Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Missing Link Wrap Up

Click here to read parts 1,2,3 and 4 of this series.

Wasn't that last discussion about Grant's Pass interesting? BEL, DeCarlo, Ruby Pearl and maybe even George Spahn livin' all up in there? Another pink dot for Patty's gynormous western road map.

Anywhoo, back to Charles Manson. Charles knew about running shine, he knew about pimping women, and he knew a hell of a lot about human psychology. He was good at selling drugs before he even began. He hoped to become a big player: to be appreciated for the genius that he felt himself to be. In the beginning, this appeared to be a real possibility in both the drug and music worlds, as Charlie made more and more connections. Psychedelics from San Francisco and Boston were trendy, sexy, a great social equalizer from, say, 1965 to 1968. Charlie got to run with the big dogs during this time. He was the candyman, and the more wasted you got, the better his music sounded.

By 1969, folks like Michael Caine started complaining that the hippies were "dirty," as pointed out by JohnnySeattle on Katie's Blog About Nothing. What the elite used to consider participating in the social revolution was once again viewed as "slumming." The Family was going out of fashion, and found themselves being snubbed more and more often as carefree hippiedom gave way to the next big thing. They likely had fewer and fewer opportunities to make big deals, as evidenced by the independent deals gone wrong with Gary and with Lotsapoppa. People did not want to go to a smelly ranch or to a biker bar to get high any more, they wanted to do it in their upper class neighborhoods with their upper class friends. They wanted to go to night clubs, beauty parlors and health food stores to score, instead. This cultural shift cut out the lower class, mid-level managers (bikers and hippies) who had maybe a good three- or four-year run.

Tex Watson claims to have ingested a substantial amount of cooked belladonna root the day before the murders, as well as LSD and some sort of speed. Tex was high as a kite that night as per his testimony of September, 1971 available at Charliemanson.com: "Then he said something about writing on the walls, and we were walking over to the car that the girls were in and I said -- the first words that I had spoken -- and I said, "Now, what did you say?" or something to that effect. I wasn't real clear on what was to be wrote on the walls or clear about the whole thing, really." 

Patty always wonders if Charlie actually told Tex to write on the walls that night, or if Charlie was metaphorically saying that the writing was on the wall? Tex, who purportedly ate the drugs because he wanted to and not because Charlie told him to, must have felt to his very core that it was all "coming down fast." Charlie must have felt this way too, but for a different reason: his scene was coming apart at the seams. It would have been an ideal time for him to make a move to the desert, where the living is anonymous and dirt cheap. In the desert, many of the things you need can easily be taken from someone else. 

The leader of the old BEL regime, a very well intentioned man named John Griggs, died on August 3 from bad synthetic psilocybin that was supposedly making the rounds. Bloggers Cybot and Sherm maniac suggest the poison that killed Griggs and/or made Bobby's biker clients sick may have been a belladonna derivative, or even PCP (aka the PeaCe Pill, aka synthetic mescaline). Patty has also suggested that perhaps the bad trip was PMA. It is probable that drugs were marketed on the street as synthetic mescaline, psilocybin, or THC when in fact they were not. This is what the Hell's Angels had done up north: they sold "acid" that was really STP, and synthetic THC which was actually PCP. The old switcheroo is what street dealers of Molly still do today: they will tell you that Molly is a purer form of MDMA when actually, it's the same old shit.

There was a huge shakedown going on that summer: who would control the manufacture and distribution of the growing psychedelics trade in California and beyond? Whoever won that season of Survivor, Patty supposes. Most sources claim that Johnny Gale and Ronald Stark were the big financial winners in the end. The counterculture was of the general opinion that the "piggies" were trying to profit in one way or another from the drugs that had helped to define the grassroots hippie movement. The piggies were greedily taking it all away: the counterculture's adopted way of life and one of their major means of financial support, aka the distribution of marijuana and LSD. This seemed, to the hippies or slippies or whatever the heck you want to call them, highly immoral because the rich were only getting richer while the poor got poorer. The piggies did not need a bigger piece of the pie, but they were taking it anyway.

Many leftist organizations actually praised the Family's actions: most notably at the December, 1969 meeting of the Weathermen's Students for a Democratic Society in Flint, Michigan. Bernardine Dohrn is quoted as having said "First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into the pig Tate's stomach! Wild!" Yes, some of the details in her description are off. Nevertheless, the stunning result of her words for the rest of the meeting involved attendees flashing each other a finger "fork" as a symbol of solidarity and resolve. Believe it or not, today Bernardine Dohrn is a Professor of Law at Northwestern University. Truth is stranger than fiction, after all.

If Patty was to elucidate her theory in 300 words or less, she thinks that Gary Hinman and John Griggs got caught in the middle of a huge turf war, and perished. Presumably this was due to their trusting and kind dispositions, chemical talents (or, lack thereof), business connections and affinity with the fairly peaceful, pre-1969 scene. Voytek, according to Roman himself, had stayed at Cielo "a bit too long:" the implication being that Voytek was into something dangerous. Indeed, even though Voytek went to film school and came from a wealthy family, he was at the time of his murder quite broke, which must have been psychologically difficult for him. He attempted to get a writing career going to no avail. He was well connected, and he needed money, FAST. He and Gibby had ingested an MDA-like compound within days or hours of their death according to their autopsies, which is telling. Roman immediately suspected John Phillips and apparently ransacked his car looking for the proof. Is it possible that Roman was not completely oblivious to the situation that led up to the murder of his wife and child? Could he have stopped what happened? This has actually been suggested to Patty by a somewhat reliable source.

The staff at Jay's fancy hair salons apparently heard about his death well before the public did, went to his home, and "cleaned" it. Jay's salons and Rosemary's dress shops would have made great dealerships in the new regime, but it was not meant to be. Leno likely funded Rosemary's shady business with shady money he made with his shady banking and gambling friends. Like Steve Parent's death, the deaths of Sharon and Gibby were incidental to the main goal of the evening. But because they were rich and beautiful, a (flawed) argument could be made that they were piggies, too. If it is true that Katie Krenwinkel and Bill Garretson were friendly, then he was not killed, presumably because he was not a piggie. Rather, he was "us," not "them."

Why were we so comfortable with swallowing the Helter Skelter thing, hook line and sinker? Patty has a hypothesis that is instructed by her 25 year old, dual major in political science and religious studies. Both disciplines have to do with understanding how the beliefs, behaviors and resources of a given population are managed by its leaders. In the East and at the Vatican, people know intuitively that religion and politics are the same damned thing.  They do not try to divorce the two, like we do here in the US. So, if what happened with the Mansons was not about "rational" politics or business dealings, then it had to have been about "irrational" religion. Our culture decided to demonize them rather than examine them more closely. This was a cult, we decided, and as such, the Manson Family's actions have been easily discountable as irrelevant and irrational for the last 40-plus years. Many careers were born of this premise, including that of The Bug.

Anywhoo, This is Patty's last post on this subject for now because obviously she has a lot more work to do: documents to find, people to interview, timelines to make. Won't you join her? She needs some damned help, please.





34 comments:

Suze said...

"the more wasted you got, the better his music sounded"

LOL, Patty!

Robert Hendrickson said...

Damn Patty. you may not have the complete story, BUT so far, it sure beats Helter Skelter. AND it is YOUR "perception" that makes it plausible.

So now YOU have sparked my thinking process and my own understanding of people and their ambitions:

Now, it appears that Manson simply made the critical mistake, so many of us make.

HE had to many irons in the FIRE, (Music career, drug kingpin, messiah and full-time babysitter.) IF he had just pursued ONE goal, with ALL the energy HE had, he could have been GREAT with that one ambition. That is the key to success, as defined by American culture.

What Bugliosi did was become Charlie's PR agent and make him the GREATEST (all wrapped-up in ONE) Singer/musician, drug-dealer, messiah and master CULT-LEADER. Makes me think, IF you asked 10 journalists today, who would they most like to interview, how many would say: Charles Manson. If I was Charlie, I'd let Patty interview me before I die.

There is a great new American Experience PBS show called 1964 which provides an intelligent understanding of the pivitol change in American society.

Panamint Patty said...

Yeah. PBS! Whenever Patty is not sure which direction to go in next, she asks herself, "WWKBD?" (What would Ken Burns do?)

Thank you Robert for the nice complement. Patty is not sure that she wants to meet Charles, though she has often considered what that would be like. She wouldn't really want to talk about the murders, she'd rather talk about his art, his compost recipe, and how that damned scorpion ended up in her kitchen. So, let's leave the interviewing part to Channels. :)

Panamint Patty said...

BTW maybe Patty should interview YOU, Robert. She was fascinated when Toby told her that she's hide behind doors when the Family came around to see you. What a life!

CarolMR said...

Didn't Roman suspect John Phillips because Roman had just had an affair with John's wife Michelle and Roman thought the murders were John's payback?

Matt said...

Carol, if John wanted to kill everyone that slept with Michelle he would have racked up more kills than Pol Pot - and would have had to start with killing Denny Doherty...

CarolMR said...

Matt, LOL! I agree with you, but I have read that this is what Roman thought at the time.

starship said...

This is really good, Patty and I want to read it again and think on it a while, but for now some quick thoughts:

I've said for a long time that a possible motive for Tate may have been that Voy and the Canadians were setting up a deal so that Voy could be the main man when it came to selling MDA in the whole SoCal area. So who might object to this arrangement? And once Voy was taken care out, who might benefit?

I would bet that in her darkest nights Bernardine Dohrn absolutely regrets her comments. I think at the time she thought there may have been some sort of coherent ideology which motivated Charlie and of course, given time, we've all learned that Charlie is just a fuck up.

I shall tell you why I believe Mackenzie Phillips when she says her father drugged and raped her and engaged in a long incestous relationship with him. It's because John Phillips must be a pretty fucked up guy. Why? Because if a completely fucked up dude like Roman Polanski thinks you're capable of such murders, then, well, you certainly must be pretty fucked up. But I'm not sure RP immediately suspected JP...

And yes, Jay's friends had time to clean up his pad because the word got out quickly that morning and because, considering the scene at Cielo Drive, the cops were actually pretty busy. And it was a weekend.

Excellent post, Patty. I ame in awe.

starship said...

and I have thoughts on the LaBianca's coming soon.

Panamint Patty said...

WOOT

Asphalt said...

Matt said...

Asphalt said...

Those photos of Roman posing at the house have always disturbed me....
I try to put myself in that position, and i would go to the house, hysterical and sobbing, but would i pose for pictures? That chair wasn't there for the police crime photos. So did they bring it out for him to sit in and take the pic? So odd to me...

So, John Phillips is a super fucked up cat. Why did they go to the Bahamas again if they were so broke? Patty, you're theory seems to line up here, right?

Also, when i watched Rainbow Bridge, the spot where they had the concert there looks just like the 101 by Torrey Pines state beach, if you're on the Del Mar side of it. Only now it's super developed (but it wouldn't have been back then). And, the dude opened a smoothie shop in La Jolla right after the movie. Could this be why those older hippies told you it didn't exist in Hawaii, Patty? i was just thinking.... i'll try to get a photo overlooking for comparison the next time i go to the dog beach. Not that it matters, just your comment hit me when i was coming home the other day...

Asphalt said...

LMAO, Matt :)

Panamint Patty said...

Asphalt, that would ROCK. Keep us posted.

orwhut said...

I'm for Patty interviewing Robert.

Dee's The Queen ♥ said...

Excuse me if my question seems ill informed, as I'm kind of a newbie at looking into the case... but why wouldn't Susan, Pat et al have stated something similar to this as the motive? Do you think they didn't know about all this? Or were they intentionally hiding it?

Panamint Patty said...

the women were a part of Manson's organization but only a few of them were aware of the larger dealings. Patty is pretty sure that Red, Blue, Nancy and Linda were women in the know. and...maybe Ruby Pearl, huh?

beauders said...

Starship I believe Mackenzie Phillips as well. I believe her because Denny Doherty told his daughter they (Mackenzie and her father) were having sex while touring. She came forward with this information soon as Mackenzie's book was released. That was one screwed up family and if you read "Papa John" Michelle Phillips is the only one comes across as sane. Of couse Mackenzie and John were both using heroin at the time and Doherty blames the drugs for their behavior. What I have read about heroin though is it is certainly not an aphrodisiac, it actually is the opposite.
I too would love to read an interview between Patty and Robert Hendrickson. I would also love to read an autobiography or biography of Mr. Hendrickson.

Matt said...

Patty, why do you think Linda of all people was in the loop? She was in the Family for what amounted to be little more than a sparrow's fart.

Panamint Patty said...

Remember the $5,000 hat she "stole" from her husband Robert? And how she was friendly with True? And how she floated from commune to commune? And how Charlie wanted her to drive that night? And how she turned State's witness right quick? Patty thinks she knew.

Panamint Patty said...

Thats also why she defers to Bugliosi on everything - remember Larry King?

Matt said...

Those are just things that made her temporarily valuable to Manson. There were others who were relieved of a lot more than that. Once that happened the needed to prove loyalty or they were banished. Gypsy was quite loyal, but not on the inside.

She defers to Bug IMO because her deal requires that she never recant. Murder has no statute of limitations so she could still be prosecuted.

Panamint Patty said...

Linda and her offspring still get arrested for dealing to this very day. Where did she learn how to do that?

Matt said...

Most people who do drugs deal. That isn't a skill exclusinve to having once been in Manson's inner circle - which she wasn't.

Panamint Patty said...

okay okay okay. Patty recants...;)

Panamint Patty said...

Hey Queenie - you're at Valpo? What a coinkydink. You and Patty could talk Luther's small catechism sometime.

bobby said...

Panamint Patty said...


Luther's small catechism sometime

Patti, LCMS or ELCA ?

Panamint Patty said...

LCMS. But in California, they aren't as strict as back east. Patt's congregation had a hard time keeping a pastor, because we were "too liberal." LOL.

Panamint Patty said...

That trip to DC with the bathtub full of beer was the end of the Olsens.

bobby said...

LOL,

Thanks Patti,

I'm an elder @ my LCMS church way out here in the east & we like our beer. I'm sure you know ML brewed beer.

fiona1933 said...

People never seem to look closely especially nowadays. They just believe, Look at the mob scene over the Steubenville case, when clear-headed examination would strongly indicate the black kid is innocent.
But the ridiculous stories that were spread by the crazy blogger who hated football culture, Alexandria Goddard, were just straightforwardly believed. None of them were true. Nobody seemed to grasp that only one person said he'd seen Ma'lik touch the girl, and that person was under threat of being placed in the dock himself. Nobody seemed to realise that Ma'lik was not friends with the boys who gave evidence against him…and that the need to put him in the dock only arose after the girl, Alanya's parents saw pictures of her naked in the same room as a black kid.

I have hardly ever been so shocked at the utter mob behaviour of that case.

fiona1933 said...

But Manson himself, I think, gives a more plausible explanation.

I don't think it impossible that drugs were the motive…but it was investigated by the cops.

No, I think the answer may lie in Charlie's years of ill-treatment.

Oh I will write something proper about it…have to work!

Panamint Patty said...

Hi, Fiona! Patty so looks forward to your stopping by here every now and again. She was mesmerized by your comment about the girl in the black veil, and she appreciates your unique British ex-pat perspective from the far east. Fond regards: DO write something soon for us, please.

-your fan-girl Patty