Monday, December 19, 2016

A Little Bit About the Caretaker's Friend

I had hoped to write a more informative post about Steven Parent but like many others I could find out very little about him that wasn't already known.

The post started when I found this image of his grave at 'Adventures In Grave Hunting'.




It bothered me because it seemed to symbolize who Steven Parent was in the official narrative. He is largely the forgotten victim- not a coffee heiress, not a drug dealing playboy, not a playboy hair stylist to the stars and not a movie star- instead he is 'the caretaker's friend'. No one makes up conspiracy theories about Steven. The twenty-somthings who took the top shot cleaned off Steven's grave marker.

I can't offer what I originally intended. My research dosn't satisfy my personal expectations but I hope this post adds just a little bit to our understanding of who Steven was and might have been. And maybe the Caretaker's Friend could become Carrot Top, Tina's First Love or DJ Steve.

Steven Earl Parent was born on February 12, 1951. He died on August 9, 1969.

Steven’s parents were Wilfred Earl Parent and Juanita Delee Parent. Wilfred was born in Wisconsin April 28, 1925. He learned his trade from his service during World War Two. Wilfred enlisted in the marines in 1943 at the age of 18 and was assigned to construction training in San Diego. By 1948 he had married Juanita and was living in Pasadena. Wilfred's profession is variously listed as 'carpenter', 'carpenter foreman', 'construction manager'' and 'construction (engineer)'. He may have worked primarily in  the oil industry.

Juanita was born in Springfield, Illinois on October 28, 1924. However, by 1940 her family had relocated to Texas where she graduated from Waco High School. At some point between 1940 and 1948 Juanita relocated to California and married Wilfred. 

By 1958, when Steven was 7 the Parents had relocated to El Monte at 408 E. Bryant Road. By 1969 they had moved a few blocks to 11214 E. Bryant Road in El Monte (either that or the houses were renumbered). 

After Steven's death the family moved to Texas. My guess would be to 'start fresh'. That approach to anything as painful as the murder of a son, under the circumstances here makes sense to me but I would be guessing. I was not able to find the exact date of this relocation.

Juanita passed away in Stephenville, Texas, February 4, 1984. Wilfred remarried the same year. I could not find a record of his death.

Steven had one sibling, his younger sister, Janet, born August 21, 1953. She was a sophomore at Arroyo High School in 1969. Her picture that year is to the far right. Unfortunately, there was no 1971 yearbook available. Janet appears to have had a series of unsuccessful relationships causing one to wonder how Steven's death may have impacted her or at least her ability to form lasting relationships. In November 1971 after her graduation she married Kenneth Barr a year ahead of her at Arroyo High School (it does not seem that he actually graduated). In 1983 she married Johnny Williams of Erath, Texas. She married Keith Stevens in May of 1985 and divorced him in Dallas, Texas in May 1986. In 1993 she married Donald Pryor.

The Arrest


Sometime before his sophomore year Steven was arrested for burglary and spent two years in juvenile detention.  I am pretty sure this is the timeframe because Steven appears in the 1966 Arroyo High School yearbook as a freshman (above) and in the 1969 yearbook as a senior (right). He does not appear in the 1968 yearbook while Janet does. There is no '67 yearbook available.

I searched at some length to find information about his arrest and detention and was unsuccessful. Juvenile records are never 'public'. The article below may be a record of the event. It is from the LA Times and the timing and the age of the perpetrator is right. Then again the official narrative says he committed five burglaries not six and that he had stolen radios. It is at least odd that this youth would make the paper and Steven did not.


The Official Narrative

In Helter Skelter Bugliosi makes the following observations about Steven:

"He had graduated from Arroyo High School in June; dated several girls but no one in particular; had a full-time job as delivery boy for a plumbing company, plus a part-time job, evenings, as salesman for a stereo shop, holding down the two jobs so he could save money to attend junior college that September.

****
Steven Parent had lunch at his home in El Monte. Before returning to work at the plumbing supply company, he asked his mother if she would lay out clean clothes so he could make a quick change before going to his second job, at the stereo shop, later that afternoon.

****
Across the city, in El Monte, Steven Parent hurried home, changed clothes, waved to his mother, and was off to his second job.

**** 
About 11 P.M. Steve Parent stopped at Dales Market in El Monte and asked his friend John LeFebure if he wanted to go for a ride. Parent had been dating John’s younger sister Jean. John suggested they make it another night.

About forty-five minutes later Steve Parent arrived at the Cielo address, hoping to sell William Garretson a clock radio. Parent left the guest house about 12: 15 A.M. He got as far as his Rambler."


Bugliosi, Vincent; Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (variopus locations). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Some of this is accurate and some of it is not. 

Steven Parent did graduate from Arroyo High School in June of 1969. His prom date was Tina Hather or should I say her prom date was Steven Parent as this image was taken at her prom (see below). 

Steven Parent's day job was at Valley Cities Supply Company located at 9510 Rush Street in South El Monte. This is close to
Rosemead but not technically in Rosemead. Valley Cities was a plumbing supply wholesaler and Steven could have obtained the job through his father's connections. In the image Valley Cities Supply occupied a building located in the distance with the red lettering. 

I have no idea where Bugliosi came up with John LeFebure. It is possible he changed the name and other facts for privacy reasons. The actual brother of Jean was John Lefebvre. His senior picture from 1970 is to the left. His Arroyo High School junior year picture is below and Jean's senior picture is to the right. Both appear in the Arroyo High School 1969 yearbook. John was not her older brother. 



John didn't work at Dale's Market in El Monte. There was no Dale's Market in El Monte. There was, however, a service station in El Monte known as Dale's and it is possible the detective confused the two when Lefebvre said he worked at Dale's. This ad from late 1968 lists the Dales locations. None are in El Monte. Dales did grow to eleven stores but not until later in the 1970's.

Across the street from Dale's service station was a grocery store named Fry's. The detective who followed up on this event, hearing that John worked at the grocery store 'near Dales', may have simply put the two together and Fry's became Dales Food Mart. John may have worked at Fry's or, in my opinion, more likely Dale's service station.



Frys Supermarket: Yes, it is that Frys. The family sold their supermarkets to Kroger in the 80s and started the electronics chain.

So on the last evening of his life Steven drove from Wilshire Boulevard (Jonas Miller Stereo) back to El Monte and then back to Cielo Drive, stopping to talk with Jean's brother at Dale's service station or Fry's. There he asked John Lefebvre if he wanted to go for a ride. He did quite a bit of driving already that evening. According to Google Maps that trip would take 1 hour and 24 minutes. 

What Might Have Been

Evenings, Steven Parent worked at Jonas Miller Stereo located at 8719 Wilshire Boulevard, pictured today at
right. In June 1969 two young men graduated from high school, Steven and Ken Kreisel (Beverly Hills High School). Both started working at Jonas Miller Stereo.

Kreisel went on to develop and popularize the subwoofer with Jonas Miller and Lester Field. Dr. Lester M. Field was the co-inventor of the traveling-wave tube (among many other inventions and patents). Eventually Kreisel and Miller formed MK Sound, which later became K Sound. His accomplishments can be viewed here:

http://www.kreiselsound.com/timeline.php

And to me they are impressive. 

Here is a quote about him: 

"Ken Kreisel has a long history of audio innovation, in both audio production as well as reproduction. Kriesel has been credited with developing the first subwoofer in the 1960s in response to customer complaints at Jonas Miller Sounds about the lack of bass output from electrostatic loudspeakers. The subwoofer made its first recording studio appearance during the mixing sessions for Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic and it quickly came into vogue with movie theaters after the 1974 film Earthquake that made successful dramatic use of subwoofers in several theaters. Kreisel also is credited with the first modern satellite-subwoofer speaker design, which now forms the predominant basis for loudspeaker system design in home theater. M&K also owned subsidiary Real Time Records, which pioneered direct digital recording and was the first US record company to release a title on Compact Disc."



Here is an interior shot of Jonas Miller Stereo on Wilshire showing Miller and Kreisel in the shop taken 'during the seventies'.  

Miller not only sold high end stereo equipment but offered to custom design home stereo systems as his ad from August 10, 1969 (Sunday) indicates. In fact, it appears from what I read that it was not uncommon for Miller to send his 'technicians' to your home to 'balance' your system.

At the bottom there you can see the store hours on Wilshire. Jonas Miller Stereo closed at 9 p.m. on August 8th. 


I found references to two other audio innovators with successful careers that worked for Miller during the 1970's: Neil Sinclair and Steve McCormack. I don't know them but maybe you do. It appears Jonas Miller surrounded himself with young, creative souls during that timeframe and launched a number of successful careers. To me it is probable that Steven would have followed a path similar to Ken Kreisel and the rest had he lived.l MK Sound might very have been MKP Sound. 

Dedications

David Gerrold (fka Jerrold David Friedman) testified to the last phone call Steven ever made. He is also a large part of the speculation concerning Steven's sexual orientation. I prefer to listen to Tina, below if it matters at all. Gerrold wrote the Star Trek episode 'The Trouble With Tribbles' in 1967. He was far more then just 'a UCLA student' in 1969 as he  remained on Gene Roddenberry's writers list. He obviously knew Steven Parent and I believe he probably met him at Jonas Miller Stereo. Why do I believe this? What is the first thing you do as a young kid when you had some cash in the vinyl era? Upgrade or buy a new stereo system.

Gerrold dedicated his first sci-fi novel 'When Harlie Was One' to Steven: 


"For Steven Earl Parent, with love. Sleep well, old friend. You got the job done." 

Gerrold, David. When HARLIE Was One: Release 2.0 (Kindle Locations 116-117). BenBella Books, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

The dedication makes more sense after reading the book. It's pretty good.  The story evolves around Harlie's relationship with David Auberson a psychologist tasked with 'raising' Harlie's awareness from childhood to an adult. Harlie is an artificial intelligence developed by a mega corporation. The real plot, however, centers on the company's desire to 'pull the plug' and the philosophical question whether Harlie is human (or what it means to be human) and thus whether pulling the plug is murder.

The phrase in the the dedication about Steven 'getting the job done' comes from these references in the book. Harley 'speaks' in the caps: 

"How much time do you need? AS LONG AS IT TAKES UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE. All right."

*****


"IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF WAR, BEING NICE IS PERCEIVED AS WEAKNESS. OR SURRENDER. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS WAR, SURRENDER MEANS DEATH. I DO NOT INTEND TO DIE UNTIL MY JOB IS FINISHED. " 

Gerrold, David. When HARLIE Was One: Release 2.0 (Kindle Locations 5272-5273). BenBella Books, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

'When Harlie Was One' was first published in 1972. I believe it is possible that Garrold began writing Harlie during the time he knew Steven and may even have discussed ideas with him. Alternatively, it could be that Gerrold's memory of Steven Parent is reflected in Harlie. Can I prove either theory? No, but they make sense to me. 

The 1970 Arroyo High School yearbook contained this memorial:




Those Who Knew Him

Unfortunately, there is very little other information about Steven that I could find. Here are comments I pulled from 'Find A Grave' that appeared to have been written by people who knew him, personally. I think they shed some light on who Steven Parent was.

"My father knew him and two weeks before his murder. I was in the back seat of his car as a baby because he was helping us move. I was almost a year old then. I still think about Steven even though I never had meet him. R.I.P Steven."

"I will never forget the day I picked up the paper in Casper Wyoming and read that my best friend from Frank L. Wright JR. Hi & Arroyo HS (until we moved to Wyoming) was dead. Over the years I have often thought, if I were in LA I would have been with Steve. I have fond memoaries of summer swimming at my house, the fun we had playing in the fields behind my house. The fun we had pretending (at your house in the room in the garage) that we were radio announcers for pop radio! Lost a great friend that summer day. Rest in peace Steve. Some day I will see you again."

"You always loved the fact that you shared your birthday with President Lincoln, it was a holiday for you."

"Sunflowers, keys, shiney new pennies, hot dogs and oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, your moms spaghetti, jumping off the fence into the pool, walking the kindergarten wall (forever gone now), Wilderness Park, driving up to Mt Wilson, long walks on the beach looking at your footprints in the sand, hugs, laughter, music, friends and family.
These are the things you miss and are missed about you. 

You are always in our thoughts Carrot Top."

"Steve, it is nearing the 40th anniversary since you were taken from my life. I think of you often and have fond memories of my senior prom and staying out all night. God had a plan for each of us, taking you and leaving me behind to carry on with my life. I often wonder if we would have gotten married and had children and grandchildren and where life would have taken us. Love always, Tina"

I'll leave it at that. 






69 comments:

DebS said...

Great post, Dreath. I learned quite a bit. You're absolutely correct that Steve has been the least discussed victim where his background is concerned. It is a very thoughtful post.

Dreath said...

This case is on Dateline tonight.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Yes great post, Dreath. I'm glad you are spending so much time showing us things about Parent's life and the details relating to him the night of the murders. He deserves to be humanized as much as possible.

I remember, his friend's screenplay, "The Trouble with Tribles," was voted the most popular Star Trek episode.

penny lane said...

Thx Dreath...
outstanding post yet again...Who/ what is your next subject? are you taking requests ? hint*

ziggyosterberg said...


100% in agreement with Deb, Mr. Humphrat and penny. Excellent, thoughtful, and humanizing post by Dreath.

Because of Dreath's post, I checked Facebook and found this post (which I think is ok to share here since other people have shared it on Facebook) :

A post by David Gerrold after Sandy Hook


"This week began joyously with all those marvelous pictures coming out of WA state with all those wonderful couples finally getting married. I had to reach for the Kleenex.

But it was also bittersweet for me, because the man I fell in love with many years ago, the man I would have liked to have married one day, was murdered by a madman with a gun. Five others died the same night."


St Circumstance said...

Excellent tribute to a person who was taken way too soon. Thanks Dreath! Excellent job.

Matt said...

I particularly enjoyed your extrapalation of what could have been. Steve was passionate about electronics and was certainly in good company to learn what was then the cutting edge of stereo technology. As Gerrold touched on in his Sandy hook post, he deserved better.


George Stimson said...

Very good, Dreath! I really enjoy your in-depth examinations of things!

ziggyosterberg said...


More from David Gerrold's FB. I'm snipping these for the sake of brevity, the links at the top have the complete text of the post.

Link to full post

Nearly five decades ago, someone I was in the process of falling in love with was murdered with a gun in the hands of someone who was proving his masculinity to others.

I still remember him. I still feel the loss. I know his family does too. Too many times I have stopped to wonder where he would be today, what he would be up to -- he was talented and intelligent -- if it had not been for one gun in the hands of the wrong man.

Every time I hear of a shooting, no matter what the circumstances, whether it's a child or an accident or a criminal or a massacre -- it brings back that emotional tsunami of shock and loss and rage and grief.

When the killer was brought to justice, I had to come to terms with whether or not I wanted him to die in the gas chamber. I decided that in good conscience, I could not wish for the death of another human being or that would make me as morally corrupt as the man who squeezed the trigger.

I refuse to be that person.

ziggyosterberg said...


Link to full post

It was a hot summer day. July 19, 1969, and I was spending the afternoon in the arms of the most beautiful and wonderful young man I had ever met. We were in the process of falling hopelessly in love. We'd talk and joke and laugh and do more stuff that made us laugh even more, and at one point, I realized, and said, "I am so happy now, I just want to run out in the middle of the street and shout to the world that LOVE IS POSSIBLE! IT REALLY IS!" And: "If Adolf Hitler had ever had sex this good, World War II would never have happened." We're talking industrial strength endorphins.

Of course, I didn't run out in the street, but the feeling stayed with me. Has stayed with me ever since. People with great sex lives don't worry about what other folks are doing. You want to share the joy, not the anger.


ziggyosterberg said...


Link to full post

It can be little things -- like, "I wish Steve were here to see this. He would have loved it." You wonder what he or she would be doing now. Or big things, like suddenly the radio plays that song and you remember the moment when -- oh, god -- you fall down sobbing, racked with emotion, because you will never ever have that person in your arms again. And as much support as people want to give you -- you still end up in bed alone, missing the one who was there to comfort you.

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

Here is a link to THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES



St Circumstance said...

I am going to play Grinch for a minute here...

Just for a minute though:)

This dude is going way over the top. He sounds like my grandfather talking about my grandmother after 50 years of marriage. These were teen age kids for goodness sakes.

"the radio plays that song and you remember the moment when -- oh, god -- you fall down sobbing, racked with emotion, because you will never ever have that person in your arms again. And as much support as people want to give you -- you still end up in bed alone, missing the one who was there to comfort you."


These were teenagers for crying out loud. I am sorry for his loss, and nobody defends the victims or their families as hard as I do- but this particular guy is a little over-dramatic in my opinion- for my taste. Maybe its because where I grew up guys don't talk like that about other guys...

But I am not sure I would go that far over anyone. MY ex wouldn't cause me to talk like that lol

How serious of a relationship could they have had at that age and point in maturity?

And I not a homophobic or anything like that ( I dont think)

But I so dont want to read about how good sex was with a teenage boy from another boy


Sorry :) its relevant though to this post and interesting to many I am sure ...

And I am sorry if the guy felt loss

Suze said...

But ST, those teenage kisses were extremely passionate as I remember. As teens we fell in love quickly and deeply. To have someone stolen away from me via murder at that age to me is incomprehensible. He sounds like his wounds are still fresh. Haven't we heard that here before? Loved ones never completely recover.

St Circumstance said...

I guess so and I knew that would make me sound insensitive- but it just seems too over the top to me...

I do remember playing cheesy journey and air supply songs while I dreamed away about the current love of my love- but I would never had said those things then or now about anyone out loud lol....

I never had anything like that happen to me though so who knows.. its just seems a little over dramatic to me and for my taste.

But I dont want to be tasteless- so if I am wrong- my apologies.

Suze said...

I wasn't criticizing you ST. I enjoy your opinions. Dreath this post is pretty awesome! But then all of yours have been so far.

St Circumstance said...

I mean he says twice in those comments that he was "In process of falling in love"

He says they were "in the process of falling in love" in July and Parent was dead in early August.

They couldn't have been with each other for more than a few months...

It sounds more to me like a play for attention or a very dramatic person seeking attention than someone feeling the actual emotions he is expressing.

Also- how much does he need to emphasize the sex he had with a teenage boy? it just rubs me the wrong way, which is probably a reflection of me more than anything else...

If I were an arm char psychologist- I would say Parent Rocked this guys world once or twice and then became a person who had some sort of notoriety... that is probably the reason for these 40 year long feelings for the memory of a teenage boy he met once or twice decades ago and probably barely knew..

but maybe that's just the Grinch in me? I am not sure I buy this guy's sincerity.

Also, I didn't love Steven Parent or know him at all- and I would pull the switch personally on the Gas chamber for Tex of they let me :)

Again- he is just probably a better guy than I :)

Either way- Steve did not deserve what he got and I send all of my love to anyone who suffered from his loss. Even this guy :)

St Circumstance said...

Its Cool Suze- I am not sure at all I am right about this- its just a feeling I get.

:)

St Circumstance said...

When I say met once or twice- I meant been with... We all know how many jobs parent had and by his own admission the guy says they were only falling love for a matter of months- so how often could they have been seeing each other?? It wasn't like they were together 24/7 for any lengthy period of time- AND That is the relationship which would be appropriate for feelings this guy is describing.

in any case- not enough for him to have developed the life long obsession he describes in my opinion.

Flaky is the word I am thinking of lol

now I am done :)

ziggyosterberg said...


St Circumstance said...

this particular guy is a little over-dramatic in my opinion


He's one of those really rare type of gay guys : the over-dramatic type. They only come around once in a lifetime, like Halley's Comet.

I'm just waiting to see how bad he loses his shit when he realizes that Mansonblog is snooping on his posts.

St Circumstance said...

lol :)

Dreath said...

Thank you all for the kind comments.

Penny Lane said: "Who/ what is your next subject? are you taking requests ? hint*"

Can't promise but if you have a request send it to me- most of my inspiration comes from comments here except the 'Look at the Evidence' stuff. This one was inspired by the grave image and a comment by Ziggy quite a while back.

Ziggy said: "I'm just waiting to see how bad he loses his shit when he realizes that Mansonblog is snooping on his posts."

When I reached out to him I told him I wouldn't do exactly what you are doing. So when he does I'll be giving him your home address and phone number ;-)

Saint said: "in any case- not enough for him to have developed the life long obsession he describes in my opinion."

Imagine if you will losing your 'first love' this way. Look at the comment by 'Tina' in the post. 40 years after a prom date he was still in her heart even though it appears Steven may have 'moved on' by August.

penny lane said...

Air supply...lol..who admits to listening to THAT..:)...oh St ..

Dreath said...


Penny Lane,

Here you go......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogoIxkPjRts

St Circumstance said...

lol I used to play Air Supply records in the background when I made my nightly after homework phone calls to girls

:)

Matt said...

Ugh, Air Supply. One small step above Barry Manilow.





Mr. Humphrat said...

St. Let he without Air Supply cast the first stone I believe is what Jesus said.

I think it's fine what you say about David Gerrold's posts. But my reaction to them is that it's very sincere and I feel terrible for his loss. For me some of the shortest relationships could stay in my memory for decades. But he makes it sound like it was a very significant relationship for both of them.

Thanks very much to Ziggy for sharing the posts here and especially for being so decent to reach out to Mr. Gerrold. The addition of his posts does so much more to humanize Steven Parent.

Wouldn't it be great to see more posts in the future to show aspects of the victims we didn't know about and to further show their human side and that they had rich lives and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Thanks again Dreath.

ziggyosterberg said...


When I was a kid, I always got those Air Supply dudes confused with Siegfried & Roy.

Two other guys that I always got confused were Rudolph Giuliani and Vincent Bugliosi. There was some Lie Detector show on TV in the 80's that I saw at least one episode of, and I still don't know if the host was Vince or Rudy.
Anyone remember that show?

ziggyosterberg said...


Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks very much to Ziggy for sharing the posts here and especially for being so decent to reach out to Mr. Gerrold.


Just to clarify, it was Dreath who reached out to Mr. Gerrold.

But thank you for putting the words "Ziggy" and "decent" in a sentence together.

Matt, can that quote from Mr. Humphrat be my signature?

Matt said...

I too often confused The Bug & The Milkman. Honestly. I'm glad I wasn't alone. But now that you mention it Ziggy I can't tell the difference between Siegfried Fischbacher and Barry Manilow either.


ziggyosterberg said...


@Matt - Oh the humanity!!!!!

How did Barry get the skin on his face to move backward and the hair on his head to move forward?

Robert C said...

I have a sense Parent was bisexual. However, it's not uncommon for some teenagers to explore their sexuality when confused. Since there are a number of gays in my 'hood, I asked several gay guys if they dated women in high school and also the extent of their involvement with young women. They all said they did date women, go to the prom, hung out with ....

One elderly neighbor of mine married, sired two sons, then decided he was gay late in life. Another neighbor's niece married, had two sons and then decided she was gay too. I'm totally hetero so never had these feeling conflicts so it's interesting to get these feedbacks.

I know some have strong feelings about this but I'm not convinced Parent went up to see G. at Cielo for sex. I'm also not entirely convinced it was to sell a clock radio either but think there is a stronger case for that because clock radios in '69 were somewhat novel, be of interest to young people whom back then did not have nearly the disposable income young people seem to have today.

More rambling thoughts running wild through the brain pan. Great post, Dreath.

Ziggy -- is this the show you recall ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moment_of_Truth_(U.S._game_show)

I remember it too.



ziggyosterberg said...


Robert G - I think this was the show. It was hosted by F. Lee Bailey, who, for some reason, I always used to get confused with G. Gordon Liddy :

Lie Detector

(Syndicated, Sandy Frank Production, 9/82 - 8/83)

F. Lee Bailey hosted the show in which three individuals would undergo a polygraph, under the supervision of expert (and series creator) Ed Gelb. Zsa Zsa Gabor was scheduled for the pilot, but when asked whether she married for money, "irregularities" in her chart caused the segment to be replaced by that of a man who pled guilty to a murder charge just before the jury handed down a "not guilty" verdict. Following former Alabama state Sen. Robert Glass's indictment by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from a kickback scheme, Glass went on the show, passed the test and had videotapes of his performance distributed to TV stations back home. Caril Ann Fugate's test proved she was an unwilling accomplice to Charles Starkweather in a 1958 murder spree in which 10 people were killed in Nebraska and Wyoming. Oddly, Gelb and Bailey were able to examine the graphs and determine whether the guest was lying in just the space of a commercial break.


ziggyosterberg said...


Robert C- Sorry for spelling your name wrong in my last post. I was a little hurried.

Regarding what you said in your post, I'm also hetero, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

When I was reading Dreath's post this morning and he laid out the chronology, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what was going on, because I just changed the 3 male characters that Steven attempted to hang out with (John Lefebvre, Garretson, Gerrold) to girls, and changed Steven to 19 year old me. But after reading the way Gerrold described his relationship with Steven, I thought that maybe Steven was going to Garretson in hopes of maybe buying pot or pills or swapping the radio for pot or pills or maybe just to hang out and kill some time maybe even sell a clock radio before meeting up with Gerrold. Maybe it's the romantic in me.

But also, would Steven jeopardize a relationship with a guy who wrote an episode of Star Trek for a quickie with Hillbilly Garretson? And since he called from Billy's place, I'm assuming Gerrold didn't have a problem with him being there or he knew the reason why he was going there? And if he knew he had a definite hookup with his boyfriend why would he be trying to get his rocks off with another guy a hour or so before he meets him?

This is all assuming that Gerrold is telling the truth, which considering the truth-telling track record of the people involved in this case - who the fuck knows?

Matt said...

Well exactly. Steven isn't here to back up Gerrold's story, so here we are. This story was brought to my attention a few years ago by another contributor who I have a lot of respect for. She believes Gerrold.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

They couldn't have been with each other for more than a few months...

I don't think that really makes a great deal of difference. Tons of people that have only been together for a short while have developed a sufficient depth of feeling to have made up their minds that they want to spend the rest of their days with one another.

If I were an arm chair psychologist- I would say Parent Rocked this guys world once or twice and then became a person who had some sort of notoriety... that is probably the reason for these 40 year long feelings for the memory of a teenage boy he met once or twice decades ago and probably barely knew...

From time to time, stories have come up in the news about people getting married in their 80s and 90s to someone that was their childhood sweetheart that they hadn't seen in 60, 70 years. I don't ever recall the people having stayed single in that time....they'd gotten married, had kids, eked out a life that may have had more than one marriage and interesting careers. But feelings for people are powerful things and despite our little league psychology, there's often no rhyme nor reason to these happenings. These thoughts, feelings and memories can last for decades. I don't see it as particularly unusual.
One thing I learned a long time ago ¬> because I can't see myself feeling a particular way or embarking on a particular course of action is no reason at all to ascribe the same to the rest of the world. There are so many different ways of thinking and behaving.
I would actually say that if one was in love or in the process of giving oneself to another in love and the person died unexpectedly {pretty much for whatever reason}, those deep seated feelings would possibly always be strong, even if sometimes the strength of them lay dormant. They would likely be forever framed by the sense of what might have been and because we can never know, I'd be surprised if the person would ever think "we probably would have broken up and ended up hating each other !"

ziggyosterberg said...


He seems credible to me.

The only thing that I wonder is if he's maybe exaggerating about how close they were.

Like, if Steven was essentially cruising guys that night (Lefebvre, Garretson, Gerrold), and Gerrold is the 3rd guy that he attempts to spend time with, how close could they be?

Unless he was just killing time before he was supposed to meet Gerrold or Steven knew that Gerrold wouldn't be available til later.

grimtraveller said...

ziggyosterberg said...

But also, would Steven jeopardize a relationship with a guy who wrote an episode of Star Trek for a quickie with Hillbilly Garretson? And since he called from Billy's place, I'm assuming Gerrold didn't have a problem with him being there or he knew the reason why he was going there? And if he knew he had a definite hookup with his boyfriend why would he be trying to get his rocks off with another guy a hour or so before he meets him?

Strange as it may seem this is exactly what I was thinking.

This is all assuming that Gerrold is telling the truth, which considering the truth-telling track record of the people involved in this case - who the fuck knows?

Well, it's the big "if." Life is full of them and TLB maybe has more !
But if Steven was going to meet Jerrold, it occurs to me that he had a car which is an indicator that he was looking to be out all night or at the very least, that he'd not be under time constraints until the next morning if he had had to go to work.

grimtraveller said...

Matt said...

Ugh, Air Supply

Mr. Humphrat said...

Let he without Air Supply cast the first stone

For a long time I used to mix them up with Curved Air, superior athletes altogether.

Dreath said...

Ziggy said:

"But also, would Steven jeopardize a relationship with a guy who wrote an episode of Star Trek for a quickie with Hillbilly Garretson? And since he called from Billy's place, I'm assuming Gerrold didn't have a problem with him being there or he knew the reason why he was going there? And if he knew he had a definite hookup with his boyfriend why would he be trying to get his rocks off with another guy a hour or so before he meets him?"

Not to add fuel to this fire but if I recall correctly Friedman/Gerrold testified about his phone call with Steven and that testimony was not consistent with the 'clock radio' story. I seem to have lost that testimony (gads) but I believe he testified that Steven called at 11:55, asked him the time and told him he was at a party and perhaps even upstairs at a party. I think he asked to come over and Friedman initially declined but then relented.

Let's also remember that 1969 was a far different world certain sexual acts were illegal even between consenting adults, I believe until 1975.

That said, I believe Gerrold. And given a personal experience can understand why this would stay with him.

Unfortunately, Mr. Gerrold declined my invitation to communicate with me (in fact, he never responded) perhaps because the memories are private (which I respect) and perhaps because he didn't want to be part of a 'was Steven gay' post (which I also respect). Although I assured him in my opening that that would not be the case (and note I avoided that in the post) he may have recognized that that is where it would lead...and he would be correct.

Tuckerp said...

Steve Parent died at a time of the 8 track player becoming a commercial success around 1970. A few high end cars had the 8 track and I believe maybe some Fords. Steve probably would have been busy with that, instead of clock radio's. Being known for just trying to sell a clock radio, upstages the knowledge this young man probably had on the cutting edges of the times. Definitely a market and bright future for Steve had he lived.
In an earlier thread I posted about what the Parole officer stated in the progress report. I agree with what somebody else commented about - who knows what this parole officer was like. This is true. I find it easier to discard it, then it be gospel.
He was probably excited about the times, had a new car, and I doubt he would have stayed with the plumbing company too much longer, before he went full time in electronics, and probably installing 8 tracks ect ect...

The grave marker cleaned up nice. Thanks for a great read.

Dreath said...

Grim said: "But if Steven was going to meet Jerrold, it occurs to me that he had a car which is an indicator that he was looking to be out all night or at the very least, that he'd not be under time constraints until the next morning if he had had to go to work."

This was Friday night-Saturday. Likely no work at Valley Plumbing the next day. Jonas-Miller, maybe but his parents were concerned when he didn't come home and found that to be an anomaly.

Then we have the entire embarrassing bit about a reporter reaching the family priest to verify it was Steven because LAPD didn't bother to run the license plate or apparently even read their own property report.

lostgirl said...

Steve was actually the oldest of 4. In addition to sister Janet, he had two younger brothers, Greg and Dale, one of whom lives in Texas and has a son named Steven.

orwhut said...

OT
Who was the smarty pants who persuaded Dolly Pardon to put "RISE" in big capital letters beside the call number of her telethon?

Mr. Humphrat said...

Dreath said: "if I recall correctly Friedman/Gerrold testified about his phone call with Steven and that testimony was not consistent with the 'clock radio' story. I seem to have lost that testimony (gads) but I believe he testified that Steven called at 11:55, asked him the time and told him he was at a party "

Hmm, why would Parent tell Gerrold he was at a party? Possible deception ups the sex with Garretson scenario?

Ziggy said: "Just to clarify, it was Dreath who reached out to Mr. Gerrold."
whoops! got confused.

Dreath said...

Lostgirl,

You are absolutely correct and I appreciate the correction. In my haste I overlooked them. Thank you.

Dale C. Parent
Born: 10/13/58- Los Angeles

Married:
Judy Brown 3/16/78
Karen S. Wolfe 8/1/91
Jo-anne R. Etue 10/17/08

Gregory Dean Parent
Born: 3/7/56- Los Angeles

Married:
Debra Carol Baker 2/5/77

Child: Steven Dale Parent dob: 3/13/78

Sheila Goodman 8/7/86- divorced: 8/18/87

All the marriages are in Erath County, Texas.

Jenn said...

Thanks for the wonderful piece, Dreath!
In that photo of Kreiser and Jonas Miller, Jonas is on the right.
Regarding Neil Sinclair and Steve McCormack:
Neil, along with his wife Evelyn, owned and operated Absolute Audio, a store in Santa Ana. A great high end audio place where I spent many hours and too much money. Steve worked there for a time, late 70s, very early 80s. He got into tweaking and modifying amplifiers and such and started a company called Mod Squad, which became McCormack electronics. I owned a CD player made by Steve in the very early days of CDs, from Absolute Audio. Nice guy and probably a genius.

Jenn

grimtraveller said...

Dreath said...

This was Friday night-Saturday. Likely no work at Valley Plumbing the next day

Would the shop not have opened on a Saturday ?

his parents were concerned when he didn't come home and found that to be an anomaly

It's not entirely clear from what Steve's Mum said whether it was unusual for him to be out all night or whether it was unusual for him to be out but not leave some word that he'd be out.

St Circumstance said...

I knew that would make me sound insensitive

Actually, it doesn't make you sound insensitive at all. Asking awkward questions gives rise to interesting discussion and debate.

Dreath said...

Grim,

Valley Cities was a wholesaler of plumbing supplies, selling to plumbing firms. Steven did deliveries. In my personal experience (although I admit it was lumber) unlikely it was open on the weekend.

Per Wilfred- quoted from the August 11, 1969 Los Angeles Times-'Estate A Continent Away: Jet Set Slaying of Son, 18, Makes No Sense to Father':

"Friday night, for the first time in his life, Steve hadn't come home. [sic] his father said. "He didn't call, didn't leave word, nothing. Now, I guess we know why."

Dreath said...

Jenn said: "Thanks for the wonderful piece, Dreath!"

You are welcome. And thank you for the 'personal' amendments.

ziggyosterberg said...


David Gerrold wrote about his relationship with Steven in "The Martian Child".

Google Books has pages 167-169 where he talks about Steve. I haven't read the full book, so I don't know if there's any other mention of him after that.

Here's The Link (Page 167-169)


Myborderlinelife said...

Great post, and I love the fact that the 20-somethings got the dirt off Steven's grave!

lostgirl said...

Dreath,

No need to apologize. It's was a great post! It's interesting to me though, that for how little we know about Steve, we know even less about his family. Contrast that with how much we know about the Tate family.

Dreath said...

Lostgirl,

Absolutely no apology is necessary. I want, expect, hope people will point out my errors, omissions and any stupid stuff I write. I actually had pulled the info about his brothers but was racing to get it written (around work commitments) and blanked it even though I read it, edited it, read it again and again, and.....

.......still said his 'one sibling'. I thank you for pointing it out.

And: yes, it is.

St Circumstance said...

myborderlinelife = great avatar :)

grimtraveller said...

Mr. Humphrat said...

"The Trouble with Tribles," was voted the most popular Star Trek episode

I always found it one of the more annoying episodes. It was an attempt to bring a comedic flavour to the show and I always found that irritating. I liked the natural humour, not the forced attempts. The other thing that was irritating about it was that some of it is serious and really quite good. Then those daft fury creatures would appear....
One that he helped to begin {although they completely changed it} was the one about the posh lot that lived in the sky and the working class rebels that lived on the land. That was a brilliant episode although David Gerrold wasn't happy with the way it was changed.

Dreath said...

"Friday night, for the first time in his life, Steve hadn't come home. [sic] his father said. "He didn't call, didn't leave word, nothing. Now, I guess we know why."

The mystery deepens and the plot thickens....

Mr. Humphrat said...

Grim when I heard that it was voted favorite I had never even heard of it. I saw it or part of it later and it was very different than other episodes as I recall, with a lack of tension in the story, just kind of fun. I should watch it again. I can see how some people would find it irritating. I looked up Gerrold briefly and saw he's had quite a career in sci-fi writing.

Any of you Frank Zappa fans know his song Memories of El Monte, featuring the singer from the Penguins singing 'In the Still of the Night?' And it talks about some of the singing groups that came from there. That's what these posts keep me thinking about. Of course he's got other songs referring to that area.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I think I got 'Memories of El Monte' confused ha ha. I guess it's written by Zappa and Ray Collins, produced by Zappa and performed by the Penguins, and they say 'the Satins were singing "In the Still of the Night"...'

Dreath said...

Grim said: "I always found it one of the more annoying episodes."

David Gerrold said: "Yes, I have written other stuff for Star Trek as well as other shows, but I’m always pleased that people remember “Tribbles.” The idea grew out of looking at the first few episodes of Star Trek, including “The Man Thing.” I thought, “We’re not going to recognize the danger with every alien we meet. The ones who are going to be the most dangerous are the ones we’re not going to realize are dangerous until it’s too late.” So I came up with the idea of these cute little fuzzy creatures. I was always fascinated by ecology, and I was inspired by the case of the rabbits in Australia."

And here's what he's referring to.

http://geography.about.com/od/australiamaps/a/Feral-Rabbits-In-Australia.htm

And Gene Roddenberry agreed with you.

"How did Gene Roddenberry feel about the episode?
Gerrold: Gene was on vacation all that summer, and when he came back, he was a little bit disturbed that the show had taken so many comedic turns. I believe that was one of the reasons why Gene Coon left the show; Roddenberry wanted more gravitas, and Coon felt we needed to lighten up so our characters were more human."

Me: As a kid I loved it!

lostgirl said...

I loved the post. You always have such a great attention to detail. Thanks for showing Steve some love :)

Dreath said...

lostgirl,

I think the comments at the end of the post and those added/linked by Ziggy speak better then I ever could: Steven Parent was someone we all should have known. A bit impulsive? (likely). Full of energy? (likely). Full of love? (absolutely) Able to imprint his memory on those that knew him- for 40+ years? (Clearly, 'yes') . I think he touched those that knew him deeply whether he was gay or straight or bisexual (and at a minimum it is pretty clear he was at least the last- so let's put that to bed).

I don't think that matters- although from my review it has been the primary discussion about Steven.

I think what matters is that he was a living, breathing, human being who had an impact on those who knew him. If Gerrold is to be believed an extraordinary impact- ask yourself, from your own relationships, can you echo Gerrold's statements about one of them? How many times during your life?

I hope we remember when we discuss 'motive' or 'the evidence' or this or that about these crimes- under any theory- they murdered Steven Parent for absolutely no reason and deprived a lot of people of who Steven was and who he might have been.

Unrelated:

I wish you all a very, very happy and healthy and wonderful Christmas and New Year. (Saint, we have some wonderful champagne's out here and quite a few good micro-beers so if you would like to abandon that Coor's Light thing- I'm happy to help.)

Thank you everyone for reading what I write, telling me I'm full of sh-- or just humoring my interests. A special thanks to those who invited me to participate.

I'll leave you with what my grandfather used to recite every Christmas Eve:

T'was Christmas Eve in the workhouse,
The event of all the year.
The old men's hearts were filled with joy,
Their bellies full of beer.

When in walked the workhouse master,
And as he passed their stalls,
He holler'd: 'Merry Christmas everybody!'
But the bastard's answered: 'Balls!'

Well, this riled the workhouse master and her swore 'By all the Gods..."
'You'll have no Christmas pudding, you dirty, filthy slobs!'

Then up stepped an old and aged pauper who had stormed the Khyber Pass and said: 'You can take your God d________d pudding and shove it up your ___!'

Merry Christmas.

Maisie13 said...

I have a question that is probably known by everyone here, but I can't seem to find an answer on my own.
In 1969, 'was the gate at Cielo locked from the outside? Was there a bell or intercom that notified those in the main house and/or the guest house that somebody had arrived at the gate? Did Steven Parent just unlock the gate, park, lock the gate again before he went to visit Garretson in the guest house?
If not, it is amazing to me that a house in an expensive area, being rented by famous people, was so easily accessible. I guess after that night in August of 1969, security everywhere got a lot more tigh.

Dreath said...

Maisle,

The gate operated electronically.

There was a button on the inside. It is on the pole barely visible on the image shot from the embankment extending from the light pole towards the drive.

The second button was on the outside, near the mailbox. If you google that or go to Cielodrive.com you will see it.

Watson cut two wires- the phone and a second wire. There was an intercom system but I believe iit had been out of order for some period of time- if I recall correctly. He likely thought he cut that (which supports the notion he had been there before).

Steven had to approach the gate near the 'short wall' as I refer to it, and push the button to get out.

To the best of my knowledge there was no lock on the gate.

It was, indeed a different world and 'yes' these murders changed all that. A similar impact is all the 'cement flower planters' around government buildings post 9/11.

Dreath said...

Sorry- 'Maisie'

lostgirl said...

Couldn't have said it better. Again, thanks for the great post. I really enjoyed it.

Maisie13 said...

Thank you Dreath! And I like Maisle, very Fiddler on the Roof!

Gidget said...

He had more than one sibling. He also had two brothers. One was named Dale. The other might be Greg.

Kayla Latham said...

I met Greg Parent when he lived in Stephenville, Texas. He was a friend of my husband. He did talk to us about his brother's murder.