Chapter six: "The Shooting of Bernard Crowe"
Stimson claims that this incident was one of two main catalysts that led to the murders later that summer, and was a naive effort by Tex Watson alone to raise a little cash. Tex got Rosina Kroner to raise $5,000 for a marijuana deal that ostensibly Bernard Crowe helped her to raise. When the three of them travelled to the dealer's apartment, Tex slipped out the back leaving Rosina with a very angry Crowe, who called Spahn demanding his money back. If he did not get his money, he threatened to come to the ranch and kill everyone there.
While Tex claims that it had previously been agreed that Charlie would handle the aftermath of the theft, Charlie claims that this was never so. Stimson agrees with Charlie's version because he was not "criminally naive" enough to have set the deal up in the first place. On the other hand, Stimson asserts that Tex already had a reputation as a thief because it was his idea that Linda Kasabian should rip off her husband's friend for $5,000 that summer. Stimson quotes Tex from Will You Die for Me as having said that "I thought a while and came up with an idea" and "it was MY mess." Charlie claims that he told Tex to give the money back, but rather he ran to the hills to hide out with Sadie. Then Charlie was stuck holding the bag and had to do something to protect his family from being up into danger.
When Charlie shot Crowe, he thought he had killed him. He also thought that meant that Tex was inadventently going to cost him his own life and as such, he told Tex that Tex OWED him big time. The very next day, the new reported that a Black Panther had been killed in Griffith Park, and the Family mistakenly thought it was Crowe. This is significant according to Stimson because the Family therefore believed that Charlie had killed for the benefit and survival of the family, which set a standard and demonstrated the extent of Charlie's love for them. From this point on they all became capable of murder.
Furthermore, Stimson says that Tex wrote in his book about how Charlie brought up the Crowe affair on the night of Cielo. This is further significant in showing that Charlie didn't order the murders that night because if Charlie had been involved, there would not have been any debt for Tex to have to pay back.
Chapter Seven: "The Murder of Gary Hinman"
While some of their specific assertions conflict, both Bobby Beausoleil and Charlie have claimed that the murder of Gary Hinman was indeed a drug deal gone bad and not a strong-armed robbery as many have asserted. Bobby's story is that the Straight Satans were having their tenth anniversary party in Venice Beach, and that he wanted to be invited, so he tried to score "something different" to impress them. He claims that Gary was making mescaline from peyote in his basement and that he bought 1,000 tabs for $1,000. The next day, the angry bikers beat Bobby up and demanded their money back, which is why Bobby paid Gary a visit in the days before his murder on July 31, 1969. But since Bobby did not have any of the so-called bad drugs for Gary to test, Gary assumed that Bobby was trying to rip him off.
Bobby also asserts that Charlie did not order him to kill Gary and that he did not make the phonecall to Spahn that the police later discovered from Gary's telephone records. Rather, he claims that the girls, who were unaware of the purpose of the visit in the first place, called Charlie to say that they were in trouble and that Gary had a gun. This is why Charlie had Bruce Davis drive him from Spahn Ranch to Gary's house where he took Gary's gun away and cut his ear with a machete. Prior to Charlie's arrival, Bobby said that Gary had signed over the pink slips to his cars which Bobby was going to give to the bikers in lieu of the $1,000. According to his account, a gentleman's agreement had already been achieved before Charlie showed up and cut Gary, purportedly to protect the girls. Only after Charlie cut Gary did Gary threaten to go to the police, at which point Bobby said he "acted irrationally" and killed Gary.
Susan Atkins tells a different story when she says that the pink slips to Gary's cars were not turned over until two days later. Charlies version differs as well. He says that Bobby asked him what he should do about the bunk drugs and that Charlie told him to forget about it. Bobby however wanted to pay the visit to Gary because it was a matter of principle for him. When Charlie showed up, he cut Gary to show Bobby how to be a man at which point Charlie says the pink slips were turned over and he left. After he left, he claims that Gary said he was going to kill Charlie and so Bobby killed Gary first to protect his friend. Charlie claims that he never told Bobby what to do.
At some point, Gary's gun was fired since a bullet hole was found by police in the kitchen. No one can agree about when it actually went off, however. Stimson claims that although some things still don't make sense, no one says that they went there with the intention of killing Gary. "People don't normally administer first aid to their victims before killing them," he claims. The killing only occurred after Gary went back on his word to not go to the authorities over his slashed ear and therefore was not premeditated as the prosecution would have us believe. Stimson says that Bobby killed Gary to protect Manson. He killed for brother, just as Manson did when he believed he killed Crowe. Stimson is painting an overall picture here in which Charlie is not the father of a group of children who unquestioningly did his bidding: rather, they all had a more equal social and emotional relationship based on mutual love and reciprocity.
Chapters Eight and Nine: "Introduction to the Tate La Bianca Murders" and "The Murders on Cielo Drive
Stimson says very little about the murders on Cielo, save the following: They were not random, nor isolated, but part of a larger series of events that arose out of "illegal drug transactions gone awry, underworld favors owed, and an ill-conceived plan to divert police attention from a previous murderous occurrence." All four participants admit to what they did, but did Charlie really "mastermind" them? Charlie told Stimson that perhaps he did, but "unknowingly." Everyone remembers Charlie telling the girls to do whatever Tex said and to "leave something witchy." Charlie also remembers giving them the old pair of glasses to leave behind in order to cause confusion. While Tex remembers that Charlie specifically told him to kill the occupants of Cielo and in exactly what way, Stimson believes that Tex was either mistaken or outright lying. Future chapters are to elaborate on what Stimson believes the true motive was.
Stimson has a bit more to say about Waverly because each of the participants' memories of what exactly happened differ much as they did in the instance of Gary's Murder. More on that next time.