Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bill Garretson's polygraph and his relationship with Steve Parent


In a previous post, a discussion was started regarding the possibility of some type of relationship between William Garretson and Steve Parent.

Before I get into that, let me be very clear, I support gays in every way. I support their equal rights, I support gay marriage, hell, I even support Bruce Jenner becoming a woman. So this is not about gay-bashing, or even speculation for the sake of fulfilling my secret dream of being a tabloid reporter.  What it is about is uncovering every rock we can find to make sense of what just doesn't make sense. It is also about uncovering who was at the house previous to the murders and what their relationship was to the victims.

Also, I'm acutely aware of wanting to be sensitive to Steve Parent's surviving family members. But I can't help but ask the question that I'm sure they've asked many, many times over the years: Why didn't Watson stay hidden in the bushes and let Steve pass through the gate none-the-wiser? Steve was 20 feet from freedom, 20 feet from being a witness the next morning instead of a victim that night.

So we have to ask, why did Watson stop him and kill him? As rumored, had the killers actually been watching the house and seen the car there previously? Had he assumed that it was Garretson? Let's also remember the police report notation by Steven Shannen, the Times newspaper deliveryman, who stated that "…on Wednesday, August 6, at about the same time of day (4:30-5AM) he had noted a white Dodge Dart or Rambler sedan parked on the west side of Cielo, just outside the gate. He was not sure of the make of the vehicle, but stated that it had black-wall tires." Steve Parent drove a Rambler with black-wall tires.

The odds of this Dart/Rambler not being Parent's must be very high considering that the police never found anyone admitting to being at the house with a similar car. They weren't the best cops, but I'm sure they ruled out the gardeners, the pool man, and the men working on the nursery and any other frequenters to the house or the Kott's house as the owners of the suspicious car.

Now, let's look at Garretson while he's in police custody. I'm sure the detectives really wanted Garretson to be their man. It was just too good for him not to be, and how nice to wrap this case up within 48 hours. So, they made the following observations in the 1st police report: "In the opinion of the investigating officers and by the S.I.D., it is highly unlikely that Garretson was not aware of the screams, gunshots or other turmoil…these findings, however, did not absolutely preclude the fact that Garretson did not hear or see an events connected with the homicide."

The report also went on to note: "It is the investigators' opinion that Garretson was under the residual effects of some type of narcotic during the entire time he was in police custody. It's possible, but not probable that Garretson had no real knowledge of the crime."

Then we have Garretson's polygraph examination. In a previous post someone posted that Garretson passed his polygraph. But the bottom line is, Garretson didn't "pass" his polygraph, it was inconclusive in part due to what they thought was residual drug effect and in part over his evasive answers to certain questions. Burdick, the officer questioning Garretson even notes this during the exam.

Now before everyone starts screaming about polygraphs, here's what we know - unless both parties stipulate otherwise, they are inadmissible as evidence and in court because they're unreliable. What they are useful for is indicators - if someone refuses to take a polygraph, like O.J. Simpson, it can indicate guilt and lead detectives in the right direction. If like Garretson, they're inconclusive, the detective may think he's lying and dig further, but at the time, there's not much he can do to prove it unless he can get a confession from the suspect, which Burdick tried to do.

So, even if the administrator detects untruthfulness, they can't hold the suspect for longer than 48 hours on probable cause. Therefore, even if Garretson's polygraph was inconclusive, without a confession, they still have to release him after 48 hours.

Here are some excerpts from the polygraph and Garretson's responses on the polygraph about sexual relations on pages 37 & 38:

Q: Ever had sex with a man?
A: Yes.

As a note, Garretson was also asked at another point if he was gay, and then asked if he had sex with any of the victims to which he responded, "No." We have no indication of truthfulness here because he wasn't running the machine and there's no commentary from polygraph examiner Lieutenant A.H. Burdick except his (I’m sure, universal) doubt that Garretson could sleep through a blowjob.




Again, this isn't really about anyone caring if Garretson and Parent fooled around that night, or any night, it's about the events leading up to and after the crimes. What is very clear is that Garretson was scared, for unexplainable reasons, on page 48 Burdick asks, "Is there something right now that's on your mind that you don't want to disclose?" And Garretson replies, "All I can say is I was really afraid that night." And that evasiveness is what gives Burdick pause to later question Garretson's honesty.


Below, on Pg 66 when Burdick starts questioning Garretson about going outside, Burdick says, "Well, there is no question here there's something about the question that is bothering you and I'm not sure it's a truthful answer, or something is on your mind:




Later, on page 70 Burdick tells Garretson, "I want you to sit here and think for a minute. Looks like there's something you're holding back." Whether it's about Steve or looking in that window or what it is, I don't know.”



And that brings us back around to the importance of the Garretson/Parent relationship even if that relationship was just friends. Had Steve been there previously and parked outside the gate as someone not familiar with the grounds might do on their initial visits? And on a 2 - 4th trip had he felt comfortable enough to drive through the gate that Friday night? And if they had met previously, why was Garretson hiding this fact? Was he hiding something important to the case or was he simply too embarrassed to admit he'd had an intimate relationship with Parent? And how the hell does Garretson end up at the house on Cielo to begin with? I mean, he meets Altobelli on the strip in Hollywood and says during the polygraph interrogation that Altobelli asks him to stay there - Garretson comments, "He said the dogs liked me and everything and wanted to know if..." If Altobelli got a sense that his dogs liked Garretson, it seems indicative that he'd been up there on previous occasions. Even in the free-lovin' 60's, I would think most people put more thought into who took care of their precious animals than a one-time-hitchhiker.

We know for a fact that Altobelli was gay and this seems to me like a gay pick up if ever there was one. It's a shame Burdick never asked if he had sex with Altobelli.

Then, later in the polygraph (see Pg 55, below) Burdick asks him:

Q: And he surprised you?
A: Well, he didn't surprise me that he came, just that you know--I mean he came up to visit me and when he left, you know, that's horrible.



At the end of the day, I think those are the questions that haunts everyone and the question I’ll present to all of you: What information was Garretson hiding from Burdick and why?










36 comments:

ResGestae said...

The transcript has WG saying:

(1) Parent remarked re the two hot babes in the main house

(2) he was lonely. Said in the context where he first mentioned this war vet living there, who had his girl and another girl over at times as well. Then he gave the vet the boot. Then the "death threat". So if death threat, why are you writing him a letter asking him to visit? I was lonely. Hoping he came, and with his own girl and Debbie (who he had already mentioned prior as his "date").

So I'm going out a limb here and saying, no, to homo sapiens homo, and even switch hitter. He had to call the time at 4:00 am. So Parent came by to sell him a clock radio in lieu of that. And the time is right, the 4 a.m., since he also said that he wakes up at 1-1:30 pm, and then gets the mail. So that's 9-9.5 hours, and he if he sleeps for 8, then good enough internal clock to be calling at 4 a.m. An hour, hour
and a half, to call it a night.

Now well and truly lastly, re your main question, the important matter isn't what he told the police, but what he told his lawyer. I'm thinking that if he told his lawyer that he saw something, this all plays out a tad bit differently. Make of that what you will or must.

Janell Bauer said...

I have often wondered about the three hippies in a van who supposedly brought WG back up to Cielo after his walk down
to the canyon store to get cigarrettes and I believe a TV dinner.
Botj Sanders and The Bug have him returning around 9 pm,
Having taken a lift in a van with one male and two female hippie
Types. He said the male was creepy looking, (Tex? Clem, Charlie?) and that he had seen him before... He said they mentioned something about wondering if there was a party that night at the Tate House .... Is it possible WG gave them info
he should not have on the residents of the front house? Something about their comings and goings, drug habits, large amounts of $$$ and of drugs at the front house? And I wonder if the creepy hippie trio in the van may be how Katie got her info on
Sharon Tate was "not supposed to be there that night" as also stated in both HS and THE FAMILY.. It may be nothing. But it could be the reason WG behaved as if he were holding back info.
Anyone else ever wonder about these things.??

equinox12314 said...

Matt, well done! That's a lot of work you've put in here.

The problem for me is the fact that the officer failed to explore Garretson's relationship with Altobelli. You don't just meet someone once and then make them the caretaker of what was very expensive real estate. I believe Garretson was being evasive because he was worried the cops would investigate the relationship with Altobelli. Nowadays, a homosexual relationship between the two would be irrelevant, but you have to look at it in the context of the times.

I wonder if Altobelli put any pressure on Garretson in the aftermath to STFU because didn't Schreck say that when HE went to interview Altobelli, he was surrounded by Mafia thugs?

I am disappointed that the police didn't question Bill further as to WHY he was afraid that night. Afraid of what? If there witnesses further away from the Cielo property who claimed they heard screaming and shots at a couple of points in the night, how come Garretson who was the closest didn't hear anything.

I said in the previous 'debunking' post that I believe that the noise made by Steve Parent backing into the fence could have been enough to startle Tex and bring him out of the bushes with the gun.

Is there a transcript available of the police statement by the person Steve Parent phoned while up at Cielo?

If the police believed that WG had a residue of drugs in him during the interview, it is possible that WG heard the whole thing going down and took stuff to try to block it out. I think WG would trying to hold onto his accommodation and job because where else would he go? It doesn't look too smart if five dead bodies are found on the property you're supposed to be taking care of.

A lot of the problem with this case was the wholly inadequate police work. LAPD was really found wanting on this one.

St Circumstance said...

I have a question. If Tex fired the gun in front of main house and nobody inside seemed to hear. Why is it impossible garretson heard nothing while in the guest house?

equinox12314 said...

St Circumstance,

Good point. We assume they didn't hear, if we accept the killers' version of how they went into the Cielo property and brought all four parties together. Perhaps then, WG didn't hear Abigal and Voytek screaming on the lawn. But that still leaves the question of why did he say he was afraid that night?

Strange that the dog(s) didn't react because they certainly did so when bikers turned up at the gate days later when Col Tate was around.

equinox12314 said...

Matt,

Maybe WG was hiding from LAPD that he had perhaps left the guesthouse and hidden during the mayhem. I know that WG said that the door handle turned, but with the killing mood Pat was in, I doubt if she would have retreated so readily.

Again, if people did return later, why didn't they check the guesthouse? Or did they, and WG wasn't there.

I am inclined to think that WG's relationship with Altobelli, both as an employer and in a personal sense, was more important to him than Steve Parent. Remember how Altobelli reacted by suing Sharon's estate for cleaning services. You have to be a bit of a tough nut to do that. Perhaps, WG was scared of him and was dreading him returning to view the carnage at the property WG was supposed to be looking after.

Krissy Deen said...

Interesting post Matt. It mentions a few things that I wasn't aware of. I didn't know for instance that there was a good chance Parent had been at the house again just a couple of nights prior to the murder. I also didn't realize,(possibly I had just read it wrong) that Garretson wasn't hooked up to the polygraph machine when he was asked about being gay and if he had ever had sex with any of the victims. So it's as much of a mystery as ever. I wouldn't want to believe anything Garretson says on his own. He did after all seem to believe that Rosie Tate Polanski was Sharon's child( one of the crazier stories to come out of this tragedy) and then when I heard him give that interview on the radio show a while back I definitely knew something was off with the guy. If I remember right I couldn't even listen to the whole thing it was just too bizarre. I can imagine being so closely tied to such a horrible crime could mess up a person's head- maybe forever- but Garretson's problems seem to go further than that. I'm not trying to be mean to the guy but he really does come off as somewhat crazy. IMO.

equinox12314 said...

It has just occurred to me, doesn't Schreck assert in his book that Charlie and Altobelli were intimate? (I know that anything in that book may be taken with a pinch of salt). The story put out had been that CM and RA only encountered each other briefly when CM made enquiries about Melcher's whereabouts.

r shep said...

Pat goes to the guest house and hears music,checks the door and its locked. So, she goes back to the main house. WG must of heard something and locked the door. Who locks there doors in 1969. That's why he was scarred that night.

Matt said...

Ok, I'm at 38,000 feet on the iPhone so if this is choppy and full of typos, please forgive.

It would seem to me that the people least likely to hear the gunshots from the gate control mechanism would be the occupants of both the main house and the guest house because of the canyon wall that block the sound to the residence. And while this precludes them hearing the shots fired into Steve Parent, it would not preclude the screams and shots fired outside the main house for Garretson.

I added 2 photos to the post to illustrate.

william marshall said...

OK I've often wondered what Stevie's sexual preference matters I guess that question has somewhat been answered guess my question being where the whole notion of Parent being gay came from in the 1,st place I think I have a pretty decent collection of books on Tate/Labianca & Manson & I honesty can't remember reading of Parent being gay anywhere else but on these blogs One well known blog state's was Steven Parent gay of course he was IDK something about that bothered me for a long time

ColScott said...

Hi Matt,

You are leaving out (someone still blogging like Ann can find it) that Parent was in trouble at school for being gay. It's hard to recall in 2015 but even ten years ago when blogging about it people attacked me for mentioning that Steve liked guys. There was a famous message board hound called Karen McCoy Montecillo who claimed she was Steve's Girlfriend but was actually some sort of beard.
Garretson was what is called a twinkie, a young cute boy who gets to learn the "ways" by being taken care of by older rich gay men. Taken care of sexually and in life.

Not sure about this Res guy, but I can work with Johnny Depp, think he's a really hot guy and not want to fuck him. Steve was super young. He was from El Monte. I don't know if you have ever been there but it is the ass of beyond. Nowhereville. It is 1969, there's action in Hollywood and a twinkie is taking an interest in him in a house filled with the Beautiful People. Shit no wonder he was excited.

I never thought Tex would hide from anyone. He showed up to kill everyone in the house and he did.

Gay marriage will soon be legal in the USA. No one cares anymore.

Now Matt, when are you going to tell Julie about US?

St Circumstance said...

Thanks for clarity Matt

starship said...

WG wasn't under the residual effects of a narcotic when he was being polygraphed. He was under the constant effect of having a low IQ.

I just went back and skimmed over WG's trial testimony. Yo know on both direct and cross he is asked how he got to the Sunset Strip and back and that he said he hitched but no one bothered to ask him if he got a ride or not, or by whom?

Also, he says he was playing The Doors and The Mamas and The Papas on his stereo that night which busts the other myth that that was what was playing loudly in the main house on the stereo by Voy which covered up the shots which killed SP.

AND, WG also testifies that the dogs started to bark 2 or 3 hours after SP had already left! Cue the spooky music! Kanarek even tries to use this testimony to impeach him as a witness because, of course, then the timeline of the murders is off, but both the Judge and Bugliosi will have nothing of it.

equinox12314 said...

Col Scott,

I am responding here to your comment to me on the previous post (the 'debunking thread'). I should like to offer you my sincere sympathy over what has been a very difficult personal time for you. I am Scottish, so I am aware of the situation.

It's great that you went along on this year's tour because you were surrounded by supportive friends, and they in turn benefit from your expertise in these crimes. While you may no longer want to blog, it would enhance this site if you keep coming back here.

In the meantime, if you are sincere about marrying Matt, make sure he signs a prenuptial.

Matt said...

Well Col if you broadcast it on social media and my mom finds out, you can no longer "keep" me.

leary7 said...

this is one of the best posts and thread I have read in a long time. Great job, Matt, and some really intelligent and insightful comments.

DebS said...

Col Scott, I'm not sure if this is what you are remembering about Steven Parent being gay. It is in the first homicide investigation report of the Tate murder.

" Steven Earl Parent, male Caucasian, 18
years, 6-0, 175, red hair, brown eyes. He lived with his parents at
11214 East Bryant Road, El Monte. His main occupation was that of a
delivery boy for Valley City Plumbing Supply Company in Rosemead,
California. He also worked part time at night for Jonas Miller Stereo,
8719 Wilshire Boulevard. On Friday morning, 8-8-69, he told his
mother to have a clean change of clothes for him when he came home
for lunch from his job at the plumbing supply company. He told her he
was going to work at his second job and didn't want to come home
after work before going to Hollywood for his second job. Parent has an
arrest record as a juvenile for burglary. The chief object of attack
during the five burglaries he was caught at was electronic equipment.
He served two years in the California Youth Authority program. He was
described as having both sadistic and homosexual tendencies by a
probation officer."

The report is transcribed here:
http://www.mansondirect.com/police-report-tate-1st.html

ColScott said...

Deb

Yes

Panamint Patty said...

Johnny depp lolololol

william marshall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Hendrickson said...

"Act your age" Isn't THAT classic "program command" related to the MANSON case ?

But where is it written in stone that YOU must act a certain way at any particular age ?

Where does it say that YOU must wait until you are 33 to play a messiah ?

Where does it say YOU must get a "college degree" before you can "teach" the young'ins ?

AND where do WE get the idea that it is OK for our parents, school teachers, policemen, lawyers, preachers, politicians and ANYONE else - who is supposed to promote the TRUTH - to LIE, LIE, LIE, LIE.

Maybe Jack was right - WE can't "handle" the real kind of TRUTH.

equinox12314 said...

The guy that Steve phoned from Cielo was gay, Jerrold David Friedman, now known as David Gerrold. Rudy Altobelli was living in the guest house when Charlie dropped by. Was Garretson also living at Cielo at that time, perhaps cohabiting with Altobelli? Schreck asserts that CM and RA were intimate.

If we accept that Steve Parent met WG in late July, then it is possible that the Rambler outside of the gate at Cielo at 0400hrs did indeed belong to SP. I couldn't see SP just turning up round about midnight on the 8th to sell a clock radio to someone he had only met once.

Matt said...

It is obvious to me now why Burdick believed that Garretson was hiding something. He was living a gay lifestyle and in 1969 you couldn't be out like you can now. I think the chances are good that WG was servicing Altobelli.

I also now believe that Steven wasn't likely there to just try to sell a clock radio. He had been there before, and I think the chances that the car the newspaper delivery guy noted was his.


Not Waving But Drowning said...

I suspect that had Steven Parent been in the school school system today, he might have been diagnosed as having Aspergers. That could explain his intense interest in radios and taking them apart. People with that syndrome will also discuses a topic to death and they sometimes lack the social skills to pick up cues that people want to move on. Here's where I'm headed---what if Garretson was tired of the clock radio and wanted him out the door. Perhaps he knew that he had done some juvenile time. After Parent left his cottage, Garretson heard "noises." For all he knew, it would make logical sense that Parent could be the person behind them. In Garretson's mind, since he invited Parent onto the property, he could be held accountable by the law. When he heard the lock turn, he might have thought he was coming back to get him as well. On the lie detector test, he would register some sense of guilt as responsible, given the fact that he wanted to get rid of Parent from his abode. (And I just worked nights, so sorry for any spelling errors---ugh).

TomG said...

You have to go back to 20th century thinking, in which there is no autism or aspergers, that the mentally ill are responsible for their own plight, morally weak for not conforming to societle norms, as in reproducing, living in family units, owning small businesses and voting for intolerant Republicans and responding to violent crimes by running to the rescue......like a real man would.

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

I know nothing of Manson's views on homosexuality. If I ever read a word about it I'm afraid it's not stayed in my memory. Can anyone enlighten me?

equinox12314 said...

Michael Hloušek-Nagle

Hi Michael,

It is generally accepted that Manson is bisexual - at least that was documented in the Rolling Stone magazine interview of recent years. Also, his friend, Nikolas Schreck asserts that he is bi. Therefore, in the absence of providing any documentary evidence of Charlie's views on homosexuality, I think we may reasonably assume he is not too fussy about how others make the 'double backed monster'.

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

Thanks equinox - I've read conflicting accounts here and there. I know there is some doubt about the veracity of his youthful sodomy episode. (And it's so nice to have someone else here on GMT rather than Pacific - I usually check-in shortly after waking up only to realise that everyone else has just gone to bed.)

grimtraveller said...

It is sometimes said that truth is stranger than fiction, not least, I guess, because truth {ie, that which actually happened} often leaves many unanswered questions that in turn could all go off in a myriad of directions, while fiction is neatly tied and bundled and has easily observable limits.
WG claimed some years ago that he did see some things that happened on the night in question but had no way of knowing that it wasn't house guests frollicking around.
Hmmmm.......
Most recollections {of anyone, in any event} tend to be made without prior knowledge that one would have to recollect so it strikes me as not particularly odd that WG's recollections would be somewhat disjointed.
Equinox said "I couldn't see SP just turning up round about midnight on the 8th to sell a clock radio to someone he had only met once" but I could. In my younger days I've done similar things. I recall listening to a great Rolling Stones Lp {Through the past, darkly} at the house of a guy I'd not met before and I dreamed of that album for 3 months and I just turned up at his pad one day and borrowed it ! It happens and given the way young people were opening up {no pun intended} in the late 60s and the abundance of crash pads and crashing going on, is it really so strange that one guy should turn up late at the house of another to sell a clock radio ? Late teens weren't tucked up asleep in bed at 9.30pm by 1969. Well, not all of them !

Ralph D said...

In the 2011 interview Garretson did for the Tate-Labianca podcast, he indicated he moved into the guest house before the Polanskis arrived in February 1969. Bill must have been there by late 1968 or January 1969. Altobelli did not leave for Europe till late March 1969 so the two must have been living together for at least several months. Does anyone know what Bill was doing for an income during the months before he moved in with Altobelli? I understand he hitchhiked from Ohio to California.

equinox12314 said...

Ralph D,

Thanks for supplying that info from the podcast(I love Brian's radio show). Yes, it definitely looks like Bill and Altobelli were cohabiting, and within the context of the times, it would be a relationship that Bill G would want to keep quiet. It was probably that he was trying to keep back from LAPD.

Sorry don't know how he made a living prior to that. Could have been casual work?

Margery McCardell said...

Here s my 2 cents worth, I read the complete transcript of the polygraph. Garretson said he had 1 gay experience when he was somewhat out of it where someone gave him oral sex. He also answered the question are you gay as no. A one time experience does not make somebody gay. Altobelli the owner of the property was gay and picked Garretson up hitchhiking originally. Altobelli was in a long term relationship with somebody his own age and actually jointly owned the property with that person. Maybe Garretson was suppose to be a quicky, but Altobelli probably quickly figured Garretson for a hick. Parent also picked up Garretson hitch hiking and Im sure he was gay and he probably came to the house the night of the murder to see if he might score with Garretson. He probably quickly figured out no, and he left. He was pulling out of drive going forward and it was too late for Watson to hide in the bushes as he had been spotted. Besides Watson didn't mind killing this kid...he didn't know the people inside either, this was a killing for no reason except the stupid race war thing. (no they weren't there thinking they were going to kill Melcher in the house). The police performed tests at the residence and with a stereo on at between 4 and 5 Garretson would not have heard shots and screams. THe guest house is a fair distance from the main house (100 feet). All the windows were closed and doors locked in guest house.As to Garretson s answer about being scared and maybe going out at some point in the night. Keep in mind the guest house had 4 separate exits. I believe the door he actually probably went out was the south exit and Im guessing he took the dogs out there to far end of the property to go to bathroom. Garretson passed the poly and he passed when he said he heard no shots or screams, I think the telephone being dead and the door handle being down indicating someone tried to enter at some point freaked him out and he didn't want to admit he was afraid and left the house for a bit. His 1999 interview I believe he has done so many drugs over the years his brain is probably somewhat fried and he probably was under pressure to make his tv appearance shocking. One final note on the victims inside the main house not hearing the shots when Parent was killed. Frykowski was in living room with the stereo on...this was an elaborate stero Roman had set up, it very well could have blocked the noise.

Awaitingmyescapewithlove said...

He killed Parent because if Parent went through the gate and lived he would be able to describe the rambler to police. He was truly at the wrong place at the wrong time but at least his murder was over quickly.

grimtraveller said...

Who would be able to describe the Rambler to the police ? Tex ?

michaelhansenyoutube said...

GOT TO SAY THIS a few decades later 1990's on the internet WILLIAM GARRTSON did make the news again with MORE INFORMATION

plus the new MANSON books says Garrtson picked up the phone shortly after Parent left and Garretson noted the phone line was dead.