Manson Family Linked to River Area Slaying
The slaying near Guerneville of a young Marine has touched off the arrest of two men and three female members of the Manson family in Stockton.
San Joaquin County authorities yesterday uncovered the body of Lauren Willett, the 19-year-old wife of James T. Willett, 26, whose body was found on a mountain south of Guerneville last week.
The body of the young woman, shot through the head, was found in a shallow grave in Stockton yesterday.
Sonoma County Attorney John Hawkes said he would file a murder charge today in connection with the Guerneville slaying.
San Joaquin County authorities said those arrested over the weekend in Stockton are being held as suspects in the slaying of the Willetts.
Willett’s body was found by an elderly hiker when the hiker saw the victim’s hand protruding from the ground.
San Joaquin investigators said the Marine’s wife had been buried one day. She had been killed by a .38 bullet through the head.
Authorities said the three women, arrested with the two men at a residence in Stockton yesterday, had scarred crosses on their foreheads – a mark that identified the women in the notorious southern California hippie family of Charles Manson.
Stockton police said they had arrested one of the suspects, Michael Monfort, 24, on Oct. 3 on charges of robbing a liquor store. He identified himself as Willett and later jumped bail.
Officers recaptured him Saturday and questioned him about having Willett’s identification.
Sonoma County detectives, however, were in Stockton Friday investigating certain aspects of Willett’s slaying.
Others arrested at a Stockton apartment were James Craig, 33, Priscilla Cooper, 21; Nancy Pitman, 24, and Lynette Fromme, 24.
Willett’s discharge papers were found in the residence, the officers said.
“These people travel – Los Angeles, Guerneville, Sonoma County, San Francisco, Stockton. The have no address,” said an officer.
DA Hawkes today said the sheriff’s office has placed holds on Monfort, Craig, and a third man, identified as William M. Goucher, 23.
Goucher was arrested with Monfort for the Oct. 3 robbery and has been in jail since.
He said he is withholding issuance of a murder complaint until completion of some last minute investigation in the Guerneville area by a sheriff’s detective.
Meanwhile, an official with the Department of Corrections said today Monfort and Craig are known to be members of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white racist cult of prison inmates which deals in murder contracts for profit.
At the time Monfort was arrested with Willett’s identification and stationwagon, officials said, he was wanted for escape from a state prison work camp.
Hawkes said today there is thus far no connection between the three women and the death of Willett in Guerneville.
In Guerneville, The Patties located the old Redwood Chapel at 14045 Mill St., which is now a county building of some sort:
James' body was likely brought to the lower level through these very doors. But, where was he found? Check back soon, there is much more to come.