Monday, November 19, 2018

The Coffee Heiress: Some Final Words

Other Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Final


1959
At a Christmas party at the Gotham Book Mart in 1967 Abigail Folger met the author, Jerzy Kosinski. Kosinski later introduced Abigail to his friend and fellow Polish countryman, Wojciech Frykowski. A romance developed. The two eventually shared her apartment in New York and subsequently decided to relocate from New York to Los Angeles. 

Three factors likely influenced this decision. First, Roman Polanski had promised his school age friend, Frykowski, that he would help him get into the movie industry, even writing a letter of introduction for him in late 1967. 

Witold Kaczanowski or Witold-K. Wotold-K was also a part of the circle of friends that surrounded Abigail in New York, one she met through Frykowski. In fact, he even completed the painting below in Abigail’s apartment sometime in 1968. This painting is discussed in the video you can find here: http://www.mansonblog.com/2015/12/a-painting-pinocchio-manson-murders.html.








The subject of the interview also says, in passing, that Frykowski, Witold-K and Abigail Folger “all came to Los Angeles in 1968”. It is possible that they came together. In fact, I think they did. 

In Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi makes the following comment. 
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“It was learned that on their cross-country trip they had stopped in Irving, Texas, staying several days with a big dope dealer well known to local and Dallas police.”

(Bugliosi, Vincent. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (25th Anniversary Edition) (p. 61). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.)
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This is one of the statements relied upon by the ‘drug deal motive’ crew to support their theory. When I read it again in connection with researching this post something about that sentence struck me as odd: how did the police know this? 

August 1969 is long before cell phone tower triangulation or GPS. Gibbie’s credit cards might have given clues to the route they travelled from New York to Los Angeles. The interstate system in 1969 does indicate that one route would take them through Texas. But neither of these would provide the necessary level of detail contained in this one sentence. 

In fact, it would be impossible to establish these facts without a living witness. Abigail and Frykowski are not staying at a hotel but in a private home and everyone we know for certain was in that car was dead by the time this was investigated unless, there was someone else in the car. 

It is possible that upon arrival Gibbie or Frykowski discussed their trip in detail with someone and told that person that their host was a drug dealer. And he later told the police. But that ‘someone’ would also likely have been Witold-K. Remember, after the murders Witold-K claimed he was next and was placed in protective custody because he allegedly knew who had committed the murders. Remember, his fear was born from his belief the crime was drug related and the fact he was supposed to be at Cielo Drive that night. 

If Witold-K knew Abigail and Frykowski had spent several days at the home of a well-known drug dealer in Texas this likely contributed to his fear, especially if he, too, had spent several days there so the unnamed drug dealer knew who he was.

Witold-K appears in LA at about the same time as Folger and Frykowski.  As a ‘starving artist’ what better way to fund the trip west: hitch a ride with a wealthy heiress. 

It should be noted his impecunious status changed quickly after the murders. Initially, with the help of the LAPD who bankrolled a trip to Las Vegas. In fact, Witold-K seems to have had a pretty good run after the murders.

I was not able to corroborate Bugliosi’s statement nor identify the alleged drug dealer. That evidence is likely buried in the notes and memos in the LAPD investigative files or in Ed Sanders’ shed. Interestingly, there is no mention of this stop in the homicide reports even though Witold-K makes an appearance, there. 













The other reason for the trip west, according to those who knew Gibbie in New York, was her interest in social work and especially a ‘new program’ in Los Angeles. I was not able to identify a 'new program' in LA in 1968. The promise of social work gave Abigail something to look forward to but it is probably far more likely that Gibbie was ‘following’ her lover to Los Angeles rather than seeking a volunteer social worker position with the county.

The Volunteer


After she arrived in Los Angeles Gibbie did volunteer social work in the Watts neighborhood of LA. I was not able to independently confirm this but it is likely accurate. 

Bugliosi says this:


“Shortly after arriving in Southern California, she registered as a volunteer social worker for the Los Angeles County Welfare Department, and would get up at dawn each day for assignments that took her into Watts, Pacoima, and other ghetto areas. She continued this work until the day before she and Frykowski moved into 10050 Cielo Drive.”

(Bugliosi, Vincent. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (25th Anniversary Edition) (p. 60). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.)
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Ed Sanders in The Family adds this:
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“Miss Folger was involved in the struggle for racial equality. She worked as a volunteer social worker for the Los Angeles County Welfare Department from sometime in fall 1968 till March 1969. Her place of employment south central Los Angeles, where evidently she aided black ghetto children.”

(Sanders, Ed, The Family, De Capo Press, 2002, pp 95)
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A quote attributed to Abigail Folger expresses her feelings about her work:

"A lot of social workers go home at night, take a bath and wash their day off, I can't. The suffering gets under your skin".

Abigail’s volunteerism was a part of who she was, or at least who she was raised to be. It is likely her noblesse oblige came from her mother as my research disclosed no similar volunteerism by her father (although he sat on several boards, none I could find were charitable). She had no social work experience. She did not qualify, educationally, for a job as a social worker. Unless she volunteered at the Free Medical Clinic in Haight Ashbury (and there is no evidence she, versus her mother, did volunteer there) she had no experience. And yet, she undertook to aid those less fortunate than herself in one of the worst parts of town, for free. Remarkable, really. 

[Aside: Gibbie volunteered in Watts. That would place her at Manson’s projected epicenter of Helter Skelter. Gibbie would have been, in a way, the ‘first line of defense’. If, as Manson claimed, Helter Skelter was, indeed, ‘coming down fast’ in August 1969 we know that race war never happened. In some small part, perhaps it didn’t happen, not because Manson was caught but, because, predominantly ‘white’, social workers and volunteers did their job.]

Several sources cite the quote, above, attributed to Gibbie, as evidence of her commitment. I disagree. I think she witnessed the extent of the problems and couldn’t ‘leave it at the office’. Abigail stopped volunteering when she moved into Cielo Drive in March, 1969. The move is often cited as the reason she stopped volunteering. But that makes little sense. She could have driven downtown from Cielo Drive as easily as from Woodstock Road. I believe she quit because it had affected her, so she changed her focus and sought, instead to effectuate change from another direction. To me reading about the state of things in LA in 1969 it is remarkable not that Gibbie quit after only six months. To me it is remarkable she lasted six months. 

Sometime in the spring of 1969 Abigail Folger joined the ranks of volunteers attempting to elect Tom Bradley as the first black mayor of Los Angeles. In April, 1969 Bradley won the primary receiving 41.8% of the votes. His closest opponent was sitting mayor, Sam Yorty. However, Bradley had failed to reach the magic 51% that would have elected him outright and thus a run-off election was scheduled between Bradley and Yorty for May 27, 1969. 

The 1969 Bradley-Yorty campaign has been described by some historians of such matters as the dirtiest campaign in Los Angeles history. Yorty campaigned on fear. He claimed Bradley would surrender the city to ‘black radicals’ (The Black Panthers). He alleged that Bradley’s campaign manager was a communist and that Bradley was anti-police, even predicting mass resignations if Bradley were to be elected and despite the fact Bradley had served as a police officer. Yorty played the race card and Bradley tried to stay above the fray and discuss the issues. Bradley lost the election. 

I scoured every photo and video I could find of this campaign hoping to catch a glimpse of Gibbie. I was unsuccessful. But at least one, person commenting here was a witnesses to the events.

(https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/News-Personality/Abigail-Folger-Tribute-Page-188117394542445/
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“I had become friends with Gibbie while working in the Tom Bradley mayoral campaign. I have never forgotten her. She was remarkable. I only learned who she was, after her death. May she continue to Rest In Peace. Btw, I went to high school with Leslie Van Houghton. Two people I have never been able to forget. Godspeed Gibbie.”
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[Aside: I highly recommend you go to the Facebook Tribute page, above, if you want to view more images of Abigail Folger from her youth. I have now exhausted mine.]

2774 Woodstock Road and The Cass Connection


Shortly after arriving in LA, Abigail and Voytek rented a home at 2774 Woodstock Road. 









According to the county records the home had been constructed in late 1961 and early 1962 by a gentleman named Russ Schultz who lived at 2700 Woodstock Road. The Shultz’s continued to own and rent the home until it was sold in 1972. 

[Aside: the street directory for LA indicates the occupant of 2700 Woodstock Road is “Russ Schultz” The county property records also show Russell Schultz owning 2774 Woodstock Road, not “Schulte” as indicated on the image, above.]

It initially struck me as somewhat odd that two strangers to Los Angeles could find this home, which is on a pretty secluded street, in fairly short order. Their only obvious connection to LA was Roman Polanski. But how did Polanski find the home for them? 

One possibility is another Polish √©migr√© living in Los Angeles at the time named Paul Baran. Baran worked at the RAND Corporation. While at RAND, Paul Baran invented packet switching techniques that can be credited with playing a key role in the development of the internet. 

His goal was to develop a communications system that could survive the damage of a nuclear weapon. Originally, he called the process “message blocks.” Other scientists would later change the name to “packet switching”.

One member of Baran’s team at RAND was a gentleman named “J.W. Smith”. In 1967 J.W. Smith lived at 2774 Woodstock Road. Mr. Smith left RAND in the summer of 1968 and, in fact, left California. It’s a stretch but the timing is right. 

A second more likely scenario is the proximity of 2774 Woodstock Road to 7708 Woodrow Wilson Drive, where Cass Elliott lived. Cass Elliott owned 7708 Woodrow Wilson Drive, according to the county records, from January 1967 until her death in 1974. The Polanski’s were at least occasional party guests. 

It is possible someone connected to that scene passed on the information either directly to Abigail or through Polanski. Then again, Tate, Polanski, Folger and/or Frykowski may have simply driven past a “for rent” sign at the intersection of Woodrow Wilson Drive and Woodstock Road. Routes from Cielo Drive to Woodrow Wilson Drive take you past that intersection.

First, let’s get rid of one myth. A number of sources, including several books on the subject like Ed Sanders’ The Family (pp. 95, 2002 Edition) claim that Cass and Abigail lived “across the street” from each other. There is even a video on line claiming this and filming the alleged ‘Cass house’. It simply is not accurate. 

As the image below from Google Maps indicates the homes were about half a mile apart. 





Cass’ house was the center of LA’s young, hip, movie and music society leading up to the murders. In fact, many of those who were there claim the whole ‘party’ scene ended with the murders. Initially,  the 'hippie elite' believed one of their own had committed the crime and that made everyone very paranoid. But before the crimes Cass' House was the place to be.
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“Graham Nash has described Cass Elliot as “the Gertrude Stein of Laurel Canyon”—that she had a “salon” similar to the one at 27 Rue de Fleurus in Paris in the 1920s. Cass brought her friends from the music and movie worlds together. She was a conversationalist and a storyteller who could hold forth on anything and everything, and according to Stephen Stills ‘you could always go over there. But call first.’”

STEPHEN STILLS: I always had a place in my heart for alley cats, and David was really funny. We would scheme about a band, and one night at the Troubadour I saw Cass, who I hadn’t seen for a while, and she said, “Would you like to have a third harmony?” I said, “I’m not sure—it depends on the guy, the voice.” So she said, “When David calls you to come over to my house with your guitar, don’t ask—just do it.” I knew that the queen bee had something up her sleeve, and, sure enough, David calls me and says, “Get your guitar and come to Cass’s house.” I can see it now—the living room, the dining room, the pool, the kitchen—and we’re in the living room and there’s Graham Nash. Then Cass goes, “So sing.” And we sang “In the morning, when you rise”.

GRAHAM NASH, singer-songwriter-guitarist, the Hollies, CSN, CSNY: Stephen’s completely out of his mind. I remember it clearly and so does David. It was not at Mama Cass’s. We did sing at Cass’s. But not the very first time.

MICHELLE PHILLIPS, singer-songwriter-actor, the Mamas and the Papas: It was very lax at Cass’s house when she moved to Woodrow Wilson. Ashtrays were overflowing. She would let people write their phone numbers and messages on her walls with felt pens. She smoked a lot of pot. I wasn’t into food at that point in my life, but there were a lot of grown men there, so there must have been food. They probably called down to Greenblatt’s Deli and had 20 different platters of sandwiches brought up.

MICHELLE PHILLIPS: Before 1969, my memories were nothing but fun and excitement and shooting to the top of the charts and loving every minute of it. The Manson murders [in the summer of 1969] ruined the L.A. music scene. That was the nail in the coffin of the freewheeling, let’s get high, everybody’s welcome, come on in, sit right down. Everyone was terrified. I carried a gun in my purse. And I never invited anybody over to my house again.


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Purportedly the band 3's A Crowd at Cass' House 1969
“While Cass had been recording the album, life at Woodrow Wilson Drive had become even more chaotic than before. Now that Cass’s younger sister and brother had left home, her mother Bess had moved to LA from Washington, DC and had been staying at the house for spells of anything between a few weeks and a few months. As had her brother Joseph, sister Leah and cousin Ralfee. But as well as these family visits, there were also still constant comings and goings from a seemingly never-ending stream of friends, colleagues, sometime boyfriends, visiting rock stars, acquaintances and friends of friends. Cass seemed to like it that way. ‘Cass was like the Chelsea Hotel or something,’ remembers John Sebastian, ‘You’d check in there immediately when you got to LA and in many cases Cass would say, “Oh God, Simon and Mariejke [of hip rock ’n’ roll design combo the Fool] just left, the guest room is open, come on in, stay with me.”’ 

On any given day, the house seemed almost like a split-screen movie with half a dozen different scenarios taking place simultaneously in different parts of the house. In the garden, Owen might be playing in her Wendy house with the nanny and some toddler friends and there would be people sunbathing by the pool, whilst inside the house the living room might be filled with another crowd of types – frequently described as nefarious, rolling joints, throwing the I Ching and strumming the odd guitar.”

(Fiegel, Eddi. Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Life of 'Mama' Cass Elliot (Kindle Locations 4860-4870). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.)

“Music happens in my house and that pleases me,’ Cass told Rolling Stone. ‘If you come over to my house, and you see Eric Clapton and David Crosby and Steve Stills playing guitar together and Buddy Miles walks in, it’s not because I got out my Local 47 book and called up and said let’s get a bunch of musicians together.’ (Local 47 being the LA branch of the AFM – the American equivalent of the Musicians’ Union.) ‘My house is a very free house,’ she continued, as the magazine insisted that she was the undisputed Queen of Los Angeles Pop Society. ‘It’s not a crash pad and people don’t come without calling. But on an afternoon, especially on weekends, I always get a lot of delicatessen food in, because I know David is going to come over for a swim and things are going to happen. Joni Mitchell has written many songs sitting in my living room. Christmas day when we were all having dinner, she was writing songs.”

(Fiegel, Eddi. Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Life of 'Mama' Cass Elliot (Kindle Locations 5187-5194). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.)
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Henry Diltz (photographer): “That was the day (Feb. 1968) ‘Mama’ Cass had her backyard picnic for Eric Clapton because he didn’t know anybody. I met Eric that day, and Joni Mitchell that day. Mama invited David Crosby up, thinking that he and Eric were both musicians and they’d relate to one another. She was playing the earth mother again. We used to call Mama Cass the Gertrude Stein of Laurel Canyon because she would get people together – she introduced Graham Nash to David Crosby and Stephen Stills. Crosby brought this young girl he’d just discovered – Joni Mitchell. She sat on the grass playing her guitar and Clapton sat there mesmerized with her playing. Joni Mitchell played differently, she tuned her guitar to a chord, and Eric Clapton had never seen that before.”

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And Gibbie was a part of this scene. 
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Dave Mason recalls, “One of the freakiest parts was that at Cass’s I saw a lot of Abbie Folger and Wojciech Frykowski until the Manson crew slaughtered them”. 


“Elliot's house was the epicenter of a scene that drew Joni Mitchell and Graham Nash (a couple at the time), David Crosby, Neil Young and Eric Clapton, as well as scores of actors and filmmakers.

"I was 22 and 7,000 miles from home," says [Dave] Mason. "It was a trip. There was lots of music [being made] but one of my strongest memories is playing Frisbee outside Cass' house. She was friends with someone from the Whammo company and they'd always drop off all of their latest products. So, a lot of Frisbee was played."

Mason also hung out during the summer of '69 with Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski, who were murdered that August alongside Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent by members of the Manson Family.

"Abby and Voytek were a big part of the scene," says Mason. "They were nice people; there was nothing crazy or freaky about them. The funny thing is that I could easily have been at the Tate house that night; it was a place I had visited many times."

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“Cass had known not only Sharon but all three of the other victims: celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Woytek Frykowski, an old schoolfriend of Polanski’s, and Frykowski’s girlfriend Abigail Folger, heiress to the Folger coffee fortune. The openness of Hollywood society at the time had led to a previously unprecedented crossover between the film and rock communities; if you were successful and hip in either one or the other or at least good friends with someone who was, you were just as likely to end up at a film star’s house for the evening as a rock star’s. Cass’s prominence in the upper echelons of the LA social scene therefore meant she was part of a community which as well as rock stars such as Crosby, Nash, Stills, Eric Clapton plus assorted Beatles and Stones also included Warren Beatty, Roger Vadim and Jane Fonda, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, Mike Sarne, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda.

(Fiegel, Eddi. Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Life of 'Mama' Cass Elliot (Kindle Locations 5443-5446). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.)
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Did Charles Manson and members of ‘the Family’ ever visit Cass Elliott’s home? 

If he did, then there is some possibility that Gibbie met the man who instigated her murder or perhaps even met the killers. 

It amazed me how many sources take it for granted that Manson had been to Woodrow Wilson Drive. However, none of them I found cited a source except one. A couple sources rely on a claim, attributed to Susan Atkins, that Mama Cass taught her how to ‘bake brownies’ at Woodrow Wilson Drive. I didn't remember this so I looked it up.
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“By the age of nineteen I’d survived a series of nightmarish episodes to finally find a moment of stability among a group of people living in San Francisco in the counter-culture environment. At the time this was not a terrible place to be. Janis Joplin lived next-door. Mama Cass of The Mamas And The Papas taught me how to make BLT’s. We were not “deviants,” we were part of the artist subculture of the era.”

(Atkins-Whitehouse, Susan. The Myth of Helter Skelter (Kindle Locations 244-250). Menelorelin Dorenay’s Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
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First, Atkins claims Cass taught her how to make a BLT, not brownies. Atkins also places the event in San Francisco in 1967 before she met Manson. By then, Cass was already living at Woodrow Wilson Drive. According to the county records, she bought the home from Ellis and Gloria Kadison on January 10, 1967. Maybe Atkins was simply confused and the sandwich making class took place at Woodrow Wilson Drive in 1968 or 1969. Or more likely, given her credibility, it never happened. 

One thing is for sure, Manson et al did not simply walk in the door of Cass Elliott’s house and join the party. Every source I found who appears to have actually been to her house at the time and mentions the issue says the same thing: you either had to be invited to Cass Elliott's house by someone or you had to call first. That is not to say that 'invitations' were limited. So, if Manson was there someone brought him since I doubt he called. There are a number of possibilities who might fill this role but none I researched mention taking Manson to Woodrow Wilson Drive. 
At the Whiskey a Go Go 1967

One source I found definitely places Charles Manson at Cass Elliott’s house: Michael Caine. In his 1992 autobiography, What’s It All About (page 269)he states that he was introduced to a ‘scruffy little man’ named Charles Manson at a party at Cass Elliott’s home by Cass Elliott. According to Caine, Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski and Jay Sebring were also in attendance. It is possible that Abigail Folger and Wojciech Frykowski were also there. No timeframe is mentioned. Caine knew Tate, Polanski and Sebring (who cut his hair). He likely did not know Abigail and thus would have overlooked her presence in his autobiography. 

Caine states that his friend and stunt double, Johnny Morris, accompanied him to the party and insisted, shortly after the meeting, that he and Caine leave because Manson gave him the creeps. Caine and Morris were a 'team' at the time, drinking buddies who frequently attended parties together. 

Johnny Morris might be corroborating the event, here. 
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Not all of the show-business parties the pair [Caine and Morris] attended down the years had such carefully considered guest lists: “We were invited to a party one night with Charles Manson who was there with all his people.”

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I cannot definitively establish Manson’s presence at Woodrow Wilson. Nor can I prove he was never there. It is a possibility and there may be an indication of that possibility in the testimony of Susan Atkins and in her first book. Then again, the source is Susan Atkins, which makes it unreliable. 
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Q: What happened next? 
A: Tex told me to go into the bedrooms -- the other rooms, he didn't say bedrooms -- go in and see if there was anybody else in the house. I went into two bedrooms, walked past one room and saw a woman sitting wearing glasses reading a book. She looked at me and smiled and I looked at her and smiled.
*****
Q: Abigail Folger? 
A: Yes. 
Q: Did she say or do anything when you looked at her? 
A: She looked at me, held her glasses down, and looked. I looked at her and waved my hand and smiled to her and went on to the next room and saw a man sitting with his back to me and the woman lying on the bed, apparently pregnant, and they were talking. Neither one of them saw me, and I walked back into the living room and acknowledged to Tex that there were three more people.

(Cielodrive.com. Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Locations 472-481). Kindle Edition.)
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“Tex then told me to go check for other people in the house. I walked down a hall and passed a room where a woman wearing glasses was reading a book. I waved at her, smiled, and kept going. The woman, Abigail Folger, heiress to the Folger coffee fortune, smiled and waved back.”

(Slosser, Bob. Child of Satan, Child of God (p. 138). Menelorelin Dorenay’s Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
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Most sources tie this event to the various parties at Cielo Drive and the ‘open party’ nature of those parties (which, is also, largely, inaccurate). But most also assume there was a party the night of the murders or that there was supposed to be a party. They use this to explain Gibbie’s lack of concern over this complete stranger wandering the halls of Cielo Drive after midnight. 

But to me, if it suggests anything, the event may be a sign of recognition. It may be that while Atkins did not recognize Abigail, Abigail may have recognized Atkins from some, ever so brief, encounter at Cass’s house; someone she had simply seen there and never formally met.

It is highly probable that the answer to the Cass-Manson Case connection is buried under layers of paint on a walls at Woodrow Wilson Drive. In the image to the right, Natalie Wood, one-time owner of 7708 Woodrow Wilson Drive, sits in front of a fireplace in the living room of the house. After Cass moved in this room was decorated with a gold record, a large stuffed hippopotamus and graffiti from guests.

[Aside: Several sources claim Natalie Wood sold the home to Cass Elliott. County records show that she did not.] 
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Cass Elliott at Woodrow Wilson 1969(?)
“Cass and her daughter, Owen, lived in a two-story house located near the end of an unpaved private road off Woodrow Wilson Drive in the Hollywood Hills. Cass bought it from Natalie Wood and turned it into a mix of conservative family home and luxurious, incense-scented hippie pad. Silken banners billowed from windows and a big leather hippopotamus guarded a reading chair in the book-lined study. The wall around the fireplace in the living room had been given over to in-house graffiti. There were scrawled messages from Eric Clapton, Ryan O’Neal, Michelle Phillips, Don Johnson, David Crosby, Keith Allison, David Pearl, Graham Nash and anyone else who wanted to leave their mark. Somebody (possibly Cass herself) had written, “The party don’t start ’til Chuck Barris gets here” as a joke. The framed gold single of Monday, Monday from The Mamas and Papas’ debut album was displayed on another, unmarked wall. Soon after we met, Cass traded it to Bruce Johnston for his gold single of Good Vibrations. Johnston, who played keyboard, had taken Brian Wilson’s place on tour and was doing studio work with The Beach Boys.” (Leon Bing, Ellen Naomi, Pasadena Weekly, December 1, 2009)
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“The spacious living room was dominated by a large leather hippo, and on either side of the fireplace the bare plaster walls were covered in graffiti and autographs from Cass’s friends – famous or otherwise. Some visitors were shocked that Cass should allow people to write freely on her walls but others saw it as the showbiz tradition that it was; Cass was simply bringing a sliver of Broadway life into her home.”

Fiegel, Eddi. Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Life of 'Mama' Cass Elliot (Kindle Locations 4191-4194). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.
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Visitors to the home were encouraged to write their names, phone numbers and /or messages on the walls of the living room. From what I have been able to determine it was almost an insult to Cass if you refused or failed to do so. Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix. John Sebastian, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Joni Mitchel, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Eric Clapton and a host of others may have once written on those walls. “Michael Caine” might have been there adding corroboration to his story. The names Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski and Abigail Folger likely would have been there, too. And it is possible the name “Charles Manson” may have been written on those walls. 

I was not able to find an image of the wall. It is likely that after the murders (how long, I don’t know) the walls were painted over. If you are a conspiracy theory buff it would not be a stretch to conclude the walls may have been repainted immediately after the crime (or at least in December 1969) to literally cover something up. I could not find a ‘modern’ reference to the graffiti. Unfortunately, a piece of lost history probably lies under layers of Sherwin-Williams at 7708 Woodrow Wilson Drive.

[Aside: 7708 Woodrow Wilson Drive’s ownership records reveal that the following individuals owned the home at one time or another: Natalie Wood, Ringo Starr, Ellen Naomi Cohen (“Mama” Cass Elliot), Dan Aykroyd and most recently, Beverly D’Angelo.]

My Last Words


Abigail Folger saw Dr. Marvin Flicker, her psychiatrist, five days a week at 4:30 p.m. This is not and never has been a 'normal' therapy schedule. Something or several things were clearly bothering Abigail and, based upon the schedule, causing her some pretty significant issues. According the Vincent Bugliosi, one of the last things she discussed with Dr. Flicker was her intention to leave Frykowski. 
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“Flicker told the police that he thought Abigail was almost ready to leave Frykowski, that she was attempting to build up enough nerve to go it alone.”

(Bugliosi, Vincent. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (25th Anniversary Edition) (p. 61). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.)
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Ed Sanders echoes Bugliosi's statement.
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"According to what Dr. Flicker told the LAPD, Folger wanted to break off with Frykowski. “She discussed her use of drugs,” the First Homicide Investigation Progress Report (p. 27) reported, “and her disappointment with Frykowski. Doctor Flicker states that he thought she was almost ready to leave Frykowski. She was building up enough nerve in her own mind to go it alone.”

(Sanders, Ed. Sharon Tate: A Life (p. 165). Da Capo Books. Kindle Edition.)
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Abigail was scheduled to travel to San Francisco on Saturday, August 9th at 10:00 a.m. to spend her birthday, August 11th, with her mother. I think part of her plan may have been to discuss her separation with her mother and implement the plan once Roman Polanski returned from England. 

Abigail appears to have been particularly close to her mother. Bugliosi notes that Inez was aware when her daughter was 'high' and was aware of her problems. (Bugliosi, Vincent. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (25th Anniversary Edition) (p. 61). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.) She also knew where she was living and who her friends were. The same cannot be said of her father. 

On May 24, 1969 Inez Folger attended Jay Sebring's salon opening in San Francisco with Gibbie. She made significant donations not only to the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic but after Abigail's death also to the Santa Catalina School for Girls in Abigail's name. Her last phone call to her daughter at 10 p.m. the night of the murders was to coordinate their flights to San Francisco. Inez was in Connecticut. It was reported at the time that Abigail frequently commuted between Los Angeles and San Francisco. An article cited in a previous post (Part1) notes that Inez was very open about discussing her daughter and her death in later years and it appears that Inez, alone, attended several days of the trial. 

The comment, below, was posted to an NBC Breaking News in August 9, 2014 regarding Bruce Davis' parole, I believe. The comments are no longer available. I obtained it from the Tribute Page cited above.
____

"I knew Abigail Anne Folger’s (one of the five people killed by followers of Charles Manson at the Los Angeles home of actress Sharon Tate) mother, whom everyone knew as “Pui.” She told me how horrible it was when having to identify her massacred daughter. As any parent would be. More unsettling was describing her brief appearances at the Manson trial. While she never spoke to any members of the clan, she knew everything about them when she would have the bad luck of looking into their eyes. What she saw was the consummate definition of evil incarnate.

“While time has a way of softening unpleasant events, it does nothing of the kind when you have come face to face with deadening horror. I will take those eyes with me to the grave.” 

[Aside: It is my understanding that Peter Folger was the one who went to LA to retrieve Abigail's body and Polanski's business manager, William Tennant ID'd the bodies, except Steven Parent.]


_____

It is rather clear to me that Abigail was not nearly as close to her father. This likely was the result of the divorce and his affair and child with his secretary, a young woman, only a few years older than Abigail. Abigail's response was possibly colored by her Catholic upbringing. I rely, in part, on this article from August 17, 1969 for this conclusion.
_____




_____

The article states that her step mother and father had no knowledge of her relationship with Sharon Tate and the Hollywood crowd while noting that her mother joined her in attending Jay Sebring’s salon opening in San Francisco in May 1969. Frykowski did not attend nor was I able to find any record that Frykowski ever met Abigail’s family. I suspect there were a number of things Mr. Folger did not know about his daughter because she didn’t share them. This may explain the rumor that he took steps to prevent negative press regarding his daughter after her death. He may have legitimately believed everything he heard was false and slanderous. 

I believe Abigail was rather disenchanted from her experiences, likely seriously depressed, self-medicating and still searching for some meaning in her life in August 1969. Tom Bradley had lost his election bid. Robert Kennedy had been assassinated a year before (she worked on his campaign too, in New York). Her social work had burned her out in a few months. Her relationship was in trouble. She was not accepted by Hollywood’s young elite, in part because she was ‘old money’ according to Michelle Phillips. She was using harder drugs than she had in the past and there is little to suggest she had a plan for the future. I think all this explains her frequent visits to Dr. Flicker. 

I reached out to Dr. Marvin Flicker and several others and asked if they might be willing to share something about Gibbie. I always give those whose privacy I ‘invade’ the option of simply not responding, telling them if they fail to respond I will leave them alone. I honor that promise. None responded. 

Gibbie purportedly on the left.
I wanted the last word to be from someone who knew Gibbie as a friend. I was unsuccessful. The best I can offer is from the gentleman interviewed in the video, linked above, who was a child at the time:

Gibbie had a philosophy he remembered: “What could she do today to make someone’s life better”. If he heard this it means she talked to him about it as a child.

He describes her as a “loving, hands on person” who seemed to be “genuinely interested” in children. 

He describes Gibbie was a “kind, warm, caring, gentle person”. 

On August 9, 2019, let us remember that. 

Pax Vobiscum

Dreath








Gibbie, I hope I wrote you well.

39 comments:

Doug Smith said...

David
Your warm, respectful, detailed and informed manner of relating Gibbie's story has - indeed - done justice to the memory of this very real yet historically overlooked woman.
Thank you

starviego said...

Why exactly did Folger/Frykowski move to LA in August of 1968? It sounds to me Abigail specifically moved because of a new job as a social worker:


"The promise of social work gave Abigail something to look forward to but it is probably far more likely that Gibbie was ‘following’ her lover to Los Angeles rather than seeking a volunteer social worker position with the county."

If Gibbie was paying the bills, I'd say it's more likely that Voytek was following her, not the other way around.

The Killing of Sharon Tate, Lawrence Shiller, c. 1969 pg37
"An honor graduate from Radcliffe, she was a serious-minded young woman who moved to Los Angeles because of her interest in social work."

But the question is, why LA? She couldn't find any worthy volunteer social work to do in NYC? Or San Francisco, much closer to her family? How did she hear about this "new welfare project?" Did someone recruit her?


AstroCreep said...

More amazing reading, thank you for taking the time to piece together as many facts as possible!

She’s such an interesting character- I’d speculate that the Polish connection to Roman was part of the draw to LA- to include weather, distance from family, and the fact that NYC isn’t an easy place for a person to live as other motives for why she made the move.

As far as Dirty Little Creepy Charlie hanging with all of the victims at Cass Elliot’s pad, I dunno. I’d assume Michael Caine was another trying to insert his “brush with death” like so many others in Hollywood did.

Does anyone know if it’s possible to remove layers of paint to uncover writings such as referenced? I’d imagine a great deal of that being possible would depend on the writing implement used and how it interacts with whatever type of paint used.

Jennifer Hays said...

Thank you again for your series on Gibbie. Your posts have been insightful, informative and, most of all, respectful of her memory.

Robert C said...

I still don't have a 'sense', based on all I know about Folger, of her being into the really serious drugs. Recreational stuff like weed for sure because practically everyone was. If you weren't back then - you were probably a geek, nerd or dweeb (pick one). Abusing 'health' drugs like Prozac ... maybe.

I still suspect Folger was having a fling with Flicker. I mean at five days a week .... Abigail was too young to have that much accumulated baggage to analyze.

Yet another suspicion .... Folger was attracted to the '60's changes which seem to be spearheaded for a while in California although Voytek's connection to Polanski in LA is plausible. I felt Folger wanted in on the 'action', wanted to more fully understand what was happening, perhaps wanted to find her 'purpose' by helping in some way.

Yes, it's possible to remove paint layers and preservatives and reach the next level down. But it takes experts, time and $$. An old school friend is in that line of work.

Torque said...

I'd like to join these others in thanking you again for exceptional work. Really good stuff here. I'd also like to bring up a few points, unless I've missed them somewhere else.

One of these is the fact, as you said, that Cass had a friend who worked with the Whammo toy company. Of interest is that Billy Reinhardt, in his taped intetview with LAPD, describes Billy Doyle as acting like an expert on exactly how Whammo Frisbees fly. No doubt Mr Doyle accomplished this with a bit of a buzz on, but it clearly irritated Reinhardt. I can't find the link to this interview, but I think it is a Vimeo clip.

Also, the association of Baron with J.W. Smith is extremely intetesting. It again makes me wonder just how connected Voytek was, and his precise reasons for leaving Poland. Thanks also for clearing up the misunderstanding over the proximity of Cass' house to Abigail's.

Indeed, Cass' house must have been the artistic and musical equivalent to Ms Stein's salon. With the likes of rockers and hip film directors acting as the equivalent of the brilliant authors of the 1920's Paris.

Have you been able to research the personal papers of Jerzy Kosinski, Mary Hayward Weir, or Cass herself. (I find it interesting that Weir, who was married to Kosinski, died on August 1, 1968, about the same time that Abigail left NY). We are told in Helter Skelter that Weir was something of a chaperone to Abigail there.

There is a quote I've seen, attributed to Kosinski, that says of Abigail and Voytek that, "they were both squares. But they were good for each other."

The groovy artistic, musical, and cultural milieu that Abigail and Voytek encountered in LA must have been intoxicating with excitement. I agree with your thesis that, regardless of the excitement of her environment, Abigail was no doubt depressed. Yes, five days a week of therapy would be intense!

Certainly the lives of Abigail and Voytek are a difficult study. But there are people alive today who no doubt can make respectful contributions to the intetesting story that their lives were. As I said before, I reached out to Witold-K, and he replied to me, but would not volunteer stories or photos. It's sad to me, really. It is a hope of mine that someone close to Abigail and Voytek will come forward, and contribute to their story.

Doug Smith said...

3's A Crowd - friends of my ex's mother and her bf in Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver before making their way East to Toronto and, ultimately, Montreal (where Cass "discovered" them. Pre-california...pre-Cockburn.

The L.P. they recorded for Dunhill thanks to Cass (who got bored "producing" and bailed on the project after 3 wks).


https://youtu.be/Ac2qXz7EKY4

David said...

Doug,

Thanks, as always great stuff- Youngbloods, Let's Get Together, good version. Maybe better than the original. I'm going to have to listen to this a few times. The female singer, not sure which one she is (Donna) has quite a voice, maybe what drew Cass Elliott.

PS: I didn't know it would be you but I threw that image in there hoping someone would have a 'link' and I'm not surprised it was you, thanks.

prefeteria said...

That was a superb effort and synopsis thanks.

Just to amplify the Laurel Canyon thing, I’m sure many of you are familiar - but this was really fun to read. http://centerforaninformedamerica.com/laurelcanyon/

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said...

I still suspect Folger was having a fling with Flicker. I mean at five days a week .... Abigail was too young to have that much accumulated baggage to analyze

Just recalling in detail my own teenage and the numerous kids I've worked with in depth since 1983 and in the present day, not to mention people in their early 20s that I've known since before I was in my 20s, Robert, don't you believe it !
Come to think of it, Charles Manson and Susan Atkins {among others} had accumulated some pretty serious baggage that could have done with some analysis and help, well before they were 25.
Youth really is no barrier to disordered feelings or a need to straighten out one's head.

grimtraveller said...

Come to think of it, Charles Manson and Susan Atkins {among others} had accumulated some pretty serious baggage that could have done with some analysis and help, well before they were 25

As had John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Frankie Lymon, Syd Barrett, Judy Garland, Pete Townshend, Malcolm X, Ed Kemper, Yoko Ono, Marilyn Monroe, Roman Polanski, plus tons of people whose names we don't know or readily think of over the years up to that period who self medicated or acted out......

Robert C said...

Grim said: " Just recalling in detail my own teenage and the numerous kids I've worked with in depth since 1983 and in the present day, not to mention people in their early 20s that I've known since before I was in my 20s, Robert, don't you believe it ! "

Speaking in the context of five times a week (shrink visits). Even the seriously disturbed kid in the movie "Ordinary People" didn't go five times a week.

As far as 'baggage' is concerned, don't confuse baggage with (childhood) trauma.

I can't imagine Folger's issues being too heavy --- more of a rich girl's anxieties perhaps. All the people mentioned above did not have sheltered childhoods that I know of. Polanski spent a lot of his childhood scrapping for food and literally being shot at by German soldiers. I don't think he went to a shrink five times a week.

I guess the real question I have is why Flicker allowed five times a week for Folger ? Money, tryst or ??? That's 20 psychiatric visits a month !!! It's fishy ... but perhaps she wasn't doing that all year, every month.


Doug Smith said...

Thanks
Pretty sure it was Donna in that track (possibly the strongest track...maybe 2nd best).
It's pretty "interesting" how Vancouver's much acclaimed late 70s/early 80s punk rock community (which I was a wee part of) sprouted up from
1) Vancouver's most excellent 60s music, art, alternate schools (the kids of the freaks)

2) the suburbs (where some of the freaks moved to raise families when "the dream" died/moved on

3) From privilege

We have been witness to some unbelievable bands...if anyone wants links to a certain genre or style (1963-now) from these parts...shoot me a reply and, I'll shoot you links.

From garage, folk, acid rock, beat combos, soul, r n b, proto-punk, power trios, art damage, punk, country punk, rockabilly, metal, folk, surf...

Little Daddy and The Bachelors
(Tommy Chong and Floyd Sneed et al)
https://youtu.be/_Cr6GQxOUnI

The Painted Ship
https://youtu.be/OAntLr0kIPE

The Trials of Jayson Hoover
https://youtu.be/IDAwQ9On5xI

Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck
https://youtu.be/Xx6cILDF_Ag

My Indole Ring
https://youtu.be/hcG5Jrae7bI

Whet your appetite

Doug Smith said...

BTW - That My Indole Ring is LIVE (not lip sync'd) on a locally filmed spot on a National TV show hosted by LULU!!!

LIVE!
WHOAH!

Orwhut said...

Everyone always looks uncomfortable in photos of Cass's picnic. She should have arranged seating.

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said...

Speaking in the context of five times a week (shrink visits). Even the seriously disturbed kid in the movie "Ordinary People" didn't go five times a week

Maybe they should have. It might have made the film better !!

As far as 'baggage' is concerned, don't confuse baggage with (childhood) trauma

Well......today's trauma often becomes tomorrow's baggage. And who is to say what is and isn't traumatic to the person going through something ?

I can't imagine Folger's issues being too heavy - more of a rich girl's anxieties perhaps

Empathy is a funny thing because we tend to think of it as being able to put oneself in another's place, and it is that but I find there's another side to it that is rarely acknowledged because we approach it from the view of something that has already happened or is in the process of happening. But rarely do we step aside and empathize in terms of something that we do not think should be happening. So, a lot of people won't really be able to empathize with a rich girl because she's seen as privileged and almost not worthy of having her own set of problems which could really screw her up. As many would say, boo hoo hoo. In times past, I've felt that way myself. It's hard to have sympathy for someone that seems to have it all, let alone empathize with them if we don't think they should have debilitating problems.
Money can be a positive advantage but it's not a given and it certainly does not inure a person from life's real and difficult issues. For example, because divorce has become such an ordinary occurrence in the West, it takes quite a mental leap to suppose that children can actually be really badly affected by it and its ramifications because so many just appear to or in fact do just get on with life with no particular ill effects. But in truth, some people are really messed up by it. And they need an empathy that gets beyond the norm and actually acknowledges what the person is going through, particularly if the empathizer doesn't really think it's a big issue to be getting in a tizz about. Now, I'm not saying Abigail was messed up because of her parent's divorce, I don't know what her issues were and maybe she was exaggerating them, but what I think isn't really relevant. What's relevant is that she felt that she needed someone on whom she could unload her burdens and if it cost that amount of $$s and five days a week, at least at that point, then so be it.

All the people mentioned above did not have sheltered childhoods that I know of

I guess that depends on what is meant by sheltered. If you mean comfortable and above, Jones, Barrett, Ono and Townshend were certainly in that bracket.

Polanski spent a lot of his childhood scrapping for food and literally being shot at by German soldiers. I don't think he went to a shrink five times a week

No, but maybe he should have done. Maybe some of his predatory instincts may have been confronted and even nipped in the bud.


grimtraveller said...

Robert C said...

I guess the real question I have is why Flicker allowed five times a week for Folger ? Money, tryst or ??? That's 20 psychiatric visits a month !!! It's fishy ... but perhaps she wasn't doing that all year, every month

In the most curious way, Abigail was not so far removed from the woman that murdered her. One can see in her and Pat, a longing, a need for purpose {social worker/Sunday school teaching}, a need to be herself and be taken for who they were and both found that they needed someone outside of the family channels in which they could clear the internal debris. Dr Flicker was the legit avenue, Charlie Manson turned out not to be. It could be argued that both became dependent on the one they trusted to help sort out their being.
In the 1960s, opening oneself up from a state whereby things were just not talked about took a huge leap forward. Much of the original impetus of LSD and psilocybin experimentation was from the view of helping people break free from psychic trauma and no longer be held captive by one's past, even if it was a fairly recent past. Therapists weren't new but in that period, they became a lot more visible and as was pointed out in one of the earlier Gibbie posts {I think by Robert C}, it almost became a fashion to have one.
But suffice to say, there gradually became an emphasis on freeing oneself up, whether through drugs, gurus or some kind of therapy. Pat's path held promise but a dark reality dawned and with it, disastrous consequences. Abigail, on the other hand, was perhaps somewhat ahead of the curve and could afford to be. It seems she felt she needed some intensive stuff, if only for a while.

brownrice said...

A great series of posts, David... well done.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I wonder if the photo of Clapton listening to Joni play is the first time he heard her. So cool.
I dreamed last night Manson was hosting SNL and doing a skit dressed as an old woman being escorted around by two people into a store making wise cracks-pretty wacky.

David said...

brownrice,

I meant to apologize for a statement in an earlier post. It wasn't the label I was directing my feelings towards, it was the idea of treating dolphins the way the good "doctor" chose to proceed, that made him a 'whack job' to me. .

Thank you.

David said...

Folks,

Being rich, having an income without a job and being in a place where you feel the desire/obligation to help and being unable to make that happen had to hurt. I know that. She wrote a senior thesis about 'Politics In the Plays of Christopher Marlow' for goodness sakes. In 1964 she was not the person who volunteered in Watts, or at least that person wasn't in the forefront.

She comes from a background where she expected to have an impact, that is how it works in that world, trust me. Yet when she really got there, in the down and dirty, it didn't, and she burned out.

It wasn't the HA Free Medical Clinic, where mommy and others could volunteer for a few hours, write a check and move on- not that that is bad, it's not, it's good.

Bobby didn't win. Tom didn't win. She is from a world 'they' (Clapton, Cass etc.) don't know (although Can may have recognized it). She is the 1%. 'They' at the time reject that even if 'they' are seeking the same wealth she has.

Look at the society page write up about the Sebring event. She was 'known' in SF in elite society, and trying to fit in with hippies, even if they weren't really hippies.

If we assume Dr. Flicker didn't lie to the LAPD then her daily visits may have been short term: to plot a way to get away from a man who is/was less than the man I hope I am.

I will play the card: there is a certain undercurrent of at least emotional abuse here. There is a reference to a film I could not verify where he refers to Gibbie as 'my princess' or word to that effect. With all due respect to the deceased it is a fact there is absolutely no evidence Frykowski ever made a dime, ever tried to get a job or ever contributed. Matt may have said it best (above).

If she had depression issues from all of that, then her daily visits to Dr. Flicker are something I advise clients to do when they are leaving an abusive relationship. Or as an excellent judge once told me; "until they are here [getting a restraining order] for the third time, I know they will dismiss it."

My thoughts, my opinions. From what I have seen you will not see posts from me about the Polish Writer (not that that in any fashion justifies his murder, it does not).

David said...

Mr. Humphrat,

That photo is the one Henry Diltz is referring to:

"Crosby brought this young girl he’d just discovered – Joni Mitchell. She sat on the grass playing her guitar and Clapton sat there mesmerized with her playing. Joni Mitchell played differently, she tuned her guitar to a chord, and Eric Clapton had never seen that before."

That is when he snapped that shot.

[Aside: although I personally think Clapton is simply stoned to the ba-jezzus.}

brownrice said...

David said:
I meant to apologize for a statement in an earlier post. It wasn't the label I was directing my feelings towards, it was the idea of treating dolphins the way the good "doctor" chose to proceed, that made him a 'whack job' to me.

No need to apologise, David. It was a knee-jerk over-reaction on my part I suspect. Even if Lilly wasn't a complete whack-job back when he was doing his "dolphin research", he certainly devolved into one later on. Even good ol' Owsley reckoned that Lilly had lost the plot... he blamed the ketamine though of course :-)

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks David, I thought maybe it was a photo of that moment but wasn't sure

David said...

Brownrice said: “ Even good ol' Owsley reckoned that Lilly had lost the plot... ”

That may be my favorite comment of all time.

AstroCreep said...

David, I think there’s more to AF and her state of mind that you’ve yet to touch on.

As an example, I’m very close friends with a child (now grown) of one of the biggest and most well known and successful rock stars in America. I’ve watched this person struggle to find his/her own identity for many years. It’s incredibly hard to fill the shoes and live up to all the success/fame of the parent.

These people are also very much not real in a sense. They never know who is truly their friend and who is a clinger trying to use them. Many in this situation struggle and I’m sure AF felt many of the same feelings. Is VF using me? Can I just be normal and fit in with the hippies? What can I do to make a difference?

I think we all forget (to some degree) that the victims were so young- they weren’t given the option to figure it out because that was taken from them.

And, although she saw a shrink every day I believe AF was probably the most mentally stable of the bunch. Her actions didn’t impact the people around her because she was working on herself.

Robert C said...

Astro said: " I think we all forget (to some degree) that the victims were so young- they weren’t given the option to figure it out because that was taken from them. "

Pretty much what I've tried to say too. These are not wizened 70 year olds full of work experiences, lengthy baggage and deep insights like me. Folger was only 25 and Fry was 32.

By the way, as everyone knows, the pleasant but tainted Ceilo house was torn down and replaced by some grotesque in 1994. But a guy named Oman had a house built nearby and within several hundred feet of Folger's murder site in 1999 and the workers claimed voices and noises where there wasn't anyone. Later some unidentified's stated they saw a small woman in a white chemise running in the same area briefly at night (perfect horror story stuff). Others maintain it was a naked woman (perfect fantasy for guys who can't get a girlfriend).

But it was Oman himself who claimed one night the apparition of Jay Sebring appeared at the foot of his bed and pointed toward the site of the massacres, then faded away. Too much tequilla will do that. But even to this day Oman claims visitations continue but he's used to it. He's had innumerable ghostbuster psychics visit to solve the issues and also gives tours. Point being maybe Abigail is still around in a restless state with the others. For any who attend future Manson Blog tours, give David Oman a call for one although it does cost. But I digress ...

Frykowski often comes across as the bad guy or heavy in all this with claims he was a freeloader and ne'er-do'well. I'm not so sure. Polanski claims he helped financed some of his earlier film vignettes prior to (Polanski) hitting the big time. He already married twice before, I believe, but I'm not sure who was using whom or could it be that they (Fry & Gib) were actually in love with each other ?

I greatly appreciate David's efforts to fill out or in Abigail's **very short adult life of about 7 years ** and even before. Good research on an otherwise difficult subject to crack.




Trilby said...

Wonderful series of posts, Dreath. I really enjoyed reading them. 2 things: I had ascertained Dr. Flicker was alive about 4 yrs ago, but when I hesitated re: calling him (I've been battling serious illness for quite sometime, & it wasn't a priority at all.), a friend of mine called him & Dr. Flicker DID share alot of interesting info. And the person who owns what is said to be Abigail's car is a really great person, so I can't see why they wouldn't talk to you if you wanted. If you want, Matt has my e-mail &/or contact info & t/n (I've had about 5 IDs on these boards & groups over the last 20 yrs!). If you want to be put in touch with them, just let me know. Just give me until after Thanksgiving - in hospital again, going home tomorrow probably.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO THE MANSON BLOG CREW & READERS! :)

Torque said...

Excellent nuanced discussion by several of you here on the possible thinking of Abigail. I would like to add one as well. When we consider that since Abigail was wealthy, she may well have been confronted with the dizzying anxiety of possibility. That is to say, that she really did not have to accept a paying job. Rather, she was free to move about the country, so to speak. With the financial ability to basically do whatever she wanted, the anxiety of choosing exactly what to do created a crisis. On the other hand, for someone with less possibility of life choices, the anxiety of possibility is much less.

When LAPD interviewed Dr Flicker, I believe they wanted solid answers from him. I am of the belief that he told them the truth.

Yes, the idea that there may have been emotional abuse of Abigail by Voytek is certainly logical. Even a cursory reading of the existant literature suggests that Voytek was arrogant, and that Sharon wanted him out of the house.

However, there is every indication that Voytek was trying to help Abigail, due to the location he was found in on that terrible Saturday morning. Even Billy Doyle, in his taped intetview, said that Voytek would not let anything happen to Sharon. I believe Voytek possessed the attitude of a chivalrous and strong man, who would not stand by and let any harm come to the women around him.

The narcotics use was no doubt for fun, but also for self medication. This could have been a temporary panacea for Abigail. What it was for Voytek is perhaps less clear. I have always felt bad for Voytek, because he did not find the success of Roman, Witold-K, or other of his Polish friends here in America.

The relationship between Abigail and Voytek has also always perplexed me. I always wondered what she saw in him. Due to her wealth, she did not "need" a man to provide for her financially. Yet, even during that period of second wave feminism, vocational possibilities for women were certainly fewer than they are today. That said, even with her financial freedom, it may be likely that she did not know what to do with it.

These people sadly all died too young, and with their best work yet in front of them.

Trilby said...

P.S. Also, Dreath (& everyone): When I say "interesting info", I didn't mean to sound like a jackass & insinuate it was dramatic & case-related. Flicker just shared interesting info re: Abigail's aspirations/dreams & spoke very highly of her as a person. Sorry if anyone misunderstood.
Also, have you contacted Voytek's grandaughter? Very nice person & very talented photographer. Lastly, I have some more photos of 2774 Woodstock (& ones of Woodrow Wilson Elliot house), if you want the JPEGS for your files. The Woodstock ones were taken just before owner came out door & chased me down driveway ("Beware of Dog" aforementioned DOG having decided he, in fact, liked me & allowed me up driveway, etc. Owner = my moment of truth that I had aged/pounded out of my ability to use long blonde hair, soft voice & playing stupid, to achieve runs around the goalpost. *sigh*).

grimtraveller said...

Torque said...

With the financial ability to basically do whatever she wanted, the anxiety of choosing exactly what to do created a crisis. On the other hand, for someone with less possibility of life choices, the anxiety of possibility is much less

Good point, not totally dissimilar to some teenagers and their internet usage. By having so much at their fingertips many become bored so quickly and less willing to think deeply on things because there's just too much available, yet one is looking for something to do.

Even a cursory reading of the existant literature suggests that Voytek was arrogant, and that Sharon wanted him out of the house

To be honest, I think that was more to do with the coming of the baby than it was to do with Wojiciech. There just aren't many expectant mothers that want a wastrel around the house when they want the privacy and joy of motherhood bonding. I never get the impression she particularly wanted Abigail around either. I suspect she just wanted Roman, herself and baby for that initial period and face the rest of the world when she was good and ready.

However, there is every indication that Voytek was trying to help Abigail, due to the location he was found in on that terrible Saturday morning

I don't go along with that. When a couple of maniacs have been stabbing you, smashed a gun on your head and shot you and you've watched them shoot and stab your mate and tell two women, one of them pregnant, that they're going to die, all bets are off. One of the two shots Tex fired was fatal and that must have really hurt and impeded his movements and the other went into his leg. It seems that the blows to his head occured inside the house after the gun jammed and I guess by that stage flight was the only thing on his mind. By the time Tex caught up with him around the porch and the stabbing frenzy ensued, he wasn't able to move anywhere. That Abigail was set upon by Tex tells me that. Kasabian didn't see Tex move on Abigail so one can conclude that it happened after he'd rendered Wojiciech inert.

Even Billy Doyle, in his taped intetview, said that Voytek would not let anything happen to Sharon. I believe Voytek possessed the attitude of a chivalrous and strong man, who would not stand by and let any harm come to the women around him

He really had no say in the matter.

The narcotics use was no doubt for fun

At least initially.
I think it's easy to forget that while there were all kinds of significant reasons for people taking various drugs like curiosity, enlightenment, self realization, reality numbing, addiction etc, there was that element, that a lot of people took them because they liked them. Enjoyed the effects.

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said...

Astro said: "I think we all forget (to some degree) that the victims were so young- they weren’t given the option to figure it out because that was taken from them."

Pretty much what I've tried to say too. These are not wizened 70 year olds full of work experiences, lengthy baggage and deep insights like me


Actually, if you look at the import of what Astro is saying, he's pointing out that because they were young, the messes their heads were in {specifically Abigail's} never got a chance to be straightened out or ironed out with the wisdom that comes from experience and age {sometimes !}, not that there weren't issues that needed ironing out because they were too young to have them.

Torque said...

There is a quote I've seen, attributed to Kosinski, that says of Abigail and Voytek that, "they were both squares. But they were good for each other."

I wonder if Jerry ever considered that quote as famous last words ?

brownrice said...

Even good ol' Owsley reckoned that Lilly had lost the plot... he blamed the ketamine though of course

In Roger Daltrey's autobiography, Owsley specifically warns him to stay away from acid in 1967.

Doug Smith said...

Jerzy K
Chauncey Gardener
Peter Sellers

https://youtu.be/W6-Dx19MZzY

Speaking of squares...

brownrice said...

grimtraveller said...
In Roger Daltrey's autobiography, Owsley specifically warns him to stay away from acid in 1967.

Yes... well it makes for a good headline on a book review but like many an anecdote about Bear, it may or may not be true. If so, he must've thought Roger was particularly fragile. Still, it strikes me as very uncharacteristic... especially in '67.

Robert C said...

Grim said : " Actually, if you look at the import of what Astro is saying, he's pointing out that because they were young, the messes their heads were in {specifically Abigail's} never got a chance to be straightened out or ironed out with the wisdom that comes from experience and age {sometimes !}, not that there weren't issues that needed ironing out because they were too young to have them. "

I'm aware of what Astro meant. My return comment still stands.

grimtraveller said...

brownrice said...

like many an anecdote about Bear, it may or may not be true. If so, he must've thought Roger was particularly fragile

Probably. He was generally the level headed one in the Who and tended to avoid drugs. Interestingly, later on when talking about Woodstock and what a mess it was, he said that everything backstage was laced with acid and he avoided it but let his guard down when he had a cup of tea ~ a spiked one ! But even though he was tripping away {and he wasn't a tripper}, from the movie and the record, he seems to have been in good command of his faculties. I remember some years ago seeing an interview he gave where he points out he was the only one in the band that wasn't a junkie or an alcoholic {or both}.

Trilby said...

P.S. Also, Dreath (& everyone): When I say "interesting info", I didn't mean to sound like a jackass & insinuate it was dramatic & case-related

It didn't come across that way to me.

Chris Till said...

A fine piece of research, this is. Regarding the rumored Mama Cass connection, I'd never heard Michael Caine's story. Interesting. In Barney Hoskyn's 2005 book "Hotel California: Singer-Songwriters and Cocaine Cowboys in the L.A. Canyons 1967-1976," Denny Doherty, Mamas and Papas singer, is quoted thusly on Manson and Melcher: "Charlie got pissed off that they didn't think he was a fucking genius. His attitude was, 'Who the fuck is Terry Melcher? He can't even sing.'" To me, the implication from the quote is that Doherty knew Manson. Or knew of Manson. Or maybe Doherty just pieced that theory together later in life from wherever, I don't know. The quote is credited to a 2003 author interview with the now-deceased Doherty. As I recall, unrelatedly, and for what it's worth, Doherty was supposedly the unrequited love of Mama Cass's life.

Lynn said...

I am a huge Cass Elliot admirer, so find this post very intriguing. Yes, Cass loved Denny. I always find the Denny Doherty quotes insightful....he knew much, but said so little. When he did speak, you knew he saw much and his insights packed a powerful punch. I also find Abigail one of the most interesting and tragic of the victims. Thank you so much for this article and research.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Great essay Dreath, as always. The overwhelming sense I get is that after abandoning her social work in Watts, Abigail got lazy, unmotivated and irresponsible .... things that tend to go hand-in-hand. Living in the house on Cielo probably added to her estrangement to being productive .... and her scheduling with Flicker was a concerted attempt to motivate herself again. When reading about the goings-on of Folger and Frykowski, I always think of Sharon's complaint to her mother about "these people are always stoned".
As for the Cass household, it sure is a fascinating portal into a unique time. As a music freak, I was struck by the idea that Clapton was unfamiliar with open tunings in 1968. Seems strange, as many of the blues players he speaks so highly of used that method in their playing going back to the 1920s .... so this assertion here seems kind of odd.
Again, great job.