Monday, March 20, 2017

Book Review: Love Letters from a Secret Disciple

This book review was contributed by long time reader Jim Hayes:


Love Letters from a Secret Disciple, a psychoanalytical search by Sy Wizinski (Terre Haute: Moonmad Press, 1976)

This is an expensive out of print book. The contents are way out of proportion to the price which ranges from $95 to $250. The cover is a striking color rendition of a Manson drawing from the trial. It goes downhill from there. Perhaps the subtitle "a psychoanalytical search" is the tipoff that pages of turgid, highly speculative drivel is going to follow. This guy is an English professor? What, English as a second language?

The authors name is Saul Rosenthal and he was an assistant professor of English at Indiana State in Terre Haute during the 70's. He used the pseudonym Sy Wizinski 1.  It seems that he's alive as I cannot find an obituary and his web trace is very slight. He has two horrible poems in the Indiana English Journal 2 : "Lost in the fantasy of permanence, Oblivious to the dominions of decay, How can they know the daily grace of miracles"... yeah. Okay. All right. Furthermore, online I found an inscribed copy reading "from Saul Rosenthal" so I feel secure in identifying the true name of the author. 3

Rosenthal knew a woman who started corresponding with Manson in 1969 at age 13. In 1975 after Ms. Fromme attempted to assassinate President Ford; the FBI showed up and grabbed all the letters as "evidence". The woman he calls Beatrice managed to keep some back and this book reprints their transcripts. There's nothing really spectacular here; the usual cryptic Manson missives about God, love and saving the planet. One hard piece of information is that Manson asks "Beatrice" to write his friends Steve Grogan, Larry Jones and Bob Beausoleil in December of 74. Furthermore from a letter of March 75, Manson gives each of the Family a name as an occult flash point.

This seems to be the "Suckatash Sister" reference from Sanders and it reads more astrological and elemental than he reveals. 4 "Lyn 3 Red as Scarlet Mars iron amethyst Aries Q of red Sandie 4 Blue Saturn onyx Capricorn Queen of Sky Blue Sue 5 Mercury jasper Virgo Q of Violet Katy 6 yellow Venus Diamond Libra Babas 5 light 7 Queen of light…" (p.113)

Ironically, the items he used to pad the book are now its main value. He includes an interview from the LA Free Press with a sympathetic writer just before the trial that details Manson's confinement. 6 Next is an unrevealing telephone interview with another underground LA magazine "Tuesday's Child". 7 This resulted in Manson getting his phone privileges revoked.

What really should be revoked is the long, confusing opening essay to Manson's off reprinted final court statement. Good lord! Wizinsky starts by quoting the English Catholic cardinal and theologian John Henry Newman (1811-1890) and meanders onto Sacco & Vanzetti, James Thurber (?), climaxing with a panegyric about Ralph Nader!  Wizinsky should be on trial for his wandering metaphors and touchstones that attempt to bring the Manson case (and Wizinsky's "spectacular" insights) towards the status of universal myth. John Henry Newman's autobiography can be compared to Manson's soliloquy? Really?

Historically, the most important letter is printed next. It's an unsigned "Pro-Family" letter from the LA Press which served as an introduction to Manson's famous letter to Leary. 8

"Brothers and sisters", it reads, explaining that Manson's words have been shut out of the media dialogue even amongst the "underground" press. The letter goes on about the "machine" of society: the media industrial prison complex. 9 It links up Manson to the wave of activism then flourishing in "San Quentin, Soledad, LA County Jail and Sybil Brand".  What's interesting is the context of comparing The Family to other autonomous anti-establishment tribes such as the Weathermen, Mel Lyman's Fort Hill Community and the Black Panthers. 10 Of course Manson's letter to Leary was prompted by Leary's Weathermen assisted prison breakout and the subsequent "kill a robot policeman" statement. Whether you see any affinity between the forces of the militant left and The Family you can be sure that the authorities did. This was emphasized in the security for the trial and the prisoner transfers.11

Finally, he reprints a sad interview with Manson's mother just before the verdict. She mentions wishing that Manson got some psychiatric help. It's really poignant actually. 12

The author ends with an "open letter to Charles Manson" that is just off the charts in terms of bizarro-land commentary. His use of fifty cent words and convoluted thinking show not only his ego but his lack of understanding of the subject. How Manson could understand this tortured logic peppered with polysyllables and far-fetched literary references is inconceivable. Between the fully orgasmic prose and the copyright issues; it's no surprise this book was never reprinted.

Luckily, Lynette Fromme gets the last word in via a photocopied letter: "we live in a very magic world…everyone does…but not everyone knows it!"

1 Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series: 1976: July-December
2 volume 9 number 4 Summer 1975
3 I found this on Princeton Antiques.com but the listing is now gone! 
4 The Family, Sanders, Ed. (NY Thunder's Mouth: 2002) p. 482
5 I'm not sure who Babas is.
6 LA Free Press: "First Interview with Charles Manson in Jail"; 30 Jan 70. Michael Hannon.
7 Tuesday's Child: interview 1970. Steve Alexander.
8 LA Free Press: 9 Oct 70.
9 My own words which I hope convey the drift.
10 The author drags in the SLA as well.
11 At the time the authorities didn't realize the Kenneth Como connection or at least didn't prepare.
http://www.mansonblog.com/2013/04/como-captured-after-jail-break.html
12 LA Times 26 Jan 71 "Manson's Mother Talks of his Early Life" by Dave Smith.



112 comments:

Vermouth Brilliantine said...

My academic background is in the Humanities, and there's mountains of stuff out there like this- a whole sub-industry (its foundations held up by the insular, self-obsessed ivory towers of Sociology departments) based on writing reams of meandering, jargon-filled rubbish that serves as the written equivalent of hot air. There's so many great examples of this out there, like this excerpt from a Star Trek Wikipedia page:

"In Sarah Projansky's contribution on rape in Star Trek to the book Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions on Star Trek, she extrapolates that Yar's introduction to Starfleet was similar to the actions of United States Army soldiers issuing supplies to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the liberation of Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. The idea of an American savior of colonial rape victims stems from U.S. propaganda during the war, stating that "In TNG, the Federation citizen represents a new and improved version of this U.S. savior citizen; the Federation citizen is a post-nationalist, post-sexist, and post-racist soldier—feminist"."

The world didn't need a politically-oriented analytical "contribution on rape in Star Trek." It doesn't need waffling prose which tries to draw lofty parallels between drug-fuelled '60s murders and Sacco & Vanzetti or Ralph Nader. Neither bit of writing improves our understanding of either a pop culture TV show or the Manson phenomenon. But it does allow an assistant professor to pad out his resume- all while immersing himself in self-indulgence. We as a species produce so much junk - maybe Manson was right about killing the Ego. It could have prevented this book. Or this post.

Excellent review, Jim Hayes. At least there's some worth in the book, in the reproduction of letters & articles. If I had a copy, I'd keep it for the cover art alone. Very ooo-eee-ooo.

brownrice said...

Excellent review. Great contextual overview and very funny descriptions of the writing style of the poor sap that cobbled this godawful book together.

“Historically, the most important letter is printed next. It's an unsigned "Pro-Family" letter from the LA Press which served as an introduction to Manson's famous letter to Leary.”

Good observation. I wonder who wrote it? Personally, I don’t see Charlie as all that “political” really prior to getting locked up again… except perhaps in an observational, running commentary kinda way. His main interest (IMO) would’ve been to keep out of the way of the revolution, not start it. Once he was back in stir and looking at being a major protagonist in the “trial of the century” though he seemed very happy to play the anarchic revolutionary clown.

Don’t forget the Chicago 7(8) conspiracy trial had just been wrapped up. A trial that saw a black man bound & gagged in court for demanding his constitutional rights and all the other defendants openly mocking & disrupting the court while a parade of undercover agents openly lied about ‘em & crowds of hippies rioted outside. It musta seemed like a good script to follow, eh? And it just might’ve worked… except that these guys… ummm… actually killed people.

By the time that became obvious, the only group that Charlie could find willing to talk “revolution” with him was the Aryan Brotherhood. Even that though seems more motivated by self-interest than politics (IMO).

simon davis said...

That all sounds right.

See Part/van Houten interview where she says something to the effect of "strange as it sounds, it was like we did it for the publicity because nobody was listening to us". Strange as it may sound, perhaps the motive for TLB was that they wanted their own Chicago 7/8 moment in the sun.

But should anyone really give a second of thought to what the motive was? No.

simon davis said...

Or perhaps Charlie was just having a REALLY BAD day on Friday 8 August 1969, and that motivated the murders?

Or his hatred for the Establishment?

Or his interest in the concept of death?

Or Helter Skelter?

Or he really desperately wanted Robert Kenneth Beausoleil released?

There you go, six possible motives. Votes please (we have preferential voting here, so I'd prefer you numbered your choices 1 through to 6).

But if you think motive was unimportant, don't bother.

grimtraveller said...

So you didn't like the book Jim ? ☺

Matt said...

simon davis said...

But should anyone really give a second of thought to what the motive was? No.


um... WHAT????


brownrice said...

Matt said...
"um... WHAT????"

Yes indeed...

brownrice said...

Wow... just wow...

St Circumstance said...

Interesting review. Thanks :)

Mr. Humphrat said...

Nice review, Jim. I am impressed by the end notes!!
Simon:
possible motives:
1-hatred of Establishment
2-having a really bad day
3-HS
4-Beausoleil
5-no motive
6-concept of death

grimtraveller said...

Vermouth Brilliantine said...

The world didn't need a politically-oriented analytical "contribution on rape in Star Trek."

But it got it anyway !

At least there's some worth in the book, in the reproduction of letters & articles

Last summer, I was in two minds whether to start a hunt for this book but in the end I decided against it. It would be useful though, for the interview with Charlie's Mum. I'd love to read that but not for $250.

If I had a copy, I'd keep it for the cover art alone

It reminds me of the Doors' "Weird scenes inside the goldmine."

simon davis said...

So what is the importance of motive ?

David said...

Simon said: "So what is the importance of motive ?"

The instruction given to the jury at the trial gives you the technical answer- it is circumstantial evidence of guilt:

"Motive is not an element of the crime charged and need not be shown. However, you may consider motive or lack of motive as a circumstance of this case. Presence of motive may tend to establish guilt.

Absence of motive may tend to establish innocence. You will therefore give its presence or absence, as the case may be, the weight to which you find it is entitled."

So I think to goes too far to say it had no importance. And as I have said I think it was the framework for the conspiracy, placed 'command and control' in Manson's lap and established 'intent to murder'. I know we disagree.

Very good review. Another book I can write off. Thanks

ColScott said...

This is what you get Matt when you allow the truly ignorant like Simon Davis to think their posts are to be considered equally with the educated.

It's why we have Trump- at least for now

simon davis said...

By the time this case went to the jury, motive was of no importance.

So who can tell me a criminal case the result of which turned on motive? Anyone run one? Anyone know one? Details?

simon davis said...

PS - a hint - go to austlii which is our justia and you'll find one in 1963 and one in 2002. Although this jurisdiction is miniscule compared to USA, nevertheless one guesses about a million criminal cases have passed through the crim justice system here. i'll check that out to make sure I'm right. How many cases turned on motive? Two that are known of.

So what was the far out crazy thing about this case that made motive so exceptionally important?

Goo said...

Greetings to all at MB

I came across MB only a few months ago and have since read the entire blog/ comments. The blog is outstanding – I have learned (and unlearned) much about the case thanks to you all. Much to mull over plus I have nearly peed my pants laughing many times. Bit of a crush on Farf and love me some Patty. Where is eviliz?

DEATH TO PIGS

Very keen to read this, alas, a copy is harder to find than the motive. Do any of the (Aussie) MB followers have a copy they would be willing to lend? I will pay registered postage each way, sign a contract, pay a bond, be your butler, promise not to eat peaches whilst reading. Would also be interested in buying a copy in the highly unlikely event anyone has a copy they would be willing to part with.

simon davis said...

Mate you can borrow mine. Can you give me details where to send it? No vegemite while reading is the only condition.

OK a v quick search reveals about 775,000 crim cases filed in Aust per year. I won't do any more precise search because I know the vilification that will spew out at me and nobody is much interested anyway. Say 100,000 each year go to a verdict, since our Federation in 1900, you have 90,675,000 crim cases processed through to verdict since 1900. Two known cases which, arguably, turned on motive, Plomp in 1963 and DeGruchy in 2002. Two in 90,675,000. That suggests crim cases rarely turn on motive.

Goo said...

Cheers Simon. Email me at goobookowl@live.com.au and I will send you my info.

DuGruchy happened not too far from where I now live. Lots of weird stuff seems to happen in that part of town.

ColScott said...

For those of you who have a brain, of course motive is important in every case. OJ had a motive- one of the oldest in the book. Jealousy.

In order to get Charlie the Bug needed a motive so he made one up.

grimtraveller said...

simon davis said...

By the time this case went to the jury, motive was of no importance

For what it's worth, my 1977 Penguin edition of Bugliosi and Gentry's "Helter Skelter" is subtitled "An investigation into motive" so obviously for Bugliosi, the motive was of importance. It was of sufficient importance to him that he offered three motives and one of the jurors, Herman Tubick, in the aftermath of the trials, stated that the jury was convinced the motive was HS. It was also of sufficient importance to the defendants as even when it was too late to prevent their convictions, but not too late to be a deciding factor in whether they received life imprisonment or death, they attempted to scotch the convicting motives with one of their own and Susan Atkins went to her grave still clinging to it and George's book, which involves much first hand dialogue, rests totally on it.
When you say motive was of no importance, do you mean that in the grand scheme of things, retrospectively, or are you talking about literally at the time, to the prosecutors {Stovitz and Bugliosi clashed over this} and jury ?

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

of course motive is important in every case

Is it though ? On a layman's level, I agree but in California, motive wasn't necessary for the prosecution. If an eyewitness {☺☺☺☺} sees X shoot Y dead without provocation or if they're caught on CCTV, does the X's motive matter to the case ?
In this case, it seems to me that motive was important as circumstantial {that word again !} evidence insofar as the evidence from even before Bugliosi was on the case pointed towards Charles Manson. By mid October '69 that was dawning on the LaBianca detectives.

David said...

Another book I can write off

I love the way some of these slightly more obscure posts eventually find their way to discussion on more familiar territory !

St Circumstance said...

Although I will be accused of kissing up the Col...

I still will...

I love all of the people who comment and post from over-seas. But if we are not going to be interested in the real motive????

Then I have been sort of wasting much of my time.

I do not want to think that's the case.

Can we please keep a little focus?

simon davis said...

Grim, irrespective of all of those things, the law is absolutely plain that motive only has work to do in cases which are close contests. It has no work to do in cases which are strong prosecution cases (as this was, in the extreme). Nor does it have any work to do in cases which are weak prosecution cases (it can't act as a makeweight). Associated with this is the fact that one of the most respectable authorities on the subject is an English case which says it would be impossible to find a case where a prosecution case succeeded solely on motive, which I admit is a slightly separate topic, but the message is plain.

All I can really do is implore people to read the law and work out what the law actually was at the time of the TLB trial. As to Bugliosi's book, I once again implore people not to accept unquestioningly what he says. In any event, he rabbited on about motive in an early part of his book in the context of proving motive when little or nothing else was available. At that stage motive would shape up as important - everything and anything he could get his hands on was important at that stage because HE HAD NOTHING ELSE. But take good note of how as the other evidence started mounting, motive commensurately started fading. It is unthinkable that the jury, having received the evidence of those links between Manson and the murder scenes, would stop in its deliberations and say to itself "hey guys yes we know CM did it, but we have to know why before we can convict him". Guys, the jury's task is to work out WHETHER whether the defendants did it, not WHY. Also, factor in that Bugliosi had a vested interest in playing up the Helter Skelter thing, Beatles etc - book sales !

Yes, of course VB offered motive, incl HS, to the jury. He had to tender HS for other very important forensic reasons. But did he tell the jury that you need HS, or indeed any of the other motives, to be satisfied about motive? Of course not - he said "jurors you would convict on the basis of Kasabian's evidence alone". That was quite teh contrary of telling them they needed to be satisfied about motive. Besides, if you're tendering evidence about HS , as he had to do for other reasons, why wouldn't you throw it in as motive, and for that matter the other possible motives - all adds extra grist for the mill in sentencing. In fact I think HS turned CM from being a reasonable candidate for death penalty into a being a certainty.

And of course Judge Older instructed the jury on motive, because the prosecution had not withdrawn it. None of these things are of any consequence in the question of whether the law actually required the prosecution to prove motive.

The copycat business in the penalty phase was purely a concoction aimed at freeing Charlie. It had nothing to do with the essentially legal question of whether motive necessarily had to be proved to secure convictions. Susan Atkins went to her grave still clinging to it? So what? George's book with first hand dialogue? But what does "first hand dialogue" have to do with whether the law actually required proof of motive from a prosecutor in a criminal trial ? Nowt ! And George, no offence to him of course, said something about VB needing three days to explain in submissions the whole HS fairytale, but when you read the submissions in fact about 1/8 (12%) is devoted to HS, and some of that is to HS in its non-motive guise.

Everyone please stop getting your history of these events from second hand sources such as other people's books. If any have studied the most basic history or law, you will understand the folly of wholesale reliance on 2nd hand sources.

brownrice said...

Simon… not every one here is a lawyer so our interest and motivation for coming back to & studying this story doesn’t always hinge on what’s important to “winning the case”. Some of us might have a historical or sociological interest. If so, the motive is of primary importance. Some of us (on the other hand) might just be twisted motherfuckers who get off on looking at pictures of dead Hollywood starlets from the 60s. Those guys are probably not too interested in motive either… but it’s a safe bet that if they are, they’ve bought the helter skelter rave, hook, line & sinker. Over the years on the various Manson forums & blogs, ya get to see ‘em all and after a while ya become vaguely tolerant of everybody’s different reasons for being here… or not.

By the way, have you heard the one about them using lawyers for scientific experiments these days? Apparently, there’s some things even rats won’t do… :-)

simon davis said...

So I should have just ignored Grim's question?

And shouldn't everyone, whether lawyer or not, be interested in getting the history accurate?

The problem with being inaccurate about motive is it has, on this blog at least, facilitated a pretty lazy acceptance of what for example Bugliosi and Stimson say. Sorry, but even though I apparently have the decided disadvantage of being un-American, I will not participate in the dumbing down of things by way of lazy un-thoughtout opinions.

If people did their own work on the state of the law about motive in 1970/71, and then get it right, they will have no doubt that motive was completely unimportant to the jury by the time the jury retired to deliberate in this case. But you have to work hard to learn why that is so.

And what is one to make of the interest, indeed obsession, everyone has with Bugliosi doing whatever he had to do to "win" the case ? We can let that go by can we ?

brownrice said...

Simon, my comment was a response to your 2 earlier comments
“But should anyone really give a second of thought to what the motive was? No.”
and
“So what is the importance of motive ?”

Again, not everyone views the court case (and associated records) as the be-all and end-all of any thing really. To some it’s just one (extremely important but not necessarily definitive) factor in understanding what actually went on back then.

David said...

Brownrice said: "Simon… not every one here is a lawyer so our interest and motivation for coming back to & studying this story doesn’t always hinge on what’s important to “winning the case”. Some of us might have a historical or sociological interest."

Thank you!..... and I am a lawyer.

Simon said: "And shouldn't everyone, whether lawyer or not, be interested in getting the history accurate?"

Simon, maybe where you are butting heads here is human beings have a natural desire to know why something happened regardless of it's relevance in a courtroom. It drives this blog (in parts) it drives historical/scientific research. Yes, the DA need not prove motive (but he did- and spent a lot of time proving what you say is unnecessary).

Motive helps to explain why Atkins, Krenwinkel, Van Houten, Kasabian and Watson murdered seven people or stood by and did nothing while they were murdered, like me. Motive explains Van Houten's insane answers when she was interviewed by Part. Motive may just explain how relatively normal kid(s) could stab (not shoot or blow up) seven people and sing songs on the way to the gas chamber.

And frankly, whether motive was relevant to the ultimate decision of the jury (and it was), motive might just explain one of my nagging questions: could this happen again.

Motive explains 'why' and wanting to know why is human nature.

Well, it is for me.

simon davis said...

But I've never said "don't discuss motive". I've just said: "try and get it right". I'm as interested as the next person in why they did it. Geez, I've got 92,000 words about to go to the printing press which concludes with a plea to look at why these murders happened. To get it right you have to understand what the law requires about it as well as what other sciences say about it. It doesn't take Clarence Darrow to work out what the law is. I'm big on what the law says it is because that is my area of expertise.

starviego said...

simon davis said...
... a plea to look at why these murders happened.

So what's your theory?

simon davis said...

Starviego, it is refreshing to not be met with humiliation and insults based on how dumb I am or how non-American I am.

I'm not going into the full details of my "theory" of why it happened. I've already given away a lot of the contents of my book. I don't want to give it all away. Also, why it happened is not really my "theory" because it involves questions of social science that are beyond my expertise. My observation of the content of the relevant social science literature, and my acquired knowledge of what happened at the Ranch during 1969, is that Manson succeeded in conditioning his minions to kill people on his behalf. He sued some very well worn phsycological manipulations, such as dehumanisation of the "enemy" to get the minions to kill other human beings. There was military method in the madness. Enough said at this stage.

As to motive, yes HS was a part of the motive equation in so far as he used it as part of his manipulation of the minions to do the killings. But was it THE motive? Probably not. Was it HIS motive? Probably not. There was a variety of personal motives that Manson had, the most important being his anti-Establishment rage. And did motive really mean much at the end of the trial? Absolutely not. This was precisely the sort of case in which the prosecution did not have to prove motive. equally though, the prosecution greatly benefited from proving HS because it went to other important issues - corroboration of LK, links between CM and murder scenes, death penalty for CM. But AS A MOTIVE, it was not required.

simon davis said...

Sorry, he "used" some very well worn psych manipulations.

brownrice said...

I don't think that being "non-American" has anything to do with it. You're the only one that's made a derisive comment about nationality. To whit... "Sorry, but even though I apparently have the decided disadvantage of being un-American, I will not participate in the dumbing down of things by way of lazy un-thoughtout opinions." As another Australian, I have to say that America does not have a monopoly on dumbing-down or "lazy unthought-out opinions"... ya just have to watch aussie commercial television to get that... or listen in on an average conversation in a pub. No, we're just as "dumbed-down" as any other country... or bunch of humans gathered together by the random connection of where they happened to be born.

Matt said...

What is indisputable is that they got the right people. The correct killers were caught, tried and convicted. Without a (false) motive (Helter Skelter) this case never would have made world headlines.

I just don't for a second believe in that motive. That's my first fascination with the subject, and it's what keeps me interested. It's what keeps me watching the interviews on YouTube over and over and over. I always hope I'll pick up on something I previously missed. It's why I read the books, no matter how horrible they are. It's why we go to California every year ferreting out still living people with connections to the case, and visiting the places where important things happened. It's why I put up with the crazy people (present company excepted) out here in the TLB blogosphere.

It's why this blog exists.

To hear someone say that the motive is unimportant makes me scratch my head. Violently.


Matt said...

Goo, thank you for the kind words regarding the blog and welcome to the discussion. I admire that you read the entire blog over the last few months before joining the conversation. That speaks volumes. Stick around.


Goo said...

Thank you for the warm welcome Matt!

Matt said...

On another note:

Ruling on Roman Polanski case to be made within 90 days


St Circumstance said...

Roman should rot next to Charlie in jail.

I agree with every word Matt said except I think it's possible- although unlikely- HS was the reason Pat Tex Susan and Leslie did what they did. But I do not really know and it is the unknown which intrigues most of us I would think.

Simon I'll still buy you a beer though :)

Suze said...

Goo said...

Bit of a crush on Farf and love me some Patty.

-------------------

I loves me some Farf too. Could someone send out a search party?

grimtraveller said...

brownrice said...

I don't think that being "non-American" has anything to do with it. You're the only one that's made a derisive comment about nationality

I think Simon's conclusion was a conflation of what ColScott and St said.

ColScott said...

of course motive is important in every case. OJ had a motive- one of the oldest in the book. Jealousy.
In order to get Charlie the Bug needed a motive so he made one up


If one follows Scotty's reasoning to its logical conclusion, then it would appear that the motive[s] of Atkins, Krenwinkel, Watson, Kasabian and Van Houten are important. Particularly as he recently stated that Bugliosi had the killers stone cold. It is not in dispute that Atkins, Krenwinkel, Watson and Van Houten were tied to their various crime scenes by independently corroborating evidence. So what were their motives ? Why did they do what they did ? Atkins and Krenwinkel did what they did because Charlie told them to do whatever Tex told them. Van Houten did what she did because Charlie told her to and selected her to and she believed she was helping usher in HS. Tex did what he did because Charlie told him to. Under their code, he 'owed' Charlie. So all of the killers motives were to carry out what Charlie wanted which puts him in the conspiracy.

simon davis said...

Grim, irrespective of all of those things

I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on why you feel the motive was not important to the case because basically nothing ever written or said or any blog or book exists without the motive looming large. So given 48 years of arguing and debating, if someone says "by the time this case went to the jury, motive was of no importance" I'm curious to get to what that person means and it will often take more than one post for me to understand it to my satisfaction.
I know that motive wasn't necessary in the case, I already stated that, but I thought it made for interesting balance that some of the major players at the time {prosecution, killers, jury} and subsequently {killers, writers} seem to have {or had} the opposite view.
I don't just discount them.

Matt said...

Without a (false) motive (Helter Skelter) this case never would have made world headlines

I'm not sure this is true because it was a big story before the trial. Ivor Davis {the West Coast correspondent for the Uk's Daily Express} was onto it within a day and Susan Atkins' "confession" did the international rounds 7 months before the trial.

St Circumstance said...

I said I would buy him a beer lol. Twice

David said...

I assume everyone already saw this: https://www.yahoo.com/news/steve-mcqueens-womanising-ways-stopped-125707350.html


Panamint Patty said...

Yes David patty just saw that courtesy of Bo. Smells like bullshit, no?

David said...

Well, if it looks like bullshit and smells like bullshit it is likely......

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

I said I would buy him a beer lol. Twice

Naw, you're cool St. A good starter of meaty debates.

Matt said...

It's why I put up with the crazy people (present company excepted) out here in the TLB blogosphere.

It's why this blog exists


I think there's a really good balance of contributors on this blog with a nice spread and scope when it comes to different nuances of the various opinions.

simon davis said...

I've got 92,000 words about to go to the printing press

I'll still buy it mate !

ColScott said...

The Amazon review of Simon's upcoming book writes itself-

Self obsessed lawyer decides to write a book based on an essential misunderstanding of American jurisprudence. His premise is that Charlie dehumanized the Family so they would kill for him. Leaving aside whether he ordered the murders, the premise is absurd on the face. So in 1967 he began dehumanizing Sadie she would kill Hinman and the Tate victims in 1969 when the idea hadn't even occurred to him yet? Okay Simple Simon. But it took years to program Sadie, Mary, Katie, even Leslie and Bobby (who left the Ranch, continually, whenever he wanted, but screw pesky details)but Linda took less than a month, because, magic.

The guilt is established of all the killers except Manson. The way the Bug got Charlie was fear and lying. "Charlie MADE Sadie kill". "But she was a killer anyway". He sold this nonsense to the jury of middle aged people who were not smart enough to avoid jury duty.

The real motivations, if discernible, are going to be banal. Robbery. Vengeance. Copycat.

Helter Skelter it ain't.

1 Star (cannot go any lower) out of 5

3367 people found this review helpful

St Circumstance said...

Thanks bud. Your a great blogger!

Leah Car said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
simon davis said...

Col you've misunderstood things again. Did I say Charlie dehumanised the killers? Nah, I I didn't, did I ? Try again mate, this time put the thinking cap on. Mind you, the OJ bit made me chuckle. What's your thinking on that one? And hey I thought you said you'd be skipping over my posts. Not quite a man of yoru word are you, huh? And I'm still waiting on some real evidence about Bugliosi lying and cheating. Here you are still alleging bad things against him, and you've cited no evidence. I've searched for some, some on the site have helpfully pointed me in certain directions, but none of it converts into the accusations you make against him. If anything, it tends to go the other way. Rather than being evasive could you just once point me to the evidence you say establishes he was a liar etc? Your dislike of him - it has no particular reasoning, you just don't like the man do you, and that's reason enough to defame him. And of course he can't sue now, so its open season on saying cowardly things behind his back without evidentiary foundation.

Matt, so having thought the same way for so many year means nobody else can be right does it? Always keen to pick up something you missed eh? But obviously not so keen to pick up things that you don't agree with straight away. Keep away from those bad people who say different things.

Brownrice, I'm not the only one who has made a derisive comment about nationality. In fact I have made no such comment at all. The bit about un-American was in RESPONSE to somebody else's comment about the blog's overseas visitors, but in the scheme of things it is one of the least vile insults I've so far encountered on this blog. Now can you point me to where I have made a derisive comment about any nationality? And where on earth did I ever say America had a monopoly on dumbing-down? I never said anything of the sort, nor would I think such a silly thing for one moment. And I don't need being reminded we have our own penchant for dumbing down. These types of assumptions and trigger happy comments are not productive. Please read and think more carefully. And "to whit" is not spelled that way.
Now has it been in usage in the law for about 100 years.

Now I can see the same pattern developing over and over again. Nobody will answer any question that I pose. Instead there'll be the rumbles of discontent, lots of muttering, then, then a whole spew of vitriol throwing at me things I never said. Guys, play the ball, not the man - Brownrice you'd know what that means, explain it to 'em for me. And make sure you understand what I'm saying before reaching for the weapons, if necessary ask a pal, don't be too proud.

Grim, thanks for offering to buy my book. If I no longer am around, contact David/Dreath for my details so I can get a copy to you (freebie of course !). Thanks for being a Liverpool supporter so open-minded that you respect the arch-enemy Leeds (and God knows you'd have reason to loathe us! - witness Bremner attacking Keegan at Wembley Charity Shield start of 74/75 season). Thanks for being responsive to other ways of thinking without losing your cool if you disagree.

simon davis said...

Should be "nor" has it been in usage for 100 yrs.

Robert C said...

Hey, that's the spirit Simon ! Hang in there, push back and never let them see you running ;-)

And you might as well stay .... there's no place else to play .... !!!

brownrice said...

simon davis said:
“Please read and think more carefully. And "to whit" is not spelled that way.
Now has it been in usage in the law for about 100 years.”

Yeah, ya got me on the spelling allright… but the thing is, its usage in the law is (once again) only part of the package. Like many arcane words or phrases, it still enjoys a use within wider culture… as an ironic device to imply pomposity and (yes) legal gibberish.

I think I first heard it on Bugs Bunny…

David said...

Nice correction Simon.

I should not be the one to review his book when it comes out but I do endorse reading it. It adds to the genre, it collects some information in one place others don't and it makes some very good points, especially about the defense counsel.

"David/Dreath" Damn! you gave me away!

Tim A. said...

Hi,
I have been a lurker for almost four years. I absolutely am fascinated with this case. I cannot wait to find out if there is another post submitted on this blog. I devour it and the comments. The contributors on here are interesting. Would so love to gather together and listen to discussions and debates in the same room. There are contributors that I wish would return. Whatever happened to equinox? There are others that disappear, but I fear I will forget someone if I start mentioning names.
I just learned that David is Dreath. I've wondered if Stoner Van Houton is related to Leslie? I will admit that until a few months ago, I thought cielodrive.com was a beautiful woman. No,the picture is of Sharon I do believe. Sorry, cielodrive.com!
Okay, I've said more than enough. Until tomorrow night......

Mr. Humphrat said...

yes equinox and mhn, come back and talk once in a while. I don't Stoner is related to Leslie, just an admirer? or defender? And last I heard he was seeing Patty. I actually thought til recently Cielo was a woman too though not the Sharon Tate picture.

Tim A. said...

Van Houten

David said...

Welcome Tim-A.

All opinions are welcome here as long as you don't run afoul of ColScott (heaven help you) and understand I'm right ;-)

simon davis said...

david and Robert - enjoying the show are you? Good on ya ! I'll allow you in as honourary cobbers ! Oh well back to the fox hole to await the next barrage.

David said...

cobber (ˈkɒbə)
n
informal Austral and NZ: a friend; mate: used as a term of address to males

Australian colloquialism meaning "mate" or "friend", but not necessarily in the literal term. Can be used to address a stranger in leiu of "Hey, you there!" or "Hey, kid!" in a more friendly manner. As the word's been used since the earliest Colonial settlements of Australia, many Aussies mistakenly believe the word is archaic and no-longer used. In actuality, it's simply slightly less understood then more generic forms of greeting (such as "mate").

"G'day, cobber."
"G'day, mate. How're ye doin'?"
"Aw, been flat out like a lizard drinkin'. Hear the Sydney Swans hammered Collingwood on Saturday?"
"Ripper."

David said...

Good night, mate.

orwhut said...

The book's cover art reminds me of of The Shroud of Turin and Frank Zappa. Maybe Charlie would like that.

simon davis said...

Col I thought now might be a good time to discuss the whole "Helter Skelter was a fantasy made up by Bugliosi" thing.

Now by my counting (so far - and this is a work in progress, you'll be glad to hear I haven't finished yet), by the end of 1972, at least 32 people had spoken, written, or heard from the Family, that Helter Skelter absolutely was Charlie's scripture. If you like, I'll name them all. These people came from all walks of life, basically anyone that the Family came into contact with between 1969 and 1972, police, academics, fellow inmates, lawyers, doctors, journalists, relatives, ex-girlfriends, musicians, you name it the Manson Family, including the little fella himself Charlie, told 'em all about it.

So I'm wondering, what do you say about that? All lying were they? What is your evidence for the assertion that it was all made up by Bugliosi?

Robert C said...

* orwhut said : The book's cover art reminds me of of The Shroud of Turin and Frank Zappa. *

Great metaphors, orwhut. I saw the cover of that book seemingly ages ago in the dark corners of a large bookstore in my burg (fuzzy memory as usual here) and still recall my reaction as something like 'grotesque' and 'pass' regarding purchase.

Short of Matt saying don't do it, I'm tempted to go back to that store and start digging around for it. But if it's at the prices mentioned then it would still be a no-go.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming of motive(s) -- form or function. ;-)

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said...

Short of Matt saying don't do it, I'm tempted to go back to that store and start digging around for it. But if it's at the prices mentioned then it would still be a no-go.

Just as a test, I wrote to 3 of the $99 sellers explaining that I was an English pauper and couldn't afford their price but could I have it for $30 {I got "5 to die" and "Myth & reality of an outlaw Shaman" and other books by similar requests but it never worked on Robert H ! All 3 superb, by the way} and 2 of them said no. But one of them had a similar story to yours, having gotten it for $1 in a library sale. They said they would have indulged me but they'd sold it just that day.
Robert, buy it if you can find it cheap. If you end up totally hating it, consider what you outlaid as the price of an education.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming of motive(s) -- form or function

I can sort of understand some of what Simon means. It occurs to me that they all pleaded not guilty so demonstrating that they did it trumped why they might have done so. In his closing argument, Bugliosi did say that HS was not a motive for murder for any of the three women {although I think he was wrong about Leslie}.
Perhaps as Dreath has said, HS should be thought more in terms of the conspiracy.

grimtraveller said...

simon davis said...

The problem with being inaccurate about motive is it has, on this blog at least, facilitated a pretty lazy acceptance of what for example Bugliosi and Stimson say

Dreath and brownrice both made the point that people's interest in the case come from a number of perspectives. I'm interested in all the killers' backgrounds, what led them to the Family, what they have said subsequent to the killings, investigation and trial through the various decades.
I often reference things from George Stimson's book because it's a damned good book that provides a very different side that one doesn't often get in regard to the murders. I've said on a number of occasions that in my opinion, it ends up being worse for Charles Manson than even Bugliosi's tome, based on the things Charlie says in the book. I don't believe much of what he says but I certainly have given it much thought. I wouldn't say I have a lazy acceptance of George's words. Where the contents of his book fit into the impossibly large narrative, I take on board what he says. I'll sometimes, from different sources, quote references that run against what I think about a certain aspect, just to provide balance. Quoting someone doesn't mean believing said person.
Bugliosi's statements in his book serve pretty much the same purpose. When I first read the book in '78, I just accepted every word. I was 15 and I had no reason to do otherwise. It was just a book that I found gripping. All these years on, there's lots he says that I question and parts of his narrative I reject. But questioning his words doesn't mean they must be rejected out of hand and as Kanarek said to Catscradle77, his book has lots of useful stuff in it and importantly, we get to see how the prosecutor actually felt at various times.
I doubt he would have written the book if Charlie was acquitted or Evelle Younger did a Stovitz on him. But the tome is what we have and when he describes certain things, in order to reject them, there has to be a better reason than cynicism or dislike of him. Fortunately we have a number of involved parties' memories to help balance out the picture for those of us that are into that sociological angle.

Bugliosi doing whatever he had to do to "win" the case ?

I don't have a problem with him doing what he had to do in order win unless that translates to breaking the law or lying. When people like Scotty say he lied to convict Manson, all they can do is throw up HS as an example of a lie and in so doing, they discredit themselves because they have an opinion that has no back up. May as well wear a T shirt with "I got nothing" printed on it.
There seems {and this is really prevalent in much of the UK at present} to be this utter disregard for the true definition of 'lying' these days with a number of people. I can laugh it off when 2 kids are arguing say, about which the best team or programme or whatever and one says to the other "why are you lying ?" but not when grown people can't even get clear on what lying actually is. Because I think someone is talking rubbish doesn't mean I think they're lying ~ unless I think they really are lying !

Matt said...

Robert C said...

Short of Matt saying don't do it, I'm tempted to go back to that store and start digging around for it. But if it's at the prices mentioned then it would still be a no-go.


I guarantee they don't know the going rate. Go get it and sell it on Amazon or eBay. That's free money.


Panamint Patty said...

Oh he's seeing her, alright!

Panamint Patty said...

Great name! Welcome and thank you kindly.

Panamint Patty said...

And also, he picked van houten because stoner krenwinkel just doesn't have the same ring

HellzBellz said...

@ Patty.... But Stoner Atkins DOES have the same ring...

HellzBellz said...

@Simon Davis : ,,
Everyone please stop getting your history of these events from second hand sources such as other people's books,,
For sure its always better getting info first hand...Problem here is , I never talk to Manson,and his so called Family in person... Do You ???

simon davis said...

I didn't say "get it first hand", much less ask the Family. Once again words are planted into my comment in an effort to make a point (and make it sarcastically).

Precisely in order to avoid people thinking well we can't talk to Manson", I deliberately used the words "avoid second hand sources" instead of "speak to firsthand sources". THINK through the difference.

Look this isn't exactly rocket science. The primary sources are the contemporaneous business records such as police and lawyer statements and any other statements that can be located from the period. Then, very importantly, the transcripts. The transcripts are of monumental importance not only because they were roughly contemporaneous but also because they were where various propositions were tested by the ultimate in "fact checking" - cross examination. For example each of the ten witnesses on Helter Skelter was cross examined up to four times about it. And they all came through that process unscathed. Therefore, ordinarily, all other things being equal, you would have great confidence in the fact that Helter Skelter was not merely some fantasy dreamed up by the prosecutor. Only caveat on this is that much of that cross examination was unskilful. But, in the scheme of things, that hardly dents the credibility of the witnesses.

Grim, I doubt very much VB would have published HS if he had lost. He would have risked life and limb to get it off that printing press LOL.

Now Col where were we ? Oh yes the 32 people on HS. You haven't answered that one. I'll give you some more time to think it over. While I'm here though, let's move on to another of your points. Let's see, oh yes, the one about Bugliosi bashing his mistress. You're big on that one aren't you. I notice nowhere, so far as I can see, do you mention that after making her original complaint, the "mistress" in fact withdrew her statement and admitted she had concocted the story. Aren't you being a bit dishonest with readers by omitting to point that out? VB may have bashed his mistress (actually a former client btw- she wasn't his mistress at all was she Col), or he may not have. But to omit his part of the story seems misleading of you. By all means point out if I'm in error. But why don't you tell the whole of the story and let readers make up their own minds? We'll move on to the milkman tomorrow shall we Col, or is there something you want to tell us about him before I spill the beans? Would look better for you if it came from you I think.

Matt said...

Simon, police and lawyer statements are indispensably important. I've red all of them, as have many of us. They were key to getting the convictions.

The problem with Helter Skelter as a motive (for me) is that it was just a small branch on the tree. Sure it was there but Bugliosi inflated it to become center stage. Manson and the girls were too consumed with protesting the validity and authority of the court that they surrendered their "sanity" to the media who just ran with it. It was so insane that the nation was consumed with it.

The truth lies somewhere beneath that.


ColScott said...

Simon you limey asshat,

You either purposely miss the point, are three pints in when you post or are just plain stupid.

Bugliosi's mistress withdrew her complaint? Wonder why she showed up years later to help the abusive fuck lose the race for DA. She was all over the LA Times repeating her complaint. You are a fucking liar, "mate."

Bugliosi perjured himself ON THE STAND during the TLB trial. This is confirmed by Stephen Kay. Bug went on the stand and stated he did not leak the celebrity death list to LA TImes. He did.


In case you do not know what perjury is, you ongoing loon, it is lying. Under oath.

While I doubt there were 32 people NOT in the Family that heard about HS, again I state in plain Queen's English you man-child- there was NO HS philosophy. Did not exist. There was the babbling of a stoned idiot. The rest was made up and linked together by the Bug.

St Circumstance said...

Simon. You won't find anyone who sticks up
For HS or Bugs more than me over the years but your off on this mate.

But I'll still still buy you a beer lol

David said...

I think we should all make sure we are as accurate as we can be.

Mrs. Cardwell did not come forward when Bugliosi ran for DA. That incident occurred June 25, 1973. Bugliosi ran for DA in 1972. She also signed a confidentiality agreement as part of the settlment.

However, Mr. George V. Denny III did bring it up when Bugliosi ran for attorney general saying this in a May 7, 1974 press conference about Caldwell.

“Was the Liquidated Damages Agreement signed? Well, I have never seen the Agreement, but Mrs. Cardwell just won’t discuss with me anything about the case any more.”

He also accused Bugliosi regarding the 'milkman' incident.

beauders said...

Big news Dianne Lake has a book coming out on October 24 2017.

simon davis said...

Just wanted to say I was remiss to the extent I relegated Bugliosi's book to a so-called 2nd hand source. Didn't quiet mean it that way. He was the prosecutor, he was a witness to the events at the trial/s and he wrote reasonably contemporaneously and, as such, he was a primary source.

Now Col baby, you're still reading my posts, I'm flattered. And you've got it wrong again haven't you. I didn't say Ms Cardwell withdrew her complaint, did I. Now go back and read again didems, this time with feeling. Nor did I say the 32 people were NOT in the Family did I. T take it you would like me to list the 32 would you? I just have to cut and paste. BTW its actually 32 plus. Unfortunately the 3 or 4 others that received the news about HS are unidentifiable and I suspect always will be. You just let me know if you want that list.

BTW, a limey is an Englishman. I'm an Australian. I think we can do without the nationality stuff though don't you?

And Steve Kay is the evidence for Bugliosi perjuring himself on the stand is he? Is that it? Anyone else you want to throw in on that allegation? Well we'll add that one to the list after the milkman which we'll discuss tomorrow. A bit pushed for time today.

Matt said...

beauders said...

Big news Dianne Lake has a book coming out on October 24 2017.


We're aware. I hope she got hypnosis or some sort of memory-jogging therapy since we last spoke with her because she couldn't remember much.

All kidding aside, we look forward to reading it.



Mr. Humphrat said...

beauders that's news to me and I really look forward to it! In her letter to Liz a few years back I she was concerned about her privacy as most people other than closest to her didn't know about her past, so I'm glad she can be open now.

St Circumstance said...

News to me too and while I expect to learn nothing of value so far as facts of the crimes...

I think there will be much of interest about life with the family.

Plus I always felt something for Dianne and Ruth I could not for the others...

Some sympathy.

brownrice said...

The hardcover's cheaper than the paperback...

https://www.amazon.com/Member-Family-Charles-Darkness-Sixties/dp/0062695576/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1490280470&sr=1-2&keywords=dianne+lake

Mr. Humphrat said...

dianne lake will be 336 pages! Woo hooo!

ColScott said...

I just can't with this Simon asshat. He just wants to provoke his betters. I apologize to Matt and Deb I should have not stooped to his squid like level.

Dianne Lake was a disciple of Bill Molesto Nelson. The chances that she says anything other than "Baby Jesus saved me from big evil Charlie Manson" are zero. Current footage show a modern day soccer man missing Richard Simmons. Nothing will be added for serious researchers. Meanwhile DEB sent me an email this week that reflect one of the biggest discoveries in TLB land in the last 3 years- and no it is not Tom O'Neill's collection of Charlie Mansons Kung Fu Attack Classes flyers from circa 1969.

St Circumstance said...

Will you guys share??

Matt said...

In due time.


simon davis said...

Col:

I appreciate everyone is moving on to other topics. I would offer the following in winding up our dialogue.

After seeing in my work over the years the dangerous effects of making allegations without sufficient evidence, I have come to the firm view that allegations should not be made without sufficient evidence and indeed if they cannot be proved in court. Reasonable minds may differ and say I apply too high a standard. I was, and still am, a serious student of the Nazi episode and, to my mind, one of the main reasons that that unravelled in the way it did was because of the dangerous propensity of people to make allegations without evidence. In my opinion, it is seriously mischievous to make allegations without evidence.
2. These allegations that you make against Bugliosi are serious allegations. Accordingly, even in just a civil context, they would require proof at a high level of probability. If they were made in a criminal context they would of course have to be proved beyond doubt. I consider the evidence supplied about the Denny document, the milkman, the woman, the sales pitch letter falls way short of the requisite proof of the allegations. Those allegations could not be proved in court. Therefore, the allegations should not be made, or if they are they should be accompanied by detailed and cogent reasoning as to how they can be sustained. Calling me an “asshat”, a "squid" or an inferior human being is not supplying evidence or reasoning. It is just supplying rude personal invective.
3. There is no more I can say.

simon davis said...

Sorry, "could not be proved in court on the current state of the evidence". If not provable, the allegations should not be made.

Robert C said...

* Matt said: In due time. *

Well, since part of the cat's out of the bag, can you say there's a good reason why it's currently on hold ?

I'm not pushing if there is like protecting the innocent or getting it deposited in the bank before revelation. ;-)

St Circumstance said...

Lol. Nothing like a good tease :)

DebS said...

Saint, Robert C et al.....

I'm still trying to dot my I's and cross my T's. I've also sent for some things to illustrate my case and have an interview to do. Hopefully, if things don't snowball and cause me to do more research I can get a post up in the near future.

ColScott said...

Simon Asshat-

1- BUG Is dead. So any allegations are fine. And allegations are FACTS when they actually happened.

2- BUG stalked his milkman and beat his mistress. This is a FACT. We all have seen the depositions and the evidence. But the simple reality is, were they NOT factual he would have sued Denny and the milkman and the mistress to oblivion. He was that kind of a douche.

3- A mentally ill prosecutor who perjured himself in a capital case to win at any cost (your dismissal of Kay's testimony, the guy who was fucking THERE, proves why you are ignored by people you meet in the street) created a motivation that he needed to convict Charlie as the Kingpin of Crime. This is also a fact.

Yes, people did talk about aspects of CM's bullshit to BUG and BUG spun it into a motivation. But it wasn't real, as in it wasn't why the killers killed or why they were sent. I believe Charlie was responsible in many ways for 4 of the 9 murders and should have served 20 years for Conspiracy. I also don't care about his trial BS he got the trial he wanted. And I do not mind that he ended up with Life. Fuck him.

But fuck you just as hard for pissing down the backs of these good people and telling them it is raining.

St Circumstance said...

Can't wait.

St Circumstance said...

I meant that for Deb's post- not to watch anyone get their back pissed on...

cielodrivecom said...

Very curious to see what you've found Deb

David said...

Col Scott,

I just arrived on Maui (ok, about 9 hours ago). I open this for fun- very cool, Deb! Then I have to read that.

Col: you are an angry person, perhaps the most angry person I have known in quite a while and I'm not sure why. You and I should sit back like I did about three hours ago and watch the sun, set, have a glass of wine and listen to some Marley.

"But fuck you just as hard for pissing down the backs of these good people and telling them it is raining".

Jeez. I just don't need you right now.

I'm out for awhile...maybe for good. If I could I'd send pictures.

Mahalo to all who post here.

cielodrivecom said...

David, let me know if you run into DeCarlo

Matt said...

Cielo, you took the words right out of my mouth. LOL.


FrankM said...

I very rarely post here, but ...

"And allegations are FACTS when they actually happened"

Not sure whether the 'they' here refers to the allegations or the facts (Col Scott's syntax and parsing are often sloppy), but an allegation can never be a fact.

What is claimed as an allegation may, after the presentation of supporting evidence, be entered into the court record as a fact. What is claimed or said can not, however, be simultaneously an allegation and a fact.

Col Scott seems to me a little like Donald Trump, in that he has been too used to getting his own way for far too long, considers his opinions and judgments in some way the only 'correct' ones and has little sensitivity to the susceptibilities of others.

But hey, love him or leave him, that is what he does. And unless he is unexpectedly barred from the group (something I neither expect nor desire) he will undoubtedly continue periodically to throw his toys out of the pram. Live with it.

Best regards from Greenpoint

My ¢2.

FrankM



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

Where's Greenpoint ? Is that in the great Knew-Yawk-Sity ... specifically Brooklyn ?

FrankM said...

Ya got it in 1, Robert C.

cielodrivecom said...

Matt, I just assumed you sent him there on assignment.

Hopefully he remembers to say 'easy on the lsd' if and when he orders a hamburger

Matt said...

Dude, yer blowing his cover.


David said...

I am afraid that despite standing on the beach this morning and yelling his name several times I have been unable to locate Mr. DeCarlo. I can also report that I had a beach burger with cheese for lunch without incident.

grimtraveller said...

brownrice said...

this godawful book

If you really want to read a book that fits that description, try "Manson, Sinatra and me" by Virginia Graham. I probably deserve jail time for reading it or conspiracy to suggest reading it !

ColScott said...

This is what you get Matt when you allow the truly ignorant...to think their posts are to be considered equally with the educated

Pot. Kettle. Black.

simon davis said...

It is unthinkable that the jury, having received the evidence of those links between Manson and the murder scenes, would stop in its deliberations and say to itself "hey guys yes we know CM did it, but we have to know why before we can convict him"

Nevertheless, it was obviously a player with the jury. For example, according to Zamora, they had a good listen of the White album and he observes that they were able to pick out words like "Helter skelter" and "Revolution." They also read the bible in order to link Charles Manson's philosophy about the racial aspect of the conflict as well as paying attention to what was written at the scenes of the crimes and how that fitted in with making it seem like Black people committed the crimes.
It's important to not throw away Bugliosi's saying that HS was circumstantial evidence.

Bugliosi had a vested interest in playing up the HS thing, Beatles etc - book sales !

In 1970 during the trial ?
That also implies that it wasn't a serious consideration for him.

Susan Atkins went to her grave still clinging to it? So what?

At the time I mentioned it, I was using it as a demonstration that the motive was important to pretty much all concerned and that this held true even 40 years after the events.

brownrice said...

Some of us (on the other hand) might just be twisted motherfuckers who get off on looking at pictures of dead Hollywood starlets from the 60s. Those guys are probably not too interested in motive either…but it’s a safe bet that if they are, they’ve bought the helter skelter rave, hook, line & sinker

Interestingly, I've found the opposite to be true. What is often true though is that for many, if someone actually does think that HS was uppermost in Charlie's mind and he was involved in murder as a result {notwithstanding the fact that conveniently he did not believe there was such a thing as death}, they are often presented as idiot suckers with sentences that often include words or sentiments like "hook, line and sinker."


grimtraveller said...

simon davis said...

And shouldn't everyone, whether lawyer or not, be interested in getting the history accurate?

Yes.
But you know, in much the same way that people accuse others of lying when it is clear they have just redefined the definition of lying, accuracy is one of those things that seems to be treated as a disposable commodity too often. Opinions and their validity seem in many instances to be of more worth than the historical accuracy framing the opinion. Nicholas Shreck's book is a classic in that regard.

Thanks for being a Liverpool supporter so open-minded that you respect the arch-enemy Leeds (and God knows you'd have reason to loathe us! - witness Bremner attacking Keegan at Wembley Charity Shield start of 74/75 season)

Keegan had a bit of a rough time that summer of '74. He got beaten up at the airport in Yugoslavia while on England duty then Johnny Giles and Billy Bremner conspired to smack him all over the Wembley turf and he got an 11 game ban for his troubles and Liverpool won nothing that season ~ the last time that was to happen until 1985.
As a 'pool supporter, up until that charity shield game, it was always a big deal when we beat Leeds. After then, it was always a shock when we didn't.

Mr. Humphrat said...

mhn, come back and talk once in a while

He does {such as it is}.

David and Dreath said...

All opinions are welcome here as long as you don't run afoul of ColScott

He's like the Wizard of Oz.

simon davis said...

VB may have bashed his mistress or he may not have

It's one of many after the fact red herrings attached to the case. Even supposing he stalked the milk/mailman and slapped up his mistress {that's something between a master and his mattress....}, that has absolutely nothing to do with whether Charles Manson was guilty of murder and conspiracy. It doesn't even demonstrate that dodginess in one area means it must be applicable to all areas of the person. What it does demonstrate is Scotty's monomania when it comes to Bugliosi.

ColScott said...

Bugliosi perjured himself ON THE STAND during the TLB trial. This is confirmed by Stephen Kay

Not at all true. Stephen Kay does not confirm this at all. You could not convict anyone on what Stephen Kay said in his testimony/deposition and nobody was convicted on what he testified. It was complete fudge. There was nothing remotely concrete to confirm perjury. Do you think Bugliosi would have escaped conviction if Kay had said "Yes, I saw Bugliosi hand Farr the transcripts or the envelope that I knew contained the transcript" ? He said no such thing because he couldn't. The most he could say was that after delivering the disputed transcripts of Virginia Graham, he left the room and when he came back, Farr and Bugliosi were talking. He also said that on another occasion, Farr asked him to give an envelope to Bugliosi at court and Bugliosi got angry about it. He testified that he did not look in the envelope.
To say Kay confirmed Bugliosi's perjury is stretching your desires to the extent that they can accurately be described as "evangelastic."

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

Bug went on the stand and stated he did not leak the celebrity death list to LA TImes. He did

You have no proof of that. The court had no proof of that. Stephen Kay had no proof of that. No one has any proof of that and Bill Farr refused to name his sources {2 of whom were lawyers in the case ~ one of which was Stephen Kay !}, even up to his death. As was said in the court of appeals "Without the ability to compel petitioner to reveal which of the six attorney officers of the court leaked the Graham statement to him, the court is without power to discipline the two attorneys who did so, both for their violations of the court order and for their misstatement to the court that they were not the source of the leak. Equally significant is the proposition that petitioner tarred six counsel with the same brush. Unless the court compels him to reveal which two of the six violated their professional obligation, four reputations of officers of the court will remain unjustly impaired."

again I state in plain Queen's English there was NO HS philosophy. Did not exist. There was the babbling of a stoned idiot

Potato potarto. Whatever one chooses to call it, there was a scenario that was understood by members of the Family and people that weren't members of the Family like Gregg Jacobson. Family members kept on about it well after the trial {as Robert's book shows}, two of the killers {leslie and Susan} showed it was central to their thinking well before the trial, Kasabian who was only around a short while understood important parts of it ~ but stated she didn't think they'd be doing the killing {because that came late in the day} and apparently, the Tex tapes have Watson spouting aspects of it.
To say there was no HS philosophy when LVH tells her lawyer:
PART: Now, you say that you all used to sit around Gresham and the desert and talk about this philosophy of going down to the center of the earth.
Could you name some of the people that used to talk about it?
VAN HOUTEN: Gypsy and Brenda and myself and Katie and Charles and Tex and Clem and Snake and Rachel.
There was — we’re the ones that usually talked about it the most. Sadie did sometimes; but I don’t know if she actually believed it or not.
But all the rest of us, we really believed it.

...is simply swimming in Egyptian rivers. The rest of that interview from Dec '69 is such an eye opener. To say it was the babbling of a stoned idiot does not make it untrue that it was something understood by those that heard it. Nor does it make it something that could not be motivation for murder.


The rest was made up and linked together by the Bug

Well of course it was linked together by Bugliosi. That's what happens when you're in a position where you have to work things out and the originator doesn't come to you and spell it all out. And guess what ? After a while, especially with the kind of statements that were coming to him regarding HS, you do link it all together and a picture emerges. And I'll say it again, HS was offered as circumstantial evidence, the kind which you yourself stressed was real evidence.
Your entire blog "linked things together." We were linking things together in the Bernard Crowe post recently. That's what thinking people do.

grimtraveller said...

Matt said...

I hope she got hypnosis or some sort of memory-jogging therapy since we last spoke with her because she couldn't remember much

Maybe she just didn't want to speak with you guys at that point in her journey because she had started the book and didn't want to give anything away. Or maybe you had the result of jogging her into thinking about opening up, in which case you may have played an important part in her writing this book.

brownrice said...

The hardcover's cheaper than the paperback...

In England, the hardback is one penny more than the paperback.
Not a dealbreaker though !

ColScott said...

But the simple reality is, were they NOT factual he would have sued Denny and the milkman and the mistress to oblivion

The simple reality is that if Stephen Kay had anything concrete, Vincent T would have been sharing a wing with Charles M.

I believe Charlie was responsible in many ways for 4 of the 9 murders and should have served 20 years for Conspiracy

That sort of renders all you've said as rather moot, does it not ? If, in an era of the death penalty for 1st degree murder and conspiracy, someone is responsible for 4 murders and conspiracy, death would have been the normal outcome for someone convicted of those offences.
You seem to have a major problem with Charlie and the Cielo crime. That said, I don't think he would have been convicted of that had it not been for the next night. It's LaBianca night that really causes the problems for him.

of course motive is important in every case. OJ had a motive- one of the oldest in the book. Jealousy

If it's true, it doesn't follow that someone's motive for doing something is going to fall into easy categories that everyone can get with. We can all understand jealousy. But would everyone be ready to go with curiosity ? Or irritation ?
The motivation that a person has in doing something is unique to them. Just because it challenges the "normal" understanding and acceptance of things doesn't make it untrue. In this case being dealt with was a whole other strand of thinking and being, drug assisted, yes, metaphysical, yes, experientially spiritual/religious, yes and as such, despite George saying that the murders weren't unusual, out of the realms of thought of most people. Did it scare much of middle class White America ? Sure it did. Almost any reason for all those murders, especially unprovoked ones in which robbery barely figured, would have.

grimtraveller said...

simon davis said...

of course he can't sue now, so its open season on saying cowardly things behind his back without evidentiary foundation

To be fair to Scotty, in the years 2005 through 2014 he did say most of what he repeats here about Bugliosi while he was alive. He also said, a little disturbingly, back in 2012 "after his death we can dig in some areas and do better research without worrying about his bullshit possible lawsuits."
Call me Abraxas ! ☺ ☺

Mr. Humphrat said...

Grim travail- I continue to be grateful for your deep knowledge of this case and analysis countering some of the prevailing ideas on this blog.
Now who was Jack the Ripper??

grimtraveller said...

Jack was the crack.......in the cosmic egg.