Monday, August 13, 2018

It Was Not the Wrench

While on the 2018 Manson Blog Tour we encountered part of a rusty old wrench that was discovered with some partial human remains at the site where Steve 'Clem' Grogan buried Shorty Shea. The question: could this have been the actual wrench used by Grogan that initiated the murder of Shorty Shea? 

We were able to identify the following inscriptions on the wrench: 

Drop forged
10” Heavy Duty
Taiwan

The last of the three inscriptions turned out to be the key to solving the mystery. 
_____

“Also in the 1970s, trade with mainland China began to resume. There had been extensive trade with China from colonial times. Early chinese imports are unmarked or marked with chinese characters. From 1891 until 1949 their production was marked "made in China." but, because of domestic instability in China (the Boxer Rebellion, the Republican Revolution, regional Warlords, Civil War, Japanese aggression, etc.), there was relatively little trade with that country during that period. From 1949 to the mid 1970s there were no trade relations with mainland China. The island of Taiwan, however, became a major source for gee-gaws during the 1960s until it also moved on to pricier electronic items. Taiwanese production from this era is marked "made in Republic of China" or "made in China (R.O.C.)" to distinguish from "Red" China. In the mid 70s, trade gradually resumed with the mainland and their production is marked "Made in the People's Republic of China." In 1978, the United States fully normalized relations with mainland China and their production again became "made in China" while R.O.C. production came to be labeled "made in Taiwan."”


(Country of Origin as a Dating Tool. Coxsackie Antique Center. www.coxsackie.com. 2002.) 
_____

 Shorty Shea was murdered in August of 1969. If the wrench had been imported before 1978 it would bear one of these inscriptions: "made in Republic of China" or "made in China (R.O.C.)".

It did not, instead the inscription said "Taiwan". Based upon the website above that means it was imported no earlier than 1978.  

Pax vobiscum

Dreath

113 comments:

Rock N. Roll said...

WOW, great research!

Orwhut said...

To paraphrase something I once heard on L.A. Law. Dreath is the kind of lawyer people hire.
Good work Dreath.

Robert C said...

What are the odds of a rusty wrench found within proximity of Shea's bones and purportedly used, or one like it, in his death not being the actual wrench ? Is there anything else out there that would corroborate the suggestion "Taiwan" was not stamped on the wrench in the 60's ? I'm not saying I disagree with that report but just wondering if all possibilities regarding this have been investigated.

AstroCreep said...

Might have been used during an excavation on equipment at some point in the later 1970’s- were there any excavations that took place in the late 70’s at the ranch?

Or, just maybe, Charlie had that custom stamped to throw off the fuzz... or possibly the CIA planted it!

Orwhut said...

I believe I've seen items dated similarly on Antiques Road Show.

ColScott said...

Cool murder souvenir bro

grimtraveller said...

"It Was Not the Wrench"

I didn't think it was !

Graf Vlad said...

Nice research. But not true.

There are many examples for products from Taiwan made BEFORE 1978 with the inscription "Made in Taiwan".

Here is a wooden salad bowl, made in 1960. Check out the inscription (last picture):
https://www.archaicvintageantique.com/listing/516862644/hellerware-birch-wood-mid-century-era

But you write about "some partial human remains". What exactly did you find? Maybe it makes sense to check the DNA...

Gorodish said...

I'm guessing the original assault pipe wrench was a Sears Craftsman. Clem would have never trusted a cheap Harbor Freight style Chinese tool for such an important assignment.

David said...

It is not my wrench and I didn’t find remains. The wrench was presented to us at the tour by someone who did.

David said...

I am not a tool expert. A friend called BS on a tool with an inscription Taiwan for the same reasons stated in the quote. I then looked at everything I could find on the event without luck as to getting rid of the wrench.

I then searched for something to confirm my friend. Found several references to the change mentioned and then the cited link.

AstroCreep said...

I spent a good hour searching for similar information about when the “Made in Taiwan” moniker first came about- found the same results that you did David.

Robert C said...

Graf Vlad said " But you write about "some partial human remains". What exactly did you find? Maybe it makes sense to check the DNA... "

The proven remains of Shorty Shea (bones) is what he means. That is, I believe the DNA has already been checked.

Orwhut said...

Graf Vlad,
Please show us some more examples. I see no date burned into that bowl.The seller could be mistaken as to when it was made.

David said...

Question: why would someone toss the murder weapon in with the body?? Granado sucks? Here you go, let me help you. Sorry makes little sense to me which is why I went here.

Jeff Harper said...

Maybe it was left there when the dug Shorty up. Wouldn't be smart to leave the murder weapon in the grave. But, then again, Bobby kept the knife.

Robert C said...

David said " Question: why would someone toss the murder weapon in with the body?? "

Like Jeff said, Bobby had the knife and was found sleeping in a murdered man's rig. Not real smart all around. No, these people never watched Dragnet or Highway Patrol.

But I don't believe the wrench was found among the bones but just in the 'vicinity' ? But I can envision a scenario where they are dragging the body down thru rough terrain at night to bury and it falls from whomever is carrying it (Grogan ) and perhaps they're too stoned to remember when and where. Maybe ....

Robert C said...

Or ... this pipe wrench was never actually found at or near Shorty's burial site.

David said...

Come on. Put yourself there. Do all he acid you want. No body. Convicting someone of murder with no body was a huge deal in 1970. Why toss the weapon anywhere near the body. Be you...

David said...

Now, don't get me wrong. Finding that near there. Put yourself there too. Shit!

DebS said...

The person who found the bones found them 20 +/- years ago. He was digging in the area of where Shorty's remains were found. The bones are small, such as finger bones would be. Shorty was missing a hand when his remains were found. This person thought the bones could be human but that they were most likely animal bones given the fact that there was a greater chance they would be animal bones. Nevertheless, he saved them.

When the History Channel was putting that two part show together,the one with Mark Ross/Aesop Aquarian, they talked to the guy with the bones and offered to have the bones tested to see if they were human. Pretty much everyone was surprised when the bones came back as being human. The History Channel legally had to report their findings to local law enforcement. The guy who found the bones was contacted by the sheriff.

A report was taken but the officer told him there was no chance that the bones could be tested for DNA because they were so degraded. I have seen the bones, they are quite yellow and very porous. The guy was allowed to keep the bones. The officer told him they have boxes of human bones in storage with no hope of ever reuniting the bones with a person or family.

The guy got a nice memorial box made for the bones with a pair of cowboy boots, lariat and cowboy hat on the top. There is a plaque on the front which reads "Donald Jerome Shea "Shorty" Born: September 18, 1933 Died: August 26, 1969 Hollywood Stuntman and Manson Family Victim"

My feeling is that the bones are most likely Shorty's because of the size of the bones and the fact he was missing a hand when found. Also, there were no other larger bones found and certainly not enough bones that would have made up another person who may have been killed or dumped at the same place.

The area where Shorty's remains were found is not that far from the road. Someone with a good arm could have thrown that wrench out of a passing car window and the wrench could have landed in the same area where Shorty was buried.

Robert C said...

Nice review, DebS, although what are the odds of anyone throwing a pipe wrench, of the same or nearly the same type used to hit Shorty on the head, out the window of a moving car landing it close to where Shorty was buried ? Hey, stranger things have happened but still. :-)

But I agree there's a high probability the hand bones found later are Shorty's, especially since he was missing one.

Robert C said...

David said: "Come on. Put yourself there. Do all he acid you want. No body. Convicting someone of murder with no body was a huge deal in 1970. Why toss the weapon anywhere near the body. Be you..." and "Now, don't get me wrong. Finding that near there. Put yourself there too. Shit!"

To whom are you addressing and what are you talking about ?

Graf Vlad said...

@Orwhut "Graf Vlad, Please show us some more examples. I see no date burned into that bowl.The seller could be mistaken as to when it was made."

Ok, here's another one. A Pink plastic protective whistle & ring, made in Taiwan 1970:
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/389350330256920650/ .

But as you see, there is also no date burned into it. So again you could assume that the seller made a mistake. But before you ask me to spend my time in finding a third example, let me tell you a little story.

I'm a German. I grew up in Germany in the seventies. I'm not really shure what toys Americans used at this time, but in Germany a lot of our toys came from Taiwan. As a little boy one of my first English words I ever learned (before I learned English at school) was "Made in Germany". My parents told me that in our language this means "Hergestellt in Deutschland". With this knowledge I always checked what kind of "Made in..." I could find on a lot of things - especially on toys. And one of the first names I found was "Taiwan". I never had heard about this country and I remember that I was wondering that it belongs to China. This was in the early seventies, shortly after I had learned reading. I also remember a game where one of us yelled "Ich erkläre den Krieg..." (I declare war to..." - followed by the name of a country someone else picked before as "his" country. :)

To me it was fun to pick a country the other boys didn't know, cause sometimes they forgot its name and so they were not able to declare war to me. So now you can guess what name I picked first and whay I am absolutley shure that "Made in Taiwan" was used years BEFORE 1978...

grimtraveller said...

David said...

Why toss the weapon anywhere near the body

Why indeed. With Charlie Crowe}, Bobby & Bruce {Hinman} and Susan {Cielo} in mind, it is weird how lackadaisical the Family were when it came to weapons and getting rid. Tex had the right idea {even though Steven Weiss found the gun by chance} tossing the weapons far, far away {the LaBianca weapons may still be in the nearby reservoir for all we know}.
For all the good it did him !

Graf Vlad said...

@DebS
Interesting story. I never read aout this "memorial box".

But... "A report was taken but the officer told him there was no chance that the bones could be tested for DNA because they were so degraded".

That's amazing. So the remains of Shorty Shea (or whoever) are more degraded than the ones of the Neanderthals, who lived 130,000 years ago? Mysterious...

DebS said...

@DebS
Interesting story. I never read aout this "memorial box".

But... "A report was taken but the officer told him there was no chance that the bones could be tested for DNA because they were so degraded".

That's amazing. So the remains of Shorty Shea (or whoever) are more degraded than the ones of the Neanderthals, who lived 130,000 years ago? Mysterious...
-----------

The bones are small and brittle. I think with the Neanderthals there are larger bones to work with, pelvic bones, femurs and the like. Storage would make some difference, too. I know the bones that the guy found were stored in a plastic bag in a hot garage for many years. If you are able watch the end of the second part of that History Channel program where they show the bones.

This is a link to our review of the program-

http://www.mansonblog.com/search/label/History%20Channel

The links to view the show no longer work so, maybe you can find it online elsewhere.

Robert C said...

DebS is largely correct. Small bones exposed to the elements or searing dry climates can quickly become dry, brittle & porous losing DNA potential. I get your point, Graf, but the surviving Neanderthal bones were buried in some bogs, soils and limestone conducive to preservation, and notice they haven't found that many compared to the number that once lived.

David said "Why toss the weapon anywhere near the body"

I seriously doubt they would have intentionally done that. Pipe wrenches cost money.

orwhut said...

Graf Vlad
Thank you. It's good you told your story because I might have pointed out that the date given for the ring says c. or circa. While one definition I found for circa is, before a certain date, another is, approximate date.
I was a kid in the USA in the 50' and 60's and many of our cheap toys were labled, made in Japan. My, how things have changed.

orwhut said...

I guess one way to put this thing to rest would be to pay another visit to Clem and ask his opinion. He could give a definite NO if he recalled his wrench looking different but, as similar wrenches must have been made in the millions, I doubt he could give a definite yes.

David said...

I’ll happily sit with my source. If ‘tool guys’ spend money based upon the mark and if my friend, a ‘tool guy’ reacted as he did, while anecdotal, I’ll sit with those sources.

My comment last night was this:

A. Wouldn’t it be something to find a wrench there. That initial moment of discovery.

B. And put yourself in the shoes of Grogan, in the aftermath of that event- why leave the murder weapon? I know, no sense makes sense. Let’s try to move away from that answer.

Robert C said...

So David says : " And put yourself in the shoes of Grogan, in the aftermath of that event- why leave the murder weapon? I know, no sense makes sense. Let’s try to move away from that answer."

I don't think he left it. I think someone may have lost it - either the killers or someone much later in time. Or else it comes from somewhere else and bogus (which it seems to really be).

If the killers lost it, I don't think they'd be as worried back then as people might be now. Also, in their hyper state due to the violent trauma, and possibly on speed (not acid), I just don't think they believed (back in those days) that Shorty nor any proven murder weapons would ever be found. And if it wasn't for Grogan that may still be true.

Dan S said...

Lol!

Dan S said...

Sounds like a tainted chain of evidence anyway. More amateur investigative bungling

Dan S said...

Thanks for the post. I am not trying to bust your balls with my last comment. this is good research on a very interesting artifact

Dan S said...

Exactly what i was thinking. Why did Bobby keep the knife ( with blood on it!)? The only thing that made sense to me was he was on his way to Oakland to plant it with the Panthers

Dan S said...

Leopold and Loeb left their glasses at the crime scene. And they were geniuses committing "the perfect crime"!

Peter said...

^^^^
Compulsion. Great book.

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

Blogger Dan S said...
Exactly what i was thinking. Why did Bobby keep the knife ( with blood on it!)? The only thing that made sense to me was he was on his way to Oakland to plant it with the Panthers

Some time ago someone in this group suggested that Charlie put the knife in the trunk to frame Bobby. That's how I interpreted their comment anyhow.

Orwhut said...

Blogger Dan S said...
Leopold and Loeb left their glasses at the crime scene. And they were geniuses committing "the perfect crime".

Those two should have been on Big Bang Theory.

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said...

Why did Bobby keep the knife ( with blood on it!)?

No blood was found on the knife.

David said...

I know, no sense makes sense. Let’s try to move away from that answer

I'm oof the opinion that 'no sense makes sense' was Charlie's subtle way of saying to the Family "Don't question me." In other words, whatever he said went, even if it seemed contradictory. Gauging by the number of ex Family members that have said that they had doubts or problems with some of Charlie's philosophy {especially when it came to Black people}, it certainly worked !
But as a philosophy it played no part in the straightforward business of murder or escaping detection. All sense made sense. Don't leave prints ! Don't leave weapons around ! Keep your mouths closed !

grimtraveller said...

Orwhut said...

Some time ago someone in this group suggested that Charlie put the knife in the trunk to frame Bobby

One of the early reports on the Hinman murder said "Suspect was then asked about the hunting knife found in the tirewell. Suspect stated the knife was his and he put it there after being stopped by the police in Santa Barbara. Suspect was told the knife had blood on it and he replied, 'I don’t know about that.'”
No blood was found on the knife but it was interesting that the Police tried to throw Bobby by suggesting there was. That was the one bit that he trumped the Police with; the rest of his attempts to get out of it were a catalogue of embarrassing lies that, if he still remembers, might cause him stomach ulcers of cringiness.

Robert C said...

Hey, I believe today was the start of Woodstock 49 years ago.

What was your line in '69 ?

Just sayin' ....

Sharp contrast to MF activities.

David said...

Grim said: "I'm oof the opinion that 'no sense makes sense' was Charlie's subtle way of saying to the Family "Don't question me."

I was actually referring to the tendency on this blog to resort to that answer in defense of a position.

Peter said...

Maybe they wanted whoever got the car to have the knife hidden in it, so when the police finally tracked the car down and searched it they would find the knife and assume the person in possession of the car committed the murder. That would explain why it was in the wheel well. Maybe Bobby didn't even know it was there.

Which is essentially what happened, but before Bobby could get rid of the car.

O

AstroCreep said...

You bring up a great point, David- no sense makes sense only applies to Charlie’s ideology, not to his (or the family’s) criminal activity. If no sense makes sense applied to criminal activity, there would have been no need for change of clothes, wiping fingerprints- I tend to think of Heath Ledger’s role as the Joker in The Dark Knight as an example of no sense makes sense. Dude didn’t give a F.

Robert C said...

David said " I was actually referring to the tendency on this blog to resort to that answer [ no sense makes sense ] in defense of a position.

Don't think I've noticed that.

grimtraveller said...

David said...

I was actually referring to the tendency on this blog to resort to that answer in defense of a position

I know and I was kind of backing you up on that.

Robert C said...

Don't think I've noticed that

Oh it does, from time to time. It was recently conflated by David with something Orwhut said when he mentioned "you can't ascribe reason to crazy people."
I've brought it up myself over the years, meaning that Charlie's logic wasn't necessarily logic that most of us would acknowledge and therefore there was sometimes a thread of thought he'd follow that seemingly made no sense ~ until one looked at where he was coming from. But the more I think about it, that was more for the benefit of the Family. It sort of explains why some of the writing at the LaBianca crime scene for example, would make little sense to the Police when it was meant to point elsewhere. It made sense to Pat. I doubt if Charlie had remained there he'd have written what Pat did. 'No sense makes sense' is indicative of the bubble that the Family existed in.

RudyWebersHose said...

I totally agree with you on the no sense makes sense, its just a lazy argument by people who dont want to do any research or think logically

RudyWebersHose said...

Police are trained and ENCOURAGED to lie to obtain information and sometimes confessions, there are no laws or statutes in place that say police cant lie, they do it all the time, thats why i believe its in every Americans best interest to educate themselves on their rights by law when it comes to dealing with police

RudyWebersHose said...

If they really thought that then theyre extremely naive, all it takes is the person who bought the car to say i bought it from Bobby or Charlie or ehoever and for cops to follow up and find Bobby or the familys friendship with Gary

Dan S said...

What about ditching the car in oakland with the knife .....

RudyWebersHose said...

Basically the same thing, dump it in a black (preferably Panther infested) area, some enterprising young thug steals it and it gets pinned on them, cops of the time more than likely arent taking a black persons word over a white

Dan S said...

Grim, apropos Bobby caught asleep with the weapon in the victim's car, you love Helter Skelter as a motive; don't you think he could have been going up there to ditch the car in black power central? He was sleepy on the way north so he crashed where he's comfortable, his home town SLO. Then it was to be first thing drive up and ditch it. Then hang out in SF and jam.
He wouldn't have been thinking race war necessarily, just as a forensic counter measure in line with the bloody paw print and the general atmosphere of Manson.
Also, why didn't he stay with friends or family in San Luis Obispo? Maybe he was on a mission and just had to crash for a minute- you know the exhaustion where you're about to black out on the high way. He probably tells himself that cat nap cost him his freedom .

Dan S said...

Maybe you are SAG! Seriously tho I used to think the bottom was the gayer one but I've realized the top has to be into it; the bottom can zone out and check his emails, maybe catch up on his Manson blog.

Watching House of Manson right now, pretty lame so far; the cabinet he was hiding in was huge!

Dan S said...

I coulda sworn there was a comment by rwh i wuz responding to in hyperbolic fashion above about Bobby B's and Kenneth A's relationship.....

Dan S said...

Not at all the same thing as selling it. No tracing back

Orwhut said...

August 8, was also International Cat Day. (:-)

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

no sense makes sense, its just a lazy argument by people who dont want to do any research or think logically

I think the opposite is sometimes true though, that some of the upside down thinking that went into the Family mindset and informed and infused some of their subsequent actions gets too easily dismissed as something that has no bearing on some of the murders that happened.

Dan S said......

you love Helter Skelter as a motive

I believe it was part of the motivation for the TLB murders. Had there been no LaBianca murder {and the attempts of that night} and it had just stopped at Cielo, I don't think I would be quite so convinced, although Richard Caballero's testimony during the trial, when put together with other things regarding Cielo, like the statement that Atkins made to Virginia Graham, that this was the beginning of HS, is pretty hard to ignore.
As a person that is Black, a vision or philosophy that ends with Black people basically being relegated to cotton picking slaves that don't have the nous to be able to have any real input of worth in contributing to the betterment of the world, however that vision/philosophy came to be, believe me, I have no love for it.
Fortunately, I don't have to in order to believe it played a part.

don't you think he could have been going up there to ditch the car in black power central?

It's certainly an interesting thought. I don't really have any thoughts about it so I'm inclined to go with what Bobby says, he had friends in Frisco and the expectant mother of one of his children was around there. His head was all over the place, what with murder and that 3 different women were expecting his children at the time. He says he just wanted to go north and as far away from Spahn as possible. I was interested that he said no one from Spahn knew he was leaving.

He wouldn't have been thinking race war necessarily, just as a forensic counter measure in line with the bloody paw print and the general atmosphere of Manson

I don't think Bobby was an advocate of a race war or any supporting philosophy but when the pressure was on and the chips were down, it's pretty amazing that he utilized what was to become part of the Family schtick of 'blame the Blacks.' If I was going to go with the copycat motive, I would lean heavily on that, that Bobby was actually the first one to actively try to shift attention to Black people {and Panthers in particular} for murder and that the Family simply followed that as part of their plan to demonstrate the TLB murders {LaBianca in particular, which, by extension would lead to Cielo} were committed by the same person[s] that did in Gary.
Bobby does kind of admit though, that blaming the Blacks was part of his self preservation because in the air at Spahn at the time were thoughts of a certain coming conflict with the Panthers and he was grabbing at anything to escape paying the price for what he'd done.
Easily done.

why didn't he stay with friends or family in San Luis Obispo?

I thought his family were in Santa Barbara.
Isn't the San Luis Obispo area just where he happened to crash for the night ? He said that the car actually broke down so he possibly had little choice in being tiredly marooned there.

RudyWebersHose said...

Given the time im surprised he didnt just walk down or hitch to the beach and crash for the night

DebS said...

Bobby's child was born in Alameda County (Oakland, Berkeley) on July 27 1969. That's where he was headed when he was arrested. You're right Grim, Bobby was from Santa Barbara. San Luis Obispo was where he was in prison for many years, along with Tex and Bruce, before being transferred to Oregon.

grimtraveller said...

DebS said...

Bobby's child was born in Alameda County (Oakland, Berkeley) on July 27 1969

What a day for Bobby. The day his first child is born is the day he commits murder. Atkins' phrase "to taste death and yet give life" seems more appropriate to Bobby than her, however metaphysical she was being.

Doug Smith said...

Grim said, "I don't think Bobby was an advocate of a race war or any supporting philosophy but when the pressure was on and the chips were down, it's pretty amazing that he utilized what was to become part of the Family schtick of 'blame the Blacks.'"

I agree. Afterall - at this point in Bobby's life he had played in integrated musical groups - Arthur Lee, Johnny Echols (LOVE) and, the pre-LOVE transition from the LAGs/Grass Roots with Arthur, Johnny and Billy Preston just as Billy moved on and Bobby moved in...the Orkestra was an ethnically diversified group too.
Bobby fucked up, while being placed in even deeper poop by Hack n Sack Charlie, was being guilted/pressured with the "You owe me brother" rap from CM and Bruce, was sleep deprived and manic, had just killed someone he actually felt a kinship with (straight or, hinting homoerotic) and, was very susceptible to suggestion as his despiration mounted in him like a freakin outta control rollercoaster freefall drop.

He probably felt safe so near home, baby/baby mama. He was like a runaway child looking for some form of safety or grounding/guiding force. Something not in step with his current surroundings/predicament/cohorts. He was running on fumes by that point. Shitty for him.

Where was Sadie's jar of speed when Bobby needed some?

Doug Smith said...

Wow!
Totally Grim. Well stated indeed

Dan S said...

Thanks for the correction, Deb.

Dan S said...

Charlie probably told him to plant the car and knife in oakland....

Dan S said...

Grim, thanks for the book and the insights!

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

This comes from where and even if its true how do you know thats the reason he was in SLO?

RudyWebersHose said...

This has been said already a few times, try to keep up

Matt said...

Dave 1971/SAG/RWH, once AGAIN - please take the edge off of your comments. This isn't a competition. Be polite, it won't kill you. We can ban you again with a keystroke, but we prefer not to.


AstroCreep said...

Yesterday afternoon, I re-read the affidavit written in support of the Spahn Ranch raid in order to request a warrant. You’ve all probably read this before, but anyone questioning the state of the family prior to the murders should read or re-read it. I’m amazed at the number of run-ins the family had with the police. The police had the family on the radar for quite some time, and not for casual drug use or underage girls- GTA and rape and a host of other violent activities- magazines to assault weapons falling out on the highway claimed by Charlie, automatic weapon fire, telling the 5.0 he had weapons trained on them and on and on.

The affidavit was written to point out that this was a HIGH RISK warrant. To be conducted at nighttime as to give officers the upper hand.

I bring this up as Bobby (thru Charlie’s orders) escalated the family to murder. GTA/rape/murder- this is life sentence stuff, not “we got busted dumpster diving” stuff-

To me, the family reached a level of desperation and criminal activity and they hit a point of no return. I’d be curious to know the exact event that lit the fuse that lead to TLB- but thinking Bobby had to have played a major role in that fuse being lit.

Dan S said...

The fact that Charlie told him to do it hasn't been brought up

David said...

AstroCreep said: "The police had the family on the radar for quite some time...."

From the Hinman-Shea trial.

Kanarek: When was it, Officer [Guillory] that you first heard the name Charles Manson?
A: I believe, sir, it was in my first week at Malibu station.
Q: The would be in June 1969?
A: That’s right?
Q: And Mr. Manson was discussed from time to time by the people in the substation from the day that you came there until the day that you left, right?
A: Off and on, yes.
*****
Q: Was there surveillance of Spahn Ranch by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department?
A: We were advised, sir, that we were to pay special attention to Spahn Ranch and to report via memo with a cover sheet anything that was observed relating to Charles Manson or any members of the Satan’s Slaves or any people living on, near Spahn Ranch.

The only surveillance I have personal knowledge of would be the surveillance that took place by uniformed officers working patrol division.
*****
Q: And let’s say, for instance, during the month pf June 1969, in these [daily] briefings, the name Charles Manson came up, is that correct?
A: Yes, sir, his name did come up.
Q: During the month of July, 1969, the name of Charles Manson came up?
A: Yes, sir, it did.
[This is repeated for August, September and October with the same answer.]
*****
Q: But Charles Manson was practically daily discussed, briefed about, uh written about, talked about, at the station, is that right?
A: Yes, sir. It was discussed in the manner of Charles Manson and his followers. The followers were never mentioned by name specifically, just as a collective group of people.

Dan S said...

Hinman was definitely an escalation from bad to worse. i wonder if guns would've been as prevalent with no Decarlo?

Charlie definitely loved knives anyway . And fear. "Everyone's afraid of being cut," i believe the quote is. And fear brings one to now.

AstroCreep said...

Thanks for posting, David- I do remember this from the Preston interview I listened to that posted here a while back.

Although I’ve read many times about the level of contact that law enforcement had with the family prior to the murders, I believe tha affidavit does a great job framing the totality of the contact, nature of the contact, and paints a very clear picture of their demeanor (which had almost become hostile).

Reading the affidavit, I could almost feel the noose tightening around the family-

grimtraveller said...

AstroCreep said...

Reading the affidavit, I could almost feel the noose tightening around the family

There was definitely a noose tightening. What I find fascinating is that it was coming from different directions. Manson's certainly was. His probation officer had already written to the authorities to revoke his probation and have him sent back to prison. This was before the Barker arrest.

I bring this up as Bobby (thru Charlie’s orders) escalated the family to murder

I think Charlie actually began that process with the shooting of Lotsapoppa. Everyone at the time was of the belief that Charlie had killed him, as was Charlie himself. But you're right to draw significance to Bobby because that was in some ways an even more important turning point, when he killed Gary. In the sense that it told Charlie that people within his fold, were now in the frame of mind to kill. He'd already tried with Juan Flynn, Brooks Poston, Charles "Sunshine" Pierce and TJ. And then Bobby did. Then he started asking Leslie if she was crazy enough to see why what had to be done had to be done......

Doug Smith said...

From
http://www.lsb3.com/2013/04/chris.html?m=1

"the raid was not only written up, but was also FILMED and photographed"

Anyone ever seen the ENTIRE LAPD Spahn Ranch "Front Porch" tapes?

Do they still exist?

AstroCreep said...

You’re correct, Grim- it was Charlie who drew first blood, but I view (right or wrong) the Lotsapoppa murder attempt more of an act of self preservation than an act of murder.

If X then Y so to speak. And when Y failed, Charlie pulled the trigger himself.

That scenario is vastly different from what happened at Cielo Drive.

grimtraveller said...

AstroCreep said...

I view (right or wrong) the Lotsapoppa murder attempt more of an act of self preservation than an act of murder......That scenario is vastly different from what happened at Cielo Drive

True, it is different.
I can see the self defence angle too. I'd be inclined to put it all down to self defence were it not for the fact that Charlie went in with a definite plan for TJ to pull the gun out of the back of Charlie's trousers and plug the Poppa....and TJ running off more or less the next day. It wasn't so much the running but what he said with the running ¬> "I don't want anything to do with snuffing people" or words to that effect. It's that which makes me wonder.
Charlie put his slashing of Gary Hinman and his knifing of Shorty down to self defence too {Gary held a gun on him, Shorty was a big man making a move on him}.

Toby King said...

Sooo this has nothing to do with the post so font hate me when you read this:

Is Brooks around? He still playin music? Anybody know how he feels about Charlies death? Someone tell me and I don't mean unnecessary details I am not here to cause trouble, but I would like an idea of what Susan's atkins kid "zezozeze" or whatever the fuck his name is is doing with their life now. A very general description would do me. Sry I'm just curious.

And a blog admin(preferring matt as I find you the most memorable besides liz(Which I haven't been around long so whoever msgs me, spill the beans as to what happened to her blogging cuz I just haven't been around that long and yes I'm quite drunk) msg me I am writing an article for here entitled "Manson and the millennial" and no I have no desire to glorify Manson.
Candieland215@gmail.com

Orwhut said...

Here's a link to a very low budget fiction film that portrays the Family.
It's called, Pretty Face.
http://www.wearemovingstories.com/we-are-moving-stories-videos/2016/9/10/la-shortsfest-prettyface

Dan S said...

It's gotta be better than House of Manson. It reminded me of third season Star Trek; they had no budget so all the scripts were one location and three actors. Charlie looked the same the whole movie. So many things wrong .... He comes in guns blazing at Lotsapoppa; the sword is on Hinman's wall .... I wasnt paying much attention to it cuz it was so bad

Dan S said...

Pretty Face looks way better. Charlie looks chubby tho. Better ease up on the zuzus!

Dan S said...

The whole film is on Amazon prime.

Dan S said...

That's a short movie! It was a proof of concept short film. Very good anyway. Thanks, Orwhut

Dan S said...

On page288 of D2Ps RH writes that Watkins stayed with the family to "...satisfy his graving for sex."

RudyWebersHose said...

Charlie never did anything that wasnt self serving so i believe there were selfish reasons for even showing up there in the first place, i dont think he cared what if anything happened to Rosina, why would he? He didnt even know her, i believe the reasons are 1) money, either cash or drugs he thought might still be on hand and 2) self preservation, Crowe knew where the ranch was, threatened to come there and Charlie couldnt have his little kingdom upset, as far as Tex i think if hed been killed by Crowe over the whole mess Charlie would have had a good riddance attitude about it

RudyWebersHose said...

Also add to that Charlie gets to look like the big bad brave hero to all the kids at the ranch

RudyWebersHose said...

When did Shorty make a move on Charlie? I thought Charlie was in the car the whole time by Bruce and Clems accounts

Riley Crenshaw said...

Here too

https://vimeo.com/172412441

Orwhut said...

Dan S said...
That's a short movie! It was a proof of concept short film. Very good anyway. Thanks, Orwhut

Dan,
You're welcome. I'm happy that someone liked it.

grimtraveller said...

RudyWebersHose said...

When did Shorty make a move on Charlie? I thought Charlie was in the car the whole time by Bruce and Clems accounts

Both Bruce and Clem's versions differ from each other. Quite significantly, actually. Clem stated that only he and Tex were in the car with Shorty. Bruce says he was in the car with the 3 of them.
Charlie presents the whole thing as a fight that got out of hand in which he says "so, it went on to where there was kind of like a fight. And Bruce was kind of mealy-mouthed about it. I told him 'Man, ain't you ever been in a fight in your life ?' I said 'When you have to do something, you pick it up and do it.' I moved on Shea. I discombobulated him. In other words like, he had everybody buffaloed.He was big and he had everybody frozen in fear. They were all frozen in fear. Like, the same thing happened with Lotsapoppa....."
The details themselves aren't that important but Charlie never presents a scenario that ended in death that he was involved in as being one that was supposed to end that way.

RudyWebersHose said...

Police are trained and ENCOURAGED to lie to obtain information and sometimes confessions, there are no laws or statutes in place that say police cant lie, they do it all the time

It's called 'playing on a suspect's consciousness of guilt by pretending to have conclusive evidence of guilt that police do not in fact have, to prompt incriminating responses from the suspect.' It's actually fair game for the Police to do this ~ as long as the suspect does not confess to a crime they didn't commit. Also, such duplicitousness has to be sort of plausible in the light of what is suspected {or, for that matter, known} about the crime. So with Bobby, they could say there was blood on the knife because in conjunction with all his lies, what they knew at the time and the circumstances of him being picked up and where he was headed, they probably felt a little pressure would cause him to gush. Better than beating him up and leaving bruises.

RudyWebersHose said...

That little snippet from Manson sounds like one of his post incarceration babbling interviews where he tries to sound tough

John Seger said...

I wouldn't be surprised if people have gone out there over the years to leave items in various spots.

Orwhut said...

Blogger John Seger said...
I wouldn't be surprised if people have gone out there over the years to leave items in various spots.

I hadn't thought about someone leaving the handle of a broken pipe wrench out there and waiting for it to turn up in the headlines. Kind of how they hoaxed the Cardiff Giant.

RudyWebersHose said...

From looking at videos of that site its hard to imagine people just showing up and sliding down that little ravine to drop anything down there

Gorodish said...

grimtraveller wrote:

Both Bruce and Clem's versions differ from each other. Quite significantly, actually. Clem stated that only he and Tex were in the car with Shorty. Bruce says he was in the car with the 3 of them.

I tend to go with Clem's version more than anyone else's. I believe it was Tex and Clem in the car with Shorty, with Charlie and Bruce in the second car. I think Charlie waited till his best man, "The Butcher Of Copeville", got back from Death Valley to carry this one out. Not sure about Vance or Bailey. In the audio file of Ella Jo Bailey on cielodrive.com (which is an aural nightmare),from what I can make out Ella says that her and Bill were busted in Cleveland for using a stolen credit card in "late August". And yet Vance was supposedly there to help with the Death Valley Relocation Project. Wouldn't Charlie, who was a total paranoid loon at this point, want to sic Tex on Vance after helping Ella get away ? Or maybe he needed Vance badly enough to forget it ?

As far as the pipe wrench, if this wrench was really the one Clem used,and was tossed carelessly away down the hill, would they even care if anyone found it ? The wrench was used to smack Shorty in the back of the head and knock him off his guard so the Butcher of Copeville could perform his specialty. It wasn't the actual murder weapon. I'd bet Tex alone put 40-50 stab wounds into Shorty, in addition to whatever mayhem the others laid into the poor bastard. Unlike the other murders, this one was out in the wilderness, and they knew they would be burying the body soon. Why would they even worry about the pipe wrench ? Just chuck it down the hill. And as we saw with Beausoleil, these drugged out souls weren't the sharpest rakes in the tool shed about leaving any clues

On a side note, since Spahn Ranch is only a 15-20 minute drive from my house, and with this post in mind, I drove up there after running errands in Simi Valley on Saturday, and pulled off at that turnoff near Redmesa Rd on Santa Susana where Shorty was murdered. Those guys had some brass cojones to kill Shorty right there. I first drove that road in 1977, and although it seemed it was a bit more remote then, it was still a ballsy place for a daytime murder.

RudyWebersHose said...

Lol Vance would have stomped a mudhole in Tex or any other male around the ranch, he was a boxer and served a decade in Brushy Mountain prison in Tennessee, at least thats what Manson claimed

RudyWebersHose said...

I saw a video of the place where it happened, it looks like Redmesa Rd dead ends there at Santa Susana Pass and theres a guardrail type fence there at the junction, did they kill him on the road and then throw him down the little ravine or did they kill him down in the ravine?

Gorodish said...

RWH-

It sounds like they started on him in the car while in the turnout, then dragged him down the ravine to finish him off. If they really killed him in the daytime, then they were really brazen to do it there. Anything could have gone wrong : a cop car driving by and seeing two empty cars there, one with the doors probably open; someone wandering along the railroad racks at the bottom of the hill...these people were obviously out of their minds at that point. I first drove up that road in 1977 on a motorcycle and had a friend show me where Spahn Ranch used to be. I had no idea back then where Shorty was murdered. The road was more remote then; it wasn't till the mid to late 80s that they repaved the roads and built all those condos between Garden of the Gods and the 118 freeway.

RudyWebersHose said...

The risks they all took throughout this whole saga are unbelievable when you think about it, Cielo for instance has to be one of the most brazen crimes ive heard of, driving around Beverly Hills in that 59 Ford at midnight, cutting phone lines, etc, didnt cops or the Bel Air patrol weve heard so much about in this case ever do rounds or drive bys in any of these neighborhoods back then?

Brian G said...

Pretty sure the car broke down and he just decided to get in the back and go to sleep before dealing with it. I know he said in some of his parole hearings the car was a piece of shit that didn't have the correct radiator and going up an incredibly long steep hill the car over heated. I'm not sure what the books say on this subject

Brian G said...

Makes me wonder if this really happened in the day. Susan claimed Charlie woke her up it was still dark out and drove her and I think Gypsy to the scene. Shorty's car was half in the road and half out.Which honestly makes more sense than these guys beating and stabbing a man to death with the morning traffic. I'm not sure why they'd lie about the time of the crime but Susan said this very early on. Granted she has little credibility but this murder happening before sunrise makes much more sense. I think Gypsy may have confirmed this but I'm not 100% on that. I do know I got this info from Cielos site

RudyWebersHose said...

Wasnt there some kind of story about Ruby Pearl getting ready to leave the ranch one night and seeing Charlie, Bruce, Tex and Clem all walking quickly or running up on Shorty and surrounding him around the time he was killed? If i recall she said it was dark or at least close to dark out

Gorodish said...

RWH -

Yes, she testified late one night around 11:30 in late August that as she was leaving the ranch, Shorty came to her car all drunk and nervous, asking her for a place to stay that night. Because she had no room and he'd been drinking, she turned him down and told him to go to Fountain Of The World. When he didn't want to go there, he said he'd sleep in his car even though Spahn was giving him the creeps. As she drove off she saw a car pulling in fast and Tex, Charlie, Clem, and Bruce (and possibly Vance?) jumping out and fanning out to the boardwalk area where Shorty was heading. You'd think they would have killed him then in the dark, but according to Bruce and Clem he was killed in the morning. Who knows with these people. I'm sure Ruby was telling the truth, and I bet after she found out about Shorty's horrible death she regretted not giving him a place to stay that night.

RudyWebersHose said...

Yeah if i was a betting man id bet he was killed that night, after all the lies and changing stories in this whole saga i think its very likely Bruce and Clem lied and just to look like theyre not changing stories kept repeating it to the parole boards

Orwhut said...

I can't remember when Barbara Hoyt said she heard Shorty screaming. Was it the night Ruby Pearl saw the men approach him?

Gorodish said...

Orwhut wrote:

I can't remember when Barbara Hoyt said she heard Shorty screaming. Was it the night Ruby Pearl saw the men approach him?

Babs Hoyt's version went something like this : "I was in a trailer on high ground, and below that was a creek bed. Charlie, Tex, Bruce Davis, and Steve Grogan chased Shorty down there. It was around ten at night {bold italics are mine}. I heard a scream and got up. The moon was bright, and I could see the imprint of leaves on the window screen. I thought, “Maybe I imagined that.” I lay back down, and the screams started again, and they kept happening and happening and happening. It was Shorty. I recognized his voice. I was scared. I crouched in a ball on the floor. The next day I heard Charlie talking about it. He said, “Shorty died with a little help from us. He was hard to kill, but we brought him to Now.”

Ruby Pearl testified that the men were stalking him close to midnight, on a moonlit night in late August. She mentioned the same quartet Babs mentioned, plus possibly "the tall guy in the hat", Bill Vance.

Frank Retz testified that he talked to Shorty on the phone in the early morning, on either Tuesday or Wednesday in the last week of August 1969, and Shorty was supposed to come by his house. He never showed. Retz never heard from him again.

Both Grogan and Davis said they killed him in the morning.

Personally I believe Ruby and Retz, and to a lesser extent Clem. Bruce has always been dodgy, and a little more info comes out of him with each parole hearing. If he makes it to age 80 we may eventually get the whole truth from him.

IMO, Babs' testimony re Shorty has credibility issues....always has. I've always wondered if she was coached using what Ruby told Bug and co. She was a scared kid back then.

It sure would be interesting to know what transpired between the time Ruby saw "those boys fanning out after Shorty near the boardwalk" and the next morning.

RudyWebersHose said...

From looking at the area where he was supposedly killed im not seeing where there would be a trailer or any structure within ear shot of it

Dan S said...

Babs said she barely talked to shorty ever and wouldn't recognize his voice. Totally contradicts her own testimony. The Apr where the deed was done is supposedly on your other side of a mountain with. zero possibility for sound to travel to Babs's shacks. Maybe they tortured him for a while. I thought it was a blitz attack with Clem attacking him with a wrench, which he claims is his first overt act of violence and that he was quite nervous leading up to the moment. Then what? Stabby? What was Charlie doing while the violence was being perpetrated? Gleeful vengeance for the snitch's stitches? Sad to butcher someone.
It used to be about the music, man.!

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said...

It used to be about the music, man!

Not according to Squeaky in her book !