Monday, October 2, 2023

September 30, 1969: The Barker Ranch Raid that Bugliosi didn't want to talk about

Of course you've heard about the Barker Ranch raids of October 10nth & 12th of 1969, which rounded-up the Manson gang.  Less well known is the large-scale Barker raid of September 30th, two weeks earlier.  Probably because the raid was a total failure.  They couldn't find a single Mansonoid.

Desert Shadows by Bob Murphy, pg72
Six CHP, four Inyo County deputies, and three park rangers raid Barker Ranch on Sept 30, 1969. (aided by two more flying overhead in a small plane.  They came up Goler Wash from the west side as well as the east side via Mengel Pass)

Interestingly, Bugliosi doesn't mention this raid AT ALL, but does go into detail about a two-man reconnaissance visit the day before:

Helter Skelter, pg175
"On Sept 29, (NPS Ranger)Powell, accompanied by California Highway Patrolman James Pursell, decided to check out Barker Ranch. They found two young girls there, but no vehicles. ... The officers had come looking for arson suspects, and a possible stolen vehicle. ... Before leaving Barker, Powell and Pursell decided to check out some draws back of the ranch. ...  In so doing we stumbled into a group of seven females, all nude or partially so... We questioned the girls but received no useful information."

The raiding party on the 30th discovered two dune buggies they confirmed were stolen, but not a single Mansonoid.  How is it that they found at least nine girls the day before, and most of the Family on Oct 10 and 12, but they didn't come across a single person on Sept 30th?

Desert Shadows, pg73
"Those participating in the September 30 search were disappointed.  The net result of all the planning seemed to be two inoperable dune buggies and no suspect.  The men wondered if the hippies had somehow learned of their plans, but it was more likely they were spooked because of the visit of Powell and Pursell the previous day.  They had vacated Goler Wash."

Was Charlie forewarned?  Where were they hiding* that not one of the 13 cops or rangers on the ground, in a day-long dawn-to-dusk search, could find even one of them?   Why don't any of the ex-Family members ever mention this?  Why is this incident only mentioned in the Desert Shadows book?

*I suspect they spent the day inside the Lotus Mine, down Goler wash.


This was not the first time that Charlie seemed to have foreknowledge of police plans:

--March(or February) '69 Barker Ranch raid by Shoshone Dep. Sheriff Don Ward, with two or three others. The raid caught Brooks Posten, Paul Watkins, and Juanita Wildbush, but not numerous others who had conveniently decamped the day before.
Brooks Poston interview by Inyo County Sheriff Don Ward October 3rd, 1969
"... Juanita was the only one left, as they had heard the Sheriff was coming up. And, Charlie sent a truck up to get a – all the people out, that he could – or that he wanted out. And he left Joan Wildbush and myself up there, to face the Sheriff...
.... there was a supply run made to Las Vegas. In which, Joan and the girl named Sherri went. And when they came back, there was a big hurry to get all the people out except Joan and myself. Because, as I was later to find out, the Sheriff was coming."
 --July 29, 1969 Spahn mini-raid. Charlie was right out there on Santa Susanna Pass Road to greet the 'surprise' visitors.

Ed Sanders' The Family, pg250:
"He(Manson) had concealed himself and his dune buggy in underbrush near the turnoff from Topanga Canyon Boulevard onto Santa Susanna Pass Road, awaiting the invasion of hostile forces."

--August 16, 1969 Spahn raid. The cops moved it up a day, because they feared Charlie had gotten advance intel on the raid.

Manson's Hinman/Shea trial, Oct '71
LADA files Box54-4 pg603 Testimony of LASO Dep. Preston Guillory
"The raid was supposed to take place on Sunday morning, but it was moved up, because we were told that members of the ranch--or somebody--had knowledge of the raid, and that they may have made efforts to pull out or to fortify further."

But even then, the night before Charlie allegedly told Gypsy that they would be raided in the morning.

Conclusion:  Bugs didn't mention the Sept 30th raid because it would have raised too many questions about how Charlie could anticipate the cops' every move.  Obviously, he had a source within LE, probably high up.

".... somebody very high up ... was seeing to it that we didn’t bust Manson."    -- ex-LASO Deputy Preston Guillory

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Music Executive Gary Stromberg on 'Fearing for My Life' After Finding Out He Was on Charles Manson's 'Hit List'

"I was just afraid. I got a van and I drove all over Europe, just fearing for my life," Stromberg says in a recent episode of iHeart's the 'Stones Touring Party' podcast

By Daniela Avila | Published on September 26, 2023 09:30PM EDT


Gary Stromberg, a producer and PR firm co-founder who oversaw phenomenons like Elton John, Crosby Stills & Nash, Ray Charles, Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones, is recalling the time he found out he was on Charles Manson's hit list.

In an episode of the Stones Touring Party podcast, hosted by former PEOPLE editor Jordan Runtagh, Stromberg said he met Manson when visiting his good friend Phil Kaufman — who was Manson's cellmate — in prison.

"I would go see Phil in prison and write to him, and he asked if I could get him some acid, so I would drop acid onto stationary droplets and write letters to them," he said in an archived interview by journalist Robert Greenfield, who toured with the Rolling Stones in the summer of 1972 and conducted interview with the band and their entourage.

He adds, "So, they'd cut it up into segments and he would pass it around. Charlie [Manson] got his acid from me!"

When Manson was released from prison he had dreams of joining the music business, so Kaufman put him in contact with Stromberg, who was working for Universal at the time. One day, Manson showed up for a meeting.

"I call this guy Russ Reagan, who was the head of Uni Records — they had just started the label. I said, 'There’s a guy here, I think you should listen to him.' He said, 'Sure, bring him up,'" he recalls. "So I went up to his office. Charlie sits on his desk and starts playing music. Russ is like, 'What is this?' Out of embarrassment, says, 'I'll give you money to do a demo.' So we set up a demo."

They went on to record five songs with Stromberg serving as a producer and he said the "music was terrible." (The songs were later released in 1970's Lie: The Love and Terror. Manson also wrote the Beach Boys song "Never Learn Not to Love" with drummer Dennis Wilson.)

"I took it up to Russ the next day. We listened to it and Russ said, 'Just get rid of this, this is terrible.' And I did. Charlie got really upset with me because I wasn't able to help him," he said of Manson, who went on to live with Wilson for some time. "He tried to get me to try other labels and I said, 'I’m sorry, this isn’t me. This isn’t what I do.' And Charlie, we just split up on bad terms."

After things didn't workout with Stromberg, Manson found music producer Terry Melcher who also ended up turning him down after a recording session. Coincidentally, on Aug. 9, 1969, Manson instructed his followers to visit 10050 Cielo Drive and kill everyone inside. Melcher had lived there during the time they worked together.

"When all of that s--- went down with [Sharon] Tate and all, he got arrested. Then the FBI came to me to inform me that when they had arrested Charlie, they had found a list of people that he intended to murder — and that I was on that list," he says. "So I high-tailed it out of town! I went to Europe and just hung up for a month or two and moved around. I was just afraid. I got a van and I drove all over Europe, just fearing for my life."

He continues, "I knew there were other guys that were still on the street. They were still part of the Manson movement. I mean, I knew Charlie over the course of a few months, so I knew a little bit about him, and [knew that] him getting arrested did not remove the threat. So I just kept moving around in Europe for a while until I felt it was safe to come back."


The full episode, which also explores The Stones' return to Los Angeles for a gig at the Palladium, where "an unhinged Satanist appears at the stage door, claiming to be the band's dead guitarist Brian Jones," is available to listen here.

During a two-day spree in August 1969, Manson and his followers were responsible for the murders of seven people, including 26-year-old actress Sharon Tate.

The killings were part of a plot by Manson to start a race war, which he named “Helter Skelter” after the Beatles song. They were particularly gruesome in nature: A pregnant Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was found stabbed 16 times, with an “X” carved into her stomach inside her secluded Los Angeles home in the canyons above Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

Also murdered were coffee heiress Abigail Folger, writer Voytek Frykowski, hairstylist Jay Sebring, and 18-year-old delivery boy Steven Parent. Their bodies were discovered the following day.

Manson died of natural causes at age 83 in November 2017.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Donald "Shorty" Shea At 90

 Spahn Ranch ranch hand Shorty Shea was born in Massachusetts on September 18, 1933, and eventually migrated to California. He found employment as an occasional actor and stuntman in addition to working for George Spahn at his ranch near Chatsworth.

When the Manson Family moved into Spahn Ranch, tensions arose primarily between Shorty and Charles Manson. Manson accused Shea of being a "snitch," and Manson believed that Shea instigated the law enforcement raid on Spahn Ranch, which took place on August 16th, shortly after the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Charles Manson and other men murdered Shorty Shea on August 26, 1969. Please click on the video below to remember Shorty, who would have turned 90 this year.

Music by": Harry Nilsson, "Everybody's Talkin'". RCA Victor, 1968.




Saturday, September 16, 2023


Original TMZ article here

The front door to the home where Sharon Tate was infamously murdered by Charles Manson's cult has sold at auction ... and the highest bidder put a big chunk of change down for the piece of dark history.

The door was sold courtesy of Julien's Auctions ... after 40 bidders vied for the unique find. The high bid was $127k. It was projected to fetch somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000.

Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor recorded an album in the Cielo Drive house in 1992 -- long after the grizzly 1969 murders.

Trent ended up taking the door with him before the place was demolished. He took it to his New Orleans recording space but left it behind in 2004 when he relocated his studio.

From there, a doctor bought Trent's recording space and pulled the door out of the trash when he learned about its history. The door was then purchased from the doctor by a man named Christopher Moore in 2017. Eventually, the door made its way to Julien's Auctions.

No word on who bought the door, but it will certainly be quite the conversation piece.

Sharon's sister, Debra, told us she was disgusted the door was being sold ... saying it should be destroyed, given its macabre history.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Interview with a man who did time with Manson

An interview with Jamie Morgan Kane, a man who spent 34 years in the California Prison System for a murder he claims to have not committed. 

Jamie speaks on his time in some of the most violent prisons in the USA, his personal interactions with dangerous serial killers Charles Manson and Ed Kemper, and relays his eventual journey to freedom. 

He makes some very interesting comments about Tex.


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Friday, August 18, 2023

Roman Polanski At 90

 Director Roman Polanski celebrates his 90th birthday on August 18th. He was the husband to Sharon Tate, and father to their unborn son, Paul Richard Polanski. Roman was friends with Voytek Frykowski from an early age, growing up in Poland. Roman was also friends with Jay Sebring and Abigail Folger.

After the Tate-LaBianca murders, Roman was interviewed by police, and subsequently conducted his own personal and private investigation of the murders at his home on Cielo Drive in Los Angeles. He will forever be a part of the immense story that is the Tate-LaBianca murders.


Please click on the video below to view photos of Roman through the decades.

Music by: Saint Etienne, Join Our Club, Heavenly Records, 1992.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Abigail Folger At 80

Abigail Folger would have had a birthday on August 11th, and this would have been her 80th. Please click on the video below to remember Abigail.

Music by: Paul Mauriat, Love Is Blue, Phillips Records, 1968.