Monday, August 7, 2017

Get Shorty: The Tragic Tale of Don Shea

Donald Jerome Shea
On August 16, 1969, the police raided Spahn's Movie Ranch after receiving complaints about stolen tools and vehicles being used in a primitive dune buggy chop shop there. Twenty six members of The Family were arrested. Manson was convinced that it was ranch hand Donald "Shorty" Shea that helped the police set up the raid.

The likable part-time ranch hand worked at Spahn Ranch sporadically for up to fifteen years. Whether or not the raid was his doing, this was the event that likely sealed Shea’s death warrant.

Some time between Aug. 27 and Sept. 1, 1969, Tex Watson, Bruce Davis, Steve Grogan, Bill Vance, Larry Bailey, and Manson somehow got Shea into the back seat of their car.

Grogan hit Shea on the head with a pipe wrench and the fight was on. Watson stabbed Shea repeatedly. Shea fought hard but the group pulled him from the car and dragged him down a hill behind Spahn Ranch, where they overpowered him and stabbed him to death.

It wasn't until December 1977, that Shea's body was found. Steve Grogan was in prison when he drew a map of where Shea's body had been buried and gave it to the authorities. His motivation was to prove that, contrary to rumors, Donald Shea had not been cut into nine pieces and buried. Grogan was later paroled and he remains the only Manson family member convicted of murder that has ever been paroled.

The events described above are well documented. But who was Donald Jerome Shea? What do we REALLY know about him? I recently took a much closer look.

A good source is his friend Jerry Binder. Through Binder's trial testimony we can read a lot into who Shea was and see juxtaposed patterns both positive and troubling in his tragically short life.

Binder employed Shea off and on from 1965 until 1969. First as a helper with animals such as elephants and lions he kept for rental to movie studios and later as a helper in Binder's retail operations. Binder described Shea as a dependable employee that he could count on and trust. He showed up for work and no task was beneath him. Shea was all about "a day's work for a day's pay". He also said that when Shea was away he never went more than three or four weeks without calling.

Binder obviously had a sound trust in Shorty as an animal handler. From Binder's testimony:
Q: What was the nature of Shorty’s job at the time?
A: Taking care of animals and backing me up as the second man. 
There was one case where we did a show on Wild, Wild West at the CBS Studios, and there was a tiger we had to do a bit with that had to lunge at the star of the show, and he got past me and Shorty stopped him before he got to me with a pole. 
You always have to have somebody there you can really depend on. Otherwise, you can really get hurt if you are handling anything as dangerous as that. 
Q: In connection with that function, did you depend on Shorty quite a bit? 
A: With my life.
He consistently lent Shea money, but was always repaid either directly, through sweat equity or both. An example would be the prized pistols that Shorty owned.


They were obtained from Arch Hall via a $100 loan from Binder (only $25 of which went toward the pistols), plus a couple of cameras Binder gave him to help in purchasing the guns and money orders of an unknown amount. However, the money orders bounced. Arch could prove that Shorty never paid in full for the guns and had the documentation to prove it so the guns were returned to him. Arch Hall was the only person who was able to get any of the firearms confiscated at the raids back in his possession. That is how they were able to be put up for sale at that gun auction site mentioned in that post.

Some of the Spahn Ranch raid weapons

Reading the testimony shows that Shea was always borrowing and repaying. He never was able to get himself on solid financial ground.
Q: Now, over the years that you knew Don, that is between 1965 and 1969, had you advanced him on numerous occasions loans? 
A: Oh, all kinds of money. 
Q: Did he ever fail to pay you back? 
A: No. 
Q: Or work it out in employment? 
A: He would work it out, take out so much each week out of his pay or if he worked someplace else he could come and bring me the money before he went away to do another movie job or whatever. 
Q: But on those occasions he always paid you back or worked it out? Is that correct? 
A: Correct.
Shea worked fairly consistently for Jerry Binder from 1965 onward. That is, when Binder had work for him and Shea wasn't drifting. In Binder's testimony:
Q: Between the dates that you first met him in 1965 and 1969, say, using the date just after he was married July 1, 1969, how often would you generally see him? 
A: Generally it was every day unless he was working in and out on a job somewhere, and then he would get in touch with me, at least once a week, to find out what was happening, if we had anything else coming up.
Binder's friend and sometimes business partner Herb Bromberg owned several topless bars. When Binder didn't have work for Shea, Bromberg often employed him:
Q: And did you introduce Mr. Bromberg to Mr. Shea for a specific purpose? 
A: One of the times that I brought him to his office was to see if he could get him a job because I didn't have enough work for him to do. 
Q: And at your behest did Mr. Bromberg hire Mr. Shea? 
A: He had him first as a handyman, then he put him up as the manager in some of the different bars and clubs that he owned.
The topless bar work underscores a common theme in Shea's life. Rather than describe it I'll just let you read, first through Binder's own words in his testimony and second through records of Shea's relationships and marriages. In the following chunk of testimony Binder describes Shorty's duties in Binder's retail and mail order business:









So it appears from the testimony that Shea worked for Binder and Bromberg as a topless bar manager, bouncer and seller of pornography consistently but not necessarily full-time from 1965 to July 1 of 1969. So, during that period when did he have time in 1969 to work at Spahn Ranch?

The answer is... not much. According to George Spahn in the below article from the LA Times in Dec of 1969:
"He worked in pictures, driving teams and handling saddle horses, but he leaned more to beer joints. He was a bouncer."



The shaky employment Shea received from Binder and Bromberg had dried up. Shorty needed full-time work and returned to Spahn in July of 1969 hoping George could come through for him. The problem was the Manson Family's presence at the ranch. According to Danny Decarlo's questioning by LASO (Helter Skelter page 153):
"Shorty was telling old man Spahn that he should put him in charge and he would clean everybody up." He would, in short order, run off Manson and his Family. Shorty, however, made a fatal mistake: he forgot that little Squeaky was not only George's eyes, she was also Charlie's ears.



Donald Shea's Relationships:

May 15, 1959 Shorty married a girl named Phyllis Gaston. She was 19 years old and pregnant, Shorty was 25 years old. Not a big deal, plenty of people have shotgun weddings and Shorty and Phyllis more or less are age appropriate. Daughter Karen was born November 10, 1959.

Now it starts to get a little weird...

According to Shea's Wikipedia page, "There is anecdotal evidence that Donald had a son with a woman named Judith Ellen Lawson named either Ray or Roy who died in infancy in 1960 in Hood County, Texas."

Well folks, there's nothing anecdotal about it. Between the time that Shorty married Phyllis and Karen was born, Shorty went to Texas. It is not clear why. While there he he got 15 year old Judith Ellen Lawson pregnant. Mind you he was 25 years old, not so age appropriate, and likely illegal. Judith and her brother George Jesse Lawson were both born in Los Angeles but apparently went to live in Texas when they were young. Her brother was known to family as Jesse.

The child’s name was Roy William Shea. An official birth certificate is not possible to show you because in Texas you must be family to obtain one. You can get an informational copy in California (for example) which is stamped "informational copy" across the front but Texas does not have that option. But here is his line in the Texas Birth Index:



Little Roy Shea died of a brain hemorrhage at about 3 1/2 months of age. It is possible that the baby was shaken thus injuring his brain though he could have been dropped, too. There is a page for him at Find A Grave (FAG) where a younger half sister tells a little about his death, referring to head injuries so it's doubtful that some kind of illness was involved.

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=110094007

The FAG page doesn't indicate whether or not Shorty ever actually had any contact with the child but does say that Shorty had gone back to LA before Judith knew she was pregnant. However, Shorty went back to LA with Judith's brother Jesse so she certainly could have gotten word to Shorty, through her brother, of her pregnancy.

If you notice on the baby's death certificate it says the baby's father was "Roy". The informant for the information was Kelly Sawyer who the sister mentions on the FAG page as having tried to help Judith with the baby. It's possible that he did not know who the father was and just said Roy assuming that the baby was named after his father. Since there is an official Texas birth record stating the father was Donald Jerome Shea, it’s likely that Sawyer just didn't know. Also, the person, Dorothea Guinn, who wrote up the FAG page for little Roy Shea has a little problem with math even though she stated the dates of birth and death. Here is a baby picture of the child and his death certificate:



Judith is no longer living, you can access her FAG page by clicking on her name on Roy's page. Kelly Sawyer is listed on her page as a previous husband but a record of that marriage isn’t found. He has since passed away.

Judith's brother Jesse is still living. He has quite a criminal background dating back to crimes in LA in the early 60s. We have never seen criminal records go back that far on a background report!

February 21, 1961 Shorty married a pregnant 15 year old Sandra L Adams, he was 27 years old. The marriage record says she was 16 years old but Ancestry tends to treat people's birth dates like race horses, everyone turns a year older on January 1st. Their first child Elizabeth was born Sept. 6, 1961. The record shows her name without the H at the end but Ancestry sometimes truncates a name at 8 letters. (There is no rhyme or reason to Ancestry at times and it makes for difficult searching.)


If you are following the bouncing ball, this is the third teenage girl in this narrative, and the second fifteen year old that Shea knocked up. I'm no legal eagle but I'm pretty sure in 2017 he'd be doing a prison term and labeled a sex offender for this.

Shorty's next marriage was July 1, 1969 to topless dancer Magdalene "Nikki" Fuery. The marriage took place in Las Vegas only weeks after they first met in May of that year.

Magdalene "Nikki" Fuery Shea

Jerry Binder was a marriage witness as was another woman who worked for Binder as stated in his testimony. He didn't remember the woman's name in the testimony though.

The marriage to Nikki was short-lived and disintegrated very quickly. In the article below, Fuery says it was over Shea's inability to get a full-time job. This further reinforces the both the motivation and likelihood that Shea was behind the Spahn Ranch raid. He wanted to rid Spahn of the Manson Family so that he could be employed at his familiar old haunt on a full-time basis in an effort to keep Nikki from leaving him.


Shorty Shea was a man's man who dreamed of a big break in Hollywood that would make him a successful stuntman/character actor. When he was employed as an animal handler or as a ranch hand he was dependable and well-liked by his employers. But, Donald Jerome Shea also seems to have had his demons. In his final years he worked shady jobs in topless bars and adult bookstores, none of which was able to free him from the pattern of borrowing and repaying. His relationships tended to be with topless dancers and girls below the legal age of consent. When those relationships yielded children he wasn't able (or perhaps willing) to provide for them. At the end, in a hurried push for full-time employment to save his new marriage he rubbed a certain Charles Manson the wrong way... after eight bodies had already piled up.

Donald Jerome Shea's life was a complex and tragic tale, indeed.


172 comments:

Robert C said...

I saw/read nothing in Shorty's **known** past to warrant his murder. It was definitely edgy at times befitting one who was trying to make some money to survive in those days.

I always felt on the surface Shorty clearly under-estimated the Family and was extremely naive to allow himself to get in a car with a bunch of males from that group. Either we are not yet tapped into the exact circumstances and feelings between the players or there's more to be learned. Otherwise it doesn't make sense to me why he didn't exercise greater precautions and especially stay at least at arm's length if antagonistic feelings were running high.

As is was, he seems to have been uncharacteristically gullible in getting in that car with those guys to *go see the varmint* or *go snipe hunting*.

DebS said...

SAG, please use some common sense, show some maturity and afford Shorty a little respect. There is nothing funny about his murder. Your comment has been deleted. No matter what he did for a living, such as it was, he did not deserve to be murdered.

DebS said...

SAG, keep it up, I can delete your comments all night.

ziggyosterberg said...


This already had Pulitzer written all over it, before it got to the "findagrave" abbreviation.


Author! Author!

St Circumstance said...

While I can't condone the things the man did in his life...

I'm still disgusted by the way he died. Shorty may have provoked trouble with the family, but what a brutal and vicious way to die. It seems that Shorty had a strange relationship with the family as well. Even the day they killed him he was trusting enough to get in car and help them....

It seemed many who made the niave gesture of trusting the family payed dearly.

This excellent bio made me think of a guy I met on my Spahn tour. I think his name was Pete. He claimed to have rode his mini bike around the ranch during the family days. He said he knew Shorty and told us about learning about the stunt business. He said there was a pic of the two of them floating around somewhere. He seemed very sincere and seemed really fond of Shorty.

The guy made an impression on at least one person lol

St Circumstance said...

Susan Atkins you are a trip lol

St Circumstance said...

Susan Atkins VD lol

I wonder if you have ever been to any of these locations or have any inside knowledge of this case? I left Florida and went out there to meet with some of the peripheral people and check out the locations. I still don't really get it lol

Peter Moran said...

Clem says he was alone in the back seat and that Shorty, Bruce and a third I forget were all in the front seat. Bruce said he was in the back seat.

St Circumstance said...

Tex was also in car. The best version of the event I heard was at Clem's final parole hearing. I believe the account he gave.

Chris Till said...

Has anyone ever confirmed any movies that Mr. Shea appeared in, as an extra or stuntman? Any of the B-movie westerns filmed at Spahn in the late 1960s?

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

No i havent, the place id gave liked to visit thr most, Cielo, got torn down, i always thought it would be a trip walking though that house and around the property

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
starviego said...

"Tex Watson, Bruce Davis, Steve Grogan, Bill Vance, Larry Bailey, and Manson somehow got Shea into the back seat of their car."

Is it confirmed that Vance and Bailey were on scene? I am under the impression that only Bruce Davis made that claim in one of his parole hearings. Also this account by Ruby Pearl:

www.cielodrive.com/donald-shorty-shea-homicide-report-11-07-70.php
On 10-31-70 the undersigned interviewed Ruby Pearl. Miss Pearl stated, "I knew Shorty for approximately ten years. I saw him almost every day. He always told me where he was going. He moved back to the Spahn's Movie Ranch in August of 1969 after splitting from his wife, a colored girl. He brought her to the ranch in the summer of 1969 and it made the hippies mad. Gypsy (Catherine Share) and Sue (Bartell) told everyone in the Manson family not to sit in the same chair that Shorty's wife had sat in after she left. ... Some time late in August I went to Spahn's Movie Ranch about 11:30 P.M.* Shorty had been drinking and asked if he could come over to my house and stay because he didn't like being around these weird hippies. I told Shorty I didn't have room at my house for him and got into my car and started to leave, when I observed a blue car pull into the ranch with Charles Manson, Tex Watson, Bill Vance, Bruce Davis and Clem Tufts jumped out of the car very fast and spread out along the boardwalk. I thought it was strange as they never moved very fast. I didn't stop. I continued driving out of the ranch and never saw Shorty again.

*Why would Ruby Pearl return to the ranch at 11:30 at night? Her story makes it sound like Shorty was basically kidnapped and dragged into the car. He would have been fighting all the way.

St Circumstance said...

His IMDb page doesn't list films but it does have an entry under " trivia" that mentions a daughter named Karen who still attends parole hearings for Davis and Manson.

It says he had small parts in old westerns and larger parts in adult films lol

Wonder if he made a cameo in Ramrodder ?

Matt said...

Susan, what's causing all of the double posts? What kind of device are you using?


Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Android

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DebS said...

Shorty's daughter Karen has never attended a parole hearing. You can see that by going to cielodrive's page on Bruce which has links to Bruce's parole hearing transcripts since 2007, there are seven in total. Karen lived in the Fresno area for many years, perhaps a couple of hours drive from the prison where Bruce's parole hearing were held.

http://www.cielodrive.com/bruce-davis.php

Those who attended each parole hearing are listed near the top of each document.

Shorty has three more adult children and none of them have attended a parole hearing.

Cielodrive.com said...

Starviego, Shorty was driving the car

St Circumstance said...

Thanks Deb...

Susan Atkins VD- I stood outside the gate but couldn't see much at all. You can see the new building from half way across the city it's a huge eyesore in my opinion. Waverly was different. You could see all the way up to the house.

starviego said...

Cielodrive.com said...
Shorty was driving the car

Thank you. Do you have a source?

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Yeah i meant the old house, i know how it was set up and how you could only see the garage from the gate because of the house sitting back around the way it did, theres a clip on youtube of someone taking a tour of the property in what looks like the 80s, actually you could see the old house up on the hill driving up Benedict Canyon too from watching the clip but now its just ridiculous, that house there now is just stupid looking, 18 thousand square feet is too damn big a house for that lot and to me it just looks out of place, to me the old house just looked perfect for the property

Cielodrive.com said...

Clem and Bruce. Shorty was driving, Tex in the front passenger seat, Clem in the backseat behind Shorty, Bruce also in the backseat. Manson and the others came up in another car

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

Starviego if you read the parole hearing transcript of Clem's hearing he spells it out in pretty good detail...

Susan Atkins - I go out to LA for my birthday every year from Florida. I always drive by Cielo lol. It would be too weird to go inside gate. It gave me chills just driving up the street to gate. Such a narrow area. We couldn't even turn around when we left. Had to back down the whole way.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Yeah i remember reading HS for the first time and for whatever reason i just pictured them parking right outside the gate then i saw clips of people driving up that little cul de sac and i thought to myself thats a nice little quarter mile hike up that hill, it reinforces to me that they didnt go there initially to kill, theres no way anyone no matter how doped up would plan a murder in a place like that having to walk up that hill before and then run back down after

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

But if i had the money and nobody had ever been killed up there id have lived there in a minute, such a great location and view

St Circumstance said...

I love it out there as well. I live on the beach in the Fort Lauderdale area and I would pack up in a minute if I could find a way to make ends meet out there. Alas I settle for one week a year.

You probably know Trent Reznor lived there and recorded an album there. That's a little tasteless for me.

I wonder if the guest house is still there and if it rents lol.

grimtraveller said...

DebS said...

Shorty's daughter Karen has never attended a parole hearing. You can see that by going to cielodrive's page on Bruce which has links to Bruce's parole hearing transcripts since 2007, there are seven in total

In a recent post, "That boy named Sue STD" made a comment about what a ne'er do well Clem was and how he had kept the family of Shorty in the dark for 8 years and never allowed them to give him a dignified burial etc. I posted a lengthy reply which was inspired by going through Bruce's parole hearings in which letters from his first wife were read out by Barbara Hoyt and also something that I'd noticed on Cielo's site when I first discovered it a couple of years back. Basically, I got the impression that there wasn't a loving family grieving over their Dad and wishing to give him a proper burial; I very much got the impression that Shorty had former wives and kids that he hadn't really kept up with once he'd left them.
But in the end, I just deleted it because these were impressions I got rather than anything verifiable and the point I was making seemed kind of insensitive just for the sake of responding to Suzy boy.
But the letters from his ex ~ wife and daughter are really interesting. I do try to gauge something of the person through the things they actually say {speech is self revealing} and personally, I felt the letter shone a light into a huge overreaction.

Matt said...

The topless bar work underscores a common theme in Shea's life

In George's book, Charlie is quoted quite extensively about Shorty and the long and short of it is that he didn't like him having a Black wife, thought he was sexually twisted {which, in mentioning homosexuality and 'moving in on the girls' is hugely ironic} and thought he was a snitch but there never was any proof of him helping to set up any raids. And with Frank Retz on the scene wanting to buy the ranch, the Family's days there were numbered in any event.

So it appears from the testimony that Shea worked for Binder and Bromberg as a topless bar manager, bouncer and seller of pornography consistently but not necessarily full-time from 1965 to July 1 of 1969

Shorty appeared to be what in the English vernacular would be termed "a dirty old man" !

Robert C said...

I saw/read nothing in Shorty's "known" past to warrant his murder

An important point. George takes the position in his book that Shorty snitched but there is never any evidence provided to back that up, other than what people thought. I've never even read of whispers that Shorty was the cop conduit. Anyone know of places where such notions can be found ?

St Circumstance said...

If Shorty did snitch to police lol

Does that give them the right to beat and stab him to death ?

Why didn't one of the men confront him one on one of they had an issue? That's what real men do after all...

Attacking a guy 4 on 1 is the most cowardly thing there is in my opinion.

grimtraveller said...

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

theres no way anyone no matter how doped up would plan a murder in a place like that having to walk up that hill before and then run back down after

No offence mate, but if there's ever anything you ever said that indicates how little understanding you have of the wide variety of human beings that exist on this planet and the different strands of thought that are contained within, it's that one.

starviego said...

Why would Ruby Pearl return to the ranch at 11:30 at night?

She was one of the main wheels in the running of the place. Is it in any way unusual ?

Her story makes it sound like Shorty was basically kidnapped and dragged into the car

While it certainly sounds pretty menacing, I'm not sure it sounds quite like that.
Mind you, if one puts it together with Barbara Hoyt's continuing story......

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

If Shorty did snitch to police does that give them the right to beat and stab him to death ?

No. But it would make it understandable that they did if he had.
When one reads Clem's rationale in one of his parole hearings surrounding Shorty's death, while never condoning it, if one looks from their viewpoint, it's easy to see why things came to the head they did. The problem with Clem and Charlie's rationale is that they were flying on the wind and making conclusions based on nothingness, essentially.
That's one of the reasons Charles Manson was deemed to be dangerous. That's one of the reasons Susan Atkins {the real one} was deemed to be dangerous. Influence and persuasion are often far more dangerous than direct action. In fact they often lead to direct action.

David said...

Grim said: "I've never even read of whispers that Shorty was the cop conduit. Anyone know of places where such notions can be found ?

Look at the warrant in the first link at page 11 of the pdf.

"The informant had been there for 10 days since July 1." [fits with a July 1 return to Spahn]
The informant had been threatened by Manson while the informant was staying at Spahn Ranch [the knife throwing incident]

That said the informant's information is about guns, not stolen cars. My reading of the warrant suggests to me that the raid had been 'building' for some time- copters overhead looking for stolen cars, fire personnel reporting on VWs and parts, etc. Guns are also listed in the warrant "rifles, automatic pistols and revolvers'.

Later in the report the 'victim' is identified as Dick Joyce VW Agency and states that once a '69 VW registered to Dick Joyce was found the suspects were placed under arrest. The trigger for the warrant was Officer Ted Leigh's fly over August 1 that identified a 69 VW that was then connected by Leigh to Dick Joyce dealership where it had been stolen 7/15. IMO there didn't need to be a 'snitch' they were coming anyway.

If only they had acted ten days earlier.

The warrant also suspects that Manson is in violation of section 12021- felon in possession of a firearm, which means they were specifically after Manson too.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

And actually executing the warrant on the days listed it to be good for would have helped as well

ColScott said...

I think as researchers we try to make sense of events that are not interconnected. Squeaky heard this. His ex wife was black. Etc Etc.


These people violently murdered Shorty, up close and personal. This can ONLY be because he was a threat to what they were doing.

My research indicates that though he did not snitch them out HE SAID he did. He took credit. I mean what was the guy's nickname? He ate shit his whole life and liked girls that were young and vulnerable. The Family wouldn't fuck him and gave him shit continually. And he was right- George should have kicked them all out.

I've seen this happen before- it was easy to take credit and he hoped it would intimidate.

It got him killed.




Peter Moran said...

From Clem's 1981 Parole Hearing.

MR. ROBINSON: Tex was sitting in the front seat and you were sitting where?

INMATE GROGAN: I was sitting behind the driver.

MR. ROBINSON: In the back seat.

INMATE GROGAN: Then we pulled off the road. Tex got out. The car was still in gear. I think he just had his foot on the break, and they got out and they looked around the bushes like he was looking for some parts. In the meantime, I was supposed to hit this guy in the back of the head. And Tex was urging me, you know, come on hit this guy. I kept hesitating. He pulled out a knife that he had. I guess that’s what finally, you know, put me over the edge. I just hit the guy. I wasn’t really – there was no accurate shot or nothing like that.

MR. ROBINSON: Take your time.

INMATE GROGAN: Well, the blow stunned him but it didn’t knock him out. And he jumped to the passenger side of the seat. That was, the car door was already open and exited through there.

MR. ROBINSON: Steve, let me interrupt you. One of the things that was read in the statement was that the blow knocked him out of the vehicle. I remember that was discussed last year, and as you just said, he left the vehicle after being hit, right? He went out which side?

INMATE GROGAN: Right side.

MR. ROBINSON: The passenger side, all right.

INMATE GROGAN: The blow knocked him forward so he hit the steering wheel and surprised him and jumped out the side and I had to reach over the seat and get in the driver’s seat to stop the car, because the way it was parked there was an embankment, you know, like cul de sac ditch. And the car ran – drove into the ditch. So, meantime I’m jumping over the seat trying to put the brakes on, put the car in gear, stop the motor, he had already been stabbed.

PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: Who did that?

INMATE GROGAN: I imagine Tex did. I didn’t actually see him stab him. My head was turned, you know. The car had left. My peripheral vision, I didn’t catch what was going on. Came out of the car and he was laying on the ground and semi unconscious state.

PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: So Charles Manson was in the back seat with you?

INMATE GROGAN: No. No one was in the back seat.

David said...

Susan etc said: "And actually executing the warrant on the days listed it to be good for would have helped as well"

What I have seen is that the warrant was misdated. I've never seen the actual warrant. They had ten days to execute a warrant (the law is still the same) from the date of the warrant, which should have given them until 8/23. That means someone dated the actual warrant 8/5 or before or 8/17 or after.

St Circumstance said...

Thanks Pete! That's the exact exchange I was thinking about. I feel that's a believable story.

Peter Moran said...

It's just a minor detail, but Bruce Davis testifies in 2015:

INMATE DAVIS: Okay, let's see. Watson was going to sit in the passenger, front passenger seat. Grogan was going to sit in the driver's seat in the back behind the driver in the back seat and I was -- I was on the passenger side of the back seat.

I guess those old cars had big bench seats so it wouldn't be uncommon to have three up front. But those are the last three dudes I would get into a car with no matter where they were sitting.

DebS said...

Ruby Pearl's obit says that she was the one who called the sheriff and I believe I have read the same elsewhere.

The obit is here-

http://www.mansonblog.com/2014/01/ruby-pearl-redux.html

That could be why Ruby spoke so warmly of Shorty, she felt guilty that her actions caused Shorty to be blamed for being the snitch which resulted in his murder.

Shorty was busy getting married to Nikki in Las Vegas on July 1st. They were living there at the time running one of Binder's stores. Nikki left Shorty 10 days to two weeks after they married. Ten days to two weeks after that Shorty followed Nikki back to LA to try to reconcile with her.

starviego said...

"grimtraveller said...
starviego said...
Why would Ruby Pearl return to the ranch at 11:30 at night?

She was one of the main wheels in the running of the place. Is it in any way unusual"

IF TRUE, then, yes, it would be unusual for her to return at such a late hour. Was there some kind of emergency?

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

I remember either reading Preston Guillory say that they fucked up the dates and went on a day that wasnt listed on the warrant and thats one of the reasons they had to cut everyone loose

St Circumstance said...

True and he also made a very interesting argument about how the Family and Charlie would have had to have been on surveillance those nights...

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Yeah he knew there was some fuckery going on

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Wasnt it Schreks assertion that Cielo was also under FBI surveillance too?

cielodrivecom said...

Peter, I think Bruce meant Clem was in the backseat on the drivers side, not the drivers seat. Shortys car did have the bench seat up front but it would be difficult for someone to ride in the middle because he had a gigantic aftermarket air conditioner up there

Peter Moran said...

Cleo,I know both say Clem was in the back behind the driver. No problem there. But Clem says he was alone back there and Bruce says he was back there with him. So someone is wrong.

David said...

"It was a minor story, and didn’t even rate a follow-up when, a few days later, all the suspects were released, it being discovered they had been arrested on a misdated warrant."

Bugliosi, Vincent; Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (p. 91). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

California Penal Code 1534.
(a) A search warrant shall be executed and returned within 10 days after date of issuance. A warrant executed within the 10-day period shall be deemed to have been timely executed and no further showing of timeliness need be made. After the expiration of 10 days, the warrant, unless executed, is void.

Do with it as you will.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Well lets see on one hand you have a goofy retard child molester and on the other you have Bruce Davis, think ill go with Bruce lol

Terrapin said...

Cool article Matt. You filled in a lot of gaps in the Shorty timeline for me.
I just have one question and i think other members here may have alluded to it... the quote-

"Some time between Aug. 27 and Sept. 1, 1969, Tex Watson, Bruce Davis, Steve Grogan, Bill Vance, Larry Bailey, and Manson somehow got Shea into the back seat of their car.

Grogan hit Shea on the head with a pipe wrench and the fight was on. Watson stabbed Shea repeatedly. Shea fought hard but the group pulled him from the car and dragged him down a hill behind Spahn Ranch, where they overpowered him and stabbed him to death.

The events described above are well documented."

I'm not sure this sequence of events is well documented. I know Clem and Bruce's testimony is similar but they don't really mention Vance and Bailey. And hardly even mention Tex to be fair. And Manson himself says many people got away with a murder charge for what happened.

I think the Shorty murder is the most ambiguous of the lot


Matt said...

Terrapin, the story is well documented but it varies depending on who is recounting it from who was there to when it happened. Personally I tend to believe Grogan's account more than anyone else's. I think he was truly reformed and remorseful. I decided to include everyone mentioned and leave the timeline vague.


Panamint Patty said...

48 years ago today

Suze said...

Technically tomorrow.

Matt said...

We have a long time lurker here who was born on August 8, 1969 shortly before midnight. oo-eee-oo


grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

IF TRUE, then, yes, it would be unusual for her to return at such a late hour. Was there some kind of emergency?

Can you explain exactly why it would be unusual for the manager of a ranch to go there at 11.30 in the night ? There could be dozens of more than plausible reasons why she did this.

David said...

Grim,

While this may fall into the category of counting angels on the head of a pin, I have to agree with Starviego on this one. I am the 'manager' of several 'businesses' and have never gone to any of them at 11:30 at night absent someone's idea of an emergency.

On a different note and combining Deb and ColScott's comments above, that makes me wonder if Shorty didn't say 'he did it' to protect Ruby. We have 'cowboy' types where I live and that attitude is fairly common (so are some other less appealing attitudes about a 'woman's place'). If so, his act, to me, almost would seem to border on 'heroic' since he knew what/who he was dealing with.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

It depends on what her customary routine was, if she hardly ever did it then i would say its noteworthy

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Lol love the Harold True quote there

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Manson Mythos said...

Charlie said Shorty was a "twisted guy" who might have put the moves on a male Family member or two. Considering he was a dildo and gay porn merchant, perhaps Charlie is telling the truth yet again.

George Stimson said...

Ruby Pearl didn't go back to the ranch at 11:30; she had never left that day. She customarily worked every day from mid-morning to late at night.

David said...

Thanks George- that actually makes sense.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
orwhut said...

OT as usual:
I've been straining my feeble brain trying to remember who's birthday was on Aug. 8. It finally came to me, it wasn't a birthday, it was the start of a death day.

Manson Mythos said...

I wonder if Shorty was more involved with Family activities than we were lead to believe. Like everything with the case, there are multiple accounts as to how The Family ended up on Spahn Ranch. But it appears it was through Bill Vance. Windy Bucklee, who said a lot of bullshit said she lived on the same block as the Yellow Submarine house that Vance got them and he too lived on that block and worked on the ranch (she said she knew him for over a decade). Vance set up the girls as topless dancers and Shorty, was a bouncer at a topless club.

St Circumstance said...

If you read HS you get one impression of Juan Flynn.

When you watch Mr. H documentary- Juan Flynn appears to be right at home and one of them...

I read somewhere Shorty was giving them a ride that day and helping them out. It wouldn't surprise me if he had a better relationship with some of them. I think I read in one of Bruce or Clem's parole hearings that one of them said he considered Shorty a friend. If have to go back and refresh my memory but I'm pretty sure one of them said that.

Cielodrive.com said...

Windy lived directly across the street from the yellow submarine

David said...

I'll probably regret this but Susan, why does it matter that he was?

Are you suggesting that those facts somehow justify his murder, or that even the fact (if true) that he was the snitch justifies his murder?

I know this topic comes up here a lot- Hinman for example. And while I agree, the historical details surrounding the various characters are interesting like this post and may provide insights into the crimes at other times I'm not clear that is the reason these things are expressed. They seem to be used as labels applied to victims in much the same fashion in past wars we used 'kraut' or 'jap'. And perhaps more to the point it seems to come up only when the discussion turns to murders where it is hardest to explain how Manson was not culpable. Yet, at the same time there is an unusual double standard that seems to lurk out there.

For example Kasabian (who clearly was as culpable as the rest and likely told less then the truth). She is vilified for drug use, being a poor parent, her history of multiple crimes and being involved in prostitution. Shea, in comments just above, has been vilified for 'sleeping with underage girls' (and should be) and being involved on the fringes of gay porn. But there is someone else who also did all of things and more and the comments about the others seem to be used to defend him. Of course, I am speaking of Manson.

Perhaps, as midnight approaches we could take some time to remember that none of those who were murdered "deserved it" regardless of how they lived their lives and perhaps spend a few moments remembering they are the ones that matter and deserve remembrance not Manson, Atkins, Watson, Van Houten, Krenwinkel, Kasabian, Davis, Grogan or Beausoleil.

You know, these people:

Steven Parent
Sharon Tate
Jay Sebring
Wojciech Frykowski
Abigail Folger
Donald Shea
Gary Hinman
Rosemary LaBianca
Leno LaBianca

Because despite everything they did during their lives they are without a doubt far better people then the others could ever be.

Panamint Patty said...

Don't forget the baby

DebS said...

Well said David, thank you!

St Circumstance said...

Here Here!!

cielodrivecom said...

Thank you David

starviego said...

SAG: " ...hacking off fingers followed by toes, followed by limbs until there was nothing left but organs and bones"

You have to have true love in your heart to make a comment like that.

Mr. Humphrat said...

So did Shorty not come in contact with the Family until the summer of 69? Thanks for these details, Matt. Also, I didn't know about the ongoing money issues and how that might have affected his actions.
In the interview of DeCarlo and Simi Valley Sherri in 1975 it sounds to me like Sherri says Shorty "liked Charlie and he let him know it." Could she have been saying "he didn't like Charlie?" It sure sounded like she said he like him. HMMM. I've long been curious about that.

lostgirl said...

Looks like a certain blog administrator has been busy :)

Matt said...

Sobering thoughts at this infamous hour. Thank you, David.


Brian G said...

Having trouble posting had to delete previous because of double posts.Anyway I've seen a post on one of these blogs perhaps the Col's that Kitty was the snitch that caused the raid.It was pretty convincing

Matt said...

Brian G, what kind of device are you using?


Brian G said...

Android

Matt said...

Hmmm. How about your location. City? State? Maybe I can figure it out...


Brian G said...

It doesn't do it every time I see

Brian G said...

Belfast Maine

ziggyosterberg said...


Brian G said...

"I've seen a post on one of these blogs perhaps the Col's that Kitty was the snitch that caused the raid. It was pretty convincing"

I think that is likely correct.

It says on page 9 (scribd 10) of Matt's Spahn Ranch Raid Report/PDF file :


"On the date of August 10, 1969, at approximately 12:15 p.m., your affiant, William G. Gleason, received information from Informant No. 1"


In "The Family" by Ed Sanders, it says :


"On August 10, Sunday, Sergeant William Gleason of the Los Angeles sheriff's office visited Kitty Lutesinger at her parents' ranch where she had fled following Manson's kill-threats. Sergeant Gleason was compiling a file of disturbing information about the Spahn Ranch preparing for a huge police raid to come the following week. He had become aware of Miss Lutesinger when she had run away from the Spahn Ranch on July 30 and Frank Retz had driven her to the police station."


Sounds like the informant was Kitty.

Brian G said...

Yes that all seems to add up. Thanks for the info

Brian G said...

Yes that all seems to add up. Thanks for the info

joseph esposito said...

Statutory rape is 'not' child molestation Susan. What happened to: girls mature faster than boys? Also wo-MEN do this sort of thing a lot more than MEN.

ziggyosterberg said...


I should correct one thing : Matt's Spahn Ranch Raid Report was a Scribd document.

The PDF file is the one with the dildo testimony in it.

Matt's Spahn Ranch Raid Report, on the other hand, is safe to click on, view and share with friends, family, and even your local (denomination of your choice) clergy.

ziggyosterberg said...


St Circumstance said...

"I love it out there as well. I live on the beach in the Fort Lauderdale area and I would pack up in a minute if I could find a way to make ends meet out there. Alas I settle for one week a year."


You poor thing. Beachfront property in Fort Lauderdale must mean that you did something really horrible in a past lifetime or something. 😱

David said...

Ziggy,

very cool. For me a mystery solved. Well done.

Of all the characters in this I would put on the list to have had a beer with is Frank Ritz.

DebS said...

David, scribd also has Shorty's autopsy and investigation report. I don't know how to do the fancy link like Ziggy....

https://www.scribd.com/document/35709412/Donald-Jerome-Shorty-Shea-Sherrif-s-Investigation-Autopsy-Report

chimpydork said...

It's coming down FAST ... RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!

St Circumstance said...

Ziggy I don't own beachfront property lol. I have a one bedroom condo about 5 miles inland ....

Trust me I'm a long way from the Beverly Hills lifestyle. But I pretend once a year and I do a pretty good impersonation lol

🍻

Matt said...

I don't see Belfast Maine in the logs. Do you know your IP?


Brian G said...

I just won't post.

Brian G said...

I just won't post.

Matt said...

Yesterday in Rolling Stone


Panamint Patty said...

Same old bs

St Circumstance said...

In this pic of Shorty he reminds me a little of Randy Quaid in Vacation.

Peter Moran said...

Hey Clark, you look like you could use a cold one.



Here is another Kanarek master stroke from a sidebar during Kasabian's cross (which Fitzgerald handled very well IMO).

MR. KANAREK: And I heard it. And I ask for a mistrial. If the prosecution put ideas into this woman's mind, I do not accept Mr. Stovitz's statement that this woman had these fears --
THE COURT: Are you making a motion or objection of something?
MR: KANAREK: Yes, your Honor.
THE COURT: What is it?
MR. KANAREK: The motion is, your Honor, that in view of the prosecution's --
THE COURT: Never mind in view of anything, Mr. Kanarek. What is your motion?
MR. KANAREK: My motion is that this woman be put under sodium Pentothal, that there be administered truth serum.
THE COURT: The motion is denied. Let's prceed.

Matt said...

Kanarek was a master obfuscater and deflector. I bet they could have wrapped that trial up in half the time without him.


Peter Moran said...

I haven't read all the pretrial motions to see exactly when or why, but by the time they get to trial, one can see that the Court has lost all patience with him and there is no good will from the bench and that really does his case a disservice.

David said...

From the decision of the appellate court:

"This last portion was stricken as a result of a barrage of motions and objections by Manson's lawyer. Our examination of the record discloses that an estimated 20 percent of the record during the People's case consists of defense objections and motions, most of which were inappropriate, unnecessary and ill advised. For example, when the People offered evidence of declarations by Shea evidencing Shea's state of mind for the purpose of proving that Shea was dead, Manson objected on the ground that it violated his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments right to confront the dead declarant. In at least one instance, Manson's counsel refused an offer from the court of a continuous running motion for mistrial. We are convinced that the orderly presentation of the prosecution was obstructed by the sheer mass of objections and motions by Manson's lawyer, most of which were devoid of merit, but which had the effect of obscuring vital evidence. The trial court erroneously sustained some of the objections and erroneously granted some of the motions. The sheer mass of motions and objections obviously interfered with the thought processes of the prosecutor and witnesses which is apparently what they were intended to do. This case can most accurately be characterized as trial by filibuster."

Peter Moran said...

David. That perfectly sums it up. At first, I thought maybe he is just trying to create some kind of record for an appeal, but then it becomes clear that he is just trying to confuse the witnesses, interfere with the flow of the questioning, and confuse the jurors. He literally moves for a mistrial at least once a page during Kasabian's direct.

Although, I am interested in Kanarek's argument that because the prosecution pleaded the case such that the conspiracy allegedly arose on August 8, any testimony by Kasabian as to statements by Manson prior to that time were hearsay, and not admissible as either admissions or statements in furtherance of the conspiracy as no conspiracy yet existed. For a minute it looked like the argument may have had legs, and Bugliosi was clearly worried by it, but I think the transcript from the next morning - when the motion would have been argued, is missing from Cielo's archive at the moment. Regardless, the Court was so fed up with Kanarek by this point, he didn't have much of a chance.

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

2 blog-posts ago with the title:
"Dateline Friday Sneak Peak....."

Underworld Production Inc said:
"50 years of the same old crap!! I can't wait to do my book!"

Mr. Ben Gurecki/Underworld Production,
Are you going to include in your book Charles Manson's Construction Site Pad?
And/or,
MORE OF WHAT went on at Spahn Ranch that has been covered-up after ALL these years?
AND the fact that Charles Manson nor ANY of the Manson Family Members have ever talked about it?

Of course, I would/will understand if you won't discuss these situations.

Mario George Nitrini 111
-------
The OJ Simpson Case

grimtraveller said...

Peter Moran said...

I haven't read all the pretrial motions to see exactly when or why, but by the time they get to trial, one can see that the Court has lost all patience with him and there is no good will from the bench and that really does his case a disservice

One of the ironies of the case is the post conviction complaint that Charlie did not receive a swift and speedy trial within his alloted 60 days !
Perhaps unfair of me, but I do find that kind of funny with Irving looming large in the fore and background.

Peter Moran said...

LOL. Now Kanarek wants the judge to censure President Nixon, as a member of the California Bar, for his comment that Manson was guilty. This stuff is great.

David said...

Grim said: "One of the ironies of the case is the post conviction complaint that Charlie did not receive a swift and speedy trial within his alloted 60 days !"

I hate to take exception to your police work there but.....the right to a speedy trial is the right to get to court quickly after you are charged not the right to a quick trial.

Curious who complains about this? Manson waived it. It was not appealed if ti was an issue.

ColScott said...

Derailing the thread BECAUSE


Did anyone watch NBC Summer of Manson On Friday? It was pretty horrible even for beginners to the case. Two things.

Eric whomever the supposed roommate to Hinman- is this guy for real? Where did he come from? He manages to have dramatic quotes and remembers 50 year old shit like it was yesterday. Who is this asshat?

Jeff Guinn was easy to ignore as a shitty book writer but as a storytelling bullethead he was insufferable. Charlie put the flag on top of Sharon? Jeff ir you are reading- fuck yourself.

Also you interview Gregg and ask him nothing interesting?

Thoughts?

cielodrivecom said...

Col, Guinn was just giving you some alternate facts

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

I was thinking the same thing about Jakobsen, hes got great stories about Charlie and they asked him none of them

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

I was thinking the same thing about Jakobsen, hes got great stories about Charlie and they asked him none of them

David said...


Guinn- flag- as an 'authority' he might have actually read the transcript-

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=AwrSw7W3GI1ZPT8A7uz7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBncGdyMzQ0BHNlYwNzZWFyY2gEdnRpZAM-;_ylc=X1MDOTY3ODEzMDcEX3IDMgRhY3RuA2NsawRiY2sDYjdsbWpqZGNtdXU5YiUyNmIlM0QzJTI2cyUzRHFnBGNzcmNwdmlkA29HeUZTekV3TGpLejF0T2JXVzk1S3doQk56TXVPUUFBQUFBMlpoTXoEZnIDdGlnaHRyb3BldGIEZnIyA3NhLWdwBGdwcmlkA2xJeXFCaEQ2U0VxbkVHX3k2NVhrckEEbXRlc3RpZANJTkZSQSUzREIzOTA3BG5fcnNsdAM2MARuX3N1Z2cDMQRvcmlnaW4DdmlkZW8uc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMARwcXN0cgMEcHFzdHJsAwRxc3RybAMzNwRxdWVyeQNBcXVhcmlvdXMgVFYgc2hvdyBNYW5zb24gYW5kIHRoZSBmbGFnBHRfc3RtcAMxNTAyNDE5MTM5BHZ0ZXN0aWQDbnVsbA--?gprid=lIyqBhD6SEqnEG_y65XkrA&pvid=oGyFSzEwLjKz1tObWW95KwhBNzMuOQAAAAA2ZhMz&p=Aquarious+TV+show+Manson+and+the+flag&ei=UTF-8&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av%2Cm%3Asa&fr=tightropetb#id=2&vid=ea8a49cd93492abaadea9f9abbdd6565&action=view


Sorry for the length of that. Aquarius= NBC. Dateline= NBC. Notice at about 15 seconds of the trailer.

What is Guinn's theory about Manson going back to Cielo....hmmmm.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Manson does go back in Aquarius, if i remember correctly he took the "Emma" character with him, she wasnt really based on Kasabian but assumed her role in the actual murder scene, Tex, Susan, Pat and "Emma" get back to the ranch and Charlie is PISSED and jumps in the car and takes her with him

Mr. Humphrat said...

Colonel, if you look at page 179 in The Family by Ed Sanders he says "Eric" the mescaline dealer came over to Gary's house and saw him talking to Charlie on the phone and recounted the conversation for him, which was the same conversation he was talking about in Summer of Manson. (at least it's page 179 on Google Books.)

ziggyosterberg said...


DebS said...

"I don't know how to do the fancy link like Ziggy"

It's really easy. This will show you how to do it. It's near the top of the page under the heading - "HTML Links - Syntax".

ziggyosterberg said...


I thought it was noteworthy that The Summer of Manson made the startling claim that Copycat was the motive for Tate/LaBianca. Keith was even selling the Copycat theory in interviews with the affiliates last week, and at the same time dismissing Vince's Helter Skelter. Vince would not have been too happy about that, I don't think.

BTW - Does anyone know the name of the James Cagney movie that Hinman's friend said the Manson crew got the Copycat idea from? 😲

Peter Moran said...

Back on topic. Have any of you seen the YouTube interview with the guy who used to ride his minibike down to Spahn when he was like 10 years old and tag around with Shorty, ride into town with the girls to get ice cream, and sit in the old car hood while Charlie towed them around the paddock from a dune buggy to smooth it out. It's worth a watch, and paints a different picture of Shorty.

St Circumstance said...

That's the guy I met on my Spahn tour I was talking about earlier....

Seemed like a sincere guy.

David said...

Ziggy said: "BTW - Does anyone know the name of the James Cagney movie that Hinman's friend said the Manson crew got the Copycat idea from?"

No and I am a bit of a fan so I will say I don't think there is one.

Bobby Beausoleil was arrested on August 6th. Assuming they were not planning copycat murders until he was arrested there were no Cagney movies on TV between the 6th and the 8th in LA. Public Enemy was showing at the Encore Theater in Hollywood on the 6th. All per the LA Times.

ColScott said...

Did Zippy ever post on this blog or was that another Fake News book writer?

Does NBC assume if you wrote a book you might be an expert? Because prepare for Tom O'Neill and his "Charlie Manson Karate School" all during 2019 TV season.

Humpy- yeah, I believe Ed his work is super anal. Funny he wasn't mentioned as a drug dealer by NBC

St Circumstance said...

Would that make Simon an expert?

Maybe I should try writing one? " idiots guide to the Manson Family"

Bugs was the only expert to write a book on the case to date. Say what you will of him as a person.

DebS said...

There are a lot of holes in Pete's story which if compared to Binders trial testimony that Matt provided a link to in this post should be apparent. Shorty was not working at Spahn for the better part of the summer of 1969. In fact he was in Las Vegas for at least a month that summer. More to come on Pete's story in a future post by one of our writers.

ColScott said...

St Circumstance- Adam Go Rightly wrote that as an ebook some years back. I will look to see if I still have it and send over. Adam was not that bright but the book was okay-ish

Deb- Like I mentioned several times on the ONLY Official TLB blog, the number of people out here who have told me seriously that they were going to Cielo dinner party that night numbers 8 so far in my life. People lie and then believe it

St Circumstance said...

Deb you were with me when we met Pete. Did you believe him?

I sorta did but know zero about the facts.

I got the impression one of the other members of our group did not think so much of his story lol but am not sure and won't speak for anyone else

St Circumstance said...

Thanks!

Panamint Patty said...

Patty believes that Pete feels he's telling the truth. But he was a little kid back then and likely remembers things differently than they actually happened.

Matt said...

What is for certain is that Shorty wasn't around Spahn Ranch a whole lot that summer. He was in Vegas for an extended period, then he was busy being dead. There wasn't a lot of time in between.


St Circumstance said...

Party maybe that's a better explanation of what I thought. He seemed to truely believe it lol

I'm not sure what I believe. Like most things with this case.

St Circumstance said...

Patty lol sorry. Typing on phone

DebS said...

I, too, think Pete believes the story he's been telling but it really couldn't have happened like he said. Doubt that there is much that would change his mind. I heard through the Helter Skelter telegraph that Pete was interviewed by a production company doing a Manson documentary for the History Channel and that Windy Bucklee backed up his story. LMAO

Panamint Patty said...

Oh dear, Windbag Bucklee huh?

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

You would think Ed was around the group 24/7 with all the shit he claims to know, hes full of shit on alot of things

Matt said...

I think the solution is to do our own documentary. We assemble a dream team of TLB minds and do it cheaply.!we have 23 months.


Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Vince himself didnt believe the Helter Skelter story, hes said so himself

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Vince himself didnt believe the Helter Skelter story, hes said so himself

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Bottom line is that Charlie and company thought Shorty was a sloppy drunk old pervert and was talking to George, theres a certain "hierarchy" among drug and alcohol users, alkies always believe theyre better than "those dopers sticking needles in their arms, snorting coke and smoking weed" and pot smokers by and large think theyre healthier than people who drink alot, lots of hypocrisy to go around for everyone

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Bottom line is that Charlie and company thought Shorty was a sloppy drunk old pervert and was talking to George, theres a certain "hierarchy" among drug and alcohol users, alkies always believe theyre better than "those dopers sticking needles in their arms, snorting coke and smoking weed" and pot smokers by and large think theyre healthier than people who drink alot, lots of hypocrisy to go around for everyone

ziggyosterberg said...


David said...

"No and I am a bit of a fan so I will say I don't think there is one.

Bobby Beausoleil was arrested on August 6th. Assuming they were not planning copycat murders until he was arrested there were no Cagney movies on TV between the 6th and the 8th in LA. Public Enemy was showing at the Encore Theater in Hollywood on the 6th. All per the LA Times."



Thank you for doing that research. I also don't think there was one. I went through his full IMDB, and read all the storylines for each movie, and then scanned the user reviews, and came up empty.

And you make a good point - there was a small window of opportunity for Manson to fortuitously see a movie that gives him the idea of how to get out of the mess he's in. And Manson went to San Diego with Schram on the 7th, returning to the ranch on the 8th. Not much time for movie watching.

But it's one of those (likely fabricated) superfluous details that for some reason people think are needed to make a theory more believable.

The most ludicrous aspect of the story is the notion that Manson needed a movie to tell him how to attempt to put the blame on someone else, when they already tried to do that the week before at Hinman's.

ziggyosterberg said...


DebS said...

"I heard through the Helter Skelter telegraph that Pete was interviewed by a production company doing a Manson documentary for the History Channel and that Windy Bucklee backed up his story. LMAO"


It's odd how these shows/docs approach the subject. They interview people who say completely false things, but if it fits with what they're going for, it makes the cut.

But in all fairness to these shows, I think they spend most of their budget on "scary music" - the most important thing in a Manson doc.

DebS said...

Zig, I think they look for something "new" to present, after all most of the docs are the same old thing. In their zeal at finding something new they throw caution to the wind and run with it figuring they have struck gold! They don't really know how to separate the wheat from the chaff because they don't know the case very well and believe just about all of the crap there is out there.

Circling back to the topic, I don't think Shorty was a stuntman but rather an extra who wanted to be a stuntman. He's not listed at IMDb for being a stuntman and there is just one movie listed for him where he was an extra. However we do know that Shorty was an extra in Arch Hall's Deadwood '76 because Hall testified to that in court.

Nor do I think he was a ranch foreman at the time of his death like it says on his death certificate.

Looking at it from George Spahn's perspective, why would he kick the Manson crew out in favor of Shorty? They worked for him for a place to sleep at night in very primitive conditions, he didn't pay them any money. And Manson came up with the money to pay all of George's back taxes so he wouldn't lose the ranch. That's something Shorty could have never done. I'm sure that Shorty resented Manson in many ways.

St Circumstance said...

Amazing perspective from a very wise mind.

❤ Deb

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Plus the infamous "manson stare" from the terrifying 5'2" little "guru", lol i remember an episode of The Sopranos where Tony called it the "Manson lamps"

joseph esposito said...

Charlie was 5'4" Bugliosi lied about his height. I think George mentioned this once.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

No he was 5'2"

David said...

Matt said: "I think the solution is to do our own documentary. We assemble a dream team of TLB minds and do it cheaply.!we have 23 months."

I'm in.

DebS said...

SAG, Joe is correct, Manson was taller than 5' 2". Just because Bugliosi wrote it, it doesn't mean it's true.

Look at some of Manson's arrest reports, one dating back to 1959 and the others were all pre-trial. They say that Manson was 5'6" or 5'7". He probably was somewhere in the middle of the two heights. There would be no reason for the older arrest reports to be wrong.

You can see many of them at Michael Channel's website starting about 2/3 of the way down the page.

http://mansonsbackporch.com/-library.html

Also do a Google image search for Charles Manson Driver's license. His license says he was 5'7" in 1967.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Hes lying, hes 5'2" look at pictures from when he was arrested and he comes up to the 62 inch mark, i myself come up to the 76 inch mark so i know lottle short guys when i see them

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

When you get arrested alot of times they just ask you what your height is especially if youre just ticketed and even if you dhow as a certain height in photos if arrested they still go on what you say, Manson was simply genetically inferior stock

DebS said...

That picture of Manson in his leather outfit taken in Inyo County is an optical illusion. He's not standing near the height marker, he's five feet or more away from it. That's not how you measure height. Manson wasn't just ticketed on those arrest reports, he was arrested.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

Hes 5'2"

brownrice said...

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
...genetically inferior stock


Now THAT's a slippery slope.

brownrice said...

Great post, Matt... the most info I've ever seen of Shorty.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

Grim said: "One of the ironies of the case is the post conviction complaint that Charlie did not receive a swift and speedy trial within his allotted 60 days !"

I hate to take exception to your police work there but.....the right to a speedy trial is the right to get to court quickly after you are charged not the right to a quick trial


Is there a difference ? There can't be a case against you until you are charged. I took it as read that the 'allotted 60 days' would be understood to mean after being charged.
Anyway, I got that from George's book "Goodbye Helter Skelter" in which he states:
Manson had a statutory right to a trial within 60 days of his arraignment, which occurred on December 9, 1969. On February 6, 1970 he asked that his right be recognized and that the trial begin "tomorrow or Monday." Instead, Judge Keene set a trial date for March 30.

Curious who complains about this? Manson waived it

From the same book, George writes:
On March 30 the scheduled date for the trial came and went. By this time Manson's statutory right to have his trial begin within 60 days of his arraignment was already long gone.

It's all contained in the Chapter entitled "Charles Manson and the law" and the context George puts this all in is to demonstrate how the law was used to work against Charlie. He posits the delay caused by going over the 60 days as being crucial for the prosecution because at the time the 60 days would have been up, they had less than the bare bones of a case. Susan Atkins didn't even recant until mid February and Bugliosi spoke with Kasabian for the first time on the 28th of that month.
But all that aside, it just strikes me as funny that having things happen quickly was an issue at the start, then Irving got called in.......

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

He means 60 days from the time a person is charged until the case is brought to trial not the amount of time the trial actually takes, to put a time limit on that would be ridiculous

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

People lie and then believe it

Rarely a truer word said.
I do sometimes wonder if those people lie and then believe it or have already believed their lie/memory and thus it's true when they tell it.
Of course, equally, some people just lie, know it's a lie but keep pushing it till their dying day....

grimtraveller said...

DebS said...

That picture of Manson in his leather outfit taken in Inyo County is an optical illusion. He's not standing near the height marker, he's five feet or more away from it

It's not an optical illusion because he's not 4 or 5 feet from it. His heels are virtually on the wall that the height marker is hung on. He's right next to it.
His height to me is irrelevant and I'll happily concede that the marker may well be in the wrong place to start with, it's all Moroccan roll. But according to that photo, he's 5'2".

grimtraveller said...

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

He means 60 days from the time a person is charged until the case is brought to trial not the amount of time the trial actually takes, to put a time limit on that would be ridiculous

As daft as you may think I am, even I am not so stupid as to think that there is a time limit set for an actual trial ! It's not a football match which is set to 90 minutes with time added on for stoppages or CSI Miami in which every crime is solved in 47 minutes !!
One of the things that really stood out to me when I first read the book all those years ago was how long the trial took and how long the jury were sequestered. A time limit on a trial has probably never even entered my head in my life. Even in those corrupt nations with their secret kangaroo courts.

cielodrivecom said...

Grim, the measurement on the wall is not intended for the subject to be standing up against it. For the measurement to be accurate Manson is supposed to be standing within the yellow marker on the floor.

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

This is one thing we agree on, Manson was 5'2" no doubt about it

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

What woukd it matter if he was 5'4"? Hes still a midget and a genetically physicslly inferior human being

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cielodrive.com said...

Manson wasn't 5'4" either

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...

I know, he was 5'2"

grimtraveller said...

cielodrivecom said...

the measurement on the wall is not intended for the subject to be standing up against it. For the measurement to be accurate Manson is supposed to be standing within the yellow marker on the floor

Gotcha !
By the way, the photo in the link is a fantastic shot. It's actually better than the forward shot.

brownrice said...

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
a genetically physicslly inferior human being


...and there we go again. Careful, you'll be wanting to round 'em all up & gas 'em soon.

joseph esposito said...

Not arguing about Manson's criminality, however Genetically inferior? Actually Manson was quite handsome and attracted a lot of girls. Small like Bruce Lee? Actually both were small MEN, and yet quite masculine anyhow...

btw, Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Al Pacino, Robert Downey Jr. Christian Slater, Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, Henry Winkler, Frank Sinatra, James Cagney, ALL 5'7"...or under...

David said...

Grim said: "Anyway, I got that from George's book "Goodbye Helter Skelter" in which he states:
Manson had a statutory right to a trial within 60 days of his arraignment, which occurred on December 9, 1969. On February 6, 1970 he asked that his right be recognized and that the trial begin "tomorrow or Monday." Instead, Judge Keene set a trial date for March 30."

Actually, Grim, the court did nothing wrong. While I love George he tends to leave out bits an pieces.

Your right to a speedy trial is generally 60 days. In California in 1969 it was 60 days. But when does that clock start? It starts when you are arraigned, which presupposes you enter a plea. Manson did not enter a plea until Judge Dell entered one for him (of 'not guilty') on January 28th.

That puts the 60 days on March 29th, which was a Sunday, and made the trial date, then March 30th. By March 30 Manson had lost his pro per status and his attorneys waived his right to a speedy trial.

David said...

To me one of the most interesting 'legal' events of the trial is Manson's refusal to enter a plea. I have wrestled with that trying to understand 'why' since I first read about it. That decision may have convicted him. Think about it a moment. Had he plead not guilty at his initial arraignment his trial would have been February 9th. By then Bugliosi was losing or lost Atkins and had very little to convict Manson....IMO.

brownrice said...

David said...
To me one of the most interesting 'legal' events of the trial is Manson's refusal to enter a plea. I have wrestled with that trying to understand 'why' since I first read about it. That decision may have convicted him. Think about it a moment. Had he plead not guilty at his initial arraignment his trial would have been February 9th. By then Bugliosi was losing or lost Atkins and had very little to convict Manson....IMO.


It’s always worth remembering that the Chicago 7/8 trials were “number one with a bullet” (as it were) during Charlie’s arrest, arraignment and (at least) the early stages of the trial. This was achieved by basically making a mockery of the whole legal system and by not acknowledging the court’s inherent power. Charlie himself was visited & sympathetically interviewed by Jerry Rubin early in the piece and many revolutionarily-inclined freaks initially sympathised with him (assuming it was all a government stitch-up).

I don’t personally think these crimes were based on any kinda revolutionary target but to begin with perhaps Charlie thought it was a good strategy to fly under the same flag. Lacking the benefits of a Kunstler or a Weinglass, the best he could come up with was to formally not play the game. In a sense, he chose the Bobby Seale model. Unfortunately though, he read the changing mood of the times really badly and failed to factor in that there’s a whole heap of difference between spouting revolutionary rhetoric, leading an anti-war protest and … ummm… actually snuffing people.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

Actually, Grim, the court did nothing wrong

I agree. It was never a point with me that they did.

While I love George he tends to leave out bits and pieces

But he does also remind us of a certain strand of opinion regarding this case and it's that that I was alluding to when I drew a contrast between speediness to get a trial started and having Irving on board which was the opposite once the trial began.


To me one of the most interesting 'legal' events of the trial is Manson's refusal to enter a plea. I have wrestled with that trying to understand 'why' since I first read about it. That decision may have convicted him. Think about it a moment. Had he plead not guilty at his initial arraignment his trial would have been February 9th. By then Bugliosi was losing or lost Atkins and had very little to convict Manson....IMO

I kind of go along with that.
To me it demonstrates Charlie playing his games and trying to "mess with heads" which was very much part of his MO and that of some of the counterculture at the time, that whole thing of "disarming straight sensibilities." I find it interesting that all his posturing was going on when he knew what he'd done to Gary Hinman and was under the impression that he'd killed Bernard Crowe and knew he was involved in the murder of Shorty.
But I also think that paradoxically he realized that this was bigger than anything he'd faced before. This wasn't a rape allegation or being nude by the side of a road or having a supposed joint in your pocket. This wasn't a situation where he could eat a cheque when a cop leaves the room {allegedly}. This was facing death and I guess he was sounding out what various legal minds were saying before fully making up his mind which way to go. He states in George's book that Charles Hollopeter said if he copped to diminished capacity, he'd have him out in 18 months.....