Monday, November 6, 2017

Do Facts Matter?

I think they do.

I found Dianne Lake’s recent contribution to the Manson library, Member of the Family, to be at times captivating, especially those parts that gave insight into the early days of the Family and the description of her parents 'dropping out' of society. But overall I came away with nagging doubts about the accuracy of the book.

For me, there were too many errors and omissions and that impacted everything else. In many cases these could have been cured by a five minute search on Wikipedia. It is possible that she is shedding light on some aspects of the 'official narrative'. Maybe she is accurate and changing that narrative. But I don't think so.


SPOILER ALERT: This post is about Dianne Lake's book, Member of the Family and will disclose quotes from that book. So if you haven't read Member of the Family and don't want to know part of what happens; don't read this.

The List

Meeting Dennis Wilson


Lake does not describe an invasion of Dennis Wilson’s home while he is absent after picking up Krenwinkel and Bailey. Manson does not bend down and kiss Wilson’s feet in the driveway. Instead, Wilson first meets Manson at Spahn Ranch where they rap and Manson plays guitar. This contradicts every source I am aware of. 
_____

“When Dennis pulled up to Spahn Ranch that day to drop off Patty and Ella, I have no doubt that Charlie instantly sized up the situation and understood the opportunity that Dennis’s presence signified for him. Like the rest of us, Patty and Ella had been trained for precisely this kind of situation, and they’d delivered in sterling fashion. Dennis represented a direct line to a level of fame and influence that had long been inaccessible to Charlie—and the best part was that he’d been delivered right to Charlie’s doorstep.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the
Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 3485-3489). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

Sandra Good


While a minor issue, she appears to suggest that Sandra Good joined the Family sometime in May, 1968 two to three months later then my understanding. Although she does not give a clear timeframe, Lake seems to place the Krenwinkel-Bailey hitchhiking incident sometime in May with the move into Wilson’s some time afterwards and that is when Good appears on the scene.
_____

“Despite the Beatles eventually severing their ties with the Maharishi, he went on to tour with the Beach Boys who ended their tour with him in May 1968 after news of the guru’s health problem broke. Now sans guru, Dennis had returned to his home on Sunset Boulevard. What that meant for Charlie and the Family was that when Dennis Wilson picked up Patty and Ella hitchhiking shortly after he came off tour, not only was he without a steady guru, but he’d been perfectly prepped for this unusual date with destiny.”
*****
“He [Manson] also brought along [to Dennis Wilson’s home] a new member named Sandra Good, whom I initially dismissed as a privileged prima donna. She came from money, had allergies to this and that, and was always complaining, but she went on to become one of Charlie’s most devoted followers.”


Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 3591-3594). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

The Wilson Recording Sessions


According to Lake there was a large crowd at the Brian Wilson recording session. She places the session during the summer of 1968 consistent with most histories of the event but describes ‘producers’ and ‘musicians’ being present. She also includes Brian Wilson and Dennis Wilson at the session. Mike Love makes an appearance at a party going on upstairs in the house at there time.

Lake suggests the session ended because Manson pulled a knife on the crowd, which isn't new. And then says this happened because the assembled recording crew changed the lyrics to ‘Cease to Exist’.

Others, such as Stephen Desper, tell a different tale and I personally don’t recall any account that placed ‘muscicians’ or even Brian Wilson at the session.

Never Learn Not to Love (Cease to Exist) was recorded by the Beach Boys on September 11, 16-18, 1968. It was released December 2, 1968. According to the official narrative this was after the Family left Wilson's home and after the Brian Wilson recording session (although I believe that session occurred a year later, in 1969)
_____

“As we headed for the door [of the studio] I noticed that someone who I believe was Brian [Wilson] along with some of the others were stopping Charlie and making suggestions. Someone suggested he increase the tempo of the song.”
*****
We ran into Mike Love, who was clearly avoiding the recording session with Charlie.
*****
I moved away from Mike toward the people who seemed very comfortable partying at Brian’s house. It wasn’t a huge crowd, but I wondered if Brian knew all these people or if his house was simply open to friends and their hangers-on.
*****
The group [in the studio] was dispersing, and Brian and the other musicians who had been in the studio with Charlie seemed shaken. I have heard accounts that Charlie had pulled out a Buck knife when he got fed up with the attempts to “produce” him as they would any other musician.
*****
Dennis was trailing behind but wasn’t saying anything to Charlie.
*****
Dennis was trying to explain that they were producers and wanted to help Charlie be successful.

“Dig it, man, they want me to dress like you dudes. I ain’t gonna wear no threads like that. That just ain’t me!”

“Charlie, man, they are just trying to help. They didn’t mean any insult to you.”

“What about changing the words to my song? ‘Cease to Exist’ is ‘Cease to Exist,’ man.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations various including 3853-3858). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

[Aside: Given the May, 1969 Rave magazine article ("Sometimes the Wizard frightens me...."), I did find this quote interesting:

““This is Charlie,” Dennis graciously announced to his friends. “He is the wizard, man. He is a gas.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 3613-3614). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.]
_____

Terry Melcher Broke His Promise


Lake says Terry Melcher arranged studio time for Manson. My pervious research revealed no evidence of this, although Jakobson did arrange a lot of studio time. She also says Melcher directly rejected Manson in  a phone call. Melcher’s testimony as well as Jakobson’s disputes this and Kanarek went out of his way at the trial to tell Melcher Manson had no hard feelings.
_____

“Terry arranged for us to record at a real studio.”
*****
 “Charlie reached out to Terry to find out what was going on, but the answer was not what he wanted to hear: Terry simply wasn’t interested in helping him get a record deal. Charlie was livid. He thought he had a deal with Terry and the rest was just details. Now it turned out that his last chance at music stardom was lost. “Those motherfuckers don’t keep their promises!” Charlie shouted.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 4727-4728). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____



Manson the Drug Dealer to the Stars


While the drug burn crowd will likely embrace this next quote, there is little evidence I know of to support the notion that Manson was broadly dealing drugs to ‘musicians’.
_____

I know that Charlie had his fingers in a lot of things and was doing his best to cultivate contacts in the music industry who could help him become the success he believed he should be. He was reputed to be a drug dealer to musicians, but I never saw any of this directly. He was looking for ways to connect, and good drugs were always a draw.

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 3985-3987). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
______

Admittedly, Lake qualifies her statement by admitting she never saw it but by doing so one has to ask why add the comment at all?

The Wilson Bullet


The Dennis Wilson ‘bullet’ incident, according to Lake, occurred in September, 1968, nearly a year before the witnesses claim it happened and before Never Learn Not to Love was released. 
_____

“I am not sure how this happened or why, but in September of 1968 the Beach Boys with Dennis on vocals recorded a version of Charlie’s “Cease to Exist,” renaming it “Never Learn Not to Love,” changing some of the lyrics in the song, and making the bridge and the sound to be more pop. The song, credited to Dennis Wilson as the only writer, later found its way onto a Beach Boys album. I am sure Charlie was outraged. There are stories that have Charlie visiting Dennis after finding out about the song and leaving a bullet at his home to send a not so subtle message.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 3995-3999). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

Linda Kasabian's Car?


Linda Kasabian, per Lake, not only brought a valid driver’s license and $5,000 in cash to the Family, she brought a car, the car used on the two nights of murder.
_____

“One came in the form of a pretty blond girl named Linda Kasabian, who’d been brought to Spahn Ranch by Leslie. A hippie with a little girl and an ex-husband, Linda joined us, and to prove her commitment, she scored about five thousand dollars from her ex and his friend. She also came with a car and a valid driver’s license, which would prove useful for Charlie but devastating for her future.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 4847-4851). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____


Straight Satans #1



And per Lake……
_____

“The ranch was becoming more of a compound, with field phones throughout so the Straight Satans, acting as guardians, could alert everyone of intruders.

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Location 4866). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

Huh?

Bernard Crowe's Visit to Spahn


Aside from the fact that Bernard Crowe is, according to Lake, a drug dealer (he may have been one, although I don’t believe it), she places Crowe at Spahn Ranch after the burn and before he is shot, something we know never happened and something that could not have happened given the timeline of the Crowe drug burn.
_____

“I know the details of the shooting of a drug dealer whose alias was Lotsapoppa only from later
accounts, but I do know I witnessed a very angry-looking African American man confronting Charlie one day. This was not something that happened often, and I later heard that Charlie assumed he was a member of the Black Panthers. That may have been what he told us to keep us believing in the impending race war, but what was most certainly a sighting of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe added to our evidence that Charlie was telling us the truth.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 4767-4768). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

Crowe also makes his reappearance in Manson’s life in the courtroom, although, most accounts I have read say this happened when Manson passed Crowe in the hallway of the jail. But then again, neither she nor I were there.
_____

“In fact, unbeknownst to Charlie, Crowe survived the gunshot and emerged a year later, as a witness at Manson’s trial. When a man Charlie thought was dead walked into the courtroom, Charlie was shocked, to say the least, but he whispered to Crowe that there were no hard feelings.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 4777-4780). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

Beausoleil Was Arrested When?


According to Lake, Manson learned of Beausoleil’s arrest on August 5, 1969. There are two problems with this. The obvious one is that Beausoleil’s arrest was August 6th. The second problem is Manson wasn’t at Spahn Ranch on August 5th. This is the Esalen trip. He didn’t learn of Beausoleil's arrest until he returned on the early afternoon of August 8th. To me this one is hard not to classify under the heading 'fiction' because Lake cites the actual date, something she typically avoids.
_____

“ON AUGUST 5, CHARLIE FOUND OUT BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL WAS PICKED up for something that had to do with a stolen car and put in jail.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 4872-4874). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____


Kasabian, Again



Lake seems to have memories regarding what she was told about the murders that originate from Watson's trial (where she testified). She has Kasabian drive the killers to Cielo Drive in Kasabian's car.
_____

“He [Tex] told me that Linda Kasabian drove Patty, Sadie, and him to a house they knew would be occupied by pigs.

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 5010-5011). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

Perhaps Watson was already formulating his trial defense when he told her this or maybe Kasabian did drive to Cielo even if no one else seems to think so. But Kasabian wasn't driving Kasabian's car. 

Jab and Thrust, Pull Up


Dianne Lake claims that the autopsy reports confirm the ‘killing style’ taught to her and the others by Manson when using a knife. She describes this ‘style’ as “Jab and thrust, pull up.”
_____

"One horrifying detail that I discovered recently when looking at the autopsy reports chilled me to the bone. It was something that to me left Charlie’s fingerprints on the crime almost as if he’d been at the scene. The autopsy reports show patterns of how the victims were stabbed. These seemed to match the instructions Charlie had given to us. Jab and thrust, pull up. That day that he’d handed me that large knife I’d wanted nothing to do with, we weren’t being taught to defend ourselves, we were being trained to kill. And Tex, Sadie, and the rest of them were clearly following orders with a clear knowledge of what they were doing and how."

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 5032-5034). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

There are several issues I have here. I spent a good deal of time for a previous post studying those reports and wounds and even tried to determine if I could draw any connection to the alleged knife training. The wounds were largely inflicted not as a ‘jab’ or a ‘thrust’ but as an overhand motion with the blade of the knife held in a downward direction from a gripping fist. None of the wounds show signs of the ‘pull up’ motion suggested by Lake. The wound dimensions are uniform. The wounds are consistent with the use of three knives with three different lengths and widths based upon the wound evidence. Perhaps more importantly, you have to go well beyond the autopsy report to even reach these conclusions. To really understand the reports you have to read the testimony, in part, because there are errors in the reports.

At that time I also was unable to ascertain any identifiable pattern to the knife wounds or tactics such as a strike location except for the obvious fact that one target area was the area of the chest and heart on every victim. For whatever it’s worth, neither did Thomas Naguchi.

According to Lake, Krenwinkel admitted to her that she had carved “WAR” on Leno LaBianca’s stomach (which she didn't do) and inserted the fork in his torso (which she did) but she omits the knife found in his neck.
_____

"He had no defensive wounds, a fatal wound to the carotid artery, and the word war carved into his stomach. A fork had been stabbed into his flesh as if he were a suckling pig. Patty later claimed responsibility for those special touches as well as leaving the misspelled words healter skelter on the refrigerator door in Leno’s blood."

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 5094-5096). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

Straight Satans #2: Bikers Killed Shorty


Apparently, if Lake is correct, the Straight Satans skated on the Donald Shea murder rap along with Watson.
_____

“What I didn’t know was Charlie, Tex, Bruce Davis, Clem, and some bikers had already brutally stabbed ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea to death because Charlie believed he was a snitch.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 5201-5202). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

Memory and Lake....but....


Obviously, some of these issues can be written off to the passage of time (fifty years ago is a long time). Lake was also in an LSD induced psychosis at the time and much of the time she was high on marijuana or LSD. She testified to using LSD 40-50 times in two years. She also testified to being 'spaced out' from October 1968 until February 1970. (Dianne Lake testimony, People Vs. Watson, Cielodrive.com.)

I would be the last one to suggest a witness’s 50 year old memory is reliable. In fact, I'd be a hypocrite if I did. And a jury, like the Tate/LaBianca jury, is always instructed to be careful when confronted by  witness inconsistencies.

“Do not automatically reject testimony just because of inconsistencies or conflicts. Consider whether the differences are important or not. People sometimes honestly forget things or make mistakes about what they remember. Also, two people may witness the same event yet see or hear it differently.” (Tate-LaBianca jury instruction)

But Ms. Lake is writing a book she hopes millions will buy and read. She is telling her experience of these events; but they are events she is claiming happened as she describes them. It seems that if an author undertakes that task they should at least get the facts right, especially when those facts don't really impact the point of her story, like here. I believe she would have been better served if she would have acknowledged with greater clarity where her recollection differed from ‘the official narrative’ or simply fixed the errors.

Ironically, this was something she did quite well when discussing whether Atkins actually stabbed Sharon Tate. While I believe the physical evidence confirms that Atkins did not (but did inflict mortal wounds on Frykowski) she handled her disagreement with other witnesses well.
_____

“In the years since this night when I was a reluctant audience for her words, Tex has also claimed responsibility for the murder of Sharon Tate and Sadie, at different points, has both recanted her confession and reiterated that it was indeed she who had killed Sharon Tate. Who really did what has remained a controversy. No matter what they’ve both said, there is no doubt in my mind that Susan Atkins was telling me the truth that night in the desert. She was not embellishing. She was not lying and there is nothing that would allow me to think of anyone other than Susan committing this unspeakable crime.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 5105-5106). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

She did not handle the other occasions nearly as well and in one case, that concerns me.

Lake's Testimony


For me, one of the most significant issues is how Lake’s descriptions of what she heard and observed after the murders differs rather significantly from what she actually said when called upon to testify. I’m not talking about her Grand Jury versus Trial testimony.

Lake, when she reaches her Tate/LaBianca court appearance in the book, leaves it up to the reader to imagine what she said on the witness stand based upon what he has read. She does not discuss her actual testimony in any detail.

But here is what she claims she witnessed and what the reader is left to assume formed the basis of her testimony.
_____


"She [Van Houten] came in and dumped a bunch of things on her bed. She liked to sleep in the living room near the fireplace. She asked me to help her get some firewood which we used to build a fire. She took a rope off her bed that was with the pile of stuff and put it in the flames. She also added a brown purse and some credit cards which started to smell awful. We both turned and saw some headlights headed our way. Leslie begged me to help her out and pulled the rope out of the flames, ran into the bathroom and tried to put it out.
*****
“Snake, don’t let that man see me,” she said. “He just gave me a ride from Griffith Park.” Then she jumped into her bed pulling the sheet over her entire body and face. I knew not to ask any questions.
*****
“Don’t worry, Snake,” she said and handed me some wood to build up the fire again. She finished burning the little brown purse even though it was difficult. It didn’t catch very easily. The credit cards burned and then she took off the clothing she was wearing and burned that too. I watched the flames consume everything while she took a shower. I figured if she wanted to tell me anything she would. When she got out of the shower she showed me a plastic bag of coins and dumped them on the table. We both counted about eight dollars without counting the Canadian nickels.

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 4923-4927). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
*****
“You know that night we went to the house near Griffith Park.” Leslie looked to Patty and Sadie for affirmation. As if the pump had been primed, Leslie’s description of the night bubbled up in a gush. I didn’t want to know any more than what I had read in the newspaper or than Tex had revealed, but it was too late. I remained silent as Leslie recounted the second night of murderous terror orchestrated by Charlie. Later accounts say that Charlie considered the first night too messy, so he would go along to show them how it should be done. Somewhere in the middle of this micromanaging of madness, Charlie left the rest of the job to Tex, Patty, and Leslie. “Tex told me what to do,” Leslie explained. Leslie paused, but surprised me with her reaction. I thought she would say something about how awful it was. But instead she described how strange it was to stab someone but that after a while it was fun. Rosemary, whom Leslie referred to only as the woman, was still warm, and she may have already been dead when Leslie stabbed her. She couldn’t really be sure. Then she was told to wipe the fingerprints off of everything—and she did, removing them from the refrigerator, the lamps, and the doors, even things that they hadn’t touched. [Van Houten Confession]
*****
“Un-huh.” I nodded my head but couldn’t say anything more. I didn’t have to, as Sadie took this as her opportunity to describe her important role in the first night’s slaughter at Cielo Drive. Sadie explained her role in the killings, but also how she had contemplated saving Sharon Tate’s unborn baby. “The woman was pregnant and was begging for her life. I thought about saving the baby while I was stabbing her but decided against it,” Sadie described as my blood ran cold. [Atkins' Confession]
*****
“Charlie told us to do something witchy and we did,” Patty said proudly. As if it was possible, she made things worse by describing the scene at the Tate house the first night. I listened to her talk about the blood and how she had dragged a woman, later determined to be Abigail Folger, from the bedroom to the living room. After she had stabbed her, the woman got up to run and Patty said she chased her out of the house and tackled her. She then stabbed her until she saw the life leave her eyes. [Krenwinkel's Confession]

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 5108-5112). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

If Lake had actually heard and witnessed all of this, it is logical to assume that Bugliosi would have brought it all out during her testimony. This is more than just significant evidence. It is dynamite. Lake actually heard Atkins, Krenwinkel and Van Houten in one place and at one time confess to murder. While the confession of Van Houten appears in Helter Skelter, I was unable to locate any reference to the Atkins and Krenwinkel confessions. 

In court, Lake did testify that Krenwinkel dragged Folger into the living room (versus the confession). She also testified that Van Houten admitted stabbing a dead body and enjoyed it the more she did. And, yes, she testified about Van Houten hiding from the young man who gave her a ride home from the LaBianca’s and burning various items including Van Houten’s clothing. At the Watson trial she also testified concerning Watson's confession (not included above). 

But Lake claims more than this. She claims to have been privy to a discussion where Krenwinkel and Atkins each admitted what they did during the murders. This discussion forms the basis of her opinion regarding Atkins' stabbing Sharon Tate, above.

Krenwinkel and Atkins, describing the murders, would have been, for Bugliosi, a ‘Golden Ticket’. But I do not believe Lake ever testified about their confessions.

[My Confession: I do not have access to Lake's Tate/LaBianca testimony to do my own fact checking so someone might blow me out of the water on this. There is, however, no mention of the Atkins and Krenwinkel confessions in Helter Skelter.  Bugliosi mentions Van Houten's confession about stabbing a dead body and enjoying it and Krenwinkel dragging Abigail into the living room when describing Lake's testimony in his closing argument. The Atkins and Krenwinkel confessions are not mentioned there. I once read Lake's testimony on another site. My notes from that also do not mention the confessions. If I am wrong, please correct me.]

If I am right, there is no logical explanation for this omission.

One might argue that she didn’t remember in 1970 what had happened a year earlier and thus failed to tell Bugliosi, who interviewed her several times, Kay who also interviewed her twice or the five different detectives and police officers who also interviewed her after she became cooperative.

One problem with the memory explanation is that two critical pieces of her actual testimony (Van Houten’s confession and Krenwinkel taking Abigail Folger into the living room) originate from the same discussion. A second problem is this book was written from memory 50 years after the events. That, of course, may very well explain the error.

Lake wasn’t a co-conspirator (no matter what she suggests). No independent corroboration of her testimony was necessary and these confessions corroborate Kasabian, Bugliosi’s biggest challenge during the trial, and other witnesses such as Virginia Graham. This would have been brought out in court if it happened. If it wasn't, it didn't happen. 

As I have said before, we sit as a jury. We admittedly have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight and access to more information than was available to the prosecution in 1969 but so did she when she wrote this and most of this could have been fixed with a simple reading of Helter Skelter by her ghost writer or editor.

Final Points


Missing Victims


I, personally, find one omission in her book to be inexcusable: ignoring a victim.

[Aside: While Lake paints herself as a victim of Manson (and she was) she says surprisingly little about the murder victims.]
This is Steven Parent
_____

“I scanned the page as it depicted the horrible details of how the actress Sharon Tate, the eight months’ pregnant wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski, her husband’s friend Wojciech Frykowski, his girlfriend, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, her friend the celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, and another unrelated young man had been slaughtered at her home.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 5002-5005). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

What happened to Steven Parent? I searched my Kindle addition and was unable to find his name anywhere in her book. Why? Isn't this case really about the victims? So why didn't she mention him?

I think the answer lies in the same reason Steven Parent was ‘the caretaker’s friend’ and a ‘teen from El Monte’ in the press of the day. I think the answer also lies in why the official ‘label’ applied to the Cielo Drive murders became the ‘Tate Murders’. Remember, Sharon Tate’s ‘name’ was ‘Polanski’ and also remember the standard protocol in the LAPD was to describe a murder by the name of the first victim case file number: “Steven Parent”.

In my opinion the crime became the Tate/LaBianca murders and filled the courtroom with press for the same reason Lake omits even Steven's name: celebrity sells. Who cares about a kid from El Monte when we have a celebrity hair stylist, an actress, an heiress and her lover. 

Her Sister


Another point for me was the abrupt end of the story following her trial testimony. I wasn’t looking for, or for that matter wasn't  interested in, her life after the Family (although I am sure some are). But what I found interesting was the absence of any reflection back on her friend, lover and sister from the beginning of her membership in the Family: Patty.

Van Houten she clearly identifies as not being close to her. And Atkins she finally identifies in terms that strongly suggest she viewed her as a sociopath. This may explain their absence.

But Krenwinkel is another story. Krenwinkel was her big sister, a mother figure at times and likely a victim of the same abuse that was inflicted on Lake (although while other abuse is mentioned in Member of the Family I don't recall any names or descriptions). While she identifies her feelings at the time she became aware of Krenwinkel's involvement in the murders there is no later mention of those looking back from today. I had anticipated that she might reflect back on their fate and how she escaped it or how she felt about what had happened to those she once viewed as her only real family and maybe her feelings about that loss. 
_____

“As I struggled to keep my emotions in check, I found I was less surprised by how Sadie and Leslie gleefully described their roles in these murders. In the time I’d known them, I’d never fully believed in their ability to feel for others. Patty, however, was a different story. Learning both of her involvement and what she had become left me heartbroken.

Patty had joined Charlie because he made her feel loved in a way she had never felt before. Throughout my time with the family, she became the most loyal to him, as if her identity was only a reflection of how he saw her. She didn’t exist outside of his aura, and now to me she was forever lost. She’d become something I couldn’t recognize. Her transformation spoke volumes about the power of Charlie’s manipulation. As confused as I was with my own loyalty to Charlie, I could not understand how Patty could become a murderer for him.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 5124-5127). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
_____

It felt to me that she abandoned Krenwinkel and the rest emotionally the moment she was free of Manson’s influence as best summed up by this quote. I’m not sure I could have done that.

Do facts matter? I think they do.

We live in a world where regardless of your political leanings we are confronted with lies. It could be 'fake news' and 'alternate facts'.  Instead of the errors of the 60's and Watergate teaching us to change our ways, it has taught all of us- right and left- to not get caught.

Altering the facts, or ignoring them allows us to pursue our agenda, secure in the belief we are 'right' as we define 'right'. This, in my opinion, has almost become a part of our culture. It doesn't seem to matter if 'that didn't happen'. In fact, even when it is proven it didn't happen 'lying in the face of photographs' or punishing the revealer, is more important than admitting the truth.

[Aside: When I was in high school the official 'history book' had a caption under a picture in the 'politically correct' textbook that focused on racial issues and slavery in connection with the Civil War. That picture was of 'Pickett's Charge'. I have always been a 'history nerd'. The caption read: 'Pickett's charge was the largest cavalry charge in United States history'. I objected to my teacher. I received 'in school suspension'. Look Pickett's Charge up or watch the movie.]

There were enough errors and omissions in Member of the Family that I came away  questioning whether I could really rely on anything Dianne Lake said. I was also asking who was alive to refute or confirm her claims. I found myself asking who could independently verify or corroborate her facts. I even started 'googling' the Hog Farm, the Oracle and other aspects of her story. That left me viewing the horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of Manson, the sex, drugs and the rest of her tale with some degree of skepticism.

Please understand, I would never suggest the abuse she suffered did not occur or seek to minimize it. It happened. Some of her specific examples came to light in her testimony in the Watson trial where she testified Manson hit her four to five times, once after she hit Mary Brunner's baby, and several of the specific incidents she describes appear in Helter Skelter.

Manson abused women. There should be no doubt of Manson's abuse. Anyone who doesn't believe it should read his court statement as it relates to Dianne Lake.
_____
"Manson: So she [Dianne Lake] would do things like drop coffee and spill things and do childish little things so her Daddy would come and spank her on the hand.

So she brought that problem to the ranch. She asked to be spanked several times

She come close to burning the ranch up and I would tell her, "would you quit doing that.," I says, "If you don’t stop doing that I'm going to spank you. I’m  going to whip you."


And she would keep doing it, so as any father would do I conditioned her mind with, pain to keep her from burning the ranch down or to keep her from doing something that she may have done that would affect everyone."
_____

Lake testified at the Watson trial to witnessing four others being abused by Manson (Gypsy, Madeline Cottage, Mary Brunner and Barbara Rosenberg). There is also no doubt that Member of the Family tells her personal story of her descent into that Hell, her recovery and her survival. And that is truly an amazing story.

There is no doubt about Manson's abuse or her suffering, but that is not where my skepticism lies.

Where I am skeptical is ‘why’ the choice was made to feature the sex, drugs and abuse so prominently in Member of the Family while fact checking went completely by the wayside? I was left answering that question with this (1.) domestic violence fills our headlines, daily; it is a 'hot topic' and (2.) hot topics, sex, drugs and violence sell books and movies.

It is the decision to make that choice that bothers me.

Dianne Lake said Linda Kasabian drove the murderers to Cielo Drive in Linda Kasabian's car. She could have said 'my recollection was that Linda Kasabian came to the Family with the car they used that night. I have learned that is wrong'. That would have given me insight's into Dianne Lake as a person and her recollection of events. It would have been 'cool'.

Instead, she said 'Susan Atkins told me she stabbed Sharon Tate and based upon what I saw in her eyes I believe she did'.

Pax Vobiscum,

Dreath

77 comments:

starviego said...

"Bernard Crowe's Visit to Spahn
... I witnessed a very angry-looking African American man confronting Charlie one day."

Does she give a date or time when that happened?

David said...

She does not. What is quoted is all she says.

starviego said...


You would think, given the atmosphere at Spahn, this angry confrontation with a black man would have been a memorable event, noted by many. But the only thing remotely similar is this account by Little Paul:

murdersofaugust69.freeforums.net/thread/1040/life-charles-manson-chapter-18
PAUL WATKINS, My Life With Charles Manson - Chapter 18
"Last week some black dudes come here looking for Charlie… he says he’s going to cut them up.”
(about July 25th or 26th of 1969)

AustinAnn74 said...

I just got finished reading her book. It was pretty sad what happened to this woman starting in childhood. Whatever she got wrong or right, there is one fact that remains: she was actually there, and, luckily, none of us were.....

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum said...

SPOILER ALERT: This post is about Dianne Lake's book, Member of the Family and will disclose quotes from that book. So if you haven't read Member of the Family and don't want to know part of what happens; don't read this

Well, I'm about 130 something pages in and so while I'm dying to read this thread and get stuck in, I won't until I've finished the book ! It's going to be hard letting this one go because I love to read what people have to say.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I'm not reading your post since I'm still reading the book, but I'm wondering are people sure that the booking photo of the girl with shorter hair is really Dianne Lake? I can see some resemblance and I think maybe she lost weight, but the face looks a little too symmetrical and flawless for Dianne's. Obviously people can look way different in different photos.

http://www.cielodrive.com/dianne-lake.php third from the left. I guess a lot features do look right like the nose, mouth and neck, but the jaw doesn't look right to me and the eyes.

Bobby said...

Can those who have read the book comment on if she gave or dedicated any time to the law officers family that took her in ? Seems strange that she wouldn't give them props. Thanks. Bobby.

grimtraveller said...

Bobby said...

Can those who have read the book comment on if she gave or dedicated any time to the law officers family that took her in ?

At the start she speaks kindly of Jack Gardiner and his wife, saying that they were the first people that made her feel safe enough to share what she knew about the Family.

Kansa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terrapin said...

I've only read the title of the post since i haven't read the book yet but don't people understand she's written the book from her perspective and from her memory? She isn't trying to be a historian. If Jeff Quinn or Simon Wells get something wrong then yeah they should have fact checked a little better.

I bet if we all thought back to events that happened when we were teenagers our friends would remember things differently than we do. Take it for what it is.. a memoir, not a history book :)

starviego said...

No one knows anything about the angry black man mentioned by Snake Lake.

No one knows anything about the two black dudes talking to Charlie mentioned by Little Paul.

No one knows anything about the black 'leaders' the Family reached out to mentioned by Leslie Van Houten.


Do you get the feeling something was deliberately left out of the TLB investigation?

FrankM said...

A theme that often occupies this blog, worded in many ways, is that of whether Helter Skelter was real in the minds of the Family at the time events went down. Interestingly, Diane Lake mentions Helter Skelter repeatedly. There seems little doubt in her mind that this was regularly discussed.

A few quotes by way of illustration:

ONE: When Charlie introduced the Beatle’s White Album, the songs became his shorthand way to illustrate what was coming down. The song “Helter Skelter” became the key, because it sounded like chaos and destruction. From then on, that song title stood as our not-so-secret code name for the race war between blacks and whites and the coming apocalypse.

TWO: “When Helter Skelter comes down, this knife might be the only thing between you and your enemy. I guarantee you they want you dead.”
“Aren’t we supposed to go to the desert to wait it out?” I asked innocently.
“If we make it to the desert, we will be all right. But Helter Skelter is upon us and if it happens and shit comes down we have to be ready.”


THREE: He had us preparing to go to the land of milk and honey, where we could live until after the Helter Skelter race war.

FOUR: I had no idea that aside from a brown purse, credit cards and chocolate milk, this was all that was taken from the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, both victims of Charlie’s madness and a killing spree intended to set off Helter Skelter.

FIVER: When I got word of our departure, my assumption was that Charlie was planning for us to escape to the desert because Helter Skelter was on the horizon.

SIX: As Tex recounted the killings, he spewed Charlie-isms like how it was now “up to us to start Helter Skelter” to show “blackie” how it was done.

SEVEN: I also thought that if we were in the middle of a revolution leading to the end of the world through a black-white race war, Charlie had his reasons. This nightmare was real—Helter Skelter was really happening. We were facing a war and we were now the ones who might have started it.

Either Diane Lake was so brainwashed by the prosecution that she added references to HS post hoc, or this is strong support for the existence of HS as a conceived plan.

FrankM

David said...

FrankM said: "Either Diane Lake was so brainwashed by the prosecution that she added references to HS post hoc, or this is strong support for the existence of HS as a conceived plan."

Your comment illustrates the point of this post. I am in the Heater Skelter motive camp or at least I lean that way but is she a reliable source? "Source' as in something we can cite as authority.

Your #6 is awfully similar to the statement attributed to Manson during the trial, one of the most 'famous' but here is what she testified to at the Watson trial.

Q: Now, what, if anything, did Tex say to you and what, if anything, did you say to Mr. Watson?
A: Mr. Watson' said that he murdered Sharon Tate and that she pleaded for her life; and that they had written ‘Pig’ on the door and that Charlie asked him to do it and he said it was fun and Charlie sent us. [Nothing about Charlie-isms or starting HS].
*****
Q: Did you ever hear Mr. Watson talk about a black-white revolution?
A: I’m not sure.
Q: What about the term helter-skelter, did you ever hear Mr. Watson talk about helter-skelter?
A: Yes.
*****
Q: And did he [Manson not Watson] say who was going to start the black-white revolution?
A: He said he was.
*****
Q: Do you remember exactly word for word, what he [Watson] said to you in Olancha in August of 1970—excuse me. ’69?
A: No.


ColScott said...



Your post is great. It deals in facts and points out that Dianne Snake Lake was no doubt "helped" by other books. Indeed in the epilogue she cites tell her grown son to read the BUG book as if she thinks it is accurate. But then this super Christian lady describes fondly all the times she got plowed by strangers back in the day in a book her children she wanted to protect will no doubt read. It's up there with the Watkins daughters, two lovely girls, reading about Daddy blowing Charlie. Class

That said, you only need to read the first page of the epilogue. She doesn't use Nellie's name but describes to the letter him showing up like a maniac pounding on her door and her fear at being exposed.

What you do when that happens is call police and a lawyer. What she did was do interviews that he used in a book and he used to sell tapes of.

I am sure if I met Dianne I would find her to be charming and lovely.

Her book, however, tries to be salacious and scandalous but it is full of omissions and falsehoods.

FrankM said...

Unusually polite for you, Col - hope you're in good health?

Diane's book was a painful read as it is very poorly written and, as you and David say, almost certainly draws on other published and possibly unpublished sources. I too noted the inconsistency of the language, caused in part by copying almost verbatim chunks of texts from elsewhere which mishmash badly with her own clumsy style. But then I speak as an (ex) journalist, and perhaps unkindly.

It's at least possible that her reasons for writing it were, if confused, sincere. Much of the early part of the book casts an interesting light on the life style some of us will remember from the 1960s (I am now in my seventies and was there, so to speak); the cats and chicks, the concerts and the communes she describes. Sure her memories will be hazy - they say of the 60s that if you remember it you weren't there. My memories are hazy too. And although the little money she might make from the book will/would no doubt come in handy it is not likely to be much and I am not convinced it was her only reason for writing it.

Omissions are inevitable - she is writing a personal memoir and not a historical account. Whether we attribute the inconsistencies to faulty memory or a deliberate intention to deceive probably says as much about us as it does about Diane. It was all a long time ago. Perhaps it doesn't really matter - what really went down is unlikely now ever to be clearly established. At the end of the day she was one fucked up kid who wasn't helped by meeting CM.

FrankM

ColScott said...

Frank


Agreed with everything you say. I am in good health even though my postings are being removed and or edited I know the people I am dealing with and thus proceed accordingly.

This is the first book in a long time to be published by a real publisher with fanfare and publicity. It would not have been hard to be better.

Also there are random things I want to ask about. She out of nowhere describes Gary as "effeminate." Is that a code word for gay? I don't believe he was but maybe.

Wasn't she a favorite of Paul Watkins? He gets few mentions. She claims George Spahn gave her her nickname. Uh huh.

Look, she didn't kill anyone I get that. She knew but what could she really do? Who would believe her?

The problem I have with the book is she rambles and sometimes mentions something interesting then goes no where with it. There is reality in there. Measuring Clem's foot long cock is an example.

I think the overwhelming problem with the book is context- she didn't matter in the Family and 50 years later trying to be relevant doesn't work

mrgroove said...

Speaking of facts, isn’t that photo of Dennis Wilson with Manson towards the top of the post a photoshop job?

FrankM said...

... there are random things I want to ask about.

She out of nowhere describes Gary as "effeminate." Is that a code word for gay? I don't believe he was but maybe.

Gary was older than Charlie, with a receding hairline. He was effeminate, and I’d always thought he might be gay. That made me like him even more because he had a gentleness about him that seemed more female and nurturing. Though Gary never fully joined our group, we treated him like part of the Family and he was welcome to be with us and to have anything we had.

Perhaps a 14 year old might perceive the ‘gentility’ deriving from his Buddhism as effeminacy? I’ve seen no other reference to Gary's being gay

Wasn't she a favorite of Paul Watkins? He gets few mentions.

Too many Pauls in the book to be sure, but she does mention him with affection. She says he tried to visit her in hospital during the trial. But we are agreed there are omissions, and absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

During this time, Paul was the one bright spot. While I couldn’t tell him what had happened, he at least took my mind off things and gave me someone to hang around with. Because Charlie frowned on exclusive relationships, Paul wasn’t like a real boyfriend, but he was someone I felt I could trust. We’d find time alone together to make love. He was playful and lighthearted, often playing the flute for me while we lay in the grass listening to the stream and the birds.

“Snake, go make love with Paul. He digs you. Make him feel important. Fuck him good.”
I did as I was told. It wasn’t difficult because I liked Paul and we had a connection. He and I spent hours in the woods at the ranch talking and kissing and making love.


She claims George Spahn gave her her nickname. Uh huh.

Actually, she says it was CM:

I imagined what it might be like if I were a snake slithering between the blades of grass and the rocks under the beaming sun. I wasn’t on acid or dehydrated—I was simply allowing my mind to wander.
When I got back to the girls, I told them about my imaginings. Charlie must have overheard our conversation because he began to laugh.
“That’s a good name for you, little one,” he said. “From now on, you are Snake.”


The problem I have with the book is she rambles and sometimes mentions something interesting then goes no where with it. There is reality in there. Measuring Clem's foot long cock is an example.

I think the overwhelming problem with the book is context- she didn't matter in the Family and 50 years later trying to be relevant doesn't work


I agree with both of these. That said, ‘something interesting’ may well be in the mind of the beholder. It would be nice to get her in front of a panel and conduct a viva voce!

With regard to all the sexual detail, I think she may be using sex to promote the book, although the descriptions are pretty tame. And trite. Or it may just be that sex was important to her at the time and she wants to recreate the mood. Prurience kind of suits a Manson Family book.

Panamint Patty said...

Yes that's a jack cook hack job

David said...

mrgroove said: "Speaking of facts, isn’t that photo of Dennis Wilson with Manson towards the top of the post a photoshop job?"

Yes, it is and that is why I used it.

David said...

Col Scott said: 'Wasn't she a favorite of Paul Watkins?"

And she said this on the witness stand at the Watson trial:

Q: Now, during the latter part of August 1969 did you and Tex have a kind of boy friend-girl friend relationship?

A: Yes.

ColScott said...

I do not have the book here on set obviously but I recall towards the end she then claims George nicknamed her and Squeaky. Maybe I mis read


Book has no index FFS

brownrice said...

Being in Australia and all, I'm a bit behind you guys in reading this book but I'm about 2/3rds of the way through. The thing that I have problems figuring out is how much she wrote and how much her ghost-writer did. I can well imagine a professional ghost-writer actively encouraging her to include events & conversations she doesn't remember because they've been "documented" so often since. As the Col points out it's the first Manson book in a long time by a big publishing house. They in turn would have had a fair bit of input. Quite possibly in pairing her with her ghost-writer, but also in wanting more sex, more helter skelter and at least the bare bones of the official narrative.

FrankM said
Either Diane Lake was so brainwashed by the prosecution that she added references to HS post hoc, or this is strong support for the existence of HS as a conceived plan.

Or conversely so brainwashed by 50 years of mass media, general opinion & popular myth because as...

Col Scott said:
I think the overwhelming problem with the book is context- she didn't matter in the Family and 50 years later trying to be relevant doesn't work

Yes. It's obvious that by '69 she was well and truly on the outer with the group. I'm not sure how likely it is she really had any idea at all of the motives for the murders. A published book though needs to at least appear to make sense of it all. Hence, she pretty much goes with what everyone's been telling her since then.

I think though the final word belongs to FrankM:
At the end of the day she was one fucked up kid who wasn't helped by meeting CM.

I'm glad she rebuilt her life though and she seems like a decent enough (and quite self-aware) person...

...but yes, facts DO matter.

Peter said...

If you want to get an idea of how often Manson discussed Helter Skelter take a look at the appeal briefs Cielodrive recently made available. The people’s brief has an entire section that goes on for literally a hundred pages cataloging every instance involving dozens of witnesses both inside and outside the family where Manson talked about Helter Skelter.

ColScott said...

Peter this is a recurring straw man argument.


Many people knew about a philosophy Charlie espoused called HS. It was part of his rap. It sounded cool. It was his thing.

It was not a coherent "whole"- that was part of the evil Bug did.

It was not the motive for the TLB killings. That was one of many lies Bug told.

So yes, you have established an argument that positively no one is making. Applause.


Peter said...

Dear Colonel.

Says you. And since you were not there, one could argue that your opinions are even less relevant than those of Dianne Lake.

xxx
ooo

Peter.

David said...

Brownrice said: "They [ghost writer, publisher] in turn would have had a fair bit of input." [my edit]

And that may be the problem. It may be that parts of the book were not 'written' by her but, perhaps, 'imposed' on her. But why tolerate that? Why not say "I don't remember". [I highly recommend her Watson trial testimony where she answers that way repeatedly as to many matters she oddly, fifty years later, now remembers.]

Where I took issue with the narrative of her book really surrounds her discussion about Atkins stabbing Sharon Tate. The other witnesses (unreliable) but more importantly, the physical evidence, says that did not happen. That evidence is consistent with the 'official narrative'.

Her conclusion and decision to inject this issue into her book is based upon her conversation with all three (Atkins, Krenwinkel and Van Houten). And there is nothing I have found or have access to that even 'hints' that this round table conversation occurred. It would have been used by VB. Per Lake, all three confess. Imagine that bomb shell.

So what does she accomplish by this? She weighs in on the issue claiming personal knowledge, a personal experience: seeing Atkins, hearing her and concluding she was not 'embellishing' (an interesting choice of words).

But for me the real point is she paints two, Krenwinkel and Van Houten as unfeeling butchers (they were at the time)- based upon her 'personal knowledge and experience of that conversation'. This is the 'climax' of her book. Her turning point. A moment that appears to have never happened and yet it argues against their release from prison.

Put another way: why embellish what was a very good story without the embellishment (and errors) unless the motive was something other then to present the truth. And I personally can only think of one alternative motive: $$$


Robert C said...

I'm nearly finished reading the book and maybe have a different perspective from the OP and some others here. I agree with Terrapin's comment that this is a book about Lake's remembrances and experiences, not about the Manson Family and TLB although that's thrown in to the extent it transects to the aforementioned. I also agree with FrankM's alluding how it pinged a little nostalgia for those of us around her age who remember those times.

I was surprised at the quantity of acid tabs ingested and sexual frequency not only in shear number but with multiple partners. Higher than I estimated and led me to believe if these these girls really want to make some serious dinero they should write a learned book on pecker traits & behaviors as well as another on updating LSD scientific standards. That would be well beyond this book which I don't think she'll make a huge killing on because the fruitcake audience like us, while noble in spirit, is comparatively (to world population) small. Otherwise I didn't read much that ripped me out of my seat yelling "lies and damn lies", "cover-ups"' and "omissions". It's not like she was there for every major episode and obviously some of it is passed on as hearsay which she's clear about. But I'm just glad she wrote something.

And incidentally, I can remember most of the 50's onward in great detail but I'm not so sure about what happened yesterday.

Last, interesting how she transcribes her circumstances from irresponsible parents and lack of parental guidance plus roaming free and learning the hard way equals a chance encounter and eventual immersion into the Manson Family which all eventually leads to freedom and finding gawd almighty. Not saying any of that is bad but just fascinating how many if not most following such paths always arrive at the same end. I think Grim might like that ;-) But I'm glad she rode through that hell and ecstasy and came out relatively ok.

FrankM said...

ColScott said...
I do not have the book here on set obviously but I recall towards the end she then claims George nicknamed her and Squeaky. Maybe I mis read


Here's the relevant text, about halfway through the book, with no mention [here] of the name Snake.

Of course, cleaning refrigerators was not the only kind of help Charlie offered him. Surprisingly enough for Lynette and me, not only could George get it up, but he was very interested in both of us. Thankfully Lynette grew fond of George, so my work was mostly dedicated to the housekeeping. In fact, it was George who gave Lynette the nickname Squeaky.
“Aren’t you a cute old man,” she squealed.
Then he gave her a pinch on the ass. He might not have been able to see, but he could still find his way to what he wanted. She let out a squeak and that is how she got her name.


FrankM

Chris Till said...

Lake's is a superb, and imperfect, book. Along with Watkins, they are the only books by folks that were actually there. Just as David/Dreath found inaccuracies in her book, I find inaccuracies in his long post.

For example, he writes, "Lake says Terry Melcher arranged studio time for Manson. My pervious [sic] research revealed no evidence of this, although Jakobson did arrange a lot of studio time."

Apparently, your research has been rather slim because, just as you recommend that her book could have been improved "by a five minute search on Wikipedia," the same criticism could be leveled at your long post. Just go to YouTube and enter "Jerry Cole Manson" for an interview with renowned LA session guitarist Jerry Cole about the Melcher Manson session(s).

Pax vobis

ColScott said...

Says me?

What are you fucking twelve years old?


Snake barely mentions HS in the book as a clear concept. In fact when she goes into Bobby's arrest she almost but not quite starts to blame the copycat motive.

I have forgotten more about TLB that Snake Lake ever knew.

Now go complain to the special ed teacher that I hurt your widdle feelings you jagoff.

penny lane said...

Wow u guys are a sorta famous...i just finished reading the article in The Believer...i found the nugets of information about Max...Deb..etc..as interesting as the Manson stuff...so tell me Matt how was the pizza?..

starviego said...

Chris Till said.
"Along with Watkins, they are the only books by folks that were actually there."

Don't forget the books by Atkins and Watson. Even Charlie(via Nuel Emmons).

David said...

Chris Till said: "Apparently, your research has been rather slim because, just as you recommend that her book could have been improved "by a five minute search on Wikipedia," the same criticism could be leveled at your long post. Just go to YouTube and enter "Jerry Cole Manson" for an interview with renowned LA session guitarist Jerry Cole about the Melcher Manson session(s)."

I pondered how to respond to your comment and decided a knee jerk reaction was the wrong approach.

I, in fact, did listen to Mr. Cole’s interview when I wrote that post a while ago and decided to leave him out. First, he says the ‘hit’ was aimed at Melcher and Lindsey, while most sources say Manson knew Melcher had moved (and stole his telescope). He also says Melcher gave him a 'tape' and told him the ‘chart it up’, which I found interesting as Manson need not be there for that. Then he discusses Manson being ‘creepy’ (meaning Manson was there) and, if I recall correctly, he discusses Manson not appreciating the studio changes. Again, if I recall he goes on to report Melcher saying the recording isn’t saleable. He also seems to place the session at Gold Star, which doesn't fit the time line: summer of '68.

At the time, I decided I would rely on Melcher, under oath, near the time of the events, instead of a memory 40 years later. Here is what Melcher had to say at the trial:

Bugliosi: What did he [Manson] say to you [at Spahn]?
Melcher: Not too much. He expressed a keen desire to record and I asked him a few basic questions; I gave him a few basic suggestions and found out that he wasn't in any union, like the AFL, which is a musician's union, or AFTRA, which is the vocalists' union; and therefore he couldn't really professionally record.
*****
Q: When you heard Mr. Manson play the guitar and sing were you impressed with Mr. Manson as a singer and a guitarist?
A: No, I wasn't.
Q: Did you end up recording Mr. Manson?
A: No, I didn't.
Q: Is the reason you did not do so that you were just not impressed with him?
A: That, and also the previous reasons that I gave, which were that --
THE COURT: He was not a union member?
Melcher: Correct, sir.
Bugliosi: Did you convey the fact that you were not interested in Mr. Manson, did you convey this fact to Mr. Jacobson?
A: Yes, I did.

I found this convincing.

So, Chris, you are correct and I stand corrected: there is some evidence Melcher recorded Manson. It is just not, to me, reliable, which is why I said ‘my research’. I should have said "There is some evidence Melcher arranged a recording session for Manson. However, that evidence is contradicted by Melcher’s testimony at the trial".

Thank you. Facts matter.

Peter said...

There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, For I am armed so strong in honesty That they pass by me as the idle wind, Which I respect not.

penny lane said...

Keh?

Matt said...

I emailed Rachel to ask permission to re-post her article. If she grants permission we'll post it Sunday night. Let's hold off comments on it until then.


FrankM said...

Peter (quoting Shakespeare and Bradbury) writes:

There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind...


Perhaps not the most appropriate quote, Peter. I invite you to contemplate the possibility that as in Fahrenheit 451 the authorial voice quite clearly sides with Montag (the defender of books) rather than book-burner Beatty the words from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar fit far better in Montag’s mouth than Beatty's. This is presumably not what you intended to imply.

FrankM said...

Chris Till said...
Lake's is a superb, and imperfect, book. Along with Watkins, they are the only books by folks that were actually there. Just as David/Dreath found inaccuracies in her book, I find inaccuracies in his long post.


Sorry to point out the inaccuracies in your own post :-) but I seem to remember reading two books by Susan Atkins .. who was very definitely 'actually there'.

No offence intended.

FrankM

FrankM said...

Yes, Chris Till, before you whoop with joy at my blunder I freely admit to my not having processed your post with the attention it deserved. Apologies - this septuagarian is clearly not having his best day.

FrankM

christopher butche said...

Have just received my copy of Neil Sanders Now is the Only Thing That's Real. Looks like a useful reference book. Good bibliography but no index. It also includes the author's email address. From the preface it would appear to be a 500+ page effort to collect together the themes of the three most popular motives possibly behind the murders. The guy is qualified in film studies and psychology so will probably be able to diagnose the pathology of Col Scott. I'm not expecting any great revelations, it's probably a book any of us could put together using the various sources available. Author is not pro Manson but questions the fairness of the trial and the honesty of Bugliosi. A review rather than containing any new primary source material. Published by a pro conspiracy buff so equal weight will be given to CIA MKULTRA I expect. Author when mentioning moon landings adds in (alleged), but not written in oo-ee-oo language. I'm expecting it to be like an expanded The Shadow of Santa Susanna meets the recent Manson File by Schreck

Awaitingmyescapewithlove said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bucpaul2812 said...

christopher butche said...

"Have just received my copy of Neil Sanders Now is the Only Thing That's Real. Looks like a useful reference book..."

Will definitely peruse this tome, in the terms of balance, compare/contrast, etc.

Chris Till said...

All, I stand corrected. Of course, the Atkins and Watson books (and arguably the Emmons book).

Me, I trust Jerry Cole's account of the Manson/Melcher session. Not only did Jerry chart CM's tunes for the Wrecking Crew to record (with, as I recall, drummer Hal Blaine, Larry Knetchel and others), but, after the backing tracks were recorded, CM tracked his vocals. Voila, a classic recording session. Albeit likely a demo session.

What can one say about TM's testimony regarding his professional relationship with CM? Some might say he understated his relationship with CM because he had much to lose. Some, like David, believe he was speaking the truth. Others might see wiggle room in this Q/A:

Q: Did you end up recording Mr. Manson?
A: No, I didn't.

Wiggle room because TM might not have been at the session Jerry Cole describes. It might have just been the Wrecking Crew with an engineer and no producer. Wiggle room because TM had Mike Deasy record CM at TM's suggestion, but TM wasn't present. In 1968, TM ran a small record label called Equinox Records. From what Cole describes, it is not unlikely that TM was auditioning CM for Equinox Records. Or, as David evidently believes, Jerry Cole and Mike Deasy are either lying or misremembering.

starviego said...

In a recording Dianne Lake made with the late Bill Nelson she says Charlie dropped her off to stay with Gary Hinman 'for a while,' after she came back to the Family from the desert. She also says that the Family went to go see the movie "Barbarella," starring Jane Fonda.

My question to anybody who's read her book, did she mention these things?

beauders said...

Christopher butche where did you get the Neil Sanders book, I cannot find it?

DebS said...

Here ya go Beauders

http://neilsandersmindcontrol.com/index.php/2014-01-02-21-10-30

David said...

Starviego,

Hinman: yes

As we sat in the car outside of Gary’s house, Charlie gave me clear instructions. “Snake, you be good to Gary so he will let you stay a while. You can’t be around right now. I have too much to take care of and you don’t listen very good.”

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 4556-4558). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Barbarella: no

starviego said...

David said...
"Hinman: yes
"As we sat in the car outside of Gary’s house..." "

Thanks. Did she give an approximate time for this stay at Gary's? Did she mention anybody else staying at his house at the time?

David said...

Chris Till said: "Or, as David evidently believes, Jerry Cole and Mike Deasy are either lying or misremembering."

I don't think I have ever accused any of the 'witnesses' of lying and frankly take offense to your suggestion.

Everything Mr. Cole said could be 100% accurate. His version conforms to Lake's although not at Wilson's, so maybe she confused the two versus Desper's account of Wilson's. And, as I have said several times, I tend to trust testimony and witness statements closer to the events. A fifty year old memory is not very reliable.

Mr. Cole remembers Melcher being at the session and recording the vocals. FYI

He remembers Lindsey and Melcher moving from Cielo at the same time because an ocelot fell out of a tree.

He remembers Melcher and Lindsey fleeing to a secluded English estate following the murders and calling him several times asking what was up in town (LA).

He remembers Melcher handing him the tape and when he asked "who is it?" Melcher said "I don't know".

He remembers Manson paying for the session complete with four or five studio musicians [Aside: maybe that is where Kasabian's stolen 5k went].

He remembers Melcher telling Manson that Manson would have to pay to produce the album because he couldn't 'sell' it.

Maybe all of this happened. It could have. I acknowledge that possibility. But it is clear that you can't entertain the alternative possibility so there is little point in continuing the discussion.

You can have the last word. I'm out.

PS: video time locations available upon request.

David said...

Startiego,

Timeframe:

When I returned to the Gresham Street house, Charlie didn’t seem all that surprised to see me, but he wasn’t going to let me get my way. This time, though, he didn’t show his anger. Instead he just told me to get into the truck, taking me directly to the house of a man named Gary Hinman.

Lake, Dianne. Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties (Kindle Locations 4547-4549). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

She doesn't give many dates but we know when this was.

David said...

Starviego said: "Did she mention anybody else...."

Sorry missed this....

She says it was just her. There is a very nice bit about her and Gary eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, oreo cookies and chips. Those parts (there are many more) are well worth the price of admission, in fact, they are captivating, if accurate.

But there I go again.

penny lane said...

This was interesting..
True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers in True Crime History and the Authors That Have Written About Them: MEMBER OF THE FAMILY-Dianne Lake http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dan-zupansky1/2017/11/10/member-of-the-family-dianne-lake

Robert C said...

penny lane -- thanks for that link. For those who haven't checked it out, it's a nearly 1.5 hour phone conversation between an interviewer and Dianne Lake. It basically rehashes her book but adds some additional filler, anecdotes and etc. between the lines of her written work. If you like this stuff and have the time it's worth the listen.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

I have not read the book yet.
I think Terrapin probably got it right. The current literary trend is for one to 'tell my story.' Like all the other books in this case, the discrepancies are, I'm sure, annoying, but expected. That the youngest member of the group (and a soulless female, no less) is missing on a fair number of technical points is hardly surprising. I've always been of the opinion that the younger Family members were really in the dark regarding the group's more sinister intentions.
Based on the comments in this thread, the Linda's car thing is the biggest head-scratcher.
Still haven't decided if I'll order this book or not.

beauders said...

Thanks Deb

grimtraveller said...

I'm not a swearing man but at times, my response during the book was "'kin'ell !!"
I found it an absolutely fantastic book.
I also found it a thoroughly frustrating book.
It comes with a number of approaches and I don't think these approaches mix well. They give the book a somewhat lopsided and disjointed feel. It's like the written equivalent of trying to fuse reggae, country & western and heavy metal. With oboes.
There is so much of consequence in the book and I have to keep reminding myself that even though the words of the story are that of an adult, it's really from the memory of a teenager. A teenager whose mind was being progressively expanded to places that a kid's mind isn't really equipped to go. A teenager that can't see the bigger picture nor has been taught to do so or be concerned with the details that make up that bigger picture.
When she relays certain thoughts and events with the mind she had back then, I found myself thinking that I could see why, at times, Charlie got frustrated with her. Many parents would have. Granted, they may not have punched her or broke a chair and beat her with the leg until she was bleeding and bruised, but the same anger that she elicited in him would have occurred in many parents I've known. That Manson didn't know how to nurture a teenager to maturity through their many moods and changes speaks volumes. I'm not at all saying she brought these things on herself because many teens are like she was. It's part of being a teenager and steering teens through that period is one of the most crucial tasks adults have in life per se. But I can see why she pissed him off.
In the other Dianne thread {the one that announced the book and the interviews} I said that I'd be prepared to cut her some slack over some of the inaccuracies but I was really talking about things that were mentioned there like August 5th, Sandy Good, the Wilson bullet and recreating dialogue after 50 years. But there were so many inaccuracies in the book and some of them were far from minor. I found that infuriating because it leads to questions of credibility that I don't really want to be asking.....but have to.
Despite all of that though, there were lots of small details that I wasn't aware of, lots of tremendous thoughts she gives about the Family women {although virtually nothing on Bruce Davis or Clem} and overall, despite some very real concerns about some of the things she says {a minor example being Linda coming with a car and being brought to Spahn by Leslie when we all know it was Gypsy}, I'd rather we had the book and are in a position to sift through the accurate, the "couldn't've happened" and the mind boggling than not.
Along with, but stronger than, Paul Watkins' book, we get perhaps the most in depth look at how the Family gradually and progressively moved to the point at which they ended up; biased yes, but from someone that can at least say they were there.
But you know, as significant as we deem her time in the Family to be, she had been on a damaging trajectory for about 5 or 6 years before she ever heard Squeaky shout out "Dianne is here !"

grimtraveller said...

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

I have not read the book yet.
I think Terrapin probably got it right. The current literary trend is for one to 'tell my story.' Like all the other books in this case, the discrepancies are, I'm sure, annoying, but expected


Like I said to St when he formed conclusions about Simon Davis' book when he hadn't read it, read the book. You may well have a different opinion than Linda bringing her car to Spahn being the biggest head scratcher.

A Dreath of fresh air said...

Do Facts Matter?

Yes, sometimes and maybe. It depends on the facts, how they are being used, and what the user is attempting to convey. For example, the example of Dianne saying Charlie found out about Bobby on August 5th. It is so much part of the record, the story and chronology that Bobby was arrested on the 6th August, that Charlie & Stephanie arrived at Spahn that day then set off for San Diego on the 7th where Charlie picked up a ticket from the cops and the news came through about Bobby so Charlie couldn't have known until the next day when he got back to Spahn with Stephanie, that I can see that '5th' might actually be a typo. If it had said '8th' the rest of her story about Charlie cussing and her not finding out about Gary's death until over a month later makes sense.
But earmarking the 5th isn't a biggie for me. I can see that as a genuine mistake. However, when you start to throw in other 'facts' like the Leslie bringing Linda one, it worryingly points to what appears to be a reoccurring pattern and soon one begins to question all her memories, yet it's obvious that many of them are accurate. But it makes one wonder if she remembered an actual thing or read it somewhere or has been fed it down the years.

David said...

why embellish what was a very good story without the embellishment (and errors) unless the motive was something other then to present the truth. And I personally can only think of one alternative motive: $$$

Strangely, I don't think this simply because someone buying the book won't know what's in it. A number of us have read, are reading or have ordered the book without knowing what's in it and if it had been a bland 'meh' account, we still would have bought it and a few libraries still would have ordered it. After all, it's a book by a former member of Charles Manson's Family. Anyone that's interested will buy it or read it regardless.
Maybe we shouldn't be all that surprised to find questions of motive rearing their heads when dealing with anyone that was in the Family ! πŸ˜‰

grimtraveller said...

Terrapin said...

She isn't trying to be a historian

Perhaps not, but she happens to be commenting on a specific period for which there is so much documented history from so many people, unfortunately some of whom have lied or spun with impunity.
For years though, I've said to people that actually, many of us are living historians just by dint of the time period we've lived in. When I speak to kids or even young adults about some of the things that I've seen or remember, quite a few of them look with amazement. Just telling a schoolchild today about how we used to get caned in school or how every Black kid back in the day was trying to grow an afro or what it was like standing in the middle of a riot or the bizarre scenes in the centre of London the day after Princess Diana died ~ those kind of memories are history. In the same way that meeting people that fought in wars that happened before I was born or in other parts of the world, that was history too.
Memories of the time one has lived in are every bit as valid as the person's contribution to our understanding of hundreds of years ago.

I bet if we all thought back to events that happened when we were teenagers our friends would remember things differently than we do

We all used to remember things differently the next day, let alone 50 years later ! Remembering things differently isn't the problem. Possibly that is far more the norm than lined up standardized recollections. I've generally defended the Cielo killers' accounts and the discrepancies between the 4 because there are plausible reasons why there wouldn't be 4 identical accounts.
I think some things are understandable, like getting some dates wrong. I wouldn't expect times and dates to be bang on to people for whom time wasn't measured the way the rest of us measure it.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

Dianne Snake Lake was no doubt "helped" by other books

I picked that up. I could glean the Watkins and Emmons books in there, not to mention HS. I suspect that she or her ghost writer has had more than a peep into some of the blogs too.

then this super Christian lady describes fondly all the times she got plowed by strangers back in the day in a book her children she wanted to protect will no doubt read

An essential part of being a Christian though is being able to show where you've come from and what Christ has rescued you from if you honestly believe much of your past is something you needed to turn away from. Her logic here was that it's better that her children heard from her the lurid details of her teen years than the press with much of its distortions and inaccuracies. The book came after she'd told her kids and they were grown up by then.
I remember telling one of my kids about my thieving youth and my drug laden past and he was surprised to say the least. There comes a point where it's not wise to hide certain things about oneself from one's kids, especially as they approach or are in that period where they will be faced with happenings that could divert them in one direction or another.

It's up there with the Watkins daughters, two lovely girls, reading about Daddy blowing Charlie

Well, better they heard it from Daddy than some hack covering it with a sleazy angle. It was an important part of Watkins' book in tracing how people in "cults" {as he saw it} do things they wouldn't ordinarily do.

Her book, however, tries to be salacious

I must admit, initially, my eyebrows raised more than usual at how graphic she was. I suppose she could have toned down the sex but then, if you're trying to convey the times that you were shaped in and the things you did, why whitewash it ? Susan Atkins didn't avoid pointing out what an STD immersed slag she was. Little Richard didn't hold back from talking about how he took a guy's giant hardware to the extent he thought everything in the back passage was coming out the front. Steve Jones spares no details of the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his Mum's boyfriend and the local perv. Richard Pryor was more than forthcoming about the abuse he endured at the direction of a child sexual abuser. I think since poems like "Howl" and songs like "Satisfaction" and movies like "Fritz the cat" people have increasingly felt less constricted in talking about sex, whether happily or in its darkness. Even in Christendom with books like "Intended for pleasure" and "Christian, celebrate your sexuality" there's been an increased openness in sexual matters over the past 40 years. While it's true that things have also gone the other way, I think she saw it as an important part of her story, given that Christians are encouraged to be honest and open about where they've come from and about our weaknesses. It rather normalized her.
I'm not so sure it would have been written if her husband was still alive though.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

No one knows anything about the angry black man mentioned by Snake Lake

Who is no one ?
She saw Charlie have an argument with an angry Black guy one day. From this, people were supposed to assume what exactly ? The fact Dianne got the impression and subsequently hinted that it was Lotsapoppa doesn't mean much. By that point she says she was being left on the outside and clearly had little idea of the big shit that was going down. No one saw the argument as significant enough to remember and it comes up for the first time 50 years later.

No one knows anything about the two black dudes talking to Charlie mentioned by Little Paul

Even Paul didn't. Juan Flynn mentioned them to him with no story, no context, no punch line.
So really, this particular event is a bit of a nothing. It's a random line that is like a planet in search of a sun.

No one knows anything about the black 'leaders' the Family reached out to mentioned by Leslie Van Houten

She's the only one that I'm aware of that has ever said such a thing. I've yet to come across or hear of anyone that ever hints at the existence of evidence that the Family were going to Black "leaders" or what they were going with, or that whatever they went with led them to the conclusion that these "leaders" were stalling as Leslie put it.


Do you get the feeling something was deliberately left out of the TLB investigation?

Yes, things that wasted Police time.
By the time Leslie was speaking confidentially with her lawyer, Marvin Part, at the end of 1969, the indicted suspects were all in custody, Susan Atkins had already laid out the framework of what happened, Tex and Pat were fighting extradition and Gary Fleischmann was angling for a deal for Linda.
But as I've said to you before, the Police did look into the Black possible suspect angle.

FrankM said...

Diane Lake mentions Helter Skelter repeatedly

That didn't really surprise me. Even Susan Atkins who tried through 2 autobiographies to deny it as a motive nonetheless speaks about it continuously and it's still significant to me that in the days when she told Virginia Graham about the murders, when she wasn't expecting her telling or the details to go any further, tied the whole shebang neatly together by saying she felt at peace because "I knew that this was just the beginning of HS."
No, it didn't surprise me about what Dianne said, given that she was one of the people that back in '70 had said that Charlie had said that he was going to have to start the revolution by showing blackie how to do it and that he'd said that they "had to be willing to kill pigs in order to help the Black man start HS." But I found it really irritating that she kept using the phrase "race war." That's a very modern way of referring to HS, one that the parole hearing transcripts bear too much witness to. It's a irrational foible of mine ~ when I started reading the transcripts a couple of years back, I found that phrase "race war" to be so annoying. Perhaps it was just the way DDA Sequeira used to say it. I could imagine him saying it and I wasn't exactly his no.1 fan ! But I really noticed the number of times Dianne would use the phrase and because it's been such a rare usage when Family members have spoken of it over the last 48 years, it just grated. It was like when I was a regular at Homerecording.com and people there would speak of "treating your room." It used to drive me up the wall, even though it was good, practical advice. I just hated that phrase !

grimtraveller said...

David said...

is she a reliable source? "Source' as in something we can cite as authority

It depends on what.
She spins what happened with Wavy & Bonnie Jean a particular way but even the way she spins it, I don't think they were wrong and it's not accurate to say they kicked her out.
There are certainly some things that she's beyond unreliable on. But in other matters she seems to actually speaking from memory and not "other book" influenced and I believe her, such as the rape, the pervy photographer, the chair beating at Gresham and non threatening sex with Gary Hinman.
When it comes to the crimes, I actually wasn't expecting anything from her that could in any way change what we already knew and so I would be surprised if I ever came to rely heavily on anything she says in her book that deviates greatly from what she said closer to the time.

Nothing about Charlie-isms or starting HS

The latter is certainly eyebrow raising but not so much the former. Reading much of the dialogue that comes from Clem and Bruce recorded in "Death to pigs" and Clem in the Rolling Stone interview around the same time, it's pretty clear that Charlie's thoughts and words had impregnated the main guys that fled Spahn. And not only the guys. The thing is, I'm not at all confident that Dianne would have particularly noticed this at the time or in the immediate aftermath but with years in between, it might have come to her that more clearly. When Susan Atkins says Gypsy and Mary came to the death cell she was in, her description of their communication comes over as very different to the way it had been and she also remarks on Pat & Leslie breaking away from being "cultish and Family drones" and becoming individuals.

Q: And did he [Manson..] say who was going to start the black-white revolution?
A: He said he was


That was consistent with what she said earlier in 1970. She seems to have been one of the few that remembers this particular twist, along with Juan Flynn, Paul Watkins and Leslie.

Q: Do you remember exactly word for word, what he [Watson] said to you in Olancha in August of 1970—excuse me. ’69?
A: No


Even people with superb memory recall who can't read and/or grew up within oral traditions don't recall conversations or stories they were told word for word or verbatim. Definitely one can recall phrases and pithy, memorable soundbites, but even storytellers will adapt stories they've had handed down through the filter of themselves unless they are reading them.
This case highlights for me the clash of different aspects of accessing memory and which get treated with greater importance, the literal or the gist.
I used to have a teacher at school when I first moved to London called Miss Leadbeater and she was always telling we kids to speak "distinctly." That was her word. I can't remember a single sentence she ever put it in but even though I've not seen or heard anything about her since the summer of 1970, I remember that about her. She was a West Indian Indian {totally unique to me at the time} and being such a twat at 6~7, I thought the word "distinctly" was an Indian word and therefore, I could speak "Indian" {of which there is no such thing}.
Point being, gist and understanding of what is being said is far more relevant than the actual exact order and form of the words. And is also likely to be what is remembered. When Dianne relays what Tex said in the confession, hardly any of it is actually quoted and that which is is intended in the book as a literary device as opposed to a literal reading. She even says it's the gist of what he said and that she was barely listening. One of the bits I find interesting is that unlike Linda who says she changed her mind about Charlie at Cielo, Dianne says she still felt loyalty to him.

grimtraveller said...

FrankM said...

I too noted the inconsistency of the language, caused in part by copying almost verbatim chunks of texts from elsewhere which mishmash badly with her own clumsy style

I recently read "Desert Shadows" by Bob Murphy, who was one of the rangers that took part in the round up of the Family at Barker and his book is like that. Apart from maybe two chapters {and they're good} the rest of it is just HS rewritten without the plethora of detail. It's kind of like the Sergeant Pepper reprise !
I did like Dianne's writing style when it was just her though.

ColScott said...

It would not have been hard to be better

I agree. There are questions that I'd like to ask her that supersede anything I'd ask her about actual events from '67~'70.

She claims George Spahn gave her her nickname. Uh huh

That's a bit of irony for you. Nowhere close to 50 years and the memory is already inaccurate ! Charlie gave her the name and George gave Squeaky and Ouisch theirs. But the naming of Lynn & Ruth Ann by George is old news that can be found in a few places although there are also alternative tales about Ouisch.

The problem I have with the book is she rambles and sometimes mentions something interesting then goes no where with it

The stay at Gary's place was bit like that. It does happen in a few places. That's what you call heavy metal editing !

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

She out of nowhere describes Gary as "effeminate." Is that a code word for gay? I don't believe he was but maybe

8 words after describing him as "effeminate", she says she'd always thought he might be gay. In Atkins' 1st book she states "he was a homosexual who was attracted to Charlie and Bobby." In her 2nd one she says "It may also have been possible that Manson insinuated Bobby didn’t have the guts to kill Gary because Bobby was homosexually attracted to him. Perhaps Manson baited Bobby with this as well" while Virginia Graham in her Nov '69 chat with the cops, before she knew Gary's name, talking about the Hinman murder she describes Bobby and him thus: "this boy took his car, this man's car or something. The man was homosexual. She told me that this fellow was gay." And 2 weeks before this, at Bobby's 1st trial;
MR. SALTER: It is my understanding she is going to testify that Mr. Beausoleil said he was going to get some money from, I think, a rich fag or some kind of a fag or something to that effect.

JUDGE: A what?

MR.S: A rich fag. Now, unless the People intend, first of all, to show some type of evidence that this man was considered a fag, either by Mr. Beausoleil or by her or by some other manner, it doesn't pin this down at all to the victim in this case, Gary Hinman....It is a highly prejudicial statement. If it is not material, it should not be entered unless the People intend to in some way show that the reference to a rich fag is meant to be Gary Hinman. This could show another activity by Mr. Beausoleil as to some other individual, and there is no way that I know that the People are going to be able to show that either Mr. Beausoleil thought this Gary Hinman was a rich fag, or Katharine Lutesinger thought he was a rich fag, or that he even had a reputation for being a rich fag or any kind of a fag."

Later on when his boss Glenn Krell was on the stand:
Q: Let me ask you this: I don't mean to be impertinent about it, but would Mr. Hinman have given the impression of what is commonly known as a homosexual or a fag?

MR.S: Objection.

J: I will sustain the objection.

Q: Would you describe the appearance of Mr. Hinman for us?

J: I think you can reach it more directly in this manner: Was there anything about him that gave you any indication that he had any homosexual tendencies?

KRELL: To someone who did not know him well, he was soft spoken and gentle, but he was a man. He had been married & divorced, had girl friends, and to my knowledge was chanting for reconciliation with his wife.

BY MR. ROSS:

Q: Now, let's say that you know him quite well; is that correct?

A: That is right.

Q: To a person who did not know him as well as you knew him, would he have given the outward appearance of being a homosexual?

MR.S: Your Honor, this is going for very personal opinions.

J: Yes, and I am going to sustain the objection.

BY MR. ROSS:

Q: Would you describe, then, his outward appearance as to other people who might know him?

A: He was gentle. He was kind. He was very firm, and I believe he would have stood by his convictions to the point of death, and he had very firm political beliefs. He was left at the center; however, he believed very firmly in the Buddhist principal of bringing about change in the establishment, within the establishment, without

MR.S: I think these are all conclusions as to what his political beliefs are.

J: I think they are merely observations of what he thought of the guy.

MR.S: Which is immaterial as to what he thought.

J: Are you making a motion?

MR.S: Yes, to strike.

J: The motion will be denied.

THE WITNESS: He believed in..

MR.S: I object to anything further.

J: There is no question pending. Sustained. Let's come back to the basic question here. I take it there is nothing that you knew about him that gave you an indication that he was a homosexual?

THE WITNESS: That is correct.

grimtraveller said...

FrankM said...

With regard to all the sexual detail, I think she may be using sex to promote the book

It seems really old hat in 2017 for adults to buy a book just because there's sex and descriptions of sex in it. What kind of sad voyeurs are we !? πŸ˜†
Frankly, I'd buy a book written by any of the verifiable Family members, even if Cathy Gillies' one turned out to be full of dumpster veg recipes.

Or it may just be that sex was important to her at the time and she wants to recreate the mood

I think both of these are true. If you want to know something about a particular time in a person's life and it turns out they were having a lot of sex and taking a lot of drugs and kind of ended up suffering because of both, it would be kind of odd if that person never talks about it as part of that life. It would be like Tex writing about Cielo and Waverley and just saying "I waved my knife at a few people back there" then going on to talk about proposing to Kristen.

ColScott said...

but I recall towards the end she then claims George nicknamed her and Squeaky. Maybe I misread

Maybe you did. Tis easily done. πŸ˜‰

Book has no index FFS

As I get older, for the first time in my life I'm really truly an appreciator of indexes and I particularly notice now, books that don't have them. The first time it ever irked me was only 2 years ago with William Zamora's "Trial by your peers." I've just started Joe Boyd's "White bicycles" and the first thing I noticed is that it has one. πŸ‘

brownrice said...

The thing that I have problems figuring out is how much she wrote and how much her ghost-writer did. I can well imagine a professional ghost-writer actively encouraging her to include events & conversations she doesn't remember because they've been "documented" so often since

This is probably my biggest frustration with the book. And I guess it's easy for me to say "why didn't she just refuse ?" But the funny thing is that it's some of the things that have been so well documented that are actually inaccurate.

Quite possibly in pairing her with her ghost-writer, but also in wanting more sex, more helter skelter and at least the bare bones of the official narrative

Even the copycat and drug burn carry some bare bones of the official narrative. What's fascinating here are the departures from it in Dianne's book.
That said, "the official narrative" has kind of come to morph two things, the actual overall story and the specific happenings of the murders.

Or conversely so brainwashed by 50 years of mass media, general opinion & popular myth

That, of course, would assume that she'd religiously kept up with every little Manson related item of news she could get her hands or eyes on. When Scotty says
I have forgotten more about TLB than Snake Lake ever knew
it's not as wild a claim as it may seem on first reading. Many of us would know more about WW2 than some of the people that fought in it and just got on with their lives afterwards. Someone from Venezuela that's looked extensively into Watergate would know far more about it than the average American that lived through it, watched it on the news then moved on with Ford, Carter & Reagan.
Much of the USA and well beyond was aware of and had an interest in the Tate/LaBianca murders long before Dianne Lake was !

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

Many people knew about a philosophy Charlie espoused called HS. It was part of his rap. It sounded cool. It was his thing.
It was not a coherent "whole"- that was part of the evil Bug did


Maybe not to you. But then, one could say that about a number of strands within the counterculture. But it was coherent to those to whom it was coherent. HS cracked under the weight of its own weakness ~ it simply wasn't real, it "didn't have God on its side" {no pun intended} and its believers foundation was primarily drug induced. It's interesting contrasting HS with the moves made over the last 20 or so years by Al Queda and IS. The major difference is where real belief, belief that is prepared to go right to the end, resides. The men and women that have taken up the hard line Islamic cause believe and aren't afraid to die or at least if they are afraid, they're prepared to die. And they are organized. A relatively tiny number has taken on and had on the ropes most of the major powers of the current world and have grown from similar numbers to the Family. But they don't make any more sense to the majority than HS did. The Family believed, without a doubt, but as a total unit they were in too different a place to each other. One of the most enlightening features of HS is the total lack of suffering that was to befall the Family. History alone could have taught them that no revolution ever came so easily.
It was still pretty coherent though. Watkins, Poston and Van Houten had a solid grasp of it.

Robert C said...

And incidentally, I can remember most of the 50's onward in great detail but I'm not so sure about what happened yesterday

For about 8 years I used to visit old people in an old peoples home {a couple of them hit 100 while there} and many of them were just like that. Some couldn't remember what they'd had for lunch that day even though it was only 5~6 hours previous, but could recall with clarity certain afternoons and their happenings from world war one. There was a woman I remember in her late 90s, she would regale me with tales about her life with her husband and how she stopped going dancing because he wasn't into it and other things. But she didn't ever have a clue what day or year it was.

Chris Till said...

Lake's is a superb, and imperfect, book

For all my criticisms I have to agree. I love the book. Some of the details in it are, for me, stunning. She's really honest about herself and I like and respect the fact that she doesn't try to make herself out to be more important than she actually was. I was actually surprised to learn that she was marginalized by the end of 1968. And there were also a number of unintentionally funny parts such as when Charlie tells Dianne, regarding Paul Watkins, to "fuck him good !" I could just imagine him donning on his pimpy persona and saying that. Almost a comedy show dialogue were it not for the underlying intent and means used to get what he wanted.


David said...

Grim,

I don't disagree with most of what you are saying and maybe you will get to it but what triggered this post is the group confession scene that not only does she 'remember' but forms the basis of her belief Atkins stabbed Tate (despite, as she notes, what has been written since [put aside the fact the physical evidence says Atkins did not]). She is emphatic. That same event caused her 'emotional disengagement' from Krenwinkel, forever.

How is that description, that alleged event (which would have put her ahead of Kasabian on the witness list had it happened) any different then those who sometimes post here and claim to be 'somebody' but usually forget to check the 'Deemers List' and misspell their own name.

How is that more then an 'attention grab'?

LVH is up for parole, in fact granted. This certainly won't help if the book gets traction. I don't care if someone opposes parole for any of them. I care that they make up facts and use them to reach conclusions. And if she did, how can we conclude.....

"....she a reliable source? "Source' as in something we can cite as authority..."

How can we conclude she is 'canon' about this or that if she made that up, without a footnote (1. "if accurate").

Perhaps it is the lawyer in me. But remember:

"However, if you decide that a witness did not tell the truth about something important, you may choose not to believe anything that witness said."

What in her book is more important than hearing a confession from three of the four 'girls'?

Again, something she, apparently, declined to tell VB, police, her foster parent and the jury.

Rob King said...

I am not supposed to post here but I thought maybe just this one observation....
It is not possible for me to care less what Col Blowhard or the vaunted Saint etc think of Diana's book.Though I am always curious to read what folks like Grim and Brown rice and Frank have to say.
But what I am intensely curious to learn is what Gypsy and Cappy and Sandy might have to say. Or how about Clem. You have to figure they heard of it.
I should scroll up but has George S given an opinion?
Does anyone know if either Patty or Leslie would be allowed a copy? Or how about Manson himself? What a trip that would be...a review by Charlie.
I have never been able to figure this out...does anyone on this blog actually have a connection to a Famiily member? Does cielodrive?

grimtraveller said...

David said...

what triggered this post is the group confession scene that not only does she 'remember' but forms the basis of her belief Atkins stabbed Tate (despite, as she notes, what has been written since [put aside the fact the physical evidence says Atkins did not]). She is emphatic. That same event caused her 'emotional disengagement' from Krenwinkel, forever

Without a doubt, it's one of the biggies. If there's one thing I'd like to ask her it's why she didn't mention this at the time. I'm not beyond seeing that at the time she simply may have had no recollection of it and later did. I know that could sound ropey but it does happen. It's happened to me on occasion. And she did say she was coming undone within herself in this period. With Pat, she definitely recalled her saying she'd dragged Abigail to the front room and perhaps that, as well as the fingerprint and Linda sealed in her mind that this was all the prosecution needed. After all, that description does precisely what saying Pat confessing stabbing did. But it is also socially and emotionally problematic because as you point out, she links it then to her estrangement from Pat and confirmation of what she'd always thought of Leslie & Susan. I just wonder if she was conflating the Willow Springs conversation with what she's seen of the penalty phase transcripts because, I suspect, they are the one place where Pat claims she carved WAR on Leno and where Susan publicly claimed to stab Sharon. She never ever claimed that she did so in public except there. Not even in that hopeless book "The killing of Sharon Tate." A conversation obviously took place with the women about the murders because we know that back in '70 Dianne gave info to the police about Pat & Leslie. And even back then, Dianne, when remarking about the LaBianca boat, said she couldn't remember if she was told about it or if she read about it in the Papers although she remembers Leslie describing it {which has long struck me as odd}.
It's reminiscent of one of John Lennon's last interviews where he claims he wrote most of the lyrics to Eleanor Rigby {though to be fair, in '70 he claimed he wrote at least half of it} even though his mate that was there at the time says it's rubbish and Paul McCartney vehemently denies it. But Lennon goes into deep detail on how McCartney tossed the finished first verse to their roadie and told him to "finish these up" to which Lennon took great umbrage. But in Lennon's tale, he remembers George Harrison being there and contributing some of the lyric....and Lennon's mate said it was written with all 4 contributing words and lines.
The reason I bring that up is that Lennon's memory was shot by excessive acid usage and while he remembered details of things, he didn't necessarily apply them to the right incidents and did quite a bit of conflating. Maybe Dianne did something similar. What's really disturbing is that she comments that Susan both admitted and denied stabbing Sharon but she doesn't contextualize the two times she admitted it ~ to cellmates that she didn't expect to tell anyone and in the penalty phase when saving Charlie {and by extension, her son, as Charlie allegedly threatened to harm him} was the game plan~ and goes on to say that even though Tex admitted it from at least his trial and has remained with it for 46 years, even going out of his way to state Susan bragged about it as an attention seeking thing not because it was what she did, Dianne says even that won't convince her Susan didn't do it, even though she admits that it's shrouded in controversy and that Susan was always trying to get attention.
In some ways, Dianne has seriously muddied the waters, even breathing some life into the copycat without actually going there, not seemingly realizing what it means to have done that.

grimtraveller said...

Rob King said...

But what I am intensely curious to learn is what Gypsy and Cappy and Sandy might have to say. Or how about Clem. You have to figure they heard of it

Would you be interested in a book written by someone you went to high school with but hadn't seen for 47 years about those days ?
I can't say I would. I hate running into people I was friends with 30 years ago but whom I haven't seen or heard from or wanted to contact since. Whatever curiosity may have run through my mind, long gone are the days when I would have been ready to actively do something about it.

David said...

What in her book is more important than hearing a confession from three of the four 'girls'?

Answering honestly, quite a few things.
I didn't really expect to hear anything new as such about the crimes and despite what she's said, it hasn't really changed what I already know. Paul Watkins in his book 40 years ago already states that Atkins "butchered Sharon Tate and her unborn child." But there were lots of things I didn't know which give a more rounded picture. As interesting as all the Family stuff was, I found her actual family history to be spellbinding, a real headshaker.
I guess my interest in the overall history {which includes many specific peoples' histories} almost dictates that I'd find more of importance in the book than whether or not the three women confessed their part in the crimes to Dianne.
It's worth also noting that that very Willow Springs period that Dianne talks about, Paul Watkins characterizes her in his book as looking insane and glassy eyed which basically means he thought she was gone clear.
Which is not to minimize the problems that come with the supposed revelations. That's partly why I dig the book. There's so much of consequence there however one looks at it.

grimtraveller said...

Back in 1993, I took a group of kids to the Cadburys chocolate factory in Birmingham and on the way home, they wanted to stop at a MacDonalds. I used to have a rule where I wouldn't let them eat in the minibus so I said they'd have to eat outside. While they were doing this, I parked up and waited for 13 kids to eat while I chatted with my colleague. From where I parked, I happened to glance in my driver side mirror and way back in the distance I saw this chain link fence on a small wall. Something about it made me look as closely as I could and suddenly, in my mind's eye, I had this picture of a child running through a field with their arms in the air.
It was so weird.
But I kept trying to look in the mirror at the fence on the wall, through the traffic and when the kids were all finished, I said that I just wanted to go and look at it. Everyone groaned because we had a 106 mile journey home and going there meant I'd be going the opposite way up a dual carriageway from which I couldn't turn back for a while. To make things worse, I couldn't access the fence and had to go around a load of roads to come back to where I gauged it to be. It was seriously pissing everyone off but I said, look, I'm the only one that can drive here ~ indulge me !
Eventually I found it and I couldn't believe it ~ it was my first school. I'd started there in Jan '68, right around the time Dianne was getting to know the Family. I should have started there in Sept '67 so by the time I did, I was a scared shy kid. It was a long time before I made friends and I used to wander around both playgrounds ~ one of which was a grassy one. The big boys used to play football on it and I, at 5, used to just run all over their pitch with my eyes closed and my arms raised, as if I was celebrating scoring a goal. I remembered that when I saw the school entrance and the fence & wall I'd seen surrounded a grass field.
I'd left Birmingham in '69 and I'd only been to see the school once since, one dark night in Feb '77 and even then we'd come from a totally different direction. I don't ever recall thinking about running in the field prior to the day in '93 and because the area had been rebuilt since I lived around there, it was pretty much a different place. I'd never driven in Birmingham before that day. Yet, being parked in a burger joint quarter of a mile down the road from the school and seeing it but not realizing what it was led me to explore which led to discovering what it was which led to a very clear memory of something that happened 25 years previous that as far as I recall, I'd not thought of before.
Memory can be a strange thing. Some of what Dianne says is without a doubt questionable, but there could be reasons why something came back that she may not have remembered closer to the time.

David said...

Grim,

Allow me to give you a little bit of information which may add some small piece of context to what I have been saying, a little basic lawyering.

Once Dianne mentions Van Houten's confession the very next question Bugliosi would ask is: "Was anyone else there at the time?" Then, if she equivocated ,he likely would have run through names, just like he did with witnesses at the trial: Katie? Squeaky? Sandy? etc.

Why? He would be looking for corroboration and an independent third party to confirm the confession. We all do that: who else saw or heard that? Do remember anyone being there? Were people in the area? I once had a law school professor refer to it as wearing a 'belt and suspenders'.

So to me, since I know that second question would have been asked and driven home (unless Bugliosi was also acid soaked) there are (IMO) really only two explanations (1.) it didn't happen or (2.) she chose at the time to leave Krenwinkel and Atkins out of her tale and threw Van Houten under the bus.

Grim said David said: "What in her book is more important than hearing a confession from three of the four 'girls'?"

I meant what is more important that she mentions about her knowledge of the crimes. Otherwise I agree with you.*



* assuming the rest is accurate.

Rob King said...

Seriously Grim...you really want to compare Spahn. and Barker and TLB to our high school experience. That is like comparing being in the Battle of Gettysburg to participating in one of my old neighborhood snowball battles.
What Diane and her fellow Family members went through together shaped their lives (yes, for the most part) in ways we can barely imagine.
And yes...if a girl I went to high school with fell in love at age 14 with the most infamously evil man this side of Adolph and wrote a book about it I would damn sure want to read it.
You seem to want to assert that in the context of human nature it would be perfectly "normal" and reasonable for Kitty and Clem and Tex Et all to have zero interest in Diana's recollections and reflections.
I simply could not disagree more.
I think it would be psychologically highly abnormal for them to have no interest.

By the way...a great TV interview would be Chelsea Handler interviewing Diane and Elizabeth Smart at the same time. Not same stories obviously but similar enough in the brainwashing area to have made a good discussion.

grimtraveller said...

Rob King said...

Seriously Grim...you really want to compare Spahn and Barker and TLB to our high school experience

Well.....in a manner of speaking, yes.
If you were a child in a war zone like many are today that have seen soldiers rape their Mums, sisters, aunties, neighbours {if not them themselves} and shoot people they've known and see bombs blitz people and buildings to pieces and have to flee hundreds of miles on foot or by boats that have so many people on that it may sink at any moment and sometimes has, then yeah, TLB, Barker and Spahn compares. It compares even if you didn't go through any of that.
My point was, however, more to do with assumption. We're obviously different in that dept but I didn't assume that which is why I asked you if you'd be interested. I personally wouldn't.

That is like comparing being in the Battle of Gettysburg to participating in one of my old neighborhood snowball battles

That could depend very seriously on the neighbourhood that you grew up in !

What Diane and her fellow Family members went through together shaped their lives (yes, for the most part) in ways we can barely imagine

I could say that about hundreds of people that I know or have known and thousands that I haven't known but have read about or seen documentaries about.
I could say that about myself.

And yes...if a girl I went to high school with fell in love at age 14 with the most infamously evil man this side of Adolph and wrote a book about it I would damn sure want to read it

Of course, you say that from a particular context ¬> the context of a case and adjoining characters that you have followed, thought about, analyzed and debated and discussed for decades.
Her book could be seen as essentially the memories of a teenager. Even people that knew her in that time might not be in the slightest bit interested. And many might be.

You seem to want to assert that in the context of human nature it would be perfectly "normal" and reasonable for Kitty and Clem and Tex Et all to have zero interest in Diana's recollections and reflections.
I simply could not disagree more


I'm not wanting to assert anything. For all we know, some of them might fight {and have been doing so} tooth, fang and claw to avoid anything to do with that past. I don't think it is either normal or abnormal to have no interest in Dianne's reflections. People happen to be different. Is it unusual for a former band member or cast member of a show to want no part of any reunions or documentaries someone is making or a book someone is writing about their time in that band/cast ? It happens. People move on. They put the past behind them.

I think it would be psychologically highly abnormal for them to have no interest

That's because you do have an interest.
Now, in saying all of that, I wouldn't be at all surprised if some or all of those still alive were curious about what Dianne had to say even if they haven't seen her since before Watergate. But I don't assume it. Some of them may barely remember her as being anything more than a kid that they had to tolerate because Charlie had a penchant for jailbait. In my experience people in their late teens and early 20s can be among the most intolerant of those in puberty. Dianne never became an adult with the Family and even Paul who was fairly close to her in age and really had a thing for her eventually began to see her as insane.
Some of them may see it as a period that they passed through that almost half a century on carries no more significance than any other, certainly not to be elevated the way it would seem that we do because of our interest.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

So to me, since I know that second question would have been asked and driven home (unless Bugliosi was also acid soaked) there are (IMO) really only two explanations (1.) it didn't happen or (2.) she chose at the time to leave Krenwinkel and Atkins out of her tale and threw Van Houten under the bus

Dianne comes across in the book as being an intelligent and as brownrice pointed out, self aware woman. So I'm finding it really hard to fathom how she ignored or did not think about or was not reminded that one of the major things she would be picked up on would be her saying that Pat and Susan confessed to murder, actually stabbing people, when they pleaded 'not guilty.' And that she neglected to mention this to Sartuchi, Gardiner or Bugliosi.
That's astronomical.
But it need not have been if she explained why the change. I can think of reasons why {I've mentioned a couple} but what I think is irrelevant here. If we have to placed in the position where we have to start thinking deeply {or maybe not even deeply !} about something like this then that alone tells us that something isn't at all right here.
The two explanations you've given are logical and without some kind of explanation on her part, hard to argue against. The conclusions aren't pretty; if it didn't actually happen then one can't give her any slack as far as I'm concerned because it makes her a liar. On the other hand, the desire to throw Leslie under the bus, especially not offering anything in mitigation in the memoir is equally bad. It does however beg the question, why Leslie and not Susan ? She doesn't say anything particularly negative about Leslie whereas she does quite a few times about Susan.
I'm actually really intrigued about this ! How could she not see that someone would notice ?

Pax Vobiscum said...

Lake does not describe an invasion of Dennis Wilson’s home while he is absent after picking up Krenwinkel and Bailey. Manson does not bend down and kiss Wilson’s feet in the driveway. Instead, Wilson first meets Manson at Spahn Ranch where they rap and Manson plays guitar. This contradicts every source I am aware of

To be fair, her rendition is in keeping with the mystery surrounding what did actually happen. Wilson is the one that spoke about picking up Pat & Ella twice. In the Emmons book Manson "says" he met him in Frisco, buying dope and he had an invite to look him up as well as an invite to stay. Shreck reckons Beach boy associates say Dennis admitted meeting him at Gary Hinman's house.
I was going to say if Dennis did pick up Pat & Ella, even if he took them to his house the 2nd time, on both occasions wouldn't he eventually have dropped them off at Spahn ? After all, he did pick them up and that is where they were heading.
But I do get the feeling that this is one those areas that indicates that Dianne has absorbed the Emmons book and is perhaps conflating some of what she's read with an incident that happened, just not one that comes after the first meeting.

David said...

Grim said: "But I do get the feeling that this is one those areas that indicates that Dianne has absorbed the Emmons book and is perhaps conflating some of what she's read with an incident that happened, just not one that comes after the first meeting."

Oh, the problems with eye witness memory and the impact of memory conformity.

Grim said: "I'm actually really intrigued about this ! How could she not see that someone would notice ?"

Either she assumed she wouldn't ever engage with people who know the facts ('us') or she couldn't.

After writing that comment I realized there is, however, an Option #3:

(3.) Dianne didn't write that. Her ghost writer did.

But that should give us perhaps an even higher level of concern regarding the accuracy of everything else in the book.


grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum said...

What happened to Steven Parent? I searched my Kindle addition and was unable to find his name anywhere in her book. Why...didn't she mention him?
I think the answer also lies in why the official ‘label’ applied to the Cielo Drive murders became the ‘Tate Murders’.
In my opinion the crime became the Tate/LaBianca murders and filled the courtroom with press for the same reason Lake omits even Steven's name: celebrity sells. Who cares about a kid from El Monte when we have a celebrity hair stylist, an actress, an heiress and her lover


Today, even on the BBC newsfeed giving the story of Charlie's death, Steven Parent was conspicuous by his lack of a name {he was in "The Myth Of Helter Skelter too}. Everyone else was mentioned, even Shorty and Gary Hinman. Steven was just one of the victims. That's the press. Fortunately on these pages and others, people are actually people, not just adjuncts.