Monday, April 12, 2021

Panamint Patty Interview

Hello there friends, long time no see. It’s been quite a year for Patty. She broke up with her boyfriend, gave all her best Manson books to George and to Matt, and gave the following interview to Paulcast to crown what has become an accidental ten years of Manson blogging and vlogging on different platforms. In the following interview she talks about how she started out on her journey into the Mansonsphere, what interests her the most, and what she sees as the difference between fandom and scholarship. And, she drinks some wonderfully smooth Willett Bourbon in the process.

Drop in and say hello, won’t you? Patty sends her best. 

Here also is The Paucast interview with Neil Sanders, author of the book "Now Is The Only Thing That's Real."

Monday, April 5, 2021

The Road from Gallup to Albuquerque:

December 18, 1969

 (The auther, who wishes to remain anonymous, thinks that Yana is Linda Kasabian, one of those arrested in the August slaying of Sharon Tate. He also believes that "The Man" Yana talks about is Charles Manson; several members of the commune he led have been charged in that murder.)

I WAS standing underneath one of those towering gas station signs you see by the highway all the time, at the eastern edge of Gallup, New Mexico, when the girl picked me up. It was about nine o'clock. Thursday morning, August 14. The girl driving the car looked about five feet tall, and she wore a leather jacket over a maroon-and-blue striped knit T-shirt, and a hemless mini-skirt made from cut-off corduroy jeans. She had a sharp face-rather pronounced cheekbones, triangular eyes, and a smail, sharp nose. Her blondish hair was uniformly short except for one long, very thin braid in back. There were two long-haired guys with her.

When they asked me where I was going. I didn't really know, so I said Taos, Santa Fe. Albuquerque. Texas... She said they were going to Taos, I said that was great and that what I really wanted to do was to camp out in the mountains. The girl said she'd take me to a commune where I could camp and I eagerly consented.

The two long-haired guys were college students from New Jersey who were headed home after having "made the scene" in L. A. They weren't open or friendly and I didn't much like them. Almost from the moment I got into that old white Volvo. I could sense friction between them and the girl. The guys especially seemed nervous. Apparently. I had interrupted an argument. After a little while, one of them said to the girl. Look, is this even your car?"

"Yes, this is my car." said the girl. She paused. "It's not just mine." she added. "It's mine, it's your, it's anybody's who wants it."

"I'm gonna get rid of this car." said the girl a fear miles later. "

One of the guys asked her why and she said it was because she was getting tired of it.

The highway that goes from Gallup to Albuquerque rises and bends through one small section of hills before stretching out across the desert. As we drove through those hills, the girl told us to look for a place that sold gas and merchandise and that accepted Shell credit cards. We spotted a likely place-it had a sign that said "We accept credit cards" -but as it turned out, you couldn't charge the souvenirs. We stopped and got gas and browsed around this stupid curio shop for some time, looking at the standard souvenirs and the over-priced Indian jewelry. Abruptly, the girl decided we should leave. As we were getting into the car again, she said to us and herself, "Some of that's nice, but I don't want to get hung up on that materialistic bag. I've already done that once."

One of the things that struck me first about the girl and continued to strike me was the lack of sophistication of the things she said and the simultaneous intensity of her conviction. It was obvious, even before she told me, that she had not had much education. The things she said I might have heard before, but not with the same "naive" intensity. The feeling with which she spoke each word overwhelmed my college-conditioned tendency to dismiss without a second thought any ideas expressed poorly or in cliches. I knew nothing about her, but I could tell that whoever and whatever she was, she was something special. I looked forward to spending time with this haunting, strange, wild girl-a witch, she called herself.

About an hour after we left the curio shop the car began to get hot and sputter. The girl repeated her dislike for it. It finally died in the middle of the desert. The upper radioator hose had a leak and the car wanted water. I flagged down a diesel driver who took me about fifteen miles to the next gas station. I bought some electrician's tape and a waterbag which I filled. After waiting quite a while. I got a ride back to the car, fixed the hose, and refilled the radiator. The car started again and ran for a while.

The car died again about ten miles past the station. This time it had water in it but wouldn't restart. The girl and I stood out on the loose gravel and hot asphalt of the road shoulder, trying to get a car to give us a push start. She had no shoes, so she stood with one foot on top of the other, danced lightly on her toes, or sat on the car. She said that it looked like there were a lot of freaks on the road-someone ought to stop pretty soon. I said that was what I had thought, but that all the time I had been in New Mexico. I had had lousy luck on the road. The freaks gave the peace sign. I said, the straights gave you the shaft, and they all drove right by. She said, "Yeah, well they're killing people like that out in L. A."

"Like what?" I asked.

"Pigs that try to act like freaks."

I told her that that wasn't too cool, that I thought the revolution or whatever it was that was going on all around us had to offer something more than an eye for an eye, that it was time we outgrew violence, and that peace had to start with "us" or else the revolution would just be trading one set of pigs for another, one fucking system with no room for deviants for another.

"But you see." she said, "it doesn't matter." She asked me what I thought about death. I dodged the question. I could have given her the drop-going-back-to-the-ocean line, but I mostly wanted her to talk about it. Besides, all that trippy theorizing and intellectual speculation about death is, after all, pretty shallow compared with the feeling you get at the most unlikely moments that you, too, are going home to that big ocean one of these days. With that intense witch of a girl, surrounded by that awesome desert and those miles and miles of highway, and those screaming blasts of air pushed into us by the cars that wouldn't stop. I was in a new world, and I had no use for cosmologies you wear on your shirtsleeve.

"Death is just a hallucination," she told me, patiently and conclusively, as though explaining the answer of a riddle I had given up on. With anyone else I would have laughed. "It's just an illusion that your mommy and daddy put into your head. Your mind, your brain, your, uh, ego dies, but your body-oh-it can live forever. If you're beautiful. And you are, baby," she said, looking up into my eyes with the eyes of someone who is moved by something beyond herself. "You are. Big and beautiful."

When the girl and I talked, our conversation usually followed the same pattern. I was curious about her world and wanted her to talk about it. She was eager to share it. She had amazing confidence in the ideas she held, and her manner was proselytizing. I spoke primarily to bring her out and I tried to use her words. I played along so I could understand her better. In a way I talked down to her, as she may have done to me, but that's what any two people have to do before they can communicate.

A PICK-UP approached, and we turned and stuck out our thumbs. I thought it would stop and apparently the girl did, too, because when it did go by, she ran a few steps after it, leaned forward and squinted her eyes, and returned, "You see," she said. "I just killed them." The pick-up faded in the distance. "I can do that cause I'm a witch."

"How?" I asked, trying not to sound skeptical.

"It's easy. You just close your eyes and erase them. And when you open your eyes-poof." she opened her hands to show there was nothing in them, "they're dead." Then she added, "It's like, have you ever died on acid or something?"

I thought to say that inasmuch as a person experiences ago death. "he" doesn't experience it. Instead, I gave her an unqualified. "Yes."

"Well, it's like that," she said.

Only you don't come down.

A car finally stopped for us and agreed to give us a push. As the car backed around to get in position to push, the girl ran a few steps towards the Volvo, her bare fect barely touching the hot asphalt. Then she leaped into the air, kicking both legs, throwing her arms across her chest and back, and jerking her head back in one joyful gesture. I'd never seen anything like it.

The car started but died before we had gone a mile. The girl said she would hitch on into Albuquerque (about thirty miles) and get a tow-truck. She could use the credit card. It was pretty safe to use a gasoline credit card that didn't have your name on it, she said. All they did if you got caught was pick up the credit card. It was different using a bad department store card. You get arrested on the spot. Her sister had been thrown in jail for trying to buy sleeping bags with a stolen Sears card.

Again I stood with her on the road until she got a ride.

She talked about death frequently. She explained how it didn't matter if pigs were killed because they were going through changes. They would be incarnated as beautiful people that much sooner.

While she was gone, I waited inside the car with the two guys from New Jersey. We kept the doors open and drank the last of the water in the bag, trying to get comfortable and cool. We smoked cigarettes, or parts of them-we were too hot and dry in the mouth to enjoy smoking. "That girl's crazy," one of them said after a while.

"Yeah, she's far out all right." I said. But I left the possibility in my mind that I might be able to communicate on her wavelength.

"She says she's a witch," said the other one.

"But she just uses her powers for good," snorted Number One. Their sarcasm proclaimed disbelief, but there was a tone of defensiveness in their voices. Neither of them seemed to take lightly the girl or even the possibility that she was a witch.

"Do you believe all the things she says?" asked One.

I shrugged.

"I don't like it-all her talk about death," said Two.

One had a watch, and he kept us posted on the time. They talked about when she ought to be back and how much longer they'd wait before they gave up and hitched in themselves. Though I suspected she wouldn't come back. I expressed faith in her return to the others and did not include myself in their deadlines.

The girl did return with a tow-truck after about an hour and a half. One and Two rode on the back of the truck and the girl and I rode in the cab with the driver. The driver was going to try to fix the car at his station, and if he couldn't, he'd take us to a Volvo dealer in Albuquerque. The girl said something to me, but for the benefit of the driver, about how she wished her "father" had gotten the car checked out before she left L. A. By this time, I was quite sure that the car as well as the credit card was stolen.

At the station the driver called in the inevitable check on the credit card. Then he apologized to the girl and said the card was no good and that he had been instructed to pick it up. Furthermore, we couldn't have the car until we payed forty dollars for the tow. And it still had to be repaired.

The girl said her father had been threatening to cancel her credit card and that he had picked a bad time. The driver apologized again to her.

She had three dollars cash. I had six. The other two had quite a bit of money, over a hundred dollars, plus a credit card which was good, but they wouldn't pay on a stolen car. I didn't blame them, but the girl got made and suggested that they "do their own trip." They agreed and left.

She asked me if I still wanted to go to Taos and I said sure. I got my pack and she got her sleeping bag-all she had with her-and we started hitching.

We hit the road, giddy with liberation, dancing and skipping with sheer joy. Relieved of the worry of whether or not the car would run, leaving that big expensive piece-of-shit-machine behind and setting off for a new town together as total strangers, we were free. She asked my name; I told her my first name and asked her

"My name's Yana," she said. "but it used to be Linda. The Devil gave me the name Yana when he cut all my hair off."

The Devil was named Charlie. Sometimes she called him the Man. He was the leader of the people she had been living with in L. A. Yana's hair had been down to her waist before he had cut it all very short in some kind of name-giving ceremony. All except for that one braid in back.

Charlie had learned through meditation about the existence at several places around the world of holes which went down to the center of the earth. Down the Holes will go the Beautiful People to escape the wrath of Black Man who will rise up and slaughter his hateful master. White Man. Some time after White Man has been killed off. Black Man will realize that he has learned all he knows from White Man and that he cannot develop civilization any more on his own. Then the Beautiful People will be invited out of the holes to rule Black Man and further civilization. Only the Beautiful People will love Black Man and will not mistreat him as White Man had.

Charlie and the people he lived with in L. A. were not the only ones who knew about these holes. Donovan knew; in one of his songs he sings, "Take me down through a hole in the ocean." The Beatles knew, and they knew Charlie knew. Charlie and his friends had listened to "Helter Skelter" with headphones for months until they could hear, quite distinctly below the sounds of the instruments and the singing, the Beatles in speaking voices saying, "Charlie, can you hear us? Charlie can you hear us? Call us in London. Call us in London." Charlie had called London and the Beatles had refused to accept the call. Still, their faith was unbroken.

And, Yana added, "Those people I was with in L. A. were the ones who got me into a whole new world of love-making."

THE FIRST ride we got was in a GTO which only took us a few blocks further in Albuquerque. When Yana and I got into the car the first thing we each did was reach for our cigarettes. I offered one to the driver who declined, saying that he smoked too much and was trying to quit.

"I smoke too much," I said.

"So do I," said Yana. "We ought to quit."

"Okay," I said. "I quit." And I threw my cigarettes out the window.

"So do I," said Yana, and she did the same.

The driver let us out at the highway that would take us to Santa Fe and Taos. Before getting on the highway, however, we walked over to a Denny's Drive-In. A sign at the door said shoes were required, so Yana wore my size 11 sneakers. She remarked that society was backwards; the waitress served her first, but Man was supposed to go before Woman.

Yana had grown up in New Hampshire and had dropped out of high school early. I'm not sure when she got married, but it was sometime before she moved to the commune. She had lived in a commune outside Taos with the Hog Farm for about nine months, and had left it about nine months before I met her. Until that time, I had never heard of the Hog Farm. It wasn't until a week later when I saw a newspaper that I learned that the Hog Farm had been in Woodstock while I was with Yana.

About nine or ten months before I met her, several things happened to Yana. Her husband ran off with his homosexual lover; Yana's first child was born; and she left the commune and went to L. A. It was after she went to L. A. that she fell in with the Devil and his gang.

At the time I was with her, she was looking for her husband or the Hog Farm. Ouite unnecessarily, she justified the love shared by her husband and his lover. And she was still looking for him.

We got several rides on the way to Taos. One was with a construction worker who gave us beer and offered to take us all the way to the commune if Yana would ride nude. I declined the offer and Yana said that that wasn't really what the man wanted and it wouldn't do anybody any good.

In between rides, Yana would stand on her sleeping bag to hitch and we'd describe to each other how beautiful the commune would be.

Yana was frequently referring to changes people go through. "That's just a change people go through," she would say. "People go through such funny changes."

When she was pregnant with her first child, her husband started making love to another girl in the commune. "And I'd look at them in bed together." she said, "And I'd just get mad. For a long time I hated Susan and when they were making love, I'd just go away until they were through. They'd say come join us but I wouldn't.

"Finally I realized that if you've got love, it don't matter, and I'd get in bed with them, and I loved Susan. Like, I called her Sister. I was only sorry I didn't realize that sooner. I felt so stupid for acting the way I had, but those were just the changes I was going through."

While in L. A., Yana had gone through "lots of changes."

IT RAINED heavily but briefly during our last ride. We rode with a young kid and two chicks who occasionally went to the commune and said they knew some of the people there. Yana asked them if they knew where her husband and his lover were. They didn't know. They let us out where the pavement stopped on the road that led off the highway to the commune.

It had all but stopped raining, but the dirt road leading through the mountain meadows to thicker woods and the commune was a river of red mud. The sun was setting as we walked the five miles to the commune. Yana slogged along about ankle deep in mud. I held her sleeping bag for her once while she squatted in the road to piss and a few other times at places where the road had sharp gravel. We had to pass up one shortcut because the rocks would be too hard on Yana's feet. By the time we got to the vicinity of the commune, it was quite dark in the valley, though sunlight still shone on the meuntain top.

Yana had "brought another sister into the world." She had had her first child, a daughter by her husband, nine months earlier, and, as I noticed that night, she would be having another child too. The daughter, Tana, as well as a few other infants, had been with Yana's L. A. group. Tana and a little boy slightly older than she had been the favorites of the group. The little boy, Yana said, was like a little king, who, in way, ruled the group. Tana was like his queen.

I asked her where her daughter was. She said that lately she and Tana had been going through changes, and that she didn't want to put ideas into her daughter's head the way her parents had done to her. So she had "given it back to itself."

We went straight to the hot springs on the north side of a little ravine which cut through the commune. As we were crossing the ravine, Yana asked me if I wanted some of the gum she was chewing. I said yes and she parted her lips and put the gum between her front teeth. Thinking she meant for me to bite off the piece that showed in front of her teeth, I went over to do so.

Just as I went to bite it loose, she puckered her lips and I bit her. Her lip bled rather badly. She looked up into my eyes as if I had done it on purpose and said pleadingly, "Don't bite!" If she hadn't said that and looked at me the baleful way she did, I never would have thought I might have done it on purpose. To the best of my knowledge, it was an accident. But I admitted to myself that friction had arisen between us as it had arisen between Yana and the two kids from New Jersey. I apologized to her and said I hadn't meant to bite her.

"Don't bite," she said. "I would never bite you... but I'd love to suck you."

I hoped that was an indication of forgiveness.

Yana told me about "cutting capers" with her friends out in L. A. What they would do was break into some expensive suburban house at night, either alone or in groups, and while making no attempt at secrecy or quiet, take or break anything they wanted to, Yana had gone into homes alone, unarmed, and turned on the stereo or television while she ransacked the house. She said no one ever tried to stop her. They were so "afraid of themselves," she said that they'd just lie frozen in bed thinking, "Oh my God! There's a BURGLAR in the house!"

The sacred Indian hot springs had been "improved" by white man who had built a resort there. The hot water ponred out of the mountain and ran through a succession of four or five partly natural, partly concrete pools, becoming cooler at each step. Through two waterfalls, it emptied into a huge man-made swimming pool which was now lined with moss.

Because it was getting cold. Yana and I went to the very top, stripped, and got into the hot sulfur water. The water was very warm, about 18 inches deep. We glided through the pool with only our hands supporting us and looked out over the rim. We could see the string of little pools; the waterfall and the swimming pool, the ruins of the resort on the right, the ravine beyond, and way off in the night, another row of mountains. Then our shoulders got cold and we slid back into the water. . . .

"IVE DECIDED not to kill you." she said abruptly as we were getting out of the pool.

"How do you mean?"

"I'm not going to destroy your mind. I could, but I don't want to."

"Thanks," I said, neither conceding nor denying her powers.

Shivering, we dried and dressed, and clambered down the mountain: We joined the people at the campfire between the pool and the resort ruins. We chatted with the twenty-odd residents of the ruins, smoked a little dope. Yana borrowed a pair of jeans from one of the residents. I met an AWOL soldier who was traveling through in a VW bus. With him were his wife and a tiny baby and a hitchhiker they had picked up earlier in the day. When they left to find a place to camp that night, Yana and I went with them.

Across the ravine was another loose cluster of permanent camps-one old farmhouse, a converted chicken coop, shacks, and sod houses, Beyond them was a string of transient campers where we set up camp with another group we met. We made a fire and ate beans, fried rice, bread and tomato soup, and we drank coffee. I walked back across to the springs to bum a smoke. Someone gave me a package of Bugler and papers which I took back to the group.

Yana and I found an abandoned VW bus to sleep in. It was windproof and warm and had some extra bedding in it. As she unrolled her bedroll she said. "Look, I forgot that I didn't have my baby with me anymore. "Rolled up inside her sleeping bag was an empty baby bottle and an assortment of second-hand and home-made baby clothes in faded, dull-colored plaids and paisleys.

"See, I'm still going through changes." she said. "It's been a long time since I was without my baby. I'm going to have to get used to it."

Yana was quite disappointed to find unbeautiful people living in her old commune. The group around the hot springs especially; there were a few winos and a moron Indian. She frequently ran "niggers" down. Earlier, I had tactfully tried to get her explanation of why she spoke so badly of some people.

"I'm an open hole" she said.

"How do you mean?"

"Like, when an idea comes into my head from-" she waved her hand over her head-"I don't think about it or reject it. I just let it flow on through. But it's not me." She paused.

"I mean, not really me."

The next morning, she asked me what I was going to do. I said I'd probably hang around the commune awhile. She said she thought she would go somewhere else and look for her husband. She exchanged her sleeping bag for a smaller one that was in the bus and left before breakfast. As we were splitting up, we wished each other luck.

Monday, March 29, 2021

So was Charlie just plain batshit crazy?


When discussing motives, there is a line of thinking that says Charlie (and to a lesser extant his followers) were all just simply crazy, and who can understand crazy, and thus it's pointless to look further.  And in fact there is good evidence to suggest that Manson actually did suffer some mental illness, at least to some extant.

Certainly you can't have a belief in Helter Skelter without a certain level of craziness.  Maybe not so much in believing the coming race war bit (many were prophesizing that) but certainly the stuff about the whites slaughtering each other to pave the way for the militant blacks, their spending 50 years in the desert without having aged a day, the blacks handing power over to you in the end, the underground fountains spouting liquid chocolate, the trees bearing 10 different kinds of fruit, etc., etc.

Helter Skelter by Vince Bugliosi  c.1974  pg.233                                                                                    unk Manson follower:  "Every tuned-tribe of people that's ever lived [has] escaped the destruction of [its] race by going underground, literally, and they're all living in a golden city where there's a river that runs through it of milk and honey, and a tree that bears twelve kinds of fruit, a different fruit each month... and you don't need to bring candles nor any flashlights down there.  He says it will be all lit up because... the walls will glow and it won't be cold and it won't be too hot.  There will be warm springs and fresh water, and people are already down there waiting for him."
He gathered unknowing young women from Berkeley and the Haight-Ashbury, where the clinicians at the landmark free clinic diagnosed him as an “ambulatory schizophrenic” with all manner of manipulative behaviors...
Dr. Smith(of the HAFMC) said, "The problem was that Charlie was disturbed.  He developed a paranoid delusional system that led to violence....  "There are a lot of people like that, and many of them are in mental hospitals.  Any individual who has an all-encompassing delusional system ... If you know schizophrenics, you know how persuasive they can get...

Manson's "Rolling Stone" 12/5/2013 interview                                                                                      "Helter Skelter wasn't a lie. It was just Bugliosi's perspective. ..There was a lot of motives, man. You got a motive for every person there. It was a collective idea. It was an episode. A psychotic episode..."
Emmons:  "Manson's grandfather and uncle both suffered from serious mental illnesses, and his grandfather was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, where he died."   pg275
Manson was first diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1963, when he was incarcerated for check kiting at the U.S. Penitentiary on McNeil Island.  ... During the forty-plus years that Manson has been in CDC custody since the murders, he has been diagnosed with several serious mental illnesses, primarily paranoid schizophrenia and chronic psychosis....
He spent most of his early years of imprisonment there(Vacaville), in the S-Wing of Seguin Unit, the intensive psychiatric segregation unit.   ... In 1985, the CDC diagnosed Manson with schizophrenia...   In 1987, a psychologist recommended placing Manson in mental-health care...
(in 1997) ...that (psychological)evaluation determined that Manson was severely mentally ill, because he was "out of touch with reality" and would not stop rambling incessantly...
Post-1997, a consensus seems to have emerged among CDC psychiatrists and psychologists that Manson suffers from serious, organic, psychotic mental illness.

There is evidence Charlie had already started going off the deep end by the summer of '67, when he got the idea he was Jesus Christ:

Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties  by Dianne Lake  c.2018
Chapter 20  OUT OF SIGHT   re Charlie lecture to the group at Gresham St
"Some of you already know what happened when I first took the sacrament of psilocybin(LSD in another version)." Several of us nodded, but kept silent.
"Mary, you were there."   Mary Brunner smiled and nodded. She was all but glowing with pride.
"In some way, you were all there. You know the truth. I am just reminding you in case you forgot. We were on a mattress and Mary, my Mary, my Mary Magdalene was at my feet. It was beautiful."
Then Charlie's voice got louder; it was booming. "Then I was on the cross.*  I was on the cross for all of you." He arched his back, looked at the ceiling, and put out his arms as if they were on the cross. "They nailed my hands, they speared me, and I wore the crown of thorns for all of you. And Mary wept as I died for you."

And of course claiming that the Beatles are trying to send you secret messages via their albums is another classic sign of the 'delusions of grandeur' so often seen in schizophrenics.

There's a Riot Going On  by Peter Doggett  c.2007 pg305
Manson replayed these tracks over and over, and claimed that he could detect a hidden message from the Beatles, intended for his ears alone.  It was a sure sign of madness....


The trouble is, is that, despite the above quotes, Manson never showed any symptoms of any real mental illness (generally defined as schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, and manic depression) before or after his two and a half years of freedom from '67 to '69.  None of the shrinks who interviewed him in prisons, before and after, ever said he was clinically nuts(and only a trained psychiatrist is qualified to make this diagnosis).  And Charlie never spent any time in any nut house.  So why would he suddenly, in his early 30s, start going off the deep end during that time period?  Mental illness usually starts affecting its victims while they are in their late teens or early 20s, and it is a lifelong affliction.  He wouldn't just start going crazy at age 32 and just as suddenly stop going crazy at age 35.

Dr. Joel Fort interview by Caroline Crawford  c.1997
Some of his(Manson's) ideas are bizarre, but he does not display any overt psychosis.  There are some things he says that could be interpreted as schizophrenic or schizoid.  But he was never close to being judged legally insane despite the best efforts of the media and his lawyers to present him as a madman and a crazy person, an image of somebody who must be severely mentally ill.  His acts were violent, extreme, and clearly antisocial, and he comes across that way in conversations.  But in general, his speech and manner are controlled.


So how do we account for  Charlie's increasingly strange beliefs, or his "psychotic episode" as Charlie himself called it, in the brief two and half years he was out of jail/prison?

Was it the LSD use?  Certainly heavy users of LSD sometimes get into really strange beliefs, and LSD may help to bring an underlying psychosis to the forefront, but there is no evidence that LSD actually causes mental illness.  

Or maybe it was the heavy amphetamine use by the summer of '69.  Prolonged lack of sleep can cause symptoms very close to paranoid schizophrenia.  Though those symptoms quickly disappear with rest and nutrition.  Yet Charlie kept pushing his HS theory without interruption.

I keep thinking of how close CIA mind control dirty trickster Dr. Jollyon West was to Manson at the HAFMC.  The same Jolly West who would, according to author Tom O'Neill, induce a psychotic break in Jack Ruby, Oswald's killer.  Did he somehow do the same to Manson? 

Dr. West complained to Aldous Huxley, famous writer of 'Brave New World,' of the difficulty of attempting to hypnotize people who were under the influence of LSD.  Huxley had a solution:                                                                                               Aldous Huxley: "I suggested to him(JollyonWest) that he should hypnotize his people before they took LSD."

Was Charlie thus hypnotized before his seminal LSD trip, and while later flying high on LSD, did he hear a pre-planted 'trigger word' which set him off on his psychosis?  



*Interestingly, at least two other Mansonoids seem to have had the same "up on the cross" trip:

LADA Transcripts   Trial of Charles Manson for Hinman/Shea murders  Box54-2 pg2280  Ella Jo on acid at Gresham, feels she was "being crucified."
Q:  You thought that you--you felt that you were being on the cross?
A:  Yes.
Q:  You felt as if you were a Christ figure on the cross?
A:  Yes, I did.

LVH taped interview w/ Marvin Part:  She describes a crucifixtion experience during an acid trip.
"One time I had an acid trip like that.   .... I lived in Hollywood one time and I had an acid trip.. and I was up on the cross. It sounds far out but I was, for real.  I was feeling them do it.    And I could feel the knives and the sword when it went in too."

Monday, March 15, 2021

Gary Parsons Discusses Manson Films

An interesting discussion of Manson related films with Gary Parsons of Thelema Films. They wander off to discuss why Manson was convicted when he didn't kill anyone... totally leaving out California's conspiracy laws and the fact that Manson did zero to improve himself while in prison to warrant parole. Other than that brief meander the podcast was informative. The interviewer is young so she offers a perspective of her generation's knowledge about the Manson saga. She's not as jaded as some of us old farts here at the blog. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.


Monday, March 1, 2021

Weighing the Value of Life Versus the Value of a Life Sentence: Part II


"Never mistake law for justice. Justice is an ideal, and law is a tool."

- L.E. Modesitt Jr.

"The Consequences of our actions take hold of us, quite indifferent to our claim that meanwhile we have improved."

- Frederich Nietzche

Below is an updated revisit to one of the first posts I ever did for this blog. California has recently announced a minor change in the parole system which, some think, could affect a couple of the prisoners associated with the TLB case. I thought this would be an appropriate time to take another look at why I believe none of them will ever be released....

Some say Susan Atkins deserved to be paroled and maybe that's so. At the time of her death in 2009, Susan had been California's longest serving female inmate. Susan had become a Born-again Christian and turned her life over to God. Susan did great work over the years helping to mentor other prisoners, and once was able to prevent one from committing suicide. Susan participated in almost every prison self-help and educational program that was available, and even earned an Associate Degree. In all her years behind bars, Susan had only received less than half-dozen minor write-ups. In addition to Susan's impressive post incarceration record, in 2008 she was diagnosed with Brain Cancer. She was granted a "Compassionate Release" hearing at which she could not raise her head, or even stay awake. Susan was partially paralyzed, had trouble even speaking, and could not have possibly posed a threat to anyone. Certainly, it would be merciful to let this woman go home and die among her family. 

But Susan Atkins was the textbook definition of a cold-blooded killer.  Susan giggled and laughed when recalling what happened to Sharon that August night in her taped testimony. She was proud to tell them what happened to Sharon...

"Sharon went through quite a few changes (Laughs), quite a few changes."  

Susan helped to kill Sharon and then used her blood as ink. Susan danced, and laughed her way through the trial with the other girls, and acted as if the entire episode was one big joke. All in front of grieving families and friends of her victims. Susan showed no remorse. None. Susan looked down at a pregnant Sharon, who had just watched her closest friends get slaughtered and was about to lose both her life, and the life of her unborn baby, and told her she had "No Mercy" for her.

Q- Did you do anything to Sharon Tate at that point?

A- I went over and grabbed her by the hand, and put my arm around her neck. She looked at me and begged to let me have her sit down and I was told, before we even got there, no matter what they beg don't give them any leeway. Anyway, I went over and put her down on the couch and looked into her face knowing that anything that I would say, I was saying to myself, in a sense reassuring myself. I looked at her and said, "Woman I have no mercy for you."

-Susan Atkins Grand jury Testimony 12/5/1969

How do we explain showing mercy to Susan Atkins to the Tate Family? 

Some say Patricia Krenwinkel deserves to be paroled and maybe that's so. When Susan died, Pat became the longest serving female inmate in the California system, and has remained so to this day. If you think Susan's post incarceration record was impressive, just wait until you hear Pat's. Pat has maintained a nearly prefect prison disciplinary record. Almost literally nothing as far as write-ups in all these years. She has received a Bachelors Degree, and participated in Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous for Decades, She teaches in prison, works with animals, and has always been considered the one who has shown the most remorse. 

But aside from Tex, Pat was the primary butcher in the TLB murders. They could not have happened without Pat. Pat participated in murder on BOTH nights. After killing the Labianca's in their own house, Pat put a carving fork in Leno's stomach after he was already dead, and then used Leno's blood to write messages on the wall. Between Abagail and Rosemary, Pat stabbed one or the other almost 70 times. Pat also admitted in her parole hearings that she was not under the influence of drugs on either night. She did this with a clear head. Something pretty scary inside of Pat has the potential to come out:

Presiding Member De Leon - Yes, any inaccuracies or corrections or whatever?

Inmate Krenwinkle - All right. With Abagail Folger, I chased her outside onto the lawn and I stabbed Abagail Folger.  How many times? I couldn't tell you. But, at the time I left her body then, I went an called Tex who went over to the body then and stabbed it too. And as far as the Labianca house, when I was in the bedroom with Miss Labianca, I stabbed Miss Labianca a couple times at which she fell to the floor and again, I went and Tex came back in. Because at the time, the weapon I had would not work. I mean, it was not established. So I went and I called Tex and he went into the bedroom then. And I am trying to remember, there was something else. I did not write "War" on the man's stomach. I did take the blood of his stomach and I did put the fork in his stomach and I wrote the words on the wall.

How do we release a woman who was one the primary perpetrators of one of the most heinous crimes in the history of the Country, stabbed multiple people to death, wrote messages with their blood, and when asked once in a parole hearing who she felt she had harmed the most answered, "Herself" ???

Some say Leslie Van Houten deserves to be paroled and maybe that's so. If there was ever a case to be made that one of the Manson Killer's was young, impressionable, and influenced by Charlie and the others to the point that it was really not all of their fault- Leslie Van Houten would be the one to make it for. The youngest of the killers, and also the one who had the least personal physical involvement, Leslie was the one who everyone thought had the best chance at parole eventually. Leslie actually was out on parole for a spell between trials. Leslie proved she could be a functioning and productive member of society when given an opportunity to do so.  Leslie has a record almost as clean as Pat's. Leslie has also earned a Bachelors Degree, and has participated in every self-help program available. Lulu even helped to teach other prisoners' how to read, and study to get degrees themselves. Leslie was interviewed on TV during a special early on after she was transferred off of death row. She was shown in a classroom smiling and speaking out in front of the class in one scene. The prison seemed more like a camp in the video.  In another scene, she was interviewed, and very confidently explained to the interviewer the California sentencing matrix guidelines. She told the interviewer she would be up for parole in 7 years, and would be doing about 7 to 15 years for her crime. That was the average time for a person who had a similar "Commitment offense." Then the parole hearings started. The other Killers who were at Cielo or Waverly, and Bobby and Charlie,  would regularly get the longest possible denials (5 years) allowed at the time. Leslie would regularly get two or three year denials. At one point, Leslie got a 1 year denial, and the board told her it was a "Reward" for her solid efforts.  Leslie has a very impressive post incarceration record for sure. 

But Leslie Van Houten was quite aware of what was going to happen the night she went to the Labianca's and ASKED in. Leslie participated in the torture of a woman who was begging for her life while listening to her husband being murdered in the next room, and then went in the kitchen and made a snack from the refrigerator. Please never forget Leslie knew how this would end up and she WANTED to be part of it:

Presiding commissioner Ferguson- "So she told you all of that including that it seemed wrong and was hard to do. And you felt left out and wanted to be included the next time? Is that correct?"

Inmate Van Houten- "Yes. Early at my going to the ranch, Pat was the one who kept an eye on me. And she was kind of like, I guess placed like a big sister to me. And I was devoted to her. And I knew that she had crossed the line on her commitment to beginning the race war. And it was important to me that I cross that line too. So I wanted to go. I wanted to show my commitment to this belief system."

Presiding commissioner Ferguson- "But she told you that is seemed wrong. Didn't what she told you about her behavior and her actions influence you that it was - this may be wrong?"

Inmate Van Houten - "No. whether it felt that way or not it had to be done."
Leslie said the above not when she was still young, and under the thrall of the group. Leslie said the above at her parole hearing in 2013. Less than 10 years ago. What example do we set by freeing the one member of the Manson Family who actually ASKED to be part of these brutal murders ???

Some say Bruce Davis deserves to be paroled, and maybe that's so. Hell, Bruce didn't even participate in the TLB crimes. Bruce has also found God, and, in fact, helped to convert Susan Atkins to religion as well. Bruce hasn't had any marks against him in prison since around 1980. That is a very long time. I mentioned earlier that a 1 year denial used to be the Parole Board's way of  telling the inmate they are doing a good job and getting close to a date to be paroled. Bruce got 23 consecutive 1 year denials at one point. That must be some kind of record. Bruce was able to earn a Doctoral Degree in Philosphy of Religion, which Bruce has helped to minister others in the prison. Bruce has married, had kids, and tried to live an honest life behind bars. Bruce is obviously a guy who has done his best to turn his life around.  

But Bruce is a wild card. We will probably never really know all that Bruce knows. Bruce was present for Gary, and did nothing to stop it. Bruce not only did nothing to stop Shorty from being killed- he participated in killing him: 

"We were at the ranch early in the morning. Manson came down, said, "Were going to kill Shorty." I said, "What for?" "Well he's a snitch." Charlie is there, Bill Bass is there. He says "You guys take him down the hill to get some car parts, and kill him on the way down the hill."  I was in the car when Steve Grogan hit Shorty with the pipe wrench. Charles Watson stabbed him. I was in the back seat, with Grogan."

" They took Shorty out, they had to go down a hill to a place. I stayed in the car for quite a while but what ... then I went down the hill later on and then that's when I cut Shorty with the knife, after he was... well, I don't know if he was dead or not. He didn't bleed when I cut him on the shoulder."

- Bruce Davis 2012 Parole Hearing Testimony

Bruce was there when Zero committed "suicide" with a loaded gun, and was the only other person present to have touched the gun. That admission sort of led to another. They found no fingerprints on the gun, and as Bruce admitted to touching it, we can assume it was wiped clean. Why? When Joel Pugh also happened to commit suicide, Bruce just happened to be in the same foreign country at the same time. Bruce had a strange habit of being in close proximity to a lot of dying people. in 1973 the police looked into him as a suspect in the murders of Doreen Gaul and James Sharp. He had dated girls living in the same Scientology pad as Doreen. Bruce was even considered a Zodiac Killer suspect for half a minute. Bruce got around, Bruce served as "Comptroller" for the Family, and certainly would have known about almost all of their cashflow and secrets. But Bruce boldly told the authorities he had no reason to cooperate or ask for immunity in other crimes when he already had two life sentences to serve out. Bruce is the one person outside of Charlie who really might have been able to answer some of our unanswered questions. Bruce is also the one person outside of Tex who really might have been dangerous if released, and that is really scary because he has come the closest of all of them to actually being released.

How can we feel safe knowing the shadiest, and sneakiest, of the Manson killers is walking among us? 

Some say Bobby Beausoleil deserves to be paroled and maybe that's so. Even in my own opinion, Bobby probably had the most potential to have a productive life outside of jail. I think Bobby would have gone the way of Clem had he been released. Bobby had the talent, smarts, and personality to make it in society. What he was able to accomplish behind bars is astonishing. Bobby created his own equipment out of scraps. Bobby was able to organize an entire band, and release music. Bobby even did a movie soundtrack while behind bars. Bobby had a website where he promoted his music and art. On that site he had a Q/A forum where, when answering questions, Bobby engaged with his readers and came off as intelligent and articulate. 

But Bobby is a lying fraud. Bobby Beausoleil today is trying to portray himself as the classis case of  "na├»ve young kid gets caught up in wrong crowd and makes one tragic mistake." But this was not just a forgettable innocent mistake. Bobby killed a harmless guy who called him a friend. A guy who had helped him in the past. Bobby went to this man's house and was happily welcomed in. Then he tried to rob the guy. When that went nowhere, he tortured the guy over two days. He let him slowly bleed to death, and listened to him beg for his life. Then Bobby left him to be eaten by maggots:

Deputy Guenther-  "What did Bobby tell you he went back to the house for?"

Ms. Brunner- "He tried to erase that paw-print on the wall."

Deputy Guenther- "And how many days later did he go back to the house?"

Ms. Brunner -  "Two or three days after Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday." 

Deputy Guenther - "Alright. Did he describe to you what the house looked like or smelled like or anything like that?"

Ms. Brunner - "He told me it smelled terrible. He could hear the maggots."

Deputy Guenther - "Hear the maggots what?"

Ms. Brunner - "In Gary. Eating Gary."

- Mary Brunner interrogation statement 12/4/1969


Bobby still lies about why he did this to this day. I have read a lot of testimony from court hearings and parole hearings over the years, and Bobby is the only one involved who mentions going to Gary's over a drug burn. Bobby himself has changed his reason for killing Gary once or twice. I think he feels that this new story is the most reasonable for a parole board, and the one that makes him most human. But what Bobby did was not human. Bobby has been flagged from time to time in prison for breaking minor rules, and has produced art in jail that is not as holy as his parole hearing speeches would lead you to believe he leads his life these days. Yes,  Bobby still lets the rebel attitude shine through on occasion. Here is what Bobby once said personally before he decided the best way to get free was to distance from Charlie and the Family:

"I am at war with everyone in this courtroom. It's nothing personal but the world has been gattling at my brothers and sisters and as long as they are ripping off our world, our friends and our children, you better pray I never get out."

Do we really need to send a guy out into society who once warned us all what would happen if we did?

Some say Tex Watson deserves to be paroled and maybe that's so. Tex has made the very best of his situation. Tex has turned his life over to the Lord in a way more complete than any of the others. Tex runs his own ministry and has spent many years counseling, and helping, others. Tex has stayed pretty  free of incidents during his incarceration, and has served as an example to many. Tex earned a Bachelors Degree in Business Management. Tex got married while in prison, and has become father to several children. To listen to Tex today, is to listen to a model of civility and compassion. Tex has shown remorse over the years for his actions, and even had the support of a family member of one of the victim's for a time (Suzan Laberge). Tex had every reason to stay out of trouble if given a second chance. 

But Tex was the Quarterback of the TLB crimes. What Tex did on those two nights has shocked the Nation for over 50 years. It was the actions Tex committed that created the legend Charlie lived. Every scary thing that people say and write about the Myth that is Charles Manson, was inspired by the reality of Tex Watson. There is a special place in Hell for guys like this to burn. Charlie was one thing. A smart person could see Charlie coming. Tex was the guy sitting next to you in algebra class. They guy you never thought about twice. It is easy to see a guy like Charlie for what he is. Tex, on the other hand, is the guy you never thought about twice. To me that is so much scarier...

"As we staggered out onto the front porch, he kept screaming, "Help me. Oh my God, Help me."  I stabbed him over and over, blindly, the whole world spinning and turning as red as the blood that was smearing and smattering everywhere. Finally I shot him twice, and he slumped on the stone porch."

"I ran across the grass as Katie tackled her. Suddenly she stopped fighting. Looking up at me as she lay on her back, she whispered without emotion, "I give up, you've got me."  It was as of  the knife and my hand were one, Plunging up and down. I felt nothing.

- Charles Tex Watson (Will You die For Me)

Do we really need one of the most dangerous animals in the history of our Country moving in across the street?

Some say Charles Manson deserved to be paroled and maybe that's so. Charlie was not present at the Tate or Labiancas house when the murder's occurred. Charlie had spent decades in prison for murders others committed. At the end, Charlie was an old man who just wanted to go back to the desert and play his guitar. Charlie was always smart enough not to get his own hands dirty, if possible, and shouldn't be held accountable all of his life for the crimes others concocted and committed just because he was vaguely aware they were going on. Charlie helped the environment, and protected animals and had a lot of good intentions that he could spread to the world if he had jsut been given the chance. 

But Charlie was the mastermind of these crimes. Whatever the motive, those kids were riled up and sent off by Charlie to do the things that we still try to understand today. Between the stealing, the rapes, the beatings, the murder of Shorty, and the shooting of Crowe, Charlie earned his ending regardless of TLB. Charles Manson was the face of Evil to a generation of people. 

How would we have gotten our children to sleep at night if we had let loose the " Most Evil Man on the Planet" ???

"It was fun tearing up the Tate house, o.k. You should have seen it. People were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. (Defendant is laughing)"

Charles "Tex' Watson speaking to court appointed Doctor.

In the over 10 years since I originally came up with the idea for this post I hope I have gained experience and wisdom. I have met some of the people close to the Family. I have met some people who correspond with them in jail. I have also softened with age lol.  I am not the same ole' firecracker who is ready to engage with every blogger who comes along for days on end to defend my points. I try to be a more positive and empathetic person these days. However, I still haven't changed my ultimate position on this subject. None of the Family should ever get out. 

The scale of justice is still tilted towards the value of life when weighed against a life sentence. It has been getting closer recently, but it still slants in the right direction, even if ever so gently. I believe that age will catch the Killers before the scale completely levels out. Since I first wrote this a few of them have actually gotten the board to vote in favor of parole. Bruce has gotten the votes 4 or 5 times. Still, none of them are free. And a couple were getting close back in the day, and have recently as well. I earlier mentioned Leslie and her 1 year denial. Leslie had a huge amount of support, and momentum. A network of people. Over the years, Movie Directors have visited her and Stars have taken up her cause. Books have been written and "Friends of Leslie" organizations have been founded in support of Leslie. Combined with her minimal personal involvement, and sparkling prison record, How in the world could Leslie NOT get out? 

A couple of people are to thank for that. Lets start with Doris Tate.

In 1982 Doris heard Leslie had gathered a few hundred letters of support and was close to getting paroled. That's when our Hero got to work. Doris was able to generate 350,000 letters in opposition. Leslie got denied. Then she really went to work. Doris was one of the primary few people responsible for the passing of "Prop 8" which among other things allowed for Victim impact statements at parole hearings. This was really affective. The Denials immediately became longer. And, also thanks in large part to Doris, Denials were allowed to be longer. The Victims Families didn't have to relive it as often. Oh, and by the way, no more conjugal visits either. Doris Tate did the early work and she really kept it up as long as she could. She gave the first Victim impact statement. She was willing to sit across Tex, and look him square in the eye. She went to as many parole hearings as she could, and when she could no longer attend, her family took her place. Deb Tate in particular has been tireless in her efforts to be at the hearings and do her part to keep all of them locked up. Others mock her for this. I forever salute her. Most of society does not study this case in depth. They do not understand the family history of Deb Tate they way some of us do. The people on the board, and the general population, view Deb as a grieving sister to one of the victims. And knowing what happened to her sister, Debra's words come across as very powerful and effective. She has been an extremely helpful advocate for the cause regardless of her motivation for doing so, or anyone's personal view of her. 

Then more recently there are the Governors. The last line of defense has held every time it has needed to. The ability of the Governors to have the final say on any of the Manson Family killers being released will not change with the new system. The government simply will not show up any longer at the hearings. That keeps the chances for anyone associated with the Manson name of ever getting out pretty much nil. (Nil is British for zero) There are many people who will tell me the injustice of selectively keeping certain people in jail for much longer than others who committed similar crimes. Others go as far as to call the killers "Political Prisoners." There are a few lawyers associated with this blog and I will leave the legality to them. I am putting my faith in the idea that if the Governor's are denying them parole, that it is within their legal authority to do so. If that is the case. Then there is nothing illegal or unjust about it. They were sentenced to life sentences for taking the lives of others. If they should serve life- that would be the justice they were promised. They are not owed less by the law because a clock ticked, or because they finally decided to play ball. Leslie does not get to decide how long her sentence will be herself, and Pat does not get to make a deal that if she behaves, she is guaranteed a second chance. Let me remind you, that for not a burp in History all of them except Bruce would be long dead. They were sentenced to death. They got a break and it was rescinded, only to be reinstated, with them luckily caught in middle. They got a second chance to live. Their victims did not. It was a technicality that saved the killers, so if it is a technicality that keeps them locked up- I still think they got the better end of the deal. Don't you?  The Killers got to live long lives. All of them had sexual visitations in jail for years. They got married, had kids, got educations. Some became Grandparents. Tex had his own office for awhile with a phone and computer in the prison chapel. A couple of them had websites and did business. They got to experienced some sort of life.

The victims did not. It all ended for them back in those few scary months in 1969. The crimes that still shock a nation today. There are just not many crimes like this. It is why we obsess over it. The Government only gets a few chances to show the largest amount of people that there are some things you just can't do. Only a few cases get this type of attention for such a long period of time. The Manson name was a badge the Family killers took on proudly. They never seemed to understand that although the X' on their foreheads would fade with time, their association with the Manson name and crimes never will. Life in jail is the consequence they must face for the choices they made. We must not try to dissect the legal definition of  how long a life sentence is supposed to last. It is called a "Life" sentence. It offers a chance or opportunity for parole. It does not guarantee it. There is a process for how that decision gets made, if/when it does. The inmates do not get to dictate that process or timeline themselves. Do we really want criminals sitting down with a calculator and working out the math when deciding on if they should do a crime? Is that  a deterrent? There are NO Guarantees in life when you break into someone's house and torture them - write in their blood - make a snack and leave, and then laugh about it in court. Within 15 years of going to jail, Leslie was already complaining she was being treated unfairly. She has been waging war on the "Unfair" system ever since. There are defenders, books, and celebrities all making excuses for her and arguing her sentence is unfair for her crime. Where was the remorse? The genuine comprehension of the hurt and pain she caused? Where was it with ANY of them. Go back and look at the quotes in this post. All were made AFTER the murders. There is laughing. There are threats. Leslie is still saying "It had to be done" 40 plus years later. Have you ever seen the crime scene photo's? Ever read the autopsy reports? What these animals did was inhuman. They beat these people, stabbed them, defiled their bodies, and painted messages with their blood. Then when brought to trial, they danced and joked around with absolutely no respect at all for the people who were suffering and mourning. Leslie was screwed because she did not "Go home" in 7 to 15 years? That would be justice to you? That is how much you value the life of the victims? That should be the end result of her life sentence? What is the value of a life sentence if you give it, and the person you gave it to believes they will be probably be home in an average of 10 years? The sentence given to Leslie, and the others, was Death and then reduced to Life. They are not entitled to anything less no matter how long they wait, or how well they behave. The Killers now want justice. The Families of the victims do as well. 

Shorty, Gary, Steven, Sharon, Jay, Abagail, Voytek, Leno, Rosemary. They can't fight for justice themselves any longer. They have not been around to do that for a very long time. The killers are counting on that, They hope that as more and more time goes by, that people will start to forget. But I cannot forget the victims. I think of the violent way their lives ended and the fear and pain they endured. I think of the way their families and friends had to watch their killers sing and dance through the courtroom halls each day, making a joke about the loss of people they loved dearly. I think of what the victims had to go through in the final minutes of their lives. I cannot stop thinking that none of them ever got a chance to live out their hopes and dreams. I always remember that none of them ever get to "Go home" again. 

Because of the vicious way they are responsible for that, I believe that Pat, Leslie, Tex, Bobby, and Bruce never will either...

- Your Favorite Saint

Monday, February 8, 2021

Drugs or Money?

 "I fear that if the matter is beyond humanity, it is certainly beyond me"

- Arthur Conan Doyle

"All motives for murder are covered by 4 L's: Love, Lust, Lucre and Loathing"

- P.D. James

"By the summer of 1969, most expenses at Spahn's Ranch were financed by drug deals and auto-theft. All activity around Charles Manson and the men he trusted concerned procuring drugs, or money for drugs."

- Susan Atkins (The Myth of Helter Skelter)

I worked as a Restaurant Manager from my final year in college until my late 30's. It was brutal. 65 hours a week of nights, weekends and Holidays. It was a lonely and miserable existence. No chance of a real relationship working those kind of hours. Not even the possibility of the random hook-up either. All the girls were passed out, or asleep, by the time I got out of the building. Nope, when others were finished paying the tab and on to the real fun, I was helping the dishwashers and busboys take out the trash so I could turn off the lights, lock the doors, and get out of there as early in the middle of the night as possible. Then I would go home and watch whatever crap happened to be on television in the wee hours of the morning, while using Coors-light and shitty weed, to try and get to sleep before the sun came up. All of that great fun so that I could get some kind of, mostly passed out, rest before going back and doing it all over again. But it wasn't all bad. Sometimes it had it's moments. I met many very cool people. I got to eat and drink for free for almost 20 years. I was able to be part of the party- in fact host the party- without having to spend any money. Most importantly though, I learned lifelong people skills that would eventually serve me very well in my next career incarnation. You see, from line-cooks to servers and bartenders, office accountants to dishwashers- I had to communicate with all types of individuals. Single moms, to married dad's. College students to high-school drop-outs. Career hospitality people to kids working their very first part-time job. I met and worked with all of them. More often than not, the challenge of trying to relate to so many different types of personalities ended up leaving me feeling quite off balance. But it usually turned out alright and, believe it or not, once or twice I was even able to make a connection. One such connection came through a game I created, spur of the moment- and by accident, to play with the hostess' that I worked with. The Hostess' were often 16 to 20 year old girls. They worked two or three shifts a week after school, or on weekends. Most of the time they were consumed with school, parents, or boyfriend drama. It was tough for me to figure out a way to break through and earn the confidence of this particular younger group of people, without trying too hard and looking cheesy. That is, until the game came along. The game was called "Drugs or Money?" 

The rules were as simple as how the game itself came about. One day a couple came into the restaurant who were really ridiculously mismatched. The hostess sat them at a table and as she was walking back to the hostess stand, she passed me. As she did, she made a face at me as if the say "Why would she come in here with a guy like that?" She never said a word, but you could see the question in her eyes and facial expression. So at the exact moment she walked by me, without looking directly at her or anything else, I said "Either drugs or money." The hostess burst out laughing. She kept looking back at the couple, and giggling, her entire walk back across the restaurant. After that every time we saw a mismatched couple come into the restaurant together, we would walk by each other and venture our guess as to which of the two was the reason a particular girl was with a specific guy. Eventually the other hostess' started to ask us why we were always saying the words drugs or money to each other, and we let them in on our game. After a short time, every hostess at the restaurant knew there would be an inside joke going with me whenever we worked the same shifts. Believe it or not it made me just cool enough to be able to communicate with these young girls about other things when I needed to. It was an awesome thing at the time to break through with a group of people who otherwise made me feel very awkward and out of date lol

So, that brings us up to date. Why this matters today:

I wrote a post recently exploring the Revenge motive as a possible reason for the Tate crime. I have long studied the Helter Skelter, and Music Snub Revenge motives in much more detail than any of the others. I have written posts about both. The motive(s) I would rank next in order of probability would be "Copycat/Get a brother out of jail." I think George Stimson wrote a fine book making the best case for that motive. I couldn't do a better job than he did. That leaves the The "Bottom of the barrel" motives.  It is those two motives that I am going to take a quick look at today. Robbery or Drug burn. Or, in other words, "Drugs or Money". See where this is going? 

Could the true motive for the Cielo crimes have been attached to either Drugs or Money?

"I believe Manson went up to the house and Manson wanted sell cocaine and marajuana. He showed Jay and Wojciech the product. They were going to buy some if it, but the two of them beat him up at the gate. The next night Manson sent the Family up." 

- Jim Markham, Beauty industry Icon and close friend of Jay Sebring, speaking to Hollywood Reporter

So what the Hell was really going on in Sharon's clique of friends? Out of respect, and maybe out of deference to a career military father, much of what these people were quietly doing behind the scenes in their lives has really never been totally outed. I think it is fair to keep some of it under the rug if it is irrelevant to why they were killed. But if it played a role, then maybe not so much. I usually like to only use direct quotes from people involved, or facts that were entered and accepted as such in a court of law. I very rarely use anyone who writes rumors and uses anonymous sources- as a reference in my posts. I try to stick to trial manuscripts, parole hearing transcripts, or direct quotes from by the subjects/participants themselves. This is a little tougher to do when trying to argue these types of motives. So today I am going to mention a few people who normally. I probably wouldn't.

Bobby swears that Truman Capote is a liar. He says he was misquoted by Truman, and that he never said most of what was in the interview Truman published with him at San Quintin. Maybe that is so. But Bobby is a proven liar in my opinion, so who knows how much of the interview was legitimate, and how much was Truman making mashed potatoes? I would guess it was a little of both. So, the challenge then becomes figuring if any quotes Truman attributed to Bobby can be backed up by unrelated testimony elsewhere. Maybe this is one:

"They burned people on dope deals. Sharon Tate and that gang, They picked up kids on the Sunset Strip, and took them home and stripped them. Made movies of it. Ask the cops. They found the movies. Not that they would've told you about that"

- Bobby Beausoleil in interview with Truman Capote at San Quinten

Now that may sound like some Truman Capote sensationalism, or Bobby making some stuff up to sound interesting. Either could be true. However this next quote attributed to Actor/Director Dennis Hopper in an interview with The LA Free Press is sort of curious if you read both:

"They had fallen into sadism, machoism and bestiality. And they recorded it all on videotape too. The LA police told me this. I know 3 days before they were killed 25 people were invited to that house to a mass whipping of a dealer on the Sunset Strip who had given them bad dope."

That is a pretty interesting coincidence, Sunset Strip, Drug-burn, video-tapes. A set of people who really cant be connected to each other at all, and both came up with very similar claims about the lifestyles of the victims. Again, while intriguing, this is not really the type of testimonial evidence I normally like to offer. The problem with using this type of material is verification. What else do you have besides the word of the person saying it? Even if it is more than one person saying it. It just gets murkier and murkier when it comes to "Video-tapes."

In "One Hand Jerking: Reports from an Investigative Satirist" Paul Krasner recounts how Hal Lipsett, the legendary private investigator on whose career The Conversation was based, told him that "Elements of the LA police force were offering seven straight hours of celebrity skin flicks seized from the Polanski residence for a quarter of a million dollars". 

We know these video's kept coming up over and over, but we don't know where they are now, or how/why they never surfaced after 50 years? I prefer to stick with what we do know. We know the official record of the crime scene. We know the only video that was reported discovered by Sergeant Mike McGann was screened at the Police Academy and returned to the house after it showed only Roman and Sharon making love. In all of the years since, no other tapes have ever surfaced. That is what we know. As in the video-tapes, this is the problem you encounter over and over when it comes to the Drug Burn theory. Factual evidence of drug dealing, or even personal encounters, between the Victims and Family members are very hard to verify. Just like the videos, second-hand stories and rumors are frequent. Actual, verifiable examples are not.

"Charles, Tex Watson, who allegedly led the death squad responsible for the carnage at Cielo Drive, lived for a time on - guess where- Wonderland Avenue. During that time, curiously enough, Watson co-owned and worked in a wig shop in Beverly Hills, Crown Wigs Creations LTD., that was located near the mouth of Benedict Canyon. Meanwhile one of Jay Sebring's primary claims-to-fame was his expertise in crafting Men's hairpieces, which he did in his shop near the mouth of  Laurel Canyon. A typical day then in the late 1960's would find Watson crafting men's hairpieces for an upscale Hollywood crowd near Benedict Canyon, and then returning home to Laurel Canyon, while Sebring crafted men's hairpieces for an upscale clientele near Laurel Canyon and then returned home to Benedict Canyon. And then one crazy day, as well all know, one of them became a killer and the other his victim. But there is nothing odd about that, I suppose, so let's move on...."

- Dave McGowan (Inside the L.C.- The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation Part 1)

Once again, a very interesting coincidence. Tex and Jay were in very close proximity. BUT, who can verify that they ever met, or knew, each other? 

Think about something: 

There is no testimony from any court transcript, parole hearing, nor statement from a witness or killer, that says Jay made any statement or acknowledgment indicating he knew Tex when they were all in the living room before Tex Shot him. In all of the years, and all the times the various killers changed their stories, in no version did any of the killers and victims know each other. Why wouldn't Jay have said something if he knew Tex? If you recognize a person who has appeared in front of you with a gun in the middle of the night, wouldn't the first words out of your mouth be "Hey Tex, what are you doing here?" If Jay knew his attacker, don't you think he would have tried any way he could have to talk to him and reason his way out of the situation? I sorta do. There is no testimony anywhere that says Jay tried to do that. In fact- the one consistent story they have all told over the years is that Tex was asked who he was, which gave him the chance to utter that infamous phrase about being the Devil there to do the Devils work. Sigh. We can go on all day with rumors and speculation. Bill Scanlon Murphy has a whole story you can read about Mob connections and 40K drug deals between Jay and the Manson people at Cielo, but I am not going to recreate that garbage here, because none of it can be backed up by actual evidence or factual testimony by any of the principals or witness'. 

Is there any actual witness or victim testimony about drugs, money or either being part of motive? 

Well... there is Tex:

"There were three basic motives behind the murders that took place sometime past midnight on August 9. The most obvious was the one that Charlie had articulated to us that afternoon: to do what blackie didn't have the energy or smarts to do- Ignite Helter Skelter and bring in Charlie's Kingdom. There was also the need for more cash, first of all to finance our preparations for Armageddon- the same thing that motivated the drug burn and Bernard Crowe's supposed murder, the killing of Gary Hinman, and all of the proposed abductions and murders in the Chatsworth area, and also to pay $600 bail for Mary Brunner, who had been arrested earlier in the day for using a stolen Sears credit card."

"Beyond getting money, and bringing down Helter Skelter, there was a third, less important motive; to clear Bobby Beausoleil of the  Hinman slaying by committing a similar crime while he was in jail."

"I want all the money you've got here" I barked, and Abagail took Sadie into her bedroom and gave her the money in her wallet. When they came back with only 70 dollars, I shouted: "You mean that's all you've got?"  "How much do you want?" Frykowski asked. "We want thousands."

- Tex Watson (Will You die for Me)

But, if you keep reading on in Tex's story, he says he starts stabbing Jay almost immeidately after saying that. He never waited, or gave anyone a chance to get any money. Nor, did he take money he saw. Jay had already been shot at this point. He was certainly no threat. Why would Tex ask for money then start the blood-bath withought giving them a chance to produce any? Did they really go there to rob Cielo on that August night? Was that the true intent? After all, Tex gives three motives. His explanation in "Will you Die for Me" leaves me with questions. Tex is also a proven self-serving liar. 

And then there is Susan Atkins:

"An ever increasing appetite for an illegal substance that pushes Charles Manson further and further into illegal means of obtaining it. Robberies and swindles were performed, sometimes including very dangerous drug burns. And all to obtain  more money for drugs. By the summer of 1969, Family members were being encouraged to steal from their friends and even their parent's homes to help make up for this drug deficit. And the best part about all of this, as far as Charles Manson was concerned, is that they were giving him the money and he didn't have to get near the crimes. He thought he was faultless because he hadn't gone out and actually stole the money himself. This was a pattern he would try and do again later."

-Susan Atkins (Myth of  Helter Skelter) 

Susan is also a well-documented liar who has told about half a dozen different versions of the story over the years. Maybe we should review what the authorities who investigated thought when they first came upon this. To do that we must consult "The Oracle"

I know Bugs beat up the milk-man, lied to the Col about the motive, and is an all-around terrible guy. I hope he burns in hell working at a TGI Fridays 70 hours a week for all eternity to repent for his transgressions. But, Bugs could investigate. The way he took over and coordinated the early days of the investigation was genius in my opinion. I trust what he and his team found, and I believe in the evidence they ultimately presented. How Bugs used it and may have twisted it later to fit his narrative is an argument for another time. Yes, Bugs himself mocked the earliest days of the investigation, but it is still relevant to hear what the actual people investigating were thinking. Let's remember what they initially thought about "Drugs or Money" as a motive.

"Or could the murders have been the result of a drug "burn", the killer(s) arriving to make a delivery, or buy, an argument over money or bad drugs erupting into violence?" This was the second, and in many ways the most likely, of the five theories the detectives would list in their first investigative report. The third theory was a variation of  the second, the killer(s) deciding to keep both the money and the drugs. The fourth was the residential burglary theory."

"The drug theories seemed to make the most sense. In the investigation that followed, as the police interviewed acquaintances of the victims, and the victim's habits and lifestyles emerged into clearer focus, the possibility that drugs were in some way linked to the motive became in some minds such a certainty that when given a clue which could have solved the case, they ignored it."

-  Pages 44/45 Helter Skelter (Vincent Bugliosi)

Now lets be practical. What actual Drugs or Money were found at the scene?

- 1 gram cocaine ( Jay's Porsche)
- 6.3 grams Marajuana, 1 two inch roach (Jay's Porsche)
- 6.9 grams Marajuana (Living Room cabinet)
- 30 grams Hash (Gibby's nightstand in bedroom)
- 10 MDA capsules (Gibby's nightstand in bedroom)
- Marajuana residue (Ashtray by Sharons bed)
- 1 Marajuana cigarette (Desk near front door)
- 2 Marajuana cigarettes (Guest House)

"There was no indications of  ramsacking or robbery. McGann found Sebring's wallet in his jacket, which was hanging over the back of a chair in the living room. It contained $80. John Doe had $9 in his wallet, Frykowski $2.44 in his wallet and pants pocket, Folger $9.64 in her purse. On the nightstand next to Sharon's bed, in plain view, were a ten, a five, and three ones. Obviously expensive items- a videotape machine, TV sets, Stereo, Sebring's watch and Porsche- had not been taken"

Money, Jewelry, drugs, appliances, sports-cars. That is what they did NOT take. If they were really there to rob the place, they sucked at it no? Then there is the drugs. or lack of drugs really. This, to me, is the inventory of pretty heavy partiers. For the times, not even really excessive. Divided by three and separating the stuff in the car and bedroom, this looks very much like personal use to me. Not one of these drugs is in quantities that would make me think they were dealing. Take away the MDA and the rest of this stuff could have been found in my college apartment ( I shared with 3 guys) at almost any time. Again, where is there any testimony over 50 years from any of the Family members that they suddenly came into any money or drugs after August 8, or 9?  It doesn't exist. I have looked very hard lol.  Unfortunately, I can't show you what I can't find. I do not think Bugs or the investigators were able to find it back then either, which is probably one reason why they moved on to other motives. Furthermore, there is plenty of testimony about how little money, or drugs, they had when they got out to Barker and how hard life started to become out in the desert as they started to run out of drugs and money... 

"Finally, ready or not, the Family is moved to the desert. Manson could have gone much sooner on his own, but he's afraid to move without his bodyguard of followers. Supplies are sparse and conditions rough. More people try to leave."

"Money was very limited. but Manson was afraid to go back to the city. Luckily for everyone, our stay in the desert didn't last very long."

- Susan Atkins ( Myth of Helter Skelter)

"When we were in the desert, we were busy trying to find an indication of where the hole would be that would lead us to the center of the Earth. We were learning how to live off the land which, you know, there's no food. So we were basically down to surviving."

-Leslie Van Houten ( 6/5/13 Parole Hearing transcript- stolen as always from

Do you think this sounds like the voices of people who had just become flush with cash? I sorta don't.

I believe Tex sold pot. He says so himself.  I believe some of the Family Members probably dabbled a little as well in making moves with one drug or another. I believe that Jay sold coke to celebrity friends, and other friends. I believe that Gibby and Wojciech were doing drugs pretty heavily, and certainly were associated with several dealers (including Jay) both in and outside of California. You can read about that in Helter Skelter if you haven't already. I believe it was serious use, but I do not believe they were dealers themselves. What you will not read in Helter Skelter, or anywhere else, is documented evidence that anyone in the Family was related to any of this in any way. While the friends and families of the victims would certainly never publicly stain their memories, you can hear the truth about what Sharon's co-victims were doing around her if you listen carefully. Plenty of important people all worked together to make sure that the story stayed as clean as possible, but it was a party time and they were living party lives. Until it all ended in tragedy. I wonder if the people who cared about the victims could have done such an amazing job of keeping certain things so hushed in the world we live in today?

I will not pursue it any further than that because...

I do not believe that Sharon's clique and Charlie's Family were doing drugs with, or selling drugs to, each other. I do not believe that "Drugs or Money" were the reason Sharon and the others were killed. I have found nothing that connects the two groups of people in any way that can be proven factually. I do not believe that Tex and the others went to Cielo that night to rob anyone either. Outside of a book Tex wrote decades after the fact where he is clearly trying to pass himself off as fair and reasonable, there is even less proof of that. The killers blatantly ignored money and items of value that would have been easy to grab. Cash and joints were laying out in plain view. The killers did not seem no notice these things at all.  I think they must have had some other motivation to be there. Robbery or Drug deal gone bad are much easier to understand as motives in general, but just do not really fit here. Sometimes the easier answer to understand is not the correct one. And let's face it- this would all be much more simple to comprehend if the motive could be as basic as drug-burn or robbery. We all want so badly to comprehend how something like this could have happened? Then again lol, it wouldn't be the same case if we could- would it? Isn't the not knowing what really makes this case so unique to some of us at the end of the day? All we know for sure about the motive after 50 years is that we really don't know the motive for sure. 

Why did these murders happen? As much as I despise Roman Polanski, maybe he had it right all along. 

"If I'm looking for a motive, I'd look for something which doesn't fit your habitual standard, with which you used to work as police- something much more far out...."

Whatever the answer to the motive question for the Tate ( and Labianca) crimes is, It is not going to end up being one of the easy, obvious, or "habitual" answers such as drugs or money. Sometimes you have to really dig deep to get at the real answer to a question. Its not always as easy as making the typical assumptions about things. And, I started learning that lesson going all the way back to that game I created in the Restaurant so many years ago.  Sometimes it is not Drugs or Money...

Sometimes its just the hot girls older cousin visiting from Cleveland. 

- Your Favorite Saint