Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review: Goodbye Helter Skelter, By George Stimson

Let me begin by saying I enjoyed the book immensely. I looked forward to its release because George Stimson has had decades-long access to Manson and especially to Sandy Good (and her collection of audio files) not to mention Lynnette Fromme. I knew going in that the slant would be towards Manson's innocence, but I believe that Stimson does consider him innocent. Stimson took great care to cite his sources. He interjects his opinions, but he develops those opinions incrementally and (almost) convincingly. I did not agree with him on a number of things but I won't focus on those. You'll have to read it for yourself. Despite disagreeing on a number of major points, I do though give it a thumbs-up. It is a must TLB read.

The book begins by running through well thought out chronologies of the mood in the USA during the 60's given the Vietnam War's division in American idiology, the largest such division since the civil war. It also takes the reader through an excellent chronology of the Manson Family from 1967 - 1969. Most of this we are already familiar with. Stimson artfully colors it with first hand accounts from Manson and various members from a variety of sources, not the least of which are Stimson's and Sandra Good's collection of taped telephone conversations. These are fascinating perspectives that we haven't been privy to until now.

CROWE

The first motive bone thrown to us is on page 104. During a phone conversation with Stimson Manson says, discussing the "Magical Mystery Tour" vibe at Spahn Ranch.
"It was a game up until where Tex brought reality into play, with money. We wasn't dealing in no money. We wasn't even bothering with it. It was a drag."
The first episode covered is the shooting of Bernard Crowe. The Family, contrary to most stories had been planning on leaving Spahn for quite some time, not as a spur of the moment decision sparked by the events of August 9th & 10th. In an attempt to help the Family accumulate provisions for the stay at Barker Ranch, Tex comes up with an idea "that would eventually not only lead to the shooting of Bernard Crowe and intensify pressure on Charles Manson and everyone else to get out of the city, but would also create a lethal debt and an underworld favor owed".

Tex commits the theft of Crowe's money. Crowe calls the ranch and threatens to burn it, rape the girls and kill everyone. Manson's overriding concern is not the threats but the girl (Rosina) being held captive by Crowe as a result of Tex's ill-conceived plan. Manson asks for help but is turned down by Bobby B, Bruce, and the now hiding Tex. TJ Walleman is the only one with any military training agrees to help. But, TJ freezes in Crowe's apartment. Manson offers his own life by passing the gun to Crowe. Crowe informs Manson that he'll kill everyone instead and passes the gun back. Manson shoots. News reports the next day of a slain Black Panther are confused by Manson with the Crowe shooting, as Manson believes Crowe is dead. Stimson says regarding this mistaken conclusion:
"Although this conclusion was a mistake, it's consequences would greatly affect many of the people at Spahn's Ranch in the following weeks. The belief that Charles Manson had killed a Black Panther is one of the most important and yet most overlooked occurances in that summer in terms of understanding the murders that followed it."
The need to get out of LA and away from the Panthers was now paramount. More importantly, in the eyes of the Family, Manson had killed to protect them - and showed how far he'd go to do so.

HINMAN

According to Stimson Gary Hinman was "a small time drug dealer who manufactured and sold hallucinogens." Beausoleil, in an attempt to impress the Straight Satans sets up a deal of 1000 hits of mescaline for $1000. The Straight Satans's visit Bobby shortly after and rough him up claiming the mesc was bad.

So, Beausoleil goes to Old Topanga Canyon road with Mary & Sadie along for the ride to get his money for the bikers. Hinman thinks Beausoleil's attempt to get the money back is a scam. Things don't go well and Manson shows up to "show that boy how to stand up towards his own problem." He arrives and cuts Hinman with the sword to distract him from the gun he's holding, flips it to Beausoleil and leaves.

The inheritance motive was nothing more than the prosecution creating a motive for Manson to order the robbery that results in murder.
"But when CharlesManson left the house on Old Topanga Canyon Road there was no thought of killing Gary Hinman. Hinman had assured Manson that he had no beef over his cut face. Those who stayed behind after Manson left fed Hinman and administered first aid to his wound. (People who intend to murder someone usually do not administer first aid to their victim before killing them.) The killing only occured after Hinman went back on his word not to go to the authorities over his slashed ear."
TATE

Manson assembles them and sends them off no differently than he had many times before - to do a garbage run. The knives are for cutting the bad parts off of the fruit. The changes of clothes are to be changed into while they stop at a laundromat to clean the dumpster-soiled clothes.

(Yes, you would be correct in assuming I doubt this part).

LABIANCA

Manson only is away from the car for 3 or 4 minutes. He looks inside the True house and determines that Harold is not there. He walks into the LaBianca house and has a cordial conversation with Leno (who is not alarmed or frightened) about Manson's not knowing anyone lived there. Leno replies something about having just moved back.

The reason the 3-4 minute timeline is correct? Linda Kasabian says that they were gone long enough to smoke 3/4 of a Pall Mall cigarette. This of course is not long enough for Manson to have done all the things that were attributed to him at trial.

(The 'ever truthful' Kasabian cigarette timer is infallible. Following along, children?)

THE REAL MOTIVE

Stimson believes (as most of us do) that the Helter Skelter motive is fantasy. What Stimson attempts to do in his book is to convince the reader that the REAL motive is the copycat or "get brother (Bobby) out of jail" motive:
To begin with, it must be conceded that the copycat plan was not a good idea. If the purpose of the killings subsequent to Gary Hinman's was to make the police think that the people responsible for Hinman's death were still at large it is unclear why a series of  copycat crimes would necessarily make them think that Bobby Beausoleil was not involved in the murder. They already had a very good case against him. His fingerprints had been found at Hinman's residence and he had been arrested in the dead man's car with the murder weapon still inside the vehicle. If similar killings were committed, why would the police think that Beausoleil was innocent? Wouldn't they likelier think that he must have had accomplices in the Hinman murder who were still at large (which in fact was the case)?

But, despite this fundamental flaw the ill-conceived and executed copycat motive was the main reason for the Tate-LaBianca murders.
According to Stimson's theory Tex Watson and Susan Atkins were fueled by their secret stash of methamphetamine. The "get brother out of jail" motive was hatched by the girls and Tex Watson. Manson was not a part of it, nor did he order it.

Manson:
[See], I thought [that I had killed Bernard Crowe]. And I got all with Tex and I said, "You caused me to kill somebody, man. You owe me. Susie, you owe me. I fought three guys for you that wanted to rape you. I kept you out of it, man. You owe me, you owe me and you owe me. You got me fighting all over this town for you, man, 'cause you won't stand up for yourself. I'm not the policeman, man. Go to the cops and get them to do your fighting."

Every time it's someone's turn to die, come and get Charlie, put him on the line, let him die. Put me out front and let me face it. Let me face everything that no one wants to understand or no one wants to look at. Let me take the gun and go off into hell with it.

So I said, "You owe me, mister, and when it comes time to pay this circle, this covenant, this family, this ranch, you'll pay your debt to all these people that feed you, and serve the same God that you serve...

Here's my sin. I told Tex, "Come here. You owe me one."

So then I come back to Watson and I say, "You pay [Beausoleil] what you owe me."

He said, "How do I pay it?"

I said"[I] don't know I'm not your father. Do what yo're told. Pay your debt, or get off my road."

So he pays what he has to pay. And he does what he has to do. I didn't direct him to do anything. I told him to be a man, stand up for himself. I didn't tell himwhat he should do or how he should do whatever he had to do...

I never directed traffic on no street corner about anything. Man, I haven't got time for that.
Admittedly, I couldn't wait to get to "The Real Motive" chapter, especially since I was teased by the part in the Crowe chapter involving Tex's idea that "would also create a lethal debt and an underworld favor owed". The "get brother out of jail" motive was a let down for me. BUT I give Stimson kudos for developing a thoughtful argument.





90 comments:

chatsworth charlie said...

Thanks for the review Matt.
I found THIS line the most interesting....."Manson asks for help but is turned down by Bobby B, Bruce, and the now hiding Tex. TJ Walleman is the only one with any military training agrees to help."

Max Frost said...

LOL @ CWC!

Matt has a Korean accent - I think it comes out when he's tired.

Charlie Higgins said...

Any idea how I can get a copy of that book ? I live in Ireland and have tried Amazon, but it is not available ... Cheers !

Matt said...

Charlie, you can order it HERE

equinox234 said...

Matt,

Thanks for providing us with the book review.

I am still not convinced about the Gary Hinman/mescaline explanation. In Beausoleil's last Parole Board hearing, I am sure that he finally says that GH hadn't dealt him bad drugs. Of course, BB is desperate now to say what the PB want to hear, and they generally don't want any blame being apportioned to the victim. I think it was a straight attempt at robbing GH because the Family needed the money to move from Spahn.

What this book does have going for it are the transcripts of recorded telephone calls with Charlie. I wonder if CM knew that the calls were being recorded?

Why was CM so keen to make sure nothing happened to 'Rosina'? Could it be because she was the daughter of a famous person, and any harm done to her would result in the cops looking closer? If she is who I think she is, her father would have connections with "Italian businessmen".

equinox234 said...

Matt,

Does anyone know if George and Sandra are still in contact with Charlie? Phone calls, visits?

Trilby said...

Great review, Matt. My ears stood up too when I read the part about "... lethal debt/underworld favor owed...". What a letdown to read that he ran with the "copycat" motive, when all was said and done. Especially as Sandra Good has been one of the most vocal on the whole "Sharon wasn't supposed to be there that night" line of thought. I ordered the book last weekend. Not really looking forward to reading it anymore. I do like George Stinson, though, even if I don't agree with him about most things. He's sincere in his beliefs, & lives his environmental principles. Seems like a really decent guy.

Trilby said...

Equinox, very interesting comments!
With regard to Hinman/drugs - I did find it significant that Sandy told an officer from LASO as early as '68 that she had gotten capsules they found in a bust of some "Family" members in Topanga from Hinman - "Kimchi" had briefly posted the arrest reported in which Good was quoted on another site. I've always thought the Crowe burn/shooting was hugely influential in the sequence of events. Not because he was believed to be a "Panther" *eye roll* but because he (& whatever other street-level dealers he had under him - hello, Bryan!) was dealing for the Mob. I think Crowe was a mid-level distributor aka "middle-man". His court testimony and police interviews are revealing. What an arrogant ass that guy was... Rosina Kroner sure would know alot... Betcha Corinne Broskett knows more than she claims to, also. Allegedly, Corinne. Allegedly. :)
Anyway, here's an area of confusion that I'd like to ask if anyone can clear up for me: Was Crowe shot on July 1 or August 1 of 1969? I've seen both dates listed. Has to be July 1, right? I mean, getting the date right is hugely significant, but the one court transcript reads August 1!

Trilby said...

"arrest report", not "reported". Sorry. Going to make more coffee now. I blame the Keurig, which will only give me one dose of caffeine at a time. I guess for every cup I make, I'll have to chew a few beans, too. (No, I don't use the plastic "K-cups". Can't stand plastic/wasting of resources.).

Charlie Higgins said...

Just ordered now ... Thanks for that Matt

Charlie Higgins said...

Just ordered now ... Thanks for that Matt

Suze said...

Matt we always look forward to your reviews. Thank you for this I'll order mine today and read it on the plane next week.

equinox234 said...

Hi Trilby,

My apologies. I had been led to believe that Rosina was a pseudonym for the daughter of a famous crooner who hung out with the family. I took a look at the following link http://www.mansonblog.com/2011/09/franklin-garden-apartments.html and see that it was a person called Rosina Kroner. But it still doesn't explain why Charlie put himself on the line to save her. CM has always given me the impression that he is only interested in himself. A true survivor.

On the question of the alleged Hinman drugs, it would make sense if GH had put the mescaline in capsules because there was no evidence of one of those pill-making machines. In any event, such a machine would be expensive.

Cielodrive.Com said...

For whatever its worth, awhile back I was discussing Gary with a friend of his. We talked about the drug allegations and he told me that Gary wasn't involved with the sale or manufacturing of drugs. That the whole thing was just another story someone invented. He also told me he knew Gary quite well and saw him generally a couple times a week, and to his knowledge Gary didn't have any background in chemistry.

Matt said...

Thanks Cielo. I don't believe the mescaline story either. Robbery was a far more likely motive.

Panamint Patty said...

Patty has always been intrigued by the sticker on gary's van: a gate pass to UCLA. Patty got an old campus map and guess what? The lot is next to the Chemistry building, not the social sciences building. Circumstantial yes...but it keeps piling up...

Cielodrive.Com said...

Where are you getting this sticker from?

chatsworth charlie said...

What I found so interesting about the line I cited earlier was that we always hear/read about all these supposed "Second in Command" "Top lieutenant" "Right-Hand Man" claims yet here they all appear to be not so willing to back up their so-called "LEADER"
I also find it interesting that in this case Tex needed HELP and appeared to lack the blood-thirsty, willing to kill attitude he would show shortly after.

Panamint Patty said...

the sticker on the van that was dumped at Murphys Nazi Ranch. it is said it belonged to Gary, right?

Matt said...

CWC, Tex seemed to have balls the size of church bells when attacking unarmed people. The thought of an armed drug dealer sent him into seclusion, though.

Cielodrive.Com said...

I see, can you send me a picture of it and I'll ask the guy who ended up buying it? Maybe he can tell

chatsworth charlie said...

Right, and he also had no trouble leaving a Female behind while he ran the other way.
Must've given the girls a vote of confidence to "Do What Tex Says" on that fateful night!

Panamint Patty said...

the van is currently in someones posession? Is the one at Nazi Ranch a red herring? Patty is asking, seriously.

Suze said...

You guys have pics of the bus here. Who took them?

http://www.mansonblog.com/2012/05/gary-hinmans-bus.html

Panamint Patty said...

Dooger maybe?

CarolMR said...

Did Rosina's alleged famous crooner father also like to drink?

CarolMR said...

Did Rosina's alleged famous crooner father also like to drink?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Gee Matt: "get brother out of jail" motive was a let down for me. "

Well, how does "ignite a Black and White race WAR" work for you ? It sure works for books, movies and the whole World-Wide media.

Patty: It doesn't mean as much that Hinman MAY have wanted to park closer to the CHEMISTRY building as it means: YOU are exercising YOUR developing mental skills more productively than others. NOW, go back to Bobby B. photo with BIG door behind HIM where it reads in RED: "Do What Thou Wilt."

When ALL the TRUTH is finally exposed - the Crime of the Century story ENDS. Thus, WHO will finally END the Greatest Story ever told.

ANSWER: The person who has a new and improved "Bad Guy" waiting in the wings.

OH ! Vietnam and the 1960's, Sorry folks, the LIBERAL media will NEVER give a substantial voice to anyone to destroy THEIR beloved JFK and Lyndon Johnson with the TRUTH concerning THEIR starting the insane WAR that split a once great nation in two.

AustinAnn74 said...

This "Charlie is innocent" bologna is, well....bologna, in my opinion. I don't buy into it at all. I think they thought they were entitled to other people's money & possessions, and wanted to take it any way they could. I do think that Manson mistakenly thought he killed Crowe, but that is about it. Leslie Van Houten, till this day talks about them needing money. At Cielodrive.com, you can hear the taped police interview with Ella Jo Bailey talking about Manson needing money, so they could flee to the desert. Remember, George Stimson, the author of this book is/was the partner of Sandra Good. Do you think there might be just a little bit of Manson-bias going on here, in that book? Manson, and the word innocent never go hand & hand. Just my opinion. While I am sure CM is an interesting dude to know & to correspond with (or talk on the phone with), his ass isn't innocent. Do they explain the brutal, stabbing death of Shorty Shea?

Cielodrive.Com said...

Patty, all I know is Manson gave the VW to Marcus Arneson and he sold it to a kid named John. John said he heard about the bus being for sale through his sister's boyfriend, who had known Arneson from high school. John paid very little for the bus and had for a few months before he was pulled over and arrested. The bus was then impounded by LASO. Not sure what happened to it afterwards. However, Hinman's bus was a '58 and I can't find any photographs of a '58 microbus with a front bumper like that one in your photographs. That bumper with the bar seems to have started in the '59 models. I sent your pictures to John and asked him if there was anything there to jog his memory. Maybe he can clarify, I don't know

Panamint Patty said...

yes there is Manson bias in the book given the source. And Charlie is absolutely not innocent. But he didnt do it the way Bugliosi said he did and thats the whole point. Goodbye, Helter Skelter, hello drug burn.

Panamint Patty said...

Cielo, thank you sooooooo much! smooch

Robert Hendrickson said...

Please wait Patty: Before we get to a "drug burn," can I get some mileage out of "Death to Pigs" I mean Bugliosi got to make millions off a miss-spelled Healter Skelter. Of course, if we wait for "drug burn's" turn, drugs will probably be legal and nobody will remember what illegal drugs even means or most everyone will be too stoned to care. Ahh - the good old days.

Vera Dreiser said...

So much wrong.
The only thing that Stimson wrote that remotely made sense was how ridiculous a "copycat" motive would've been because, yes, the girls -- Atkins and Brunner -- knew that the police knew that Bobby had partners at Hinman's house because there were two of Hinman's friends that spoke to Atkins (one on the phone and one at Hinman's front door)while Hinman was being tortured. In fact, the copycat "clues" at Tate and LaBianca should've pointed more TO the Spahn group than away from them.
But everything else Georgy wrote is silly Good-spun hokum.
Beginning with Crowe: Charlie knew Crowe wasn't dead, he told the cops that on July 28th. There were also NO reports in any news in LA of a panther being killed on or around July 1, the correct date of the Crowe shooting. And Charlie slicing Hinman's ear to distract him from the gun? Oh, please. The Tate and LaBianca scenarios aren't even worth addressing. Just goes to show that Charlie exerted just as much control over George from prison as he did over everyone else in freedom.
Get yer money back Matt.

Vera Dreiser said...

Oh, and they didn't need money to go to Death Valley. They'd been going for more than a year for a lot less than THE 5 GRAND LINDA JUST GOT THEM ON JULY 5.
Jesus.

Vera Dreiser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vera Dreiser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mrgroove said...

Mr. Hendrickson. I appreciate much of what you contribute but can you explain what you mean by the liberal media protecting Lyndon Johnson? Not quite sure what you're referring to as LBJ was despised by most of the left in the 60's and not exactly forgiven for the bogus Gulf of Tonkin resolution, not to mention everything that followed it. LBJ was so unpopular in the left flank of the Democratic Party by 1968, that he decided he would not run for a second term when he realized he had no chance of even winning the nomination of the party, let alone the general election.

equinox234 said...

Vera Dreiser,

If The Family didn't need the money to move from Spahn, what did they need the money for?

Matt said...

Oh, and they didn't need money to go to Death Valley. They'd been going for more than a year for a lot less than THE 5 GRAND LINDA JUST GOT THEM ON JULY 5.
Jesus.


That money was long since blown. When Manson picked up Stephanie Schram 5 weeks later he didn't even have enough cash to feed them both with.

Panamint Patty said...

Yeah...somebody cut off his regular flow of income...

equinox234 said...

"...That money was long since blown. When Manson picked up Stephanie Schram 5 weeks later he didn't even have enough cash to feed them both with".

Yes indeed, Matt. Was it not the case that when they got out to Barker's Ranch, that they were seriously short of food (according to Barbara Hoyt, and I recall Bobby Beausoleil talking about those who went out to Barkers having next to nothing to eat.

Robert Hendrickson said...

The blog is NOW getting very stimulating and FUN. Some of the questions and comments are even more relevant than the contributors realize. Maybe the ANSWER really is in the QUESTION.

MrGroove's comment is a perfect example.

YES LBJ, at the time, became a major liability within his own party, But THEY cannot dismiss him NOW. HE is a major part of THEIR history. Same for JFK. The link between JFK and LBJ is inseparable and JFK is the Democrat's ONLY modern HERO as Ronald Regan is the Republican's ONLY modern hero. For the first time, recently a slew of PBS programs started revealing the TRUE Vietnam JFK connection which apparently LBJ just followed, like a lost sheep.

The more I investigate the whole LBJ / Vietnam WAR business, the more JFK appears.
I started research on JFK back in 1968.

But I can't figure-out how the fuck the Democrats went from waging WAR against Communism to becoming a modern day Socialist Movement. EXCEPT that THEY were always clocked in Socialist robes UNTIL JFK came along. JFK was the actual Commie Hater, but LBJ started the actual Vietnam War. Also remember, JFK was HIS father's puppet, just as Squeaky was Manson's.

I mention some of this and more in "Death to Pigs."

In 1965-1967 I was a draftee stationed at Fort Hood, Texas and learned much about LBJ through folks who knew of him well. IF LBJ ran for another term HE would have been gunned down on some America street - and HE knew it.

Max Frost said...

JFK was his Father's puppet until his Father was incapacitated. Once JFK was on his own, he saw what was really going on behind closed doors and decided to actually represent the people rather than the ruling class.

And look what happened to him.

Abolish the CIA? End the Federal Reserve? End the Vietnam war?

Their answer to that was BANG BANG BANG!

Doing those three things would've made this a much better Country (for the people).

bobby said...

C.M. say's : "So I said, "You owe me, mister, and when it comes time to pay this circle, this covenant, this family, this ranch, you'll pay your debt to all these people that feed you, and serve the same God that you serve...

Here's my sin. I told Tex, "Come here. You owe me one."

So then I come back to Watson and I say, "You pay [Beausoleil] what you owe me."

He said, "How do I pay it?"

I said"[I] don't know I'm not your father. Do what yo're told. Pay your debt, or get off my road."

So he pays what he has to pay. And he does what he has to do. I didn't direct him to do anything. I told him to be a man, stand up for himself. I didn't tell himwhat he should do or how he should do whatever he had to do...

I never directed traffic on no street corner about anything. Man, I haven't got time for that."

I admit I'm not an expert or real bright. However. How is this not C.M. admitting that he told Tex that he was to go kill people to free B.B. & leave himself the hell out of it ?

Really, what am I missing ? it sounds more like a confession than an aliby to me.

with sincere respect:

Bobby.


AustinAnn74 said...

Listen to the police interview of Al Springer on Cielodrive.com. He was only around those people a couple of times, but was able to witness a lot of the craziness. He said something about CM wanting money! Wht is it so hard to believe that Manson was/is a creep? Also, I will never, in a million years, remotely believe that Gary Hinman owed BB money. If that were truly the case, why didn't Mary Brunner, Ella, and Sadie ever mention that? Sadie Mae Glutz had the biggest (and deepest) mouth around. She would of been unable to keep that under wraps without blabbing. Just saying.....

equinox234 said...

Austin Ann,

I agree with you in all respects here. I dare say GH was a dealer in the past, but there is no evidence, physical or verbal, that he was involved in a BB/SS drug burn. Why didn't Bruce, Susan, Mary or Danny DeCarlo mention drugs in their testimonies. I think it was a straight robbery from a man that the Family knew was earning money and had a family of his own who helped him out financially.

The problem with the GH murder is that BB has changed his story more often that some people change their underwear!! As I said above, BB's last version for the Parole Board was that GH did not deal him dodgy mescaline. The Parole Board must take into account that it took him 40 years to tell the truth.

I think it's great that Stimson and Good have made transcripts of CM's phone calls available, but Sandra Good has always maintained that the motive was copycat killings. I firmly believe that there were several motives, and drug dealing by Tex is the main one.

I wonder if George and Sandy are going to make any of the book profits available to Charlie. After all, Star asks over on CM's Facebook page for people to contribute to CM's quarterly box.

The problem for me with the book is that CM is a liar, and he probably lies to Sandy
Good, as well as everyone else. The recorded phone calls reveal CM yet again trying to minimise his complicity.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Oh, Bobby: What you are missing is the "missing link" between I told you to do as you are told and WHO is going to TELL Watson what to do. The fact that C.M. understands third party liability is most revealing. Is there someone else who actually TOLD Watson what to do or is CM playing a word game here. The problem is: it really could have been someone else who actually TOLD Watson specifically what to do.

Then it gets down to: the President IE: (LBJ) ORDERED troops to Vietnam, but did HE (LBJ) ORDER any soldier to "kill" another human being ? The litmus test for me would be: If I get to heaven the first person I confront will be LBJ. I will politely ask him: Are YOU responsible for the the "mass killings" in Vietnam ? Of Course, I could be going to Hell instead, in which case I'll ask him there.

Matt said...

Exactly, bobby.

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

race war, drug burn, love of brother...

I'm going to stick with Hollywood satanic sex and drugs ritual gone horrifically right.

I like it better that way.

Thank you.

leary7 said...

dead on, bobby.
CarolMR, I will paint your house and put a new roof on if you can do a "battle of the bands" thing and get the exact count of books sold by Guinn, Statman, Debra, Stinson and any others out in the last couple of years. (yeah, the one by the nurse from Canada too).
I will always be curious how much real interest remains in TLB on the main streets of America.

equinox234 said...

Bobby,

From the quotation, it certainly looks like CM is assigning the debt owed to him by Tex over to Bobby B. However, why doesn't Tex go it alone? Why involve Motormouth Atkins, PK and LK? These three were not complicit in the original debt (ie. CM shooting at Bernard Crowe), and therefore they didn't owe anybody anything. If you intend to kill all along, why take three women?

In fact, when you consider that Bobby B turned CM down when he asked him for help, why did BB get on the phone to Spahn during the Hinman murder. It's not as though CM owed BB anything (unless it was Mary Brunner who phoned Spahn - it has never been entirely clear who made the call(s)).

I think the 'copycat' motive was only part of TLB, rather than being the main motive. Sandra Good and George Stimson are deflecting attention from any other possible issues between The Family and the victims by insisting on the 'springing a brother from jail' motive.



equinox234 said...

Leary7,

There seems to be sufficient interest in Charlie if you look at his official Facebook page.

I think the general public may not be particularly interested in buying more recent books about TLB/The Family because many of them still believe the Bug's book was authoritative on the case. Also, the likes of Shreck's book is pretty expensive.

For the younger generation on the streets of the US, this case perhaps took place too many years ago for them to be interested. I'm 53, so I can remember the tragedies and the subsequent court cases. At that time, us children were scared of Charles Manson - and that was fueled by the way he was portrayed by the media, no two ways about it.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Holy Cow / Shit ! Michael - Can I use "Hollywood SATANIC Sex and Drugs Ritual gone Horribly Right" as a by-line for the Legend of Charles Manson ?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Leary: I doubt anyone has ALL the numbers you are looking for and there are so many variables to be considered. Like how many projects are completed and never hit the marketplace. Which make a profit.
If it is picked up by a major publisher, there is usually a $$ advance. Guinn got his advance so whether it makes money or not may be non-relevant. And the state of the economy - there is a real indicator. When the economy perks - like the stock market goes up - sales perk.

Hitlery Clinton got a multimillion dollar BOOK advance, BUT her new book tanked, so NOW the Democrat Party will be very nervous about putting good money after bad (invest in her Presidential bid) Of course, it could also mean Democrats don't read that much.

I think Michael may have hit upon a significant point. My movie MANSON looks like it may NEVER die-out. The "original" Helter Skelter story may also work - FOREVER - if presented in an intelligent way.

The physical book form is dying out - no question - but video is becoming like our main form of human communication AND the video / discussion format is fast becoming a new form of info-tainment.

I had a recent conversation with a long time DA and he alerted me to an new form of communication for the wealthy. They have a party at someone's house and everyone pays a $1000 or more for a guest speaker on an interesting subject. He thought my MANSON films and personal discussion would be an easy draw. Especially for lawyers. Among the legal community, the Manson case will always be relevant.

Unfortunately, the less fortunate are left with illegal downloading of info-tainment - while the more- fortunate get to have 'special' event parties. As most know, even famous singers perform at private parties for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Thus, we as a people are evolving and the entire communication system is evolving with the evolution process.

I think the REAL question might be: Who still READS, Who waits for the video and who is going to get the REAL Deal delivered right to their HOME.

Makes $ense to me !

Robert Hendrickson said...

Leary: I doubt anyone has ALL the numbers you are looking for and there are so many variables to be considered. Like how many projects are completed and never hit the marketplace. Which make a profit.
If it is picked up by a major publisher, there is usually a $$ advance. Guinn got his advance so whether it makes money or not may be non-relevant. And the state of the economy - there is a real indicator. When the economy perks - like the stock market goes up - sales perk.

Hitlery Clinton got a multimillion dollar BOOK advance, BUT her new book tanked, so NOW the Democrat Party will be very nervous about putting good money after bad (invest in her Presidential bid) Of course, it could also mean Democrats don't read that much.

I think Michael may have hit upon a significant point. My movie MANSON looks like it may NEVER die-out. The "original" Helter Skelter story may also work - FOREVER - if presented in an intelligent way.

The physical book form is dying out - no question - but video is becoming like our main form of human communication AND the video / discussion format is fast becoming a new form of info-tainment.

I had a recent conversation with a long time DA and he alerted me to an new form of communication for the wealthy. They have a party at someone's house and everyone pays a $1000 or more for a guest speaker on an interesting subject. He thought my MANSON films and personal discussion would be an easy draw. Especially for lawyers. Among the legal community, the Manson case will always be relevant.

Unfortunately, the less fortunate are left with illegal downloading of info-tainment - while the more- fortunate get to have 'special' event parties. As most know, even famous singers perform at private parties for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Thus, we as a people are evolving and the entire communication system is evolving with the evolution process.

I think the REAL question might be: Who still READS, Who waits for the video and who is going to get the REAL Deal delivered right to their HOME.

Makes $ense to me !

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

Robert, sorry to take so long to reply, but I was drinking coke when I read 'Hitlery Clinton' and I laughed so hard coke came through my nose. Absolutely brilliant.

orwhut said...

Did the gang usually do garbage runs after dark?

equinox234 said...

orwhut,

You make a good point about the garbage runs. Any photos I have seen of The Family doing garbage runs were taken during the daytime.

I would have thought that in the 1960s the supermarkets were not open 24hrs a day and therefore the gates would be locked.

I couldn't believe it when I saw that CM had made up a garbage run story in connection with the TLB murders!! Since when did they go armed with a gun to do a garbage run? It just proves what a liar CM is, and he lies to this day to people with whom he is friendly.

Did LK, PK or SA mention in their testimonies that they thought they were going on a garbage run?

I was watching a LVH interview on YouTube where she speaks about being angry at Charlie not accepting his part in TLB.

equinox234 said...

Robert Hendrickson,

You should seriously consider doing the special event parties. I am sure you would be very entertaining and informative for the guests. You must be over the age of 21 now, and so I am sure the extra cash would come in useful.

Max Frost said...

Equinox, you can't take what Manson says so literally.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Makes me wonder: At which point does one become "responsible" for the life of another ?

Yesterday, in El Salvador, they buried the bones of a child found in the wasteland across the border from Mexico into America. Is the politician who proclaimed: "Come on down kids, we won't deport YOU," share any responsibility OR is it kinda like the relationship between the "druggie" and the "drug-dealer" ?

One just taking advantage of the other's ignorance?

leary7 said...

I appreciate your thoughts RH, they are provocative as usual. But I truly am interested in the nuts and bolts of publishing and why someone like Stimson gets published and the supposed books of Gypsy and Stephanie and even another by Lynette never see the light. Honestly, I just like statistics is all. I read the baseball boxscores.

It still is interesting, though, to contemplate what comes out of the woodwork when Charlie finally kicks the bucket. That will be an interesting month or so, especially if the ultimate court jester decides he wants a funeral.

Max Frost said...

Is his book self-published?

alice said...

Leary - the Stimson book was self-published - Peasenhall press has only published George's books so it's a vanity imprint.

I work in publishing - it's tough to make money! There are, as RH says, lots of variables BUT a quick and dirty guide is this:

Book cover price $10

Discount for retailers (averaged across the huge such as Amazon, B&N and independent book stores) 55%

Royalty for Author - 10% - $1 per book

So the publisher is left with $3.50 to cover paper, printing, binding, shipping, marketing plus other overheads (design, editorial etc). A Manson book (published by a proper publishing house) will probably also need a good (and expensive) legal read to make sure there's no libel.

Obviously this only covers print books so ebooks will pick up some of this shortfall and help the royalty advance earn out. Standard royalty on e is 25% btw. so If an author gets a $10k advance it'll take 10000 print copies to earn the advance out before additional royalty payments start coming in. I doubt the Guinn book has earned out which means the publisher has to write of any outstanding advance. Also we have to budget a 20% returns provision because if a book doesn't sell the retailer can just send it back to us.

In my company (which is pretty average) 70% of the books lose money, 28% break even and 2% make millions and pay for all the others. But nobody knows which books will be the 2% (Twilight - why?????). And the 2% allows the publisher to produce literary books, poetry and other types of books that make our lives richer but which will never make money.

And finally, Stephanie, Gypsy and Squeaky might have talked about writing a book but there's nothing for me to publish if they don't deliver a manuscript.

Matt said...

Thank you, Alice for the informed answer.

Max Frost said...

I guess that's a great big YES.

CarolMR said...

"CarolMR, I will paint your house and put a new roof on if you can do a "battle of the bands" thing and get the exact count of books sold by Guinn, Statman, Debra, Stinson and any others out in the last couple of years. (yeah, the one by the nurse from Canada too)."

Leary, I wish I could! It's above my pay grade!

alice said...

Max Frost said...
I guess that's a great big YES.


Hah! It is indeed.

alice said...

I could probably get the figs for sales through shops (not direct, so not George's and not Amazon as they don't release sales figures except to the publisher). Will have a dig around Nielsen BookScan.

Robert Hendrickson said...

"the KILLERS up-staged the victims" Bugliosi from "MANSON"

Maybe that's what it's all about "up-staging" like today's internet HEADLINES

AND "history" Years from now, almost nobody will remember the names of the victims, BUT the KILLERS!

Who will know the name of the US President that Squeaky attempted to assassinate.

Who will remember the name of the US President Charles Manson emulated ?

Who will remember the name of the US President in office when the whole MANSON Family saga unfolded ?

Maybe it's about being REMEMBERED - Now, that's the American way

leary7 said...

Muchos muchos gracias, Alice. I had a sense of what you conveyed but that was a great break down of the money.
I sit here in the library surrounded by thousands of books and one has to wonder if in twenty years it will be but a museum.

Hey Matt, give CarolMR a promotion and raise please.

I guess if I had to choose three recent books to gauge the recurring interest in TLB it would be Guinn's, Statman's and that MM nurse from Canada. I honestly wonder if any of the three "made" any money. I'm betting against it.

More more from Alice please. So you would honestly listen to Gypsy, Stephanie (very well spoken woman) and the Squeakster. Anyone else?
I'd paint your house if you would read my short stories, including one titled "Killing Clem, And Then". Yeah, about hunting down Scramblehead. Spoof, obviously.

leary7 said...

Robert, often you just seem hell bent on howling at the moon. Entertaining, yes, but I often am left wondering what your point is.
NO offence.

Robert Hendrickson said...

"Bill Handle on the law" radio program just did a whole segment on CM. When Bill was young, he attended Manson trial. Talked about "STAR" etc. mentioned that CM wanted Melcher killed, but settled on ALL in the house - because Manson was peeved at Terry for NOT putting the music out. NO Helter Skelter mentioned and that is how HS will DISAPPEAR in the media.

Leary: A WOLF howls at the moon. Ever see "Dances with Wolves" - the wolf is the STAR of the movie and the only one that doesn't KILL human beings. No offense taken - compliment accepted.

Crash said...

I read the book. I enjoyed it but have never been convinced of the copycat motive. I do however, believe that this book does a good job of dispelling the myth of Helter Skelter.
All the quotes and testimony from those involved, where they admit they don't themselves believe in Helter Skelter, is laid out very well. Every person attached to the case in any significant way has doubted or questioned the HS motive.
The book does say goodbye to helter skelter. The actual motive(s) are up for debate.

alice said...

Leary - I'd be interested in what Squeaky, Gypsy and Stephanie have to say. I don't think for a second that any of them will actually be honest (well, maybe Stephanie but she wasn't really part of the hard core). I'd also read a book by Pat, who I think is less self-serving than Leslie.

I'll see what I can dig out on sales figs for those you mention above but, while I'd be more than happy for someone to come and paint my house for free I'm in the UK so it'd be a bit of a hike from Texas! Also I work in children's books - not so much call for Manson Family stories in that market!

leary7 said...

Ah Robert, a wolf who eats beef jerky but refrains from killing. Yes, he was a great character and it was meant as a compliment.

A pacifist wolf, almost as interesting as a children's book editor from the UK. I come from a long line of Irish coachman, Alice, and would be honored to paint your house. Can we have Charlie pick out the colors?
by the way, I've escaped the Texas heat and am summering on the shore of Lake Superior surrounded by a whole bunch of Chippewa speed freaks. The night sounds are quite disturbing.

leary7 said...

Alice, I've always thought Stephanie's perspective would make the perfect viewpoint for a treatment like what Dom DeLillo's "Libra" did for the JKF assassination.
I will always fantasize how the world would be different if Stephanie had just been able to talk Charlie into bypassing Spahn and heading off to Woodstock instead. I mean she did have the chutzpah to demand he be monogamous with her. She's really an interesting character.
Imagine Manson being at Woodstock with Stephanie and reading about TLB having been done by Tex acting as the prime force. Couldn't have happened??? Many would disagree. The girls sure did love them some Bobby.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Leary: YOU provided us with the Spahn Ranch SHERRIFF's RAID CLUE long ago, which I greatly appreciated, so when I saw YOUR " wolf " comment. Well, look up and read the story of "The Wolf Boy" and YOU will begin to appreciate the true story of Charles Manson - CLUE

ALSO, I understand your desire to read some stats on Manson Book Sales, but that is like asking for the Coke a Cola formula. With that info one can truely make a more educated decision on what topic to author / publish. AND now books and even movies are not made for profit, but for political influence.

It's a whole new ball game.

It's no problem finding out what any old movie made, but would that subject work today $$$

My MANSON film bombed in 1973, when AIP distributed it, and was a smash hit in 1975 - 1977 when TOBANN distributed it. As I mentioned before, the recent Clinton Book (over $10,000,000 advance) was actually a very cheap test market for her Presidential bid. Big gamble, cause now she is a has-been.

A year ago, we showed MANSON for the first time in decades and it sold out every night with people being turned away. BUT what does that really mean ? The seats were $12 each. What if they were $25 each ? Big book publishers have their own printing companies, so what is their actual cost?

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

Here are my quiz answers:

Who will know the name of the US President that Squeaky attempted to assassinate.

Answer: Robert Hendrickson will!

Who will remember the name of the US President Charles Manson emulated ?

Answer: Robert Hendrickson will!

Who will remember the name of the US President in office when the whole MANSON Family saga unfolded ?

Answer: VIETNAM! - er, sorry, I meant - Robert Hendrickson will!

And that's no bad thing, Mr Hendrickson :)

leary7 said...

Charlie sells at 12, but not at 25! Valid point RH - projecting sales contains endless whims and variables.
But sometimes, to paraphrase Billy Shakes, a rose is but a rose. There just can't be sinister and hidden meaning behind everything.
Could there?

leary7 said...

I guess my curiosity here (and I seem to be arguing with myself, I miss the Saint) is whether the much ballyhooed interest in Mr. Manson is "genuine" interest or just the remnants of "fad" interest.
Charlie will ALWAYS be interesting to a certain segment of society because he had/has the unique bland of pure evil, anti-establishment fever and hippie free love that appeals to many. But it does seem at this point the he has become a caricature of himself. Most folk I talk to are convinced he died years ago. I think it is safe to say, despite RH's film selling out, that mainstream interest in Manson is kaput. It just interests me to speculate how long the "fad" interest will last, though it is sure to spike when he kicks it.

Robert Hendrickson said...

MICHAEL: you got funny all over you and I'm still laughing over "extra cash." I live in California, and we're NOT allowed to have "extra cash," unless we are dedicated liberal politicians or their donors.

There is political talk going around about the government installing "extra cash" ready tellers all over town.
BUT how do you become a $$ donor IF you don't have any "extra cash" to donate first ?

There MUST be a lot of "extra cash" folks in CA, cause otherwise the "bullet train" will always be mostly empty. Wait a minute ! Maybe the "bullet" train is only meant to carry bullets to Sacramento.

LEARY: We are on the same page, I'm trying to figure-out the same damn thing.

The results may determine whether I ever release The Legend of Charles Manson OR just sell everything outright. The "piracy" issue is KILLING many forms of media. I know nobody wants to discuss the matter publicly, so maybe when the "pirates" cross over our borders by the thousands, Obama will smell some political advantage in blaming it on the Republicans AND then WE can talk about it PUBLICLY.

Thank God TALK is cheap so we don't need "extra cash" to participate in an intelligent discussion.

Oh shit, NOW Jerry Brown might get the idea to TAX "public discussions."

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

Robert - 'extra cash' was equinox234, not me - but I enjoyed it almost as much as you did!

Don't worry about cash and California, Robert - this'll all be sorted when California is split into 6 new states with shiny new names. Because nothing solves fiscal problems quite as thoroughly as multiplying the size of the bureaucracy by six.

equinox234 said...

Leary7,

I just wanted to add something to your discussion on what interest there is in CM by the book buying/film going public. As a Brit, I am wondering what the reaction of the American people will be when CM finally dies? Do you think there will be a collective sigh of relief, or people just shrugging their shoulders and saying 'so what'?

I wonder if when CM does pass away if any of The Family will divulge some information as to what TLB was really all about.

leary7 said...

hey equinox... as a dedicated Anglophile I do so enjoy hearing from the likes of you and Alice etc.
Manson's death is interesting to contemplate, whether it will be but a blip or have some resonance. What I daydream about is an actual Manson funeral in a church maybe back in West Virgina or wherever Charlie's kin are buried. That would be fascinating if it were open to the public to see not only if any Family members would show but what bloggers would make the journey. Matt and Liz would probably be there I reckon. Robert H too. Maybe even some of the self-exiled like the Saint would show. If mobile I would get there.
There have long been rumors of more info coming out after Charlie's death but I am skeptical.
And there will be no collective cultural sigh of relief. Americans as a whole are far to self-focused to care about a demented old asshole like Manson. He has said it himself a thousand times, he really was/is a nobody. He is just what we made him as far as fame and infamy are concerned.

Max Frost said...

"Americans are far too self-focused to care about a demented old asshole like Manson."

Right you are.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Thanks leary - IF the Reverend Wright performs the Service - I would NOT miss it !

By the way: For all those who think the Manson Family will NEVER be released, a FEDERAL Judge just ruled YESTERDAY that: the Death Penalty SYSTEM in California is too Arbitrary ( only 13 have been executed out of over 900 sentenced ) and thus UNCONSTITUTIONAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has that NOT been an argument here (on the blog) that the PAROLE system is too

Robert Hendrickson said...

Arbitrary??

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

I hear what you say Robert, but the death penalty is just a bit of culture-wars fun and games; the parole system on the other hand is pure politics - so my guess is they'll never get out alive.