Monday, July 15, 2024

Linda Kasabian July 1971 Interview

The July 24, 1971 edition of The Montreal Star, (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) carried an interview with Linda Kasabian. The reporter went through a lot of trouble to find Linda as noted by the editor of the Weekend Magazine, a once a week feature of the newspaper.

Vincent Bugliosi tended to keep a tight rein on Linda, Gypsy Share and Barbara Hoyt by controlling the narrative that they could discuss with reporters. The reporter, Bill Trent, somehow slipped by Bugliosi and Linda's efforts to ward off the press and their questions. To Linda's credit, at least in Bugliosi's eyes, she revealed very little of her time with the Family. She talks briefly about Manson. There is only one incidence of her vaguely alluding to her feelings about the Family. 

The "Old Man" now plots the course of her life

By Bill Trent Weekend Magazine

 "There is internal revolution ahead. Chaos in the world. Then final rebellion..."

Linda Kasabian, speed-freak turned Jesus-freak, is speaking and her words sound harsh in this old, low-beamed 19th century room that once was a chicken house.

But, she claims, Jesus is within her and The Old Man is up there somewhere, plotting the course of her life like an ethereal navigator.

The Old Man is God. Why Old Man? Because He's the oldest being in the universe. She doesn't use the term in a derogatory sense.

"Children will rise against their parents and parents will kill their children..."

It is a warm, sunny day and the windows are open, letting in the sound the birds and the smell of New Hampshire lilacs. She pauses to absorb the sounds and scents.

A "wonderful" woman who lives in the adjoining house has given her the refurbished apartment in the old chicken house. It's a place in the woods off a secondary highway, far, she hopes, from the glare of publicity.

It doesn't bother the woman that her tenant was once charged in connection with one of the most bizarre series of murders in the history of the United States.

On Aug. 9, 1969, movie actress Sharon Tate and Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Voicyk Frokowski were murdered in a weird ritual in the star's Hollywood home. The following night, Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife were murdered in the same way. In all cases, the victims were stabbed repeatedly and in both homes the word "PIG" was written on the walls in blood.

Six people were charged with the murders- and Linda was one of them. The others were a bearded wild-eyed cult leader named Charles Manson, and Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie van Houten.

Of the six, Linda was the lucky one. She gave state's evidence and her murder charge was finally dropped. Manson and the three other girls were tried, found guilty and sentenced to death. They are now on death row at San Quentin. Watson, first declared insane, awaits trial in Los Angeles.

"There is so much pain and sorrow in the world," Linda says. "How can anybody be happy seeing other people suffer?"

It's hard to believe the words coming from this very pretty girl with the long sandy hair. She sits curled up in an antique chair with the sun on her face. It accents the paleness of the face.

"This kingdom must be destroyed and peace must come..."

Linda is 22 but in her blue jeans and barefooted, she looks almost child-like. And when she talks of Jesus, there is kind of a childish excitement in her voice. Jesus, she says, has come to her and lives inside of her.

She once thought that Charles Manson was the Messiah. She and the other girls charged in the Sharon Tate and LaBianca murders lived with him as members of his commune family on an abandoned movie ranch in California's Death Valley.

Some of the things that Manson said out on the desert seemed to Linda to be "pure truth". He generated love and she returned his love. To Linda, it was the second coming of Christ.

She no longer considers Manson to be the Messiah. Christ, she says, will come to the world one day but he won't be a California cult leader. He will be someone beautiful.

"Maybe he will come in a great white cloud. He will be seen by all the people in the world. Then evil will be eliminated from the earth."

Her husband, Bob Kasabian, enters the room. He has black silky hair down to his shoulders. He wears overalls that don't cover the top of his underwear. He wears no shoes. He sits on a chair and strums gently on his guitar.

"Christ will come soon." Linda says. "Perhaps in my lifetime. Certainly in my children's."

She has two children, a three-year old girl names Tonya and a one-year old son, Nathan, whom according to her own evidence in court, may have been fathered by any one of five men, including Charles Manson. She later said she thought Nathan was actually Kasabian's boy. "I saw my husband in my child's face when he was born," she related at the time.

"The Old Man has been watching me all along," she says. "He charted my course. He put me on the drug route and let me make my own decisions about things. But it was all part of a divine plan."

She speaks with disturbing matter-of-factness. What happened and what is ahead is all a matter of pre-ordainment.

"Drugs, free love, the whole hippie bit... You see I had to make the entire hippie trip."

A condition of our interview is that I won't ask her to discuss her past, particularly where it concerns the trial.

But in the quiet of the room, she reminisces without any prodding from me.

"We lived in an old slum apartment in Biddeford, Maine. Our first house was on a hill near a grocery store. There was a Catholic parochial school there and I used to go through their garbage cans and pick out roses they had thrown out..."

Linda's father at the time was a construction worker named Rosaire Drouin, whose parents had gone to Maine from Quebec.

"My mother and father fought a lot. My first recollection of childhood was sitting on a couch crying... My father finally left the house for good after we had moved to New Hampshire. My mother insisted he buy me some shoes before he left and he refused. But as he went out he slipped some pennies into my hand..."

She remembers her father driving around to the house to see her later. He aways had another woman in the car and Linda instinctively hated her.

"My mother and I grew close... She'd fix my banana curls and dress me in a pinafore and take me around showing me off to everybody...

"My father used to beat her on the behind as she stooped over the washing machine... But my stepfather was worse. Hiis name was Byrd and he had children of his own and he was always telling my mother how much better his kids were...

"I screamed at my stepfather one day, I said, "You hate me don't you?' He said, "Yeah, I hate you all right.' And I flipped. I just flipped..."

Linda remembers getting shipped off, during family arguments, to grandparents who lived in the country and kept horses.

"I always loved animals but I grew to like them more than people. I still do. Animals accept you as you are. They don't care what you've done before... They take you at face value, as you are right now...

"I talked to my grandparents' horses and I still talk to horses... It's not really talking. Do you know what I mean? It's communicating. You can communicate a lot without using words...

"I had this thing about all animals. I wanted to free all the dogs I saw chained up. I wanted to open up the cages at the zoo...

I kiss dogs. Did you know that dogs have the cleanest, most antiseptic mouths of any animals?

"In a sense, I suppose, I made love to animals..."

Linda recalls her school days with mixed feelings. She completed her elementary education and took a year of high school in Milford, the quiet little New Hampshire town in which she grew up. She was cheer leader in sixth grade and became her school's best athlete.

"We used to go down to the river and strip. There were boys and girls and we'd all roll around in the sand and feed the ducks and have a ball...

"But there was this kid, Larry, with the big bug eyes... He liked me and I guessed I like him, too. But we wouldn't let him come down to the river with us and this made him mad and one day he went to our teacher and then there was trouble...

"Then one day a girl I knew called me a dirty little river girl... But the boys liked me. Maybe because they thought of me as a river girl... None of those boys ever made it with me, though, and that damaged their egos..."

She remembers her disenchantment with the church:

"They told me God was a king. They told me about hellfire and damnation. The nuns told me after communion the non-Catholics went to hell. And I rebelled..."

At 16, she left her Milford home and went to Miami where she took her first drug.

"I was with this boy and we ran out of cigarettes and he gave me some marijuana... I didn't know what it was. But I liked the sensation. It was like walking on air. I wanted more..."

Linda travelled a lot after that- Boston, New York, California, Arizona, New Mexico. And she tried most of the drugs.

"I took acid one night in Boston. It wasn't a good trip...But one day in New York I got some fantastic acid. It wasn't the ordinary stuff you get. This was some pure pharmaceutical stuff...

"We were in this small apartment. The Rolling Stones were blaring away on the turntable. All of a sudden everyone was quiet. No one talked. And there was this marvelous silent kind of communication. I could feel it there in the room. It was like when I talked to horses. It's hard to describe unless you've had the experience..."

In 1967, Linda married Bob Kasabian and went west looking for a farm. They didn't find the farm but they came across a guru who moved in with them. It was the beginning of an experience.

"Bob thinks he's the first hippie to come out of his home town, Lawrence, Massachusetts. I think I was the first person who turned on in Milford... Anyway, the guru taught us how to sit and meditate. I started to get into myself. I began thinking of God. It was the opening of the door to the kingdom for me..."

Then things went wrong between Linda and Bob and they separated. Later he suggested a reunion and a trip to South America. Linda met him in California only to find he had changed his mind. There was another argument and another split. Then Linda ran into a girl with a tremendous idea. She knew a ranch in the desert where people could really communicate. It was run by a man named Manson.

There are no reminders of California in the Kasabians’ New Hampshire house. She never wants to see California again. But on the wall, there is a picture of a woman with some sheep. She is a Navajo. Linda clipped the picture out of the National Geographic magazine when she was in jail and pinned it to the wall of her cell.

“I’m still up-tight,” she says. “I blow up sometimes…”

She has blown up a number of times with newspaper reporters. She dislikes the press because she thinks it gave her a bad time during the trial.

But I have asked her if she has a message for young people on drugs, or contemplating going on thm, and she thinks the request is a valid one.

“Drug are a death trip… Mentally, physically and spiritually, they are destructive. I know. I’ve done the trip.”

Bob interrupts. “Don’t take the drug route,” he says, “Be A Jesus-freak.”

Linda suddenly remembers something:

“There was this beautiful little filly named Amber. She used to come across that meadow and sit in my lap and that was better than any acid trip I ever took…”

“We talk a lot about freedom,” Bob says. “Well, if freedom means being able to smoke hash in front of a cop, it’s not worth too much.”

“Freedom is a union with that man,” Linda says. She points to a picture of Jesus above the mattress that serves as their bed.

“She was a speed-freak,” Bob says.

“If I had taken it much longer, I would have been destroyed,” Linda cuts in.

She quit speed (amphetamines) when she first became pregnant. She takes no drugs at all now, she says, and would like to quit ordinary cigarettes, too.

“She won’t take a contraceptive either,” Bob says.

“The Pill is a form of murder,” she says. She pauses. “Abortion is murder, too. We follow the rhythm system- but do you know why? We don’t use it to avoid procreating. We use it to have children…”

Linda’s dog, half-shepherd, half-husky, runs in and licks everyone. Her name is Hopi, after the Arizona Indians with whom the Kasabians once lived.

“You can’t fool a dog or a child,” she says. “They can always spot a phony.”

Hopi brings a new turn to the conversation.

“There has been so much hypocrisy,” Linda says. “You see, the kids listened to people like John Lennon and their followers. The kids believed so much, you see…”

Bob plays softly on the guitar. Linda doesn’t talk now about Lennon. She speaks of anonymous people behind the scenes, the promoters she calls them.

They talk of peace and love and flowers and it was hypocrisy… They spoke of love- and prepared for violence…”

Bob interrupts: “They wanted to revolt against the system. But they wanted to set up another political system that was as bad.”

Later we go down the dark stairs of the one-time chicken house and into the big garden. Linda motions for quiet. In the distance there is the sound of running water. There is a dam nearby. Suddenly, I realize how remote you can be in New Hampshire.

“They chased us out of Marlborough,” Bob says. “Not exactly chased. But they found our shack in the woods and condemned the place.”

“They may chase us out of here,” Linda says. “But we’re set for that if the time comes.”

She shows me the pickup truck she and her husband bought. He does handyman jobs in the area. That truck got Linda back in the news briefly. She failed to have the vehicle inspected and was hauled into court and fined $15. The newspapers, of course, picked up the item.

Linda collects lilacs in the garden and Bob gets water from the spring. He pours some into paper cups and it is ice cold.

“What we really want is a log cabin way off somewhere, away from everything,” she says as I prepare to leave. “One that we made ourselves. And we want a big meadow where the animals can run free. We’d have sheep and shear the wool. And chickens for eggs. And I’d have a spinning wheel and loom som I could make my own clothes…

“And someday, when the Old Man thinks I’m ready, He’ll call. And I’ll know a oneness with Him and the universe.”

Monday, July 8, 2024

Charles Manson Parole Documents

 These two pages are documents that Manson received when he was paroled March 21, 1967. The first document is a standard form made out for all paroled persons. It was signed by Manson.

The second document is a Permission to Travel form filled out by hand. Besides giving Manson permission to travel to San Francisco, Spokane and Seattle, Washington there is parole office contact information for each of the cities.

Next to the info for San Francisco there is a phone number and the name Roger Smith that looks like it was written by Manson. The telephone number is for the San Francisco office of the Federal Probation Officer.

So, Manson was given permission from the moment of his release to go to San Francisco, Spokane, and Seattle. He was also given Roger Smith's name as the person to contact in San Francisco.


Monday, July 1, 2024

Danny DeCarlo's Rap Sheet


Danny DeCarlo 1959

The latest document drop from Cielodrive was a group of rap sheets. We have seen a few of them already but one we haven't seen is Danny DeCarlo's rap sheet.

According to Danny's father's naturalization records Danny was born June 20, 1944 in Toronto Canada. The family came to the United States March 18, 1952.

Almost all of the rap sheets we have seen were issued by the California Department of Justice in Sacramento (even Charles Manson's rap sheet) but Danny's was issued by the United States Department of Justice in Washington DC so the form looks a bit different.

At sixteen years old Danny was arrested for the possession of a snap blade in Los Angeles County. Today a snap blade knife is a utility knife with short blades that can be snapped off when becoming too dull to cut. 

Back in 1961 a snap blade knife differed from a switch blade knife, which was opened by pushing a button, lever or switch so that the blade could extend by either coming straight out of the handle or pivoting from the handle. A snap blade knife could be opened by simply snapping the wrist so that the blade would pivot out from the handle. 

July 5, 1961 Danny joined the United States Coast Guard at 17 years old. He appears to have served his four year committment before getting in trouble with the law again. His service number is provided if anyone wants to try to get his service records though it may be impossible because unless you are the person named in the records you will need to show that the person has died.

Nov. 6, 1965 Danny was arrested for possession of a weapon in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Four months later he was arrested by the US Marshal's for smuggling marijuana. He must have crossed state lines or possibly country borders for the US Marshal's to be involved. There are three entries for that arrest but other than the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office being involved there is no indication where the smuggling took place. My guess is that he was smuggling across the Mexican border. There wasn't much homegrown back in 1965 and most of the pot in California came from Mexico.

Danny had a couple of traffic violations in 1966 and 1967.

On Dec. 5, 1967 Danny was arrested for rape by force but those charges seem to have gone nowhere since in the disposition column it is noted "rel" which I take to mean released. I do not believe that Danny had hooked up with Manson at this point in time.

But by the next arrest on Mar. 29, 1969 Danny had hooked up with Manson. Both were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. The victim was Miriam (Romo) DeCarlo, Danny's wife. About ten days later the LA DA declined to charge the two because Miriam told the DA she wanted the matter dropped.

Danny was arrested using the name Richard Allen Smith during the Aug. 16,1969 Spahn Ranch Raid. Richard Allen Smith was the same name he used to illegally purchase a gun on July 14, 1969 in Los Angeles County. It appears that the illegally purchased gun caught up with him Sept. 12, 1969 as there was a Title 78 USC (United States Code) charge filed by the US Marshal's on that date.

Then on Oct. 15, 1969 there was a grand theft charge filed against him by the LA PD.

What is not included on the rap sheet which is dated Oct. 24, 1969 is the drug, grand theft and receiving stolen property charges. The grand theft and receiving stolen property crimes apparently took place in May 1969 and involved a motorcycle and engine owned by Edward Lee Shearer. But it looks like there was no arrest until mid Oct. 1969.

 A drug charge, possession of marijuana, was filed against Danny and a woman named June Ann Safranek. The paperwork is confusing because the drug charges are from an incident that occurred Dec. 11, 1968 but one of the pages say the drug charges are from Dec. 11, 1969 which was after the charges were filed and the two appeared in court. The first page of the documents is practically unreadable but the rest of the pages are fine.

Grand Theft Drugs pdf

To me, it looks like the drug charge was simple possession. There's no hint of a large quantity or sales. 

I was unable to learn much about the young woman, June Ann Safranek, who was arrested with Danny. She was from Simi Valley and 17 years old at the time of the offense. She was reported as a runaway by her mother in Nov. of 1967. June married young, age 15, in Dec. 1966 and had a child in March of 1967. The couple filed for a divorce in Feb. 1968. 

Monday, June 24, 2024

Nancy Pitman aka COBRA?

 In 1978 a House of Representives Select Commitee on Assassinations was created to explore the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. The file that was obtained mainly deals with requests made by the Committee for interviews with certain FBI agents and  for documents held by the FBI pertaining to King's assassination.

Inexplicably there is a document on page 38 of the file that was sent to the FBI director in reference to a couple of organizations that the Los Angeles office of the FBI identified as possibly being pertainent to the Committee's requests. The two organizations are COBRA and FREE RIGHT. The document goes on to name Nancy Laura Pitman, saying that COBRA was an alias used by her.

First, Cobra is not an alias that has been documented anywhere that I know of for Nancy Pitman. The document does not give any indication of when that intel was obtained by Los Angeles.

Second, why would Pitman have been included in an FBI file in the first place? She did not commit any federal crimes unlike Manson or Susan Atkins who was charged with the Dyer Act for the stolen car across state lines in 1966. There are probably a lot more FBI files on the Manson Family and hopefully we will see them some day.

I can't help but think that this is the kind of stuff that spawns conspiracy theories.

The complete 106 page file

Monday, June 17, 2024

Bill Scanlan Murphy, Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson


Aisling and father, Bill Scanlan Murphy

The Beach Boys, Charles Manson and my dad: a Father’s Day story

by Aisling Murphy

Original Story

My parents make noise for a living.

Mom is a professional opera singer and voice teacher. My father, at various points in his life, has been a session musician, church organist and electronic music programmer (not to mention a journalist, teacher and naval historian). So, growing up, I was surrounded by music.

Just after my fifth birthday, my dad, Bill Scanlan Murphy, decided it was time to sit me, his only kid, down at the piano.

He shared the bench with me as my fingers babbled over the keys. Slowly, he began to build a melody under my simple, rambling descant. Before long, my dad was playing “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, singing as he played, not minding the errant notes pealing from the right-hand side of the piano.

We played together like that often, him cycling through the Southern California band’s discography, and me experimenting with a soprano line, figuring out which notes sounded right. Before long, he was explaining basic music theory, showing me how I could play nearly any pop song using just four chords. When I took it upon myself to learn the theme from “Hannah Montana,” he taught me how to play a B-flat major chord on piano in a way that wouldn’t make my hands cramp up.

As I got a little older, I began to wonder just who these Beach Boys were and why they might be so important to my father. My dad’s always been eccentric; it didn’t occur to me at age eight to care much that he had performed with these rock stars, or that he’d had a close friendship with their drummer Dennis Wilson, or that his relationship with the band eventually led to him interview Charles Manson.

Now, at age 26, I care more, especially as another Father’s Day comes around. My dad just turned 70 — and the Beach Boys once again are in the headlines. I care quite a bit.

“I owed my mother some money,” he told me recently. “And she just wasn’t letting me off the hook. I was 18, and I needed to get some cash fast to pay the old lady off. So I went into the gig I didn’t want to do, which was playing jingles.”

It was 1972. My dad was living in Manchester, England, spending some time at home before going to study music at the University of Oxford. Though born in Glasgow, he’d moved to Manchester as a child.

“My jingle producer hated my guts,” he said, laughing. “He got a call during the session, and I only heard half of the conversation. But he got off the phone and asked if I knew ‘that Beach Boys s—t.’ And I said, well, of course I did. Who didn’t know the Beach Boys? As it turned out, they needed someone to play keyboards for them that night.”

He showed up to play the gig at King’s Hall. Whatever songs he didn’t already know, he was able to learn on the spot — and he got to meet the Beach Boys. He became particularly close with Wilson, who was known to be a drug-addled womanizer.

“He had a reputation of being dangerous,” my dad recalled. “He did a lot of drugs, and a lot of drinking, and he was actually a bit scary. But he was profoundly talented, and I got to know him really well. Over the next few years, he’d sometimes give me a call and have me come down to London and play.”

In June 1975, the Beach Boys had an opening slot at Elton John’s MidSummer Music bash, an all-day festival at London’s Wembley Stadium. Wilson called my dad to come play keys for a handful of songs.

“The place went crazy,” he said. “I had never seen a crowd react to a group like that before.” Today, that concert is regarded as one of the group’s great comeback performances.

My dad didn’t hang out with the other Beach Boys much — he was known by the band as “Dennis’ little buddy.” “I have never seen a gravitational pull like Dennis’,” he said. “He could talk to anyone. He was so self-destructive but so charismatic. I learned important things from Dennis and being around him.”

One day, Wilson told my dad about a songwriter he’d met a few years earlier. He was in awe of the guy, he said, adding that he also had decent guitar chops. He called him “The Wizard.”

But his name was Charles Manson.

My dad became fascinated by the connection between Manson and the Beach Boys, and in 1991 he created a documentary for BBC Radio One about “Smile,” the group’s legendary unreleased album. He continued to dig into Manson, finding himself at the centre of a story that became increasingly less about music and more about the convicted murderer’s criminal history. In the early ‘90s, my dad finally interviewed him in prison, and in 1994, he produced a radio show about the Beach Boys and Manson called “Cease to Exist.”

“Around the Beach Boys, there was always this unspoken rule,” my dad told me. “Don’t mention ‘Smile,’ and don’t mention Charlie. And of course, I did both. Making the ‘Smile’ documentary is something I’m really proud of — it’s the achievement I want on my tombstone. That’s the thing I hope people know about my relationship with the Beach Boys — not some tinkling on a keyboard for them at Wembley.”

After Wilson drowned in 1983, my dad kept chasing the Manson story. He’s even cited on page 666 of the paperback edition of “Helter Skelter,” the 1974 book by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry about Manson and his Family. He’s often called a conspiracy theorist on internet forums devoted to Manson. (In my early teens, I discovered an online movement dedicated to disproving my father’s theories on the Tate-LaBianca murders — not exactly something my friends at the time knew how to handle or even understand.)

These days, my dad’s life is a little quieter. He’s no longer hopping from party to party in Manchester or London; he and my mother left the U.K. in 1998 just a few months before I was born in Baltimore. My dad’s the organist and music director for the oldest Methodist church in the U.S.; he’s a professor with a dedicated following of electronic music students in Howard County, Md.; and he’s the proud owner of two geriatric bearded collies, both of whom share my family’s penchant for noisemaking.

“People used to think of me as the Manson guy, or the Beach Boys guy,” he said. “But around here these days, I’m the dog guy. And I’m happy with that. I’m perfectly happy to be the dog guy, and to be your dad. That’s good enough for me.”

Last year, I bought an electronic piano, one of my more expensive and less practical whims. Before that, I hadn’t lived with a piano since leaving my parents’ home for university in Canada in 2016. I wasn’t sure how easily the notes would come to my unpracticed fingers.

Without my thinking about it, the opening phrase to “God Only Knows” tumbled from my hands. It must be in my genes.


YouTube wouldn't let me embed the video of the two hour interview so here's the link. The sound is terrible.

This is narrated by Bill Scanlan Murphy and has some interesting moments. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Odds and Ends

 There's some more scratch in the linked file. There's a precursor to Deemer's list with a couple of names I don't recall being on the final list. And there are a couple of memos written by Millie McCormack, DA Frank Fowles secretary, about Susan Atkins and her child. I think we all knew that Susan kidnapped her son from the Sylmar Welfare Center but it's nice to see it in writing.

Scratch 3 File

Monday, June 3, 2024

Geraldo's Manson Family Reunion

It was a pathetic circus, but historical content nonetheless.


Monday, May 27, 2024

Clark Nagle and Robert Bomse


Clark Nagle and Robert Bomse were two young men that were arrested June 22,1968 along with Susan Atkins (Sadie Mae Glutz), Patricia Krenwinkel (Cathran Smith), Stephanie Rowe (Suzanne Scott), Ella Jo Bailey (Ella Beth Cinder), and Mary Brunner.

Bomse was considered an adult at 18 years old so he was named in the article. Clark Nagle was one of the 17 year olds and was not named. 

Cielo Drive obtained a number of files relating to the Manson Family from the Los Angeles County Districy Attorney's Office which he has been doling out for the past few months on his Patreon website. Files on Clark Nagle and Robert Bomse are two of those files.

Clark Nagle 1967

Clark Eugene Nagle, a juvenile at the time of the so called Witches of Mendocino arrests, was a troubled youth. He had a string of arrests and was a runaway from foster care in Mendocino County on June 22, 1968. His parents had washed their hands of him because of his uncontrollable behavior. Clark's file is probably typical of a youth who has lost his way and can see no other way to conduct their life except to drink, use drugs and be a general menace. 

The one thing that is interesting about his file is that Roger Smith was asked to enroll Clark in his Amphetamine Research Project. There are a few pages between pages 31 and 43 where Roger Smith is mentioned. There's even a letter signed by Roger Smith explaining a little about what he does. It appears that the project was to be run out of a group home in Bodega Bay (Sonoma County). The project was to be facilitated under the auspices of the University of California at San Francisco, Children's Hospital.

We have little or no documentation about Roger Smith and his project. Dr. David Smith from the Haight-Ashbury clinic does mention Roger Smith and his project in his book "Love Needs Care" but that doesn't equate to documentation. So, it's nice to see a little something and know who sponsored the project.

As for Clark going forward after his Boonville arrest, it appears that Mendocino County kept him in their custody until a couple of weeks before his 18th birthday  and then cut him loose. He was no longer their problem. Clark, according to newspaper articles was arrested again for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. His crimes weren't such that they warranted publication. He found the fortitude to get clean and eventually became a counselor at ABC Recovery Center in Indio CA. He was living in Palm Desert and working for ABC when he died Feb. 18, 1990, at age 39. 


Robert Michael Bomse was 18 years old when arrested. He was considered an adult. His file is confined to the the crimes he was arrested for on June 22, 1968. There is no real background other than saying he was from Brooklyn NY and his parents names.

Bomse pled guilty to possession of marijuana and was given a suspended sentence of 120  days in jail and two years probation. He was also ordered to the California State Hospital in Talmage (Mendocino County) for an evaluation.

Robert unlike Clark had a good relationship with his parents. His mother came out from New York soon after he was arrested. Presumably she helped him through the legal end of his arrest. It's what happened after his release that is notable.

Robert had such a good relationship with his parents that his father Dr. Emmanuel Bomse leased land in New Mexico for Robert and some of his New York friends to start the Kingdom of Heaven commune near Guadalupita NM. After a few months the locals took exception to the folks at the commune for applying for food stamps and other government handouts. They felt that the government assistance should go to the local people that really needed it as opposed to a bunch of college kids from out of state.

As a result six local men went to the Kingdom of Heaven commune and attacked. One of the men who came out from New York with Robert Bomse was killed. Bomse was hit in the head with a pistol and shoved in the trunk of a car with two other people. A woman was raped. In the end the locals got off pretty light.

The Hog Farm's New Mexico commune gets a mention in the Aug. 17, 1970 article.


There's not much of a trail on Bomse after the killing in New Mexico. There was a divorce announcement in the Hawaii Tribune Herald saying that Bonnie Bomse of Captain Cook, HI and Robert Bomse of London England had filed for divorce in Dec. 1972. 

Robert Bomse died in March 1984 at the age of 35.


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Fountain of the World is For Sale


California property with dark ties to 2 cults, including the Manson Family, lists for $6.2M


A promotional video for this listed California property calls it Xanadu — the fabled city built by Kublai Khan — but it’s not what many may think.


The massive parcel of wild land in Box Canyon in Southern California’s Simi Valley, which asks $6.2 million for sale, has a dark history.


For starters, the Spahn Movie Ranch, a former cowboy movie set where many western films and TV favorites like “Bonanza” were shot, is a neighboring property. Spahn was infamously taken over by the Manson Family in the late 1960s.


It was from up there, about 25 miles northwest of Hollywood, that Charles Manson and his followers plotted two of the most brutal multiple slayings in American history. Collectively known as the Tate-LaBianca murders, the six victims included actress Sharon Tate and her unborn child, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and the LaBiancas, an elderly couple. Charles Manson and several Family members were eventually convicted of nine murders, including these, but they are suspected in at least 15 more.


That certainly put the dilapidated Spahn Movie Ranch, owned by George Spahn, in the headlines. But it wasn’t Manson’s first choice as a place to hang his hat. Before moving a few miles west over to Spahn, Manson initially wanted to live on this plot of land in Box Canyon.


Today, this property listed as 585 Box Canyon Road is a serene 17-acre spread within the hills around the well-to-do town of Chatsworth. The land has several rental homes built among shading old oak trees at its lower elevation.


“It is a very unique property — huge, probably the largest in the area,” listing representative Chris Johnson told The Post. Johnson and his partner Holly Hatch — of Holly & Chris Luxury Homes Group, Coldwell Banker Calabasas — are handling the sale.


“It’s beautiful and peaceful, unspoiled. It’s like the wild, wild west up there,” he added. “But you’re very close to Calabasas and you can be in LA in 45 minutes.”


Those are the comforts of today. Even before Manson came along, bizarre events were already happening in Box Canyon.


In 1948, a man calling himself Krishna Venta (real name Frank Pencovic) founded the Fountain of the World cult, aka the WKFL (Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith and Love), there. It’s not entirely clear who owned the land at that time or how Venta acquired it. But smoke and mirrors was Venta’s modus operandi as he spun his doctrine to blindly faithful followers — one that said he came to Earth half a billion years before on a spaceship (he was born in San Francisco), and that he was the second coming of Jesus Christ. Venta also predicted that the human race would be all but obliterated after a black vs. white race war, also involving the Russians — it was the Cold War era, after all. The eventual survivors would, of course, be the Fountain members, who would then rise victorious in an inheriting the Earth-type scenario.


Venta wielded absolute power with his charismatic sermons from his pulpit in the Box Canyon compound’s church. He would make grand declarations, then sometimes miraculously disappear from the pulpit.


“There’s a tunnel on the property, which leads from the pulpit,” said Johnson with a laugh. “Apparently, he’d disappear and pop up and surprise people and say, ‘See, it’s a miracle! I really am Jesus,’” he added. “There are so many stories about this place it’s hard to keep up.”


One of them is especially tragic. Venta had a feud with a couple of men in the cult, who accused him of sexual interactions with their wives. Those men loaded up with explosives and blew up Venta in a suicide bombing, which also killed nine Fountain members — including children.


Apparently, according to UCLA records, Venta’s right hand man, Bishop Asiaiah, became the cult’s new leader. Around 1968, the already much-troubled Manson and his followers moved in, and Manson tried to take over the cult.


The already-mentally unstable Manson is thought to have admired Venta and is said to have wanted to emulate the way he had absolute control over his followers. Also, Venta’s doctrine is eerily similar to Manson’s rantings about a race war destroying the US, and it is widely thought that the cult leader’s influence steered him onto his megalomaniacal path.


“Manson seems to have viewed Krisna Venta as a role model,” Hatch agreed. “The new leader tried to push Manson out of the way. That’s how Manson and his followers ended up at nearby Spahn Movie Ranch.”


Apparently, Bishop Asiaiah may have thought Manson a bit of a loser, and mocked him, saying Manson didn’t hold absolute power over his followers like he and Venta did. According to local lore, to show Bishop Asiaiah who was boss, Manson challenged one of his own followers to prove his loyalty by tying himself to a pole on a nearby rock formation, telling him to stay there for two weeks.


That cave-like rock, shaped like a wolf’s skull, is called Skull Rock.


“Yes, Skull Rock is right there on the Box Canyon property,” said Johnson, who had heard the story. “The land has so many caves. I grew up in the area and would hike the hills with my father. The locals called the caves up there the Manson Caves, because the Manson Family members would use them.


“After the murders,” he added, “the Manson girls are said to have fled to the caves to hide out. They would certainly have known about them, so that story is quite likely.”


Hatch agreed: “They knew where to hide up there because they had been there on the property so much.”


The property includes 11 parcels with several buildings, which date to the Fountain’s occupation, including the original main lodge.


“Nobody has done much with the buildings since then. They are lived in, but they need modernization,” said Hatch.


“The land has three artisan wells, and there are waterfalls and seasonal creeks,” added Johnson. “It’s really beautiful.”


Spahn Movie Ranch burned to the ground in 1970. A couple years after, the Fountain began petering out with members dispersing to found or join other cults — two members even died in Jim Jones’ Jonestown mass suicide in 1978 in Guyana.


Only one member of the Manson Family murderers has been freed from prison; Manson himself died in prison in California in 2017 at age 83.


After the Fountain folks moved on, the current family acquired the land and buildings, and it’s been happily inhabited ever since by many tenants.


Hatch and Johnson are wary of oddballs being attracted to this listing, but neither thinks the controversy surrounding Box Canyon will harm the property’s sale.


“There’s so much more to this intricate property than that controversial side,” Hatch said. “Most people know it for its incredible landscape. It’s magical; it’s very different. Nobody says anything negative about it. This would be perfect as a resort or wellness center with a focus on healing.”


“I don’t think it’s a big deal, the property speaks for itself,” agreed Johnson. “It’s very creative and … flowing. It would make a great resort or artist colony. It’s similar to Topanga Canyon, but Topanga has become so oversubscribed. Box Canyon is still undiscovered. It’s quiet, untouched and mountainous. It’s the last frontier of LA.”

Original Article

A detective magazine story on the bombing.