Monday, September 4, 2017

Ruby Pearl, Barbara Hoyt, and the Murder of Shorty Shea (Again)

Don't worry about this turning into the Donald Shea Blog. Yes, we have recently published this story and this one about the doomed would-be stuntman, but since we have just passed the 48th anniversary of Shea’s demise it would be appropriate to post just one more.

Two of the main witnesses against the defendants in the trials for the murder of Donald Jerome “Shorty” Shea (People v. Manson, People v. David, and People v. Grogan) were women, Ruby Pearl and Barbara Hoyt. Both women’s testimonies were of great assistance to the prosecution’s efforts to obtain murder convictions in a daunting case where no body of the victim had been found. Ruby Pearl’s testimony was important in buttressing the argument that Shea's unexpected and prolonged absence from Spahn's Ranch indicated that he had likely fallen victim to sinister circumstances. She also gave details about an ominous conversation she’d had with Shea on the night before he disappeared. Barbara Hoyt's testimony was also important, but it was much more precise: she claimed to have heard the actual death screams of Shea while he was being murdered.

The testimony that Ruby Pearl gave painted a vivid picture of some of the events of the night before Shea vanished. But much of Pearl’s background testimony was equally valuable in that it is a great help in gaining a more realistic perspective of life at Span's Movie Ranch in the summer of 1969.

Barbara Hoyt’s testimony was also very vivid. Her unequivocal recollections of having heard Shea being slain were quite impressive to the jury and were a considerable factor in convincing them that the absent Shea had indeed been murdered.

Ruby Pearl —

In1969 Ruby Pearl had worked for George Spahn for almost twenty years. As Spahn's "right hand woman" she was his immediate subordinate and oversaw all of the practical aspects of running the ranch, including renting out horses, arranging jobs with other business concerns, hiring and firing workers, taking care of the horses and other livestock, and maintaining whatever supplies and equipment were necessary for the successful running of a movie set and horseback riding business. By the summer of 1969 Pearl was working at the ranch every day, seven days a week, from about nine in the morning until ten or twelve in the evening. As such she was well positioned to give accurate accountings as to what went on there. And those accountings are not only accurate, but they are also very interesting.

Ruby Pearl

Of general interest is that Pearl deflated one of the many myths of the Manson saga with the revelation that the famous ”there were no calendars or clocks at Spahn's Ranch" scenario was not an insidious plan on the part of Charles Manson to keep his "followers" disoriented as to dates and time but was rather the way the situation always existed at the ranch, even before Manson and his friends got there. Repeatedly in her testimony Pearl recalled that the life at the ranch was one of timeless routine where the only chronological landmark she had that summer was the massive police raid that was carried out on August 16, 1969; she could only remember events as having occurred before or after that remarkable and highly memorable event.

At Bruce Davis’ trial for Shea’s murder L.A. Deputy District Attorney Anthony Manzella asked Pearl, “Miss Pearl, you said that you didn’t have anything to base your dates on. What did you mean by that?”

Pearl responded, “Until we got it in our heads about the time of the raid, we didn’t have anything to base our time on.”

Manzella: “To you — at the ranch, you worked almost every day at the ranch, didn’t you? Seven days a week?”

Pearl: “Yes.” ….

Manzella: “Did you pay much attention to particular dates?”

Pearl: “Not unless something particularly happened.”

Later, she said, “Well, time, a day or two, isn’t important in our memories. We never kept track of the days, of time. Every day was a working day.”

And yet again, "Well, we didn't center dates around any particular thing, until the raid. That determined a lot of conversation and dates. Before that time, we didn't [know]."

Despite this lack of any accurate time measuring system Pearl could, however, recall sequences of events as far as they related to each other. Thus, she remembered the time after which she didn't see Shea anymore, and she remembered the events that immediately preceded that time.

Although she couldn’t recall the exact date, Pearl clearly remembered the last time she saw Donald Shea. It was on a moonlit night near the end of August. Shea had recently been hired by Frank Retz to work as a sort of night watchman, with the added duty of keeping Charles Manson and his associates away from the “back ranch” area, which Retz claimed was on his property.

It was late at night, probably around midnight. Pearl was in her black Rambler pulling out of the parking lot at Spahn’s after a typical long day of work when she was approached by Donald Shea. Shea was fearful, and he was drunk. As Pearl later recalled in her testimony, Shea asked her, “Pearl, can I stay over at your house tonight? It’s kind of weird here.”

Pearl said, “I haven’t got any place but the shed,” referring to a small structure with a bed in it behind her house.

Shea said, “Well, it’s kind of cold in there.”

Pearl suggested, “Why don’t you go over the the Fountain of the World?"  The Fountain was a religious retreat located in Box Canyon a few miles west of Spahn’s Ranch that took in people who had no place to stay. Shea said that he didn't want to go there either and decided to spend the night in his car at the ranch.

Prosecutor Anthony Manzella asked Pearl about Shea’s demeanor during this conversation. She answered, “He was very serious and he kept looking around, and he said, ‘It gives me the creeps to stay here.’”

Manzella: “Had you ever seen him like that before?”

Pearl: “No.”

Pearl allowed that an additional reason for discouraging Shea from staying at her house was because he had been drinking that night.

Bruce Davis defense attorney George Denny asked Pearl,  “All right. Then, you had this conversation with Shorty? And Shorty had been drinking somewhat; is that right?”

Pearl:  “Yes, he had.”

“And in fact, that’s one of the reasons that you were not too keen to have him come to your house that night; is that right?”

“For that reason; and it was late.”

After this encounter with Shea, Pearl recalled:

“Well, he turned and walked away towards the boardwalk. And I started slowly to pull off. And I saw a car come in real fast, into the driveway and park over there by the side of the road, towards the Simi Valley Road…. just on the edge. And all of these boys got out real quick and started over towards the boardwalk.”

Asked to identify “these boys” Pearl replied, “The Manson boys.”

How many boys were there?

“Four…. Charles Manson, Bruce Davis, Steve Grogan, and Tex Watson.”

Question (by Mr. Manzella): "Now, when they pulled in, did they pull in near you?"

Pearl: “Yes, they had to go almost in front of me. [After they got out of the car], they rushed towards the boardwalk…. where Shorty had just went…. The last I could see them, they was just fanning out…. just spreading out around…. around the spot where Shorty went…. I was slowly pulling out anyway, so I just kept going.”

That was the last time Pearl saw Donald Shea.

How soon after that event did Manson and “the Family” leave the ranch?

“Within a day or so.”

Did they ever return to the ranch to live?

“No.”

Donald Shea, crouching, at left. The actor holding the gun on Shea is Bob Bickston. 
Shea was scheduled to do some movie work with Bickston at Spahn's Ranch 
starting on September 1, 1969, but by that date he had vanished.

Ruby Pearl's dramatic testimony was important because it set the stage for the prosecution's scenario of the crime, namely that Shea was murdered sometime later that night after Pearl saw "the Manson boys" surrounding him on the boardwalk. And to absolutely cement the certainty that Shea was murdered that night, the prosecution called Barbara Hoyt, a sometime inhabiter of Spahn's Ranch in the spring and summer of 1969. Hoyt's testimony was direct and damning: she claimed to have heard the death screams of Donald Shea as he was being murdered.

Barbara Hoyt --

Barbara Hoyt is often described as a "member of the Manson Family." ("Manson Family," I will say here, is a media-created term, a nebulous designation with no actual formal or legal criteria. No law enforcement agency has ever officially recognized any group as "The Manson Family" in the way that they have identified such criminally inclined groups as organized crime families or street gangs.) But is that true? What was Barbara Hoyt's real relationship to Charles Manson and the people around him?



According to various courtroom testimonies (Specific cites available on request!), Barbara Hoyt first became acquainted with Manson and some of his associates on April 1, 1969, when she met them at the house they were then staying in at 21019 Gresham Street in the Canoga Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The 17-year-old Hoyt had just run away from her parents' nearby home. Hoyt quickly became the girlfriend of another frequenter of the Gresham Street house, a fellow named David Baker, who sometimes surfaces in the TLB literature as "Karate Dave." Shortly after this meeting on April Fools Day, Hoyt says that the group went to stay at a house in the “Malibu mountains”  for a few days before going to Spahn's Ranch. She left the ranch in early May after being arrested for shoplifting a carton of cigarettes. As a result of this brush with the law she returned to her parents' house for a while before going back to the ranch in the last week in May. After the end of May she left California on a cross-country hitchhiking trip (she was chasing Karate Dave) and didn't return to the ranch until the middle of July (although she did call the ranch perhaps a half dozen times during this period, asking if anyone knew where the elusive Dave was). In mid-July, reunited with Dave at the ranch, she left with him (and with $100 given to the couple by Charles Manson) and drove in a bread truck to the ocean front at Belmont in Long Beach for, as Hoyt later recalled, "I guess it would be about a week and a half, two weeks." While the couple was on a pier in Long Beach they heard about the U.S. moon landing. After returning to Spahn's Ranch at the end of July or beginning of August, Dave Baker finally got away for good. Hoyt remained at Spahn's Ranch and stayed there through August and then went to the desert at the beginning of September when the rest of the people went there.

Between April and August Hoyt characterized her time with "the Family" as "not that much." Even when she was in their proximity she often did not eat dinner with them. And unlike Manson and his associates, Hoyt ate meat. Sometime Hoyt wasn't even sure who "the Family" were. "There were people there [Spahn's Ranch] who were living in the saloon, but I am not sure that that was them ["the Family"], you know," she testified. "I can't say for sure, because I didn't know who they were then." (Emphasis added. Author's questions: When did she find out? And did anybody help her?)

Question (by Steve Grogan defense attorney Charles Weedman): "Well, you saw a group there, then that were, perhaps, similar in appearance, generally, to the Manson Family, but you can't say if they were the Manson Family? Is that correct?"

"Yes."

Hoyt's conception of  what it meant to be in "the Family" is also somewhat tenuous. Although she says she "joined the Family" on the first day she met them, April 1, 1969, she recalled no initiation into the group and when asked how she became a member she replied, "I just felt I was in. And I felt accepted, I guess." Later, Hoyt was unable to accurately gauge the depth of her rapport with "the Family" because, "I was not with them."

"Well, then, it's your state of mind that makes you a member or not of the Manson Family; is that right?" asked Bruce Davis defense attorney George Denny.

"Partly," answered Hoyt.

Hoyt said she ceased being a member of "the Family" when she fled Goler Wash in mid-September 1969.

During her scattered presence at this frenzied time she recalled staying at many dispersed places around Spahn's ("I slept in the saloon, in the trailer, in the parachute room, in the wickiup, in the bath house, in the outlaw shacks, in the ca -- you know, where there's a camp; all over the place.") and even took an excursion of several days duration after the raid of August 16 to the desert town of Olancha about 180 miles north of Chatsworth. After a few days in Olancha (where she stayed at the Hannum Ranch with Charles Watson, Nancy Pittman, Ruth Moorehouse, Sherry Cooper, and Diane Lake) she returned yet again to the ranch and remained with the group until after they went to Goler Wash, where she became fearful and disturbed and left to return to her parents’ house in Los Angeles. (Ed Sanders puts the time of her desert departure as September 14 or 15.)

By her own admission on the witness stand, then, Barbara Hoyt was a peripheral character (she never got a "Family" nickname) who only spent several weeks with the Spahn's Ranch people during the late spring and mid-summer of 1969. For most of that time, from April first until the beginning of August, she was apparently focused on her relationship with Dave Baker. After Baker left, Hoyt hung on with the Spahn's Ranch crowd not because of any commonality with them, but because she had nowhere else to go. Her time at the ranch, however, was long and convenient enough for her to be a crucial prosecution witness in the trials against Donald Shea's alleged killers.

Vincent Bugliosi with Barbara Hoyt. Assistant prosecutor Stephen Kay is behind Hoyt. 

Like Ruby Pearl, Barbara Hoyt testified in numerous trials against the three defendants in the Shea murder cases. Her most important testimony described what she claimed she heard on a night at the end of August as she was settling down to sleep behind the main ranch buildings in a little travel trailer known as "the parachute room."

"I had just gotten into bed, and I heard a scream, and I sat up. And for a minute, there wasn't any sound, and so I thought, well, maybe I imagined it. And I laid back down again. And then the screaming started again, and it kept going and going and going for a long time."

"And did you know who it was that was screaming?" asked prosecutor Stephen Kay.

"It was Shorty…. [The screams] sounded pretty far away."

"All right. Did you have any idea of which direction they were coming from?"

"Down the creek, toward the outlaw shacks. Just in that direction…. [The screaming] seemed like a really long time, so I couldn't accurately tell you [how long]. It probably wasn't a real long time, though, but it seemed like it…. [The screams] were loud. And they were painful, and they were the same kind that -- you know, those horror movies when the lady is screaming, that kind of scream? Well, it was like that…."

"Now, is there any doubt at all in your mind that it was Shorty Shea that you heard screaming?"

"No."

Hoyt's testimony regarding hearing the death cries of Donald Shea was compelling, unshakable, and certain. In all of her days and days of testimony, it is the one thing in her mind that she did not budge on. She heard those screams, and they were Donald Shea's screams. Period. But there is something amiss with Hoyt's definitive memories: they are completely at odds with the known facts of Shea's murder.

One problem is the time. Hoyt was absolutely certain that she heard the screams late at night. But in fact, Shea was killed in the morning. This different time is confirmed by two of the convicted killers, Bruce Davis and Steve Grogan, both of whom recall participating in Shea's murder in the morning. At Davis' 1993 hearing he recalled, "And we were at the ranch early in the morning. And Manson came down [and] said, 'We're going to kill Shorty.'

"I said, 'What for?'

"'Well, he's a snitch….'

"And so, we got in the car. Steve [sic] drove; we got in the back…. We started down the hill of the ranch, down towards the [San Fernando] valley, and, somebody -- probably, probably Watson -- tells Shorty to pull over. And Shorty said, 'What for?' At this point, Watson stabbed Shorty Shea in his eye."

Steve Grogan, at his 1981 parole hearing provided more detail, including a very detailed account of the physicality of the crime:

"Well, that morning I was awakened by Charles Manson and still, you know, half asleep, [and he] told me to get to the car and handed me like a pipe wrench. Told me to hit Shorty in the head as soon as Tex gave me the go ahead or gave me the signal.

"We proceeded down Santa Susana Pass toward San Fernando Valley. And about a quarter mile down from the ranch there was like a turnoff where cars, you know, like a rest area. And Tex mentioned that he had some [auto] parts over there that he had to get….

"Then we pulled off the road.  Tex got out….

"I was supposed to hit this guy in the back of the head. And like I never, you know, hit anybody or hurt anybody like that before, and it was hard, you know. I kept on hesitating in my mind, you know, looking at the cars on the highway hoping maybe because of the traffic I wouldn't have to hit him because it was just ten feet off the lane."

There was also a contemporary bit of evidence that corroborated these later parole hearing recollections of Bruce Davis and Steve Grogan, specifically the trial testimony of Frank Retz, the German entrepreneur who was in the process of buying Spahn's Ranch when Shea disappeared and who had arranged for the stuntman to act as a night watchman and keep Manson and his people away from the back ranch house. Retz recalled setting up a meeting with Shea one morning to discuss the responsibilities of the job.

Testifying about a telephone conversation that he had with Shea, which he said had occurred on Tuesday or Wednesday of the last week of August, Retz said, "I was waiting for Shorty, and he said he is going to be in, in half an hour, to my place…. He was supposed to be right out…. in the morning; half an hour after the telephone conversation…. he said 'I just going to be leaving now and be in a half hour down."

Question (by Grogan defense attorney Charles Weedman): "You are certain that Shorty did call you on the telephone in the morning, is that so?"

"Yes."

"And that on the telephone he agreed to see you within the next half hour or so?"

"Correct."

"Did Mr. Shea show up?"

"No, sir."

"Was that the last time you ever heard Mr. Shea?"

"Last time."

So Barbara Hoyt's adamant claims that she heard the murder of Donald Shea occurring at about midnight conflicts with the testimony of Retz and the uncontested parole hearing statements of two of Shea's convicted killers that the murder occurred in the morning.

So far, though, you could say that it was just a case of she said/he, he, and he said.

But there is another big problem with Hoyt's testimony, and that is the place.  Hoyt is not only positive -- and unshakably so -- that Shea was murdered at night, she is equally unequivocal that the screams came from the direction of the "outlaw shacks" which were west of the main buildings at Spahn's Ranch. The problem with this claim is that the outlaw shacks were located in the totally opposite direction from the place where Shea was actually murdered eight or so hours later.


Above and below: Two views of the Shea murder scene today



Shea's murder scene is the only death site related to the case that can easily be visited by students of the crimes, and it is certain that his murder occurred there because his body was located in virtually the same spot. The scene is located at a pull-off on the Santa Susana Pass Road (now directly opposite Red Mesa Drive) about a third of a mile east of Spahn's Ranch. The "back house" direction insisted on by Hoyt during her testimony is located to the west, 180 degrees off of the actual direction of the murder. Further, not only is the murder site so far away from the ranch that it would be extremely unlikely (if not impossible) that screams there could be heard in the parachute room behind the western set buildings, but there is also an arm of the mountain behind the ranch that would have considerably blocked any sound coming from that direction.


Above The red arrow on the left indicates the location of the parachute room. The right red arrow shows the spot where Shea was killed. The pale blue arrow in the center points to the hill that would block sounds coming from the murder scene towards the ranch.

Below: United States Geological Survey map (Oat Mountain, 1962) of the ranch area with the same features highlighted.  



The "parachute room" at Spahn's Ranch was situated behind the western end of the ranch buildings under some trees and between two other trailers occupied by ranch cowboys Larry Craven and Randy Starr. It was also fairly close to George Spahn's house and to another trailer on the other side of Spahn's house that was used by ranch hand John Schwartz. None of these other individuals in Hoyt's immediate vicinity (Craven, Starr, Spahn, or Schwartz) heard the screams that Hoyt claimed to have heard. And this is a safe ass-umption, since prosecutors wanting to corroborate Hoyt's testimony would certainly have called these individuals as witnesses if they had heard screams. But since none of them were called it can be fairly safely ass-umed that none of them heard the same screams that Hoyt claims to have heard, despite being in practically the same location at the same time. (Randy Starr died before any of the Shea-related murder trials took place.)

Hoyt's surety that she heard the death screams of Donald Shea is puzzling. In page after page of "I don't remember"s and "I don't know"s she is positively steadfast that the person she heard screaming was Shea. In her mind there is no doubt whatsoever. It happened the way she described it. Full stop.

Also puzzling is that Hoyt was unshakable in her claim that the screams she heard were absolutely coming from Donald Shea, and Donald Shea alone, even though she also testified that she barely ever spoke to Shea and couldn't remember any distinctive characteristic about his voice. (The Massachusetts born and raised Shea had a noticeable Boston accent.)

"I heard him -- most -- I think most of the times I heard his voice was when he would be talking to somebody else."

"I see. What did Shorty sound like when he was talking to somebody else?" asked George Denny.

"I don't remember."

"Well, can you help this jury just a little bit and tell them, as best you can, describe Shorty's voice? That voice that -- that you heard. Describe it to the jury, would you?"

"At which time? When he was screaming, or when he was talking?"

"When he -- his talking voice."

"I don't really remember…. I remember what it sounded like when he was screaming, but -- "

"Well, how about just when he was talking?"

"No, I can't -- no I cannot….  [But] they were Shorty's screams. There's no doubt in my mind. I knew it then and I know it now."

Of course, none of this is to suggest that Donald Shea was not murdered at Spahn's Ranch during the last days of August, 1969 or that the persons eventually convicted of his murder were not involved with his death. Rather, it goes to the overall credibility of Barbara Hoyt in recalling her time with "the Family" in the spring and summer of 1969. If Hoyt can be so adamant -- and so adamantly wrong -- about hearing the death screams of Donald Shea, what does it say about the rest of her recollections?

After Shea was killed his body was rolled down the hill alongside the pull-out. Later on in the evening after the murder Steve Grogan came back and buried the body by putting it into a depression in the hillside and caving in the dirt over it. The body would famously not be found until Grogan told authorities where is was as part of his successful strategy for being released on parole. Grogan revealed the location of the grave in 1977 and was paroled in 1985.

A recovery crew unearths Donald Shea's body in 1977.

Looking down at the overgrown location of Donald Shea's grave today

Ruby Pearl is long gone, but Barbara Hoyt is still around, and you can expect to see quite a bit of her in the next couple of years until August, 2019. She is, after all, just what the murder media wants, a "Manson Family member" who can graphically testify to the evil that was around her. But Barbara Hoyt wasn't really a "Manson Family member." She was a peripheral character who happened to be at Spahn's Ranch for a few weeks when important things happened. And her perception of some of those things is unquestionably incorrect.

So, as you see her in any upcoming TLB specials or other media appearances you might do well to remember the words of two of the defense attorneys during the Shea trials. "Barbara Hoyt will testify to anything," said Bruce Davis defense attorney George Denny. "I frankly don't believe 99 percent of her testimony," concurred Grogan defense attorney Charles Weedman.

Defense attorney hyperbole? Perhaps. But a closer look at Hoyt's claims in the past should be enough to call any claims she makes in the present into serious question. In fact, it should put her entire credibility into question.

Barbara Hoyt (seated) and Debra Tate

As for Donald Jerome "Shorty" Shea, after his body was exhumed and examined by authorities it lay unclaimed in the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. Despite being sent notices to collect the remains none of Shea's family members retrieved his skeletal corpse. It was finally cremated, and the ashes were buried in a community grave plot in the Angeles Abbey Memorial Park in Compton, California.

Unanswered L.A. Coroner's letter to Donald Shea's wife requesting that she claim her husband's  body (Thank you, Manson's Backporch Tapes!)

Donald Shea's grave marker



126 comments:

Robert C said...

So .... has Barbara Hoyt ever responded to these discrepancies ?

Charlie Higgins said...

Could somebody please provide an explanation to something that has bugged me for years ? In many conversations and also in the media, I have often heard people say that Charles Manson actually never killed anybody. Everyone knows that Manson was present when Shea was murdered, but has Mansons part in the murder ever been revealed and was he actually found guilty of murder at the trial ?

Matt said...

Charlie, Manson was convicted of first degree murder in the Shea case.


starviego said...

"Pearl was working at the ranch every day, seven days a week, from about nine in the morning until ten or twelve in the evening"

Source?

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

"Shea was fearful... “He was very serious and he kept looking around, and he said, ‘It gives me the creeps to stay here.’” "

Yet the next morning he voluntarily gets into a car with his killers?

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

"...they rushed towards the boardwalk…. where Shorty had just went…. The last I could see them, they was just fanning out…. just spreading out around…. around the spot where Shorty went…."

But it took them from midnight to dawn to finally find Shorty?

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

"You(Frank Retz) are certain that Shorty did call you on the telephone in the morning, is that so?"

Did Shorty have his own private telephone line?

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

"Shea was killed in the morning. This different time is confirmed by two of the convicted killers, Bruce Davis and Steve Grogan"

And you would believe the words of these two killers over the words of two law-abiding citizens?

starviego said...


George Stimson said....
"According to various courtroom testimonies (Specific cites available on request!), Barbara Hoyt..."

Could you please list these sources?

George Stimson said...

Pearl was working at the ranch every day, seven days a week, from about nine in the morning until ten or twelve in the evening"

Source?

Ruby Pearl's testimony

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

"Shea was fearful... “He was very serious and he kept looking around, and he said, ‘It gives me the creeps to stay here.’” "

Yet the next morning he voluntarily gets into a car with his killers?

He might have felt more secure when he was sober in daylight.

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

"...they rushed towards the boardwalk…. where Shorty had just went…. The last I could see them, they was just fanning out…. just spreading out around…. around the spot where Shorty went…."

But it took them from midnight to dawn to finally find Shorty?

Who said they found him? Pearl just said she saw them going towards them. They could have just walked around him and gone somewhere else. Besides, Pearl had just seen them. They must have known that she witnessed their approach to Shea.

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

"You(Frank Retz) are certain that Shorty did call you on the telephone in the morning, is that so?"

Did Shorty have his own private telephone line?

There was a pay phone at Spahn's Ranch.

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

"Shea was killed in the morning. This different time is confirmed by two of the convicted killers, Bruce Davis and Steve Grogan"

And you would believe the words of these two killers over the words of two law-abiding citizens?

Yes. (And don't forget, Barbara stole the cigs!)

George Stimson said...


Sources:

Trial transcripts

People v. Davis, volumes 236-237
People v. Grogan, volumes 26-27
People v. Manson, volumes 145-146

If you want specific page numbers, specify the quotes. If you want all of them, look them up yourself.

George Stimson said...

Sorry -- here's the case number: A-267861

starviego said...



" "You(Frank Retz) are certain that Shorty did call you on the telephone in the morning, is that so?"

"There was a pay phone at Spahn's Ranch."

And did the telephone records confirm this call being made?

George Stimson said...

Not that I know of, but if it was a local call would there be any records? Besides, Retz was a prosecution witness.

George Stimson said...

And the Retz testimony is in volume 29 of the Grogan trial.

David said...

George,

Great read. Hoyt is clearly wrong, whether 'on purpose' or 'with help' or just because memory works that way is, I think, less clear. I'd say, aside from the killers, the best evidence of the timeframe is Retz.

Charlie Higgins said: "In many conversations and also in the media, I have often heard people say that Charles Manson actually never killed anybody."

That is said in connection with Tate-LaBianca typically and Hinman. Hoyt, Poston (I believe) and Watkins (I think) all testified to hearing Manson admit he killed Shea. Although if memory serves and George can probably confirm/refute this I believe it was Hoyt who actually testified that Manson said he stabbed Shea.

Brian G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian G said...

I'm checking to see if I fixed the double posting problem. But also wanted to ask if anyone thinks the real reason Shea was killed is that he knew about the Tate/Labianca murders?

George Stimson said...

Hoyt did testify that she heard Manson talking about the murder of Shea, but I don't recall if she said he said he stabbed him. But he told me that he cut him: "I did [cut him], but I didn't cut him mortally. I cut him to bring him down, to take control of the picture."

David said...

From the appellate decision:

"Hoyt testified:

"Charlie [Manson] said that they had killed Shorty [Shea]. Uh, they cut him up in nine pieces.

"And first they asked him -- oh, they -- they asked him if he would like to see something and, uh, that they had something that they wanted to show him. And then, he got into the dune buggy and they took him away. And then, they hit him in the head with a pipe. Uh, they pulled him out of the car, and they started stabbing him. And then, umm, they kept stabbing him and stabbing him.

"And Charlie said -- or Shorty said, 'Why, Charlie, why?'

"And Charlie said, 'Why? This is why.' And then, he stabbed him again.

"And, uh, he said that it was -- it was very hard to kill him until they brought him to now. And when they brought him to now, he said that Clem [Grogan] cut his head off."

grimtraveller said...

George Stimson said...

And don't forget, Barbara stole the cigs!

Part of the reason I think Hot fag Babs got it wrong is because her description of what she says she heard Charlie say mirrors almost exactly {with a tweak here or there} the combination of Bruce and Clem's words years later.
But I do believe she thought Shorty was screaming the night she heard something and the fact that she heard Charlie say he committed suicide with their help and the fact she never saw him again may well have fixed the impression of the screams at night in her mind. As was shown during one of the trials when Kanarek tried to catch her out with hearing tests, there was nothing wrong with her ears. She may even have had more acute hearing given that she was so short sighted without her glasses.
An interesting experiment for us all would be to have a group of acquaintances or even friends scream from a distance and see which ones, if any, we could identify them purely by their screams.

Brian G said...

wanted to ask if anyone thinks the real reason Shea was killed is that he knew about the Tate/Labianca murders?

Of course, we'll never know but I don't think so, if what Matt uncovered about Shorty's movements during the summer of '69 are anything to go by.

Manson Mythos said...

There is little to no mention of Hoyt in any of the various stories of The Family. Yet oddly, she, according to herself, always seemed to be around for something incriminating.

I think she WAS on the fringe and after her LSD freak out, she testified to save face. According to Grogan at one hearing, she went to them saying she didn't want to testify and so they sent her to Hawaii. Why would they spend money on travel and do that?

I think today, she is getting paid for her TV appearances. I notice she often repeats things found in books like Sander's The Family.

St Circumstance said...

Ruby Pearl was almost 60. She was at the ranch 24/7 ?

I have read she was married and went home to "another life" at supper each night. I have also read in several places that she ran a tough ship during the day and all the madness went on at night after she left.

Are we sure that a 57 year old woman was hanging around the ranch until midnight 7 days a week?

Barbara Hoyt is the worst of the worst. She got bitten by Karma though so I don't sweat her much. She got the life she deserved...

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks for the post George. One thing that stands out for me is how amazingly risky it was to murder Shea in broad daylight in that location. Somehow I had thought it was off on a smaller road with no traffic.

Barbara Hoyt 'the worst of the worst??????'

St Circumstance said...

She was no friend of either side. She - to this day- uses the tragedy to keep herself in the public eye every chance she gets....

Hoyt is all the things people accuse Deb Tate of. But Deb Tate lost family. Hoyt was and is shameless. Not a murderer - so in that case not the Very Worst- but as gross a human being as any of them in most other ways. She knowingly lies.

But between Hoyt and Shorty we see the true Family. Not just Texor Katie or Susan.

Shorty death and what almost happened to fatass shows that Charlie was able to get them all involved. Almost all of the core members anyway. Ruthann. Clem. Bruce. They all chipped in for these two. I have read several others helped hide the body. Hard to make the drug burn or copy cat argument here lol

This is just Charlie ordering the disposal of his perceived enemies.

George Stimson said...

"Are we sure that a 57 year old woman was hanging around the ranch until midnight 7 days a week? "

That's what she testified to repeatedly during the Shea murder trials.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

She - to this day- uses the tragedy to keep herself in the public eye every chance she gets....

Hell hath no fury like a woman spiked.....

Mr. Humphrat said...

The statements you make about Hoyt calls for assumptions about her motives and state of mind, can't be characterized as facts.

St Circumstance said...

Ok. There not facts. They are just my opinion. If people don't like Deb Tate for being Omni present - I don't see how Hoyt isn't doing the same thing. At least Deb is family of a victim. Hoyt just liked attention. Shameless - but ok. That's just my opinion.

George. Is it possible Ruby stuck around once in awhile?? Do you really think that woman was putting in 12 hour days 7 days a week outdoors at her age??

I think it's very improbable.

George Stimson said...

She said every day and was emphatic about it. (And I have news for you, St.: 57 is not old.)

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks St. And as for Debra Tate I don't put any judgement on her either.

St Circumstance said...

I have read many accounts of the nights at Spahn and have heard about many interactions that occurred or have romuorec to occur. This is the first I have come across staring Ruby was at the ranch every night. It was always my impression the good stuff went on when she wasn't around to referee but maybe I'm wrong....

57 is not old but it is not an age that I would think a woman works 70 hour weeks outdoors. I'm only 50 and I can't work on my feet 70 hours a week anymore. I don't make it past 9 or 10 during week any more. I'm a pretty energetic type of guy. You spent a few days with me. I couldn't keep that schedule. Was Ruby in better shape then than I am now??

St Circumstance said...

No problem. It is just my opinion. I feel that Hoyt is much like Linda. She enjoyed the party while it lasted and then became a snitch and played it the other way. I have no love for the Family- but I can't respect that. As far as Deb - I just always feel pity for her. She lost a lot. Let her make herself whole however she needs to...

George Stimson said...

"You spent a few days with me."

Yeah, and you were really out of shape. I thought you were going to die when we walked down to Murphy's Ranch.

St Circumstance said...

lol. Yeah. Maybe I'm not the best example.

starviego said...

The prosecutor had a real problem with getting convictions, as there was scant physical evidence, no body, and no witnesses. And then along comes Pearl who says that Shorty was scared, and then she implicate the Manson boys, obviously looking for someone, in the same breath And then comes Hoyt, who obviously hears a murder taking place shortly thereafter. It's a one-two punch.

And it's all too convenient. If you reject Hoyt's account, then you should reject Pearl's account too. The real question is then, did the prosecutors or police suborn perjury in the witness testimony?

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

Ruby Pearl was almost 60. She was at the ranch 24/7 ?

A 57 year old doctor on call would be in a similar situation. I have learned in life that we don't all run down the same set of parallel tracks. While there are many common areas to the human experience there are also many different ones too. As I pointed out to Starviego in one of the previous Shorty threads, what's so unusual about Ruby being at the ranch so late ?
You know, most kids I've ever spoken with find it hard to believe that when my generation was at school, we got caned and slapped, had our own desks that we kept our book and stuff in, went real cross country running over distances of 3+ miles, had to pay bus fare if you lived less than 3 miles as the crow flew from the school, had to eat school dinner and couldn't leave until your plate was empty etc and had no menu choice....It's so out of their experience and thus they don't see that it could actually be anyone elses'. But there are loads of differing situations in which people find themselves and not only that, people in the same situations respond very differently.

Barbara Hoyt is the worst of the worst

I think Babs gets a bad press. If she hadn't wanted to testify and the Family still tried to screw with her mind, it's even worse than if she was going to testify but then decided not to because of the threats to her family. Remember, she wasn't really a tripper so foisting acid on her without her knowledge wasn't nice, funny or sensible. And by 1970 'set & setting' was a well known acid concept so spiking her in a foreign clime, without familiar people, man, that was not cool.
One can see that as Babs got older and a little more mature, her thinking would be "these guys are dangerous" and there are some things one may find truly difficult to get out of one's memory. Personally, I don't like that she turns up at the various parole hearings, particularly given that she actually spent so relatively little time with them, but I can understand why she does. She's punishing those that had nothing to do with anything that happened to her with a little "collective responsibility" brush tarring.

David said...

Saint,

I have to ask why it matters how often Ruby was there? Let's assume she only worked 40 hours a week and happened to be there later that night- a night, which actually, as George has pointed out, really means 'nothing'. It was the next morning that mattered or one after that. And it appears Ruby was not around that morning. In fact, it appears no one saw Shorty get into that car.

I think Retz' phone call has more to do with determining the timeframe then Ruby's conversation.

The evidence that convicted these guys were their admissions. Hoyt's 'screams' are like the Tim Ireland 'screams'- they are, as George notes, 'powerful' evidence with a jury but without something else they are not sufficient to convict anyone of anything. As the appellate court stated:

"Manson's own admissible admissions established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence was clearly sufficient."

grimtraveller said...

Manson Mythos said...

There is little to no mention of Hoyt in any of the various stories of The Family. Yet oddly, she, according to herself, always seemed to be around for something incriminating

Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration ? What involvement did she have in Crowe, Melton, Hinman or LaBianca ? And even if there are little to no stories involving her, the chance of her having come across something incriminating was hardly going to be small.

Peter said...

Reading through Ruby's testimony in the Manson trial.

One more witness who testifies that they never once saw Charlie do a lick of work around the ranch.

Mr. Humphrat said...

There is a small possibility that Shorty didn't show up for his meeting with Retz for some other reason then got killed later at night. I agree with Grim that Barbara believes she heard the screams.
The location of the murder would make more sense if were in the dark, given the road it was on. But weighing the various statements of Bruce, Clem and Retz I would definitely now favor it happening in the morning.
I don't know if you can entirely say Barbara goes to all the hearings based on her being dosed by the Family and feeling they are all dangerous because of that. I also think she sees her involvement in the hearings as doing her duty. I definitely could be wrong about her motivations, but I give her the benefit of the doubt.
Totally agree with Grim that it was not cool to give her 10 tabs of acid in Hawaii. Plenty of people in the same situation would think they were going to die and it's not impossible that in that situation she could have been hit by a car, fallen off something or maybe even been scared literally to death, if her heart wasn't strong.
She also heard people talking about the murder of Shorty and I think of TLB and was scared enough of Charlie and/or others to flee the desert.

St Circumstance said...

It doesn't really just seemed strange.

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St Circumstance said...

i believe the version of Shorty death that Clem gave at his last parole hearing and it does not jibe with Hoyt's version at all...

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ColScott said...

I think the problem with (poor) students of TLB is that Occam's Razor is fucking alien to them.


Occam's Razor is real.

Three people testifying as to time of day versus a fat attention hog and some asshat comments about law abiding citizens?

Again, we covered this years ago on the Official Blog. Hoyt is mildly brain damaged. She was giving fucking tours (I am sure Sandy remember that George) with Nellie Molesto back in the day.

And no Saint, Debra doesn't equate. Debra lost her sister and responded to that by driving her family away. Debra fools people into thinking she matters. Hoyt never mattered.

St Circumstance said...

It sounds like we are pretty close on this one Sir and I know how you feel about Deb but at least she has a reason to keep showing her face. It was her sister.

But I know I'm not going to get anywhere with the Deb argument. let's just agree Hoyt is a useless jackass.

St Circumstance said...

I'm not saying Deb matters. I just understand why this matters to her. I can stomach a family member constantly showing up for these parole hearings a lot more than I can Barbara doing it.....

Panamint Patty said...

Occam's Razor suggests that the whole thing was a bad drug deal.

ColScott said...

Patty


Yes it does. It is the only linking device between every violent act- Crowe Drugs, Hinman drugs, Tate Voytek the drug dealer, LaBianca- no drugs?

I mean seriously Patty- we may have differing points of view on killer memorabilia but drugs is the simplest and most logical link.

Except we do not know wtf drug connections LaBianca had.

And if they didn't then we have to believe they got killed randomly

Which is unlikely

which kills the drug theory

etc
in a loop

Panamint Patty said...

Patty does not collect memorabilia though her SO does have a room full. I suppose that makes her guilty by association but really. She has no collection except for books and magazines.

ColScott said...

Patty Girl


Whoah, the old blame it on the beer bum. Okay.

But sersly gf, now that we be talking let's ask the question- what do you think the drug connection was to LaBianca? Leno? Rosemary? Suzan?

Panamint Patty said...

How did Rosemary amass a small fortune in such a short amount of time? That smells like illicit activity to Patty.

cielodrivecom said...

Because Rosemary didn't

grimtraveller said...

David said...

Hoyt's 'screams' are like the Tim Ireland 'screams'- they are, as George notes, 'powerful' evidence with a jury but without something else they are not sufficient to convict anyone of anything

I was going to say that.

Mr. Humphrat said...

She also heard people talking about the murder of Shorty and I think of TLB and was scared enough of Charlie and/or others to flee the desert

I was going to say that too.

starviego said...

And then comes Hoyt, who obviously hears a murder taking place

I wasn't going to say that though !

Panamint Patty said...

Huh?

ColScott said...

Patty Cake


Because a forensic analysis of the evidence showed debt- both LaBianca's owed a lot of money- no fortune

Panamint Patty said...

Patty just read on Bo's website that Rosemary supposedly invested well and was a millionaire?

If they were in debt, maybe they were trying to find a not so legal way out?

Really Patty has no clue but it is endlessly fascinating to speculate and that's why we are all here, right?

Panamint Patty said...

Can she also address your comment about her beer bum? He is kind and sweet and loves everybody. He is endlessly optimistic and keeps Patty laughing. He is of course a little eccentric and has a checkered past. She loves him. She hates it when people put him down. Knowing how you must feel about Susan, maybe you should apologise.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

Hoyt's 'screams' are like the Tim Ireland 'screams'- they are, as George notes, 'powerful' evidence with a jury but without something else they are not sufficient to convict anyone of anything

I thought about the series of sounds that were in the Tate detectives first report and it occurred to me yet again what a red herring most of them are. Yet they were all heard {except any gunshots to make that Steele's dogs go wild}. It's worth thinking about. Would they have any significance had the Cielo murders not happened ? It kind of tells us that noises of that ilk, if not a common occurrence, were not a rare occurrence. Only 2 of them could have been connected to the actual killings at Cielo though.

Mr. Humphrat said...

She also heard people talking about the murder of Shorty and I think of TLB and was scared enough of Charlie and/or others to flee the desert

When people want to have a pop at Babs, they should take all of her actions in the round. She was sufficiently afraid of the atmosphere in the desert to risk the kind of escape that she pulled off with Sherry Cooper. If she hadn't been sufficiently scared having heard Charlie talk about Shorty's death, she may well have been after hearing Susan Atkins talking about Sharon's death.

starviego said...

And then comes Hoyt, who obviously hears a murder taking place

We don't know she heard a murder and she doesn't even know whether she heard a murder. There's been much debate over the years about what a cow and a snitch she is and how she loves attention and it all may be true but one thing I've yet to see debated is what she may have heard. And that's important. One statement she could never make with any credibility is "I heard Shorty being murdered."

ColScott said...

Patty

APOLOGIES. Did not know anything about him. I have many pals who are beer bums

No offense intended. Sorry.

----
One can speculate anything but there had never been an inkling of drugs at Waverly unless you count Nellie Molesto which is something you should never do

St Circumstance said...

I'm a beer bum and love all 3 of you lol.

Panamint Patty said...

saint...xoxo

grimtraveller said...

Manson Mythos said...

I think she WAS on the fringe and after her LSD freak out, she testified to save face

It came out through the various trials she testified in that she was on the fringe. I can't remember which one it was but Cats used to have some of her testimonies and in one of the trials she was taken through her history with Charlie's group and her wanderings across the USA in the spring of '69 after Karate Dave. But the important thing is not whether or not she was on the fringe {Linda was hardly hardcore} but that she was around at an important time and witnessed or heard things that on their own may not have added up to much but circumstantially in conjunction with other things mattered a great deal.
You say she testified to save face. But had she been left alone in Hawaii and not spiked, she may not have testified at all. I think you're underestimating the degree to which that episode fired her up.

I notice she often repeats things found in books like Sander's The Family

At this stage of the game, repetition of the salient parts is all the players really have left.

David said...

Ok, I'll chime in on this.

The 2 million estate comes from an LA Times article on August 22, 1969. The source is an initial probate filing by Rosemary's daughter to be appointed executor of her mother's estate.

The statement is meaningless. Ignore it.

St Circumstance said...

Back at ya 🍻

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

I feel that Hoyt is much like Linda. She enjoyed the party while it lasted and then became a snitch and played it the other way. I have no love for the Family- but I can't respect that

You're putting both in a "heads ~ I win, tails ~ you lose" situation. You frequently lambast the Family killers as animals and lament the terrible deaths the victims had to die but in the same breath, you berate two of the people who helped in bringing the perps to justice.
Naturally they enjoyed the party while it lasted; that's why they were there. You neglect to mention however, that for both of them, the party ended well before the arrests that signaled the beginning of the end. They both fled rather than let people know they were leaving and they both fled in fear and they both fled because of murder. That's what they really had in common. Hoyt in particular had much to lose by testifying ~ her family were being threatened and we all know how Ouisch tried to take care of her. And she never had the benefit of Police protection.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I don't know if you can entirely say Barbara goes to all the hearings based on her being dosed by the Family and feeling they are all dangerous because of that

I agree. I mention it only as additional evidence in her mind of the lengths that group were prepared to go to that showed how dangerous they were and significantly, this wasn't a Charlie ordered hit, as far as is known. In the hearings, it comes over loud and clear that to her, any incarcerated former Family member was and is more than capable of thinking and acting on their own cognizance.

I also think she sees her involvement in the hearings as doing her duty

I think you're right. Now, she may like to be seen doing her duty but I think she'd do it if there was no publicity attached.

it was not cool to give her 10 tabs of acid in Hawaii. Plenty of people in the same situation would think they were going to die and it's not impossible that in that situation she could have been hit by a car, fallen off something

As an aside, isn't it kind of interesting that she was given acid by seasoned trippers ? One doesn't get the impression that dosing was a standard Family practice, rather, communal, consensual tripping that all the participants knew about was the order of the day.
It leads one to the conclusion that some people were well aware of how acid could be detrimental to one's, um, health.

brownrice said...

It's always raised a question mark in my mind that Barbara Hoyt (much like Little Paul) seemed to go backwards & forwards with her loyalties. One minute she's escaping from Death Valley in fear of her life and "hearing" screams in the night that she just KNOWS are coming from Shorty... the next minute she's hanging round Spahn again, angling for a holiday in Hawaii and a free hamburger (hold the fries). Is there any real evidence (other than her own testimony) and her obvious disorientation that Hoyt actually WAS given 10 hits? A couple of tabs would've surely done the trick. Seems like a waste of good acid to me... :-)

Hats off to George for this post and David for the last one. They both go a long way towards showing how inherently flawed the official narrative has always been. Not that anyone's necessarily innocent... just that there's some massive holes in the evidence used to convict 'em.

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ColScott said...

Hey Matty or whomever keeps deleting SAG's posts- you know you can block them and Grim from posting at the control panel right? I mean I could do that back in 2008 so I assume you still can

grimtraveller said...

brownrice said...

It's always raised a question mark in my mind that Barbara Hoyt (much like Little Paul) seemed to go backwards & forwards with her loyalties

As did Kitty and Mary. Thing is though, with Babs and Little Paul, there was that fork in the road moment and from thereon in, neither was backward in coming forward when it came to "educating" anyone that cared to listen about those days.

Is there any real evidence (other than her own testimony) and her obvious disorientation that Hoyt actually WAS given 10 hits?

Bugliosi actually contradicts himself in the book "HS" when, speaking of acid, he states that there is no known overdose. If Babs wasn't really used to LSD, you wouldn't need 10 hits. If you were spiking her, you wouldn't even need two. Enough seasoned trippers have had sufficiently bad trips on just one. He should have just told the story of Babs being dosed and left it at that. But he was determined to over egg the pudding and make it clear why he felt the Family {and by extension, Charlie} were a menace that needed to be brought to heel. Giving someone 10 tabs sounds so much worse than "just" being dose although many that have been dosed would beg to differ.
As far as I can see, the only reason there has ever been talk of 10 tabs comes from Babs when she says Ouisch looked at her funny when she had the burger {not in itself a surprise as a veg diet was the name of the game} and said something to the effect that "wouldn't it be crazy if there were 10 tabs in that burger ?"


Not that anyone's necessarily innocent... just that there's some massive holes in the evidence used to convict 'em

But is there ? Did anyone get convicted that shouldn't have been ?
[SAG ~ don't say it !]

grimtraveller said...

SuzyintheskywithVD said...

He berates Linda and Barbara because they are both pieces of shit

He berates them for testifying against the Family.
Toodle pip, old chap !

ColScott said...

Hey Matty or whomever keeps deleting SAG's posts- you know you can block them and Grim from posting at the control panel right?

Hey, Scotty !
I was wondering when you'd come out to play tonight.

I mean I could do that back in 2008 so I assume you still can

There's lots of things you could do back in 2008.
We're actually approaching 2018....

David said...

Grim said: "Not that anyone's necessarily innocent... just that there's some massive holes in the evidence used to convict 'em

But is there ? Did anyone get convicted that shouldn't have been ?"

Oh, but Grim the criminal justice system only retains its respect if it is viewed as fair. So, yes, it matters. Your own ancient civil war was based on that issue. If, indeed, it is conviction at any cost then the fundamental basis of our system is lost. Go to the innocence project's website. Our system was based on the notion it is better for 100 guilty to go free then 1 innocent to go to jail.

Are they 'innocent'- no. But if improper means were used to convict them. That is fundamentally wrong.

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brownrice said...

Susanatkinsgonorhhea said...
Two hits of acid isnt enough even for a first time user to walk out into traffic, some of you really need to get out more


You obviously haven't had a 60s-size dose have you, son?

Peter said...

Maybe LaBianca's house was chosen and Charlie went in first is because - like Tex at Cielo - Charlie had been in the house and would be familiar with the layout.

Fade in on scene. Party at Harrold True's house. Summer 1968. People with long hair wearing beads. Close up on young man with Bongo drums speaking to man with beard.

Harrold: Hey Charlie. Glad you were able to make it to my party man. Try the seven layer dip man it's fab.
Charlie: Thanks man. This is a really groovy scene you have. It's like in is out and up is down and like God is dog spelled backwards. And god and dog have six letters and so does Manson. Think about it. But only because you want to.
Harrold: Yeah man okay Charlie you're far out.
Charlie: Later me and the girls were thinking we could have a jam session, do you think your neighbors will complain?
Harrold: Nahhhh man. That house on the left is empty, although the neighbors on the right sit and watch us every night. I bet you'd do the same if they was you. Well, see ya round man.
Charlie: (aside to self) Empty hmmmm. Sounds like the perfect place for my family like no other family. I may just have to take a walk over there.
Fade out on Charlie smiling and rubbing hands.

St Circumstance said...

Reading up on Ruby Pearl last night. I came across a very thorough article by Gay Talese from a 1970 Esquire article. It has a very thorough bio of Spahn and Ruby.

It contains one paragraph that describes Spahn challenges at the ranch and has a sentence that says " without Ruby Pearl on the Ranch each night" and goes on to explain George's confusion.

I have read several accounts in various places that say Ruby was never there at night.

I concede it appears she did make that comment but I'm just not buying she worked nights at the ranch at least not often or regularly

I'm flipping the question back at ya...

Why is it relevant if Ruby was around at night?

cielodrivecom said...

What do you mean Charlie had been in the house

Peter said...

Maybe he went over there and checked it out if it was empty while visiting True.

I mean, you guys speculate on all kinds of crazy off-the-wall "what ifs". The possibility that Manson went and looked in an empty house next to Harold True's house takes a lot less suspension of disbelief than something like Tate was killed on a second trip to Cielo. Or Charlie went back and planted the glasses. Or even that drugs were the motive for Tate or Hinman.

David said...

Saint said: "Why is it relevant if Ruby was around at night?"

IMO it's not.

ColScott said...

Peter you Ignorant Slut


Drugs being the motive for Hinman and Tate remains very viable and the police thought so on both instances.

Speculation requires evidence and intelligence. Please post when you have acquired either

St Circumstance said...

David. My very wise Friend George has mentioned in a couple of his most recent posts that Ruby was at the ranch regularly at night....

I have never heard that before and in fact have read the exact opposite.

I am guessing there must be some reassign George thinks it's important Ruby was at ranch into the evenings. I also guess it will have something to do with obsolving Charlie of something lol

None of which means She wasn't. I just sense an angle. Maybe I'm wrong about that too??

But end of day your right. Lol. It doesn't really matter in the big picture

Peter said...

Col, you pompous ass.

Oh, well if the police thought so then it must be backed up by evidence and intelligence because if there is one thing I've come to realize, it's that the police are always right.

Charlie had an opportunity to enter or at least look into the LaBianca house on any of the three occasions that he visited Harold True when the house was unoccupied. Charlie was looking for a place for the family, he even asked True if they could stay there.



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ColScott said...

Peter

You obviously call all those you know who have an education "pompous". I understand that you normally associate with the ignorant. Fair enough.

Denigrating the cops in this case makes you fail.

Charlie had an opportunity to shit in the pool at Cielo on multiple occasions but did not do so.

SAG- NO- moronic statement

Peter said...

Not only is shitting in a pool unsanitary and in extremely poor taste, it just isn't in Charlie's interests unless he really had to go, or they were playing a really fun game and he didn't want to take time to go to the bathroom. Because if he did, Melcher would be like, "Hmm, I dig Charlie's sound, but then again, I'm pretty sure he is the one that shit in my pool."

To the contrary, snooping around an unoccupied house seems to be right in Charlie's wheelhouse.

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George Stimson said...

It's important that Pearl was at the ranch well into the evenings because it shows that she was there much of the time and would therefore, to me at least, be someone you might want to listen to about what went on at the ranch.

St Circumstance said...

Ok. Fair enough. I can't argue with her own words either. According to my own philosophies over the years - I gotta respect what the person involved actually says in testimony over what I read or hear second hand....

Peter said...

Aaron Stovitz interview with Harold True January 27, 1970

Q: And from what you could gather where was Charlie Manson living at that time?
A: Uh, Topanga Canyon in I guess a kind of deserted house or something, I don’t know if it was condemned or what, but it didn’t have all of the facilities, one of those houses in Topanga Canyon.

Oddly, Harold says nothing about Charlie shitting in any pools.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

the criminal justice system only retains its respect if it is viewed as fair

Couldn't agree more.

So, yes, it matters

I'm in total agreement.

Your own ancient civil war was based on that issue

And you'd be perhaps disappointed to discover the huge weight of opinion in this country that would jettison that fairness in an instant, particularly in the light of the terrorist attacks that have occurred recently.

If, indeed, it is conviction at any cost then the fundamental basis of our system is lost

I agree completely, one ends up with a kind of legal anarchy.

Our system was based on the notion it is better for 100 guilty to go free then 1 innocent to go to jail

My brain jams on the brakes there when I ponder the actual reality of that statement but I understand where the creators of that were coming from. I see it as treating all who come before the courts equally.
It's just one heck of a way of putting it !

Are they 'innocent'- no. But if improper means were used to convict them. That is fundamentally wrong

I totally agree. And that was the point of my question. Was faulty evidence or improper means used to convict any of them ? I wasn't playing fast & loose with Brownrice. I was querying whether any of the pieces you've introduced over the year regarding the evidence actually comprise of any that were used improperly to convict any of the perps. Because that would imply that someone was convicted wrongly.
Conviction at any cost is a dangerous road to travel for a number of reasons.

Peter said...

Maybe he went over there and checked it out if it was empty while visiting True

If we can take Charlie at his word to Vanity Fair in 2011 and Rolling Stone in 2013, there's no "maybe" about it. He's clear as day that he knew the house because he'd been in it before. He says he and others used to use the LaBianca house for sex because they knew it was empty.
Which leads to:

ColScott said...
we have to believe they got killed randomly

I believe he is right on this. Charlie was checking out the former True house when he saw a light on next door. That's what attracted his attention to that house; he'd always known it as an empty house and now there was a light on and a dog wandering about. This caused him to go check it out which was when he saw Leno. I suspect his original target were 3 guys that Harold used to share his old house with. Charlie says he went up to the former True house and why I think he was after those guys is that he claims that he went to see Harold yet Harold told Aaron Stovitz that Charlie had known he'd moved out a good 10 months previous. Indeed, he'd wanted to move in himself but those 3 guys said no. Why would he go to a house that he knew Harold was no longer living in and claim that he was going to see Harold ?
I suspect he did have murder on his mind {the others said he'd decided that he was going to show them how to do it properly and in that 2013 interview, he does say something akin to this} and with his actual targets not in, it is to that extent that the LaBianca targeting was random. Like Steven Parent, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Peter said...

Surprised that Stovitz never asked True if he remembered Manson ever going over to the house next door while he was staying there. I would think it would recognize the significance of placing Manson in the house prior to the murders.

I don't know if I believe what Manson told Vanity Fair that they used the house for sex and I certainly don't believe what he told Rolling Stone that when he saw Leno laying on the sofa he said "sorry man, I thought this house was empty." But I do believe that he had been inside that house before August 10th.

Peter said...

What is so hard to believe about Charlie Saying that?

It just doesn't make sense as an introduction to "I'm not going to hurt you, I'm just going to tie you up and rob you, so stay calm."

Of course he knew someone was there, he went in there to kill them and the lights are on and he's standing there looking at him. It's just Charlie deflecting blame. "I left, it was Tex's show not mine" bullshit.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

Drugs being the motive for Hinman and Tate remains very viable and the police thought so on both instances

Did the Police think this in relation to Hinman ?

Occam's Razor is real

But it's not infallible.

It is the only linking device between every violent act- Crowe Drugs, Hinman drugs, Tate Voytek the drug dealer, LaBianca- no drugs?

Shorty ?

Suzyintheskywithvdiamonds said...

Two hits of acid isnt enough even for a first time user to walk out into traffic, some of you really need to get out more

You do realize we are talking about the lysergic variety and not the citric kind ?
Andy Summers of the Police describes part of his first trip {on one tab, incidentally}:
“The room in front of me dissolves into an egg yolk rainbow of bright plastic colours and all that once had dimension and solidity becomes liquid....I start down a tunnel of intense kaleidoscopic imagery...Alice going down the tunnel into Wonderland and it’s scary and exhilarating as hell. One second I am surfing a rainbow, and the next moment - if I open my eyes – the room appears to be full of horrible little monkeys staring at me with burning eyes....I notice that the bin is like a box of incredible jewels. Old banana skins, cereal boxes and cigarette packets are dazzling jewels of incredible energy that appear to me now in either particle or wave form.”
He later went on to comment that “clearly LSD is not for the fragile; it’s risky, it’s dangerous, a journey from which you may never return.”
Maybe you need to get out more ~ out of your own opinions and actually listen to others' experiences. There are tons of peoples' LSD experiences out there if you really want to know.

Peter said...

Harold True and his stoner postgraduate friends don't really fit the kill the establishment piggies program. True didn't let Charlie move in the first time he asked, and still hung out with him. True also got Charlie's truck impounded when he was arrested hauling dope in it. But I don't think Charlie held some grudge against True.

Brian G said...

I have never seen any concrete proof that Watson was involved in the Shea murder. For years we take it as gospel on the word of a few people convicted in the murder.Why was he not tried for this murder? It can't be because he was already going for life because they tried Manson

Peter said...

I don't care what "vintage" of Acid they were dropping, you don't forget the kind of shit Tex and Clem claim to have forgotten just because you're tripping.

ColScott said...

Peter

You obviously believe in Flying Puppy Dogs too!

grimtraveller said...

There are tons of peoples' LSD experiences out there if you really want to know

And not all negative by any means ~ but either way, the tripper knows they have had an experience that they will not get in the cinema or sky diving.

A Boy named Sue said...

In that phone call to True by that Judy Hansen lady Harold said "WE wouldnt let him stay at our house", emphasis on "we"

In that same phone call to True by that Judy Hansen lady Harold said:
"Charlie Manson, where did he go to do the killings ? He went to the 2 places he knew in LA, and 2 places only; He went to my house and he went to [David] Melcher's house because we told him he couldn't live in our house and Terry Melcher told him he couldn't make shit with a [voice ?] of a record album....."

So Harold spoke colloquially. In 1970 he explained the situation of Charlie asking him if he could move in because Harold was leaving and therefore there was a vacancy in the house and Harold explained that it wasn't up to him but he, Charlie, must ask the remaining housemates and he did and they said no.
It's obvious that when people speak, even when they are relating the same event, each time they do so, they rarely use exactly the same configuration of words, especially 20 years apart ! If you're going to be pedantic, you need to address the fact Harold says Charlie did the killings, the fact that he talks of it being his house, the fact he speaks of David Melcher and the fact that he declares Melcher said he couldn't record and album.
However, if you understand that some woman called him out of the blue 20 years later to talk about something he didn't want to talk about....

Peter said...

I certainly don't believe what he told Rolling Stone that when he saw Leno laying on the sofa he said "sorry man, I thought this house was empty."

Funnily enough, I can see that being said. In a way, it's the perfect thing to say to someone if you take into account that Leno had suddenly become the target or was in the process of being sized up as such. That would possibly put him more at ease as it was plausible; after all, the house had been empty for a long while.

DebS said...

We interrupt regularly scheduled programming to bring you this message.

Today Leslie Van Houten has again been granted parole.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-manson-van-houten-murder020170906-htmlstory.html

Awaitingmyescapewithlove said...

There's a video of Barbara coming out of court and it made me question her sanity tbh. She was ditzy.

grimtraveller said...

Peter said...

Harold True and his stoner postgraduate friends don't really fit the kill the establishment piggies program

But remember, the 2nd night was about showing the Cielo band how to do it in a way that wasn't messy and allegedly after 4 or so attempts, Charlie hadn't shown anyone how to do anything other than not get anything done. At the same point the previous night, his band that he was supposed to show how had finished the entire Cielo scene and escaped Rudy Weber and were back at Spahn, undetected. There's more than a hint of desperation in how pointed he and his directions suddenly became in leading to Waverley.
Harold True certainly thought so.

I don't think Charlie held some grudge against True

But he could well have been pissed with the 3 housemates.

I don't care what "vintage" of Acid they were dropping, you don't forget the kind of shit Tex and Clem claim to have forgotten just because you're tripping

How in the world can you know that ? John Lennon couldn't even remember the songs he'd written a couple of years previously because of acid. He had to be led through them and reminded of them. And he'd forgotten lots of stuff, things that others had remembered.
Sometimes, people just do forget ~ even momentous events.


Brian G said...

I have never seen any concrete proof that Watson was involved in the Shea murder

That's because there isn't any.

For years we take it as gospel on the word of a few people convicted in the murder

When Bruce spoke of Tex's involvement, they were friends. In the same hearing {I think it was from 1993} in which Bruce implicated him in Shorty's death, he spoke of how much he liked Watson. But back in '69/70, Kitty, Mary and Danny DeCarlo all implicated Tex but it didn't matter ~ there was no proof.
Interestingly, only Charlie has come out and said "I don't know that Tex was there."

Why was he not tried for this murder?

Because at the time the only people that could definitively say he was involved weren't talking and even if they were, there was no proof that Watson was involved that would have independently corroborated his involvement because they were accomplices. With Bruce, there was his prints, with Charlie there was what he had said to others not involved, same with Clem.

Peter said...

I have a friend who took plenty of acid as a teenager. And this friend may have forgotten details but this friend never forgot things like where he was or who he was with or what he did. And this friend also did a lot of mescaline and mushrooms and smoked a lot of weed. My friend says these stories you tell are just what people like my friend say to establishment types who don't know any better.

Peter said...

And when Charlie saw that it wasn't Harrold True's housemates he was just like "Dammit again. Oh well, guess I'll just kill these folks and get those other guys next time."

Also Harold is just playing up his role later on. I agree with him that Charlie went to the two places he knew. But it wasn't to get True or his friends.

Peter said...

It was either two nights of the worlds most poorly executed vendetta, or something else. I vote something else.

brownrice said...

Sorry for being my usual psychedelically-obsessed pedantic self (I know this is pretty off topic) but for the record, let me just explain something about LSD & dosage.

Like all drugs, LSD has very different effects depending on how much you take. Back in the day, most of the acid cooks (Bear, Sand, Scully, Kemp and various others) regarded 250 to 300 micrograms as the starting point for a serious trip. Anything below that level was seen as not completely psychedelic. If you bought a "tab" back then (and they actually were tablets rather than blotter or liquid), they were usually around 250-300 mics... anything less than that was seen as a ripoff. Sometime in the mid 70s (due to a combination of caution, wisdom, frugalness & greed), it started getting dished out in much smaller quantities... initially around 100 mics... but within a few years this had generally reduced to no more than 50 mics a dose... often less.

Now the difference between 50 mics & 250 mics is huge. On 50 mics, the average acid-head can do just about anything... you know... converse semi-coherently, distinguish objects from each other, avoid getting busted, operate heavy machinery... it's really more like a mild stimulant with furry, fractal edges. On 250 mics (and above) though it's something else entirely... basically the world melts down for at least part of the trip and your sense of individuation gets temporarily suspended. You become one (as they say). This can be really fucking confusing for just about everyone some of the time.

A lot of people that have taken acid over the last 30 years have never really had a strong psychedelic experience and have absolutely no idea of how truly overwhelming it can be. If ya don't believe me, gobble 5 to 10 contemporary doses and go play in traffic :-)

Peter said...

I think it's a really inteeesting topic because it plays a big role in the events and in the trial. For instance, Kanarek goes on about for hours trying to discredit Kasabian as potentially incompetent. Kasabian, on the other hand, says she only tripped twice while living at the Ranch. It's part of the lore for lack of a better word that they were these drugged out freaks, but was that really the case? I get it they did drugs, but the police and the lawyers and the straight world fixated on it. And the group just fed them the whole ego death, universal love, transcendental line. I just don't buy it. People who do acid know you can't explain what it's like to someone and they don't try.

Peter said...

Or instead of play in traffic. Climb up a telephone pole, cut the wires, and then break into, overpower and kill a house full of perfectly able bodied and sober people. If you have that kind of motor control you are going to remember it.

brownrice said...

Peter said:
People who do acid know you can't explain what it's like to someone and they don't try.

Yeah, it's fairly pointless talking about a non-verbal experience. As ol' Al Hubbard said ""If you don't think it's amazing just go ahead and try it."

grimtraveller said...

Peter said...

People who do acid know you can't explain what it's like to someone and they don't try

That would be some people.
The other thing is that people respond so differently to it. If you go through some of the artists of the 60s, acid mentally crushed them. Some didn't recover for a long time and some not at all. But equally others were liberated by the experience. Even within the same bands there were such different responses.
But taking acid is akin to being in a relationship with God or writing and recording a song or having a major illness or being a parent or anything that the person to whom you are describing it to has not experienced. In that number, some will try to understand it and others won't.

Peter said...
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Peter said...

When you get right down to it all tripping is is basically being f&#ked up, either a little or a lot. And I understand you can get burnt out. I knew a guy who had stickers all over his dash board that he said were there to "remind him to stop". But it doesn't cause blanket amnesia not that I ever heard of.

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Peter said...

But when Ruthanne or Linda or little Paul start talking about tripping it makes me cringe because the discriptions are so lame and predictable. It's like that episode of Dragnet or The Death of Richie where everything is filmed through that prismatic lense. I don't know. Maybe they were just all dumb so that was the best they could come up with.

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Peter said...

Lol. SAG. Great venereal diseases think alike.

Nonymous said...

It's weird to me that so many people were involved in this and received no punishment. Bill Vance and Larry Bailey. Then all the people who were a part of hiding evidence in a car in Canoga Park after the murder. I guess police and prosecutors were overwhelmed.

David said...

Saint, I hope you are safe.

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