Monday, November 27, 2017

The Family Man

THE FAMILY MAN IS GONE

By Terry Ott

So, Charlie Manson is no longer with us, but is the age and mythology of Helter Skelter dead as well?

The mainstream media Manson death watch and good riddance over the past 72 hours might tend to indicate that what former Los Angeles assistant district attorney Vincent T. Bulgliosi wrought back in 1974 with what became the biggest selling true crime book of all time at 7 million copies shifted, will survive the death of the "cult leader."

Bugliosi's Helter Skelter, subtitled The True Story Of The Manson Murders absolutely enthralled millions of readers, attracted by the fact-stuffed and insider nature of the text. And seeing that it was Vince T who presented the state's case and won death penalty verdicts for Manson and seven members of his "Family," what later became a sometimes mythological narrative constructed by Bugliosi in Helter Skelter would still seem to have book shelf life as you can bet that many more copies of the book will be purchased in the next three months or so. When one LA detective at the murder scene of Sharon Tate, Abigal Folger, Voytek Frykowski, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent described the crime as "a weird homicide," he most likely never knew how prescient he would be. And "weird," surely still sells.

Bugliosi, and Manson authors who have followed him have all pounded out the same basic narrative of what became known at the "Manson Murders" and the alluring but eventual toxic cocktail of Hollywood decadence and pop/counter culture accoutrements, specifically, the music of the Beatles  found on The White Album (The Beatles), released almost a year before the murders in November, 1968 and offered by Vince T as the "blueprint" for the Manson slayings as well as a weirdly believable thread to tie the whole mess to what Bugliosi claimed was Charlie's Helter Skelter world tour.

And when during the Easter Week of April 1976 the TV version of Helter Skelter appeared with an amazing doppelganger performance by Steve Railsback as Charlie, it is said the two part pyscho/horror-drama became the largest watched TV movie of all time-or at least at that time. Watch for this 4 hour television drama to reappear as well as a new interest in the Beatles' White Album music by those perhaps too young to have have been previously seduced by some of its more spooky and raucous and coincidental tracks threading to the Manson Family experience.

On the 30th anniversary of the of the murders, I wrote a retrospective for the National Post asking the question of what still drives the Charlie Manson murder mystique and I got some interesting answers.

Political science professor Henry Jacek of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario had the interesting observation that Manson "taps into what I think is a very important part of American culture: a pure manifestation of revolt against state and social authority, which is a common theme about American culture."

As for Manson's continuing media attraction, even tabloid whoring, I had also asked the question, has any other mass murderer been rock 'n' rolled like Charles Manson?

Jacek said: "I think the media are fascinated with anyone who has a personality and is articulate. The fact that Manson is intelligent makes him interesting. An unintelligent murderer is of much less interest that an intelligent one."Also featured in the story was Dr. Clara Livesy, author of The Manson Women. She wrote: "I was confused by the picture of him I was getting from others and from reading about him. he was, I heard repeatedly, mentally ill and deteriorating. Or still endowed with evil powers, ready to influence his alleged followers. These generalizations did not satisfy my curiosity because they did not explain anything."

Then, and now, the word "evil" gets thrown around a lot when describing Manson. The Satan too, as evidenced by a recent front page in the New York Daily News.



Or as Don Mclean once sang, "Helter Skelter in a summer swelter...cause fire is the devil's only friend," and Manson certainly at times embraced that notion that he was a modern day devil, if not the anti-christ. But then again, Charlie was always good at selling a story...

But for those that do not subscribe to the idea of evil, or devils and demons and slaves of Satan etc., but rather look at pyscho/sociopaths and mental illness and even timing and randomness and drugs and sex, the saga of Charles Manson and his crimes take on a slightly different aura, as evidenced by the voluminous and intuitive renderings on the Manson case by the contributors and operators of The Manson Blog.

The (still) imprisoned former Family members Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and Bruce Davis have surely come to understand that Charlie was but a conduit of the crazy times rather than the owner of the powers claimed him by Bugliosi and the larger media.

Van Houten and Davis have been granted parole but are still stuck in the joint, now going on 48 years, due to the governor of California's calculated political gambit. Perhaps that gambit will slowly dissolve now that a new post-Manson dynamic is in place.

So, with the "intelligent murderer" now departed at age 83 said to be "eaten alive" with cancer, again, the central question becomes what becomes of the Helter Skelter motive mythology.

Just because Bugliosi was able to win convictions against Manson and other Family members using a Helter Skelter motive presentation and score an after-law career bonanza with Helter Skelter does not necessarily mean that it will survive further scrutiny and revisionism.

Besides saying that "no sense makes sense," Charlie also claimed that the real motive for the Tate/Labianca slayings would never be known. Perhaps now that the head of the Family is mortally gonzo that prediction will prove true. But perhaps not.

Perhaps another look at the circumstances around the murders will at the very least modify the enduring template of Helter Skelter. Ironically, and even counter-intuitively, probably the best thing that ever happened to Manson was Vincent T and his 1974 and on Helter Skelter circus. Vince made Charlie into an international superstar, a happening that even Manson himself noted when he chided news-hounds and others that they were just as much responsible for the horror by continually perpetuating and re-enforcing it, especially the narrative of Beatles music motives and race war and paradise underground in Death Valley. Sexy stuff for sure yet, palpable nonsense or truth is stranger than fiction?

After Manson and the girls' death sentences were commuted in 1972 it is even money that the saga of the Family and its leader were destined to become but grisly footnotes to most until Bugliosi achieved a cultural sensation with Helter Skelter and perhaps to some degree re-wrote if not reinterpreted actual history.

And yet the bizarre trial and Bugliosi's Manson pulp blockbuster produced this continually repeated denial uttered by Manson at trial: "Mr. and Mrs. America-you are wrong. I am not the King of the Jews nor am I a hippie cult leader. I am what you have made of me and the mad dog devil killer fiend leper is a reflection of your society."

If anything could be said to be "good" about the life and times of Charles Manson et al, it may be that regardless of what was advertised as "the true story of the Manson murders," the "real"and accurate story is yet to be fully told.

Terry Ott is a Canadian journalist who has followed the Manson case since 1969.
He can be reached at terryott55@gmail.com



76 comments:

brownrice said...

Excellent rave.

Robert C said...

Well, I'm not sure the author really said anything other than his last sentence obscurely suggesting the truth is yet to be uncovered. I was wondering if he got paid to write this article seeing how he seems to be denigrating Bugs and anyone else who has made money on the murders. He seems to be trying to make this into an X-Files case (the truth is still out there). Well, I think I can handle more truth ;-)

ColScott said...

Bugs is denigrated because he was a liar, perjurer, woman beater and violator of his office.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

With Charlie gone, I think we are seeing the last wave of facination with the TLB case. If someone wasn't roped-in by now, they never will be. After this next six month period, the story will slowly, but steadily fade into something akin to ancient history. Just as well. If someone isn't going to come forward with the goods regarding true motive, there isn't anything left to hang onto ... and retreading the old story is just boring now. This story has used up so much oxygen .... there isn't anymore left. Time to fade away.

771c3ed2-d3df-11e7-9f01-83ea2a90602e said...

I don't think you're right.

grimtraveller said...

I wonder if I can prove that Terry nicked my rendering of Bugliosi as "Vincent T" ?
Oh well, probably not !

Terry Ott said...

but is the age and mythology of Helter Skelter dead as well?

Some major fine minds have spent a lot of time and trouble since 1971 trying to put HS to death and bury it as effectively as Shorty, a number of great books have been written, a number of superb blogs have sprung up and tons of brilliant writing been done in order to render HS as mythology and obsolete. Thus far all have failed. Charlie being dead is hardly going to change that.
The boy has cried wolf too often.

Helter Skelter would still seem to have book shelf life as you can bet that many more copies of the book will be purchased in the next three months or so

I'm not so sure that this will really be the case. For one thing, it's a flaming long book. I think it had its day a long time ago.

Bugliosi, and Manson authors who have followed him have all pounded out the same basic narrative of what became known at the "Manson Murders" and the alluring but eventual toxic cocktail of Hollywood decadence and pop/counter culture accoutrements, specifically, the music of the Beatles found on The White Album

I wonder what he means by "pounded out the same basic narrative" because if he means all write along the same lines, he certainly hasn't read books like "The Manson Women," "Death to pigs," "Crucified - The railroading of Charles Manson," "Myth & reality of an outlaw shaman," "False Proffit: From garbage dump to guru" or "Goodbye Helter Skelter" or even Emmons' book.
One thing that is obvious to anyone that wants to be fair is that there is a fair spread of Charles Manson and Manson related material. The stuff on the HS side of the river may be more numerically, but quite a bit of it is fluffy, whereas the books {and blogs/bloggers} that
articulate the opposing views are, pound for pound, of much higher quality in many many ways.

The other thing here is of great irony; Charlie himself over the years was one of the foremost pushers of the "alluring but eventual toxic cocktail of Hollywood decadence and pop/counter culture accoutrements, specifically, the music of the Beatles found on The White Album" in things he said. As early as 1970 he was pontificating about the Beatles' White album and the apocalypse to Rolling Stone and explaining about the bottomless pit during his trial {which interestingly, Bugliosi & Gentry never mention in their book}, telling Vincent T that "LSD and the Beatles music" was responsible for the murders.
But it's not just authors that followed Bugliosi in pointing out what became the basic ingredients of the story. Of the 7 pre~'74, HS books I have, the only one that doesn't really go there is "Reflections on the Manson trial."

grimtraveller said...

Terry Ott said...

Watch for this 4 hour television drama to reappear as well

No thanks. That was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for me. I'd rather watch sheep graze in a field and get caught in the fencing. It's a terrible film, a waste of electricity.

Henry Jacek had the interesting observation that Manson "taps into what I think is a very important part of American culture: a pure manifestation of revolt against state and social authority, which is a common theme about American culture."

I think he has a point. David Williams came from a similar angle in his book "Searching for God in the 60s." It just isn't a part of the British psyche although it exists in a certain measure in Brits that have found themselves on the "receiving end" {like non white or female ones}.

Jacek said: "I think the media are fascinated with anyone who has a personality and is articulate. The fact that Manson is intelligent makes him interesting. An unintelligent murderer is of much less interest that an intelligent one"

It's not only the media. Reading about what a murderer has done only goes so far. I first heard of Charles Manson in 1977 in a book called "Infamous Murders." It contained people like Jack the Ripper, the Vampire of Dusseldorf {reading about his disgusting exploits had the power to put me off my dinner and still does}, Dr Crippen, Leopold & Loeb, Martha Beck & Raymond Fernandez, George Haigh, Bonnie & Clyde, the Moors murderers, the Boston Strangler....and initially, these and others were all much more interesting to me than that weird geezer who the prosecutor asked about Calvary and dying on the cross. But after a while, the fascination of the other murderers played itself out because beyond their actions, there wasn't a great deal that one got to know about them ~ from them. There were little statements here and there but the media hadn't quite got to the point it had reached by late 1969 with those other ones and most of them were executed so we never really got any in depth view of them and with Brady & Hindley {the Moors murderers} they weren't really spoken to by the press. Their actions were felt to be so depraved, people didn't really want to know about them, only that they were locked away forever. Whereas Manson was latched onto by the media, some of whom were very much in his corner at the start. And unlike a lot of sports people and entertainment celebs, he was a natural in front of the camera and mic. He was funny and when one looks at some of those news reports where he speaks in 1970, it's not hard to see how many people could see that he actually might have done what was being alleged because he had charisma by the bucketload. During the trial, Rosemary Baer, wife of one of the jurors, picked up on this, as did William Zamora, one of the actual jurors.
In a number of fields like sports, entertainment, politics, technology and others, the people that are interesting are the ones with something to say and engaging ways of putting it across. Even when Charlie was drugged he could put things across in ways that a sober Tex never had a hope of matching. That made him interesting.

grimtraveller said...

Terry Ott said...

Then, and now, the word "evil" gets thrown around a lot when describing Manson

That drives me up the wall, primarily because it prevents many of us from looking at the evil that lurks within ourselves and from attempting to understand what evil actually is. It's way too broad to apply just to the likes of Charlie Manson.

But then again, Charlie was always good at selling a story...

Which is partly why I think it's an over simplification to state that Vince made Charlie into an international superstar, a happening that even Manson himself noted. One of the big differences between Tex and Charlie, apart from obvious charisma issues ~ and maybe even because of them ~ is that Tex knew to keep his mouth closed and not attract attention to himself and to some extent, despite marrying and divorcing one woman, having 4 kids and authoring 2 books that deal with the murders, getting a shank in his back and having an on line presence, it's largely paid off in spite of the fact that his murderous actions outweigh everyone else's. Then again, how many people remember the names of the henchmen of Stalin, Hitler, Bin Laden and Amin, much less are interested in finding out ?

palpable nonsense or truth is stranger than fiction?

In a way it makes sense that truth that is stranger than fiction be really difficult to believe. Otherwise it wouldn't be stranger than fiction. I suspect that much of the enlightened West that has shown an interest in this case since 1969 has had a real problem with HS, either swallowing it wholesale without robust and vigorous examination and chalking it up to "stoned hippies" and "madmen" and other simplistic explanations {myself included up to a point, before my own life changes necessitated me looking harder at it} or rejecting it wholesale because the problems inherent in it simply are not rational and there are too many attachments that could serve as alternative explanations ~ and it seems that an alternative is eagerly desired. For many in the third world though, there'd be nothing particularly strange about HS ~ not to the kind of mindset that embraces native, spiritual or religious concepts as reality.

AustinAnn74 said...

Why does everyone hate VTB so much? He didn't make up HS. HS was drilled into the heads of those smiling snapper heads on a daily basis for months before the murders. Till this day, LVH will explain to each parole board who she appears in front of that the reason she killed was for the so-called "revolution." She thought she was being a "good soldier." That revolution was HS! Nobody has ever disputed that CM didn't blab about HS a whole helluva lot at that ranch, and everywhere else he happened to be. Also, if VTB pulled this "theory" out of his ass, why did one of the actual killers use Leno LaBianca's blood to paint it on the fridge door? Yes, CM was in trouble, and needed to bail two of his women out, then flee to the desert after thinking he murdered a Black Panther, but that is not why he started his HS crap originally. He started the HS thing as a means of control, so his "children" would stay with him, and do whatever it was that he wanted. The people that were actually there, and lived with CM have stated that he was okay, until he got on his HS trip.
VTB had to present to the jury why these people followed CM's orders. Even though CM knew HS was bullshit, the idiots following him were on board with believing in HS. Mind control, mixed with a lot of drug use can make you susceptible to the most ludicrous of things. CM spouting off HS is no different than what Warren Jeffs with his religious cult, the FLDS did to his followers about the end of the world coming, minus the drugs. He had his followers giving up their prepubescent daughters (and sons), and all their money to him so he wouldn't send them off into damnation. They followed this goofy-looking, perverted bean pole without question, and some still do till this day. They think he has magical powers, and will one day float out prison to be with them. It is the same thing CM did. The followers of Warren Jeffs, who thought he was an actual prophet that God spoke to were more than willing to kill for him. It is the same principle. WTF is so hard to believe? As far as my opinion goes, he won convictions against all those responsible, then wrote a book about it, and shouldn't be smeared for doing so. What is the big deal? Y'all act like attorneys are suppose to be these upstanding citizens with perfect personalities, who never do wrong. At the end of the day, VTB was a human being with flaws like everyone else. He deserved a pat on the back, and a firm handshake, as far as I'm concerned. Those creeps he won convictions for are still in prison, and deservingly so, but in today's society, the killers are treated as the underdogs, while the man who had them convicted is the asshole. Go figure......

starviego said...

AustinAnn74 said...
"Even though CM knew HS was bullshit..."

I would disagree with you there. I think Charlie believed in it very much.

Terry Ott said...

Hey Grim,

To the best of my knowledge, I had never heard of you before and there fore, unless I pulled a George harrison with My Sweet Lord, I plead NOT GUILTY to a Vincent T theft.

However, you are most certainly correct in noting that mis-typed, or provided alternative facts regarding all Manson books pounding out the HS narrative.

I meant to included "mainstream" in my description.

Otherwise, I find most of your comments worthy of discourse.

See, unlike "mainstream" comment leavers, writers have too be like the Werelwolve of London's hair, perfect...

Thanks for reading.

MacyGrant said...

Vincent T. Bugliosi and the book Helter Skelter are problematic to me. I think Helter Skelter is a great introduction to the Manson Case. Bugliosi would say anything in order to win a conviction, which he freely admits. He is willing to twist the facts to make up this strange myth re: a race war. He feels that winning a conviction is so important that truth bent. I think there was enough evidence more than enough to win a conviction, the case would have been almost impossible to lose. Even Nixon said, Manson was guilty. But, Bugliosi keeps justifying everything he did and said, under the guise of, I am a hero, I got Manson convicted. There could have been some truth to the Helter Skelter Myth, maybe Manson believed it temporarily, but then he got real. Notice that they only did two nights of killing, why stop at that, when the race war still needs to happen? There are many other things about the book, that don't quite make sense to me. If you have him on Shortly and Hinman, you already have him on two murders. Susan gave a full confession before the trial even started. It is not that difficult of the case. Manson would die in prison no matter who tried the case.

Terry Ott said...

MaryGrant, I think you are right on with this:

"There are many other things about the book, that don't quite make sense to me. If you have him on Shortly and Hinman, you already have him on two murders. Susan gave a full confession before the trial even started. It is not that difficult of the case. Manson would die in prison no matter who tried the case."

If it is true a DA can indict a ham sandwhich, surely, in late 1969, there was more than enough bread and meat to go around to snooker CM and the Family. No way any but Leslie Van Houten was walking.

And while the Grim guy may protest, try this tome:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6380136-charles-Manson

A rather different take on HS.

christopher butche said...

A new interview with Edward George who wrote Taming the Beast..
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/11/28/the-man-who-knew-evil-former-bay-area-prison-counselor-recalls-relationship-with-charles-manson/

grimtraveller said...

Terry Ott said...

Hey Grim,

To the best of my knowledge, I had never heard of you before and there fore, unless I pulled a George harrison with My Sweet Lord, I plead NOT GUILTY to a Vincent T theft


Hiya Terry ! I was kind of joking around with that as I'd never seen anyone refer to him that way but myself.
I think George got something of a bad press with his song though, considering how many songs are so clearly derivative of someone else's but the writers don't get sued. I still laugh at Black Sabbath's "Under the sun," it's mid section is so "Flight of the rat" by Deep Purple. Mind you, their "Child in time" is such a rip of It's a Beautiful Day's "Bombay Calling," a song written by David LaFlamme who used to play in a band with Bobby Beausoleil, to bring my mighty side track back on topic. Well, kind of.
I think you did a good piece here with plenty of food for thought and lots of good talking points.

Perhaps another look at the circumstances around the murders will at the very least modify the enduring template of Helter Skelter

I doubt that it'll be very significant, because that's been flogged close to death pretty much like HS. In the late 80s going into the 90s, there was a definite effort to redress the balance and that's how we've ended up with all the alternate theories that contradict each other and the different characters telling us what Charlie revealed to them.

After Manson and the girls' death sentences were commuted in 1972 it is even money that the saga of the Family and its leader were destined to become but grisly footnotes to most until Bugliosi achieved a cultural sensation with Helter Skelter and perhaps to some degree re-wrote if not reinterpreted actual history.

I've wondered about that and felt differently at various times. I think on balance that it was a different enough crime with different enough ingredients to have merited a little more attention than the average bear and of course had already resulted in 7 books prior to 1974. What was impossible to foresee in 1974 though wasn't so much the phenomenal success of a book on a case that rocked America for while, but the internet. And that's why I feel differently at different times. I don't think there's there's a huge number of people out there pouring over every scrap of Manson related news that comes out but the information super highway has kept aflame many things that may not have been kept that way, even with great sales at one point.
I don't see Bugliosi as having actually rewritten history though. The predictions in his book all turned out to be spectacularly wrong and though the book is flawed with some supposition {and a few inaccurate details like Dean Moorehouse living at Cielo} it seems he wrote it like he saw it as it happened. The battles lay in the interpretations. They nearly always do !

Dani_P said...

Totally off topic and I'm sorry but I was curious if it was still possible to purchase Robert H's book? I'm so disappointed I found this blog and case for that matter after Robert had passed. With Christmas coming up I would love to splurge for the set!

Matt said...

Dani, I think the rights to his films have been reassigned. We'll have to wait and see. But there's no shot of ordering for Christmas this year :(


Terry Ott said...

Thank you Mr. Grim T, very kind of you.

You, obviously know your stuff, at a Manson PhD level...

I look forward to more of your insights.

Cheers,

TO

Logan said...

Grim said:I still laugh at Black Sabbath's "Under the sun," it's mid section is so "Flight of the rat" by Deep Purple. Mind you, their "Child in time" is such a rip of It's a Beautiful Day's "Bombay Calling," a song written by David LaFlamme who used to play in a band with Bobby Beausoleil, to bring my mighty side track back on topic. Well, kind of.


Grim, Bobby himself may have had a hand in writing Bombay Calling! It was recorded by The Orkustra before It's a Beautiful day.
Link: https://youtu.be/ABkV4_Dv6ac
Quite interesting about under the sun though. Never compared it to flight of the rat.

beauders said...

Grim where can I get “False Proffit: From Garbage Dump to Guru”?

DebS said...

Beauders, email me I can hook you up with a copy.

Terry Ott said...

Has anyone here read Simon Wells' Coming Down Fast?

If so, your collective thoughts?

grimtraveller said...

Logan said...

Quite interesting about under the sun though. Never compared it to flight of the rat

Yeah, the riff on the section that starts "Every day just comes and goes" is identical to the main riff of "flight." There's lots of what I refer to as "witty steals" {I think I myself nicked that from a book on the Byrds} from bands, sometimes barefaced thievery, sometimes accident or coincidence, sometimes sort of rewrites of a well known bit like what Kiss did in "Makin' Love" with Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown" riff. Not that Zep could talk !

Terry Ott said...

And yet the bizarre trial and Bugliosi's Manson pulp blockbuster produced this continually repeated denial uttered by Manson at trial: "Mr. and Mrs. America-you are wrong. I am not the King of the Jews nor am I a hippie cult leader. I am what you have made of me and the mad dog devil killer fiend leper is a reflection of your society."

Yet by the same token, Charlie acknowledged that he had at least implied that he was Jesus in his famous statement during his trial when he said "I may have implied on several occasions to several different people that I may have been Jesus Christ, but I haven't decided yet what I am or who I am.
I was given a name and a number and I was put in a cell, and I have lived in a cell with a name and a number.
I don't know who I am. I am whoever you make me...."

Also, by this point, he could not be telling anyone that he was Jesus simply because it would have proved his domination which was key to the case against him. As we've come to see, rather typically of Charlie over the last half century, he spun some truth into a situation and turned things on their head and back to whoever he was addressing.
Most times when people bring up the fact that he repeatedly stated his innocence, I balance that with, if guilty, why would he do anything other ? He's made it clear {even back then} that he had no great love for "the establishment" or the society that he thought was mad so why should he acquiesce to that society ? To say anything other than that which he did say was to admit to being guilty and there's no way he was going to do that. How many gangbangers in jail come clean totally ? There are some but not many. I was actually surprised that there would be anyone with even a cursory knowledge of this case that honestly thought Charlie might come clean before he died.

ColScott said...

Bugs is denigrated because he was a liar, perjurer, woman beater and violator of his office

You still have no proof he was a perjurer and we still await your substantiation of that claim that remains "but sad rantings" until it can be backed up.

Bugs is denigrated because he was a liar, perjurer, woman beater and violator of his office

Who just happened to put away Charlie Manson on something circumstantial, {like a great many crimes}, without lying, perjuring, beating any woman or violating his office.

grimtraveller said...

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

With Charlie gone, I think we are seeing the last wave of facination with the TLB case. If someone wasn't roped-in by now, they never will be

Ne dis jamais jamais !

AustinAnn74 said...

Till this day, LVH will explain to each parole board who she appears in front of that the reason she killed was for the so-called "revolution." She thought she was being a "good soldier."

Interestingly, the very words Charlie used about Tex in relation to what he did at Cielo in his 2013 Rolling Stone interview.

but that is not why he started his HS crap originally. He started the HS thing as a means of control, so his "children" would stay with him, and do whatever it was that he wanted

I think that overlooks something that made the Family stand out long before they were ever at Gresham ~ they were already doing what he wanted and one thing that never really changed was the fact that there was a hard core that stayed with Charlie and and a coterie that came and went, right from the time Susan and Ella Jo joined the troupe.

The people that were actually there, and lived with CM have stated that he was okay, until he got on his HS trip

Yes and no. In relation to actually talking through revolution and murder, sure, but as time moved further away then it started to come out how some of Charlie's character flaws had actually always been there and shown. For example, Pat and her story of when she wanted to leave and what Charlie said to her and how he came and hauled her away from the guy she'd gone off with. That people at the time accepted abusive behaviour doesn't sanitize the behaviour.

Even though CM knew HS was bullshit, the idiots following him were on board with believing in HS

I'm with Starviego on this one ; I think that Charles Manson believed in what was going through his head regarding HS. It's not even that remarkable when put into a certain context. Gandhi started from small roots to become a potent symbol and leader of India's break from the British Empire, through the 50s and the 60s a number of African leaders led their countries to independence from Britain having started off in minor insignificant situations. The idea of one small band eventually becoming the ruling faction may sound like something to be scoffed at; history would tend to state otherwise and even today, the way relatively small outfits like Al Queda and ISIS have had almost all the world powers on the back foot for nearly 20 years suggests that such ideas have not left the heads of human beings. With acid combining with the rest of the ingredients that lay within the psyche of Charles Manson, I think he believed in HS and its beneficial outcome for himself. I guess that many of his bugbears {mothers, fathers, Blacks, women, marriage, the establishment, the liberals, Hippies, the conservatives, the concepts of the northern states, authority etc} having scores settled against them in the process didn't exactly hurt either.

Mind control, mixed with a lot of drug use can make you susceptible to the most ludicrous of things

It can. But I've seen people susceptible to all kinds of 'ludicrous' things {obviously in my opinion} without a drug in sight. The phrase 'mind control' sounds so "oo~ee~oo" when we use it but observing some people within a church situation or a revolutionary gathering or wrapped up in certain strands of rap logic or among certain clans, it's not hard to see how minds can be melded which in some instances becomes de facto 'control.'

grimtraveller said...

AustinAnn74 said...

in today's society, the killers are treated as the underdogs

I think it's fairer to say that we have a more nuanced view of crime and criminals than that which existed in the days of "Les Miserables." I don't think it is wrong that even murderers be treated with human dignity and that they be looked after in decent conditions. I also think that it's a good thing that we concentrate more on some of the conditions in which many of the criminal fraternity have come from. That doesn't excuse anything they've done. If I say "I can understand how such and such came to murder" it doesn't mean that I'm saying that it's almost OK that they did what they did. Understanding and explaining is not the same as excusing and condoning.

Terry Ott said...

for those that do not subscribe to the idea of evil, or devils and demons and slaves of Satan etc., but rather look at pyscho/sociopaths and mental illness and even timing and randomness and drugs and sex, the saga of Charles Manson and his crimes take on a slightly different aura

Actually, I subscribe to all of those and more besides. Paradoxes loom large in our world with the accompanying nuance that make this case in particular, one that will often stray far from being cut and dried.

MacyGrant said...

Bugliosi would say anything in order to win a conviction, which he freely admits

Blimey, where did he admit this ? If he did, that's huge. It implies that a conviction at all costs is more important than whether evidence shows what you're saying is actually true or not. Bugliosi in his 7 million copy selling book said the opposite. The very opposite. And was highly critical of other lawyers that appeared to say "anything" in order to get their client off by sowing doubt in the minds of the jury, stuff they knew wasn't true.

He is willing to twist the facts to make up this strange myth re: a race war

Greg Jacobson told him that when he met Charlie in '68 he was talking about it. It was known then as "the shit is coming down." Besides HS was about more than just a race war. And some of Black Americans and White supremacists might argue that the USA has been in one from time to time.....

He feels that winning a conviction is so important that truth bent

That of course, would presuppose that he knew what this "truth" was that could be bent.

I think there was enough evidence more than enough to win a conviction, the case would have been almost impossible to lose

Simon Davis in his recent book "In a summer swelter" says pretty much the same thing and he said that earlier this year on this very blog. A few times actually. I agree with Simon on many things but that wasn't one of them.
The state literally had 2 fingerprints to connect certain individuals. They proved the owners had been there. They didn't prove murder. Imagine for a moment that Linda hadn't turned state's evidence and everyone had kept shtum. Not so impossible to lose.

grimtraveller said...

MacyGrant said...

Even Nixon said, Manson was guilty

And ? He didn't know the facts of the case and was mouthing off about the press coverage that made Charlie look like an appealing folk hero {which he was for a while}. Not to mention that it's an unwise assumption to conclude everyone on the jury was so in thrall to Nixon that whatever he said, they'd adopt. Not everyone liked Nixon. 56% of the popular vote from the '68 election was against him. In his book, juror William Zamora didn't seem to care what Nixon said.

But, Bugliosi keeps justifying everything he did and said, under the guise of, I am a hero, I got Manson convicted

Why wouldn't he justify everything he did ? He thought he did the right thing. You make it sound like he did much dirty dealing but always got away with it by saying "but I got Manson !"

There could have been some truth to the Helter Skelter Myth, maybe Manson believed it temporarily, but then he got real

Maybe Manson believed it temporarily ?
At what point did he get real ? The day after he was arrested at Barker where he had told the Rangers and officers that rode with them that it was coming down ?

If you have him on Shorty and Hinman, you already have him on two murders

Shorty and Hinman came in the aftermath of what was being discovered on TLB in terms of actual chargeability.

Susan gave a full confession before the trial even started

Yes, but the terms of her deal with the DA's office {which Bugliosi was dead set against} meant that nothing she said could be used against her or her co~defendants if it ever came to trial.

It is not that difficult of [a] case. Manson would die in prison no matter who tried the case

Well, as Scotty likes to remind us, that was not the consensus amongst the legal fraternity at the end of '69 or subsequently. "Pity you had to be landed with such a bummer" was how one lawyer put it. That doesn't suggest ease of victory.

christopher butche said...

A new interview with Edward George who wrote Taming the Beast

Now there is one strange book. Ed really got sucked into Charlie but then said a number of things which are reported in Shreck's book about how the publishers twisted some of what he said. But then, this interview that you've linked to supports wholly what he was saying in his book. It's a book worth reading though I personally wouldn't cry if burglars nicked it or termites chewed it to dust.

grimtraveller said...

MacyGrant said...

Notice that they only did two nights of killing, why stop at that, when the race war still needs to happen?

That is a good question. But it should only be asked as a real question, not as a rhetoric one to try and prove how ridiculous HS is.
Why should there have been killing on many consecutive nights ? Because Waverley was the night after Cielo ? Why shouldn't the killings have been well spread out ? What is it about a spate of killings designed to turn Whitey against Blackie {and ultimately themselves} that demands that lots of killings be done on consecutive nights far into the distance ? Come to think of it, what, about a spate of killings for that particular objective, demands that there even be more than two ?
There's no particular reason why there should have been more killings. The racial battle wasn't going to start of August 14th. It was always going to take time to percolate and ferment.
With those in mind, I can think of at least 2 reasons why the killings stopped. Firstly, two days after the LaBiancas died, Linda Kasabian disappeared. Not only that, she left her child behind. She had been sent to the jails to give messages to Mary, Sandy and Bobby. No one knew that she hadn't been arrested. And when, a short while later, Joe Sage phoned Charlie and asked if it was true that his group had done the murders, then they knew she'd blabbed to someone. Who else might she have blabbed to ? It's notable that when Shorty was murdered, unlike the TLB victims who were left to be found, he was buried good and proper. The authorities could never find the corpse and probably wouldn't have had Steve Grogan not told them where it was 8 years later.
Then, as David pointed out a few months back, there was the Spahn raid a week after Cielo. Not to mention the mania that set in because of the murders with heightened cop vigilance and increased home security galvanized by fear. These are things that might have discouraged more murders taking place. And on top of that, if the accounts of the 2nd night are true, it was something of a mess. Driving about for hours, reasons in the way of a kill, pure chance that the LaBiancas were home and the occupants of Harold true's old house weren't, the second group of killers not accomplishing their task, some guy turning up at Spahn looking for Leslie after he'd dropped her off earlier etc.....

Dani_P said...

I was curious if it was still possible to purchase Robert H's book?

I hope you can find it because it's a fantastic book. It can be found on some of those pdf websites but one has to sign up and give your details before you can download it and I refuse to do that, even for books that are out of print. With out of print rarities, I work on the basis that eventually, it will turn up somehow. Pretty much always has. If I've had to wait a couple of years, then so be it.

grimtraveller said...

beauders said...

where can I get “False Proffit: From Garbage Dump to Guru”?

DebS is brilliant at finding some of these rare books. It was through her vigilance that I managed to get the Shreck book. If you want a quick preview of "False profit" you can find it here. It goes by the title of "The Manson Myth" and can be read online or downloaded.
Funny story {well, it's funny now}; I downloaded "The Manson Myth" last year or the back end of the year before and I was working on it to clean up the spelling mistakes and set the various quotes in different colours etc, with the aim of eventually printing it and getting it bound. I was so pleased with myself, snagging this book and for free too ! It was in that period where I was picking up quite a few Manson related books like "Death to pigs", "Goodbye HS", "Trial by your peers, "Crucified ~ the railroading of Charles Manson" etc and I came across "False Profit; From Garbage dump to Guru" on John Aes Nihil's site. I'd never heard of it and he said it was rare so I thought it might be worth a read so I swallowed hard and paid a lot of money for it and for it to get to England didn't make it cheap. Anyhow, I was all pleased when I got it and as I do, when I get a book, I look at a few pages, not in any depth but just a glance here and there. With this one, it so felt like deja vu and after a minute or so, I realized I was really familiar with it and to my chagrin, it turned out to be "The Manson Myth" that I already had and had been working on for a couple of months at that point !
I was close to incandescent !!
It's actually only tonight that I've actually picked it up from my bookshelf since then. It's not been on my list of "must reads." I know I'll get around to it one day. Maybe when I'm next away on holiday. I hope all those lunches I missed to cover the cost was worth it ! From what I can remember, I disagreed with much of what I'd seen in it.
The author goes by the name of Ghostdancer but at the end it says it was put together by 6 like~minded people over a 5 year span that thought the prosecution theory against Charlie and his co~defendants was severely flawed and that the book is the definitive version although some on line drafts exist.

Terry Ott said...

Has anyone here read Simon Wells' Coming Down Fast?

Yeah. It's a book that I'd describe as useful & interesting without being earth shattering. Simon {who contributes to these pages from time to time} utilizes much info found elsewhere {Bugliosi, Tex, Sanders & Emmons for example} including some of those books mistakes, such as, again, the Dean Moorehouse living at Cielo error or the shooting of an actual Panther on the same night as Lotsapoppa. He collates the info in a useful way but I read it immediately after reading Jeff Guinn so it was like reading a little brother companion piece. To be fair, he's well read and though he adopts a position, does it taking into account a variety of sources like parole hearing transcripts and books by people that aren't about TLB.
There are some interesting bits about Bruce, such as him allegedly saying that he once saw Charlie sleeping and thought it would be good if he permanently slept {!} and how easy it would have been to fake a suicide or that he basically tried to take over the leadership of the Family. He also tries hard to establish that Bruce came to the UK a second time in '69 and eventually states it as fact when there's no record of it. Definitely worth reading and keeping. It's one of those books that is very much in step with the internet generation.

Nonymous said...

I hadn’t looked through Helter Skelter in years. I started reading it again the other night. One thing that stuck with me is that on November 3 a man named Steve Zabriski tells police that Vern Plumlee and Ed Bailey had told him that a Charlie and Clem had committed the murders and that Charlie had shot someone in Death Valley. I know that people have spent a lot of time and money looking for bodies in Death Valley and found nothing. I also know Charlie and Clem liked to exaggerate and lie, like telling people that they cut off the head of Shorty Shea. Maybe the shooting in Death Valley was just a fib.

christopher butche said...

Grim have you listened to TLB Radio with Schreck from this November? He will offer you three new pieces of information if you do. Manson File updated hopefully out before Christmas.

Terry Ott said...

I wonder if a cloud/crowd funded endeavor pining for seed funds for Mr. Grim T to compose a textual tome on Manson et al would be successful?

Like, man, his sense makes a lot of it.

simon davis said...

Grim, I couldn't agree more that when there was only two fingerprints the prosecution case was without hope. But I think you'll find my earlier comments, and book, actually are talking about something different. My contention is, and always has been, that by about March 1970, after a truckload of witnesses volunteered themselves to the prosecution, the prosecution case had become overwhelming. To the extent that anything I have said is inconsistent with this, it ought to be disregarded. Therefore, I think we're in complete agreement.

Grim you'll never walk alone, and may you catch many happy ferries across the Mersey.

PS I'm seeing Sir Paul Macca on 11 December - rare trip to Australia.

Terry Ott said...

I am working on a piece on The Beatles, The Bible, The Bugliosi & The BS.

I welcome any insights from you all.

christopher butche said...

Terry, Abbey Road came out Sep 69. How come no hidden messages? As far as I know Tex mentions hearing it on a portable tape recorder during an aborted attempt to visit Barker Ranch and the Helter Skelter door at Spahn Ranch had '1,2,3,4,5,6,7 all good children go to Heaven' a lyric from the medley on side two. I would have thought with tracks called The End and Carry That Weight, Come Together and I Want You the album should have been worth a mention when its predecessor from only the previous year is so well referenced.

MacyGrant said...

I totally agree with Terry Ott, about Helter Skelter. I believe the Manson was angry at Terry Melcher. Last night I looked up one of Manson's songs "Look at Your Game Girl" and found that Manson had a large number of albums on Apple Music. I can listen to them all for free with a subscription. I started to click on them and they were all different. He seems to have gone through a blues period. I have no idea how he managed to create so many albums while being in prison. I wondered if all of them are real. The voice sounded like Charlie, but older as the music progressed in time. I am just mentioning this in case, people are curious about Manson's Music, but don't want to spend a lot of time and money tracking down the albums. I actually feel that if the murders had not happened, Manson would of had a sting of folk hits. The music was way above average, and with some polishing and studio work, I believe he could of had a career in music. All of it could have been prevented. The story could of had a happy ending.

Terry Ott said...

Thanks much to Chris and Macy. Great points.

The Helter Skelter door says a lot...

christopher butche said...

Another point of interest is that in June 1968 Paul McCartney was in LA promoting the new Apple label. If Manson was so desperate for pop fame and wanted to meet a Beatles he was in a position to possibly achieve both. He could have asked his housemate Dennis Wilson to help out. McCartney when in LA was hanging out with his and the Beach Boys label execs at Capitol Records and had a night out at the Whiskey a go go. Whilst in LA McCartney also performed Blackbird so had Manson been that bothered he could have spoken to McCartney about the lyrics at the time.

David said...

I’m not sure where this is going but if the gist is that Manson didn’t believe the Beatles were sending messages in their music I recommend the Rolling Stone interview.

Can you explain the meaning of Revelations, Chapter 9?

Manson: “What do you think it means? It's the battle of Armageddon. It's the end of the world. It was the Beatles' "Revolution 9" that turned me on to it. It predicts the overthrow of the Establishment.”
****
Why do you think that this revolution predicted in "Revolution 9" will be violent? Why will it be racial?
Manson: Have you heard of the Muslims? Have you heard of the Black Panthers?
*****
Can you explain the prophecies you found in the Beatles' double album?
Manson: OK. Give me the names of four songs on the album.
[We choose "Piggies," "Helter Skelter," "Blackbird," and he adds "Rocky Raccoon." Charlie writes down the titles at the top of each vertical section. Under "Helter Skelter" he draws a zigzag line, under "Blackbird" two strokes, somehow indicating bird sounds. Very strange.]

Manson: This bottom part is the subconscious. At the end of each song there is a little tag piece on it, a couple of notes. Or like in "Piggies" there's "oink, oink, oink." Just these couple of sounds. And all these sounds are repeated in "Revolution 9." Like in "Revolution 9," all these pieces are fitted together and they predict the violent overthrow of the white man. Like you'll hear "oink, oink," and then right after that, machine gun fire. [He sprays the room with imaginary slugs.] AK-AK-AK-AK-AK-AK!

Do you really think the Beatles intended to mean that?

Manson: I think it's a subconscious thing. I don't know whether they did or not. But it's there. It's an association in the subconscious. This music is bringing on the revolution, the unorganized overthrow of the Establishment. The Beatles know in the sense that the subconscious knows.

What does "Rocky Raccoon" mean, then?

Manson: Coon. You know that's a word they use for black people. You know the line, "Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt/to help with good Rocky's revival." Rocky's revival – re-vival. It means coming back to life. The black man is going to come back into power again. "Gideon checks out" means that it's all written out there in the New Testament, in the Book of Revelations.

The Bible also teaches submission. Women were put here to serve men, but only because they are ten times more receptive, more perceptive, than men. The servant is always wiser than the master.


I hope we are not really debating that point. Maybe we are.

grimtraveller said...

simon davis said...

I couldn't agree more that when there was only two fingerprints the prosecution case was without hope

My view is that both the notion that it was an easy case that anyone could have won convictions on or that it was an impossible case are at either ends of the spectrum and neither apply. One of the things I like about Bugliosi & Gentry's book is the way they show how every strand {the right and wrong aspects} of the case came together and at various points could have gone either way with the varying +s and -s, even down to Bugliosi worrying about human nature and the jury when it came to their deliberations, even though he felt the case had been proven. It's often forgotten that when push came to shove, 12 people convicted Charlie, Pat, Susan and Leslie.

But I think you'll find my earlier comments, and book, actually are talking about something different. My contention is, and always has been, that by about March 1970, after a truckload of witnesses volunteered themselves to the prosecution, the prosecution case had become overwhelming

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, by the way. It was an easy and smooth read and never got heavy or boring. I don't see that the case was overwhelming though it was very strong. I think after Linda had testified, the defence needed to pull some serious irons out of the fire and rabbits out of the hat and I think there was anticipation that this would happen seeing as all the defendants pleaded not guilty. They could have challenged the prosecution.

christopher butche said...

Abbey Road came out Sep 69. How come no hidden messages?

It came out on 26th September. If one thinks about it, Charlie, Leslie and Susan only had another 17 days of freedom left and being out at Barker didn't exactly give them the time and circumstance to really assimilate the album even if they had heard it.
They had other things on their minds....
The White album was, for the Family, what Sergeant Pepper had been for some of the young of the Western world ~ an album that spoke to them in ways that albums hadn't previously {and that the Beatles hadn't intended}. Symbiosis and synergy are words that spring to mind. Both the Family and Western youth were marked for many years to come by their interactions with those albums.
But that idea of the Beatles speaking through their records that really took hold with 'Pepper' didn't stop with the Family and the White album. Abbey Road was the chief artifact of evidence of hidden messages in the whole "Paul is dead" thing that hit the USA shortly after its release. To this day you can find people and sites that uphold it with fervent passion and Abbey Road's cover was poured over like holy writ much as the previous 3 LPs {I include Magical mystery tour} had been in one way or another. So when people try to downplay the Beatle influence, once again the context of the times presents what the Family was doing as being no different to what loads of young people were doing with the Beatles songs, album covers and interviews at the time. There's even film {in the movie "Imagine"} of one spaced out fella who came from the States and turned up at John Lennon's house, quoting the sacred texts of "Dig a pony" {which, like "Rubber Soul" and "And your bird can sing" contains a priceless dig at Mick Jagger and by extension, the Stones} and, I think it might be, "Carry that weight."



grimtraveller said...

christopher butche said...

the Helter Skelter door at Spahn Ranch had '1,2,3,4,5,6,7 all good children go to Heaven' a lyric from the medley on side two

I reckon one could bet one's underpants that Charlie knew sweet FA about that door. Country Sue says she and her mate painted that door after the Family left Spahn and she was one of those left behind for a while. She obviously had a fair grasp on the Abbey Road LP and the fact that she painted that door says to me as nothing else could just how pervasive HS was within Family ranks. Sue was a relative newcomer and she'd even absorbed it, which helps partially explain how someone like Linda did in such a short time.

I would have thought with tracks called The End and Carry That Weight, Come Together and I Want You the album should have been worth a mention when its predecessor from only the previous year is so well referenced

The difference being that by the time Abbey Road was out, the murders were 6 weeks gone and the fallout of all of that was being dealt with whereas when the White Album came out, it was at the tail end of a tumultuous year in which violence and protests had broken out in quite a few countries in the West that only a year before were blissed out with flowers and acid. The White album had spoken sufficiently to the Family for Abbey Road to be a whisper in comparison.

McCartney also performed Blackbird so had Manson been that bothered he could have spoken to McCartney about the lyrics at the time

Few people would have picked up on its nuances from one live performance whereas listening to a record would have afforded lots of opportunities to think about it. Also Manson didn't see McCartney perform "Blackbird." The White album itself didn't come out until towards the end of November.
However, it has to be said that Charlie was pretty perceptive when it came to the Beatles' songs. He was bang on the money about "Blackbird" and "Piggies." If you took race out of it he wasn't wrong about the message contained within "Helter Skelter" or "Revolution 9."
I find Charlie to have been more than just an Anglophile, he actually was more outward looking than many people of his time and place, having some idea for example, of the Mau Mau rebellion of Kenya.

David said...

if the gist is that Manson didn’t believe the Beatles were sending messages in their music I recommend the Rolling Stone interview

I'd also recommend "Helter Skelter."
I must admit, I do find it quite interesting that as critical as people are about that book, I've not come across one person, ever, anywhere, that has ever argued that the "conversations" contained therein between Charlie and Bugliosi did not happen or that the content was made up by Vincent T. Well, in one of their sessions, Charlie lays the blame for youth rebellion at the door of the Beatles. He also stated, after he'd been sentenced to death that LSD and the Beatles music were responsible for the murders. And even more, during his testimony at his trial, he spoke of the music out there motivating young people to rise and kill. Then he adds, significantly, something like "why blame me ? I didn't write the music." He was hugely critical of society's inability to decipher what the songs out there were saying, meaning that he obviously had if he could relate to the fact that it was telling kids to rise up.
The Beatles themselves, both before, then and subsequently have spoken at length about putting messages, in jokes and drug references in their songs. They would deliberately do things {such as missing a beat or throwing in naughty words in the backing vocals} just to see if anyone noticed.

grimtraveller said...

christopher butche said...

Another point of interest is that in June 1968 Paul McCartney was in LA promoting the new Apple label. If Manson was so desperate for pop fame and wanted to meet a Beatle he was in a position to possibly achieve both

Then again, by then he was getting it on with Dennis, McCartney lived in England and wasn't exactly a regular member of the LA scene and Charlie had contacts of a sort within the biz at that point.

have you listened to TLB Radio with Schreck from this November? He will offer you three new pieces of information if you do

The problem I have with Shreck is that his start point is to prove HS is a crock and in order to do this, he concentrates on the one Bugliosi refered to as the chief TLB killer, Tex. Not in itself a problem, except that he builds all kinds of Tex cases, most of which aren't substantiated or verified and in one case links him to a robbery with Bruce at the house of Joel Rostau whom he is also keen to involve as a way of taking the spotlight away from Charlie. He actually has Tex and Bruce committing this robbery and shooting Rostau ~ when if he'd done a bit of reading he'd know Bruce wasn't even in the country at the time. His foundation collapses and he loses credibility. The team on this blog exposed his stuff about Rostau in equally devastating fashion and the more this kind of thing happens, the less he can be taken seriously. I feel about him the way I feel about AC Fisher Aldag ~ fascinating character, interesting to listen to but ultimately a key to an empty room.
His book is really good though, from certain perspectives.

MacyGrant said...

I actually feel that if the murders had not happened, Manson would of had a sting of folk hits. The music was way above average, and with some polishing and studio work, I believe he could of had a career in music

There have been so many artists whose music was fantastic and who got precisely nowhere. I have lots of obscure stuff by obscure artists that only a few people have heard of ! And every bit as good as well regarded works by well respected stars.

Nonymous said...

on November 3 a man named Steve Zabriski tells police that Vern Plumlee and Ed Bailey had told him that a Charlie and Clem had committed the murders

I've long felt that he is the forgotten man of TLB. Yet he's so significant.
A few months ago, George did a "What if ?" post and one of the questions he asked was what if Susan Atkins hadn't blabbed, were there any other ways the case would have been solved ? I think that there were lots of little strands, some of which were unusable yet pointed the way, that came together to tighten the net around Charles Manson but Steve Zabriske wasn't one of them. The officer that took his story didn't believe him or even do a report, despite Zabriske saying his brother in law who was also present when Plumlee and Bailey talked, could back him up if need be.
He's definitely of retrospective value and shows how jaws were wagging back then....

grimtraveller said...

AustinAnn74 said...


Even though CM knew HS was bullshit, the idiots following him were on board with believing in HS


The easiest person to believe and follow is the one that believes what they are telling you. Charlie for instance believed that women were there to serve the guys. He didn't skirt around it or try to equalize. He believed it, he told everyone what he believed ~ and those that stayed with him went along with it. In particular the women.
I think people are more likely to go with someone that really believes than someone who is good with words. Belief can be utterly convincing. I think Donald Trump believes the things he says and that in turn inspires belief. Rather than "seeing is believing" it's the other way around ~ for many, believing is seeing.

christopher butche said...

Another look at events is that Manson had Wilson recording his tunes and was living the high life of a successful musician. Why seek out McCartney when he already had it all? I mention the visit as within a few months it's all hidden messages.
Abbey Road. Grim surely if the family were under stress decoding the album would have been of vital importance? And if Tex could source a portable tape player to listen to it out in the desert I expect the solution wasn't beyond everyone else.

christopher butche said...

Zodiac to be unmasked apparently. The link is publicity for a new doc. The murder was one that Bill Nelson was keen on seeing as a Zodiac one if I remember correctly. I wonder if the handprint will belong to Bruce?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5138561/Could-DNA-finally-reveal-Zodiac-Killers-identity.html

Terry Ott said...

With all due regrets about Grim T-settle down;just a line nicked from A. Bunker, AKA Steptoe and Son in the UK-and Chris who also points out Macca's LA Blackbird gigging, I would have to say that that scenario may be a stretch as it is doubtful whether Charlie was monitoring LA chat shows at the time. And besides, in June 1968, the WA was 5 months away.

Still, and again, the Grimster and Chris raise useful points overall as oh so many devilish details are (seemingly) lost to history...

MacyGrant said...

If the theory of helter-skelter was correct there would be no need to hide from the police because once the race war started, there wouldn’t be any government. But if the family was to leave off the killings with just these two incidents and then helter-skelter didn’t start then there would be repercussions of incarceration. Detectives working on the cases were so incompetent that they failed to link the two incidents together and they investigated them as separate cases. Therefore it would seem probable that they could get away with a few more killings. Although many people were now arming themselves and locking the doors. Maybe Manson thought it would not be a good idea to go into a house where people are armed

starviego said...

Grim said:
"Charlie... having some idea for example, of the Mau Mau rebellion of Kenya."

Details? Source?

Shaky Jake said...

When Abbey Road came up in this discussion I thought surely The Fam had been more familiar with it if only because of promo copies going to radio stations and singles being released ahead of the album. I did a little research and turns out that unlike all of the previous Beatles releases, none of that happened for Abbey Road. They didn't promote it at all before its release. I did have an oo-ee-oo moment though when I found one website that has the Something/Come Together single being released on 8/11/69. This is of course inaccurate. It was released early October about a week after the LP release

I apologize if this isn't germane to the discussion. I found it interesting if totally useles like 90% of the other information floating around in my head.

Terry Ott said...

Hey Shaky,

Apple Corp. has been notorious for cock-ups in every facet of their operations since day one.

The 8/11/69 release date for the Something/Come Together could have in fact been an initial release target date and as was usually the custom, the date was pushed back.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

Grim said:
"Charlie... having some idea for example, of the Mau Mau rebellion of Kenya."

Details? Source?


I can't for the life of me remember where I came across him mentioning it. It wasn't a long detailed statement, but it was sufficient to indicate that he was aware of it, which, having spent some time in jail with Black people who were themselves becoming conscious in the early 60s, shows he was listener. In his 2011 interview with Vanity Fair he mentions Jomo Kenyatta {who was Kenya's first Black head of state and had been charged and slamdunked with being part of the Mau Mau uprising} but that wasn't the place I was thinking of. It just struck me as interesting that Charlie's view of the world could take in places not generally spoken of.

MacyGrant said...

If the theory of helter-skelter was correct there would be no need to hide from the police because once the race war started, there wouldn’t be any government

That's a bit of a stretch. If there was to be a specific conflict between the races, it wouldn't be expected to start at 4.15am on August 12th. Remember, time was something of a nebulous concept for the Family.

Therefore it would seem probable that they could get away with a few more killings

Possibly. The reasons I offered for why the killings stopped {other than Shorty which was a separate issue} are only indications. They're not carved in stone reasons. Tex reckons it was because of him faking a story about the FBI looking for him about the murders but he's the only one connected with the Family that I've ever seen proffer an explanation. Perhaps a whole load of things came together, not least that no one seemed to be mentioning Black Panthers. He said before he hit Charlie with the fake story, he had intended there to be more nights of murder.
But you know, there's also the reality of being responsible for peoples deaths. It's one thing to theorize how people are going to die according to your prophecy, another altogether to be the one moving it all forward.
The question could also be asked of the copycat motive; why stop after only 2 nights ?

christopher butche said...

surely if the family were under stress decoding the album would have been of vital importance?

Could be. There again, the importance of the White album and what it purportedly contained wasn't limited to just up to the murders. It went beyond that. Abbey Road wasn't really necessary. The White album was self contained.

And if Tex could source a portable tape player to listen to it out in the desert I expect the solution wasn't beyond everyone else

I agree with that. But I've never had the impression that members of the Family were eagerly awaiting the next communiqué from the Beatles. The story went that they tried to contact them at Apple HQ while they were at Gresham Street but between the White album and Abbey Road came the "Yellow Submarine" album and "Get back/Don't let me down," and "The Ballad of John & Yoko/Old Brown shoe" and I've never seen any comments from anyone connected that these were poured over. It would appear the White album was the one that did it for Charlie. In that Rolling Stone interview, when he's asked about the White album prophecies, he says a very interesting thing ¬> he says "OK. Give me the names of four songs on the album." This indicates that any four songs on the album could have been selected by the interviewer and Charlie would have been able to find something in them.

christopher butche said...

I got a copy of John Waters book Shock Value in which mentions attending trials Inc. Patty Hearst and Sid Vicious. Of interest here is that he attended the Manson and Tex trials, the Stockton Shootout trial and LVH retrial. LVH he states he was the only person there on occasion such had the interest in the case waned.
He does mention at the first trial the girls got to recognise him and used to wave at him and he would wave back but be told off by the guards.

Rob King said...

Grim Tiresome.

David said...

There is at least one indication that the Family did listen to Abbey Road and did find hidden meaning in those songs.

Sanders mentions Gypsy referring to murders on a beach near Santa Barbara as "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and being excited about it. The timing is off, however.

It is possible that the details of any influence of Abbey Road on Manson and/or the Family is simply not available to us. The album would not have been relevant to VB. It is post murders- so no 'spotlight'. And I don't recall anyone ever asking any of them about it.

grimtraveller said...

Rob King said...

Grim Tiresome

Isn't he just !

grimtraveller said...

shows he was listener

Listening, even.












That was for you, Rob.

Matt said...

Rob "I don't comment here" King

Terry Ott said...

Gee, is this all not akin to the line in JFK about riddles-borrowed from Sir Winston re; Russia- and mysteries wrapped in enigma?

Certainly fun to speculate but certain elements may ultimately be unknowable.

DebS said...

Tonight, Sun. Dec.3rd, there will be a new Manson show on History Channel. It's a mini series to be shown in two 2 hour episodes titled "Manson Speaks: Inside the Mind of a Madman".

This shows tries to tie the Nov. 1969 murder of Jane Doe 59, eventually identified as Reet Jurvetson of Canada, to members of the Family. Also, Marlin Marynick shares his recordings of conversations with Charlie made prior to writing his book "Charles Manson Now".

David, of note is a recording at the bottom of the page (link below) where Manson, himself, mentions bodies on a beach!



http://realscreen.com/2017/11/30/history-readies-lucky-8s-charles-manson-event-special/

Terry Ott said...

I wonder how much the History Channel mini series will follow the Helter Skelter narrative...

christopher butche said...

Terry, I'm certain it will. Everyone may have believed it and heard Manson preach it but it doesn't necessarily follow that it was the motive.

DebS said...

I don know about that Christopher. From the link-

"The two-part special also presents a new theory on Manson’s motives that does not align with the “Helter Skelter” theory he was prosecuted under;"

hippie doll said...

Just a heads-up, there's also another program coming on tonight called MANSON'S FINAL WORDS or something like that in REELZ TV.

I will see if I can find a link to post.

hippie doll said...

Let's see if i got this link right?

https://www.reelz.com/charles-manson-final-words/

Terry Ott said...

Thanks Chris and Deb!

I've got another piece coming that looks at the HS fantasy and Vince.

hippie doll said...

The link worked.
Here's what it says;

CHARLES MANSON: THE FINAL WORDS

PREMIERESTONIGHT9 ET/8 PT

About Charles Manson: The Final Words

Narrated by musician and director Rob Zombie, the documentary focuses on the Manson family murders told from Manson’s perspective using never-before-seen case files, pictures and exclusive interviews with Manson himself from inside California State Prison.

Charles Manson: The Final Words includes Manson’s eerie and disturbing conversations about modern society, justice, his decades behind bars, the Bernard Crowe shooting and the murders along with digitally restored audio recordings from the original investigations to reconstruct a path of events that led to the brutal slayings of movie star Sharon Tate and four of her friends on August 8, 1969 in addition to the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea.

The documentary also includes compelling new interviews with members of the Manson family which reveal never-before-heard details that help uncover the real story and motives behind the grisly murder spree. Viewers will hear from accused Manson family members Bobby Beausoleil, Barbara Hoyt and Catherine “Cappi” Gillies along with prosecutor Stephen Kay, defense attorney Gary Fleischman, music producer Phil Kaufman as well as other investigators and authors.

Terry Ott said...

Wow, the "Final Words" could be revelatory.

ed tom said...

Dropping like flies.....RIP Barbara "Hamburger" Holt

ed tom said...

Cielo and Debra Tate reporting Babs gone....maybe Shorty will put her straight on what happened....Chuck too.

Joe Col said...

Gary Fleischman was especially revelatory in the Reelz program. How he got kasabian her immunity deal using "kites" and her revelations to him seemed quite incredible.
Will seek out the History channel program, didn't know there were two running last night.

David said...

Joe Col,

I'm not a staunch supporter of the HS motive and certainly not a fan of Kasabian (or her capacity for telling the whole truth). That said, the 'kite' story has been around for quite a while. Fleischmann brought it up in a 2009 (I think) interview.

I'd be very careful about his comments about the immunity deal saying Kasabian would receive immunity if she told the truth (it did) and then said "and the truth is....". I find that very hard to believe as that would have been a powerful weapon for the defense and I have no recollection of it coming up at the trial. While I could imagine the defense counsel being too incompetent to catch it I can't imagine VB being so stupid as to put that in writing. Until I see it IMO the accuracy of that comment is extremely doubtful.

The show was based upon the book: "The Retrial of Charles Manson" by Daniel Simone (who needs a larger size shirt) and Heidi Ley.

Simone is also the source of the claim that Afton Elaine Burton (Manson's one time fiancee) was marrying him to get his body to display it for a fee after his death: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/10/charles-manson-fiancee-dead-body_n_6656046.html

The show had a rather transparent agenda, which was disappointing to me. The editing reflected that agenda, several times cutting off the person being interviewed, including the unflattering image used of Bugliosi and rather transparently mispronouncing his name by using the "G". Even George (Stimson) was rather abruptly cut off at one point when he was making a good point.

I did find Manson's comment that he was the most famous person in the world, and not even dead yet to be very revealing. But even his comments appeared to be cherry picked and edited and several didn't seem to support what the narrative said they would support.

It was nice to see that BB has gone back to the Straight Satan drug burn theory in connection on Hinman. The board might be interested in that next time around.


Terry Ott said...

Hey David,

This is gnarly!!!!

"Simone is also the source of the claim that Afton Elaine Burton (Manson's one time fiancee) was marrying him to get his body to display it for a fee after his death."

What a morbid freak-show that would be!

beauders said...

I would like to read a memoir by Stephen Kay about now. I wonder if he was waiting for Manson to die like other authors.

beauders said...

Is there another new book out, “The Retrial of Charles Manson”

David said...

beauders,

Not that I have seen. That link says he was searching for a publisher in 2015. His Facebook page says it is 'upcoming' and his Wikipedia page says it is due out in 2018.

beauders said...

Thanks David

christopher butche said...

I've subscribed to Simone's blog and will give a head's up when the book is out. I see amazon are listing a Creepy Crawling and Manson Girls books due out for next year as well