Monday, July 16, 2018

Roommate Revenge

The Roommates
Between September 1967 and September 1968 Harold True, Allan Swerdloff, Harry Yost and Ernie Baltzell rented a home located at 3267 Waverly Drive, right next door to  3301 Waverly Drive (the future home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca). 

After driving all over the city of Los Angeles on the night of August 9, 1969, Charles Manson settled on Waverly Drive for a second night of Helter Skelter murders. Manson, after parking the car where the car is located in the picture, below right, headed up the True House driveway, alone (to the right in the photograph). At some point he cut across the lawn to the LaBianca house where the murders were committed. 

Some commentators suggest the ‘real’ targets that night were Harold True’s roommates (Swerdloff, Baltzell and Yost) According to this version of events, the three had refused to allow Manson to move into the home in the fall of 1968 and this so infuriated Manson that when the chance arrived, he sought revenge. 

These commentators conclude that Manson, finding the True House empty, only then moved on to house number two. However, for a number of reasons, this theory doesn't seem to me to be supported by the available evidence.

[Aside: Harold True is the primary witness for most of what we know about 3267 Waverly Drive. That's why we call it the True House. However, he is not very reliable when it come to dates. They change from time to time and he gets several of them wrong. For example at the Tate-LaBianca trial he was 'positive' he met Charles Manson in March of 1967 at Phil Kaufman's home in Topanga Canyon.  Kaufman was in jail for another year.]

I would like to thank Deb for doing the initial research for this post and also for inspiring me to do the rest. 

3267 Waverly Drive


Here is how Harold True described the house at one time.

_____

“Our house on Waverly was like Frankenstein’s castle with a strobe light going all the time in the dining room. Such a variety of strange things went on at the house. We all thought that the police knew about us. One time I was going down Sunset Boulevard and picked up a hitchhiker. He told me, “Hey, there’s a great party. Here’s a map.” I said, “I think I can find it. It’s to my own house!” The guy was telling me about my own party. So you figure somewhere on the streets, somebody’s got to get this stuff.”
The True House Cielodrive.com

(Harold True quoted in Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 3972-3976). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition)
_____

The house, pictured in the photograph above and in that photograph to the upper right, consisted of a main house, rented by Harold True and his friends, a garage and a guest house. The guest house was occupied by Julia Posella. The home was owned jointly, according to deed records, by Julia Posella and Seglinda Joya Posella Bergstrom, her daughter.


The Roommate Revenge Motive


If we assume Helter Skelter was, indeed, the motive that night (I’m not convinced) then, it seems to me, the targets of the attack should be ‘sacrificial lambs’ chosen to further the cause of Helter Skelter. If we assume Manson isn’t stupid I think we also have to assume he wouldn’t murder someone who could easily link Manson directly to the murders. It also seems to me that the event that eventually triggers revenge also has to have been significant. Manson had to be pissed like he was after the Esalen snub and the Terry Melcher snub. Finally, for this motive to work at all the house has to be vacant that night.

The Roommates: A Full House- Two Pair with a Wild Card


The First Pair: Buddy Baltzell and Harry Yost


Ernest (Ernie) “Buddy or Bud” Vern Baltzell

It is likely Baltzell actually was the primary tenant of 3267 Waverly Drive, not Harold True. Baltzell’s name appears in the 1968 phone directory as being the resident of 3267 Waverly Drive. 

Buddy was born in 1940. He attended Hollywood High School where he played football. Upon graduation he joined the United States Army and served in the 101stAirborne. 

According to his memorial page (he passed away in 2007) Baltzell worked as a lithographer for 30 years. His hobbies included skiing, fishing trips, bungee jumping in New Zealand, and ‘hosting the famous West Covina Labor Day Party’.

Buddy 1957
I believe the image at the top of the post was taken at 3267 Waverly Drive while the Roommates lived there. The Roommates are in that picture. Baltzell is on Harold True’s shoulders. True is at the center of the photograph.

My belief this picture is from 3267 Waverly is based upon the fact that after the group separated in September 1968 they never got back together as a ‘foursome’. Specifically, I have found no indication that True ever linked back up to Baltzell and Yost and True and Baltzell are in the image. 

I think it was probable that Baltzell and Yost distanced themselves from the whole Waverly Drive scenario very quickly after the murders and their connection came to light. I found it odd that I was unable to find any indication that any of the Roommates except Harold True were ever interviewed by LAPD. I assume that they were but none testified to my knowledge and none are mentioned in the tomes, except by True. 

Harry Yost

Unfortunately, I was unable to find much information about Harry Yost. 


He attended Hollywood High School with Baltzell. He also played football with Baltzell as he
appears in this picture of the football team with Baltzell (whose name is misspelled as ‘Batzell’). Unfortunately, they decided in 1957 to simply alphabetize the names of the players and not indicate who is who in the picture. 

Yost also receives a brief mention on Bud Baltzell’s memorial page in a letter posted there by a friend, discussing a few memories. 

“Harry Yost and the Hawaiian princess, towing a car in Mexico only to lose control and have the towed car pass them and crash, pranks big and small and all done in a good natured, ultimately harmless way.”

Who is Yost in the Waverly image, above?
Baltzell, True, Yost?, ? 1962
I believe he is the individual on the right because that person also seems to be in the middle of this picture (left) from 1962, which includes both Ernie Baltzell and Harold True. 

Baltzell and Yost graduated from Hollywood High School in 1958. Baltzell's memorial page says he graduated in 1957 but he is not listed in that yearbook as a senior. Unfortunately, the 1958 yearbook for Hollywood High School is not available on line. 

Eleven years later Yost and Baltzell would cross paths with another Hollywood High graduate: Vincent Bugliosi, class of 1952. 

The Second Pair: Harold True and Allan Swerdloff


Like Baltzell and Yost, True and Swerdloff attended high school together at Birmingham High School
in Van Nuys, California. 

Harold True

Harold True played football in high school and, based upon his graduation picture attended Los Angeles Valley College after graduation. During the time he resided on Waverly Drive True was a graduate student at UCLA. His major was medieval history. I don't believe he ever obtained his PHD. I found no record of it. In Phil Kaufman's autobiography, Road Mangler Deluxe, True is described like this: 

"Harold True is a victim of the ’60s. His experiences with an ongoing battle to fight drug addiction have left him weak, rambling and somewhat bitter."

(Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 3933-3934). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
_____

Here is how True described himself at Waverly Drive.
_____

"Around the time I lived on Waverly Drive, I attended college Monday to Thursday. On the weekend, I’d just go crazy. At the time, I was taking huge amounts of amphetamines. I went to a psychiatrist and told him, “I got a problem. I’m taking amphetamines for college.” He said, “Everyone does that. What do you take, four or five a day? Is your habit that far?” I said, “No. My habit right now is I set my alarm clock for 4:30 a.m., it goes off, I get a glass of water, take 15 Dexedrines and go back to sleep. An hour later, I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, shit, shower and shave, and go to school. Then in class, I take 10 or 15 more. When I finish at school, I take another 10 or 15.”

(Harold True quoted in Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 3954-3960). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
_____

And here is some of the bitterness.
_____

"I had to go testify at those goddamned trials. And every time I testified, guess whose name got in the papers? I lost a job as a school teacher because of it. One time we noticed that an unusual amount of traffic was passing by our house, and when they came by, they all had their noses up at the window looking at us like we were freaks. To know Charles Manson, you had to be a freak also."

(Harold True quoted in Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 3980-3983). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
_____

True graduated in 1958 and went off to LAVC. Another Manson-related character also attended Los Angeles Valley College a couple years after True: David Gerrold (Jerrold D. Friedman) the man Steven Parent called from Cielo Drive. 

Allan Swerdloff


Allan Swerdloff also graduated from Birmingham High School in 1958. For some peculiar reason Swerdloff's name is misspelled consistently throughout the 1958 Birmingham High School yearbook. Here to the right the 'L" is missing. In another image his first name is 'Alan'.  How do I know it is not me who has the wrong guy? The image to the left, below, from the Van Nuys News correctly identifies him as 'Allan Swerdloff'. Harold True is also in that picture. Given what I learned about these guys it would not completely surprise me if this wasn't intentional. A recurring theme appeared during my research: laughs, pranks and practical jokes. Note Swerdloff's quote about himself in the yearbook. 

After graduation Swerdloff joined the air force with a class mate named Lawrence “Sonny” Diaz. He served one tour of duty and was a medic stationed in the Philippines. 

Van Nuys News July 3, 1958
Upon his return to the civilian world, Swerdloff attended the Los Angeles Trade Technical College where he received an associates degree in technical illustration. He later worked as an illustrator for American Technical Industrial Services. In the early seventies he co-founded a business known as Sunshine Studios. 'Sunshine' reappears a bit later. 

After all this passed into history Swerdloff formed several businesses, the most recent is named Swerdloff Designs. 

Allan Swerdloff date unknown
In the image at the top of the post I believe Swerdloff is at the back left. I base that opinion on the image to the right, which appears on the Swerdloff Designs website. 

Baltzell and Swerdloff each served at least one tour of duty after graduation. In 1958, from what I could find, that would have been either two years (with reserve obligations) or three years and done. That means the ‘roommates’ all would have been ‘available’ to meet by say 1961-62, which fits well with the 1962 photo, above. 

The Wild Card: Phil Kaufman


Without Phil Kaufman there is no connection between Charles Manson and 3267 Waverly Drive. The Roommates likely never meet him.

Most of what we know about Kaufman’s connection to Manson is summed up (yes, there are interviews, too) in his ‘autobiography’ Road Mangler Deluxe. The person who put Colin White (the 'author') in contact with the Kaufman at the outset was Allan Swerdloff. 

"I first came into contact with Phil Kaufman through a mutual friend, Allan Swerdloff. Allan had recommended Phil many times during our lengthy discussions on various facets of the California lifestyle which I was researching for another work—"Califobia: adventures in lala land"—and had suggested that Phil may even be a good subject for a book."

(Colin White in Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 123-125). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition) 

“Special thanks to Allan Swerdloff for his valuable help, patience and friendship through the years and for turning me on to my publisher.”

(Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 62-63). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.)

Kaufman’s connection to the story starts in about 1962. By then Kaufman knew the Roommates or at least some of them. Kaufman was arrested for trying to smuggle pot into the country from Mexico. He was facing 5-20 years if convicted. He jumped bail ($5,000 put up by his mother) and fled the country. He traveled about Europe and was finally apprehended in Sweden. The whole time he was on the lamb he travelled with a passport obtained using Harold True’s birth certificate. Eventually, he found himself at Terminal Island and in 1967 he met Charles Manson.

According to Kaufman when he was released from prison the wife of a fellow inmate drove him to the home of Al Swerdloff in Los Angeles. 
_____

"When I walked out of Terminal Island prison in 1968, the wife of one of the inmates took me to the L.A. home of Allan Swerdloff, whom I had known before this whole thing had happened. They had arranged a getting-out party for me. A black girl called Janet opened the door, looked at me and said, “Hey, there’s a cop out there.” My homecoming party from prison, and they thought I was a cop!"

(Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 744-747). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
_____

If accurate (much of what Kaufman says is not accurate) that house would have been 3267 Waverly Drive, the True House.

Later, Kaufman drifted to Topanga Canyon and hung around there with the Family for awhile. Harold True claims he met Manson when he went to visit Kaufman at a 'dilapidated house' in Topanga Canyon (the Spiral Staircase?) where Kaufman was staying. The next day True helped Manson move to a 'house in Hollywood' and Manson and 'the girls' spent the night a t3267 Waverly Drive.

How Did The Roomates Meet? 


The two pairs, above, obviously met in high school. I was not able to discover how the four got together but by 1962, from the photograph above, at least Baltzell and True had become friends. True claims he met Kaufman, originally, while he was at UCLA in the early sixties.
_____

"Phil was peripheral to the UCLA scene, but I knew him. We helped each other out when we could."

(Harold True quoted in Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 3941-3942). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition)
_____

While that could be true the problem is, in the same passage, True also says he was at UCLA in the late 60's and we know he knew Kaufman in the early sixties. I the late fifties and maybe the early sixties True was at Los Angeles Valley College. If he spent two years there (it is a Junior College) and entered UCLA after he spent almost eight years as a graduate student at UCLA [Bluto: Christ! Seven years of college down the drain. I might as well join the f--king Peace Corps.]

I think Kaufman may possibly answer part of the question how they met, at least as to Harold True, without actually answering it in Road Mangler Deluxe. True and Kaufman may have been fraternity brothers. 
_____

“I was a student at Los Angeles Valley College on the GI Bill. I joined a fraternity which was full of ex-GIs. We drank too much, if there’s any such thing. (I’ve always said there’s no such thing as “too much.”)”

(Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 333-335). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
_____
Kaufman does not say when he was at LAVC. He does say after serving in the Korean War he returned to Los Angeles in 1957, one year before True graduated from High School. 

The explanation makes sense, watch Animal House or a few Rob Lowe scenes from St. Elmo’s Fire. In a fraternity the ‘old’ guys’ were legend. I know because I was one. Their stories survived from class to class with new initiates learning the fables about the older guys. When the older guys graduated for a few years if they returned the young guys would gather around a keg to hear the stories. When you graduated, if you were in the same locale, you continued the lifestyle with your 'brothers' until jobs, women or worse separated you. There is a bond between 'brothers' that at a younger age I likely would never have broken. If you needed my help I was there. You would do anything for a brother, especially if he came bearing dope, women or beer. Kaufman would be like 'Billy Hicks' in St Elmos Fire to the younger guys. 

The second reason I think this might be right is because the pictures ‘feel’ like a fraternity: booze, women, pranks, practical jokes and a few drugs. At least mine was like that almost twenty years later.  

On the flip side I found no evidence Yost or Baltzell attended LAVC or any sort of college and Swerdloff attended a trade school.


Life at 3267 Waverly Drive


Again, think Animal House. From the quotes above we know acid, speed, pot and booze were ever-present at 3267 Waverly Drive. Kasabian partied there one time in the summer of '68. She and her husband, and according to True, a couple other guys got in because True knew someone who knew someone in her crew. Manson spent the night with 'the girls' one time and several other times he dropped by with 'some guy' who picked him up hitchhiking. 

In his taped interview with Aaron Stovitz True described Waverly as a 'party house'. There was a constant presence of partiers. If you knew someone who knew someone you could get in. 
_____

Q (Keith): And there was Linda?
A (True): Yes. It was the time of the communes.
Q: Did I hear you say it was the era of the commune?
A: Yeah. A lot of communes in the 60's. If you knew one of the people in the communes, you wound up knowing a lot of people.
(Harold True testimony 1977 trial of Leslie Van Houten)
_____

The picture to the right is Ernie Baltzell. It was not taken at Waverly. Look in the background. The pictures of the Beatles from the 'White Album' are on the wall. That means the photo is from sometime after November 1968.

Now, Back to Your Original Programming


Does the Roommate Revenge motive stand up to the evidence? No, it does not. 

Did the Roommates Snub Manson?


A key underpinning of the Roommate Revenge motive requires the roommates to actually disrespect Manson by refusing to allow Manson to join them at 3267 Waverly. This event has to be significant enough that Manson harbored a grudge for about a year worthy of murder. 

True in his interview with Aaron Stovitz says the Roommates refused to allow Manson to move in. However, he also said this: 
_____

"Charlie wanted to come and live with us on Waverly Drive. He stayed for about a week, ten days, but then we said no."

(Harold True quoted in Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 3963-3964). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
_____

Of course this contradicts his trial testimony where he consistently said Manson spent only one or two nights on two separate occasions at Waverly. It also contradicts what True told Stovitz.

But why would Manson carry a significant grudge over this incident? While True testified at Leslie Van Houten’s trial that the house was rented on a month to month tenancy there is something about the stay there running from September 1967 to September 1968 that sounds like a one, year lease to me. 

According to True when he was leaving in September 1968 Manson asked him if he could stay at Waverly and True told him to ask the roommates, who said 'no'. 

According to one version of True’s testimony the other three left in October, 1967.
_____ 

Q (Bugliosi): These gentlemen you were living with, these three other gentlemen, when you moved out of the Waverly address ln September of 68 were they still living there? 
A. Yes. 
Q: Did they eventually move out?
A: Yes.
Q: Do you know When?
A: October, November of ‘68, right after I did, they stayed about a month.
(Cielodrive.com, Testimony of Harold True at Tate-LaBianca)
_____

In another version, they left at the same time as True. 
_____

Q (Kay): When you moved out in September of ’68 did your other three roommates move out also?
A: Yes. 
(Cielodrive.com, Testimony of Harold True at the 1977 trial of Leslie Van Houten)
_____

We know Baltzell, Yost and Swerdloff all left within a month of True or at the same time. So any conversation probably went like this: ‘Sorry, Charlie, but we are all leaving’. This is hardly a rejection worthy of homicide. No one was going to stay there after September, not just Manson. 

Another problem is that I have not been able to find any reference to Manson actually carrying a grudge over this or being angry about it. If the snub was a big deal wouldn’t Harold True remember the reaction? While he mentions the incident in his interview in January 1970 with Aaron Stovitz he mentions it almost in passing and doesn't ascribe any animosity to Manson over it. I could find no mention of this incident by Bugliosi in Helter Skelter.

They Weren’t ‘Pigs’


If you believe the Helter Skelter (HS) motive you have to recognize that the Roommate Revenge motive simply doesn’t fit HS. HS is premised on the murder of rich white people (sacrificial lambs) with clues leading to the African-American community through the Manson prophecy. 

Murdering the roommates is completely inconsistent with this scenario. In fact, had the roommates actually been murdered that event would give those who subscribe to the drug burn motive a plausible explanation for the second night. 

The only thing that says HS about murders at 3267 Waverly Drive is the house. The roommates are a bit older than typical hippies (and three of the Cielo Drive victims) but none of them were established let alone, ‘establishment’. 

True, according to Kaufman and True was a political activist at UCLA. None of them came from money or even had much money. The rent at 3267 Waverly was $265 a month split four ways. That's about $400 each today. Two hundred dollars, it seems, was a lot of money to these guys. 
_____

Q (Keith): You went out there [Spahn] to get your $200?
A: I’m a student; $200 was a lot of money, and I was getting ready to go to Africa. Yes.
(Cielodrive.com, testimony of Harold True at Leslie Van Houten’s 1977 trial) 
_____

The roommates partied with Manson and Kasabian, smoked pot, dropped acid and likely had sex with the 'girls'. Not only do they not fit the HS target profile but Manson et al knew they didn’t fit the profile. Unlike Cielo Drive or the LaBianca house Manson knew who he would encounter at the True House. 

Harold True did once say the girls didn’t like him because he had college degrees and a shelf full of books. Books and college degrees (there is no evidence Baltzell or Yost attended college and Swerdloff attended a trade school) don’t make you a ‘pig’, money (and position) does.

[Aside: Kaufman has a different explanation for the 'girls' and True: “Harold couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse with a fistful of twenties.” (Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Location 802). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition)]

By any definition of the term 'pigs' that I have seen the roommates were not 'pigs'. That means the target is wrong if HS is the motive. 

I Don't Think This Would Have Been Easy


Under the Roommate Revenge motive 5’3”, 130lb Charles Manson was going to subdue these guys alone, albeit armed with a gun. Once he did he would leave them unattended to go get the hit squad. That would consist of a 140lb Texan on speed and two skinny chicks, none of whom had weapons. 

At the time there would have been two guys in this house who played football and two who did active duty. One was
Baltzell on the ground Sept. '68
101stAirborne. They knew guns. 

Do you really think these guys (right) would wait passively for Manson to go summon two unarmed women and a 140lb speed tweaked Tex Watson? Do you believe he could subdue all three and tie them up, alone, or even with Watson without a fight? 

This wasn’t Leno and a terrified Rosemary LaBianca Manson would have confronted. Imagine how this had to go down: ‘Ok, now everyone, sit here quietly while I go get Katie, Lulu and Tex’. It doesn’t make sense to me that Manson would go after three of these guys alone or even with Watson. This isn't 'an unknown number of occupants' at Cielo Drive. He knew who would be there. And according to the official narrative he would have gone there alone with a pocket full of leather thongs.

And Manson had a gun. 

Baltzell in red
The Roommate Revenge motive is also weakened precisely because Manson did, in fact, have a gun. If his target was the Roommates, Manson knew who he might encounter in this house. 

To pull this off, it seems to me, he likely would have had to have shot one or more of them. Manson carefully avoided being there for the coup de grace at Hinman and Cielo Drive, maintaining until his death a certain exasperation that one could be convicted of murder and never murder anyone. 

I also have to ask, if this is the target, and you know there are three of them, why leave the ‘hit squad’ in the car? You know there are three of them and maybe even more given the parties. Doesn't it make more sense to take everyone. It doesn't make sense to me that he would go alone.  

Roommate Revenge Leads Directly to Spahn Ranch


Killing Baltzell, Yost and Swerdloff because of a snub leaves two very good witnesses for the homicide detectives: Kaufman and especially, Harold True. 

True’s Peace Corps stint was over by June ’69. By September he was living in the back house at the Chandler Boulevard home of Phil Kaufman. He doesn’t have an alibi for August 9-10, 1969.
  
How long would it take for LAPD to round up Harold True and ask him if anyone had a grudge against these guys? If the disrespect happened at a level to trigger revenge it seems the Roommates would know about it. True would know about it. Since he would initially be a suspect (or fear he was next), he’d probably cooperate. True leads to Manson and Kaufman and Kaufman also leads to Manson. 

While I am cognizant of Harold True’s quote that these people were so stupid they couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the bottom of the heal I find it extremely unlikely Manson would choose a house with such a direct link back to Manson and leave two witnesses behind who could place him at the crime scene on multiple occasions and one who could ID him as having a grudge. 

Remember, Manson allegedly went after Melcher's house, not Melcher. He never went after Wilson or Jakobson. He had bigger grudges against all three. In fact, he didn't go after anyone who had ties to someone who could directly connect him to the crimes. Did he go after locations? Yes. People with connections? No.

They Were Family


Members of 'the Family'? No. But they were friends or friends of friends of Charles Manson. 

From what I can tell by 1970 Baltzell and Yost had flown the coop, cutting off any connection to Manson. By September 1969 True was living at Kaufman's home, and Swerdloff, was still on board. Kaufman also rented a house near his home on Chandler for three of the girls: Gypsy, Sandy and Squeaky. Both True and Kaufman brought attorneys to meet with Manson in jail trying to assist him in getting legal representation. True visited Manson in jail several times. He also maintained that Manson didn't order anything then and throughout his life. 
_____

"This was Charlie’s whole problem. He never told anyone to go kill those people. Charlie’s big mistake was telling them, “You do what you think is right.” If you tell a crazy person to do what they think is right, what are you going to get? Who the hell knows! And that’s what happened."

(Harold True quoted in Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 3969-3971). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition)
_____ 

In January 1970 Manson sent several of the girls to Kaufman to ask him to get Manson’s music out to the public. Kaufman agreed, raised $3,000 and produced the Lie album.  

To the right is an image of the liner notes from a later CD of that album. It also contains the original notes. Look, there, below the handwritten rambling crap. 

“Produced by phil 12258cal”: that is Phil Kaufman, the number being his inmate number (see image, above). 
 “Sunshine Al”: that is Al Swerdloff, who conceived and designed the cover. Remember Sunshine Studio, above?
“K.A. True”: that is Harold True, who invested part of the $3,000. 
_____

“The Manson record album called LIE was released in 1971 when he was in prison [It was actually March 6, 1970]. I produced the album. The jacket design was taken from the cover of the issue of Life magazine that he was on, and Al Swerdloff just lifted the “F” off of LIFE. That became the cover. Nobody put their real name on the credits on the album. Everybody put their prison number, or phony names like “Sunshine Al” (Al Swerdloff). I’m “Phil 12258 CAL” (you can call me “one-two-two” for short). The album went out but didn’t sell well. We took it up to Berkeley and nobody would carry it. All those radical lefties and radical freedom fighters were up there, but they wouldn’t carry it. That was after Charlie had been arrested but not yet convicted. We pressed 3,000 copies, and the “family” broke in my house and stole about half of them. We did some mail orders. The money was never recouped. Harold True was one of the investors. They never got their money back.”

(Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 817-824). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition)
_____

True and Kaufman also went to bat for Manson during the investigation. They were both interviewed by Aaron Stovitz on January 27, 1970. At the very end of tape two of True’s interview if you listen closely you learn that Kaufman and True are there at the same time, together, and with the same lawyer. True’s attorney can be overheard saying ‘before you speak with Kaufman, I want to talk to you’. 

Kaufman talks mainly about Manson’s music during the interview. Aside from discussing his Terminal Island connection, he never discusses his connection with Manson in 1968. In fact, at one point he dodges the issue (6:22). Later he eludes to his ‘prior association’ but provides no details. It is possible that that was the outcome of the lawyer to lawyer discussion off the record. Kaufman’s attorney may have said that was off limits.

At 12:30 Kaufman challenges Stovitz’ assumption Manson knew anyone was going to Cielo Drive that night. And then at 13:18 he interrupts Stovitz to offer this: “As for Susan Atkins if she told me what time it was I’d have to go check.” At this point Stovitz quits asking questions, although the conversation continues for another four minutes. The interview can be found at Cielodrive.com.  

Immediately before Kaufman, Harold True was interviewed. At 4:40 of tape number 2 True first expresses the opinion that Atkins’ story doesn’t 'sound like Charlie’. He says that Manson isn’t stupid ‘and this whole affair is stupid’. He immediately after offers his unsolicited opinion that Atkins is a "pathological liar". Later, he denies knowing anything about Manson’s philosophy and denies knowing when Kaufman met Manson (which is simply not true). The interview can be found at Cielodrive.com. 

I think it is a stretch to say Manson would go after friends or friends of friends. Both True and Kaufman described Manson in those terms at the time and while there is no interview of Swerdloff available he appears to have supported Manson, initially, as well. 

No One Was Home


The Roommate Revenge motive relies heavily on the fact that no one was home at the True House. In fact, if anyone was home it falls apart completely. Manson, finding no one home upon whom to exact revenge, then crossed the yard to the LaBianca’s. 

The home at 3267 Waverly Dr. was owned in December, 1969 by one Leon Berberian. In the image to the right the property is described as having three structures: a house, a garage and a guest house (line 11). The image is a December 10, 1969 building permit. Berberian's name is misspelled. The Berberians, according to deed records, received ownership on August 21, 1969 from Julia and Seglinda Posella, Julia's daughter.  

In the image below from the 1968 city directory Mrs. A. LaBianca is listed as living in 3301 Waverly and two people are listed as living at 3267: Julia B. Posella and E.V. Baltzell. The second is our Roommate, Bud Baltzell. This is consistent with a main house and a guest house having two different phone numbers. Mrs. A. LaBianca is Leno’s mother. His father’s name was Antonio LaBianca.  

In the 1969 directory Julia Posella is again listed as a resident of 3267, while no one is listed at 3301. Ms. Posella is the mother of Leonard Posella Jr., who appears in the homicide reports as a suspect. 

In 1973 Leon Berberian is listed as residing in 3267 (twice, once misspelled) and Dikram Berberian is listed as the resident of 3301. 

[Aside: Leon Berberian’s name is frequently misspelled as ‘Leno’ by the LAPD and his last name as ‘Berberion’ or even ‘Barbarian’ in various records. The source for Berberian is the deed to 3267.]

The first homicide report confirms the Posella connection: 
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“Subject [Leonard Posella] has resided with his mother, Julia Posella, at 3267 Waverly Drive.”
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The second homicide report contains this statement: 
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“Bruckman [Leonard Posella’s estranged wife, whose name was actually Jean Brockman] informed investigators that while she was married to Posella she can recall seven separate occasions when Posella visited the LaBiancas. Bruckman reported that on each instance when she and Posella were visiting Posella's mother, who lived next door to the Labiancas, Leonard Posella would go to the LaBianca residence and return with either money or whiskey which he said Leno had given him.”

(All homicide report references are courtesy of Cielodrive.com)
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The LaBiancas moved into 3301, according to the second homicide report, in ‘late 1968’. Bugliosi in Helter Skelter says November 1968. I was not able to pinpoint the precise date but it was after the Roommates moved out in the September '68 timeframe as True steadfastly maintained no one lived next door while he was at Waverly. Ms. Brockman’s recollection must relate to visits after November '68. The visits could have all occurred in the last month of 1968 or early 1969 and likely happened before May 1969 when warrants were issued for Posella. But this is at least some indication that part of the True House may have been occupied in August 1969. There is no indication Ms. Posella moved out of 3267 Waverly Drive until August 21, 1969. 

But then there are the strange references to  Leon Berberian, the soon to be owner of 3267 Waverly Drive and his wife, Amine and Sosy Sarkasian in the second homicide report. 
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“Two composite drawings of a possible suspect were made by Officer Garcia from information supplied by Leno and Amine Berberian and Sosy Sarkasian. Officer Garcia told investigators there was "quite" a discrepancy between the information given by Leno Berberian and that given by Sosy Sarkasian and Amine Berberian. The Berberians and Sarkasian observed a male Caucasian on the lawn in front of the LaBianca residence on Sunday, August 10, 1969 between 1600 and 1700 hours.”
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According to the report Leon and his wife, together with Sosy saw someone in the LaBianca front yard on the late afternoon of August 10th. The police ordered a composite sketch made. First, I have to think the date is wrong in the report (August 10th) or who they saw would have been a member of the LAPD. Why do a composite of someone who was standing in the yard after the murders?

I actually had to read this several times because it is a day late. 1600-1700 on August 10this 4-5 P.M. on the day the bodies were discovered. The bodies were discovered in the morning.  Something is clearly wrong, there. 

The Berberians appear to have seen someone in the LaBianca yard on or about the day of the murders, even if the date was inaccurate.  

The Berberians do not appear at any other Waverly address in the 1968 or 1969 directories. Eleven days later they are the owners of 3267 Waverly Drive. So what were they doing in the area on August 9-10? If they were just random sightseers how did LAPD find them?

I believe the answer is they were renting the main house or living there waiting for the August 21st transaction to close. Why else would the very soon to be owners be on Waverly Drive the day before and after the murders? There seems to me to be no other logical answer unless this is one of the weirdest coincidences of all time. 

This suggests that the Berberians were at 3267 Waverly Drive on the night of August 9-10. They spoke to police about their observations on the afternoon of August 10th which is likely the 9th. That means that 3267 Waverly Drive was not vacant on August 9-10, 1969.

If the house was occupied on August 9-10, 1969 then 3301 Waverly Dr. was chosen on purpose, not as a 'fall back' option. Otherwise, Manson would have simply proceeded with his plan at 3267. If some random 'Pigs' were home at 3267 they are as good a target as those at 3301, unless Manson was specifically going to 3301 or specifically avoiding 3267. 

If Manson believed Swerdloff, Baltzell and Yost were still at 3267 (and did not realize the Berberians lived there) then it is likely he purposely didn’t go there. That means he was avoiding 3267, not seeking Roommate Revenge.  

So Why Waverly Drive?


Sometimes, the simplest answer is the right answer: Manson knew the area and the house. 

There are three witnesses to the events of that night, leading up to the decision to go to 3301 Waverly Drive: Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Tex Watson All tell a similar story. A story that says Manson was never going to 3267 but was, indeed, going directly to 3301. 

Atkins
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Q (Bugliosi): Well, apart from any assumption on your part did Charlie ever indicate why he picked this particular house? 
A: I thought about that last night and I asked him if it was Harold's house. 
Q: Who is Harold?
A: Harold was the man who happened to have lived in the house next door a year ago previously. 
Q: What did he say to that? 
A: He said, "No, it's the one next door."

(Cielodrive.com. Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Locations 891-894). Kindle Edition)
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Kasabian
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Q: What happened after you stopped in front of this house?
A: I was really surprised that we stopped there and I said something about, "You are not going to that house, are you?"
And Charlie said, "No, I am going to go next door." And he got out of the car and I saw him walk up the driveway that looked like to Harold's house. Then he disappeared. It was dark and bushes.
*****
Q: And he walked up Harold True's driveway?
A: Yes.
Q: And the driveway was to your left rear?
A: Yes.
(Cielodrive.com, Linda Kasabian’s testimony, State vs. Watson)
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Q: When had you been parked in front of that home prior to this occasion?
A: A year before, approximately, in July of 1968.
Q: What was the occasion for your being in that particular location a year earlier?
A: My husband and I and friends were on our way down from Seattle, Washington, to New Mexico and we stopped off in Los Angeles, and this one particular person knew Harold True, so we went to his house and had a party.
Q: Is this the house in front of which Manson told you to stop the car?
A: Yes, it is.
Q: Now, when Manson directed you to stop in front of Harold True's place, did you recognize the spot?
A: Yes, I did right away.
Q: Did you say anything to Manson with respect to this?
A: Yes.
Q: What did you say to him?
A: Charlie, you are not going into that house, are you?
Q: Did he say anything to you when you said that to him?
A: Yes, he did, he said, 'No, I'm going next door.' 
(Linda Kasabian testimony, Tate-LaBianca)
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[Aside: Notice, both Atkins and Kasabian take credit for the concerned statement about the True House. There seem to be only three possible reasons for this (1.) either Atkins wanted to take credit for what Kasabian said or visa-versa (2.) someone adopted someone else’s memory by hearing about the statement or (3.) someone was coached. I didn’t take the time to look up whether that statement appeared in the press following Atkins’ Grand Jury testimony.]

Watson
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“After that, Charlie started giving very specific directions to Linda, as if he had a particular place in mind. Eventually we ended up parked across the street from a large old Spanish-style house at 3301 Waverly Drive, near Griffith Park in the Los Feliz section of town. Apparently Linda recognized a house nearby, because she said something to Charlie about not hitting it. Charlie also knew the other place, having been there for an acid party with some of the Family over a year before, but he told her no, it was this house, the one directly across from us with the boat in the driveway — this was the house where Helter Skelter would fall again.” (Will You Die for Me, by Charles Watson as told to Chaplain Ray Hoekstra, Copyright 1978 Renewed Copyright 2010 by Steve Housden)
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All three of the witnesses say the same thing: Manson specifically chose 3301 Waverly Drive. And while none of them have tremendous credibility all agree Manson was never going to the True House. 
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“The only two places Charlie knew in Los Angeles were Sharon Tate’s house, which at the time belonged to Terry Melcher, and my house on Waverly Drive.”

(Harold True quoted in Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 3962-3963). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
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I think Harold may be right. 

[Aside: Kaufman claims that Manson was looking for Harold True and Kaufman that night. 
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“Manson had the La Biancas killed when he was looking for Harold and me. I had previously fallen out with Charlie over his music, and he was after me. That fateful night, Charlie & Co. took some LSD, then came looking for us. They went to my house first, then they went to Waverly Drive where Charlie and his tribe had crashed some parties earlier. But the house was vacant; Harold, Al and Ernie had moved out a short while before. They then went next door and killed the La Bianca couple. It wasn’t just a coincidence.”

(Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 807-811). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition)
_____


I have to say… ah, no. I found absolutely no evidence Manson went to Kaufman’s house that night, as Kaufman claims. An image of his house at 13150 Chandler Boulevard in Van Nuys appears to the right. Do you think Kasabian or Atkins would have forgotten that place? Of course, Manson also knew Harold True was not at 3267.]

So Why 3301 Waverly?

The answer to that may be buried in the second homicide report. 
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“Lucille Ellen Larsen is the owner of Lucy's Pet Shop, 2524 Hyperion. She claimed to be a close friend of Rosemary.
*****
She recalled Rosemary once making the statement "someone is coming in our house while we're away." Larsen suggested it might have been the children or their friends. Rosemary said she had questioned them and was satisfied it was not the children or their friends. Larsen asked Rosemary how she knew someone was coming into her home. Rosemary replied, "Things have been gone through and the dogs are in the house when they should be outside or visa versa." This was first mentioned prior to 1968. There were reported burglaries at the LaBianca residence yet it is common knowledge that Rosemary left the keys to her car and the house in her Thunderbird, which was usually parked in the rear of the house.”
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[Aside: The statement ‘prior to 1968’ can’t be accurate as the LaBiancas didn’t live there prior to 1968.] 

I’ve always wondered about this comment. As others have noted, it sounds like a creepy-crawl. Where better to creepy-crawl than in familiar neighborhoods. If Ms. Larsen’s report is accurate then perhaps Manson did know the LaBianca house was occupied and chose it because, like Cielo Drive, he knew the layout (or perhaps someone else in the car that evening knew).

Pax Vobiscum

Dreath

Correction: I stated above that there must be something wrong with the 2nd Homicide Report because the bodies were found on the morning of the 10th. In point of fact, I was wrong. The bodies were discovered on the evening of the 10th of August. 


194 comments:

Chris Till said...

Another interesting post.

CMM spoke about his prior knowledge of the LaBianca house in his 12/5/2013 "Rolling Stone" interviews. "I used to go there whenever they had big parties at Harold True's house next door. It'd be empty. It was the crash camp where everyone would go to fall on girls. I'd live in there for a couple of hours at [a] time, that's all."

AstroCreep said...

Absolutely amazing contribution. I loved every second reading it and learned a great deal! THANK YOU for your hard work on this-

A few random thoughts that entered my mind as I read this-

When you discuss motive- you talk about Charlie’s need to revenge for being wronged. Had he shacked up with Harold and the boys, the Dennis Wilson situation would have likely never happened. So possibly Charlie doesn’t dwell on this as a negative, because of that.

Also, with reference to motive and Charlie’s establishment hate- (random thought) the girls all mention murder as an act of love, going thru changes, etc. “you have to love somebody to do this to them” blah blah blah. How can Manson have hate as a motive and the girls have love as a their motive? I don’t think HS was Charlie’s motive, but I do believe it was the narrative he preached that enabled the crimes.

My belief is Charlie selected 3301 because it’d been vacant and he’d likely slipped in there to have prison sex with some girls he met at Harold and the boys house. He knew the back door, knew the layout, which rooms were where etc.

Also in regards to why 3301 was selected- I could be wrong but Harold’s crib looks like a dump whereas 3301 looks more establishment- plus the boat parked out front etc. I’m not sure if that’s the case but look like two different neighborhoods instead of adjoining properties.

It came to mind that Harold’s conflicting testimony and statements may have been to protect his buddies from damage because of their very removed involvement in the crimes and association with Manson. Just a thought.

Again, thanks for posting this!

Orwhut said...

"You can't ascribe reason to crazy people". Harold True

David said...

Chris Till,

I can see I probably should have included that quote from Manson in the post. His being in the house may be the entire connection. The bit at the end just has always intrigued me. Rosemary was concerned enough to tell a friend about the odd events. She also was upset about the Cielo Drive murders. I wonder if she wasn't putting 2 and 2 together. I also wonder if creepy-crawls were not somewhat more specific dress rehearsals. It would be interesting to know the houses they actually creepy-crawled in the months leading up to the murders.


AstroCreep said: "I don’t think HS was Charlie’s motive, but I do believe it was the narrative he preached that enabled the crimes."

I agree with that 100%. In fact, like I have said elsewhere, I think his effectiveness on selling this is what fed Bugliosi a motive.

starviego said...

A well researched thread!

Does this have any relevance? Comment by Manson lawyer Irving Kanarek

https://vimeo.com/45600845
51:30 mark
Kanarak: Harold True was a dealer for Linda Kasabian.

Peter said...

Nice post. I have also always felt that Manson must have scoped out the empty house next to True's on at least one visit. On August 10, he probably intended on going to True's house knowing it better (he would have known that True had moved), but when it didn't look like anyone was living there, went next door.

Jonathan Menges said...

"The Berberians do not appear at any other Waverly address in the 1968 or 1969 directories. Eleven days later they are the owners of 3267 Waverly Drive. So what were they doing in the area on August 9-10? If they were just random sightseers how did LAPD find them?

I believe the answer is they were renting the main house or living there waiting for the August 21st transaction to close. Why else would the very soon to be owners be on Waverly Drive the day before and after the murders? There seems to me to be no other logical answer unless this is one of the weirdest coincidences of all time. "

While its possible they were renting, typically in any purchase under contract (rent-to-own) you'd see the deed dated prior to when it was recorded because the deed would be signed, notarized, and held in escrow until the sale closed. The deed to 3267 is dated August 21 but not recorded until the August 29, which would be the date they closed on the house. There could have been some arrangement to allow them to begin moving early, meet property inspectors, etc. Regardless, they would have been under contract to purchase the house for a month or longer prior to August 29 so their presence on the property on a Saturday afternoon wouldn't be too out of the ordinary.

Robert C said...

Thanks for the narrative, David.

My assessment of the LaBianca slaughter based only on my guess ....

Manson feels what went down at Cielo was poorly done, especially because it seems they didn't know exactly who and how many were there. We have four males and two females (and one unborn). Manson sends up one male and three females. Surprise, bushwhack and a gun carry the day but it could have gone really bad for the meager Family forces with casualties which may have wound up pointing the finger at Manson. He decides at the 'next one' he's not going to take such a risk.

After fiddling around Manson decides to go to two known residences. He personally checks on the 'True' house first to make sure it's empty and without threat of anyone 'hearing' anything that happens next door. At this point he's feeling if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. He then goes to LaBianca's place to assess who's there, how many, and tells them all will be well, it's just a robbery, but he has to tie them up for his security which they oblige. Then he leaves and sends in his morons to butcher them.

I suspect he knew the 'True' house was already empty but wanted to make sure. He may or may not have known who and how many lived next door but there's sufficient evidence (to me) to suggest he already knew the floor plan as he stated. And there's an upper middle class couple there who fits the bill for HS sacrifice. I don't think he knew the LaBianca's nor had any connection to them - they were selected randomly as a result of being next to the 'True' house, it being familiar (creepy crawl or a former 'crash' place ?) and again, it qualified as a 'pig' residence.

True's buddies are interesting characters but I don't really see a Manson 'revenge' motive going on here, at least with the two residences selected for hits. I suspect the HS narrative is what his acolytes are still following (with varying degrees of enthusiasm) even though he likely realizes it's all BS (except maybe in moments of self-grandeur and performance) based on at least what LVH said.

But after fleeing to the desert he must have known the whole farce would come tumbling down as money and food begin to become scarce, promises of HS detail starting to wear thin, and there's evidence of this with his reported increasing agitation and homicidal behavior and the departure of several of his followers at high risk before the police stepped in and rounded up the remainder.

Ah well, hope all this fits into the thread .... :-)


starship said...

So, ok, I could share more details if pressed but Leno and his first wife bought the house from his mother after they married and his mother moved into an apt above the garage. Then sells it back to her after he marries Rosemary and buys the Disney House which they sold rather quickly. He buys Waverly back from his mother and he and Rosemary move in in late 1968.
So are there phone records for who lived there in the intervening years? I am having a hard time believing that Waverly was left vacant for long periods of time...

David said...

Starship said: "So are there phone records for who lived there in the intervening years?"

You can find them here: http://rescarta.lapl.org/ResCarta-Web/jsp/RcWebBrowse.jsp

1956- Mrs. A. La Bianca
1960 through 1965- Mrs. A. La Bianca
1967- Mrs. A. La Bianca

Jonathan Menges said...

"I am having a hard time believing that Waverly was left vacant for long periods of time..."
In 1965 Leno took out a mortgage on Waverly that assigned the rents to the bank, so it was rented out in 1965 at least.

Jennifer Hays said...

I don't have anything to add, but there's a lot to think about here. I just wanted to say that I think your site is just getting better and better. There have been some really incredible posts lately. You're all doing a great job here.

Torque said...

Excellent work here. Thanks for posting. Concerning the creepy-crawl at
3301,apparently this has been fairly well established. But is there evidence that the main house at Cielo was creepy-crawled?

I have found a snippet of conversation from William Garretson during his polygraph examination that intrigues me. This can be found at Scribd, "The Recorded Polygraph Examination of William Eston Garretson Tape 32116". Here Garretson is interviewed by Lt. A.H. Burdick. (*)indicates unintelligible.

WG: "Well way back in March or something I heard the poodles run around,and there was somebody back there tramping around."
WG: "Well, it was the shutters. It was unbolted and the screen had been pried before.I don't know how that got there. It may have happened quite awhile because the screen(*)then I hooked it up then."
Q: "Wasn't it already hooked up?"
WG: "No it was unlatched."
Q: "Is it usually unlatched?"
WG: "The last time I remember it was latched."
Q: "Who unlatched it?"
WG: "I don't know. The thing was bent."

Here Garretson was describing being afraid while living in the guest house. It may be possible that what he was referring to was a creepy-crawl of the guesthouse, where someone tried to pry open a shuttered window. Yet I have found no evidence in the existing literature to suggest that the main house at Cielo was creepy-crawled.

David said...

Torque,

Thank you for that. I had not noticed it, before.

Yana the Witch:

"Yana told me about "cutting capers" with her friends out in L. A. What they would do was break into some expensive suburban house at night, either alone or in groups, and while making no attempt at secrecy or quiet, take or break anything they wanted to, Yana had gone into homes alone, unarmed, and turned on the stereo or television while she ransacked the house. She said no one ever tried to stop her. They were so "afraid of themselves," she said that they'd just lie frozen in bed thinking, "Oh my God! There's a BURGLAR in the house!"

No, there is no evidence they creepy-crawled Cielo Drive. No evidence, save, maybe, Rosemary's concern they creepy crawled any house, specifically. And Rosemary's statement is weak.

starviego said...

David said...
"Yana told me about "cutting capers" with her friends out in L. A. What they would do was break into some expensive suburban house at night..."

What is your source?

David said...

Starviego,

Sorry, I thought that was more in the realm of common knowledge.

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1969/12/18/the-road-from-gallup-to-albuquerque/

Note: he is after Atkins' testimony became common knowledge. He is anonymous. But..... there are some details that were not known, publicly on December 18, 1969.

David said...

I'll write a long post on it.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

What is your source?

James Breckenridge. Almost certainly.

Peter said...

Did they ever get Breckenridge on the stand, or didn't he skip town before they could subpoena him? Were they able to use the article? Or would that be hearsay? Or Statements in Learned Treatises, Periodicals, or Pamphlets exception?

Excited Utterance?

GreenWhite said...

Thanks for the Crimson link. I never read the piece in full before. While I expect and create typos online in 2018 (but can typically immediately fix them outside of Blogger), I find it kinda weird that the Crimson would have typos in their newspaper. I wonder if that can be attributed to the person who put the article online. Regardless, awesome post, great writing, and thanks for the visual aids. Super nice presentation.

starviego said...

"The Road from Gallup to Albuquerque"

Wow, I was there back in the day, on a trip with my father through the Southwest. The place was called "Commune of the Enchanted Sun" and we stayed and enjoyed the hotsprings. When we got there a girl wearing a sweatshirt--and just a sweatshirt--walked up and offered me a flower. The hotsprings and pool were a all scummy green from algae, though.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

Harold True is the primary witness for most of what we know about 3267 Waverly Drive. That's why we call it the True House. However, he is not very reliable when it come to dates. They change from time to time and he gets several of them wrong. For example at the Tate-LaBianca trial he was 'positive' he met Charles Manson in March of 1967 at Phil Kaufman's home in Topanga Canyon

Given that Manson was in jail himself for most of March '67 and that elsewhere True gives the date as March '68 {that's what he told Stovitz in Jan '70}, and also considering Kaufman gave Manson some numbers of musical contacts for use once he was out of prison, clearly showing that he himself remained inside, I'd say that was an understandable slip. It is interesting that True is asked if he's sure it wasn't March '68 when he met Charlie. During the trial he also says that he moved into the house in September '66 until Sept '67. He sort of corrects himself then gets it rather confused and all this within 3 questions ! But what it shows is that dates were not necessarily his strong point. He reminds me of the way John Lennon would describe events with clarity of the participation but be off with the date......I'm sensing an acid impaired memory. Under questioning he said he'd written to Charlie in jail in Independence and claimed it was August '69 then September. Bugliosi actually says to him "You're not really sure about the date are you ?" which I thought was kind of amusing.
Getting dates wrong during this trial wasn't the preserve of Harold True. When Bugliosi questioned TJ about the night Lotsapoppa got popped, he mentioned a couple of times, "early July" but by the penalty phase he was calling it August 1st, quite a difference.
Mistakes happen.

If we assume Manson isn’t stupid I think we also have to assume he wouldn’t murder someone who could easily link Manson directly to the murders

By murdering someone that lived next door to someone that he could be directly linked with, he ran almost as much of a risk.
Thinking about it, the same could actually be said for Gary Hinman and Shorty Shea. Yet, in all three cases, Charles Manson was the furthest person from the Polices' mind initially.

It also seems to me that the event that eventually triggers revenge also has to have been significant

The way we all debate this subject on this and other sites over many years tells me as nothing else could that significance really is in the mind of the beholder. Some find one thing really significant. Others look at it and don't see it at all. There is no universal standard of what is held to be significant in the human mind. Dianne Lake describes in her book wanting some of Charlie's attention. She plays up to him seductively, he anally rapes her. I suspect most of us would say that was an overreaction on his part, but Charlie Manson showed on a number of occasions that he simply did not operate within conventional lines.

David said...

Grim said: "Mistakes happen."

Right, that was my point. Not everyone here has our 'knowledge base'. I didn't want them going to the transcript and saying 'wait he said 1967....." without offering an explanation. We also know the addresses. Some don't.

Grim said: "significance really is in the mind of the beholder" and "Charlie Manson showed on a number of occasions that he simply did not operate within conventional lines."

And with those responses any argument to the contrary may be dismissed. It is like saying 'they were crazy' 'you can't expect reason from crazy'. No, but we can look at the objective evidence and draw conclusions.

Gorodish said...

Great informative post David; filled in a few blanks for me about the roommates. Great photos too !
I agree with Harold True's comment about Cielo and Waverly being the only houses in L.A. Manson was familiar with (aside from Dennis Wilson's place). Manson was probably familiar with the LaBianca house, either through the aforementioned wanderings there from Harold's parties or the alleged "creepy-crawls". I have always wondered about the creepy-crawls and who went on them. The parole commissioner from Tex Watson's last hearing, John Peck, was trying to get Tex to talk about them, but Tex claimed he never went on them and the stories about them were overblown. The part about Rosemary LaBianca describing misplaced items and "Who Let The Dogs Out/In" does seem to lend credence to the creepy-crawl stories.

Gorodish said...

Harold and company's landlords at 3267 Waverly make for an interesting side story to this post. Julia B Posella apparently got the house as part of a 1953 settlement when her husband, Leonard Posella, filed for divorce in 1953. Leonard was an accomplished flutist with the L.A. Philharmonic, and played on many movie soundtracks, as well as on records from composers as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Ferde Grofe. You can hear his flute playing on all of the Looney Tunes/Bugs Bunny cartoon themes in the 50s and 60s. While not exactly a household name, he is highly respected in the world of flutists. His son, Leonard Jr., mentioned in this post as an early LaBianca suspect, was a completely different story; a real piece of work. His rap sheet was littered with drunk driving, drug arrests, and assaults on women he was involved with. He was an attorney who was recommended for disbarment, and was described by a psychiatrist as having uncontrolled aggressions of maniacal proportions. His first wife described his visits to Leno LaBianca's house and him returning with either booze or money, saying "It's Okay, I know them and they better give it to me or else." Posella Jr. died in 1983 at the ripe old age of 48.

AstroCreep said...

But Charlie did come up rather quickly as a possible suspect- remember it was a case of detective rivalry between LASO/LAPD-

starviego said...

Gorodish said...
"I have always wondered about the creepy-crawls and who went on them. ... Tex claimed he never went on them and the stories about them were overblown."

They were overblown. Many talk about them, but few admit going on one. The only confirmed 'creepy crawl' was the break-in at Jack Jones' house(the one where they stole his cowboy hat) by Vance, Plumlee, and maybe others.

"Yana had gone into homes alone, unarmed, and turned on the stereo or television while she ransacked the house."

Does anyone believe this stuff?

starviego said...

Gorodish said...
I agree with Harold True's comment about Cielo and Waverly being the only houses in L.A. Manson was familiar with (aside from Dennis Wilson's place).

And Melcher's Malibu pad, and the Summit Ridge House, and the Spiral Staircase, and Rosina Kroner's place, and the FOTW place, and the Log Cabin, and a couple places in Topanga Canyon, and Melba's Malibu ranch pad, and maybe Mama Cass' place, etc. etc.

AstroCreep said...

I liken much of what’s talked about as “the good ole days” on the ranch to my time at summer camp as a kid. Overblown and grandios stories most of which are being shared by someone who heard about it, rather than by people who participated.

These were kids with only a few exceptions.

starviego said...

AstroCreep said...
"But Charlie did come up rather quickly as a possible suspect..."

Yes they did! I suspect they had already had Charlie pegged within the first week:

Roman by Roman Polanski:
pg315
Helter Skelter takes the LAPD to task for failing to follow-up a lead that might have exposed the Manson "family" earlier--a lead based on similarities between the deaths at Cielo Drive and that of Gary Hinman, a music teacher murdered ten days earlier, also by Manson's followers. Bob Helder was well aware of this however. He told me, very soon after we first met, of a possible lead involving a bunch of hippies living in the Chatsworth area under a commune leader, "a crazy guy who calls himself Jesus Christ."

David said...

Starviego said: "Roman by Roman Polanski: pg315"

I noticed that when I recently read that, myself. It seems to me if the cops followed SOP they would have set out to eliminate suspects. I have to think that by November 1969 the LaBianca detectives would have whittled that list down to one name. Makes me wonder how close they were before Atkins shot her mouth off.

AstroCreep said...

According to the former LASO deputy that was interviewed and posted here recently, they knew the Family was a pretty dangerous bunch by the August 16th raid- not a typical peace and love communal hippie group- GTA, machine guns, biker gang cats hanging out etc.

It paints quite the picture 49 years later. His name popped pretty quickly and had the two organizations worked together it may have ended earlier and also differently.

I’d be curious as to how it would have played out at trial if Charlie’d been rolled up as the main suspect- “nah man, that wasn’t me, it was Tex and them dumb broads” - Susan may have never run her suck and events would’ve unfolded a lot differently.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

I found it odd that I was unable to find any indication that any of the Roommates except Harold True were ever interviewed by LAPD

I wonder if that was because the roommates were never the reason Charlie was connected with the house. Susan Atkins mentioned to the Grand Jury about 'Harold' and Harold's house being next door to the LaBianca's. And they of course eventually spoke with Harold.

David said...

Right, that was my point. Not everyone here has our 'knowledge base'......

Point taken.

And with those responses any argument to the contrary may be dismissed. It is like saying 'they were crazy' 'you can't expect reason from crazy'. No, but we can look at the objective evidence and draw conclusions

I'm not dismissing any argument. I find that for almost each argument that points one way and from which one can draw certain conclusions with the evidence available, there's also an argument that points the other way.

AstroCreep said...

But Charlie did come up rather quickly as a possible suspect- remember it was a case of detective rivalry between LASO/LAPD

I don't think that he did. The connection was a Bobby Beausoleil one ~ the only reason Charlie's name came up was as the leader of a group of strange hippies that thought he was Christ that Bobby used to hang with.

starviego said...

I suspect they had already had Charlie pegged within the first week

The words that Polanski uses in his statement that you quoted are really loose if you're trying to make a case that they had their eyes on Charlie as a murder suspect in and around the time of the Spahn raid. I'd never noticed before that "Helter Skelter" gives the raid date as the date Polanski had a lengthy interview with LAPD. Does anyone know if that was the same time he had his polygraph with Earl Deemer ?
Anyway, again Polanski's words point more in the direction of the group than specifically to Manson. Even with that though, if Robert Helder believed the words he supposedly told Polanski at this nebulous time of "very soon after we met", it seems strange that the Family weren't looked at more closely, which leads me to be somewhat sceptical about what Roman was saying there.

beauders said...

According to John and Michelle Philips they were also creepy crawled.

Peter said...

Not at all. Also Jack Jones the singer would not have a cowboy hat. He was a jazz/pop singer in the Sinatra style. His bigg hit was Wives and Lovers. Jack Jones the cowboy is a completely different person that who ever made up that story couldn't get straight.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

Another problem is that I have not been able to find any reference to Manson actually carrying a grudge over this or being angry about it

On Cielo's site, there's an interview that Susan Atkins does with her 2 lawyers before she's spoken to Bugliosi just prior to the Grand Jury and in it, there's this rather strange exchange that could mean anything, something or nothing at all.

RICHARD CABALLERO: Before you got Katie to tell you, had you by this time had any conversation with Charlie regarding that house next door? When did that come in?

SUSAN ATKINS: On the drive back, I believe he mentioned the house next door was the house where we took the acid trip. That’s all I can recall. I don’t remember what I told you yesterday.

RC: That’s what you told me yesterday. You said that you knew the area and he said that’s the house where we had taken an acid trip, including yourself, that you hadn’t recalled exactly, but indicated you had been there. Is that correct?

SA: Yes, sound about right.

RC: Did Charlie say anything as to why he picked the house next to the one where you had had the acid trip? Was there any symbolism there or any reason?

SA: Not that I know of.

RC: Let me refresh your mind. You gave me an answer yesterday when I asked you why would you pick that house. And I asked you did you know any of the people around there?

SA: We knew the people next door

RC: Okay —

SA: — but we didn’t know if they were still living there or not. And if they were, it would probably be to instill a lot of fear in them because they just totally blanked out on us – they were people who had given us their word and then backed out on it.

RC: So you don’t know them, just like Terry Melcher, is that correct?

SA: Yes.

RC: So that’d [be?] the reason Charlie picked that house, on purpose rather than just indiscriminately. Do you have an opinion now —

SA: No, I don’t have any opinions at all.

When I put that together with True saying that Charlie wasn't given permission to move in, it made me wonder. She {and by extension, the Family and by extension, Charlie} obviously had less than fond feelings towards the people that lived in the house next door to the LaBiancas.
Let me just add that what first got me wondering about "the roommates" and them being a possible target was after hearing True's interview with Stovitz, and then remembering Charlie's description to George Stimson of how he came to be in the LaBianca house in the first place.
The thing with George's book is that it basically seeks to exonerate Charlie and outlines each of the murders that he was convicted of {plus Crowe} and his explanations of his part in each of them. I personally feel that his own words and explanations sink him further in the mire. This was one of them. In order to escape the official narrative, he says he was going to visit Harold that night and I have asked myself why, given that it was known Harold no longer lived there. I don't doubt there could be other reasons. The roommate scenario is just one of them. Certain elements do start to connect after a while. Of course, they could all be unconnected. There again......

David said...

Grim said: "On Cielo's site, there's an interview that Susan Atkins does....."

Thank you Grim. I looked at that when I was putting this post together. I see where you are coming from but it struck me as not really on point. Allow me to explain. At the end there she reiterates she has no opinion as to why it was chosen which to me is her backing off what she said earlier. This:

"And if they were, it would probably be to instill a lot of fear in them because they just totally blanked out on us – they were people who had given us their word and then backed out on it."

I think the operative word in that is 'probably' meaning she doesn't know that, especially when combined with:

"RC: So that’d [be?] the reason Charlie picked that house, on purpose rather than just indiscriminately. Do you have an opinion now —

SA: No, I don’t have any opinions at all."


The 'instill fear' angle is Atkins' favorite explanation (at the time). Maybe that was her motive.

I probably should have put it in to let others decide.


Grim said: "The roommate scenario is just one of them."

I think we are going to start mincing words here if we are not careful. The roommate revenge motive I have seen, historically says Manson went there to kill the roommates and finding them not home chose door #2 not Manson chose door #2 to instill fear on the roommates. My point in the post is that I don't believe the evidence supports that- in fact, I couldn't find any except he walked up True's driveway. I also don't think it makes sense given the other factors.

The response, of course, is the tag line of this blog and Orwhut's comment at the top there.

But I personally don't accept that response. It can be used to deflect everything and support any argument. I tend to be an evidence guy.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

If the snub was a big deal wouldn’t Harold True remember the reaction?

Possibly. But that's assuming that there was an immediate reaction or one that was very obvious in the aftermath. What Atkins said indicates that there may have been something from Charlie. At the very least it's an interesting way to talk about the guys in the house.

While he mentions the incident in his interview in January 1970 with Aaron Stovitz he mentions it almost in passing and doesn't ascribe any animosity to Manson over it

That's true, but Terry Melcher never indicated any anger from Charlie in his direction. But the Family did.

I could find no mention of this incident by Bugliosi in Helter Skelter

I was under the impression that Bugliosi overlooked it until I read the transcript of where he questions True in the trial. He twice asks him if Charlie attempted to move into their house but each time, there is an objection that the Judge sustains.
I must say, I'm curious as to why it isn't at least mentioned in "Helter Skelter," even if it was thought to be an irrelevance. It's easy though, to see why it wouldn't have been relevant as a possible location. Nothing happened there and the two Family prosecution witnesses speak of the house next door to Harold's.

HS is premised on the murder of rich white people (sacrificial lambs) with clues leading to the African-American community through the Manson prophecy.
Murdering the roommates is completely inconsistent with this scenario


But murder itself isn't.
Key to this is what Manson told the perps before they went out ~ that the night before was too messy and that he was going to show them how to do it. It's quite amusing that 44 years later {to Rolling Stone}, he still considered the second night more successful because he was involved in it.
Many people on pretty much all the blogs over many years have pointed out how Manson's actions and persona was unraveling around and from this point on. How paranoia due to Crowe and Hinman had crept in. How he was threatening people like Dennis Wilson. How there was possibly pressure on him to keep control of the Family. If you're supposed to be showing people "how to do it" and you're acutely aware that the squad you sent out the night before were home, in your estimation, "early," with 5 corpses left behind and you've been driving around for hours with 3 or 4 failed attempts, then the specifics of the financial situation of the victims of the initial onslaught of HS may well recede into 2nd spot behind actually killing someone. Especially considering there was still the second squad to go.
As an aside, was Ocean Front Walk considered to be in a rich area { I don't know} and though Linda says Charlie described him as a piggy, was Saladin Nader considered White ? Just a thought.

BA said...

Wow, great post! Really gets the mind moving. I always thought that True viewed Manson as more of a nusiance who he encountered at his house, but obviously true was more connected and held Manson in a higher regard, based off on the jail visits and him going at length to get out the LIE album.

Also, didn't VB state that LK didn't meet Manson and his "family" until July of 69?

David said...

Grim said: "Possibly. But that's assuming that there was an immediate reaction or one that was very obvious in the aftermath."

No, I am not. I am assuming that Swerdloff would have known unless Manson kept it to himself. I am also assuming someone between September 1968 and August 1969 might have actually mentioned it, like they do with Melcher. You don't agree?


Grim said: "That's true, but Terry Melcher never indicated any anger from Charlie in his direction."

Ah, Melcher had no contact with Manson after the snub. True did, sent him a letter in Inyo, visited him a half dozen, a dozen or a couple times in jail (depending on the version you choose), was in on Lie with Kaufman.

No, no perception by Melcher, unless you count a bullet to Wilson who was connected to Melcher and stealing Melcher's mom's telescope.


Grim said: "I was under the impression that Bugliosi overlooked it until I read the transcript...."

I mentioned that in the post. But maybe the reason Bugliosi didn't mention it in his book was because it was so far off the radar he considered it insignificant. Doesn't that tend to support the premise?


Grim said: "But murder itself isn't."

You have taken the quote out of context, my friend. That part of the post is about how killing the roommates doesn't fit HS. It doesn't. If you believe it does, please explain.

I think on the 'rich white' issue you are again mincing words picking a little line I used to shorthand HS. I understand Nadar was not 'white' and probably not even 'rich'. But likely, depending on how we define 'white' it is probable that Gibbie's DNA would not come back 'white' under the purest definition.


Grim said: "then the specifics of the financial situation of the victims of the initial onslaught of HS may well recede into 2nd spot"

Ah, he chose the LaBiancas. That's pretty Helter Skelter don't you think?

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

In fact, had the roommates actually been murdered that event would give those who subscribe to the drug burn motive a plausible explanation for the second night

Possibly. But they weren't murdered so the drug burn motive kind of stays in that hinterland between thought and expression.


I Don't Think This Would Have Been Easy....130lb Charles Manson was going to subdue these guys alone, albeit armed with a gun. Once he did he would leave them unattended to go get the hit squad. That would consist of a 140lb Texan on speed and two skinny chicks, none of whom had weapons

A gun is a great leveller and the night before, that 140lb Texan on speed had dealt murderous blows to all 5 victims at Cielo, including 3 men. According to him, Charlie scoped out the LaBianca house before getting him. So I doubt that if Charlie was going in the former True house, he'd have been doing so alone. He didn't go to the Rosina pad alone, he didn't go to Gary Hinman's alone, he didn't approach Shorty alone.......
Speaking of Rosina's pad, he and a reluctant TJ subdued a room with 4 men, including the huge Crowe {we don't really have descriptions of the other 3 guys} with just a gun.
I don't think it would have been easy either but then, I have no idea how some guys would have responded to a gun. I always keep in mind that the roommates weren't there and nothing took place at the former True house. If one believes what the perps have said, there were intended targets during the course of the night that never materialized into death until the LaBiancas. So all the ifs, buts and maybes are rather moot. It's notable that Charlie was the one that made all the initial attempts {all the same M.O ~ he went to have a look} and one can see that he dealt with each situation in the way in which he did, according to what he found.

The response, of course, is the tag line of this blog and Orwhut's comment at the top there. But I personally don't accept that response. It can be used to deflect everything and support any argument

Well, I agree with that and I have long felt that while it makes a good soundbite, I do not agree that you can't ascribe reason to crazy people. You absolutely can.
I also see paradoxes in this case and I take on board much "contradictory" stuff. That includes objective evidence as well as things that various individuals have said.

In fact, he didn't go after anyone who had ties to someone who could directly connect him to the crimes.

Shorty Shea ¬> Ruby Pearl. Paul Watkins.

I think it is a stretch to say Manson would go after friends or friends of friends

Gary Hinman was a friend.

The Roommate Revenge motive relies heavily on the fact that no one was home at the True House

Not at all. It makes not the slightest bit of difference whether the house was full to the brim or empty. At the point at which it's suspected Manson decided to head to Waverley, he wouldn't have known if anyone was there or not, any more than he would've known if anyone was in at Cielo or the neighbouring houses that Atkins and Watson say they were meant to go to if they couldn't get enough money at Melcher's old house.

Otherwise, Manson would have simply proceeded with his plan at 3267. If some random 'Pigs' were home at 3267 they are as good a target as those at 3301

Yes, if. It's all unknown 'ifs'. It isn't known if that house was occupied. If it was, it is not known whether they were in. Perhaps LAPD asked them and the answer has just never been disclosed. If the house next door was occupied, I do wonder why Frank and Susan Struthers & Joe Dorgan didn't go there to make their phone call to the Police instead of going across the road. Does it mean anything ? It suggests no one lived there.

David said...

Grim said: "Possibly."

That was sarcasm, Grim.

Grim said: "It's notable that Charlie was the one that made all the initial attempts {all the same M.O ~ he went to have a look} and one can see that he dealt with each situation in the way in which he did, according to what he found."

So you think it was possible he would go try to subdue three men, alone? Like I said in the post, IMO, not without shooting one or more of them and that contradicts Manson's MO. The night before (three men? Oh, you are including Parent) one was shot at the gate. One was shot right away and one was tied up. Then later he too was shot. Notice: three shot. None by Manson who said don't use the gun unless you have to.


Grim said: "Gary Hinman was a friend."

You like to take my words out of context. I'm not even sure you are right about that. A friend of Manson? or Ella?


Grim said: "Not at all."

Yes, it does. It assumes they were living there and Manson knew it or at least believed they were still there and 3301 was empty.


Here, here is the Roommate Revenge motive:

"I reckon at that point, the former True house was the target. He knew where it was, he knew how to get there, he assumed the house next door, that he did know well, was empty because he'd always known it to be empty {he told Vanity Fair in 2011 and Rolling Stone in 2013 he'd been in the house before when he visited Harold. True who had moved in in Sept '67 and moved out in Sept '68 according to his testimony in Leslie's 2nd trial said both there and elsewhere that there wasn't anyone living next door}. He also knew Harold no longer lived at Waverley and I think his target was 3 housemates that True had shared the house with, Allen Swerdloff, Ernest Baltzell and Harry Yost. When Harold was moving out, Charlie had wanted to move in and asked True but he said it wasn't for him to say, to ask the other 3 and the 3 housemates said 'no'. I suspect when Charlie thought of a surefire place to show the others in the car "how it should be done" an obvious place was the former True house and having rejected his request to live in the house, those 3 were hardly his favourite people."

They are either the targets that night or they are not. The evidence says they were not and, in fact, you haven't offered any that says they were 'I reckon' is not objective evidence. It is opinion, to which you are entitled.


Grim said: "It isn't known if that house was occupied."

Agreed. But there is some indication it was, in fact IMO more than the opposite. And the only eyewitness statements, under oath, say Manson was never going to the True House.

'What ifs' spur discussion like Johnathan Menges comment above adding alternative theories and potential facts. I think you may stifle that with your hard line, there.


Grim said: "It suggests no one lived there."

Not at all. When they left the house, the three 'kids' did not proceed on foot to a neighbor. They backed the car down the driveway after trying to round up the dogs and put them in the car. Dorgan had difficulty backing the car down the driveway and came to a stop 'right across the street'. Although the testimony is confusing it appears they went to only one house to call, not two. They were refused the first time and then the neighbor, right there at the bottom of the driveway, consented. Having been there (finally) recently I can tell you that you would need to have gone out of your way to go to the True House in 1969 from that location. If you back down the driveway you are ten feet from a home and maybe 20 from the front door. If you want pictures send me an e-mail.

grimtraveller said...

AstroCreep said...

My belief is Charlie selected 3301 because it’d been vacant and he’d likely slipped in there

Since being incarcerated, he's said to George Stimson, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone that he had definitely been in that house during 1968.

Gorodish said...

I have always wondered about the creepy-crawls and who went on them. The parole commissioner from Tex Watson's last hearing, John Peck, was trying to get Tex to talk about them, but Tex claimed he never went on them and the stories about them were overblown

I'm kind of inclined to agree with him although he goes further in addition to saying they were overblown. He says he had no knowledge of anyone ever going out creepy crawling. Even those that specifically talk about doing it like Linda and Susan, when pushed to describe it, could only say they nicked credit cards from a car ~ once. Few people ever seem to have come out and said "yes I did this and this is how." Leslie admitted burgling her Dad's house and called that creepy crawling. There even seem to be different interpretations from within the Family as to what creepy crawling actually was. Were they burglaries ? Did stealing from an unlocked car count ? Was it entering people's houses and moving stuff around but not nicking ?

grimtraveller said...

David said...

So you think it was possible he would go try to subdue three men, alone?

I said the very opposite.

Having been there (finally) recently I can tell you that you would need to have gone out of your way to go to the True House in 1969 from that location

Looking at the photo in the post, that's a good point.

It is opinion, to which you are entitled

I've never stated that it is anything other than an opinion.

David said...

Grim,

Never said you did. But maybe you could set fort your arguments for the motive so others can compare and contrast.

GreenWhite said...

Hands down, I've learned at least as much from the posts and the comments as I have from the books. Thanks, dudes and dudettes. I'm having a tough time putting the True shack next door to the LaBianca place. Can someone explain the local real estate situation at the time? Were crappy houses adjacent to nice ones? I always wondered how four young guys could rent a home next to the LaBianca's but now I understand. Thanks for the photo as the question was in my mind often.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Great post David!
Maybe Charlie didn't want to walk up the LaBianca's driveway because somebody may have been more likely to see him there-it's long and conspicuous. And if he'd used their house to crash before he would have been comfortable coming at it from the 3267 property and going to the back door with less chance of them seeing him.
What is the source of Tex weighing 140? Could that have been his weight at the time of his arrest? I forget if he lost weight after the arrest or before it, but I was picturing him being heavier at the time of TLB, not that that makes a difference in them taking on the roommates.

Mr. Humphrat said...

At any rate Tex was tall and played football and I would think he was 180 or more during his football days.

Gorodish said...

Mr. Humphrat said...
"At any rate Tex was tall and played football and I would think he was 180 or more during his football days."

This is from Tex's trial transcript, courtesy of Cielodrive.com :

Maxwell Keith (attorney) "He didn't participate in athletics in college. He was fairly slight, about 155, 160 pounds, rather small for college athletics. Now, as you can see, he weighs about 114, 115 pounds."

With the Spahn diet of dumpster fruits and various chemical stimulants, I'd wager that 140 lbs. is probably a very good estimate of Tex's weight in August 1969.

David said...

Mr. Humphrat,

I have no source. I got to 140lbs the same way as Gorodish only I used his testimony:

Q: Incidentally, how big a person were you physically while you were going to high school?
A: Most of the time I weighed around 155 or 160; maybe up to 165 at times.

And the Spahn Raid Police Report where he is not listed but a lot of 125lb males are listed.

Robert C said...

Gorodish said: " .... Maxwell Keith (attorney) "He didn't participate in athletics in college. He was fairly slight, about 155, 160 pounds, rather small for college athletics. Now, as you can see, he weighs about 114, 115 pounds."

With the Spahn diet of dumpster fruits and various chemical stimulants, I'd wager that 140 lbs. is probably a very good estimate of Tex's weight in August 1969."

I'm about the same age and height as Tex and also played football in high school. I was between 185-190 lbs. and at that height quite skinny as in 'blade'. I can only imagine someone of similar height at 140 lbs. or less looking like a three year Nazi concentration camp prisoner or cadaver. In fact survival is in question at 115 lbs. Imagine skeletal Tex trying to climb the power pole (energy/muscle strength) at Cielo at that low weight ?

I suspect Tex was about 185 at arrest, closer to what Mr. Humphrat said, and perhaps a little lower during his subsequent hunger 'strike'.

Gorodish said...

From Tex's 1978 parole hearing (courtesy of Cielodrive.com) :

Watson - "At the time of the crime, just for the record's sake, when I got back to Texas after the crime, I weighed 138 pounds. The most I have ever weighed in my life was 160 pounds when I was left halfback in high school just -- I have always been presented as, you know, by the prosecution, to weigh about 200 pounds at the time of the crime. I'm just not that size of a man."

From "Will You Die For Me", 1978 :

"When my weight dropped to 110 pounds from my usual 165 I was sent back upstairs. Once more I
was bound to the cot with four-point restraints — both ankles and wrists — and now orderlies came and
jabbed a tube down my nose. As humanitarian as forced feeding may sound, it is hell to live through."

That's 165 pounds after sitting around idly in a jail cell in Texas for 10 months, eating mom's home prepared meals every day.

From Paul Watkins testimony at Tex's trial (courtesy of Cielodrive.com) :

Q: Can you tell us what Watson, you know -- describe him physically from the time you first saw him in 1968, something about his height and weight, how he appeared to you, physcially.

A: Yeah.

Q: Can you tell us about that, please?

A: It all looked quite normal, average; well, the same height as he is now, about six foot it looked like, and was much more filled out than he is now -- let's say, like I am -- much more filled out in the places and much more healthy looking. He was a very healthy looking young man.

Q: This is when you first met him?

A: Yeah.

Q: Now, how about when you left in about October '69?

A: Well, then physically he is still just about as healthy but his hair was getting really long and he was looking really scraggly about that time.

We was all getting to look pretty scraggly about that time.

Q: And how about the fill-out of his body, or filled out as you called it?

A: Well, it was later on that -- about in the summer - time when we came up to the Barker Ranch he had lost a whole lot of weight and he looked quite unhealthy to me.

Q: When was this, now?

A: In September.

Q: Of '69?

A: Yes.

Q: You say he looked unhealthy?

A: Yes.

Q: Can you describe or elaborate on that?

A: Well, looked skinny and pale and unhappy and discontent, so that would go for a mental unhealth and a physical unhealth, both.

Sorry, I don't mean to hijack this post re Tex's playing weight, but I'm going have to agree with David's 140 lb. description.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thank you all for lots of information on Tex. I had the wrong idea of how big he was, although he was somewhat tall.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Does anyone have an opinion on whether Harold True would have based his statement that Atkins was a congenital liar on interactions with her or on hearing/reading what she said in jail and otherwise after her arrest?

Also, I was thinking about the large quantity of speed True was taking and his level of education and picturing the possibly great quick witted conversations he and maybe others of the roommates may have had with Charlie, while the girls were slower and on acid or pot or whatever and True was not impressed with them. I guess Charlie had probably seen lots of people on speed and there was a post a while back suggesting Charlie actually did do speed and other nasty drugs, but I was thinking about Charlie's supposed admonition to the 'Family' to not do speed. Sorry I'm rambling.

David said...

Mr. Humphrat,

In the interest fo full disclosure I have just recently been informed by the research goddess, Deb, that on Deemer's list Watson is listed as 160lbs.

In the Stovitz interview True gives examples of things she said. I can't recall them specifically right now but I believe it was things like she said she was an actress or a model and several others.

Robert C said...

Tex sez: " The most I have ever weighed in my life was **160** pounds ..."
Tex sez: " When my weight dropped to 110 pounds from my usual **165** "

I'm not sure Tex rally knew how much he really weighed. I have the impression he didn't carry around a bathroom scale.

Tex sez: "When my weight dropped to 110 pounds ... As humanitarian as forced feeding may sound, it is hell to live through."

This is likely when he went on his little eating strike. At his height (around 6'2" - 6'3") I said 115 lbs would be dangerous. Apparently the orderlies and etc. agree if it's **maybe** 110 lbs and he's getting forced fed.

Watkins doesn't give us a weight guess, just a withered description. By the time I was that height (see above) I was an emaciated 165 lbs. I can concede to 160 lbs (what Watkins may have been describing) but no less or he'd have needed a stroller. Or who knows, maybe all that speed gave him the energy to propel a 6'+ frame around.


David said...

Robert C. said: "At his height (around 6'2" - 6'3")"

In the interest of even fuller disclosure I was also advised that his height is listed at 5'10".

David said...

oops by Deemer

Robert C said...

David --- pics of him standing in front of police height charts (two that I can remember) consistently show him at @ 6'3".
I've also read this but can't dig up the source right now.
In the interest of my full disclosure I have serious doubts about Deemer.

David said...

Robert,

What is a strange irony about this. I just threw that in there. My point wasn't really his weight, it was I couldn't see these three guys being 'passive'. IMO I think a Sebring result would have happened and I don't see Manson putting himself there. Baltzell, at least, was a pretty big guy and former 101st airborne.

Gorodish said...

"Baltzell, at least, was a pretty big guy and former 101st airborne."

That was also my point about Tex's weight. It doesn't matter if it's 160 or 140 pounds....I just don't see a beefy guy like Baltzell and the other guys being easily overpowered by runty Charlie and beanpole Tex; and I'm sure that crossed Charlie's mind too.

Peter said...

I'm 6'4" and up until I was 30, I had a 32" waist and usually weighed 175-185 and played various sports all through highschool. So 160 for a 6 footer or even 6'2" young man is probably right. 140 is a little lean.

Now I weigh 240 because, you know, muscle weighs more.

AstroCreep said...

Physical stature has little to do with ones fight or flight response. I’ve seen 130lb Iraqi men whoop up on 3-4 highly trained commandos- true story and seen it many times actually.

Frykowski is a great example of this. Had all 4 victims at Cielo reacted similarly, the end result would likely have been different. Abigail surrendered, Jay was asking for killers to be polite, and Sharon begged. I’m not criticizing HOW they reacted, it’s just HOW they reacted.

Nobody knows how THEY will react until they are in a true life or death situation. I love when people tell me how they would react in a gunfight (as an example). You just don’t know.

Leno and Rosemary reacted politely and followed a tiny little man’s instruction. They ended up getting butchered because they allowed themselves to be tied up. They too, could have knocked dirty little Charlie on his ass then called the cops and the situation could have ended much differently. How long would the others wait in the car before trying to find Charlie?

I do know that most predators use that typical and polite human nature response to bait victims. It doesn’t trigger their fight or flight response. Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and countless other serial killers used the same tactic Charlie employed on the LaBianca’s.

Peter said...

I never got how he was able to tie them both up with a skinny little leather thong. I would think with a little adrenaline you could break that the second he walked out the door.

David said...

AstroCreep,

Except for your comment about Sharon and Abigail I agree with you 100%. I only disagree with you there because of a post I'm writing on that subject. But the research over there influenced that part of the post here. While most 'real life' human studies focus on PTSD or anxiety disorders I think I can say that those studies tend to show that someone with combat training is more likely, in a situation outside a military engagement, to respond with the fight instinct. I suppose you could say the military doesn't train people to run away. That said, Leno LaBianca who appears to have been in the military, contradicts the science.

So, for example, I believe that it is highly probable that you would react with the fight instinct due to your service for all of us (thank you, by the way- I don't think I've said that before).

I didn't serve but you are absolutely spot on that until something happens to you, you don't know how you will react.

AstroCreep said...

Hey David- truthfully, the only upper hand I’ve got on anyone in a life or death experience is that I’ve experienced it many times and so I know how I’d likely react. If a bad guy pulled a gun on me and my wife on the street and asked for my wallet, I’d give him my wallet because me killing him over my wallet is not worth going to jail for.

One has to determine the situation and respond appropriately- If someone enters my house, I will engage as if I am being attacked and my family is being attacked. There’s no time to make tha determination.

I do know for a fact that Frykowski put up one hell of a fight and had it not been for the gun, may have actually fought them off. The gun changed the situation and is what trigger his fight response. Had Jay been stabbed and not shot, things possibly would have been different.

Robert C said...

Peter said: "... up until I was 30, I had a 32" waist and usually weighed 175-185 and played various sports all through high school ... Now I weigh 240".

Me exactly but now I'm down to 230 and trying to get back to 210.

AstroCreep said: " I do know that most predators use that typical and polite human nature response to bait victims. "

Yes, as has been discussed mucho on this blog, Charlie personally experienced and observed this in prison, his training ground. Surprise, calmness and deliberation almost always unsettled his victims. They usually hesitate, flinch, panic and most of all, what Charlie really knew a lot about, have fear. They are unable to channel that fear (shock) into determination fast enough to fight so it's flight or submission.

David said...

AstroCreep said: "I’d give him my wallet because me killing him over my wallet is not worth going to jail for."

Well said, sir.


and said: "I do know for a fact that Frykowski put up one hell of a fight"

He sure as hell did. My disagreement with you is the women. I think Abigail went flight-fight-flight. And I think Sharon's response falls into some of the more recent studies on 'female reaction'.

Robert C said...

David said: " ... I think I can say that those studies tend to show that someone with combat training is more likely, in a situation outside a military engagement, to respond with the fight instinct. I suppose you could say the military doesn't train people to run away."

There are conflicting studies on this going back to WWII.

AstroCreep said: " I do know for a fact that Frykowski put up one hell of a fight ..."

I was under the impression he wasn't fighting back at all, just trying to get away like Folger.

David said: " I think Abigail went flight-fight-flight. And I think Sharon's response falls into some of the more recent studies on 'female reaction "

Sharon appears to have been the last one 'standing'. She has seen what has happened to most of the rest. It is shocking and in her condition (pregnant) she is in no position to resist -- she's compromised. The best she can do is plead for pity and maybe even remorse from her tormenters.

I tend to think of Abigail as flight as in get away, period.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I've never seen that photo of Phil Kaufman's house. That is one wacky house. Was that taken in the 60s?

David said...

RobertC said: "I tend to think of Abigail as flight as in get away, period."


A: Yes. In fact, I am almost positive that is when he did it because Katie was fighting with Abigail.
*****
A: Tex told me to take care of Sharon and Katie was struggling with Abigail and was asking for help.
*****
A: There was a lot of confusion going on and I sat there and held her while Tex went over to help Katie and I saw Katie be released from Abigail's grip and I saw Tex stab Abigail Folger and just before he stabbed - maybe an instant before he stabbed her she looked at him and let her arms go and looked at all of us and said, "I give up, take me."

Sounds like a fight to me until the end there.

David said...

Mr. Humphrat,

"I had a house on Chandler Boulevard in Van Nuys, California, in the early ’70s. I really went to town on the exterior of the place, making it quite a landmark."

Kaufman,Phil. Road Mangler Deluxe (Kindle Locations 384-385). White-Boucke Publishing. Kindle Edition.

True was living there at the time of his Stovitz interview.

Robert C said...

David said: " Sounds like a fight to me until the end there. "

I tend to make a distinction between fighting back as on the offensive and fighting to get away which is more of a defensive action. It sounds to me like she was doing the latter.

Also, others have reported her last words to be somewhat different, the conflict leading to a question mark about what they really might have been (or who was right).

GreenWhite said...

Hi, Robert C. Interesting. What are the other reported last words?

Robert C said...

The most popular is she supposedly said at the end something like (paraphrase), " don't stab anymore, I'm already dead. " I believe that came from Patricia Krenwinkel (Katie). Then I recall seeing another suggest she didn't have any last words. Since all of it is hearsay it's hard to know. I'd never heard of the, "I give up, take me" version that David mentioned until now.

GreenWhite said...

Thank you. I was wrong the last two times I opened my trap on here so I may as well go for three. I think Pat identifies Leno as the one who said, "I'm already dead." Garretson, oppositely, claimed he heard Abigail say it when he was listening at the window of the guest house.

Robert C said...

Bravely spoken GreenWhite but I did a quick check on wiki under Patricia Krenwinkel and it says : " According to Patricia, she pinned Folger to the ground and further stabbed her; the victim pleaded with her to stop by saying, "Stop, I'm already dead."[2]

The number [2} beside is attributed to: Vronsky, Peter (2007). Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters. Penguin. p. 420. ISBN 0-425-21390-0.

Hey ... I wasn't 100% right either ;-)

David said...

Actually, that quote there from Atkins at the grand jury testimony is not Abigail's last words.

According to Atkins (as I read that exchange) Krenwinkel was fairly well controlled by Folger and calling for help. Tex walked over and when he got there she let go of Krenwinkel and Atkins reported Abigail said that.

She then describes Watson stabbing her once in the abdomen and Folger falling to the floor.

Those descriptions are about what went on in the living room, not out on the yard.

David said...

If any of us were 100% right there would be no blog.

Robert C said...

And yes, Garretson **supposedly** admitted later hearing Folger say the 'I am already dead' thing.

Robert C said...

David said: " Those descriptions are about what went on in the living room, not out on the yard. "

It was never very clear to me exactly what was going on with Abigail and Pat other than my imagined scenario that Pat had ahold of Abigail and she was trying to extricate herself and make a run for it. It wasn't clear if Pat got a stab in before Abigail broke away.

The issue I have of your quoted version, David, is it comes from Atkins, and I can't imagine Abigail getting off a floor and running after a healthy stab by Tex to the gut. If it happened to anyone else I think they'd stay on that floor, at least for a while.

David said...

RobertC said: "The issue I have of your quoted version, David, is it comes from Atkins..."

Oh f***, I can't argue with that.

Maybe we are mincing words, here. As I understand you you are saying defending yourself is not fighting? Do I have that right?

I think if you have defensive wounds and people report you were fighting, you were fighting back.

"Sadie and Katie complained that their heads hurt because the people had pulled their hair while they were fighting with them."

Bugliosi, Vincent. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (25th Anniversary Edition) (p. 301). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Robert C said...

David ... a good while back I was expecting you to say, "RobertC ... would you stop f****** nitpicking on words and pay attention to the main points ?" ;-)

But mincing words ... yes, maybe but here's my clarification .... you initially suggested with one other that Folger and Voytek put up a good fight. I took that to mean they fought back which is going on the offensive. I didn't see that or know of any clear evidence of such. Yes, they fought but defensively as in trying to get away.

Folger pulling Krenwinkle's hair to get her to let go so she (Folger) could get away would be a defensive fight. Folger punching Krenwinkel in the nose, kicking her in the 'tweezer', pounding her on the head and throwing her out the window would be a sign of an offensive fight on Folger's part. I never heard about any of that. Just Folger trying to get away whatever went down in the house before Folger made a break to the yard.

Similar to Voytek, I don't know of any instance where he's on the offensive like trying to throttle Tex or snap Atkins neck. He seemed to be simply trying to get away the whole time although he was brutally covered in knife wounds with a gunshot and I think he was pistol whipped too to the head.

Again, this is about fighting back as opposed to fighting to get away. I thought you were implying the former, I only know of the latter.

The only person in the house I know of that **may have** attempted to make an offensive fight of it was Sebring but he was apparently quickly brought down at the beginning with a bullet. That is, I don't recall mention of him trying to get away, but rather intending to defend Tate.

Just my POV right now until I hear/read about more evidence to the contrary.


Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks David for the answer on Kaufman's house. So we don't know whether the house was all fixed up like in the photo at the time of TLB. I would imagine the big "Graham Parsons" wouldn't have been on there until after 1973." It doesn't make sense for Kaufman to say Charlie was looking for him the second night when Kaufman defended him later and produced the LIE album-I think people have pointed that out thousands of times.

David said...

Mr. Humphrat,

My take away from his book was that he acquired those things over time. He states, for example that he had the two eagles so I suspect they were there straight away. You are correct, he says the Parson's sign, which I hadn't noticed (thank you) was tribute to Gram in life and death. That would indeed make the photo '73. He claims the star was from Ringo Star's 'first solo album. But I think that is wrong.

Doug Smith said...

TWO PARTS - SORRY

Just reading all of the very interesting takes on the degree of "fight" that went down, how each victim dealt with their impending doom, and, trying to think how each may have been conditioned as civilians to deal via their experiences.

I myself was faced with an armed robbery when I was a Costco Mgr in 1997. The perp was around 60% of my size but, he put the gun about 6 inches down my throat and, kept threatening to kill my 3 colleagues if I did not open the safe ASAP.

He was someone I could have laid a huge beatdown on given a level playing field BUT, the playing field was not at all level.

The worst was the complete understanding that the fate of my colleagues was very much in my hands. The prep was freaking out (chaos - in some ways like at these two homes) and, the mountain of fuckups that occurred - like life and death dominoes - just pisse d him off more.

I had just been transferred. The Mgr I replaced had left and, it was Dec 18th. The safe combo had been rekeyed that morning BUT in the chaos of a $850,000 day of sales, the morning shift forgot to tell us.

Let's say be got even more unhinged when I couldn't open the safe.

At this point, my OWN fight mechanism kicked in. I needed to connect with him...protect myself and my colleagues, and...gain his trust...at a snap of my fingers.

I had to get him to believe that the combos were on a piece of paper in a lockbox in another office. That I wasn't gonna trip an alarm, tick him, etc...

He agrees that we could check but had the gun on two people on the floor. Annnd, the lockbox paper ended up with the wrong/old combo...ugh...

Doug Smith said...

I was using my 15yr old self in tour in the US South in 1981 suburban white punk rock touring with a band called The Dead Kennedys (who had an Afro-American drummer) self as a conduit to survive this.

Long story short - it worked.

But, I think that the way each victim responded (and, I include the perpetrators as victims of their own poor decisions in life/conditioning of tbeir upbringing) here - they all reacted as they were conditioned...

Steve Parent - don't shoot, I won't tell...not hitting the gas pedal and taking one or more of the killers out...he had a record for theft, probably thought in the moment that he might be able to reason with them. A false sense of something. You sometimes have certain life experiences that, on paper are similar to others but, in reality, you've experienced a sanitized version. Steve's reform program for theft was nothing like Manson's. Or, a whacked out Tex. Yes was a freaking scumbag by the point they met.

Jay - High flyin hairstylist to the stars. Schmoozing for bucks to back his growing empire. Media whore. Martial Arts trained (not a combatant...he probably THOUGHT he was badass...courageously standing up for his one true love - but reaction killed him.

Sharon - all she wanted to be was a mother. Tolerant of bad and selfish behaviour from a lot of those she rolled with - GIVE her babies and puppies and she was in full bliss. She got saddled with horrid scum like Forquet, the meek Sebring and his kink and neurosis and lack of spine (interesting how when he finally grew a pair, it led to his death) and that troll Roman. And, Roman's dog killing, dope dealing, sponge but Voytek.

Sharon has to witness the proverbial mother (used intentionally) of shitshows before losing the best thing that ever happened to her...and, so heartbreakingly close to being her crowning achievement...and, at the same time - her own life.

Voytek - lived among turmoil, seediness, lowlifes, hustling all his life, sneaking about to survive, pretty much a sponge, looking for easy money...He ran. He tried to escape. He fought. Survival.

Abigail. Voytek had brought her down and she was on her way out. Wealthy in ways most of us can only imagine. Yearning only to be like those she admired - helping those less fortunate. Wanting to be validated by the "cool kids" even getting deeper into drugs/party scene to legitimize her brand. Voytek really just tossed her a shit sandwich. I'm already dead - indeed.

Probably reaching a bit but, FIGHT comes in many forms. I found out after threatening to kill me in open court that my perpetrator escaped twice. Once from court and once from Kingston Penitentiary. Both times I got 2wks of Police Protection unit he was captured.

He's currently serving 46yrs for armed robberies. Most violent robber in Canadian history.

Jermaine Carvery

True dat

David said...

Doug Smith,

Thank you for sharing that. That is an excellent comment. One of the best IMO.

Dead Kennedys: Nazi Punks F*** Off Part 1, Religious Vomit, California Uber Alles.....Rawhide. I had that EP. Never bought an album, though.

What band were you in (if you don't mind me asking)? Never saw them, they never came close but saw a lot of bands back then. Just don't say Loverboy ;-)

Doug Smith said...

My band from 79-82 was called The Replacements. Ironically enough - we had a set of brothers (16 & 18) while myself and pur bassist (I sang then) were 15.5 and 16. I turned 15 in May. We toured in Late July-end of August.

I learned a lot on that 5 week freak show. IN GOD WE TRUST (INC) had just come out and, with Darren (Afro-American) relatively new on drums, the brouhaha over the NAZI PUNKS (F*CO OFF) track, and, touring the DEEP South opening for a band called The Dead Kennedys...I remember the KKK trying to get into a Rec Centre gig in Murfreesboro (a fairly liberal and arts friendly/progressive city even then) where us kids had to climb on top of the w vans with buckets of rocks as artillery cover while the "adults" only in early 20s aside from Klaus who was older did Frontline with promoters and city PUNKS eith 2 x 4s to s are off the racist vermin.

Doug Smith said...

Obviously, when we heard the "other" Replacements we broke up

David said...

Ever play Ann Arbor, Michigan?

David said...

circa 1978-83

Doug Smith said...

I played Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti (in a trailer park recroom no less) but later on. In 1985 or 86. Blind Pig once.

We played Detroit on that 81 Tour and Grand Rapids. In Detroit we had Negative Approach play too. Was it at The Freezer?

Here is a Detroit cable access show with the band from 1982. The show hosts put on the 1981 show we played.

Not 100% certain of the venue.

Lots of tours and shows over the years.

I'm old.

https://youtu.be/ms41upbshtc

Doug Smith said...

I met Michael Davis from the MC5 on one of those tours and, he was an acquaintance til he passed. He gave me a copy of the unreleased MC5 Doc "A True Testimonial" which is AMAZING

Cheers

Apologies for sabotaging

David said...

Doug Smith said: "He gave me a copy of the unreleased MC5 Doc "A True Testimonial" which is AMAZING "

all I can say is Holy Shit!

I will check out the above. Didn't get to Detroit much, no car. Springsteen...blah, blah...when I could hitch a ride. Blind Pig rings a bell, like you said: 'I'm old'. 85-6 I was long gone.

The Freezer- that too rings a bell, actually- The Romantics???.

Gotta do some research...er...refresh my memory.

Thanks, Doug

Doug Smith said...

Last one
Speaking of Ann Arbor
Had these guys been at 10050 they would have had that maniac Watson crying in a corner sucking on Sadie's well worn teet.
Reprobate Rock

Gives me shivers

https://youtu.be/BwTGSfeUXuU

Doug Smith said...

Any time.
Feel free to PM me - if you can't access my personal email, I authorize Matt to give it to you

I can burn that DVD for you. It's one of the best.

I may have it uploaded to Dropbox too.

Keep these EXCELLENT posts and INSIGHTFUL discussions goin on folks

Cheers

GreenWhite said...

Oh, man. Ann Arbor? I'm going to have to work thru that news, David. I attended a little puppy factory you might've heard of on High Street in Columbus, Ohio. They saddled me with a lifetime of debt there and taught me to hate the maize and blue although I have it defeated except for the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year.

Dan S said...

MC5 are the absolute best. Wayne Kramer has the coolest moves (see the black and white show in the park vid) All of them are amazing performers especially WK , Tyner and Fred "sonic" Smith. Starting the show with Kramer doing bad falsetto Rambling Rose, then Tyner busting in with Kick out the Jams: genius. That doc played at the Roxie in SF. It's tragic there's not more good footage of them. Most of it seems to be that German concert for TV where they're def ion the drug downside. I gotta go back and read the last bunch of the comments; I just caught the MC5 references at the end here and chimed in real quick .

Dan S said...

Riding by Blue Lamp in Sacramento today I saw Negative Approach on the marquee for this Wednesday! Ooo-ee-oo (apropos Doug Smith 's youtube vid above)

Dan S said...

Further the analogy of Iraqis as people having their homes invaded and being murdered under false pretenses... Hendrickson would be pleased

Doug Smith said...

Yes, they are touring.

Sacramento circa 1989. In that park with the public pool...the 1st time I was face-to-face with a gun and robbed.

Ooo-ee-oo indeed!

Doug Smith said...

Dan

This footage was from the film and, IS put there - but gets taken down or, is just tough to find.

It's 8mm film with audio dubbed from the debut lp BUT - the tracking is pretty well done AND, the manner in which the band and the audience connects - intensity and completeness - is phenomenal.

David - you will probably love this also.

https://youtu.be/cQUCpMhLM-4

RudyWebersHose said...

I saw a blog post a few months ago while googling some stuff on the Labiancas and came across a comment from a guy who claimed to be the nephew of Ernie Baltzell and he claimed his uncle told him that Manson and a few of the girls stayed at 3267 for about a month and eventually Charlie asked Harold if it was ok to move in, he said Harold ok'd it but that hed have to ask permission from the rest of the roommates and they turned him down, the nephew said Ernie told him thats why he believed Charlie picked Waverly Dr and that he thought Manson went to 3267 first and upon finding the place vacant possibly tried to open a window or jimmy a door and was possibly spotted by Leno or Rosemary or both, remember im just the messenger relaying what i read, im not saying it makes sense or doesnt, also i don't remember exactly which blog it was, possibly lsb or Cols archives

RudyWebersHose said...

Also noticed a mistake in the text, in the part where you talk about the Berberians and Sarkasian giving their descriptions of the man seen on the front lawn of 3301 on the afternoon of the 10th you say this is impossible because the bodies were already discovered by then, actually it was BEFORE the bodies were discovered, Frank jr and Dorgan discovered the bodies around 10:30 pm on the 10th, and also im confused, if 3267 wasnt sold to the Berberians until Aug. 21 how would they have seen people at 3301 on the 10th? Did they already live in the area?

RudyWebersHose said...

Theres no way even in the Spahn days that Tex was only 140, 140 is practically anorexic at 6'2", Tex was a slim lanky guy but no way was he under 175, in all the pre self imposed starvation pics ive seen he looked to have a normal young mans bodytype, if he was 140 at 6'2" he would stand out as someone who had an eating disorder or a wasting disease

RudyWebersHose said...

Theres pictures of him in different mugshots and hes always in the 6'2 to 6'3" range, 115 is impossible at that height, hed be a corpse

grimtraveller said...

David said...

maybe you could set forth your arguments for the motive so others can compare and contrast

The funny thing is, I'm easy either way. If the thrust of what you've outlined in the post is how it was, I'm cool with that. It doesn't change anything and what I put forth as a view as to what could have happened doesn't either. It wasn't supposed to be some alternative to HS and I even feel that calling it a 'motive' gives it a weight that it really shouldn't have because on a TLB site, that's almost a holy word ! It’s certainly a loaded one. I’m talking essentially about a thought in Manson’s mind.
For years, it's been something of a mystery why the LaBiancas were chosen and as a result, all kinds of theories have sprung up, be it the Suzan and Tex murder merger, the Rosemary as acid dealer, the black book or the Mafia hit or even combos of both. I agree with you that sometimes, the answer is the simplest and almost most mundane one available. To get to that point, I’m just threading together a series of things which on their own don’t mean much, but which, when looked at as part of a whole, just might.
As many are aware, after driving around at random for hours on the night of the second set of murders, and having looked into or attempted around 4 kills, Charlie suddenly seems to become very focused and heads directly to a place. I have no proof of it but I think he was verging on the desperate at that point. The night had begun with a clear intent which was to show a group that had already ‘done it’ how to ‘do it.’ I find that strange in itself and it perhaps points to Charlie’s need to be seen as numero uno in all ways at all times, controlling his narrative. In any case, after the sports car incident, there was the obvious to consider which was that he’d looked into 4 kills and none of them had come off. The guy that was supposed to be demonstrating how to kick off HS hadn’t yet delivered whereas long before that point the previous night, Tex and co had left such carnage as to have made international news. Being the leader of that crowd didn’t make him immune to the pressures of having to perform, as it were, and I think at that point, after that sports car zoomed off, it became a case of “where can I go that I’m comfortable with in order to score a solid result ?” and I think that’s why he headed to Waverley. That he was throwing out “anywhere’s” to head to is indicated by selecting the Nader apartment later on. It’s almost like he was just tossing out anywhere that came to mind at the moment, on almost any pretext, no matter how flimsy. Driving around looking for likely victims wasn’t working, so…….
Everything that was to happen still came under the umbrella of HS and in the same way that the Family showing Blackie how to begin HS wasn’t part of the original blueprint and came pretty late in the day, no doubt Charlie could’ve somehow weaved what he was doing into the narrative. After all, he was Charlie, their leader, their Father, their love.

grimtraveller said...

When asked by Vanity Fair in 2011 “ So, if you know what happened the first night with your people, why you drove your people the next night to the LaBianca house? {the interviewer was a Spanish speaker}, Manson doing some of his usual wriggling said: “Let me explain this. In prison, like, you know, I don’t know how to explain it. I didn’t have any thoughts, I didn’t think one way or another. I didn’t go to LaBianca’s house. I went to Harold True’s house, which is next door. And LaBianca’s house was always an empty house. We used to use it to go there to have sex because nobody lived there. It was an empty house for a long time. And when we went there, there was a dog over there, and we went to see if Harold True was over there and there was somebody living there. They had just rented the house to somebody. I didn’t even know that was there. Tex was with me, and Tex stayed there, and I went on somewhere else. And he did whatever he did. It’s none of my business. It’s his business.”

He said a similar thing to George Stimson: “And I went to see Harold. Harold wasn’t there and I looked over and I seen a light over on the other side and I walked over and there was a little dog there. So I patted the dog on the head and I opened the door and there was a dude sitting on the couch. And when I walked in, I said ‘Oh, hey. Hi.’ He said ‘hi.’ I said ‘I didn’t know anybody lived here.’ He said ‘Oh yeah, we moved in here last week’ or something like that…….Tex…he come in behind me. And me and the guy got into a conversation….and I said ‘well, you know, I gotta go.’ And then Tex moved in and started talking to him. And I walked on out….”

It’s long struck me as bizarre that he should keep insisting he went to Waverley to see Harold when, as was to be found out later, he knew Harold no longer lived at that house. But given that Harold was his contact in the house and the one he had the relationship with, it made whatever contact he’d had with the three housemates that little more intriguing if, as we know, he knew Harold wasn’t there. Especially when it turns out that something that he had wanted and put forward a good case for {providing the food and doing the cleaning} had been rejected. I’m not saying that he spent the best part of a year brooding and stewing and whatnot, but it seems pretty clear to me from what Atkins said to her lawyers that the members of that household {not Harold} weren’t well, thought of. I do accept that her talking about “putting the fear in them” could just as easily point to a LaBianca kill, the way wreaking havoc on Cielo was, at least in her mind, supposed to do the same thing to Terry Melcher. They were supposed to be people that had “backed out on their word”, whatever that entailed. Such a message would have been as impenetrable as all the other messages that people were supposed to pick up !
I’ve found time and time again that when Manson tries to evade responsibility for the murders, he actually, by his explanations, ends up digging himself deeper. George Stimson’s book is a classic in that regard ~ in trying to minimize Manson’s involvement or guilt, what ends up happening is the opposite.

grimtraveller said...

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Swerdloff, Baltzell and Yost were Charlie’s initial targets once he got desperate and could be why he headed over to Waverley. I’m kind of reminded of Pat during the penalty phase when it was put to her by Max Keith that the copycat was basically a load of shit and she said “well, it was just a thought and the thought came to be” or something to that effect. Sometimes, when one is speculating on why someone has done something, one tries to get into the heads of others, a rather difficult thing to do. And whatever one comes up with, it has to be based on something. Things like “when was the decision made ?” are almost impossible to determine. If Charlie was pissed by what happened at Esalen, at what point did that spill over into the decision to gut whoever was up at Cielo ? Ditto if he was angry with Melcher ? When Manson testified in court, he made his feelings towards society known a few times. At what point did those feelings coalesce ?
I freely admit that I have no “objective evidence” as such and that what I think could be the case as to why they headed to Waverley is very much based on circumstantial elements and the words of a number of people, most of whom have demonstrated unreliability elsewhere. But I certainly wasn’t taking words out of context or twisting/mincing things being said. Certain statements were made in support of the view the post was presenting; I thought some of those could be called into question or could go either way. An example of that was where it was said “I think it is a stretch to say Manson would go after friends or friends of friends.” I brought up Gary Hinman. In Helter Skelter, The Garbage People, The Myth of HS, Child of Satan Child of God, The Family, Death to Pigs, Member of the Family, Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman, The Life and Times of Charles Manson and some of Bobby Beausoleil’s parole hearings, it comes up that Gary was a friend of the Family and/or lists ways in which he had helped them out legally, financially or in terms of accommodation. Swerdloff, Baltzelll and Yost were hardly Family friends on a Hinman standing if they were at all {True never mentions them as Charlie’s friends, Atkins reveals a certain bitterness} so if Charlie went for Gary and he meant something to the Family, I don’t see how logically he’d lay off the roommates if he felt that way inclined. That Swerdloff helped out with the record months later is neither here nor there. That was not the state of play in August ’69.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

I also have to ask, if this is the target, and you know there are three of them, why leave the ‘hit squad’ in the car? You know there are three of them and maybe even more given the parties. Doesn't it make more sense to take everyone. It doesn't make sense to me that he would go alone

Watson, Kasabian and Atkins all describe a combination of Manson going to scout out the intended scenario either alone or with Tex which indicates to me that like many criminals, before acting, he’d ‘case the joint’ before deciding what to do. If the former True house was an intended target, Charlie always knew he had the luxury, for want of a better word, of Tex and Clem, as well as a couple of heavy knives and a gun. Personally, I don’t think it would have made any sense at all to take 7 people up to that house just to check it out, but that’s just me. In my thieving days, the less people involved in any shenanigans, the better, simply because of confusion, co-ordination and confessing afterwards.

Roommate Revenge Leads Directly to Spahn Ranch

So did the killing of Gary Hinman. But all Charlie needed to do was what he always did ~ deny it. In early November ’69, Frank Patchett went to speak to Manson and asked him point blank if he knew anything about the Tate and LaBianca murders and he simply said ‘no’ and it didn’t even get written up. And this was at a time when he was on a suspect list.

David said…
So you think it was possible he would go try to subdue three men, alone? Like I said in the post, IMO, not without shooting one or more of them and that contradicts Manson's MO

Now, it might just be an embellished story but the subject of the previous post, the white sports car, if true, has Manson getting ready to shoot someone.
It just points to little things that could run either way. I’m not saying you are wrong. In fact, I’m inclined to agree with you. However, there are things that happen according to the official narrative that show Manson acting in ways that are consistent with what end up as objections to the idea that maybe the roommates were targets in Charlie’s mind, at least initially.
By the way, when I referred to Manson’s M.O I was referring to his MO on the night, checking things before acting.

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

There are three witnesses to the events of that night, leading up to the decision to go to 3301 Waverly Drive: Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Tex Watson. All tell a similar story. A story that says Manson was never going to 3267 but was, indeed, going directly to 3301....All three of the witnesses say the same thing: Manson specifically chose 3301 Waverly Drive. And while none of them have tremendous credibility all agree Manson was never going to the True House

On the face of it, there appears to be no dispute here and it’s a slamdunk however one looks at it.
But things aren’t always as they seem at first glance.
I will say this though; when I was first thinking in terms of who the initial Waverley targets were, what Linda said always was the ship sinker to the idea. I can’t remember if it was on this site or LSB a couple of years back but I pointed out the flaw in the theory. But it is worth examining what these three witnesses said and just as importantly, when.
When looking at what Atkins said, a couple of things jump out. Firstly, she is the first one to talk about Charlie earmarking the LaBianca house rather than the former True one. But Richard Caballero asked her if she spoke about the house and situation with Charlie at the time and she said “No. Not at that particular time.” At this point she says Charlie got out of the car and went “in the house” and after smoking a ciggy, came back and got Tex and the two of them went into the house. Atkins said that she recognized the area and when Charlie came back to the car and told Pat & Leslie to go with Tex, it was then that she asked if it was the house they’d had the acid trip in with Harold in and he then said “No, it’s the house next door.”
A few days later to the grand jury she changes bits of what she told Caballero & Caruso, but two things are immediately clear ~ one is that she was asleep when they pulled up to Waverley {she recalls that when she woke up, Charlie was not in the car} and the other is that whenever it was that she asked Charlie about whether or not it was Harold’s house that he’d ended up in, it was after he’d come out of there. Which, if he’d gone to the former True house first to look around, would make sense. So it’s incorrect to say that Atkins claims that Manson was never going to 3267. It’s not what she says that’s significant, it’s when. It comes after he has already been and his prior intentions are never discussed.

grimtraveller said...

What Linda says seems to shut the door on the matter until one looks at what she says during the Watson trial. Speaking with Watson’s lawyer, we have this exchange:

Burbick: You said something to Mr. Manson when he started walking up the driveway, didn't you, about that being Harold True's house?
Kasabian: Yeah.
Q: What, if anything, did he say?
A: No, he said, "I'm going next door."
Q: Next door?
A: Yeah.
It’s interesting that Burbick pinpoints the discussion as being when he started walking up the driveway and Linda doesn’t contradict him. If you look through the transcript, there are areas where, if an error is made, she contradicts him. It’s also interesting that when Bugliosi gets a chance to question her again, he says nothing about that. In the first trial, wherever there were any discrepancies in what she said, either when he was asking or one of the defence lawyers, he would make sure that he would take her back or re-open cross examination or whatever, just to make sure there were no doubts that could be left lingering. But not here. So Linda accepts that it was as Charlie was walking up the True driveway that she asked him if 3267 was being done. Now, she omits Charlie coming back for Tex, which neither Tex nor Atkins do. Both of them, as witnesses, say that’s what happened. It makes sense to me that while Manson went up the first time, before coming back for Tex, while they smoked the ciggy, Linda was sure that the place they pulled up outside of was 3267 and having seen Manson go up its drive, when he returned to get Tex asked him if that was the house he was going to do, at which point, Manson replied that it was the one next door. If we take into account Manson’s story of what alerted him to 3301 {the light and the dog}, it makes sense that he went up the former True house and then finding no one there and seeing what he saw, went over to the house he’d always thought was empty. He says he went into the house with Tex, never alone. He says it to Emmons {if one believes the book}, he said it to Vanity Fair, he said it to Stimson and both Atkins and Watson bear this out. So once again, it’s by no means a foregone conclusion that one of the witnesses has the conversation about where Manson is going before he’s actually gone.

I didn’t take the time to look up whether that statement appeared in the press following Atkins’ Grand Jury testimony

If the book “The Killing of Sharon Tate” is the book form of what appeared in the papers, it did. The way “Atkins” put it, she thought the house Charlie went into was the one they’d had the acid trip in but he corrects her that it was the one next door.

grimtraveller said...

Tex’s book is kind of interesting for a number of reasons. I’m quite surprised just how much of it is gleaned from his trial testimony and it’s sort of amusing how the same mistakes are made {such as putting himself up front in the car with Charlie and Linda, rather than in the back on the night of Aug 9/10}. Because he seems to quote almost verbatim from other sources it’s really difficult to know what is his actual memory and where his ghost writer has filled in the gaps as he sees fit. But as far as what he says about Waverley, he doesn’t say that Charlie never went up to 3267. He says he slipped up to the house alone before coming back for him. He doesn’t say he saw him go to 3301, he just uses vague terms. When Linda was being questioned at his trial, the Judge specifically reiterated from her that it was up the True driveway that Manson had gone. We’ve noted it before, his memory of those small details is pretty ropey which is why I tend to take it with a pinch of salt. But on things such as actually stabbing Sharon Tate, carving WAR or tying Leno, he’s more definite. With all the fudge in mind, Manson could easily have gone to check out 3267 first. He says he went that way, Linda says he went that way. Once he disappeared around the driveway bend, no one in the car saw where he went. The issue here isn’t so much whether Atkins, Kasabian and Watson agree that the LaBianca house was earmarked by Manson {there’s no dispute about that}, the issue is when that information came to them. It could be argued that Manson had the opportunity to have gotten up to both houses before eliminating 3267 and confirming 3301.
The funky thing is that in the end, it really doesn’t matter because even if Manson’s first thought after the sports car incident was to head on out to Waverley to ‘show how it was to be done’ with specific victims at 3267 in mind, that’s not what he found when he arrived.

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

I saw a blog post a few months ago while googling some stuff on the Labiancas and came across a comment from a guy who claimed to be the nephew of Ernie Baltzell and he claimed his uncle told him that Manson and a few of the girls stayed at 3267 for about a month and eventually Charlie asked Harold if it was ok to move in, he said Harold ok'd it but that hed have to ask permission from the rest of the roommates and they turned him down, the nephew said Ernie told him thats why he believed Charlie picked Waverly Dr and that he thought Manson went to 3267 first

As much as it might support my theory, I don't believe the guy that claimed to be Ernie's nephew. I think what he says about the Family staying in that house for a month is crap and I'm of the opinion that if I'm going to take one bit of the guy's info I really should take all of it ~ and vice versa.
Also, Harold never said he OK'd it ~ he said it wasn't down to him, which, if Ernie was the main guy of the house as David points out, would make sense.
This 'nephew' doesn't seem credible to me, much as I would like him to be.
Pat, in Jeff Guinn's book, said that she thought Manson had intended to go to 3267 before they'd even left Spahn. But I think she's talking crap too because she reckons that he wanted to get drugs from Harold and eventually blackmail him. It probably comes across as cruel, but I frequently find Pat largely incoherent.
Truth be told, there isn't likely to be anything that supports the idea that Manson had 3267 in mind that is going to come from any witness because it's a man's uncommunicated thoughts we're talking about.

Dan S said...

I just caught the MC5 references at the end here

I love their controversial "Back in the USA" album. It's funny, they, for me, really were a paradox of a band in that I think they were both hugely overrated and yet at the same time, hugely underrated. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another band or artist that applies to.

David said...

RudyWebershose said: "Also noticed a mistake in the text"

There is a correction at the end of the post I put up about day 3. When I make a mistake I correct it one of two ways. If I catch it I put a correction at the bottom of the post. If you catch it I try to acknowledge it in a comment. I don't edit the post because that feels like something Winston Smith would do.

RudyWebersHose said...

Im of the same opinion on Pat but i think her incoherent act in parole hearings and other places is rehearsed, thats a pretty interesting statement from Guinns book though, I haven't read it so i never knew she said that, i wouldn't just write off that statement though, look at it this way, Harold was known for being around the drug scene and possibly sold some and it isnt much of a stretch to imagine Charlie telling Pat that because in my opinion given their relationship they were pretty close

RudyWebersHose said...

Kind of interesting that theres no trial testimony or police interview (at least from what ive seen) about Pat, Leslie or Clems recollections of what was said upon arriving at 3301

RudyWebersHose said...

Ok i saw that, so your opinion is that the Berberians were already living in the main house at 3267 Waverly on the 9th and 10th? That would definitely be an odd situation if the sale didnt go through until the 21st or after but not totally out of the question

RudyWebersHose said...

A few things to add, so were Julie Posella and her son Leonard living in the 3267 guesthouse at the time of the murders? If so Leonards statement of "its ok he knows me and he better give it to me or else" takes on greater significance in my opinion as does his history of violence and alcohol abuse, in addition to his domestic violence episode i think there was sonething in the homicide report about him chasing his father around with a kitchen knife (sound familiar?) Its also interesting to me that Mrs Posella sells the place so soon after the murders but that could have already been in the works before Aug 9-10 or the murders scared her to the point that she was desperate to get out of there, i think i read somewhere that she sold it for well under market value

RudyWebersHose said...

In regards to the part in the trial testimony about Harold going to Spahn to get 200 dollars i think I remember either reading something or hearing it in the Stovitz interview about True being involved with something related to Texs pickup truck, could that have been the reason he went out there?

RudyWebersHose said...

Also can anyone else recall what Pat, Leslie or Clem remembered as far as what was said upon arriving at Waverly Dr regarding which house was picked?

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

can anyone else recall what Pat, Leslie or Clem remembered as far as what was said upon arriving at Waverly Dr regarding which house was picked?

Well RWH, when Leslie first opened up to Marvin Part in 1969, she said she fell asleep during the drive and when she woke up, Charlie was talking to Tex, already outside the house. Sounds remarkably like what Susan Atkins said, which I suppose might be grist for the mill for those that think she adapted Sadie's previous tape with Caballero and Caruso. She also said back at a parole hearing in 2013 that as far as she was aware, the house was selected at random and knew of no reason why it might have been chosen.
Other than during the penalty phase when the Family was trying to present Linda as the mastermind behind the murders {not even Tex !} I'm not aware of anything that Clem has said regarding the second night and if there is stuff he's said, I'd be fascinated to read it. It strikes me that he can't really say anything about that night. He'd be in a similar situation that Tex would be in talking about Shorty. {It suddenly occurs to me that I've never come across Tex speaking about Shorty. He doesn't appear to be mentioned in either of his books and whenever he came up at trial or in a hearing, his lawyer would always block the subject}.

if 3267 wasnt sold to the Berberians until Aug. 21 how would they have seen people at 3301 on the 10th? Did they already live in the area?

Sometimes, when a house has been bought but before the date of actual ownership or moving in, the "new" owner might make trips down to the property, either to look around and get some bearings in a way they weren't able to before when they were trying to decide whether or not to buy or to show friends the property or the area. I only mention this because that's what I did with the house I currently live in, back in 2003. In between the time we said we'd buy and the date we actually moved in, I came down a couple of times and on one of those occasions, brought a friend to see the place, even though we couldn't get into the actual property that day.

i wouldn't just write off that statement though, look at it this way, Harold was known for being around the drug scene and possibly sold some and it isnt much of a stretch to imagine Charlie telling Pat that because in my opinion given their relationship they were pretty close

Perhaps calling it crap was a bit much. Let's just just say, I don't believe it nor give it any weight.


GreenWhite said...

I think Pat identifies Leno as the one who said, "I'm already dead."

That comes from Tex's book. Ironically, in it, he says after spending time in the front room with Leno, Pat came running back to the bedroom saying "he's still alive !"

RudyWebersHose said...

The driveways of 3301 and 3267 are fairly far apart when you google earth it, in my opinion if Manson went up the 3267 driveway it was to get to the 3267 house, for as small and narrow as Waverly is through that little area those driveways are very far apart for neighboring houses

RudyWebersHose said...

By the way i noticed earlier the one girls name was Sarkisian which is Chers real last name, i wonder if she is some relation to her, Cher is from LA and in 69 would have been around 23, i know theres a good sized Armenian population in LA

RudyWebersHose said...

This whole idea of killing neighbors and new occupants of previously lived in Cielo Dr never made much sense to me, Charlie wasntva complex person or at least as complex as he would have people believe, what satisfaction is to be gained from it unless he planned on getting caught, how would Melcher or True and friends even know it was him unless he went to them afterwards blabbing about it so he could see their fear and their reaction? I know most will just say "no sense makes sense" but to me thats just a lazy explanation, theres a deeper meaning

RudyWebersHose said...

No its a shit area, bums, winos, bikers, gang members, all material for the human garbage pile, Venice for the most part is a dump especially these days

Mr. Humphrat said...

I went to Ernie Baltzel's memorial pages and there are lots of great photos of him

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

Im of the same opinion on Pat but i think her incoherent act in parole hearings and other places is rehearsed

Interesting. Can you explain further on that ?

what satisfaction is to be gained from it unless he planned on getting caught, how would Melcher or True and friends even know it was him unless he went to them afterwards blabbing about it

I've long felt that Susan's explanations of "the fear" were more about her trying to show that Charlie was displeased with the people she was outlining, rather than an actual message aimed at Melcher or the roommates to actually understand.

GreenWhite said...

Hands down, I've learned at least as much from the posts and the comments as I have from the books

The books are wonderful and all, but for me, nothing beats real life interaction with real people's real and current thoughts.

RudyWebersHose said...

Actually should have used a more appropriate word...phony, disingenuous maybe

RudyWebersHose said...

I could see that except both Susan and others have said Cielo was to send a message to Melcher

Gorodish said...

grimtraveller wrote :

I'm not aware of anything that Clem has said regarding the second night and if there is stuff he's said, I'd be fascinated to read it. It strikes me that he can't really say anything about that night.

That damned pesky "no statute of limitations on murder/conspiracy to commit murder". I wonder if Clem spends an occasional sleepless night worrying about that. Or being thankful that he dodged a bullet on the LaBianca murders.

He'd be in a similar situation that Tex would be in talking about Shorty. {It suddenly occurs to me that I've never come across Tex speaking about Shorty. He doesn't appear to be mentioned in either of his books and whenever he came up at trial or in a hearing, his lawyer would always block the subject}.

You are 100% correct; Tex is also in a bind here. His "honest" narrative of the two nights of murder seem more culled from trial transcripts and co-defendants testimony than his own truth. He cops to 7 (really 8) murders with no problem, but for whatever reason, in his attempts to rehab himself and atone for the murders, Shorty's murder falls by the wayside. Tex's whereabouts the last 2 weeks of August 1969 are a mystery, as he was not around for the August 16th raid after being dispatched to Death Valley, but it seems he got back to Spahn in time for Shorty's killing, then went back to Death Valley. Or did he ever really leave until the Family's exodus at the end of August ? I never bought the "mom called looking for her son, and that ended the killings" crap. It was more like " I was in the middle of nowhere, the drugs were wearing off, this Helter Skelter crap wasn't happening after all, and I was buying newspapers every day looking for articles about the murders. When I finally realized I was probably going to be caught I fled to Texas and mom and dad". Shorty is the albatross at all of his recent parole hearings. I'll bet he wishes he included Shorty's murder in "Will You Die For Me".

Of course there is always the other side of the coin, where Davis and Grogan were lying to minimize their own roles and threw the infamous stabbing machine into the mix, when he wasn't even there. That's why we follow this awesome blog....the "who really knows" factor !

grimtraveller said...

Gorodish said...

I wonder if Clem spends an occasional sleepless night worrying about that. Or being thankful that he dodged a bullet on the LaBianca murders

He did rather dodge that bullet. He was indeed fortunate that his role in Cielo {in terms of the conspiracy, being around and part of the discussions when the killers returned} and California law regarding accomplice implication made a case against him really hard as there was nothing independent of his accomplices' words that actually proved he was there or played any meaningful part. Still, he did eventually get his comeuppance, even if it was cut short, twice.

I'll bet he wishes he included Shorty's murder in "Will You Die For Me"

If he had done so, I wonder what angle he would have approached it from. I also wouldn't be surprised if he made no mention of it in the "Tex tapes," speaking of which, now there's a set of documents I'd love to take on holiday for some evening reading/listening !

Of course there is always the other side of the coin, where Davis and Grogan were lying to minimize their own roles and threw the infamous stabbing machine into the mix

There is that ! Mind you, right from October 1969 with Kitty Lutesinger mentioning Tex in connection with Shorty's murder he was placed there. Mary Brunner placed him there, Danny DeCarlo sort of placed him there....
I remember, when I first started on the TLB blogs, I read one of Bruce's parole hearing transcripts on Cats77's site {I think it was the 1993 one} and I was utterly flabbergasted at what he said about Tex. He claimed that they were good friends and that he liked Tex but then got into this amazing conversation about him with one of the board members. He not only described his part in the Shorty murder, he went on to explain why he didn't think Tex should be paroled at that time ! I wish I could get hold of it again because sometimes, I wonder if I really did read that or if I'm mixing up a load of things.
The LA county DA's office, when one applies for the trial transcripts, send you a load of stuff and as part of it is why Tex was never charged for the murder of Shea. They said that it was decided not to proceed because he'd already been found guilty of Tate-LaBianca and sentenced to death. They were in effect saying "he's going to die, what's the point ?" Of course, that does beg the question why they went after Manson for Shorty's death but maybe by the time they decided to go for him, his legend was such that they couldn't not. But with Tex, the authorities were well aware of his involvement and that makes me wonder whether or not, if he was paroled tomorrow, he'd then be reincarcerated while they try him for his part in Shorty's murder. Certainly certain parole boards have referred to him as a crime partner in that event. The LADA paperwork contains this paragraph: "Manson believed Shorty Shea was the informant who was responsible for the raid and directed Bruce Davis, Steve Grogan and Tex Watson to kill him. Danny DeCarlo testified that Davis, Grogan and Watson took Shea to an isolated ravine and stabbed him. Manson was allegedly also present to stab Shea."
I guess it's all academic in the end.

David said...

Grim said: "He was indeed fortunate that his role in Cielo {in terms of the conspiracy, being around and part of the discussions when the killers returned} and California law regarding accomplice implication made a case against him really hard as there was nothing independent of his accomplices' words that actually proved he was there or played any meaningful part."

Huh?

RudyWebersHose said...

The official narrative seems to be that even though he was in the car Clem had nothing to with Waverly so what does he have to lose giving a statement regarding what was said? Ive always wondered why he wasnt charged for Labianca when Susan and Linda both were yet their roles there were the same, makes me wonder if he was given some kind of under the table deal if he gave some info on how things went down

RudyWebersHose said...

I'm assuming he meant Waverly

David said...

RWH said: " Ive always wondered why he wasnt charged for Labianca when Susan and Linda both were yet their roles there were the same, makes me wonder if he was given some kind of under the table deal if he gave some info on how things went down"

So did the judge. There is a place in the transcript, I don't remember where, where in chambers the court asked Bugliosi that very question. VB responded with something like: "Do you really want me to answer that? It is a very complicated situation." and the judge said "No".

RWH said: "The official narrative seems to be that even though he was in the car Clem had nothing to with Waverly so what does he have to lose giving a statement regarding what was said?"

Prison for life for murder.

There should be a 'frequently asked questions' on here.

Conspiracy is the key to that outcome. If you join (agree to) a conspiracy to commit murder and are convicted of conspiracy to commit murder you are also guilty of murder even if you don't kill anyone. That is how VB convicted Manson. Once the jury says 'guilty' on conspiring to commit murder he was guilty of each and every murder.

David said...

That is why I said "Huh?" in response to Grim's comment.

RudyWebersHose said...

We've already estsblished the fact that he wasnt charged for Labianca so simply telling what he overheard being said isnt going to change the prosecutors minds as to him being charged

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said...

I did a quick check on wiki under Patricia Krenwinkel and it says : " According to Patricia, she pinned Folger to the ground and further stabbed her; the victim pleaded with her to stop by saying, "Stop, I'm already dead."[2]

The number [2} beside is attributed to: Vronsky, Peter (2007). Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters


According to Greg King, Pat said this in 1994 to Diane Sawyer. I wonder if William Garretson was watching that documentary.

David said...

That is why I said "Huh?" in response to Grim's comment

I was including both Cielo and Waverly. Clem comes into the story in the aftermath of Cielo when the killers are describing {well, Tex is, but they're all there} what happened. He's described as being part of that scene and later, according to DeCarlo, he includes himself as part of the 'we' when he describes 'getting' 5 piggies. The DA's office tried to get him indicted with the others after Atkins' GJ testimony. I was agreeing with Gorodish that he dodged a bullet somewhat because it seems to me that he was there or thereabouts when it came to both crimes. I thought that they were seen as 2 crimes within the same conspiracy {which explains why Atkins is guilty of the LaBianca murders even though she never even set foot in the house}. I thought that there needed to be some kind of independent corroboration if an accomplice said he had done X or Y but there wasn't any in his case. As far as we know, Clem didn't speak to anyone about being along on the 2nd night. Did he dodge the bullet by skill, luck or just the way it turned out ?

RudyWebersHose said...

We've already estsblished the fact that he wasnt charged for Labianca so simply telling what he overheard being said isnt going to change the prosecutors minds as to him being charged

If he speaks up about what was said, he places himself there. Independent corroboration at that point is no longer needed because he has put himself there and as David points out, the risk in doing that is that he gets done for murder.

grimtraveller said...

David said...



There should be a 'frequently asked questions' on here


There should but there'd probably lots of arguments there too ! 😆

RudyWebersHose said...

Sorry i have to disagree with you there, it was established fact that he was there, im not going to argue semantics with you, we'll just have to disagree with you

RudyWebersHose said...

I'll not we'll

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

it was established fact that he was there

There's established fact and established fact that can stand up legally.

RudyWebersHose said...

Im pretty sure 6 people saying you were along for the ride would stand up legally

David said...

RWH,

I think the better question is why would he take the risk. If you can convict Manson for Tate and Atkins for labianca you have a good shot at Grogan. IMO for both.

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

Im pretty sure 6 people saying you were along for the ride would stand up legally

In your various alter egos, it feels like we've had this argument so many times.
I'm not disagreeing with you that it is an established fact that Grogan was along that night. As early as December '69 Susan Atkins told her lawyers he knew about the Cielo killings and indeed, they were discussed in front of him. She also had him along on the second night and a few days later it became public record when she repeated this to the Grand Jury, not to mention during the trial itself through the testimony of Linda. Everyone and their Grandma knows he was along.
Yet, he was never done for it. Why ?
It's partly because other than some of the people that were in the car, there's no independent proof that he was there and the word of all the people in the car was basically useless legally because they were accomplices. Even the words of Linda, who was granted immunity, were not enough. Had there been something independent {a bit of physical evidence, a stray word to someone else, a la Van Houten, a confession etc} of Atkins or Kasabian that could be put together with their words then there's a good possibility he could have been indicted and tried. That situation has stayed the same since so, forget Clem. But if he now came out and started talking about being there with them that night and what Charlie may or may not have said when they pulled up to 3267 Waverly, he'd be risking making live Kasabian's testimony regarding himself. After 33 years out free after already serving time for murder, he'd be a nub to start talking about that night.

Gorodish said...

grimtraveller wrote:

But if he now came out and started talking about being there with them that night and what Charlie may or may not have said when they pulled up to 3267 Waverly, he'd be risking making live Kasabian's testimony regarding himself. After 33 years out free after already serving time for murder, he'd be a nub to start talking about that night.

Exactly right. There is no way Clem will ever talk about that night. He obviously wants nothing to do with that part of his past, anyways. And realistically, who would try to prosecute him for a 49 year conspiracy charge ? Ironically, the one "non-conspirator" (Gillies) who supposedly saw him drive off in the Deathmobile just died recently. Another nail in that coffin. Nope, Clem skated on that one.

RudyWebersHose said...

Ill gaurantee you Susan, Linda, Charlie, Tex, Pat and Leslie all saying Clem was there was more than enough corroborating evidence to charge him, obviously something was worked out between the prosecution and him hence Bugliosis "its complex" statement to the judge

RudyWebersHose said...

He admits nothing that hasnt already been testified to by the players, in fact in my opinion he had more to worry about with Kasabians yarn about going to Naders apartment with an armed Clem, if I was him id be more worried about that, if he tells the tale of what was said in or near the car nothing would be pursued

David said...

Gorodish is absolutely correct: no one would prosecute a 70 year old local pub guitar player for a 49 year old crime. But why risk it? Why ask for the publicity? Why tell all your new friends ‘get I was in the car that night.’ Because we want him to? Or for the historical record?

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

Ill gaurantee you Susan, Linda, Charlie, Tex, Pat and Leslie all saying Clem was there was more than enough corroborating evidence to charge him

In California law, a perp could not implicate a co~defendant in a joint trial. They were simply not allowed to do so. It wasn't a matter of opinions as to whether or not it could happen. It was not allowed by law. In his & Gentry's book, Bugliosi made a point that Manson could have repeated his "we knocked off 5 of them" on TV and it wouldn't have been able to be used against anyone if they were tried together. So those 6 could all point the finger at Clem {indeed, 2 of them did, and one other did privately} but it would've counted for nothing. Throughout the trial there were examples of the lengths gone to so that the words of one perp would not implicate another {for example, when Ronnie Howard was going to testify as to what Susan Atkins told her} and when Charlie testified, they had to remove the jury in order to see that what he said didn't implicate and therefore go against the women.
I think I'll pass on your guarantee for now.

RudyWebersHose said...

Sorry man youre wrong and im right

grimtraveller said...

You're definitely on the right !

Gorodish said...

Grogan also had the "advantage" of being described back then by many witnesses (Springer, DeCarlo, etc.) as being "mentally defective". Judge James Kolts, during the Shea/Hinman trial, described Clem as "only 16 and of limited intelligence" when he came under Manson's influence, and commuted his sentence from death to life. But Clem was not really "of limited intelligence". An old friend of mine in Ventura, CA, an architect who passed away in 2004 at age 59, grew up in the same neighborhood as the Grogan family and was good friends with Steve's older brothers. He told me they were a nice family, and Steve was a fairly articulate kid who suddenly went downhill. My friend went to Spahn with Steve's brother one time to see him and couldn't believe how wacked out Steve had gotten. I think the whole "mentally challenged" thing played into Clem's favor, and was the reason the Los Angeles D.A. Office, who were simultaneously dealing with Tex's "diminished capacity" defense, were not willing to push the envelope with Clem when they had bigger fish to fry.

RudyWebersHose said...

I thought the story was that Clems parents dropped him off at Spahn and either asked the people there to look after him or just plain abandoned him there

Matt said...

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

Ill gaurantee you Susan, Linda, Charlie, Tex, Pat and Leslie all saying Clem was there was more than enough corroborating evidence to charge him

I think I'll pass on your guarantee for now.


You are correct on that point Grim. Under CA law a co-conspiritor's testimony against another person in the conspiracy (even 100 of them) was inadmissible without hard, corroborating evidence.

Guarantee overruled!



David said...

Matt is absolutely correct. Read the appellate court opinion on Tate-LaBianca and you will see the court lay out all the evidence that corroborates Kasabian.

RudyWebersHose said...

Linda is a liar, she was in the house at Cielo, ask yourself this, how did Susan stab Frykowski in the legs and back after her knife got knocked into the seat cushion during her fight with him?

RudyWebersHose said...

Just because he Clem wasnt prosecuted for Labianca doesn't mean that was the reason, like i said Bugliosis statement of "its complex, do you really want yo get into that here?" should tell you all you need to know, Clem was feeding the prosection OR investigators information somehow, if it was the for the reason you say then Bugliosi wouldnt have to explain the "complex" matter to the judge, the judge would already know that

David said...

The wounds to Frykowski’s leg and back were made by the same knife and it is very likely it was the one found at the scene. Well, ok, it was the one found at the scene.

RudyWebersHose said...

Why no blood or prints on it?

RudyWebersHose said...

And i dont believe Charlie or whoever went back just wiped it and left it, theyd have just taken it

grimtraveller said...

Matt said...

Guarantee overruled!

Thank you, your Honor.

RudyWebersHose said...

Linda is a liar, she was in the house at Cielo

She may have been a liar at times but when it came to corroboration she had it in spades. You say that she was in the house at Cielo but she says she wasn't and ironically, she had corroboration that she wasn't. The corroboration came from, of all people, Susan Atkins. Atkins' Grand Jury testimony placed Linda outside the house. Because Atkins reneged on the deal she'd made with the DA, anything she'd said to the GJ could now be used against her and because Kasabian was the new Atkins, anything that Atkins had said that was in support of Kasabian was good to go. So her not killing anyone was beneficial and her running away actually counted as a plus point. And she said she was outside. Forever more she will remain outside. It doesn't matter what Atkins said in her book about Linda being inside, legally, she was outside and the corroboration came from the best possible source because the prosecution took Atkins' GJ testimony to be broadly the truth.

Bugliosi: Did all of you girls enter at that time?

Atkins: Only two of us entered, one stayed outside.

Q: Who stayed outside?

A: Linda Kasabian.

Q: And you and Patricia Krenwinkel entered the residence?

A: Yes.

And then later on:

Q: Did Linda stay outside?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you know where she was outside?

A: No, I don't.

And then finally:

Q: Were you looking for Linda at that point?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you know where Linda was?

A: No.

Q: Where was Tex at that point?

A: He was walking towards Katie and me in this direction.

Q: What happened next?

A: Then Tex told me to go back into the house and write something on the door in one of the victim's blood.....

Note the words "go back into the house." Clearly they were outside looking for Linda. Not a single reference to her being in the house. The importance of that is that at this time when Atkins was making these statements, she was the one with all the aces. Kasabian was simply one of the other perps that the DA was looking to indict, try, convict and execute.
Linda's corroboration for never being in the house is pretty damn near unshakable for all time. Even though Atkins' testimony ultimately worked against herself, it worked for Linda.
Funny how these things turn out.

Gorodish said...

Clem was not really "of limited intelligence"

I agree. I think acid took him to new dimensions that you'd expect from a 17~19 year old but he wasn't dumb at all. There's a heck of a lot of dialogue from him in Robert Hendrickson's book, "Death To Pigs" and he comes across as intense in what he believed. One could argue that he didn't fully understand much of the Mansonian philosophy but to me, he sounded like many teenagers do when they're grappling with new adult realities, the state of their world and their place in it.
I have to say though, his testimony in the penalty phase is deep in parts, revealing in others and hilarious in others. The Judge thought he was on another plane of idiocy but Bugliosi noted in his book later that Clem knew what he was doing and was playing a role, carefully making sure he didn't plonk himself into the scene the night the LaBiancas were killed, even though he was trying to land Linda in the shit and absolve Charlie.
I think Clem may have been the first to confirm publicly that the penalty phase direction is what the defence case would have been.

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

Just because he Clem wasnt prosecuted for Labianca doesn't mean that was the reason

Not having evidence against him that could stand up in court ? That's a pretty big reason to me.

Clem was feeding the prosection OR investigators information somehow

People dodged bullets in this saga however one looks at it. Mary on Hinman. Clem on LaBianca is a bit like Tex, Little Larry and Bill Vance on Shea. No evidence to place them there. Rumours, stories, yeah. I was wondering earlier about whether Tex could be done for it but it occurs to me that there's no evidence that he spoke to anyone about what he may have done to Shorty if he was there and nothing physical or even circumstantial. Same with the other two.
Funny, that about Clem being an informant. That's what the prosecution were hoping he'd be with his brother in the CHP hopefully egging him on. He cottoned at a good time for him, though.


if it was the for the reason you say then Bugliosi wouldnt have to explain the "complex" matter to the judge, the judge would already know that

Not necessarily. It's not for a Judge to know why someone isn't being prosecuted but there's no reason that the man wouldn't be curious. Judges don't know everything. After Charlie had testified when the jury was taken out, Judge Older asked Bugliosi why he hadn't seriously cross examined him. It seems kind of obvious why. But Older still asked the question.

RudyWebersHose said...

If were bringing up Atkins you should mention her saying in her parole hearing in 78 that Linda was in the house once and it wasnt said as part of a story that had Linda asca key participant in the killings, she said it in a matter of fact type of way and it wasnt even followed up on or questioned, Susan stabbed Frykowski and it was with the knife Linda gave her before running out, not the knife that got lost in the seat cushion

RudyWebersHose said...

And also Linda was never "simply one of the perps" at least in the prosecutions case, she was the only one there was no evidence on, Tex and Pat left fingerprints and Susan talked to cell mates, Bugliosi knew the case against Linda would be weak

David said...

RWH,

How many knives were there in your opinion? Unless you say 4, your theory doesn’t work. If you say 4 what happened to #4 as no one mentions it and Kasabian says she tossed 2.

If you look at the autopsy reports you can identify the three weapons from the wounds and our general understanding what happened.

Read Granado’s testimony about the discovered knife. I think if you read between the lines just a bit you know why he found no evidence of blood but found a liquid/like substance or words to that effect. Then remember it was 1969.

David said...

And don’t apply NCIS Miami.

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

Why no blood or prints on it?

That is one of the mysteries in this case. Bugliosi posits that it was lost before stabbing Frykowski, David posits that the cops possibly messed up by putting fingerprint powder on it. Simon Wells thought that the knife rebounded off Frykowski's legs and fell down the sofa at the cushion.
I find it hard to believe that a knife that must surely have had blood on it if it had stabbed someone would be found and then messed up by the Police; but it's by no means impossible. That there were no prints on it isn't a surprise though. It would have been more of a surprise if they'd shown up.

And also Linda was never "simply one of the perps" at least in the prosecutions case, she was the only one there was no evidence on, Tex and Pat left fingerprints and Susan talked to cell mates, Bugliosi knew the case against Linda would be weak

I agree with that but at the time of the GJ Linda was seen as one of the perps, even though it was apparent she hadn't killed anyone. Hence the indictment.

If were bringing up Atkins you should mention her saying in her parole hearing in 78 that Linda was in the house once and it wasnt said as part of a story that had Linda asca key participant in the killings, she said it in a matter of fact type of way and it wasnt even followed up on or questioned

That's irrelevant. The first time Atkins ever said Kasabian was in the house was during the penalty phase. But the penalty phase stuff was discredited by dint of the fact that the defendants all received death sentences. So it's not part of the record of accepted truth. But on top of that, Atkins herself has subsequently stated that all of that stuff was untrue {as have Van Houten & Krenwinkel} and is on record in at least one of her parole hearings {I think in the '93 one} as saying that the time she really did tell the truth was.....when she was before the Grand Jury.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

And don’t apply NCIS Miami

I've been driving my kids to distraction in the early hours for the last couple of weeks as I've been watching re~runs of CSI Miami {it's on 4 different channels !}. But while I never took it seriously, I find that since we started going deeper down the evidence trail on this site, I find the way they solve their cases even less entertaining.
If only all cases were that easy and solved in 47 minutes {without ads}.

Gorodish said...

grimtraveller wrote :

People dodged bullets in this saga however one looks at it. Mary on Hinman.

Yep, there's another one. Forgot about her....

Clem on LaBianca is a bit like Tex, Little Larry and Bill Vance on Shea. No evidence to place them there. Rumours, stories, yeah. I was wondering earlier about whether Tex could be done for it but it occurs to me that there's no evidence that he spoke to anyone about what he may have done to Shorty if he was there and nothing physical or even circumstantial. Same with the other two.

I've always been somewhat mystified as to why Tex completely erased Shorty from his narrative. When you're already doomed for killing 8, what does a 9th victim matter ? I get the feeling he was already constructing his narrative in his head when arrested, about his "isolated" 2 days of madness and how "the killing stopped because of Mom's fortuitous phone call" (on Aug 10th, to David Neale). Shorty was best left out of the picture. In an earlier post I mused about Tex's whereabouts the second half of August, thinking they were a mystery. As it turns out it wasn't such a mystery. I downloaded the PDF of "Will You Die For Me" the other night and read it, having lost the book years ago. In it, Tex retraces his weird and circuitous travels the last half of August. Leaving with David Hannum and Juan Flynn to haul stuff to Olancha in Death Valley around Aug. 12th, then Flynn and Hannum leaving the next day for Spahn, leaving Tex alone. Charlie sending Dianne Lake and a young boy there a few days laters. Tex's 16 hour odyssey of hitching a ride to L.A. and wandering around Hollywood and then hitching a ride back to Olancha, returning Aug. 16th, the day of the Spahn Ranch raid. Questioned by police for skinnydipping with Snake on August 21st. Describing how 3 or 4 more Manson girls came to Olancha on the 23rd. Then this :
"The week or so that followed was taken up by a confused series of trips back and forth between Spahn and the desert, back-breaking hauls of dune buggies and supplies up the rock-strewn wash, frantic stashing of guns and vehicle parts in scattered gullies and ravines, and setting up camp at Myers Ranch. We made dozens of day-long trips up the Wash in the blazing August sun, dragging up everything the Family owned on our backs."
So it was apparently during one of those "confused series of trips" that Tex helped kill Shorty. Knowing him, I'd bet he inflicted most of the fatal wounds. And I'll also bet that Manson, who probably wanted to kill Shorty immediately after the raid, patiently waited till his ace assassin got back to Spahn to carry out the job. Clem and Bruce were probably dragged along for the "get everyone's hands dirty" thing. Where Bailey and Vance fit in I don't know. They may have just been in the second car when Manson pulled up to supervise his boys work. Was Vance even still around then ? Tex somehow skated on this whole deal. I wonder if he mentioned it to Boyd the lawyer off the record and Boyd told him to expunge it from his memory. So many unanswered questions !

even though he (Clem) was trying to land Linda in the shit and absolve Charlie.

And here, 49 years later, we have RWH, trying to do the same thing :-)

David said...

Grim said: "But on top of that, Atkins herself has subsequently stated that all of that stuff was untrue {as have Van Houten & Krenwinkel} and is on record in at least one of her parole hearings {I think in the '93 one} as saying that the time she really did tell the truth was.....when she was before the Grand Jury."

I assume you are not saying that you believe Atkins told the truth before the Grand Jury but only that Atkins "claims" that the time she told the truth was before the Grand Jury. If Atkins told the truth before the Grand Jury then Kasabian's "Sadie make it stop" moment never happened. If that never happened then there is a serious question whether anything Kasabian claims she saw she actually witnessed because Atkins has Kasabian disappear completely as they entered the house.

According to her testimony this is the first time Atkins left the house after the murder of Sharon Tate.

"A: We all went out the front door and I saw Abigail Folger on the front lawn bent over falling onto the grass. I don't know how she -- I didn't see how she got outside. I didn't see her go outside. I just saw her outside and I saw her falling and her nightgown was a seethrough nightgown and I saw blood on it and I saw Tex go over and stab her three or four -- I don't know how many times.

*****

A: Yes, While he was doing that Katie and I were looking for Linda because she wasn't anywhere around. In fact, we started calling for her. We didn't want to call too loud, and then Tex walked over to Frykowski and kicked him in the head.

*****

Q: Did you know where Linda was?
A: No.

There is no conversation, Kasabian is nowhere to be found and Abigail Folger is still alive.

RudyWebersHose said...

I dont read between lines, i read what is on the reports

RudyWebersHose said...

Looks like my comments are being screened for some reason

RudyWebersHose said...

How am i doing that exactly?

RudyWebersHose said...

Somehow Tex had a larger knife, most likely the bayonet as most of the fatal wounds 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches long and 4 inches deep, buck knives arent leaving wounds like that

Matt said...

RudyWebersHose/SAG/Dave1971 said...

Looks like my comments are being screened for some reason


You are not being screened. David's post is 14+ days old so all comments for it are moderated as per our admin settings. If you continue to contribute without a meltdown this time no one will interfere with your comments.


grimtraveller said...

David said...

If Atkins told the truth before the Grand Jury then Kasabian's "Sadie make it stop" moment never happened

I don't agree with that. Atkins "telling the truth" doesn't mean that she recalls every single happening. She doesn't recall Frykowski being shot, let alone twice, let alone by Watson, even though she pins every murder on him and no one else. She never mentions it, either to Howard, Graham, Caruso, Caballero, Bugliosi or to the Grand Jury. She doesn't even recall hearing the shots. Where there are joint participants in the commission of a crime or any traumatic event for that matter, there may well be things that one recalls that another doesn't, especially when there are multiple things going on. That's just a reality of life.

According to her testimony this is the first time Atkins left the house after the murder of Sharon Tate

Granted. Interestingly, she was in the same room as Abigail and yet expresses surprise that she's outside. She comments on it 3 times. She doesn't know how she got outside, she didn't see her leave ~ and yet there she is.
She herself, to both her lawyers and the GJ, talks about things being confused and confusion. There are some interesting little discrepancies between what she says to her lawyers on the 1st December and what she says to the GJ on the 5th.
Unfortunately, because of the way things worked out with Atkins recanting and all, it was never necessary to quiz her about whatever discrepancies may have showed up. Bugliosi did say that he was hoping to quiz her further. Even there though, it wouldn't have sorted out the problem because Linda probably wouldn't have said most of the things she went on to say from her position of strength when Atkins did recant.
But really, the point I was making to RWH was that because Atkins' GJ testimony was accepted by the prosecution as being fairly sound {with obvious exceptions}, it doesn't really matter what Atkins said later about Linda being in the house because she provided corroboration for Kasabian saying that she wasn't. It was more of an ironic observation.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

I assume you are not saying that you believe Atkins told the truth before the Grand Jury

If you mean the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then no, I don't. But there are large parts of what she said that I do believe were the truth. There are also parts that I think she simply didn't recall, that were later filled in by Linda and some parts that she deliberately left out.

I tend to be an evidence guy

And it's one of your classic contributions to many of the debates that forever rage on this subject. Looking closely at the evidence certainly helps tame some of the flights of fancy that have had their day in the sun on TLB sites over the years.

RudyWebersHose said...

I dont read between lines, i read what is on the reports

It depends what's between the lines, for me. The reports can only go so far and if you go through the 4 Police reports most of the leads and theories that came up were dead end streets in the end. Yeah, they needed to be checked out and it's as well they were.
As an aside, when Susan Atkins said to Virginia Graham that the Police were so far off the track on the Cielo murders, those could be considered to be famous last words.

grimtraveller said...

It isn't known if that house [3267] was occupied. If it was, it is not known whether they were in. Perhaps LAPD asked them and the answer has just never been disclosed

Over on Cielo's site is a possible answer to the question of whether or not the former True house was occupied on the night of the LaBianca murder. There's this somewhat revealing interview of Aaron Stovitz from March 19th 1970 by 2 Davids, Dalton and Felton, both reporters from Rolling Stone. The interview formed the basis of that June 25th issue in which Charlie speaks about HS, the Beatles, what Blacks are going to do and biblical prophecy. It's interesting for a number of things Stovitz says, such as more than once making the point that his name must not be used in the article {it eventually becomes the alias 'Porfiry} and saying which things can and can't be printed. However, for the purposes of the topic at hand is this:

"Why did they pick out LaBianca, ok? There's a fella by the name of Harold True, and this fits in with your LSD acid bit. A year before this incident, in August of '68, Harold True lived in this house next door to LaBianca. They had gone over there and had pot parties and LSD parties, there at that house.
Harold True was supposed to go into the Peace Corps. Uh, he's a college boy at UCLA and so forth. Uh, they moved - he moved out at the end of the year, his two friends continued living. These, uh, Manson family used to keep coming there all the time, but then finally everyone moved to, out of there, and the house was vacant, at the time the LaBiancas were killed - the house where True lived. This is right next door to where, uh, the LaBiancas lived, is Harold True's house.
So they, after circling the city for a while, they go into the True, uh, to the True residence. No one is home, so they, go next door."


Stovitz is certain that the house was vacant at the time of the killings and he must have had pretty good reasons for stating that.
The interview gives a useful insight into what the prosecution understood at the time and what it didn't and there is so much in it that didn't make the final article.

RudyWebersHose said...

There was a guesthouse at 3267 as well, id be interested in whether Mrs Posella was living in it on that weekend, im pretty sure she and her son lived there while the main house was being used by Harold and friends

grimtraveller said...

Aaron Stovitz said...

So they, after circling the city for a while, they go into the True, uh, to the True residence. No one is home, so they, go next door."

What's notable about that statement is that Stovitz of all people, having interviewed True just two months before this statement, would know that Manson knew that True had long moved out of the house. Yet he states in an off the record interview that it was the former True house that was visited first and then finding no one in, next door was then gone to.

RudyWebersHose said...

Kind of goes along with what that alleged nephew of Baltzell said about Baltzell thinking Charlie went there first and then next door

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

We know Baltzell, Yost and Swerdloff all left within a month of True or at the same time. So any conversation probably went like this: ‘Sorry, Charlie, but we are all leaving’. This is hardly a rejection worthy of homicide. No one was going to stay there after September, not just Manson.
Another problem is that I have not been able to find any reference to Manson actually carrying a grudge over this or being angry about it. If the snub was a big deal wouldn’t Harold True remember the reaction? While he mentions the incident in his interview in January 1970 with Aaron Stovitz he mentions it almost in passing and doesn't ascribe any animosity to Manson over it.


Some years later however, True stated "Charlie Manson, where did he go to do the killings ? He went to the 2 places he knew in LA, and 2 places only; He went to my house and he went to Melcher's house because we told him he couldn't live in our house and Terry Melcher told him he couldn't make shit with.....a record album."
Aside from now acknowledging that Charlie 'did' the killings, despite previously stating Charlie was no killer, one wonders why he'd come to that conclusion. He's making a clear connection between strong feelings Manson had towards the two particular houses the murders happened in and the purported reasons for those feelings. More noteworthy, True makes no mention of 3301 but 3267, his old house. Nothing about the LaBianca house.
It doesn't prove anything but it's an interesting ingredient to throw into the pot.

RudyWebersHose said...

Youre forgetting a few things, in that same phone interview he said at least twice that Manson had nothing to do with the killings and also he knew damn well that Charlie knew of alot more places in LA than just Cielo and Waverly

RudyWebersHose said...

Specifically "all Charlie Manson ever told those people at anytime is do what you think is right" and "Charlies not a killer, Charles nuts, Charlies institutionalized"

grimtraveller said...

Pax Vobiscum:

The Berberians do not appear at any other Waverly address in the 1968 or 1969 directories. Eleven days later they are the owners of 3267 Waverly Drive. So what were they doing in the area on August 9-10? If they were just random sightseers how did LAPD find them?
I believe the answer is they were renting the main house or living there waiting for the August 21st transaction to close. Why else would the very soon to be owners be on Waverly Drive the day before and after the murders? There seems to me to be no other logical answer unless this is one of the weirdest coincidences of all time.
This suggests that the Berberians were at 3267 Waverly Drive on the night of August 9-10. They spoke to police about their observations on the afternoon of August 10th which is likely the 9th. That means that 3267 Waverly Drive was not vacant on August 9-10, 1969


From the TLB trial:
Bugliosi: Now, the home on the right in this photograph, do you recognize that as the house in which Harold True formerly resided ?

Frank Patchett: That's correct

Q: At any time did you go to this particular home ?

A: Yes, I went to that home the day after ~ this would have been Monday, after the LaBianca murder, in checking the crime scene at the LaBianca home, I then went next door to the house

Q: August 11 1969 ?

A: I believe that was Monday, yes

Q: You went to the former residence of Harold True ?

A: I did

Q: 3267 Waverly Drive ?

A: That's correct

Q: Was the home vacant at that time ?

A: Yes, it was

Specifically, I have found no indication that True ever linked back up to Baltzell and Yost and True and Baltzell are in the image.
I think it was probable that Baltzell and Yost distanced themselves from the whole Waverly Drive scenario very quickly after the murders and their connection came to light


This phone conversation {if it is indeed genuine ~ scroll down to the 3rd post} comes from around 1990 and in it, Judy Hansen says that she got True's number from Ernie.

RudyWebersHose said...

Youre forgetting a few things

I'm not forgetting anything. The post brought up a number of interesting points, questions and mysteries. If we can find possible answers to any of them, should we just pretend they don't exist ?

in that same phone interview he said at least twice that Manson had nothing to do with the killings

He never once said that Charlie didn't have anything to do with the killings. What he said regarding the killings was "All Charlie Manson ever told those people at any time is 'do what you think is right.' Now when you tell a person who is mentally deranged to do what is right, you have killing of Jews, you have killing of Palestinians, you have the elimination of Indians..that's what you do when you apply human thought and logic and reason to people that are crazy because it doesn't come out the way you figured." Later he says "Charlie's not a killer, Charlie's nuts, Charlie's institutionalized" ~ but he says that in reply to Judy Hansen saying that the Marina Habe murder looked like "one of Chuck's" too. On top of that, he makes a clear statement as to Charlie's involvement, as demonstrated in my previous post.

grimtraveller said...

Harold True did once say the girls didn’t like him because he had college degrees and a shelf full of books. Books and college degrees (there is no evidence Baltzell or Yost attended college and Swerdloff attended a trade school) don’t make you a ‘pig’, money (and position) does.
By any definition of the term 'pigs' that I have seen the roommates were not 'pigs'. That means the target is wrong if HS is the motive


From Brooks Poston's testimony at the TLB trial;

BUGLIOSI: In addition to the lawman, did Mr Manson say the word 'pig' meant anything else ?

POSTON: Yes.

Q: Who ?

A: It meant the man that went to college, the White man. And it meant the wealthy White people, the ones who wore staunch white shirts, such as yourself.

Q: My wife does not starch them though, Brooks.

A: Staunch.

Q: I thought you said 'starch.' Go ahead.

A: And everyone who is in more or less the society of the establishment, the White establishment.

So it would appear that college folk and those that went along with the establishment {though not necessarily part of it} were also regarded as pigs. If Manson was pissed off at the 3 roommates {and Atkins words would seem to indicate this, even if she didn't know specifically why 3301 Waverly had been selected or if 3267 was at any point a target}, it doesn't seem to me to be out of the realms of possibility that 3267 may have been the initial target. Not when one takes into account a series of things that have been pointed out already. It's important to remember, we're talking about a thought.

AstroCreep said...

I don’t think HS was Charlie’s motive, but I do believe it was the narrative he preached that enabled the crimes

That would tend to indicate that as far back as December '68 or at the very least February '69, Charlie was planning murder, given what he'd said to Brooks Poston {Poston was at Barker from Feb} and Paul Watkins. And late June '69 is around the first time Charlie is recorded as saying to someone that they were going to have to show Blackie how to start HS {according to Watkins}.

grimtraveller said...

Although I kind of get what he means, this is nonetheless an interesting choice of words from Vincent Bugliosi on January 14th 1971 during the second day of his summing up of the evidence of the guilt phase of the TLB trial:
"As you recall from Linda's testimony, Manson either drove that night or when he wasn't driving, he instructed Linda to drive and when Linda was driving, Manson and Manson alone gave Linda instructions. No one else in that car gave Linda any directions, other than Charlie Manson [Aside ¬> this is corroborated by Leslie over a year before when talking to Marvin part though Bugliosi didn't know this and couldn't have used it anyway].
It was Manson who decided what houses and places to stop at in Pasadena, not Tex or anyone else.
It was Manson who decided not to enter the house and the church in Pasadena.
It was Manson who decided that he wanted to kill the driver of the white sports car, not Tex or anyone else.
And of course it was Manson who finally decided to drive to Harold True's place and after he got out of the car, of course, he entered the LaBianca residence ~ we don't know how...."


Well, I thought it was interesting. But then, I would !




grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

Kind of interesting that theres no trial testimony or police interview (at least from what ive seen) about Pat, Leslie or Clems recollections of what was said upon arriving at 3301

There isn't, but the psychiatrist, Joel Hochman, who examined Leslie, said something that I thought was interesting during the 'penalty' phase. He said that when they stopped in front of "a house" she didn't know where they were but she said to him that her thoughts were "well surely somebody knows somebody here." We know it was the former True house they stopped closer to. Now, for balances sake, it must be pointed out that quite a bit of what she said to Hochman was pure, McGann'69 styled lies, for example mentioning everyone that was in the car and saying there was her and 5 others {she names them and leaves out Charlie}. But rather like much of the three females' penalty phase utterances, there was truth and opinion mixed with lies and what Leslie said to Hochman was possibly eye opening because she drew a distinction between much of the driving around that was done that night to what she described as fancy areas {she says she was vaguely aware of these} and this particular place which caused her to think that it was known to someone which implies a certain specificity.

grimtraveller said...

AstroCreep said...

you talk about Charlie’s need to revenge for being wronged. Had he shacked up with Harold and the boys, the Dennis Wilson situation would have likely never happened. So possibly Charlie doesn’t dwell on this as a negative, because of that

The Dennis Wilson situation was already in motion when Harold was up to leave the house. True wasn't due to leave until September.

Joseph Yoklavich said...

OK - On behalf of my Uncle Buddy - Ernest Baltzell - I need to get some of this story straight about the events prior to the murders. All of the cousins, relatives, nephews and nieces have heard the stories straight from Harold True (which has been at dozens of our family celebrations, holiday and events) and our own Uncle Buddy - Ernest Baltzell - know of the events prior in their own words.

Here how it goes: Harold True Met Charles Mansion somewhere around Santa Monica Beach, and told he was having a party at his place. Charles shows up with 3 other girls, the party did involve drugs ( I do not know what exactly_ Mansion ask Harold and Buddy if they can crash there and even moved in. Mansion became a real ASSHOLE, and Harold and Buddy had to physically kick him out. He screamed and sweared he was going to get back at them. The girls left with him as Harold and Buddy made sure they left as he got off the property. With that said, both Harold and my Uncle Buddy have said with a lot of reservation, that the day/night the murders took place, it was the intention of Charles Mansion to kill them because they had kicked him out of the house.

Beyond that, my both Harold and my Uncle Buddy, have NEVER said much about the events other than the fact that Charles Mansion came over only once, was a total ASSHOLE, and did not want to do anything with that wack job once he insisted that he and the girls could move in. TOTAL loser.

As fo Harold True - Our family have only experience a great friend to my Uncle Buddy, and a tremendous family that evolved and joined us in many holiday events. He was extremely intelligent, yet definitely on another stratosphere some time when you had a deep conversation with him. I personally thought he was always honest and down to earth.

As for my Uncle Buddy.- Ernest Baltzell - You can not find a better person that would always be there for you. I loved my Uncle, because no matter what he would help you, give his own shirt off his back, and was best Uncle anyone could have. He love his family, cousin, nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces. I love him dearly, and miss him so much.

It is hard to read some of the comments on this blog. Our family talked about it this week, and Buddy’s sisters memorial in Burbank this last weekend. Getting the story right is importan. It will be interesting how this upcoming moving will present the facts and truths.

All the best,
Joseph Yoklavich
Uncle Buddy - Nephew

David said...

Joseph,

As the author of the post I truly appreciate you taking the time to set the record straight. Your uncle struck me as an amazing man while I was researching the post and you have confirmed that. I hope yours is the last word on this post.

If there is anything else you would want to share send me an e-mail at the address up there to the right and I'll write a follow up post. If not, I understand.

Thank you again

David