Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Clyda Warren Ussery Dulaney

Sometimes, just sometimes all of this blogging stuff is worth it...

During October of 2012 we began a series of posts on the Witches of Mendocino chapter of the Manson tale, culminating with contacting and speaking with Johnny Ussery the not quite 8 year old son of Clyda Dulaney who woke up one morning in 1968 to find both his 24 year old mother, and his 64 year old grandmother, lying within a short proximity of each other, lifeless as a result of a horrific attack.

Several members of the Manson Family had been in the area around the time of the attacks. In fact, a few had been previously arrested nearby in the infamous "Witches of Mendocino" bust. The similarities between the savagery in the Ukiah case and that of  Cielo/Waverly made some wonder if the fact that family members were so close to the Ukiah tragedy timing/geographically-wise, in combination with the eerily similar traits of the brutal slayings, was more than just coincidence.

As a result of researching that piece of history, we were able to make contact with Johnny and speak to him about what he remembered. Then this past weekend we were contacted by Ginger Launder, a childhood friend of Johnny's. The two hadn't seen or spoken to each other in almost 40 years. Ginger had in her family's possession pictures of Johnny's mother that he had not seen - ever. Well, long story short the two are now in touch and are talking about old times and about this cold case that needs attention, AND NOW the Ussery boys finally have some clear photos of their mother.

It's Miller time... 



Clyda and Johnny






13 comments:

DebS said...

I am overjoyed that Johnny has finally seen great pictures of his mom and that he has been able to reconnect with a childhood friend. Ginger you are an angel for remembering Johnny and his family and caring enough to keep looking until you found him.


This has been the most rewarding thing I have experienced since I started researching unsolved murders and makes me very proud to be a part of this blog. What a great start to Thanksgiving!!!

orwhut said...

Does anyone recognize the plants surrounding Clyda and Johnny in the bottom photo? The crop seems tall for alphalfa.

Suze said...

What a great pic of toddler Johnny in that field with his mom!

Johnny, I'm so sorry she was taken away from you and your brothers at such a young age and I'm also glad that you turned out ok.

Great job, guys. What an incredible holiday gift for the Ussery boys!

Matt said...

Yes, it was a welcome surprise to hear from Ginger. She's a really nice lady with a big heart and a great sense of humor. The photos are great. Up until 2 days ago Johnny only has a photocopy of a newspaper photo.

Both Johnny & Ginger said they'd try to chime in at some point today.

ginger launder said...

I cant take all the credit for providing these pictures of Clyda. Luckily before my Mom passed away she had given my sister the news paper clippings to My Sister Lawnna. So now I had the proper information to start my search. That's when i found Mat'ts blog. Then my brother Curt providing me with the pictures. Thank you all!!!

ginger launder said...

I also have some fun videos to share of Clyda. I am looking forward to getting them together and getting them to Johhny and his brothers. I had a great time visiting with Johnny yesterday. Look forward to visiting with you again. Does anyone know if we can post videos on this blog? with Johhnys approval of coarse.

Panamint Patty said...

Patty recognizes the field in that last photo...these are precious. Hi Johnny! xxoo

Panamint Patty said...

whut...its grapes now, not sure what that is in the field from way back then.

Matt said...

I'll be damned, Patty. You photographed almost the same spot last year!

orwhut said...

Thanks, Patty. You might be able to tell, I grew up on a farm.

Panamint Patty said...

yup, the photo Patty took was on her desktop for a long while. Beautiful little valley ghere near Ukiah

leary7 said...

damn, I thought if any thread would awaken the Saint this one would. He and Johnny hit it off last year.

Max Frost said...

Yeah, where are ya St?