Sunday, August 3, 2014

Penthouse Interviews Bugliosi 1976


The June 1976 issue of Penthouse magazine has an interview with the Bug.  The interview itself was done as Bugliosi was running for District Attorney of Los Angeles County but came out after he lost.  So, the interview is heavy on him politicking for himself.  There is about a page and a half on Manson though, and he has made some interesting comments about what he felt Manson believed and didn't believe.

Penthouse:  Why do you think Manson urged his followers to be come murderers?

Bugliosi:  There were three main reasons.  One was to ignite the war between the blacks and whites that he called Helter Skelter, a war in which Manson saw himself as the ultimate beneficiary.  He said the blacks would win, but wouldn't be able to handle power and would look to leadership to those whites who survived.  So Charlie tried to frame black people for his murders.  The Manson Family believed in Helter Skelter --- hook, line and sinker.  It was the Family's credo.  But Charlie is a very evil, sophisticated con man, and I cannot conceive of his believing some of the things he preached about, such as a bottomless pit, the Family growing to 144,000 people and himself becoming the leader of the world.  Oh, he was a megalomaniac and would have loved to become the leader of the world, but I find it difficult to think he believed those murders could actually start a worldwide race war between blacks and whites.  My guess is that he used Helter Skelter as a vehicle to work his followers into such a lather that they were willing to kill for him.  Whether he believed it, I have to say no.  And I have to guess because Manson never admitted his involvement in these murders.

I feel very strongly about the two other motivations he had.  One was a kind of revenge.  He'd once been turned away at the plush residence where Sharon Tate lived.  Before she moved in, the house had been occupied by Terry Melcher, Doris Day's son.  Charlie had gone there to get Melcher, a record producer, to record him, and Terry had refused.  Manson was a frustrated singer-guitarist and on the night of the Tate murders he was striking back at that.  The residence symbolized society's rejection of him.  The third motive was his preoccupation with death.  Charlie was always lecturing the Family about death and how beautiful it was.  In fact, most of the songs he wrote contained constant references to death.  And where did he lead the Family after the murders?  Death Valley.  Paul Watkins, who left Manson before the murders, said it best: Death was Charlie's trip.





7 comments:

Max Frost said...

That guy never changes his script. He recites the same exact words over and over and over while pretending they are brand new.

I remember some tv show that he was on (I can't remember the show but remember George Stimson was on it also) where he literally opened his copy of HELTER SKELTER so he could pretend to look up that same quote from Paul. Always making it look like the words are impromptu rather than well rehearsed.

Dooger said...

Blah, blah, blah.... That's all I hear when I hear Bug talk about the case.

Perhaps M did talk about a race war, that doesn't mean that the murders and everything he did was because of his belief of a race war.

My god, it was the 60s and practically everyone believed there would be a race war.

equinox234 said...

"...My god, it was the 60s and practically everyone believed there would be a race war."

Dooger is right - here in the UK in 1968, a politician called Enoch Powell made a speech regarding the influx into Britain of immigrants from our former colonies and said there would be "rivers of blood". The speech effectively wrecked his career. As with the US, there was ultimately no race war here.

Matt said...

When I was a child in the 60's I recall overhearing two african-american men chatting. One of them said, "This (Viet Nam) is a black man's war..."

That moment stayed with me, and looking back he wasn't far off.

Robert Hendrickson said...

"My GUESS is..." "Whether he believed it, I have to say no." "And I have to GUESS because ..."

NOW ask yourself - If this was a witness, under oath, how would YOU treat HIS GUESSES - if YOU were a JUROR ?

"Death was Charlie's trip." NOW where have I heard Little Paul actually say that ?

At the time, EVERY young mans greatest FEAR was dying in a Vietnam rice paddy. Apparently, Mr. Manson helped some young draft dodgers get over that fear. Bad, bad, evil Charlie.

NOW, here's the interesting part - EVERYONE's greatest FEAR is dying - to the extent - it can ruin YOUR last LIVING days, months, years on earth.

AND YES Matt - Vietnam was the Black / White RACE WAR !! Blacks and Browns got their "Affirmative Action" in Vietnam - thanks to LBJ. NOW ask yourself - IF Charles Manson really tried to frame Black folks for starting a race WAR, how the fuck has HE survived for 40 years in a prison full of Bad Ass BLACK Muslims ?

"Helter Skelter is Vince's TRIP " Robert Hendrickson

equinox234 said...

Robert H,

How many of The Family do you reckon were Vietnam draft dodgers? We've all, I think, read the story of how Bobby B dodged the draft, but given there were others in the same age group, he may not have been the only one.

BTW I am laughing at VB's prominent wedding band in the photograph because this must have been about the time he walloped his mistress.

sbuch113 said...

I wonder how far down his list of motives robbery is.
It's not one of the top three....

But robbery had to be used as motive in Leslie's retrial....why?
Because nothing else makes sense and she stole a bag of change.