Monday, January 27, 2020

The Col Presents: THE LAST WORD on DEBRA TATE

The thing about research/journalism/writing is that the writer has a tendency to focus on their story predicated on the supposition that the reader is up to speed on things on their end.  This is a mistake.  Thus the Col will give you a quick summary on Debra Tate.

Debra Tate is the middle daughter of Paul and Doris Tate.  She was a teenager when the murders took place.  Even before the murders she was clearly troubled and a problem to her parents.  Soon after the murders their father, Colonel Paul Tate discovered fully nude photos of his daughter Debra hanging out with some of the drug related suspects of the murders and lost his shit in disbelief. The relationship with Debra was always contentious with both parents at a loss as to what to do.

A fully nude pictorial in OUI magazine in the 70s didn't help things within the Tate Clan, nor did Debra's disdain for younger sister Patti's relationship with a woman.  Whether Debra is fully homophobic or just hangs out with homophobes (like Robin/Vera Dreiser of this blog) is not full clear but Patti died in 1997 and Debra has not associated with her nephew and nieces since.


Mom Doris Tate was a gangster and revolutionized victim's rights.  When it became clear she was dying she made sure that Patti became the next designated rep at the Parole Hearings of the asshole killers. It was too much for Paul and Debra could not be counted on. The fact that NOW Debra attends has as much to do with attention seeking as it does anything else- it was NOT what Doris or Paul would have wanted because they knew she was unreliable.  Doris always also understood that here were FOUR people who were responsible for her darling Sharon's death (5 if we include Charlie) and wanted to make sure they stayed locked up- she didn't fuck around with the other killers by showing up at their Parole hearings as emotional support.  She had a job to get done and by gum she did it the best she knew how.


When Doris died the house in Palos Verdes as I understand it was sold to Patti's GF though Colonel Paul and his eventual new GF would live there during their lives.  Debra hated this and hated the fact that her father would not give her any of the Sharon belongings stored in the house.


The "Estate of Sharon Tate" was distributed to Col Paul and Doris (remember Polanski agreeing to this?)  This did include some likeness and name rights.  When Colonel Paul died the Estate of Sharon Tate was left to Patti's children and Debra's daughter.

Debra's daughter (who was at one point available for nude photography and perhaps more online) is an attractive woman whose body seems to be 96% covered in tats, in my non-educated opinion a sign that you do not really like the way you look.  The ex husband had a police record of drug use and abuse.

Debra for many years in the 2000s had her "friend" Don Wilson, a convicted sex offender, as her sometimes assistant/representative, until he went away for prison stint.

Debra over the last 15 years would threaten people about using Sharon's name and likeness regularly.  Usually she would do this with people who didn't even need any rights in the first place, but as noted above, she doesn't have any rights ANYWAY.  This doesn't stop the general public from thinking she does and acting accordingly.

Debra has claimed that while working as a Postal carrier she was damaged by a mail bomb.  We know she has collected money for this but try as we might we cannot prove this actually happened.

Recently, Debra collected $18,000 on GoFundMe for breast cancer treatment.  I've seen this disease up close and it is sickening.  I hope Debra is cancer free- the concern is I have been told by some sources that she was always cancer free.

Last year Debra held an auction of Sharon's things to benefit her favorite cause, Debra Tate.  How did she get these possessions?  According to my sources, she "wanted all of Sharon's stuff" and threatened to sue her father, to commit her father, to attack her father if she didn't get them.  Col Paul finally relented and had Patti's GF put together a trunk of stuff- but it was to be left at the bottom of the driveway and Debra was not to enter the house.   And so it was.


In an act that made me actually hire a lawyer and do some Estate planning, Colonel Paul didn't fill out some fucking form and so his ashes went to next of kin- Debra.  Colonel Paul is NOT buried in Holy Cross next to Doris and Sharon.  His grandchildren from Patti have no idea where their grandpa's remains are, although it is safe to say that Debra does.  Perhaps she looks at them and laughs and does all kinds of Shakespeare shit.  She certainly seems small and petty enough.

---------

One of the things Debra  and her fangirls wanted to do circa 2000 was get Sharon Tate a STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME.  This is a tourist thing along Hollywood Boulevard from La Brea Avenue to Vine Street.   I promised you that without a book you will not know even 50% of the honorees.  Since stars are based on your field, some folks have like 4 stars.  It is historical, with honorees dating back to the silent era.

It is also a worthless "award".  Nowadays they have ceremonies a few times a year- usually the recipient is promoting something.  And someone, usually a studio, has to agree to pay $25,000 for the Star and more for the event.  At one point I believe Debra et al were going to take up a collection for a star for Sharon.  This never happened.  As far as I know they never contacted the right people to even start the process.

Again, this is not a "worthiness" test so even a meh actor like Sharon Tate could certainly get a star.  It's political and promotional more than anything.

When Tarantino announced his film ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD Debra did an early interview in which she excoriated the film sight unseen.
Debra tells TMZ she believes Leo and Brad only saw the Benjamins when they signed up to star in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" ... a film about a struggling actor who lives next door to Sharon Tate at the time of the 1969 murders. 
Debra says, "To [celebrities] it's a paycheck and these people just don't care. They are terribly hurtful to the actual family and all the living victims. They don't give a sh*t." 
She goes on to say she'd like to believe Brad and Leo haven't thought this through because they're "throwing all their social responsibility to the wind." 
As for her feelings about Quentin, Debra's adamant his movie will just end up glorifying Manson ... given Quentin's thirst for eroticizing murders.
Then a few short months later, Debra was on board, loves the script, Tarantino was amazing, the film really reflect Sharon etc etc etc.


What happened?

Mommy got paid of course.  Sources tell me the number was close to $50,000 simoleons.

But think a bit- Debra is the sole surviving key member of Sharon's family.  Sony cannot have her out there dissing their $90 million film with big movie stars.  VICTIM!!!!!

But where did that number come from?  The initial discussion from Tom Rothman the studio Chairman was to get Sharon a star.  This made sense-   Publicity for the film and something Debra allegedly wants. AMIRITE? Or door #2, take the money and run.

I believe my sources, but let's be chill- maybe they are wrong and the Star was never an option offered from Sony.  I promise you 100% Sony would have gone for it if Debra had wanted it- they had a big problem with her as a loose cannon out there.

She didn't want it.

The "Last Word" on Debra Tate?  Next time someone like Tom O'Neill (god I cannot stop hating on that guy) screams at me (or any of you)  that she was a victim too, hang up on the loser.  Doris, Paul and Patti were victims but they were not horrible people.


NEXT UP : The Col Presents THE LAST WORD on ROBERT HENDRICKSON


Monday, January 20, 2020

The Col Presents : THE LAST WORD on Quentin Tarantino's ONCE UPON A TIME ...IN HOLLYWOOD

We'll begin by acknowledging a history with Tarantino that dates back to 1991.  It resolved itself by 1998.  Except for minimal "hi/bye" interactions with the guy since then, there's no issues on either side.

I saw the movie ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD twice.  Like in all things in this world, I feel the word "amazing" should be used sparingly.

I felt the music was AMAZING.  One of the greatest soundtracks of the year.  Just awesome, playable on its own, fantastic.Image result for once upon a time in hollywood lp

I felt the production design, recreating the era was AMAZING.  One day during the shoot I made a bad turn and ended up in the parking lot base camp.  I felt like I was there, on Hollywood Boulevard 1969.  I got my ass out of there rather than trip out.  But it was cool.

I felt that Brad Pitt was AMAZING.  Funny.  Cool.  He has always been a great actor but man was he a blast in this film.  Funny.  Tough.  Wry.  Hell, even hot.

I did not like the film overall- there's two reasons.

FIRST- and thankfully easiest, "what is the story of the film overall?".   I would say- "Flailing and failing actor in 1969 worries about his career going down the shitter and shares with his stunt double."  

LAME.  BORING.  WHO THE F  CARES????Image result for once upon a time in hollywood margot feet

But this isn't Slashfilm, this is the last remaining TLB Blog not run by the mentally deficient.

What we want to do is examine the Manson stuff in the film, and by extension some of the Tate stuff too.

Perhaps we can try to categorize scenes

1- Spahn Ranch- very key sequence for TLB folks
2- Stray Manson shits
3- Assault on Cielo Drive
4- Sharon Mains (Theatre, Final Montage)

1- The production department did a great job in this scene.  With the notable exception of Spahn's house it feels like the Ranch- they went to Corriganville and looked at the photos and made it look amazing.  Horse rides.  Check.  Tex leading in Charlie's absence?  Sure why not.  Gypsy was a babe, Dunham anything but, but sure let's take it.  Their attempt to put BOBBY in the background in a top hat looking like a mental patient when he was considered extremely beautiful was bizarre.  Using real names of some people versus made up names (Sundance ffs?) makes no sense- it was not for legal reasons, Gypsy is still alive.  But the sequence is strange and pointless.

There is this dramatic buildup with Squeaky (and her feet!) that establishes....ummm nothing.
Cliff forces himself into see George who he barely knows and....ummmm nothing.
Cliff promises to come check on George- and he never does
Cliff beats the living fuck out of Clem and makes him change the tire- this establishes that Cliff is prone to violence (setting up the end), but the Bruce Lee sequence shows that just as well.
Picking up the hippie chick is a great scene and of course she would love to get him to join the Clan- but she doesn't really try and flips on him too easily.

But you know what rings like holy empty bullshit? All the Family gathering outside the house to have a showdown with Cliff.   Which never happens/ And never happened.  There was never a show of force.  And where did this "you cannot see George" bullshit come from?

It is a fun scene, it is a pretty scene, but it is Tarantino's attempt to make the Family scary and intimidating long before any murders happened and it doesn't ring true.  Squeaky called the shots?  Rats in traps out of PSYCHO?Image result for once upon a time in hollywood margot feet

Literally the only purpose I can see in this sequence, which is long, is to have Tex meet Cliff and have Cliff mock him before the later home invasion.

2- Charlie shows up in the Twinkie Truck looking for Terry.  This scene, the only for the poor actor playing Charlie, is just so people can go "Oh look, Manson."  It is fine and mercifully brief. Andie MacDowell's daughter on the street corner is suitably cute and sexy and nuts.  There is almost nothing else in the movie about Manson before the Assault.

3- Assault on Cielo Drive- Five people, real living people including an 8.5 month pregnant woman were slaughtered by drugged out hippie idiots on Cielo Drive on that date in 1969.  It wasn't funny.  It was chaos- ropes, bullets, gun butts, knives, blood, death.  Real people died.

I could maybe see if you wanted to do a fairy tale where the five people lived and you taught me all about them so I cared.  But Steve Parent doesn't even exist in this QT world. Voytek and Abby are nothing.  Less than nothing.  Only Sharon has any real (minimal screen time).  "Saving" these characters (which isn't even what really happen) has no depth whatsoever.

Also, as scholars what jumped out at all of us?  Charlie didn't send Tex and Sadie and Patty and Uma Thurman's boring daughter to just kill some rando straights in Bel Air.  He sent them to kill everyone at Melcher's house (or something).  It was designated, it was targeted, it was purposeful.  To this day we debate what the purpose was but it could NOT have been any other house that night.  So the convoluted conversation in the car quoting Hendrickson's film about the love of violence where they decide fuck it let's kill that Western actor- it is nonsense.

For Tarantino's plot  to work they have to switch houses.  Rick doesn't save Sharon in HER house.  Rick and Cliff do not save her at all.  In this reality they never know she was even the target.  They are scarcely even heroic- they save themselves from a drugged out  hippie home invasion.  Yes this is good but it is not heroism.

I cannot address the violent deaths of Katie, Tex and Sadie because they are absurd and come out of fucking no where.  I did laugh at the "I am the devil" exchange, but Voytek waking up to this terrified and Cliff tripping on an lsd cigarette ( no such thing btw) are way different.

Hell everything about the assault is movie nonsense.  Uma Jr runs away with the car and they shrug?  Sure.  Superhuman dog with snapping jaws.  Sure why not.  Working, filled flame thrower just a few steps away?

And what is the result?  Two dead girls that we know NOTHING about.  One dead Tex who we saw for 2 minutes previously- this is all so Tarantino can make them cutouts we don't give a shit about. Go ahead toast them, they mean nothing.  They were stupid enough to switch houses!Image result for once upon a time in hollywood spahn house

REAL PEOPLE DIED THAT DAY.  They were not "saved" because the killers went next door.

And anyway, the real life death of Susan Atkins, death by 1000 papercuts, was more deserved that an instant shish kabob anyway.

4-  Sharon at the Westwood theatre and in the Westwood Theatre and the Final Montage-

The whole Westwood theatre sequence is sweet (even the dirty feet).  The real Sharon doesn't seem all that innocent or "good" as Tarantino calls her.  She partied with the rest of them (look at PLAYBOY AFTER DARK sequence).  It does make her seem like a ditz.  It does give her some dimension.  She is still not a real character but it is a sweet sequence.

I was less pleased by the pre-Assault montage.  Pregnancy melancholia?  What the actual fuck is that?   Why go to El Coyote and then use a different table?

I don't know- QT saves Sharon but it doesn't feel like a real person.

-------
The film just got a boatload of noms and will win for Cliff and script 100%.  The four hour cut, coming in a year or so will be fascinating.  Ultimately though a mediocre actor stops some hippies who might have killed a cipher.  That's the story and it is a pretty weak one, when most of us know so many much more interesting details.


NEXT: The Col Present: THE LAST WORD on DEBRA TATE

Friday, January 17, 2020

WFAA Footage from 50 Years ago Today regarding Collin County's finest - Tex Watson


Thanks, Tom!




Monday, January 13, 2020

The Col Presents: THE LAST WORD on Tom O'Neill's CHAOS

In 1992 a hoax was published, THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER, in which the forever unknown killer was alleged to have been the husband of  a 1880s woman poisoner.  It was nonsense, attempting to link two separate but famous murders of the time, akin to alleging that Richard Speck was the Zodiac.

Image result for tom o'neill chaos

Longtime Manson Researchers no doubt have seen Maury Terry's THE ULTIMATE EVIL on the fifty cent rack during a library sale.  Written in 1987 it is one long series of conspiracies that essentially allege satanists all over the United States getting together and killing randos because reasons.  The Son of Sam?  Charles Manson?  CIA?  Mind Control?  Sure why not.

It is a supremely silly book.


In 2003 a sad, deranged individual named Steven Hodel published a book called BLACK DAHLIA AVENGER where he tries to work his Daddy issues out by blaming his deceased father (of course) for a string on unsolved woman murders in LA in the 1940s.  Since idiots listened to him he has published multiple subsequent books in which he alleges Daddy was The Lipstick Killer and The Zodiac and who knows who else, maybe he killed Hoffa too.


The above trend shows you that the True Crime arena is sloppy, lazy and filled with people alleging absolute bullshit without any proof- oh, as long as the people being talked about are dead.

On February 4, 2019 I reviewed on this illustrious blog the first section of CHAOS by Tom O'Neill.  In that review I noted my history with Mr. Tom and provided evidence that he was a dick  I also pointed out that the book was, as far as that section was concerned, filled with lies and incorrect statements.  I offered to help review the rest of the manuscript and took the liberty of offering the assistance of you all (blog readers) to try to get things right.  Tom of course refused.

The book came out, sold a few copies and has vanished.  No serious researcher will ever consult it.

Tom as a "journalist" (his jacket blurb lists only magazine writing credits for mags that have been shut for over a decade) is of the slimy type who works like this- "Answer my question".  "No comment." " Well if you don't answer my question (which you have every right not to do) I have to conclude you have something bad to hide"  He states several times that he tried to get a hold of celebrities and others who did not want to speak with him, then implies that they are guilty of some unexplained shit.

But once the finished volume came out the whole thing turned into the ramblings of a deranged fan.  In fact much of it reads as bad fan fiction, if you were a fan of shitty sixties spy novels.

A good portion of the book is all about how hard it was for Tom to write the book.  They advertised that it was 20 YEARS!! in the making as if that was a good thing.  It took 20 years because he waited for people to die so he could accuse them of things.

For example- BUG was a punk.  My hatred for BUG was public on the ONLY Official TLB Blog while Bug was alive.  I had clear reasons- he made up the motive that has confused this case for 50 years.  He lied under oath,.  He stalked his milkman.  He beat his mistress.  You do not usually get an actual crazy person in charge of a major prosecution but then we haven't had an actual crazy President before now.

But you have to remember Tom is an angry, credulous child.  He befriends BUG to get background for his book.  BUG wants to control the narrative (shocking!).  He and BUG fight.  He gets a hold of some documents (not reprinted in any format) and alleges BUG committed perjury.  BUG threatens him.  O'Neill is freaked out.

What the hell did he think was going to happen?

I focused on this section (the rest gets worse) because back when I liked the guy (pre his TV interviews about Charlie's Karate School Inc) I knew he had met with Terry Melcher and gotten some hot information from him.  It was a secret rendezvous on a rooftop.  This was over 15 years ago and conveniently Melcher is dead now.

The big reveal is that Melcher probably hung out at the Ranch again at least once after the murders. OO-EE-OO.  BUG hid that from the defense. If it had ever come out....what?  I mean Crazy Tom basically says that this BOMBSHELL would lead to the killers being released.  Uh huh.

So this is not useful, is not interesting and could only matter to Terry and BUG.  But you read the book and you conclude that this is better than DNA- to Tom O'Neill.

The second half of the book goes the full Conspiracy Tinfoil Gamut.  Manson's parole officer was CIA.  Another dead guy was the linchpin for a mind control operation.  Jet fuel cannot burn steel girders.  Kubrick shot the fake moon landing. HAIL Q!

Tom contacted me in June after the book was published to ask if I had any questions.  I held off on this review because it seemed pointless.  The book was not mattering because it was the life's work of an angry wannabe journalist who was going to publish the book no matter what, even if there was no story.

Tom hopes his readers will fall for shit people fall for on the internet all the time. Life is not a narrative.  It doesn't always make sense one hundred percent. There are things I cannot explain about Amanda Knox's behavior, but there is plenty of evidence that she killed her roommate.  I am uncertain if Charlie did go back to Cielo; I do not know whose glasses they were; I think Kasabian was more involved.  But Tex Watson and the girls still stabbed all those people.  Not being able to explain EVERYTHING does not make a case weak.

I am sad this book is out, because that means I cannot mock Tom about it any more.

I hope he found the journey worth it.  The end product was a waste.


UP NEXT: The Col Presents THE LAST WORD on ONCE UPON A TIME ...IN HOLLYWOOD

Monday, January 6, 2020

Tex Watson Locations







Monday, December 30, 2019

TJ Walleman interview from 1970







Monday, December 23, 2019

Missing 911


Anomalies in the 911 Police Response Time at the Tate Crime Scene



There is a huge oddity in this case that appears in the first few pages of Bugliosi's Helter Skelter, though I've never seen it commented on anywhere.  That is the curious, lengthy delay in the arrival of police first responders after getting the first 911 calls from the Asin residence at 10090 Cielo Drive (next door to the Kott residence, which was itself next door to 10050 Cielo) that reported a suspected homicide(or multiple homicides) on the morning of August 9nth.


Helter Skelter, pg5
Winifred Chapman sees two bodies--one on the lawn and another in the white Rambler.

pg6
Neighbor Jim Asin, 15, called 911. 

"While they were trying to calm the hysterical Mrs. Chapman, Jim dialed the police emergency number.  Trained by the scouts to be exact, he noted the time: 8:33am."

"Jim called the police a second time, and some minutes later, a third."

Was he, too, wondering at the delay in the police response?

 Jim Asin





















pg6
"There is some confusion as to exactly what happened to the (911)calls.  The official police report only states, "At 9:14 hours, West Los Angeles Units 8L5(DeRosa) and 8L62(Whisenhunt) were given a radio call, 'Code 2, possible homicide, 10050 Cielo Drive.' " "

"The confusion extends to the arrival time of the units.  Officer DeRosa would later testify he arrived about 9:05am, which was before he supposedly received the Code 2.  Officer Whisenhunt, who came next, set the time of his arrival between 9:15am and 9:25am, while officer Burbridge, who arrived after both men, testified he was there at 8:40am."

You would think Asin's 911 calls would have been logged in somewhere with the times the calls were made, to help clear up this 'confusion.'  But that 911 information is missing.


So the official timeline says patrol units got their first radio alert at 9:14am.  If the first 911 call came in at
8:33am, and if you add a couple of minutes for the police to drive to the crime scene, then you've got about 45 minutes between the first 911 call and when the cops showed up.

45 minutes?  On a suspected multiple homicide call...  in Bel-Air...  on a quiet Saturday morning? 


 
What's wrong with this picture?  If you don't think that is unusual, ask yourself this:  'If I called 911 to report a suspected homicide(s), how long before police show up at my door?'  Where I live, the response time in minutes would probably be in the single digits.  And I don't live in Bel-Air.

So what is your theory on this bizarre and unexplained delay in the 911 response time? 


 *In comparison, at the LaBianca crime scene, it was at most 15 minutes from the 911 call to when the cops showed up.

-------------------------

Another curious delay:

pg11
"It was 9:40am.  DeRosa called in, reporting five deaths and a suspect in custody."

pg16
"It was 1:30pm before the first homicide detectives arrived."

Almost four hours between the report of five homicides in a rich part of town and the arrival of a single homicide detective?*  Normally you would expect the homicide detectives to respond as quickly as possible, as they know how a crime scene can become adulterated by officers and responders tromping all over the scene--which is what happened at Cielo Drive.

*In comparison, at the LaBianca crime scene, it took about two hours for the homicide detectives to show up.


Monday, December 16, 2019

NBC LA

Here are a few recently released videos of Manson related things from NBC Los Angeles.  The interview with Manson is with Tom Snyder and may have already been shown or it might be some stuff that wasn't in the original that aired in 1989.

The Susan Atkins vid has a short interview with Donald Laisure, Atkin's first husband.  Boy he was a beaut!


Manson Followers React to Verdict.





Raw Footage of Press conference Following Tate Murders




One on One Interview With Susan Atkins




One on One Interview With Charles Manson



Monday, December 9, 2019

Genuine Remorse?

It's been a long, long time folks, but wanted to post an old 60 Minutes Australia video clip I found of Susan Atkins (and her dragon lady fingernails) weeping, claiming remorse and putting on a damn good act. Personally, I don't buy it. Is my opinion popular on this blog? Nope, it never has been, but that's ok. Thoughts?







Monday, December 2, 2019

Eve Babitz's Bummer Bob


Blog reader Cristiane brought this book to my attention recently. Eve Babitz was once a fairly common name in Hollywood. This book is described as partially fictive, but this short chapter on Bobby B seems accurate. if you have any interest in reading the book it can either be read on-line or downloaded here.

------------------------------

BUMMER BOB

"Hi," I said. What was her name?

It was another one of those faces, a friend of Karen's, I pieced together, and someone else, too, that guy Bob.

She and Bob had been close and I always saw them at Cantor's together when LSD was the rage. Everyone would leave the Strip at 2 when the clubs closed and go to Cantor's en masse so blasted out of their heads that if you asked someone what time it was they backed away, wide-eyed, as though you'd presented them with a philosophical impossibility. Bob was adorable but so obnoxious that he wore his nickname on his lapel. He'd had it made into a button and it said, "I am Bummer Bob."

Bummers were when the acid had something in it that didn't agree with you. It was anything else disagreeable and a drag as well, so you can't say he didn't tell you. Except that he looked like an archangel. Bright.

People said he was a narc and a thief, but I knew he wasn't sophisticated to be either of those when I let him stay at my house once for a week with his white dog. He needed someplace to stay, nobody would talk to him, and even though I didn't sleep with him, he was beautiful and couldn't help it that he was such a bummer. He never understood anything and always asked the wrong questions. He was so unable to understand anything and he shorted out so many trains of thought that people thought he was a narc. He never took anything from my house when he stayed there, he even tried to buy food.


He left L.A. and I had heard that he'd moved to the country.

After I came back from New York and was up in San Francisco, I ran into him one night in the Fillmore. He was playing guitar in a band, and the leader of the band, my friend, had complained of him and how disruptive he was.

"What else can you expect from someone called Bummer Bob?" I asked.

"I never heard that before," he said.

"That's what he's called," I said. We were upstairs at the Fillmore, and there was Bob, dressed dramatically in black with a top hat and a cape. A look of sudden surprised hospitality flooded his face when he saw me, completely the opposite of the black cape, and he said, like a kid, "Wowie, Evie!"

My friend, the leader, was amazed later, he'd never seen him look like that before. Shortly thereafter, Bob left the group in a lurch and quit rock and roll or said he was going to.

"It's just as well," I told my friend.

Now, I faced this girl in Ohrbach's and I couldn't remember her name. She'd just been, like me, a friend to him when no one would be. She'd been more than me because she'd loved him, I thought, and he had telephoned her from my house every day because he

cared about her. It was a time when no one cared about anyone, so I noticed.

"Have you heard from Bob after he went to San Francisco?" I asked her. It was 5 years later, but she still had this dewy kind of thing about her.

"He sent me a Christmas card," she said.

It was sweet, I thought, that no matter how much of a bummer he was, he held onto the amenities like Christmas cards and daily phone calls.

"How nice," I said. "Where is he?"

"Haven't you heard?" she asked. She looked struck with pain.

"What's he done?" I knew he must have done something terrible from her face. Something ... really terribIe.

"He's been ... in San Quentin. He's the one they call Cupid in the Manson family, the one Manson's supposed to have tried to free by the other murders ... "

Bobby Beausoleil had romped with his dog in my house. He'd worn a sign that said "I am Bummer Bob." I'd let him stay but hadn't slept with him because anyone who called themself that, I figured, must have the clap or some other expensive social disease. He didn't understand. He sent Christmas cards from Death Row.

"What'd he say?" I asked.

"Merry Christmas."

"Oh, God," I said, helplessly thrown back into the archaic idiom that even he had used to describe what he was. "What a bummer!"

She looked away quickly, she was crying in Ohrbach's. I still don't remember her name and I just touched her shoulder goodbye.