.


Carol, these kids didn't do too much right, but one thing they did do a good job of was erasing fingerprints. They left virtually none at Cielo. The one that Tex left on the gate button was smudged by an untinking cop. Leslie's job at Waverly was to wipe away prints. She did a GREAT job because none were left there.

Matt said...

Kimchi said...

They now have the technology to bust within seconds. LASD has what's called a"Blue Check" device they use in the patrol cars and run prints during routine stops if warranted.....


Kimchi, the one that blows my mind is the license plate readers they have installed in the grills of police cruisers now. It reads plates and allerts the officer for things like stolen vehicles, outstanding warrants, suspended licenses - you name it. It probably doesn't pay to be a bad guy these days.

Cindy Lee said...

ST. Circumstance said…

Cindy- are you implying they may have murdered Rosemary to inherit money??

ST,

I'm not implying it, this entire post speculates that that is indeed a distinct possibility.

Rosemary bleeds Leno.
Leno skims and borrows to keep up.
Did Suzan learn from Rosemary, or was she in on it?
If she was in on it, did she double-cross her so she could get the money immediately?
Did Suzan indeed know Tex before the crimes?
Was her support of Tex for parole an attempt to keep him quiet?

beauders said...

i really think that if suzan and tex were both involved in the labianca's murder wouldn't tex expect her to come to his rescue when he was sentenced to the death penalty. knowing tex he would blackmailed her into helping him. why wait twenty years?

Matt said...

beauders, what could she have done at his trial? To say that she knew him would interfere with his defense of "Charlie made me do it".

She wasn't saying he was innocent, she was saying his christian conversion and her forgiveness were reason for parole.

beauders said...

there was nothing she could have done to help watson but i think he would have drug her into the mud with him. besides the jury didn't buy his charlie made me do it, so i'm sure if there was anyone else involved he wouldn't have had used that defense. remember i don't think suzan had anything to do with the murders, she's just crazy.

ST. Circumstance said...

Cindy Lee :)

I am not going to speak for Matt-

I did not take the entire post to be speculation Susan was in on the Labianca murder with Tex to inherit money... Maybe that was his intention.

maybe I should come on and read this when I am sober once in awhile... lol

I liked it either way though

JHPeters2 said...

What I find incredible to this whole thing is that those girls on the LaBianca ride along claimed Manson saw children's pictures thru a window in a possible victim's home in Pasadena... He changed his mind about killing those folks, but just the night before all present in the car knew, positively knew, a pregnant woman begged for the life of her child and was killed... Why did Manson send the killers to the Tate-Polanski house, knowing Tate was pregnant, if he had such a love for kids? Something just don't ring right. Matt is on to something. BTW, first post, long time lurker.

fiona1933 said...

Pierce would be no relation to "Sunshine Pierce"?

fiona1933 said...

No, not blaming on drugs, exactly. Not just drugs. what I mean is, what happens when you suddenly have a vast social change that involves lowering powerful social standards and not replacing them with any other concrete ones. I don't know if this has ever happened outside of the 60s and maybe the Black death. People thought they were 'freeing their minds' 'turning on, tuning in, dropping out", etc and it was supposed to be about peace and love. Yet look how very, very fast it became horrendously violent. How things just became acceptable. Don't get me wrong, I am all for free love (!) but the very sudden removal of all the basic standards people lived by didnt lead to a happy sort of South Seas sharing society. It seems to have allowed an upsurge of rage. Maybe, due to distant parenting in the 50s, from fathers damaged in the war, children suppressing so much...and then the controls were removed. Very suddenly. And drugs played a very big part indeed in this. What i am talking about is a psychological climate.
Look, Bugliosi spoke of how terrified people were in the 'great houses of Bel Air' and the selling of locks and guard dogs, etc. But this was the 'straight' world. I would like to know how the 'hip' world took it. I've mentioned before that Joan Didion said this climate of menace had been building and bad people were in places they shouldn't be, and that 'no-one was surprised' (she was very emphatic about this) when the Tate murders happened. The Manson girls seem pretty blase about it. I want to know how Topanga Canyon saw it, how the communes saw it. People in those communes were going off and just leaving their kids behind...like a certain Linda Kasabian....Neal Cassady's wife mentions this. As a straight person, she was shocked, but the Merry Pranksters just thought it normal parents would leave their 7 year old and go off to follow a band. I am not being coherent about this exactly, but I wish someone who was around at that time remembers how it seemed. I wasn't more than one year old. I wonder just how much a general, almost magical thinking, loss of what had been seen as onerous controls contributed. Were there any more such 'hippie murders"? The only compable thing I can bring to mind are those voodoo drug murders ...Matamoros I think it is.

fiona1933 said...

And the people in the 'breast thing' they were all junkies. So nobody said a word. People get used to stuff.

fiona1933 said...

And also, I agree. You can take your drugs and you can keep your moral boundaries. BUT..if there is a sudden giant social change...it's like the Stanford Prison Experiment writ large. All those roving young people, all those very powerful mind-expanding drugs...we have never had acid like that because it doesn't exist anymore. Who knows what happens to your doors of perception, in a crowd of same-thinking people, in a bigger society that seems to be shattering around you....and there seem to be no certainties anymore?

fiona1933 said...

revatron, I always have wondered if the 'aimless' driving was for several reasons.

One, no clocks at Spahn. could Manson simply have set off too early?

Two, he also made some pretences at attacking other homes. Looking at them, they don't seem real. The LaBianca house by comparison, seems targeted. But this would have made the kids believe that Manson was really in it with them, was really up for killing.

Three, it could also have disguised the fact of the La Biancas as being a true target. Here's Charlie pretending to 'go and kill the priest' and 'not do this house because there are kids pictures there ' (didnt the LaB's have such pics?) and "I'm going to kill this driver in broad view in the middle of the road" None of these can be taken seriously!

Suddenly, Linda is directed very clearly to the La B's. Charlie and maybe Tex go in and prepare the victims. Then in goes the A team, the proven Tex and Pat, plus Leslie, to involve her. They are told not to let the people know you are going to ill them. And they do a thorough job, 'the number of numbers'.

The 'B' team, useless Susan, Linda and simpleton Clem are set off to do a murder but with no proper instruction or enthusiasm. Charlie has no ideas, asks for some, Linda suggests the actor guy. Charlie tells them to kill him as he opens the door. No preparation and no sense of importance or urgency or planning. It was just "if anything happens, just hang it up, don't do it". Those are not serious murder instructions. Why didnt Charlie scope out the place, tie the man up, give real instructions? He knew neither Linda nor Susan could kill: Linda had just told him so! And is Clem like Tex? does he even have any speed?

Just put all these 'murder attempts' together' and you can see which one is meant to happen. The others are distractions. To keep those kids from thinking. To make them believe it really is random. When it wasn't. Clearly wasn't. The La B's were creepy-crawled. They were afraid. Remember in HS, how Rosemary had expressed serious disquiet over the murder, was very nervous? Did she know who had done it? How did Charlie tie them up so easily?

And I really think the answer must be the acid Rosemary was suspected of selling. It explains everything. Her money (a cash business), realisation that the same ppl who'd killed Frykowski would come after her...maybe she let Charlie in as a friend thinking he would help!

Judy Hanson said...

Bill Nelson never had an original thought nor ever developed any evidentiary information on his own - He was a parasite that took everyone else's information to enrich himself at their expense. I know this to be true because he took all of mine without my permission, including my interview with Harold True...

Matt said...

Judy, did you do that phone interview with True? If so, I'd like to speak with you.

Patrick King said...

The first I heard about Charles Watson being in a sexual relationship with Susan Laberge was in Michael Dorsey's film, Six Degrees of Helter Skelter. Jeff Guinn's book, Manson: his life and times, states that Watson was an independent drug dealer who came to Spahn Ranch to do business and have sex. He did not actually live at the ranch. The media talks about "the Manson Family" as though it had dues paying members and a treasurer and secretary. The "Family" was an invention of the media. As many as 130 people came around Spahn Ranch for the same reasons Watson did. The people who actually lived there were people who had no place else to go. It was a very informal group. Did Charlie Manson have some pretty far out ideas? No doubt. Were they they motive for these murders? No way.