Monday, August 3, 2020

Cutting to the Truth Jay Sebring

A documentary made by Jay Sebring's nephew, Anthony DeMaria, is scheduled to debut on September 22 2020.  The film will be available on demand and digitally.

A couple of links for your perusal....

Media Play News

Las Vegas Review-Journal

The trailer

Friday, July 24, 2020

Charles Manson Follower Leslie Van Houten Recommended for Parole – for the 4th Time

(LOS ANGELES) — A California panel on Thursday recommended that Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten be paroled after serving nearly five decades in prison.

After a hearing at the women’s prison in Chino, California, commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings found for the fourth time that Van Houten was suitable for release, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

After a 120-day review process, her case will again rest with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who could deny parole, although that move could be challenged in court.

Newsom blocked her release once and his predecessor Jerry Brown did it twice.

“As with any parole suitability recommendation, when the case reaches the Governor’s Office, it will be carefully reviewed on its merits,” Vicky Waters, Newsom’s press secretary, said in a statement.

Van Houten, 70, is serving a life sentence for helping Manson and others kill Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in August 1969.

Van Houten was 19 when she and other cult members fatally stabbed the LaBiancas, carved up Leno LaBianca’s body and smeared the couple’s blood on the walls.

The slayings came the day after other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.

Details of the parole hearing weren’t immediately released but Van Houten’s attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, said in an email that it “went really well.”

Pfeiffer said he expects Newsom to reverse the decision again, “but the courts will have a harder time denying a writ than they did in the past.”

In May, an appeals court denied Pfeiffer’s request to release Van Houten on bail or her own recognizance. His motion argued that her age put her at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and noted that another prisoner in her housing unit had been infected.

At her 2017 parole hearing, Van Houten described a troubled childhood. She said she was devastated when her parents divorced when she was 14. Soon after, she said, she began hanging out with her school’s outcast crowd and using drugs. When she was 17, she and her boyfriend ran away to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District during the city’s Summer of Love.

She was traveling up and down the California coast when acquaintances led her to Manson. He was holed up at an abandoned movie ranch on the outskirts of Los Angeles where he had recruited what he called a “family” to survive what he insisted would be a race war he would launch by committing a series of random, horrifying murders.

Manson died in 2017 of natural causes at a California hospital while serving a life sentence.

Monday, July 20, 2020

L.A. in the Time of Charles Manson (Full version)

It was announced July 14th that the above documentary was an honoree at the Webby Awards.  Deb found the whole film on YouTube.  It was sort of interesting, there were a couple of things that I didn't know but most was SSDD.  The music and vintage LA scenery were very good.

One drawback is that Shreck is in it, just three short blips though.  Pamala DeBarre is in it as are the reporters from back in the day, Rona Barrett, Stephen Kay, of course. Jakobson, too.

At the end of the docu there is an interview with Michael Brunner. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Suzan LaBerge's daughter murdered

Suzan LaBerge married Henry Wolk November 6, 1976 in Los Angeles.  On September 26, 1979 Suzan and Henry had a daughter, Ariana Jean Wolk in Nevada County California.

This July 3rd Ariana was murdered in Denver Colorado where she was living.  The details are slim, Ariana was stabbed to death in the South Park Hill neighborhood and was pronounced dead at 5:45 AM on the 3rd.

On July 7th police arrested Jose Maria Sandoval-Romero, 24, in Colorado Springs for the crime.  He has been charged with first degree murder.  The arrest affidavit remains sealed and a mug shot of the suspect has not been released because the investigation is ongoing.

Feelers are out for more information and hopefully we can update the post.

Our sincerest condolences to Suzan and Ariana's father.  It's unimaginable to lose both a mother and daughter in the same horrific manner.

Denver Post article

Thanks to blog reader Chef Chris for the tip.



DENVER (CBS4) – Fingerprints found on a cup helped lead detectives to the suspect in a Denver homicide. The Denver District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that Jose Sandoval-Romero is under arrest and facing a murder charge in the fatal stabbing of 40-year-old Ariana Wolk earlier this month.

Wolk was killed on July 3 in her apartment on the 1500 block of Oneida Street, just off East Colfax Avenue. First responders found her lying in a pool of blood in her bed and said she had been stabbed in the neck.

Three days later, Sandoval-Romero was arrested in Colorado Springs.

Authorities said they reviewed video from the night of the murder that showed Sandoval-Romero and Wolk together. Sandoval-Romero was holding a cup in the video. That cup was found in Wolk’s yard and fingerprints of Sandoval-Romero’s that were allegedly found on the cup helped detectives pinpoint him as a suspect.

A statement from the DA’s office indicates Sandoval-Romero confessed to the crime. Authorities say he told investigators that he ditched his clothes, which got bloody during the crime, and fled to Colorado Springs afterwards.

UPDATE July 21 2020

There have been two Go Fund Me pages created by Ariana's sister Rommi to help with funeral expenses and to set up a fund for Ariana's son.

This one is for Ariana's son.

This one is for the funeral expenses.

Thanks, Panamint Patty for letting us know about the pages.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Bobby Beausoleil denied parole

2016 Mug Shot

Bobby had a parole hearing yesterday, July 1, and was denied for 18 months.  It's kind of unusual because once a prisoner has been granted parole, like Bobby was at his last hearing, they continue to grant parole.  He must have done something in prison, a violation or something, to not be granted again. 

Manson family killer Bobby Beausoleil was denied parole for the 20th time during a Skype hearing on Wednesday, can disclose.

The 72-year-old was previously cleared to leave jail on January 3, 2019 but that decision was overturned by California Governor Gavin Newsom three months later.

His latest bid for release was denied outright and Beausoleil will have to spend another 18 months in his cell at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville before he becomes eligible to reapply.

Read the rest of the article.

Monday, June 29, 2020

A Shrine for Shorty

I drove by the site of the Spahn Ranch today to give a tour to a female friend who had never been and wanted to see. Our last stop was at the turnoff where Shorty Shea was murdered. I was narrating his final moments and about to pull the car back onto the road when my friend  shouted "Look! Is that him?!"

She was pointing to a white piece of paper tacked to the "Manson Tree" and I immediately recognized, even from a distance, the well-known photo of Shorty on his wedding day. Someone had put it up as a bit of a shrine to this oft-neglected victim of the horrible murders during the summer of 1969, complete with what looked like a couple of Mardi Gras necklaces.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Dump location of Shorty's Car

This is where Shorty's 1962 Mercury Comet was found - 8864 Independence Ave. The top photo is the Canoga Park location  today, and below is the same spot in 1969 where Gypsy left it.

Donald Shea's 1962 Merc 

Thanks, Surf-Bat

Monday, June 15, 2020

Strange RV Tours - The Devil's Hole

Monday, June 8, 2020

To Tell the Truth Jay Sebring

This is an episode of To Tell the Truth with Jay Sebring as the guest. January 28 1963!

To Tell the Truth was a game show that aired from 1956-1968.  There was a panel of four celebrities whose task it was to figure out which of three contestants was telling the truth about something in  particular, it could be an event, their occupation or simply something notable that the person had done. Each wrong vote the panel made earned the impostor $100 in the daytime version or $250 in the nighttime version.

Thank you Max Frost for sending this to us!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Laurel Canyon Docuseries

Another Epix offering. A docuseries beginning Sunday, May 31.

Laurel Canyon

'Laurel Canyon': Mamas and the Papas singer on the 'very big highs and lows' of '60s music scene
Patrick Ryan
USA TODAY/ May 29 2020

Original Article

Imagine living right down the street from Joni Mitchell, The Byrds and Modern Folk Quartet.

Those were just a few of Michelle Phillips' famous neighbors in Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon in the late 1960s and early '70s, where she co-founded folk group The Mamas and the Papas with then-husband John Phillips, Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot.

"Cass had an open-door policy – anybody could swing by her place any time," Phillips says. "They'd smoke a joint, drink some wine and play their guitars. That's how she got Crosby, Stills & Nash together: She heard them all singing (separately) and said, 'You guys should sing together.' And that's how that happened."

The Mamas and the Papas members Michelle Phillips, left, and Cass Elliot, in a still from Epix documentary "Laurel Canyon."
The musical renaissance that sprung out of this idyllic mountainside neighborhood is the subject of two-part docuseries "Laurel Canyon," premiering on Epix Sunday (9 EDT/PDT) and concluding June 7. The documentary paints an intimate portrait of the friendships, love affairs, collaborations – and sometimes all three – that defined this place and time.

More:'David Crosby: Remember My Name' reveals a musician trapped in his own kind of hell

Graham Nash, for instance, wrote the wistful "Our House" at Mitchell's Laurel Canyon home, which the then-couple shared. The Doors were the house band at nearby nightclub Whiskey A Go Go before they hit big, and Peter Tork was roommates with Stephen Stills pre-The Monkees fame. (In fact, it was Stills who helped get him the gig.)

"What was so unique about Laurel Canyon at that time was just how many of the artists who were there became really influential musicians – it's the music of our lives even still to this day," director Alison Ellwood says. "It was a really fun process of discovery, finding the myriad ways these artists connected and interacted with each other."

Joni Mitchell, left, and Graham Nash, who dated from 1968 to 1970.

The docuseries features a slew of new interviews with artists who called the community home, including Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt. It also features never-before-seen images from photographers Henry Diltz and Nurit Wilde, and home footage and recordings from some musicians' personal archives.

Phillips, now the last-living member of The Mamas and the Papas, is featured prominently throughout the documentary. She recalls the night John woke her up to write the band's now-signature hit "California Dreamin'," which came to him in his sleep. She also gets candid about their tumultuous relationship, when he temporarily kicked her out of the group shortly after they separated, upon learning she was dating The Byrds' Gene Clark.

"It was a really fun time, but all very dramatic, with very big highs and lows," says Phillips, 75, who transitioned into acting in the early '70s.

She prefers not to discuss Charles Manson, an aspiring rocker-turned-cult leader who attended at least one party at Elliot's house before orchestrating the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969. ("Even after all this time, it just makes me want to cry," Phillips says.) The singer gets similarly emotional talking about Elliot, fondly known as "Mama Cass," who died of heart failure in 1974 at just 32.

"It was a huge loss for everybody," Phillips says. "She had such a stage presence. So funny and quick on her feet. She always had the audience in the palm of her hand."

Joni Mitchell, left, and Cass Elliot. Mitchell's 1970 album "Ladies of the Canyon" was inspired by Laurel Canyon, a music mecca in the Hollywood Hills during the late '60s and '70s.

The Mamas and the Papas were together for only 2½ years, but left an indelible mark on folk music in a short amount of time. In addition to "California Dreamin'," which has been streamed nearly 240 million times on Spotify, they scored Top 5 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart including "Monday, Monday," "Creeque Alley" and "Dedicated to the One I Love." And in 1998, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"I would never have become a singer if it hadn't been for John," Phillips says. "Really, all I wanted to do was dress up in a cute cocktail dress, put my hair up, drink a Brandy Alexander, have a Marlboro, and be the bandleader's girlfriend. That's what I thought I had in front of me."