Saturday, March 2, 2013

Q&A Back to the Barker raid ammo question

You all might recall one of our members "Matt W" asking a previous question (see below) about the ammo seized at the Barker ranch raid.  I was chatting with Matt W about it recently and he brought up an interesting question. Was it James Willett who stole the weapons/ammo for the Family?
Matt W also brought up a good point being we don't even know if James was ever stationed there.

Hi Liz, I've been reading your blog for a couple weeks, looking for specific information regarding a list of weapons that were seized during the Spahn and Barker ranch raids. Main reason was while I was stationed at Camp Pendleton (Ca) there was a report of  someone stealing grenades and other armaments. The only people having access to the armory would have been Marines (to my knowledge). Any help sure would be appreciated...


Matt said...

I don't believe that JW knew any Family members until he met Nancy, Squeaky & Maria in Guerneville after the trials & the breakup of the Family.

As far as I know he had zero ties to Spahn Ranch.

Farflung said...

I’ll try (and fail) to put this in a rough timeline/bullet point format and hope I don’t confuse too much.

A. James Willett musters out of the Marine Corps – August 1969 (Discharge dated 15 Aug 71, includes 2 years inactive reserve, discovered in Flora Ave house) with two tours in Viet Nam.

B. James and Lauren are married in Kentucky - 26 July 1971 (Marriage cert in Flora house)

B1. Daughter Heidi is born in Los Angeles - 9 March 1972 (Birth cert in Flora house)

C. James and Lauren live in an apartment building on Coronado St in Los Angeles (Police report Stockton), which is where they (Lauren?) likely meet a family member (Pitman?), who also lives there while James is employed as some sort of teacher in a non-public enterprise. Presumably after July 1971 (20 months after the Barker raids).

D. James purchases a ’65 station wagon and with Lauren and Heidi, depart for Guerneville. With the others (Pitman and company) ???

Confused? You should be. But it appears that James no longer was associated with the Marines (other than as a veteran) by the time he moved to Los Angeles where it appears he had the bad luck of living in the same apartment building as Pitman. Much like Dennis Wilson and George Spahn, it also appears that James Willett was trying to rid himself of these human remoras and was having great difficulty with this task.

Of the weapons seized from the Flora home in Stockton, they could be best described as a collection of Saturday night specials and junk sawed off shotguns (H&R, Rohm, etc.). These aren’t weapons typically associated with the military. It looks like James and Lauren made some bad fast friends, and by the time they sorted things out, were both dead.

The Barker Raids took place in October of 1969, which makes the logistics of James Willett’s participation extremely unlikely. This would be assuming that James was a willing participant or member of the family, which does NOT appear to be the case.

There now, I think I’ve made things worse.

Jason said...

Wow, Farf, how the H do you know all of this? I am impressed. Also, is that you riding the tiny motorbike?