Sunday, January 15, 2017

Charles "Tex" Watson's Texas

Both George and I had travels through the Metroplex within a month of each other. My foray to Copeville was only for an afternoon. George had the good fortune to be able to spend more time. The first part of this post is mine. The majority is George. Hope you enjoy it:



Matt

In October I was in Austin, Texas on business. As long as I was there I decided to make a side trip to Copeville to check out the Watson homestead. From Dallas you can make it in about a half hour or so. I did so with a heavy heart as it was the day after learning of our own Robert Hendrickson's death.

I was met there by my friends Cielo and Tom H. Most of you know of Cielo from his top-notch TLB site cielodrive.com. Tom H has been a silent contributor to the blog over time and is well versed in TLB, Tex Watson and the East Texas area surrounding Copeville. There have been a few times during my TLB-related journeys when in retrospect I wished we had had a video camera recording the conversation. One of those was that day in Copeville outside a convenience store, leaning against cars while Cielo explained all of the tribulations, government stalling and doublespeak surrounding the Tex Tapes. Tom talked about the area's history, the Watson/Montgomery families and Collin County. It was a terrific hour or so...

We checked out the house:




I was surprised to see that the house is occupied. There were children's toys lying around and kittens pouncing about. It's much smaller than I had anticipated. Really small for the family of five that were the Watsons.

The building that served as Denton Watson's gas station/grocery store is locked up. The pumps are gone and grass grows through the cracked & broken concrete. There is a security fence surrounding the rear portion of the former store and the metal building adjacent to it. Inside the fence was a large dog. We could hear music coming from within the metal building, but no one responded to our knocks. It was a tad spooky.

Tom says that the street was once a happening place with cafes, stores and other businesses. Copeville is surrounded still to this day by thousands of square miles of farm land. Farm vehicles roll slowly on the streets and everyone you pass gives that forefinger salutation from the steering wheel.

Copeville is located in Collin County. The county seat of which is McKinney, where Watson was held while fighting extradition to California. When he was arrested, his second cousin Tom Montgomery was the County Sheriff. Another cousin, Bob King was the jailer who oversaw him for nine months. Mr. King is still alive and was recently interviewed by Tom H. Here is the sound file. Nothing earth shattering but it's another piece of the story that's now documented. Enjoy:




George

Inspired by Matt's post above about his recent trip to Copeville, Texas I decided to visit some locales relevant to Charles "Tex" Watson's life in the area on my own during a Thanksgiving-time trip to Dallas.

The first place I stopped was at the Thompson Cemetery in Lavon, Texas. This is the final resting place of Watson's parents, Clarence Denton and Mary Elizabeth Watson. I was really surprised by what I found there. Rose bushes have been planted by the graves in such a way as to almost totally obscure the two headstones on them. No other graves in the 800-plus graves cemetery had such a landscaping feature, and I've never seen such an arrangement at any other grave in any other cemetery. I can only speculate on what the presence of the bushes means, but it's almost like the parents didn't want to be found and recognized in death.

The Thompson Cemetery in Lavon, Texas

The names of the families buried in the cemetery have been rendered in the metal fencing surrounding it. Charles Watson's parents are the only two Watsons buried there, although there are numerous Montgomeries (Mary Watson's family). The parents' grave site is visible left of center.

Rose bushes have been planted in front of the graves, 
almost totally blocking the names on the headstones. 

Another view of the rose bush planting

Looking back towards Texas Highway 78

You can only read the headstones by approaching them from the far side 
and reading them upside down. 


Charles "Tex" Watson and his parents during a post-conviction prison visit, from 
Will You Die For Me?  His father looks very pained. 

Water tower near Copeville

The next place I went was to the Copeville Community Methodist Church, the site of Watson's early religious training. As we poked around the property, took pictures, and tried the locked front door, a Collin County sheriff's deputy pulled up and parked in an adjacent parking lot. But just as I was going over to him to introduce myself he drove away.

Above, the Copeville Community Methodist Church as pictured in Will You Die For Me?  
Below, the church today


A painted rock on the front stoop of the church

The church is within easy view and walking distance of the former Watson residence and gas station. 

View from the church to the former Watson home and gas station/store

The Watson gas station/store in December, 1969 (Thank you Tom H.!)

"By late the next day [after Watson's arrest], the story had hit the wire services, reporters had started calling my parents at home, and photographers and newspeople were descending on McKinney in droves. My parents had to fight their way through a large crowd to get into the jail.

"It was front-page news. Los Angeles Police Chief Edward Davis gave a press conference to announce that warrants had been issued for the arrest of Patricia Krenwinkel, Linda Kasabian, and Charles Watson (Charlie, Susan and Leslie would be named later) for the murders of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, Steven Parent, Rosemary LaBianca and Leno LaBianca. He told the two hundred reporters from around the world that the crime of the decade had been solved.

"A few days later my father painted over the WATSON on the front of the store he'd taken half a lifetime to build." -- Charles Watson in Will You Die For Me?

The gas station area today

View from the gas station area to the church

The Watson house in Will You Die For Me?

The Watson house today. The front door was ajar, but I didn't knock. 
(Notice how much the tree in the front yard has grown.)

Watson attended high school in Farmersville, just under eight miles to the north. Farmersville High is where Watson's infamous theft of four typewriters occurred during a fraternity initiation when he attended the North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, another 20 miles to the west. I knew that the old high school had been completely torn down, so I made no effort to locate or photograph the new school. But I did want to see what the town and surrounding countryside looked like, so we went through there on the way to McKinney. On the way we passed Lavon Lake. Watson took a girl there for an afternoon of recreation on the day that he was arrested for the Tate/LaBianca murders. 

Lavon Lake near Copeville, where Watson spent his last  hours of freedom

"On November 30, I took a drive with my rediscovered girl friend. We had a quiet day at a nearby lake, sitting on a blanket, talking. For some reason, I felt I could relax around her, and we even wove fantasy plans of running away to Northern California together. She was very bored with Texas, and California had the same allure for her it had once held - it seemed like an eternity ago - for me. It almost seemed possible that there might be a future.

"When I got home that afternoon, my father and my mother's brother, Maurice Montgomery, were waiting for me. As soon as I walked into the dim, musty light of the store and saw the two of them together, my father's weathered face staring at me in pain and disbelief, I knew what had happened. The running was over." -- Charles Watson in Will You Die For Me?

The approach to Farmersville from Copeville

Although there is much post-1969 sprawl in greater Farmersville the downtown hasn't 
changed much from when Watson attended high school in the town.

The closed movie theater features movie posters from the town's favorite son, 
World War Two hero and B movie star Audie Murphy.

After Watson's arrest he was taken to the county seat of Collin County, McKinney, where he was housed in the old county prison. 

The Collin County Prison, where Watson was held during his fight against extradition to California

"When we got to the sheriff's office in the big stone jail, just off the main square where the Collin County Courthouse punctuates the low-slung town, my second cousin, County Sheriff Tom Montgomery, called California again for more information but was told nothing except that I was to be held until Los Angeles detectives got to McKinney and that I was dangerous. As he led me to a cell with an embarrassed, apologetic grin, my cousin Tom said, “I think we'll be able to clear all this up quick enough. We know for sure you didn't commit no murder.” I walked into the cell without answering him." --  Charles Watson in Will You Die For Me?

Plaque on the old Collin County Prison

The building has been completely remodeled inside to accommodate an accounting firm, 
but the rear entrance to the structure betrays its former function.

Google Maps view of central McKinney showing the old courthouse (top center) 
and the Collin County Prison (bottom left center)

Watson successfully fought extradition to California for nine months. He attended his legal proceeding in McKinney at the courthouse in the center of the old town square. 

The old Collin County Courthouse. It now houses the local Center for Performing Arts.

Although artwork now decorates the interior, the building still has very much of a courthouse feel. 

Sign indicating the way to the former courtroom, now converted into a theater

The courtroom/theater today, complete with segregation-era balcony al la To Kill A Mockingbird
A theater troupe was having a rehearsal while we were there. 


Charles Watson also spent several years in Denton, Texas, attending the North Texas State University. While there he tooled around in a 1966 Dodge Coronet 600 until he totaled it while running a yellow light during one of his nightlife forays into Dallas. 

A 1966 Dodge Coronet 600

Watson had hoped to pledge the Epsilon Delta chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at NTSU when he stole the typewriters from Farmersville High. Fate intervened however (he got caught) and he never made it into the frat. Today PKA still has a chapter at the former North Texas State University (now called the University of North Texas). The fraternity's website declares that "Pi Kappa Alpha’s members at the University of North Texas strive to be Scholars, Leaders, Athletes, and Gentlemen, and they seek excellence in everything they do."  "Tex" Watson certainly excelled at what he did. 

I was not able to determine whether PKA currently had a frat house, so we didn't drive the additional 30-some miles from McKinney to Denton to check it out.






110 comments:

Dreath said...

Great stuff! Thanks George and Matt.

Suze said...

This is why I love this site so much. You guys actually go to these places, take lots of pics and explain in great detail. Thanks Matt. Thank you Mr. S!

DebS said...

Nice post, I felt like I was there. Tex had a lot of promise, a family that loved and stood by him. He wasted it all and brought shame to his parents. People become victims in many different ways, I feel sad for Tex's parents.

Matt said...

I do too. I got the vibes of family-centered farmers with strong American values there. Heck, Audie Murphy is from Copeville. They don't want to remember Charles Watson in Copeville and I bet that hurts him more than his sentence.

starviego said...

When Tex dies, I hope they bury him next to his Mommy and Daddy.

orwhut said...

Tex seems to have gotten his looks from his mother.

Fiddy 8 said...

Bitchin' car.

Robert C said...

Great microcosm snapshot of Tex's origins. Thanks George & Matt.

penny lane said...

Thanks guys that was really interesting...looks like one of those "kick one and they all limp towns "

orwhut said...

I hate to think of the pain that idiot brought to those that loved him.

Logan said...

Great post. I find the Lavon lake stuff particularly interesting...
I used to live in N. Texas & had a friend who grew up in farmersville, I've been there a few times. I recall the town square having a lot of vacant old buildings in addition to the closed movie theater.
I used to go to UNT, and would often pass Tex's old apartment on Fry street. It's the two story building next to the Zebra Head smoke shop, if anyone is curious and knows the denton area.
Next time Im in the area I'll snap some photos.
Mr Stimson - my friend who still goes to college in Denton told me that PKA doesn't have a frat house right now.

Lynn said...

You did such a poetic view of your adventures. Thank you for this post. Who owns the gas station building now? What is all the stuff you can see inside from the window. Is there any commerce in Copeville?

Matt said...

Lynn, I don't know who owns it. We knocked the side door of the house - no response. We also knocked the old store where music was emanating from. No response.

The only commerce that I noticed was a cement plant that was across the train tracks from the Watson homestead and the convenience store that was quite busy. There was a large developed neighborhood with cookie cutter brick homes and I 'think' was gated. I was told that they were commuter families. The Metroplex has gotten so big that the Copeville area is considered a suburb now.


Lynn said...

Thank you, Matt. A little bit of Americana. I just did a "google drive" through the area....puts it into perspective. I always find abandoned, run down areas that were once thriving. We have friends in Fresno that have abandoned train buildings in their backyard. When the train was redirected, the town and several buildings was left behind.

Lynn said...

Should have said run down areas fascinating. No caffeine this afternoon is killing me

Lynn said...

Just blew up the photo....looks like junk. I spy a tree stand....

orwhut said...

Good luck Lynn. Getting off of caffeine was one of the hardest things I ever did.

Matt said...

I'm not ready to give up caffeine. Please, let's be reasonable!


orwhut said...

Matt,
I wasn't ready either. Some medical issues came up. I'm holding on to my tea and coffee incase I get them ironed out.

Dreath said...

The economy of Portland would collapse without caffeine- 50% of the population work as baristas....of course their other job is playing in a band- one that will change music forever......the other 50%....

.....work for Nike.....or Intel.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I love the smell of coffee and I wish I could still drink it...medical issues..darn.
Matt and George thanks for your research. Did it feel bleak there to you? I'm looking at the photos and thinking about boredom and the bible belt and thinking L.A. seems good compared to this. But I do like the country. Maybe just too flat and dry for me.

Lynn said...

Sorry if I gave the impression of giving up caffeine....at least not coffee. Hadn't yet had my afternoon cup, hence some sentences that did not make sense. Agree with Mr. H, the town looks a little break. Great as a kid, but as you start to grow up... " is this all there is?"....does anyone know how many folks have lived in that house since the Watson family? I can't imagine how hard it was for the Watson family and various relatives living in such a small town and probably close knit community and trying to explain Tex's actions or behavior. It must have been very difficult for them. Tex, in many ways, seemed to have it all.

Lynn said...

Not break....bleak...sheesh

Lynn said...

This made me smile...when I think of Portland, I think of craft breweries and the underground city that once was....complete with opium dens

orwhut said...

Sorry I misunderstood, Lynn. When someone mentions not having caffeine, I jump the gun and think how much I used to miss it.

Matt said...

Mr. Humphrat said...
Did it feel bleak there to you?


To me it sure did. If you're not a farmer or a farmhand all that seemed to be left were that cement plant and the convenience store for employment. I can see how a young adult would get bored very quickly.


Dreath said...

"A few days later my father painted over the WATSON on the front of the store he'd taken half a lifetime to build."

I'd forgotten about this line if I ever remembered it. In such a small community his parent's efforts to disassociate themselves from their own family name is a pretty powerful (sad) statement. I wonder if Watson has ever really came to truly understand the 'reach' of his actions and the negative impact he had on so many lives. When I went back and looked this up it was clear he recognized the impact as it related to his parents- or at least gave that lip service but I wonder if he has ever recognized it went beyond those he cared about. If so how could he live with himself? By pronouncing that God has forgiven him?

Matt said...

Dreath I'm sure he deals with it best he can.

Forgive me if I said this before... I read on his website once that he was firmly on the side of faith as (rather than works) the most important determining factor for admittance to "the Kingdom". When I thought about that it became apparent to me that he HAD to believe that to keep from going crazy.

I think the guy is a psychopath. But, I believe that psychopaths have moments of clarity. Just not often enough.


Robert C said...

Psychopath maybe but we know he's a murderer. But his type of murderer seems to be in a small class given all the extenuating circumstances which, of course, fascinates us. My take on Tex is he's an example of how *all* of us, as a predator species, can under certain circumstances become uncomprehendingly violent. One has to lose their sympathy, empathy and remorse to get there. I agree ... Tex's faith helps keep him rolling, formats in his head as to what he did as the 'old' Tex and the new Tex is different and loving. I still wouldn't let him out.

grimtraveller said...

Matt said...

I read on his website once that he was firmly on the side of faith as (rather than works) the most important determining factor for admittance to "the Kingdom". When I thought about that it became apparent to me that he HAD to believe that to keep from going crazy

That is bog standard "Christianity" not something that a person persuades themselves of so as to feel better.
If 'works' was the determining factor then Christ's sacrifice would be something of a waste of time at one extreme or a contradiction at the other. Because what would be the point of it ? Going even further than that, after 47 years in prison and an almost spotless disciplinary record, someone like Tex could easily say something akin to "I've paid my debt, I've more than done enough to make up for all those murders." Now, most people would still disagree but our disagreement isn't really the issue; if acceptance from God was based on anything we could actually do then logically there would come a point where one's "good" or positive actions could be held to have blotted out past transgressions. That's simply the way we humans think. Interestingly, Charlie Manson has made statements alluding to that, in the past.
However, faith is another matter altogether. Faith, which essentially is trust in God's trustworthiness never gives a person the opportunity to claim that they've levelled the score. It is based, not on anything one can do but on what Christ has already done so even though one may be forgiven by God, one can't just pretend that 7 murders mean nothing and that everything is A~OK. Faith prevents one from ever making the error that somehow they can make up for things they have done that they accept were heinous to God and faith speaks a heck of a lot more about God's personal brilliance than of anything about the human being. If someone offers you a free gig, the credit's on them, not you for accepting it.
A major part of that faith is putting yourself in the position of being transformed from within by God ~ with all the struggles that come with that. Because for everything one may willingly give in to God about, there's 1000 things we'll fight tooth, fang and claw on and it may take years to finally succumb in that particular area and there'll be a lot of kicking and screaming on the trip. But what Christ did opens the road to take on board the necessary changes, which we can't even contemplate without being forgiven by God. Tex not being forgiven by the victims' families doesn't really touch him. Not being forgiven by God is going to more than touch him. And dare I say it, forgiveness of humanity is God's choice. If Watson recognizes it and lives in the freedom of it, it doesn't make him a better person than anyone else, it doesn't mitigate or make go away what he did, it doesn't mean he should live on the society side of those prison walls.

I'm sure he deals with it best he can

I can personally attest to the reality of being transformed. I can also personally attest to the ease with which one can turn one's back on parts of that transformation. Someone like Tex would make it their life's goal to get as far away from the Tex of old as possible ~ but in truth, that would apply to any Christian. There is a definite reality of the old and the new but the emergence of the new does not mean that the old cannot rear its head, which is why faith {trust} in God is one's lifeline. Mistakes will be made, selfishness and hypocrisies can be entered into.....it's a fun life !

Robert C said...

I still wouldn't let him out

I wouldn't at this point either.
But for Tex and the rest of us that follow Christ, everything that happens before we pop our clogs is temporary anyway. Hope is one of the great overlooked aspects of following Christ but without it, it's easy to do the hummingbird and fly backwards.

grimtraveller said...

Matt said...

the side of faith....rather than works

However, all I said is in relation to how one comes to Christ and God. In everyday living, one shows one's faith by one's action {works}. In other words, you can often catch the extent of a person's trust in God by what they do. Talk is cheap and thoughts are free.

Matt said...

grimtraveller said...

Talk is cheap and thoughts are free.


Indeed so...


St Circumstance said...

"Some people go to Church on Sundays
Others they stay drunk at home alone
They learned a long time ago that there aint no god
They are all just standing there alone..."

- Social Distortion


" Everyone hates a quitter"

- I forgot who told me that I was wasted



Tex watson.....

Excellent post! Really great stuff. Thanks to both Matt and George.

I feel for his family. I feel for his town. I feel especially for his mother and father who had to live and die knowing they produced an animal. My mother grew up in a small town in Mississippi. Very similar. Teenagers chased each other around in cars on weekend nights. Meeting at Piggly Wiggly parking lot to talk and steal a kiss- then everyone back in car to scatter to next place. Teachers, farmers, police and small business owners make up the "High- class" status in the community.

Quaint, quiet, and peaceful- yet lacking in anything exciting that would keep the interest of a growing teen.

Tex got out twice. He went to college. He made it to LA and had a small business.

He became what Charlie is credited for. Think about that. The images the world thinks of in these crimes were committed by Tex. Who thinks of Tex first?

I hate the bastard. I think he is among the worst of scum to walk the planet. I will never understand in my life how he could do what he did and even ask anyone to ever consider forgiving him. You just have to accept that you got very lucky not to be dead, and quietly live out you life hoping people forget you. This prick wrote books. Asked for freedom.

Here are the two people who I think should be studied as seriously, by Doctors, as he is:

Labarge or Laberge or whatever who tried to help him get parole- I never hit a woman in my life. This might actually make me think about it.

The idiot woman who married him and had his kids after he was incarcerated and knew what he did- she makes me almost as pissed as him.


Anything else - just ask....



St Circumstance said...

Labarge lol " To the Beat of the Rhythm of the Night"

My mind gets scrambled like an egg...

Matt said...

DeBarge, but close enough. Perhaps a fitting punishment for Watson would be to deprive him of sleep and force him to listen to DeBarge over and over and over. The motive would be divulged soon enough...


St Circumstance said...

lol Now that is an idea :)

DebS said...

You're both wrong! It's Suzan LaBerge. :)

Lynn said...

Off the topic, surely, but what made you come to Christ?

Lynn said...

Love the Social D reference. If you ever get to SoCal, one of the former drummers owns Pike's Restaurant in Long Beach....pretty good food, great local bands.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

He became what Charlie is credited for. Think about that. The images the world thinks of in these crimes were committed by Tex. Who thinks of Tex first?

You just have to accept that you got very lucky not to be dead, and quietly live out you life hoping people forget you

That, my old St, is a question that contains its own reply.
Besides, even if he hoped that, every so often, there are a few people that don't forget.

Who thinks of Tex first?

How many can name any of the 9/11 murderers ? But everyone can name Bin Laden who wasn't even in the country when it happened.
How many can name the ones that ran with Bonnie and Clyde ?
The footsloggers are rarely the ones remembered. The charismatic interesting leader without whom all the chaos would not have happened is the one that gets remembered.
Come to think of it, how many can name the first guy to fly to the moon.....but not get a chance to walk on it ? No problems with Neil & Buzz...

This prick wrote books. Asked for freedom

Are you genuinely pissed that he did so ? I'm not ! However self serving, isn't it better to have some awareness from the mouth of a murderer as to how they got in the position they did ?
As for asking for freedom, he asked for what the system of justice he was under prescribed. You can't hold that against him although you do. Arguably, justice has been working in his case because he's still inside and still wants to get out. So he can't be enjoying the experience. Even when he had conjugal visits, he still wanted out.

Here are the...people who I think should be studied as seriously, by Doctors: the idiot woman who married him and had his kids after he was incarcerated and knew what he did- she makes me almost as pissed as him

Evidently. It's one of your bugbears and has been for years, right back to the days when you first used to write in Col's site. But you can't help who you love. You may decide that you don't want anything to do with the person...but equally you may not. If your wife or the woman you loved committed murder, would you stand by her ? I don't mean pretend that she was innocent, but actually stand by her, say, if you'd been married or together a long while ? And if your state had conjugal visits, would you engage ? I know your points are about those that are attracted to those already incarcerated, but I'm taking this a step at a time.
While I'm on this, would you reject your brother or sister or close friend if they committed murder[s] ? Would you stick by them and visit them and continue to share your life with them ?

Lynn said...

Off the topic, surely, but what made you come to Christ?

Did you mean me ?
If you did, it's a long story. Suffice it to say, back in '86 when I wrote to my friend explaining how the defender of atheism he'd locked horns with all those years had undergone a change, the letter took me 4 weeks to write and ran to 72 pages.

St Circumstance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
St Circumstance said...

Grim I don't think he is a prick for writing a book. I just think he's a prick period.

Also, I do understand loving and standing by Somone you know or is family. I do get that.

But, it's different to me to choose these type of people after you know what they did and have never even met them. People have all the choice in the world whom they want to try and get closer to. She chose a guy who killed a pregnant woman and several others in a savage viscous manner. That turned her on apparently.

I will never get that and it is not the same to me.

St Circumstance said...

People tell me that it happens over time. It is natural as they got to know each other.

That is my point. The convicts don't know these people. These people chose to put in time and effort to grow close to an absolute animal? There is not one person who is not in jail for murder you can develop a crush on or get to know better in this whole country??

I is sickening and it scares me just as much as what Tex did to know that a women went through so much trouble to get with him, and have his kids.

All she knew of him what was public. And that was some scary shit. And yet, she said

" I have absolutely got to find a way to meet this guy"

??? Come on Man!!!

St Circumstance said...

And lastly as far as God...

He cant help Tex and he cant help you. You have to help yourself. He is not a last minute pardon from anything anyone ever does in life that is bad.

God was not an idea that was set up so that bad people could have a "Ace" in the pocket. No matter what you do- here is someone that the World respects- who is all about forgiveness.

Give me a break. Be original. What else do you have to do in the clink besides join a gang, or get in more trouble. Tex went nerd to save his own ass and to get some freedoms- which if you read enough about him you will know- were huge. He was running the prison chapel for awhile- with his own office more or less. And his own hand picked assistant- Bruce Davis. I couldn't remember El Debarge- But I am sure I am right about this.

Someone smart caught on and they moved them apart.

Tex is a lying manipulating murdering scumbag.

He gets no mercy at all now or ever- and anyone who finds what he did attractive in any way should get almost as little respect as he does

St Circumstance said...

Sorry- wrong choice of words. Mercy?

Maybe.

But no forgiving what he did.


St Circumstance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
St Circumstance said...

And my final observation- I promise ;)

Tex was able to have a more productive life and raise a better family in the clink than Linda was on the outside....

He was supposed to die, and she got the "miracle" second chance.

Those two were a match made in heaven

St Circumstance said...

or hell... sorry now I am done

Lynn said...

Yes, you. Thank you for that. I have been involved with various sectors or around them (some of them very off the wall) so I find religion (or lack there of) and preferences fascinating

grimtraveller said...

Lynn said...

Yes, you

Well, very long convoluted story short, it was a very gradual, realization part of which involved observing two friends, one of whose conversion ultimately broke up three bands we played in. I wasn't interested in Christ, I wasn't "searching" for life's meaning. I thought God, if such a "thing" existed at all, was a right idiot, for a variety of reasons. Virtually every one around me was into God or some kind of philosophy {like Buddhism or Pan Africanism or blowing up South Africans} on some front, whether Muslims, Rastas or whatever else. Even my drug dealers used to warn me not to be so disrespectful about God, which I found kind of funny. It's hard to pinpoint any particular moment of clarity because there wasn't any. It really came about gradually as I considered things and asked myself questions. I would find that sometimes I'd be having arguments in my head and in those arguments, I'd be adopting the "christian" viewpoint which really used to annoy me. I'd catch myself mid way and think, "£@%*+%$ that !" But I became more and more aware of this presence. It's really hard to explain because there's little I can compare it with. The only thing that springs to mind is hating a song for decades and then one day realizing that you really like it and know the instrumental parts. There's all kinds of little things that go into the brew but you never know for certain exactly why you've changed.
When I did decide to go with Christ, it was because I was sure that he was real and was up for changing my life and 32 years on, I don't regret it. Because the big question has been answered for me doesn't mean I get to retire from life or reality. Truth be told, life got a whole lot harder in most ways. But on balance, I prefer it.

St Circumstance said...

as far as God...He cant help Tex and he cant help you

Try telling him that !

You have to help yourself

Lots of people say that and it's a pithy little saying that sounds cool and sensible until you realistically start to look at what it means.
Does it apply to people with mental health problems ? Does it apply to people who are currently being displaced through war ? Did it apply to the millions of peoples throughout history that found themselves as someone elses slaves ? Does it apply to kids whose parents aren't particularly interested in them ?
There are zillions of situations in which I help myself. There are also situations where I simply cannot ~ but God can and has. And there are also situations in which both happen or to put it another way, God helps a situation so I can help myself or God helps me so I can help myself.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

Tex was able to have a more productive life and raise a better family in the clink than Linda was on the outside....

And that is American society's victory. Certain strands of American society said of the Manson family, "if this lot aren't going to die, they're going to see just why their existence and actions are so abhorrent to us."
You know, this may be a daft thing to say but there may be some things worse than a death sentence. The possibility that you are going to spend the rest of your days in jail, or on that parole "will they, won't they" roller coaster and having to daily contend with what you did that landed you in jail. That's where the entire Family was different from Charlie. He'd been locked up for well over half his life which is harsh when you consider he first went in around the age of 12~ish and not because of any crimes. But institutions were mostly what he'd known in the important developing years. None of the others could say that and I doubt any of them bargained for a life in jail. For Charlie the definite possibility always loomed. Even before Barker in early October '69, his parole/probation officer Samuel Barrett had recommended he be returned to jail. If he could be found !
The others know they have wasted their lives. I suspect they would rather be working taxpayers, struggling to meet bills and mortgages than what they've been in the last 47 years. But despite that, they've been pulled from the mindset they had back in the day.
That's a victory for America. And America gets to have its cake and eat it by keeping all but Clem dangling and house trained.
Linda never had that choice, partly because as the turner of state's evidence she was deemed to be "moral" enough to know the right way to go. Truth is, she was a trainwreck that was left to fly down the tracks and hit the inevitable railway siding tat she'd been heading for long before she ever met Gypsy on, oh irony of ironies, Independence day '69..


St Circumstance said...

If what Tex got ended up being worse than a death sentence that's ok with me.

And so are you Grim. I love your conviction.

:)

Fiddy 8 said...

Saint said:

" What else do you have to do in the clink besides join a gang, or get in more trouble?"

Create spanking paintings?

Suze said...

Make tarantulas from your socks?

starviego said...


Grim,

"Even before Barker in early October '69, his parole/probation officer Samuel Barrett had recommended he be returned to jail. If he could be found!"

do you have a source for that?

St Circumstance said...

Good answers lol

cielodrivecom said...

Starviego, In September of 69, the DOJ was in the process of issuing a violators warrant for Manson. This came out an ATF investigation related to the 9mm that Bruce Davis purchased in July. The owner of the store incorrectly IDed Manson has being the purchaser of the gun. The DOJ had given Manson many passes regarding arrests they considered minor offenses. Throughout his record you'll find several instances of people giving him breaks because they were sympathetic to his unfavorable childhood and many felt he had been over institutionalized. However, because they thought he had purchased the gun, they felt it necessary to violate his parole. By the time they realized Bruce Davis had been the one that bought the gun, Manson had already been linked to the Tate-LaBianca murders so it didn't really matter.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

"Even before Barker in early October '69, his probation officer Samuel Barrett had recommended he be returned to jail. If he could be found!"

do you have a source for that?


Yeah, the actual trial. When Cats' site was up and running there were some trial transcripts there and one of them was that of the probation officer Samuel Barrett. In "Helter Skelter" Bugliosi castigates Barrett as an unimpressive witness and asks why he didn't revoke Manson's parole.
But he did.
He stated that he'd written a letter around October 1st recommending that Manson be returned to jail because he wasn't following the terms of his parole.
I can't find his testimony anywhere but if you can, you'll see it there in the morning session. I've definitely seen it. I remember being surprised by how something can appear in a book and then you get hold of the thing being commented on and they're like 2 completely different languages. Bugliosi was not correct about Samuel Barrett.

St Circumstance said...

God was not an idea that was set up so that bad people could have a "Ace" in the pocket

God is no more an idea than you are.
Your point is right though; it is a humongous error to suppose that anyone can plan to lead a life that God finds unsatisfactory, thinking that one day they'll just "change" and then start opening themselves up to God and God's ways. It just does not work that way and God ain't dumb. Not only that, we as human beings don't just change like that or maintain the changes we do go through with such unthought out ease.

Give me a break. Be original. What else do you have to do in the clink besides join a gang, or get in more trouble. Tex went nerd to save his own ass and to get some freedoms- which if you read enough about him you will know- were huge. He was running the prison chapel for awhile- with his own office more or less. And his own hand picked assistant- Bruce Davis

I don't agree with that because letting Christ direct your existence is infinitely harder than anything he would have gone through in jail and keeping it up for 43 years would expose any frauds, believe me. But even if all you say there is true, there is no way it would have been apparent to him back in 1974. When he was first in jail, he didn't even want to talk to Bruce Davis.

starviego said...

Thank you Grim and Cielo.

St Circumstance said...

Grim- Bruce and Tex were reported for running a business basically and even had internet access for awhile. Bruce met his wife through Tex in some manner or another. I forget the specifics but can go back and find them for you if you don't take my word.

I hope you do take my word lol I am getting lazy about that shit lately. I hate digging through all the old info and books. I have read so many as the years pass it gets harder and harder. My memory is still ok though and I am sure of that. People reported Tex for basically taking over. The Chaplain who was supposed to be in charge was rarely there and lef them to their own devices 8 hours most days.


A quick word:

I have discovered late in life the difference between ignorance and stupidity.

Being ignorant about a subject just means you don't know about it and that is o.k. we are all ignorant about something. But, being ignorant about a subject and then being the loudest guy in the room or drawing attention to yourself over it makes you look stupid and not everybody does that.

Regardless if it is 7 people in two nights on Cielo Drive, or hundreds of thousands in Germany...

unless you have been brutally killed at the hands of others or lost someone who was- you are ignorant to the pain and suffering it creates. To make light of it or draw attention to yourself by praising those who caused it makes you not just ignorant...

But stupid.

Fiddy 8 said...

Saint: I've always had a problem with that premise you used for a political argument: "unless someone in your family has been murdered, you can't have an opinion on justice".

Well, I do have an unsolved murder in my immediate family - and I do not feel any special entitlement to the issue, and will always consider the death penalty as cruel and unusual.

Fiddy 8 said...
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Fiddy 8 said...

I'd rather that instead of spending all the money that they do on getting an execution, they (we) used that money on solving cold cases like ours.

Fiddy 8 said...

No justification to take special entitlement as a (famous) victim, and then claim to be an authority and superior voice on justice in America. That whole victim impact deal the Tates did bugs me too - justice is blind, punishment shouldn't be based on how well the family express their love of the victim.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Lynn said...[to Grim]

" what made you come to Christ?"

Grim said: " back in '86 when I wrote to my friend explaining how the defender of atheism he'd locked horns with all those years had undergone a change, the letter took me 4 weeks to write and ran to 72 pages."

I can't be the only person reading this to get a chuckle out Grim writing a 72 page letter. Are we going to get some excerpts??

Mr. Humphrat said...

Grim, I respect your informed opinions and you can explain yourself so much better than I can. Plus I know you tend to have similar opinions to mine on Manson and Tex, at least you put a lot of thought into Tex and try to consider his life fairly. I'm wondering do you agree with people who say Tex is an animal and/or psychopath? Do you or anyone know of good psychological studies on him which can be read? And do you (or anyone else reading this) think he could be a psychopath and successfully hide it through the years?

Fiddy 8 said...

If anyone is a reformed atheist, they were never an actual atheist in the first place.

St Circumstance said...

Fiddy I don't have a problem with anyone having an opinion about anything. I really don't.

I just think that it is insensitive for people to glamorize people who have hurt others. If you personally have suffered a loss like that and you do think it is ok I respect you and am sorry for your loss.

St Circumstance said...

I just think that people who haven't suffered from a loss like that shouldn't be so quick to idolize people who cause it for others..

St Circumstance said...
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St Circumstance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orwhut said...

OT:
Has anyone read, Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders By Greg King? It's available from Bookbub today for $1.99. It's a download.

grimtraveller said...

orwhut said...

Has anyone read, Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders By Greg King? It's available from Bookbub today for $1.99

It's one of the books I'm currently reading. It's OK up until the part at which Charles Manson enters the story. Then it takes a downward tumble into trying to be all things to all people. It reminds me a little of Jeff Guinn's book in the way in which basically, so much information from already existing sources is regurgitated. On a blog, that will happen as a necessity because there are so many sources and people will bring up lots of different references in support of so many differing opinions and thoughts. When that happens in a book however, as interesting as it may be, every so often, the thought flickers across the mind "other than having all this info in one place, what is the point of this book's actual existence ?"
That said, it's worth reading and at $1.99, it's a snip. If one hates it, you can always view that $1.99 as the price of an education.

St Circumstance said...

I just think that it is insensitive for people to glamorize people who have hurt others. I just think that people who haven't suffered from a loss like that shouldn't be so quick to idolize people who cause it for others...

Are you thinking of anyone in particular ?
Realistically, there would be no history at all if that didn't happen. While not everyone has committed murder, pretty much everyone has hurt or will hurt others. World leaders, criminals, sports and entertainment stars, absent parents, "ordinary" bods that no one has heard of......
But there's another side to this. Do you remember a while back when there was a piece about Tex having his Wikipedia details changed and lots of people gave him grief for it ? I thought that it made sense that any person should want the impression of them that is left in the world to be controlled by them or at the very least, their own version of themselves {or one by sympathetic or supportive parties} should be among the throng. That's one of the major reasons twitter took off big time among "celebrities." A number of people in the public eye said that rather than having everything said about them dictated by journalists or people with an agenda, they were taking control of their own presentation. Naturally, some of that will be interpreted as glamorizing. Since the late 80s with books by Emmons, Shreck, White, Ghostdancer and Stimson for example, we have the opportunity to redress the balance that had been set by Bugliosi, Davies, Schiller, Bishop, Gilmour and those on that side of the river.
Glamorizing is in the eye of the beholder. Do George and Manson Mythos glamorize Charlie or do they put across their side of what they see and find ? It's an inescapable reality that there are many of us that find those that have transgressed a lot more fascinating than those who are straight down the line. We look at how and try to work out why they went the wrong way. For a variety of reasons.
But if you present someone in all their varying shades and by extension, show them to be funny, cool, conniving, dangerous, iconoclastic, in other words, human, is it actually your fault if others find the person glamorous ? And if you do find someone to be so, should you pretend that you don't ? One person's "we brought the war to an end in one fell swoop" is another person's Hiroshima and Nagasaki nightmare that goes on to this day.

St Circumstance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
St Circumstance said...

Nahhh nobody in particular lol ;)

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

Bruce and Tex were reported for running a business basically and even had internet access for awhile....People reported Tex for basically taking over

I wasn't disputing that, I was disputing that he had such wonderful foresight as to figure that all of what went on to happen was something he could make happen and proceeded to do so back in '74.

Fiddy 8 said...

Saint: I've always had a problem with that premise you used for a political argument: "unless someone in your family has been murdered, you can't have an opinion on justice"

I'm with Fiddy 8 on this one. Experience of a condition or event can be a double edged sword. Yes, whatever it is can grant one tremendous insight in ways that those that haven't experienced it just don't see. But it can also blind one to objectivity and keep one hamstrung in hate, fear, bitterness and a whole lot more besides. Someone whose child had a hardcore drug problem may not be the best person to legislate how to deal with that particular happening. But there again, they could be just the person whose experience and wisdom is what makes the difference in helping others. But it isn't simply that it is so close to home that determines whether they are blessing or curse. It should not be the families of victims that determine whether the one who dealt their loved one a deathly hand {or whatever it is we're talking about} should be sentenced to death, receive parole, have conjugal visits etc. Funnily enough, many were quick to metaphorically boot Suzan LaBerge up the jacksy when she advocated Tex be granted parole. I suspect many of the same were quick to praise Doris Tate for doing the opposite. Yet their experience was identical.

St Circumstance said...

I hate digging through all the old info and books

I'm still at the stage where I find that quite illuminating. Just the other day I was looking through Susan Atkins' grand jury testimony and it is a real treasure trove.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I can't be the only person reading this to get a chuckle out of Grim writing a 72 page letter. Are we going to get some excerpts??

I would imagine that letter has been lost to history. The last time I ever saw it was the day in summer '86 that I gave it to my cousin to deliver it as she was flying to the country my mate lived in. He told me it really shook him up once he'd read it.

Fiddy 8 said...

If anyone is a reformed atheist, they were never an actual atheist in the first place

Not so. Meeting Christ is and was a real experience, regardless of what a doubter thinks. And someone such as myself that did not believe in the existence of God had reason[s] to change my stance on that. Trust me mate, I was once atheist.

Robert C said...

Grim said ** Meeting Christ is and was a real experience, regardless of what a doubter thinks. **

Hm-m-m ... with all due respect it sounds like a challenge.

Some believe the earth's flat, their thinking stops there, and there's no amount of convincing otherwise ;-)

orwhut said...

Grim,
Thank you for the review on the book. I enjoyed Guinn's book so this may be one I'd like too.

Lynn said...

We have very close friends whose 16'yearbold daughter was killed by a guy who was out of jail on a technicality...perfect storm for an unusual encounter. Both parents handled it very differently although they met with Dominick Dunne who also lost his daughter to murder. It was heartbreaking and haunts me to this day. They opted for the murderer to get life....to be among the general population and to be raped by the inmates....wouldn't bring their daughter back but gave them a sliver of justice.

grimtraveller said...

Mr. Humphrat said...

you tend to have similar opinions to mine on Manson and Tex, at least you put a lot of thought into Tex and try to consider his life fairly

I do. I know that it's almost cybersuicide to have anything positive to say about Tex or to try and be objective about him. But there's little point in discussing him otherwise. If the only direction one can take is to be "He was a bastard, he is a bastard, he should have died, he should be thought of first in terms of TLB rather than Charlie, he's a fucker for saying God has forgiven him, it's disgusting he was allowed to have sex and children..." then really, why bother ?
But he's a human being.
Now, I must be honest, if I wasn't in Christ myself, I doubt that I'd view him the way I do, so I understand where his detractors are coming from and I could adopt that view and easily defend it. But I'm acutely aware that far from people turning to God to make themselves feel better or whatever, with humanity, God is the one that takes the initiative in coming looking for us. God has less interest in those that think they're not in need of what's on offer though his love for them is as deep and moving as for those that acknowledge that they're a trainwreck as far as God's concerned. It's not only vile murderers that fall into that category. In fact, vile Tex style murderers are way in the minority when it comes to those of us that recognize we can't do what God wants without God steering the van.
But he and his ilk are part of the number. Whether I like it or not, he's my brother in Christ. But him being my brother doesn't mean I have to like or attempt to justify his more vile acts. Quite the opposite. At the same time, I can't pretend that I'm somehow better than him. I'm not.
As for Charlie, it's really not much different. I try to be fair. To me he's not the "hippie cult leader" or the most evil man in America. Nor is he an innocent victim of a heinous miscarriage of justice. I personally think that he was curious about taking life ~ as many people of all walks and ages are. I believe that the events of the first 32 years of his life combined to make a huge impact on him and his identification through LSD with Christ and the Devil and what he was seeing all around him brought him closer to that point where he no longer just wondered about murder but was ready to see it enacted to fulfill an important picture in his mind's eye.

I'm wondering do you agree with people who say Tex is an animal and/or psychopath? And do you think he could be a psychopath and successfully hide it through the years?

If we go with the sort of layman's Wikipedia type definition of a psychopath, then yes, I think he was. He certainly fits the traits that are commonly associated with one. There is a question mark though, to what extent the psychopath or sociopath can be readily blamed for their condition if they are not responsible for it. Are they any more responsible than any other mental health issue that a person has ? It's a big question.
Having said all that, Charles Watson managed to keep the destructive elements of his being hidden for a while but they kept rearing their ugly head. His action in leaving Rosina at the mercy of Lotsapoppa speaks far louder to me than even what he did at Cielo and Waverley. That was cold.
I also believe that God is more than capable and willing to infuse him with what he needed {and continues to need} to change. Whatever flaws exist in Tex, if he's honest with himself and God, he'll know that even with God's power fuelling him, those flaws can rear their head and he has to be aware of that in order to fight them should they arise.

St Circumstance said...

Grim how about take the totality of what he did to Rosina and TLB and then consider he had less sincere motives than you do as far as religion.

Is that possible???

I do not know you- but you seem a gentleman and I am going to give you the benefit of doubt to say you are wrong. You are almost absolutely better than Tex

:)

grimtraveller said...

orwhut said...

I enjoyed Guinn's book so this may be one I'd like too

I thought Guinn's book was pretty good. It got bags of criticism as does he. But I enjoyed it. I read it in France and finished it off bouncing all over the channel in a tiny cabin without windows thinking "I hope this boat doesn't sink !" There's lots of stuff in the book I had doubts about and issues with but there's some tremendous stuff relating to his Mum, Dad and early life. And he gets some very interesting stuff from Pat.

Robert C said...

Hm-m-m ... with all due respect it sounds like a challenge.
Some believe the earth's flat, their thinking stops there, and there's no amount of convincing otherwise


The earth is flat when you stand or drive on it !
Seriously though, is there really anyone today that argues that it's flat apart from 200 members of the flat earth society ?
People that used to think the earth was flat are in my opinion often given a bad press. Back then, most people, if they thought about it at all, possibly thought it was flat because as far as they could see, wherever you were, it came across as flat. Most people I suspect had far more important things to worry about than the shape of the earth. And naturally would argue against it being spherical in the absence of the kind of technology that would demonstrate it as being so. Drawings weren't sufficient.
Nowadays, people argue with anything ! Regardless of the offers of proof. But I don't think someone saying "I have personal experience with Christ numerous times over a 32 year period" is quite the same thing. I cannot prove that I have but I can relate the experience[s] and leave each person to come to their own conclusion. I try not to get involved in internet debates about Christ though. It's far more effective going eyeball to eyeball and within the context of actually knowing someone.

St Circumstance said...

I just think that people who haven't suffered from a loss like that shouldn't be so quick to idolize people who cause it for others..

I'm fascinated by this point because it opens the door to so many strands and offshoots.
Nicholas Shreck writes a lot in his book about Charlie's spiritual leanings, teachings and practice and he writes in a most positive vein about him. One could argue that he's glamorizing but his consideration of Manson's spiritual journey is one of, if not the best aspect of his book. While much of it tries to rewrite history with little to back it up, that inner life transcendency part provides a side that has been too easily overlooked and ignored in favour of the same old, same old ~ fascinating as that is.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks Grim!
And I think that's a great point what he did to Rosina was almost certainly his own idea and points to a great disregard for others in that case.
I've got to believe his use of belladonna on top of acid and speed warped his senses to the point he was able to do horrendous things, and once away from drug use, was able to return to a state of somewhat normalcy.
Since I posed the question I read somewhere else that he volunteered at Mule Creek prison for clean up of suicides and other situations involving blood and entrails. The point was made that willingness to perform those cleanups could indicate he wasn't repelled by the carnage he created in the past.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

how about take the totality of what he did to Rosina and TLB and then consider he had less sincere motives than you do as far as religion.
Is that possible???


Well, that was 1969. A long time before 1974. I guess what I'm always driving at where a conversion to Christ is concerned is that God's not a twat. He knows our motivation. He knows who is sincere. Don't get me wrong, loads of people have genuinely become Christians and misused that. Some are even featured in the pages of the new testament. But ultimately God knows the score.
You know plenty of people come into a relationship with Christ in a less than half hearted manner. Some realize fairly early on that that's not how it continues. But God is patient because there's no way a person is going to catch all they need straight away. But it's a challenging life regardless of where it takes place or the circumstances. That said, virtually nothing Tex would have picked up in his pre~ incarceration life would have been of any use to him where Christ was concerned. So he has had to learn from Christ and live the life in prison. No time or space to switch off from being surrounded by an atmosphere where negativity of many shades most likely rules the roost. I think for all their flaws, even as Christians, and there have been and will be {it's the same for all of us}, Tex, Bruce and Susan while she was around, deserve some credit for sticking with decisions they made back in the early 70s.
Yes, it's possible Tex's motives may not have been entirely sound around his conversion, but that wouldn't only apply to him. It's a fairly common occurrence. Time sorts that out though. Even Josef Fritzl got found out before the 25 year point was up.

Dreath said...

how could he live with himself? By pronouncing that God has forgiven him?

Much talk of Charles Watson will always come back to his conversion. And that is precisely what he would want, regardless of the various positions we take. I think he would have the view that one never knows where it will eventually end up.


grimtraveller said...

Mr. Humphrat said...

I read somewhere else that he volunteered at Mule Creek prison for clean up of suicides and other situations involving blood and entrails. The point was made that willingness to perform those cleanups could indicate he wasn't repelled by the carnage he created in the past

I think he was placing himself in a situation where he would be doing the nastiest job possible to show humility and he would have the stomach to handle it. I think he'd be repelled by what he'd done though not the contact with people's bits. There again, maybe it was a way of reminding himself of the sanctity of life, life that he'd been instrumental in bringing to an end, more than once. During his last parole hearing, he wanted to gain some brownie points for that job but the board didn't want to talk about that !
Doctors, cops and soldiers aren't generally fazed by bloody scenes that would floor many of us.
When my wife was giving birth for the first time it was an emergency cesarean and the nurses and midwife kept on asking me if I was sure I wanted to be present and I was asked so many times that it rather got on my nerves and I asked one of them why they kept asking. They said to me that many expectant Dads just freak out when they see their women sliced open and see all the blood, bits and fluids and many pass out and afterwards found it hard to impossible to make love with them, some for years. Now, I hate violence in films and won't even let my kids have slasher games. But I had no problem seeing my wife cut open, seeing the Doc place the giant fibroid to the side and her insides and all the blood and gore. I thought "I've never seen someone's insides before." Maybe I was inured by all those episodes of "Casualty" and visits to the abattoir.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Many thanks to Matt and George for their photos and perceptions of Copeville. One has to wonder if the little town suffered a negative complex as the result of the shame associated with Tex, although I guess Mr. Watson painting over the family name says all that is needed to know.

orwhut said...

OT
https://www.yahoo.com/news/polanski-shocking-pick-french-awards-ceremony-host-minister-194259772.html

grimtraveller said...

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

although I guess Mr. Watson painting over the family name says all that is needed to know

It was probably just as bad for the law enforcement side of the family, especially after being so sure "young Charles" wasn't involved in no murder....

penny lane said...

All this god talk bores the bejesus out of me...Hope i dont offend u Grim...but I see belief in god as a weakness..Tex uses it as a crutch ,pathetic specimen that he is....IMO.. If he truly was as devout as he claims he would never ask for parole...ever..how very DARE he...!!

Matt said...

Thank you, Penny. God is make-believe. I wish Drumpf was too.


penny lane said...

Yep make believe .I just dont get the need to believe ...who has the time !..I mean seriously if there was a god there would be no President Trump..

St Circumstance said...

I have known most of my life that there are 3 things you just can't reason with people about.

religion
Politics
Love

Sports to en extent as well but not as bad

This blog taught me that Manson is another topic that really polarizes

People seem to be for or against without much willingness to compromise either way.

penny lane said...

I dont believe in any of those things ..and your right no room for compromise. .:)

St Circumstance said...

lol :)

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks Grim again for your input on Tex's cleanup duties at Mule Creek.

If Trump were reading this blog I'm sure he'd say Matt and Penny Lane were being "Very Unfair!"

Back to Tex's mental state, is the best source to turn to the 1971 psychiatric evaluation? Are there more recent ones? And are these evaluations always administered and evaluated through the prison system.

And is a person who commits heinous crimes after ingesting bath salts for example in a temporary psychotic state and not necessarily psychotic otherwise?

grimtraveller said...

penny lane said...

All this god talk bores the bejesus out of me...

Well, talk of motor racing or movie references that I have no idea about or a thousand other things bore me to tears. I have a simple rule that I follow ~ if I've got nothing of any use to contribute to a particular strand, I don't.
Where Tex is concerned, his conversion and its aftermath is always going to come up. It's a given because he's such a polarizing character. And as such, I know that there are things I can contribute to the discussion. I think I can see where he may be coming from on certain things and I think it's important to share that in the wider forum.

Hope i dont offend u Grim...but I see belief in god as a weakness..

No, I'm not offended. It goes with the territory. The overwhelming majority of good and great friends I have or have had in the last 32 years haven't been interested in Christ or God. Most of them haven't or don't share any of my music tastes either.
As for weakness, yes. What's wrong with that ? Am I a sunshine superman ? Not in the slightest particular. I have deficiencies. I have weaknesses. I don't glory in them and I don't pretend they don't exist.

Tex uses it as a crutch

Again, what's the problem with that ?
A crutch is actually a good analogy. Someone that uses a crutch uses it because they need to walk properly. That sums up the human dilemma, as far as God is concerned, pretty well. The interesting thing about a crutch is that it doesn't guarantee perfect mobility....but it gets you about and one gets better with the crutch.

If he truly was as devout as he claims he would never ask for parole...ever..how very DARE he...!!

So many people on so many sites have made that argument and it never makes sense to me.
Firstly, the law, a law whose creators weren't interested in Jesus conversions by the way, made provision for the possibility of parole. Not the divine right to it or the guarantee of it. The possibility of it. To me, it's a bit like certain tax breaks. For example, over here in England, there's actually provision in the law for a person to claim back money that they've spent on washing their work uniform. I think that's daft but it's there and I couldn't criticize someone for claiming it. The law has opened that door and made provision.
He wouldn't ask for parole if the door to it was not open.
I'd be tempted to stake my life on this, that if you were in his shoes, you'd apply for parole.
Secondly, if one has erred in life the way someone like Tex has and they meet with Christ and all that entails and they know that they have undergone a change over a 40+ year period, then there will be a natural desire to live out one's life in the multifaceted arena of life on the outside ~ if it is at all possible. Especially if one has kids. The decision can never be Tex's. It's not down to him. All he can do is demonstrate within the confines of prison that he is not the guy that he was in that 1964~1974 period. He knows there is a more than good chance that he will be there till he breathes his last. But hope is a powerful motivator.

I just don't get the need to believe

Well, neither did I once.
But you know, some things aren't about need. When I did my volte face, need didn't come into it. I was rather nervous about having to face all those people that I'd spent years decrying God to. There were an interesting array of reactions and no one acted in a way that I thought they might other than everyone was initially shocked.

grimtraveller said...

Penny lane said...

I mean seriously if there was a god there would be no President Trump

Actually, I would, even jokingly, argue the opposite. If you look at the USA since say, 1960, it has been a country of political swings every 8 years with the exception of the 4 Carter years followed by the 12 years of Reagan and Bush Snr. The swings from Democrat to Republican since JFK in America are an interesting microcosm of modern humanity's general malaise and our general dissatisfaction with our state, the very thing God has been pointing at since, well, if one believes it, since the garden.
From my perspective, Donald Trump was the only logical winner.

Matt said...

God is make-believe

Sometimes there is truth in that. Not overall, but there are tons of times when people may ascribe something to God that is not at all and can only really be described as make believe. I've seen that enough times myself. Sometimes, I've been involved in it.

St Circumstance said...

there are 3 things you just can't reason with people about.
religion
Politics
Love


It really depends on what you mean by "reason with." What I suspect you really mean is "see it how you see it." And that's not reasoning.
If you and I met up in person, I could regale you with stories taken from the last 32 years of Christ's input into my life, real experiences, real happenings. I'm not sure there is much to reason about there, same way there wouldn't be much to reason about my experiences in the labour theatre because these are things that have actively happened. What would be your objective in reasoning ? To get me to accept they didn't happen or that they didn't at some level have God in them ?
Can you reason about religion ?
Politics. People change their political views, maybe not all the time, but during their lifetimes or at least they do in the UK. Granted, people are often entrenched in their views while they hold them, but I see life as a continuum and many people alter according to circumstance or other things. If by reasoning you really mean "trying to change their mind to what you think" then most times, you're right. But I don't always find politics as black and white as it is sometimes presented. Personally, I'm left wing in some things, liberal in others, right wing in others and ignorant in others still.
Love. Hmmm...when we say 'love' are we even always talking about the same thing ?

Manson is another topic that really polarizes

For sure. But is that a bad thing ? There's a difference between deliberately ignoring verifiable facts in order to make the point that one wants to make and drawing different conclusions from those facts.

People seem to be for or against without much willingness to compromise either way

But again, what do you actually mean by that ? There are simply some things that aren't for compromise and some things are. But even with those things that may not be for compromise, new information or time can cause a modification of a current view. Since I started discussing on the blogs, that's happened to me loads of times. On the other hand, take a silly thing like Karlene Faith's book on Leslie. You think it's a shit book and that she kind of almost excuses Leslie. I think it's a great book and that she doesn't pull punches about Leslie's guilt. There's no reason why we can't share our views and discuss them without ever changing our minds on where we stand. To~ing and fro~ing in debate is sometimes part of the reasoning process.

grimtraveller said...

Mr. Humphrat said...

Back to Tex's mental state, is the best source to turn to the 1971 psychiatric evaluation?

I'd look at some of the ones that have been mentioned in some of his more recent parole hearings. The problem that I have with those 1971 ones is that in that period it was pre~trial and I think he was trying to come across as insane. He went on to try the old diminished responsibility gig which he more or less later admits was a crock.

justice_4_all2010 said...

Belladonna... Something to consider regarding Tex.
In France, in the old days, in certain areas and cultures(though called another name as I don't feel like researching it again now) It was used in small doses to ease ministerial cramps, especially amongst young girls experiencing puberty.

Jone of Arc has her visions at this age, and this plant was used in her small community... She never has visions again...only hears voices that tell her things that Jone would know already...But it drives her.

Jone was convinced her visions were real, how much would that Belladonna trip alter Tex's personality??

justice_4_all2010 said...

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/21/journalist-george-krimsky-who-covered-manson-arrest-dies.html

penny lane said...

Lol..ministerial cramps...thanks for the typo justice made me laugh ...

penny lane said...

Thanks Grim ...So now can i ask ..did u see the light gradually or did it happen in an instant...and was LSD involved.?..again if im offensive ignore me as i no nothing about god etiquette :)

grimtraveller said...

penny lane said...

Lol..ministerial cramps

Actually, in the current political climate in both the UK and US of A, that seems strangely appropriate.....


did u see the light gradually or did it happen in an instant

It was very gradual. It was almost imperceptible and it's only because I'm a sucker for history and my own history that I gave it any thought as to how things came together. It's as accurate as I can make it but things that I thought were parts of the process or significant may not have been.
Interestingly, I'd heard from friends about both theirs and other fantastic conversions and what had happened to them during it so the day I decided to give Christ a spin, I was waiting for all this wonderful mystical stuff to happen that would be better than an acid trip......and not a bean happened. I didn't even feel different initially. But in retrospect, I'm glad it happened that way for though everyone goes through different things initially, for me I had to learn trust with no accompanying phenomena. That has stood me in pretty good stead through many difficult times and taught me some serious major league patience.


was LSD involved?

No, acid wasn't involved. About 7 weeks before I made the move, I stopped messing about with all drugs. I'd spent from the end of '81 to around April '85 in a chemically altered state ! It was great fun for the most part but I just got as far as I felt I was going without the risk of some heavy duty addiction and truth be told, much of the last 18 months I was getting little out of my travels. Just when I had the money too ! While I'm confident that God has helped lots of folk with drug issues, that wasn't the case for me. I made that move myself.

..again if im offensive ignore me as i no nothing about god etiquette

The only etiquette I'm aware of is honesty. Mind you, that can actually be quite difficult sometimes, the longer one is in Christ. You'd think it gets easier but that's not the case always. But no Penny, I'm not offended. When you said it earlier, I had to stop and think about what I am offended by. The only thing I could think of is when people I think should know me act in ways that belie that. And that's more irritation than offence.

penny lane said...

Thanks Grim...so eloquent ...i guess what intetests me is how u where even able to entertain the existance of god..It seems like such nonsense to me..If i came home one day sprouting jesus talk...my family would have me committed..:)

grimtraveller said...

penny lane said...

i guess what interests me is how u where even able to entertain the existance of god

I was 14 when I decided that God didn't exist. Just after I'd asked God to see to it that I wasn't expelled from school when I was looking expulsion in the face.
I didn't get expelled !
Truth be told, I didn't want to believe in God. I could see no reason to support the existence of such a being and those that seemed to be the biggest supporters just happened to be among the perpetrators of some of history's worst acts. I remember at school when I declared I was atheist. Talk about the cat among the pigeons...back in the late 70s, that was an unusual stance to take and I used to argue with anyone and everyone about it. I got an O level, grade A in Bible knowledge and always considered it the supreme irony. It meant no more to me than any other O level and I did it because it was easier than geography and physics. But the road to change was really gradual and if I've got it right, began long before I even decided there was no God.
I got into the Manson saga long before I was a believer but since being one, there's so much from the whole shebang that I feel I have a useful insight into because of what I see as God's reality, not least Helter Skelter itself. To the "religious" and acid enhanced mind, it makes pretty near perfect sense.

It seems like such nonsense to me

Well, that's natural. If someone says to you "I'm in a personal relationship with God who made and sustains the world" it throws up so many questions and objections and it does seem like utter horseshit. It can be both a good and a bad thing to be around a believer, depending on that person. It was certainly useful for me to have a couple of friends that were Christians because without realizing it, I was watching them like a rat, looking for any signs of truth, hypocrisy or falsehood. It was also useful to be able to ask all manner of questions and have the chance to process things in my own mind.

If i came home one day sprouting jesus talk...my family would have me committed

I was always seen as the rebel and maverick in the family, the one that stole, took drugs, refused to go to university, ran away from home, skipping one country to another and never returned etc.....there were varied reactions. My younger sister was shocked. So shocked in fact that she began looking into Christ and just over a year later became a Christian herself. I once asked her what made her go through the change and she said it was what happened to me; that if God could get through to me that whole thing must be worth at least looking into. My older sister was very resistant and angry but went that way herself some years later. My Mum, in totally unrelated circumstances {in fact she was living in a different country to me} became a Christian the same year I did. My little brother was uncomfortable with it and my Dad the engineer, having spent all those years berating me for lying {I was a right thief} found my then newfound honesty a lot harder to handle. That 72 page letter I mentioned earlier was originally a 22 pager which I'd asked my Dad to deliver as he was in the same country as my friend. But he read it and thought "I'm not giving anyone this !" and destroyed it. I was livid. It was a long time before I found out but when I did, I'd had some time to process the events of the years leading up to it, hence the longer letter. That first one was, I guess, full of the type of details one wouldn't want known about their child. He wouldn't have been very happy with the second one ! We did make it up eventually and had many spritely discussions/arguments down the years.
I can really sympathize with the parents of Tex, Pat, Clem and Leslie and also Charlie's Mum {once she was older} with the things they had to endure hearing about their children. But I feel that way about the parents and family members of almost anyone in the public eye.

penny lane said...

Thanks Grim...from reading that it seems to me u always believed on some level ,the seed was planted early ...the fact u attended a school that had bible studies would suggest u had some religious exposure from a young a age..I however have a mother who filled me (from a very young age) with horror stories about pedophile priests and pulled me out of school because it had bible studies ...and a father who was raised a Catholic..went to Catholic school in Edinburgh. He told me all he learnt was the fear of God....and how brutal the nuns where ..So god didnt really stand a chance with me when I think about it ...lol..

grimtraveller said...

penny lane said...

from reading that it seems to me u always believed on some level ,the seed was planted early

I didn't. While I wholeheartedly agree that the seed may have been planted early, tons of seeds never germinate and amount to a grown plant.
When I was atheist, I was atheist !
It was, ironically, after a year in Catholic school that I became atheist. Loads of people that are atheist may "believe" at some point beforehand. But there's a difference between believing in the sense of mental assent to something and actually giving your whole being to someone and proceeding in that vein. Believing in God for the Christian isn't merely mental assent, it's a relationship that is very real with a very real person, but not easy. Certainly keeps one on one's toes.

grimtraveller said...

If Tex is in a relationship with Christ, he may be in the clink and may die there but he's freer than Trump, Putin and many more that have a freedom of movement that he lost way back when.

ziggyosterberg said...


Not enough photos, Matt.

fiona1933 said...

Its amazing the effect environment has on people. I noticed when I went back to the UK at Xmas something: all the single or divorced men of my acquaintance were doing really badly, and three were dead, far too young. Only one is doing well and so are all the women. In fact lots of the women have chosen singlehood and they are all doing great: they look good, they have jobs and hobbies, friends and travel.

So what's the difference? Environment. The one guy doing well is such a good housekeeper people think he is gay, but he isnt. He doesnt look down on women, he doesnt think proper cleaning is 'woman's work' and to be, like women, despised. In fact, he's expressed disgust with the macho man behaviour. His flat is charming, relaxing, with attractive things to rest your eye on and its thoroughly clean. The other guys: well, their homes are dusty, with unwashed dishes and empty cans and dust in the corners and that's the best of it, some of them, their homes are unspeakable. And my friend admitted that when his wife goes away each year, the house goes to ruin and the sight of it depresses him and he starts drinking. In two weeks, he's a mess without her.

And look at Tex. Take him out of Spahn, he's a different person. Reconnecting with old girlfriends becoming ordinary again...the environment of Spahn must have been special indeed.It must have been so strange, so unreal, so weird...must have felt weird to be close to the city but feel a million miles away, with all your enlightened friends and your magical leader. Its the same with the others. Unless they were in prison, where they had to make themselves a little Charlie bubble to psychologically survive. ..even then, it didnt last.

Environment matters. Should start teaching boys to look after a home and stop despising good housekeeping...it only promotes misogyny, anyway.