Monday, August 20, 2018

Reflexion by Lynette Fromme; Part One: pp. 1 thru 97

For the sake of discussion I'll separate this review into segments. I'm not going to go into great detail, but I'll give you my impressions - what jumped out at me. Feel free to expand on this, contradict me or make your own observations.

Let me begin by saying that I like the fact that this isn't a chronology of events, per se. It's a look into Lynnette's experiences, which focus greatly on her perceptions and feelings as she remembers them. It's an opportunity to get into the head of an eighteen year old girl and see things through her eyes and heart.

Lynette begins this insightful, articulate chronicle of thoughts and experience alternating between her life as a child at home, mostly in the Westchester house that still preserves her stick signature at the corner of the concrete driveway, her first meeting with (and leaving home with) Charles Manson and Mary Brunner and her early experiences in places like The Haight and Mendocino.

In this early section of the book what the reader is engaged with her feelings of self doubt brought on in large part by her cold, painful relationship with her father who was an aeronautical engineer, and her early travels with Charlie and Mary. Her dad was wrapped up in his work and his studies, leaving him emotionally unavailable to her. He "...bared his teeth to me when he tried to teach me algebra."

She talks a bit about her studious, responsible nature as a child. She did her schoolwork and always worked side jobs. I liked her description of her time with the Westchester Lariats folk dance group that gave her the opportunity to travel: "I saw more lifestyles than I then realized, and nearly every state in the Union."


Her initial travels with Manson and Brunner were uncomfortable for her because of her love for Charlie and wanting to be more important to him than Mary. But development of her understanding for him was summed up for me in this short paragraph during their time in Mendocino. She sees Manson making her comfortable with their unconventional arrangement and Manson as having the world view of a small child:
"Back in the cabin were candles, clean bedding, and the embrace of stereo speakers. He settled down between us with an arm around each, made us comfortable, made us laugh, and appreciated the moment, sometimes dropping to sleep in the middle of a sentence. I lay awake in wonder of him. His view of the world was my earliest conscious dream."
Her exposure to the freeing lifestyle with her companions begins a transformation in her, inside and out:
"The Mendocino summer turned us beautiful colors. On a walk through the woods, Mary and I stopped by a friend's cabin and were amused to find the latest fashion magazines advertising cosmetics to make you 'look like you just walked out of the woods! The 'Natural Look' was definitely IN. I felt natural. For the first time in my adult life, laughter welled from deep inside me rather than politely from my throat, and I became so interested in the world around me that I forgot to doubt myself. Then I remembered."
And:
"... our minds traveling the past, present, and, rarely, the future. Being present for life was becoming real to me."
What this first section of the book made me understand was that the life she lived at home left her worried about the past, the future and the empty feeling of her father's cold nature. Her early experiences with Manson and Brunner gave her a real feeling of being loved and more importantly, gave her the life-altering, freeing experience of living in the moment.




94 comments:

RudyWebersHose said...

What a unique cover there, i hadnt seen this before, i remember awhile ago watching something about when Lynette first met Manson and she said she was sitting on a curb crying because her dad kicked her out of the house and Charlie walked up and asked why she was crying and she told him the story and how she had nowhere to go and Charlie replied "well you can come with me" but she was hesitant and he told her "i cant make up your mind for you, if you want to come with me you can" and just walked off and she joined him, im sure there was more to it than that but it sounds like his MO

RudyWebersHose said...

Good observations by the way

brownrice said...

Good review, Matt. A lot of people really don't understand what a grim, dysfunctional, black & white world it was in the 50s and early 60s... and how rapidly, excitingly & totally that all changed from about '65 onwards. Without grasping that, it's pretty hard to comprehend this whole saga.

I'm only about halfway through Lynn's book but I find it impressive. She writes really well and paints (what strikes me) as an accurate picture of the time. Her accounts of M and the various other people involved also strike me as pretty accurate so far... this may or may not change by the end of the book... I'm interested to see. So far, it strikes me as the best book I've read on the subject... refreshingly uncoloured by the usual media myths... and very readable. It should be read by anyone who genuinely wants to understand the case.

RudyWebersHose said...

Being born in 71 i can't speak from personal experience but my parents and grandparents seemed to really love the 50s and 60s lol

Toby King said...

" my dilemma was broken by a blur - a man and a Smugglers cap, flight jacket, and jeans hop the half-wall in front of me and leaned against it."

I really couldn't imagine Charlie Manson wearing a normal looking hat, can somebody illustrate what a Smugglers cap is? Lmao

Matt, I am writing an article for your blog. Tell me how I can get ahold of you bro email it to you when I'm done. If you don't want it that's fine,but I'm going to put a lot of effort into it. So I'd like you to at least read it

Peter said...

I was struck by how thuroughly middle class Lynette was. The way she saw people in terms of education, dress, hair style. She has a great recall for remembering these little class signifiers. I'm also struck by how honestly she looks at herself. She recognizes how some of the things they did and thought were naive or foolish with humor but at the same time she is unapologetic.

My favorite lone so far is the end of one section she says

"It's ironic," he said. "People work hard for comfort and security, but security comes from within, and too much comfort smothers the soul of living free."

And then begins the next section.

"The soul of living free eventually ate Mary's bank account."

I laughed out loud at that.

AstroCreep said...

I’m listening to Jeffrey Melnick’s “Creepy Crawling” and at a part where acquiring new members of the family is being discussed- it always stands out to me how Charlie was correct about the cast outs. Picking up the trash off the streets that nobody else wanted. Most of them had not figured out their place in society- and that’s the part he preyed upon. I wish Squeaky’s book was available in audio form-

Matt said...

Toby King said...

Matt, I am writing an article for your blog. Tell me how I can get ahold of you bro email it to you when I'm done. If you don't want it that's fine,but I'm going to put a lot of effort into it. So I'd like you to at least read it


matt at mansonblog dot com


Matt said...

Peter said...

My favorite lone so far is the end of one section she says

"It's ironic," he said. "People work hard for comfort and security, but security comes from within, and too much comfort smothers the soul of living free."

And then begins the next section.

"The soul of living free eventually ate Mary's bank account."

I laughed out loud at that.


Me too. Reality always has a way of biting us in the ass.


Orwhut said...

Blogger brownrice said...
Good review, Matt. A lot of people really don't understand what a grim, dysfunctional, black & white world it was in the 50s and early 60s.

Yep.

jerseydevil said...

What I liked most about this book is it had nothing to do with the crimes.
Anyone else feel that the cover photo looks nothing like her at all.

MamaPoohBear said...

I have only read about 30 pages of this book. Lynette comes across as a kind, intelligent person seeking authenticity in her life. Maybe its the time that has passed, but Lynette's recollections are actually kinder and more forgiving of her parents than the books which have preceded this one. ( i.e., Squeaky). She gives clear insight into who they were, why they acted as they did, and why she knew she just was not one of them.

Her memories of the early days with Charlie and Mary seem honest. Lynette reflects her own emotional challenges, her initial distrust of Charlie, and the conflicting beliefs she and Charlie had in the beginning. (She thought he was a lazy sponge; she thought people should work for their own keep.)

So far, everything rings true, sincere, and completely honest.

AustinAnn74 said...

I'm sorry, but I know my viewpoint of this woman and her book will not be shared by the majority, but I am know this blog is still open to all differences of opinions like it used to be. With that being said, I find it repulsive that this woman still embraces Manson, as if it was such a romantic, fun, free time. She doesn't see that she gave her heart & soul...her life to a man who couldn't give back the love she actually deserved. He talked a good talk, but Manson was so damaged himself, he didn't know how to actually love another person. He hurt her more than anything else. She will not see Manson for what he really was: a con artist who preyed upon damaged people, especially young girls with family issues & low self esteem. She ruined her life for this man, but doesn't see any regrets in her choices. I understand this book is about their adventures before any of the crimes started taking place, but isn't that what started the whole domino effect? Lynette Fromme is a very intelligent, articulate, strong woman, who, unfortunately still loves a man who did so much damage to her and others. He was not some misunderstood folk hero. He was an extremely deranged & dangerous man who, till this day has people embracing him as an innocent, who was convicted on a lie, which is ridiculous.

Robert C said...

AustinAnn74 .... I agree. And yes, the 'aw shucks, Squeaky' sentiment on the blog will prevail. But as far as I can tell she, like several others, continue to remain true to CM so to that extent I can't take anything she writes as gospel. But it can be a valuable study in how asperger patients perceive their past circumstances and justifications thereof.

RudyWebersHose said...

Not trying to be argumentative but did you ever consider that Manson may have actually cared about these kids who had been kicked out or were lost or confused or going through a tough spot in life? Honest question

Peter said...

No.

Next question.

AstroCreep said...

RWH- two thoughts on your question.

1). Yes- I believe there probably was some care given initially. He was adjusting to 1960’s America and his newly found freedom. I don’t think he was initially motivated with bad intentions but that grew gradually as he perceived that he was wronged. He became king of the island of misfit toys so to speak- their leader. Gregg Jakobson, Dennis Wilson, and many others didn’t pick up on the fact that his band of misfits, were actually misfits. They mistook him, and mistook his family as youth that were like “normal kids” - turn on, tune in, drop out- when in actuality, they hadn’t found their place within society and were struggling or homeless. Which changed into.....

2). At some point, the predator/perv in Charlie shined thru. I don’t think he left the pen with the plan to build a family of young girls to sodomize, have sex with, or to kill people for him. That evolved over time. Charlie pretty much throws everyone under the bus. There are many quotes and references to him saying things like “do you really think I give a damn about xyz person” - he took advantage of these kids. Used them sexually. Used them to bring him money and stolen credit cards. Used them in just about every way imaginable.

Matt said...

RWH, to tag along on AstroCreep's response (I agree with him):

I personally believe that Manson's psychological condition deteriorated over time. Yeah, I think he loved those girls and believed his own schtick to some degree but as his mental/emotional state began to erode it turned into what AC call predator/perv Charlie.


RudyWebersHose said...

Interesting and I can see where youre coming from, what do you think the reason or reasons were for his change from early 67 to Aug 69?

RudyWebersHose said...

I agree 100 percent about him being an opportunist and a user, in his interview with Charlie Rose Manson said somethng pretty telling in my opinion, in trying to explain the differences between "normal" people like Rose and "survivors" like him he said "you and I get off a bus in St Louis with no money, you go call mommy, i go in the alley and get a tire iron", he saw himself as strong and others as weak

Robert C said...

I thought this thread was about Fromme and her book. Why do a few want to track it off to a discussion about Charlie Manson's intentions ?

AstroCreep said...

RWH- to be honest, I think he started drinking his own Kool-Aid. Believing people (Dennis Wilson et al) owed him something because he had these misfits worshipping him.

That and his criminal activities escalated to the point of no return. No family member ever pinpoints the exact time/place that he starts formalizing his ideology- it was always there, just not at the forefront until after the Beatles White Album was released.

I also think Charlie surrounded himself with a “family” because of his insecurities- likely due to his stature. It’s also why he does this tough talk tough guy talk about the tire iron. Little 5’ 2” dude coming at me with a tire iron hahahahahahaha -

Matt said...

RudyWebersHose said...

Interesting and I can see where youre coming from, what do you think the reason or reasons were for his change from early 67 to Aug 69?


Not being a psychologist it's all conjecture on my part, but (to me) the guy most definitely suffered PTSD as a result of his childhood upbringing and prison experiences. There's no telling how much that contributed to his actions as the two years of freedom rolled on.

Think about it though. He spent half his life behind bars before his release from Terminal Island. Then, he finds himself with a harem of young women and a loyal group of young guys. That's a lot of power for untreated PTSD.



RudyWebersHose said...

See ive got a theory and just my opinion nothing more but i think Charlie was pimping the girls out as early as 67 on the bus traveling up and down the coast and into New Mexico, Nevada, etc, I think his using and opportunism started that early, i dont think he was your typical gimme your money or get a beating type of pimp but more if a subtle one

RudyWebersHose said...

Because without Manson there is no Squeeky story

MamaPoohBear said...

Austin Ann, I understand what you are saying. While Lynette is kinder to her parents in her book than others had been, there is no doubt that she was a strong and empathic person raised by a weak, meek mother who hid from the world in the comfort of her kitchen; and an angry, controlling father who did not show her love or respect. While Lynette's loyalty to Manson is repulsive, it is also shows a a direct reason for that: Charlie was most probable the first man, maybe first person, who showed admiration for her creativity and sensitivity, and who supported her in a way neither parent had ever done. Charlie filled a void in her, and Lynette has never found that in another person. Repulsive but not expected, given her biological family history.

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

I’m right there with ya, Ann.

Brian G said...

I think he was diagnosed as a sociopath. If that's a correct diagnosis he would be legitimately incapable of caring about others. A childhood friend has that diagnosis he's very smart and puts on a good facade but it's all about him. That's all he cares about

RudyWebersHose said...

If thats the only requirement for the diagnosis of sociopath there are literally millions of them in this country alone

Dan S said...

Sorry so off topic, Robin Williams would've played a great Charlie on screen. As for squeaky loving Charlie, LBJ and Dick Cheney had wives too.

Dan S said...

They say that the summer of love turned into the summer of hate after speed entered the scene.
Hanging with D Wilson would ve raised expectations. These could've been stressors.

Dan S said...

He would deny access to the girls to guys on the fringe. They talk about it all the time in D2Ps, razzing TJ about his general exclusion; i think saying Bill Vance was another guy treated thusly. That's an example of whore mongering for sure.

beauders said...

The girl pictured on the cover looks like Catherine Gillies, not Lynette Fromme, am I correct George?

RudyWebersHose said...

Although I'm sure the amphetamine use had an impact on the ranch i doubt Charlie partook in it

RudyWebersHose said...

I was thinking that myself earlier

RudyWebersHose said...

From the stories ive read Bill was as much a pimp as Manson, getting the girls stripping jobs and things like that

Orwhut said...

Blogger RudyWebersHose said...
If thats the only requirement for the diagnosis of sociopath there are literally millions of them in this country alone

According to the site at the link below sociopaths make up 3 to 5 percent of the population. That's got to make millions.
The part about the percent born out of wedlock and to fatherless homes fits Charlie.
https://eyesofasociopath.weebly.com/statistics.html

Matthew Record said...

That is definitely her on the cover. A little airbrushed but her.

Dan S said...

The copetown killer Charlie partook fer sure. I just saw a program (Manson 40 years later) in which Kssabian says she was given a speed pill before Cielo

RudyWebersHose said...

Linda was an admitted speed user even before coming to the ranch, both Kanarek and Bubrick dug into her backround pretty deep and she made Susan and the rest of the women look like girl scouts, also dont forget her arrests for methamphetamine with her daughter "Lady Danger" Tanya

RudyWebersHose said...

Yeah, if its 10 percent its 32 million, 5 percent/ 16 million, 3 percent/ 10 million, thats a whole lot of "sociopaths" lol, reminds me of the TV movie about Bundy with Mark Harmon from the mid 80s, hes talking to his writer friend while hes out on bail and the friend asks him what a sociopath is and Bundy replies its basically a person born without a conscience, then he follows up with "dont be so surprised, the newspaper world and the world of politics are filled with sociopaths, its almost a requirement for the job" lol

Charlie Higgins said...

Any idea where I can order this book ? Not listed on Amazon

Carlos said...

AustinAnn74 said...

... I find it repulsive that this woman still embraces Manson, as if it was such a romantic, fun, free time.

You’re not alone; I, too, am repulsed by the devotion Squeaky showed post Summer of ‘69, especially in how she ultimately threw her life away for nothing and seems to have no regrets about it to this day.

But one of the things that has always fascinated and intrigued me about the Family is the reality that up until a certain point, Family life probably was in many ways as idyllic and free and fun as a young person of that era could imagine. The life obviously wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but we should remember how broad the counterculture was and how many people sought escape from the conformity and confinement of the ‘50s and early to mid ‘60s. Having read her book almost twice now, I’m firmly convinced she did the right thing time-boxing her story as she did. Her approach lets her give the sort of insight I’ve long wanted about Family life and, to some extent, how it quickly went sideways; and it does so without the complication of being yet another book about the TLB murders. We’ve had plenty of books about the crimes from insiders and outsiders; we haven’t had enough about how the Family formed and then fractured, especially from the perspective of an insider like Squeaky.

I still have countless questions, but I think I understand the Family significantly more than I ever have. And that includes some understanding of how confused, idealistic all-American middle class kids could throw their lives away for a third grade dropout’s lies.

David said...

Charlie Higgins said: "Any idea where I can order this book ?"

You can get it here:

http://www.goodbyehelterskelter.com

or here:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_9?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=reflexion+lynette+fromme&sprefix=reflexion%2Caps%2C215&crid=7V5UOXXCY5UU&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Areflexion+lynette+fromme

Peter said...

If you acknowledge that it was so idyllic why would you fault her for remaining true to it?

Carlos said...

Peter said...

If you acknowledge that it was so idyllic why would you fault her for remaining true to it?

If that was to me, my view is that things changed over time and that many of the things that made life so idyllic were largely lost. I can’t fault Ms. Fromme for remaining true to the people and times made the Family something wonderful for at least a while. And as I mentioned, I appreciate how her book focuses on that era in such detail and richness. But as for being repulsed by later actions on her part, I simply remain unconvinced that those actions had anything to do with being true to the original, idyllic way of life.

bucpaul2812 said...

I have yet to read this tome so perhaps my question might be already answered but...I've read elsewhere that the dynamic in the Fromme household was so toxic that Lynette's father refused to speak to her directly and any attempts at communication with her were directed through other members of the family. If this were indeed the case, does anyone here have any idea why this was the case? Did Lynette commit some "unforgivable" transgression specifically that warranted this wall of silence?

bucpaul2812 said...

It still intrigues my why Gypsy's memoirs haven't been made for public consumption yet. I believe her autobiography was completed in the by the mid-2000's but release was delayed due to....something or other? Whatever the case, I thought it would have been resolved by now.

Carlos said...

bucpaul2812 said...

...I've read elsewhere that the dynamic in the Fromme household was so toxic that Lynette's father refused to speak to her...

I highly recommend reading her book which does discuss this

Doug Smith said...

Thanks
Sold out in Canada

bucpaul2812 said...

Carlos said...

"I highly recommend reading her book which does discuss this "

Thank you! I'm definitely getting a copy of the book and am happy that it's definitely being addressed.

Dan S said...

Is it possible to write and live in the moment simultaneously?
Once you start thinking of words, you start dividing your mind, having a conversation with yourself.
At least its affirming in your mind what you write down is right.

Maybe she can write without that. I think if you write in a real smooth cursive you can Zen write...Or maybe with a decent keyboard. My busted ass phone makes me really think about what I'm saying. Swipe is pretty Zen like.
On topic borrowing D2Ps right now halfway through. I bet Squeakys book is essential reading. Maybe a new Canon will emerge.
Argh! I hate that sentence! See now i had to go back and change "well" to "will". I think if you're in the Now you'd have no regrets and no proof reading. And all this cuz I'm trying to put off cleaning the bath tub

Robert C said...

bucpaul said "It still intrigues my why Gypsy's memoirs haven't been made for public consumption yet."

I don't know for sure but I saw an interview once where she was concerned about the statute of limitations regarding certain crimes in California and was a little worried regarding self-incrimination. I believe to a wide degree this is why the others hold back as well. I even suspect this is why Fromme does not address any criminal activity (I haven't read the book but no one has said anything about that yet).

Carlos said...

Robert C said...

I don't know for sure but I saw an interview once where she was concerned about the statute of limitations regarding certain crimes in California and was a little worried regarding self-incrimination

I have heard that as well. I would very much welcome some of the actual attorneys weighing on in this, as my understanding is that other than murder California’s statue of limitations for all other crimes expired years ago.

David said...

I don’t know about California. Here:

Murder has no sol: that is pretty common.

The rest is a hodgepodge but 50 years: likely all passed.

I doubt California is different.

But: conspiracy to commit murder is murder. That would mean a more involved plan. HS?

Doug Smith said...

Thanks David
Managed to snag at Amazon.com with shipment to Vancouver and currency conversion - $50.67 Cdn

brownrice said...

"While Lynette's loyalty to Manson is repulsive"

Personally, I've always found Lynette's loyalty a very admirable quality. To stick by your friends is (to me) far more honourable than throwing 'em under the bus when the going gets tough. Whether that loyalty was misguided or not... or whether one approves of the people she remained loyal to is no doubt a whole other ball o' wax... but loyalty (per se) is to me one of the best things we can aspire to.

AstroCreep said...

Loyalty, to a fault, is just that. I haven’t read the book so I can’t comment to this accurately. My assumption would be this-

1). To admit all was wrong at this stage of life means your whole life was wrong- possibly easier to accept it with faults than say the last 50 years was all f’ed up

2). Her brain (which was still developing when she joined the family) is so ingrained with Manson/Family/the good ole days that she doesn’t see how badly she was manipulated, used, and thrown away like trash. She always seemed like the most devoted, hardcore member to me. Maybe because of the assasination attempt?

Admiring her for her loyalty to Manson, to me, is like admiring ISIS members for their loyalty when they saw heads off of children or throw people off roofs.

Matthew Record said...

I finished the book and found it very interesting and well written. I did find that in the end, she seemed to distance herself from what was going on outside of George’s house. I am not saying that wasn’t true but if you listen to interviews from Pat and Leslie there was much more going on as far as mind control and preaching of the revolution coming. If you watch the 1972 documentary, Lynette was much more militant than portrayed in this book. Once again, I am not saying that it is not true. It would be interesting to know what Pat, Leslie and Tex think of this account of things. I also think that it would have been interesting if the book carried on to the vigils in front of the court house and the fragmenting of the group. Who stays in touch etc. Anyone that has any interest in the family history and the building of the group, this book is a must. So much of it was very intimate and personal. I also found Sandy's personal writings very honest and personal.

Carlos said...

brownrice said...

... but loyalty (per se) is to me one of the best things we can aspire to.

I view loyalty the same way I view respect. It must be earned, it must be mutual, and it can be swiftly lost upon betrayal.

One of the best examples of someone earning my respect is a women who realized that her loyalty to her abusive husband was eventually going to get her, and possibly her kids, killed, so she dealt with it. The first step was understanding she had absolutely no reason to be loyal to that dude any longer.

CATSCRADLE77 said...

Is there going to be another book that covers the time of the trials, the Willetts murders, and the Ford incident? It seems as if ending it at this juncture leaves room for a volume two..

Robert C said...

Loyalty without question is not admirable. I think they call that blind loyalty.

Unknown said...

Long time lurker to this blog and first time poster.

I've been waiting for a book like this for YEARS.

I've always been curious about what the real beginnings were like when it was just Mary, Lynette and Manson and Lynette's writing is beautiful. Love her or not, you cannot deny she is an artist, talented writer.

I understand the frustration about Lynette's eternal devotion...but this is my take:

To me, this is probably the best book on this topic because it does not get marred in what happens post August 1969. We're essentially being taken on a time machine to those beginnings before all chaos ensued. The book would be just like every other Manson book out there if it started talking about the foreshadowing or the reflections on the past. I like that it is within the moment. It makes me realize what it life was really like in that group and how whimsical it all felt. I'm not looking for someone to tell me their remorse, regret, or come-to-Jesus moments. I'll read Susan Atkins, Dianne Lake, Tex Watson (gross!), and perhaps one day, Gypsy's for that crap.

We always hear "how could these middle class kids join Manson?" Well, read this book. Now you'll know why.

Starfish4210 said...

Sorry not sure how to change it front unknown

Peter said...

The first part of this book with just Mary and Lyn and Charlie is the best part. It's the most coherent and the most thoughtful and polished part of the book. Perhaps this is the part of the story closest to her. The part she really wanted to tell. This year or year and a half was the golden moment for her. I think, as I hope we will discuss, that in later parts she has to start hedging and stretching for explanations in order to bring it into conformity with the idyllic part 1. This first part she can tell honestly and passionately. In later parts I think she sensed something was wrong even if ahe doesn't come out and say it.

Robert C said...

Peter said: "In later parts I think she sensed something was wrong even if ahe doesn't come out and say it."

Somewhere on dvd, maybe it was on one of Hendrickson's, Fromme is sitting alone with her close cropped hair, tight short-shorts with her rifle talking tough when suddenly she breaks down weeping and can't continue. At that moment I sort of knew she was aware that something or more wasn't right.

Matthew Record said...

There were two times earlier in the book that she brought up the murders and both pertaining to Patricia. It seems that she has sympathy for Pat and how she was able to kill and ruin her life for no reason. When she was talking about their first meeting with Pat and how she was living with her sister, she says that the sister would go on to an untimely end, as did Pat with the most inexplicable mass homicide of its time. In another part further down the road, Pat swerves to miss hitting dogs in the road and has a bad accident that could have ended her life and questions that if that was the outcome, would Abigail Folger still be alive? I think two very poignant reflexions in the book. I think that her heart really goes out to Pat more than the others in jail and she hardly mentions Sadie which also says a lot. Please note that I did not make exact quotes from the book.

RudyWebersHose said...

If everything we've heard about Pats statements on both nights of murder its pretty hard to feel sorry for her, she killed with joy and made some pretty cruel outrageous comments during the killings, those type of personality defects dont just leave you

RudyWebersHose said...

Left out "is true" between murder and its, sorry for the typo

Carlos said...

Matthew Record said...

There were two times earlier in the book that she brought up the murders and both pertaining to Patricia.

I made plenty of bookmarks and notes as I was reading, and both of yours are also on my list. Pages 144 and 192, which are technically past this post’s range of pages 1 to 97 but quite worthy of discussion.

I was struck by her use of the word inexplicable, as it does seem to suggest at this early point in her story that Ms. Fromme herself doesn’t have the degree of insight into why things unfolded that one might expect from a Family member like herself.

Orwhut said...

OT
Here's an interesting little piece on Dennis Wilson.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z99QNvXM_WQ&app=desktop&persist_app=1

Carlos said...

Peter said...

The first part of this book with just Mary and Lyn and Charlie is the best part. ... I think, as I hope we will discuss, that in later parts she has to start hedging and stretching for explanations in order to bring it into conformity with the idyllic part 1.

Agreed.

While the whole book has integrity and credibility to me, these early era pages have a certain freedom about them that stands out nicely.

jerseydevil said...

Peter you managed to put the bong down long enough to read & write Baby steps brother we knew you could do it

Matthew Record said...

Yeah, the first part was so personal I almost felt like I was invading someone's privacy reading it. It was like she was telling the story of the early times in the same age mind frame that she would have been. As more girls came in to the group and she didn't get as much attention she seemed to draw back and was more on the inside looking out. Taking care of George seemed to give her solace and worth. She really needs to write a second part starting with the courthouse vigils to wherever she wants to stop.

Mr. Humphrat said...

To the lawyers in the group do you think if Lynnette wrote anything pertaining to time frame of the Stockton murder she could put herself in possible legal jeopardy?

David said...

Mr. Humphrat,

Murder has no statute of limitations. Talking about any murder you may have known something about is perilous. I Have not managed to rad this yet for both time crunch issues and because of some personal feelings based upon some of the comments but that may (or may not) explain why she stopped the chronology when she did.

Peter said...

For someone from Jersey, you seem to have a pretty high opinion of yourself.

Baby Steps.

"I'm sailing!"

Peter said...

Hey bud, are you into high end 60s audio or just high end audio. I am too. I run a Bogen RF-35 tube receiver, a Dual 1019 with the original Hi-Track and a pair of beautiful Wharfdale W-90s that I completely rebuilt the crossovers for. And when you listen to the DAT's from the audio archive of that run of Fillmore shows from February 28- March 2, 1969 that they used for Live Dead, you can hear the electricity in the air.

Or maybe it's ground loop.

Peter said...

I am 100% sure that California would and could nail her ass to the wall in a heartbeat if they thought she had some knowledge of what went down either before or after.

RudyWebersHose said...

Of course she knows but she's smart enough not to say anything, im sure lawyers have told her the same thing

starviego said...



At least one author does think Fromme may be guilty of being involved in a homicide:

www.leslievanhouten.com/1978-tex-article.html
March 1978 "Headquarters Detective" magazine, by a prison mate of Tex Watson's:
"The only ones I know who could have benefited from his(Ronald Hughes) death are two who were involved in other deaths. They're both in jail now. One's Bruce Davis and the other is that woman who tried to kill President Ford -- Squeaky Fromme."


Carlos said...

David said...

...but that may (or may not) explain why she stopped the chronology when she did.

I’ve been wondering if the explanation isn’t much simpler. The book ends with the Barker Ranch raids, and in many key ways Family life as described so well by Ms. Fromme and others before her also ended at the same time. In terms of timeline, this is the point from which nothing would or could ever be the same again. And it took her almost 500 pages to get to this point. To me, for her to give any kind of treatment of ‘70 through mid ‘71 in the same manner she did through October, ‘69 would likely require another few hundred pages, which is a book in itself; and that doesn’t even get us to the Willets. It makes perfect sense to save that for volume two or to simply not go there at all.

The fact that this approach may also make her attorney happy is perhaps a convenient coincidence.

Robert C said...

Peter said: " I am 100% sure that California would and could nail her ass to the wall in a heartbeat if they thought she had some knowledge of what went down either before or after. "

California let a lot of things slide back then regarding Manson Family member participation in and knowledge of murders. Moorehouse got out of attempted murder. Others escaped prosecution from the murders of Hinman, Zero, Hughes, Stubbs, Shorty and the Willets plus any others. Practically everyone in the core MF group knew about certain murders but didn't report.

Squeaky would be in that last group but kept away from most of it by Manson until her pretend attempt on Ford. But nothing can be proven now unless someone breaks and blabs. If that were to happen, if several members began to point fingers, then we might see a wider accusation-fest happen.

But I think they'll all go down like Gillies and say nothing. I'll guess several or more MF members may be encouraged to write their own memoirs like Fromme now to make some money but like her I doubt they'll get into the violence and murder parts.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Right now I’m in the part of the book where Sandy describes her first week with Charlie and it is quite a read in itself. If she is writing her own book I would think she would have saved this part for her own It really is good

Carlos said...

Robert C said...

... I doubt they'll get into the violence and murder parts.

Completely agree.

The one possible memoir that seems to stir the most interest is Ms. Share’s. The only example of her writing that I am familiar with is a post at Dennis Rice’s defunct web site, though the wayback machine can still get it for you. Her post tells me that she absolutely has some skill as an author, and I’d certainly read her memoirs. If the post is any indication, she’ll be much, much more direct and unflinching in her contempt for Manson than most of what we’ve read elsewhere. And she’ll be very direct and very brief about not being involved with the murders at all. Not. involved. at. all.

As for Cappy, I have often wondered if she and perhaps some others had decided not to publish anything while alive but left instructions to have some things published posthumously. If I was betting my own money, I’d say no. But it will be interesting to see what happens as the Family live out their golden years.

Carlos said...

brown rice said...

A lot of people really don't understand what a grim, dysfunctional, black & white world it was in the 50s and early 60s... and how rapidly, excitingly & totally that all changed from about '65 onwards. Without grasping that, it's pretty hard to comprehend this whole saga

Excellent point.

But I can’t also help noticing how grim and dysfunctional it would be to be eating out of garbage cans, relying on stolen credit cards, and avoiding modern medical care because doctors are only good for curing the clap.

A big part of what gives the book so much credibility and integrity is that it presents an honesty about things. such as Mary’s bank account while beautifully expressing the idealism and the hope that made many people seek a different way of life.

beauders said...

Cat's, I agree it reads like there is another volume coming, at least I'm hoping. I think Fromme saw that the Family was having a tough time finding places to stay and saw her attending to Spahn as the most important job in the Family. I wouldn't be surprised if Manson asked her to do it, explaining it just that way. Manson and Fromme may have been having sex with others, but that was just their lifestyle, I see them as being very committed to each other. Manson had even referred to Fromme as his "old lady." I don't think she ever fell out of love with him.

RudyWebersHose said...

Like Manson said on occasion, your materialistic lifestyle has your thinking fucked up, theres also a freedom in living that way, now i dont condone credit card theft but theres nothing wrong with eating food supermarkets put in dumpsters because its a day or two past its exp date and most "medical care" these days is going to a robot in some medical mill being seen for 3 minutes and then given prescriptions for addictive medications that just create more problems

Carlos said...

RudyWebersHose said...

... theres also a freedom in living that way

On this we very much agree. Materialism driven by pure greed or to try to fill a lack of emotional or spiritual satisfaction can be a terrible thing. It often ends up as just increasing selfishness and loneliness and isolation. But there is a tremendous difference between living what Jerry Garcia once referred to as a simple, uncluttered life and living the life of a leech on society or a criminal.

One theme running through these comments on how the book portrays the early months of the Family is that life at the start was largely about being simple and uncluttered and free. It involved the kindness of strangers and the kindness of friends and a great degree of simply sharing what was on hand at the moment. There was more idealism than naivety, and living off the grid did not have to mean living outside the law.

The mainstream press has spent half a century telling a very one-sided and one-dimensional view of the Family, because the motivation is solely about the TLB murders and selling copies. It’s refreshing to have a book provide a multi-dimensional view, especially of the early months, and that includes being honest about certain realities of life.

RudyWebersHose said...

Totally agreed

jerseydevil said...

Peter my current system consists of a Mcintosh Ma 6300 intergrated amp a Rega planar 3 turntable a mid level Marantz CD player Kef reference 3 speakers & a Nakanichi CR 7a cassette deck for the 100 + dead shows back when I was still hooked up with tapers before that I had Carver & Adcom
Ran through Boston acoustic speakers

grimtraveller said...

jerseydevil said...

What I liked most about this book is it had nothing to do with the crimes

There's a certain irony about that. A bit like if Nelson Mandela never mentioned apartheid in his autobiography !
Mind you, it's not strictly true to say that it has nothing to do with the crimes. Squeaky does say things regarding the crimes, but very obliquely and in such a way that more or less could be read into it. It's actually very clever writing and unlike Charlie, never gobbledygook.

Anyone else feel that the cover photo looks nothing like her at all

I thought that the first time I saw it. It's a striking cover though.

AustinAnn74 said...

I find it repulsive that this woman still embraces Manson, as if it was such a romantic, fun, free time. She doesn't see that she gave her heart & soul...her life to a man who couldn't give back the love she actually deserved

Maybe for her it was such a romantic fun, free time, especially if you think of what went on to be her life from the end of '69 onwards. If she wasn't thrilled by life up till '67 and life after '69 was one long hassle {even if much of that was her choice and self inflicted} then the years '67~69 would represent that period she might feel fondest about.
I'd disagree with you on the last part of the quote too. Squeaky seems to be one of the few people that Charlie openly loved and only ever said positive things about.
I'm also curious about how anyone can quantify the love anyone deserves.

Carlos said...

We’ve had plenty of books about the crimes from insiders and outsiders; we haven’t had enough about how the Family formed and then fractured, especially from the perspective of an insider like Squeaky

We don't ultimately get that here either, certainly not the fracturing.

bucpaul2812 said...

I've read elsewhere that the dynamic in the Fromme household was so toxic that Lynette's father refused to speak to her directly and any attempts at communication with her were directed through other members of the family

I guess because we only have one side of the story, our knowledge on this will always be somewhat incomplete. It would be interesting to hear what her Mum or brother thought of what was going on. In the same way that Lyn tends to see a specific side to Charlie rather than the sides that everyone else has been exposed to and become familiar with, maybe her Mum was similar.

grimtraveller said...

bucpaul2812 said...

It still intrigues my why Gypsy's memoirs haven't been made for public consumption yet

In Jess Bravin's biog of Squeaky, he makes plenty of mention of the book Squeaky was writing and this, during the early 70s.
If Gypsy's is indeed out there in the ether, a long wait is par for the course !

brownrice said...

Personally, I've always found Lynette's loyalty a very admirable quality. To stick by your friends is (to me) far more honourable than throwing 'em under the bus when the going gets tough

That might depend on whether or not the "friend" is seen as being the major reason your life is a wreck. Squeaky has no reason, on a life scale, to be angry or bitter at Charlie. She ended up where she did largely under her own steam. That's not the case with a number of others and once they woke up, under the bus was probably the place they felt it was appropriate to consign that part of their lives. Sometimes people just look back in anger and think "shit, I was sold a pup there !"

AstroCreep said...

Admiring her for her loyalty to Manson, to me, is like admiring ISIS members for their loyalty when they saw heads off of children or throw people off roofs

But there's a difference between loyalty to a cause and some of the actions taken to further that cause.
It doesn't come across in the section that Matt is speaking of but as the book rolls on, there's some interesting examples of what could be seen to be selective blindness on Lyn's part. Comparing some of her stance in the book with some of the stuff she was saying in that period when Robert Hendrickson was doing all that filming and which ends up in "Death To Pigs" is, to say the least, eye opening and confusing at the same time.

Carlos said...

The mainstream press has spent half a century telling a very one-sided and one-dimensional view of the Family, because the motivation is solely about the TLB murders

True. But most of the sound information doesn't come from the mainstream press and there has been, for those that want to dig and find some balance, for quite a long time a fairly good balance of information. I use that word guardedly because on all sides of the fence there is major bias. But at least it's pretty even.
In Squeaky's book, up to page 97, we learn a few new things but nothing particularly earth shattering. That naturally follows as the book develops. One thing that I did notice in these early pages though, was how parts of the Emmons book are corroborated, for example the scenario with Darlene and the guns in the bay episode. Things like that tend to make one wonder and perhaps review opinions of some of the other books/articles/testimony/interviews that have come down over the years, because this is a feature that turns up all over the book.