Saturday, November 5, 2011

This Day in Manson History - Zero Dies

On November 5, 1969, John Phillip Haught died mysteriously after being shot in the head at the 28 Clubhouse in Venice, California. It was reported to be suicide (Russian Roulette), or perhaps he was murdered for knowing too much and talking too much to authorities. If you believe some people he just wanted to see what it was like to experience death and orgasm at the same time.

Fellow Family members, Bruce Davis (whose prints were on the gun) Catherine Gillies, Sue Bartell, and Little Patty were with him at the time of his death.

On April 29 of this year Ken posted this photo of 28 Clubhouse and more:
To view the others, follow this link:

This residence is less than 1 block from the apartment in Venice where Saladin Nader lived.

Am I missing something; this is the second time you've pointed out Mark Ross's house and Zero's death and there's almost no interest. Isn't this supposed to be a website/blog where people go because they want to learn more about the Manson Family and the Tate/LaBianca massacre? Right from his book Helter Skelter Bugliosi writes: "On the night of Wednesday, November 5, a young man who might have been able to provide a solution to the Tate-LaBianca homicides ceased to exist. "Clue!" CEASED TO EXIST" Because Mark was an actor like Nader, I'm sure Mr. "B" was also taken by Linda's "piggy" remark concerning actors. Acting and Helter Skelter: now there's a thought.


Cuntry Trash said...

I visited both places when I was in Venice. My girlfriend used to live with a famous musician (won't say who) and they both shot a movie in 1991-1994 right next door. So, I thought it was ironic how all of those houses (as well as the famous Squeaky bench) are so close. But, then again, that community in Venice is so squeezed together. Everything is "like a block away."

fiona1933 said...

It's a very interesting story! From reading the Hendrickson book and watching the film, I conclude that Zero is the person Susan Atkins told Ronnie Howard about, about having sex with a guy who wanted to die at the moment of climax. Ronnie said that Susan had sex with him, told him when she was coming and then he shot himself and the blood ran down her throat.
But from various evidence and inference, I believe that what happened is Zero did exactly this, not with Susan Atkins, but with Country Sue. Naturally, Country Sue and the others didn't tell the cops the details, just said Zero shot himself.

Subsequently, Susan Atkins received that news in jail. Now, we all know Susan appropriated others actions, such as the killing of Sharon and Gary, to herself, a habit she didn't even understand (Why? Why did I lie? as she puts it in her book) It is possible she took the news to Ronnie and said she did it.

But Ronnie reports Susan as getting this news, from Country Sue Bartell and saying, "Imagine how beautiful to be there. " That Sue had been holding his hand, and as the gun went off, he 'climaxed all over himself"

These stories are too similar and too coincidental and Ronnie Howard isn't the sharpest tool in the box. Bug said her recall was poor and she often mixed up dates and names, such as confusing Charles Manson and Charles Watson. Plus Susan always talked in a stoned scattered way, jumping from scene to scene, "as if she was tripping out".

Therefore, it's probable that Zero died having sex with Sue, or holding Sue's hand. If the latter, then Susan Atkins exaggerated the story, appropriated it to herself and Ronnie didn't spot the anomalies, or Ronnie just confused the two Sues in the first place.

I think it's that. Susan exaggerated it, and Ronnie thought she was talking about herself. Don't think for a moment Zero was murdered.

The one thing I think is truly interesting is the cops total uninterest. Another hippy shot: so what. "We got so many murders now" as one cop is quoted as saying in HS. It shows how commonplace this was. The hippy movement had become so violent and apathetic about violence. Dropping out, rejecting square society turned out to mean steadily becoming inured to more and more atrocity. It seems to have turned people very selfish and uncaring. I read a book about Neal Cassady's wife, Carolyn, in which she mentions a hippy bunch, friends of Neal, just leaving a 7 year old child to fend for himself. The underground magazine Avatar spoke of killings in Haight Ashbury, with other hippies just looking on. Topanga Canyon was full of ODs and murders and no-one cared.

It puts the Tate-LaB killings in perspective. Just another violent episode.

beauders said...

i think that anyone associated with the Family at that time who dies is an important figure.

Matt said...

From Robert Hendrickson:

Fiona: your post is exactly what mental investigations are all about.

Personally, I thought Atkins could have been talking about two such events: one where she actually was involved and the other where Sue and ZERO were involved. Now, from your post, I realize that in Sadie's mind, she may have also been "experiencing" the Zero death ritual vicariously. I came across this "Family" type experience at other times with others. Sandy talked about killing as if she had actually experienced it, but suppossedly she never did. One night in the saloon, Gypsy dramatically told the story of the saloon being turned into a night club. It wasn't until she was almost finished, did I realize it was likely just an imagined story. The Family was very heavy into a "group think" experience. Then, combined with drugs and drink like belladonna tea and you've got the makings of a total social aberration. Because Mark seemed to understand that Zero's death was some kind of far-out ritual, as Sadie also considered the Tate massacre, the Russian Roulette story never clicked for me. Also, "Russian Roulette" was the lable usually given to unsolved deaths by newspaper reporters and cops of the time.

Supposedly, there were no prints on the gun, so when the cops discovered this, why didn't they question the R. Roulette theory.

There are so many bizarre things involved in the Manson Family big picture. Shorty's body was buried with a hand sticking out and the cops still couldn't find it.

Thank you for adding some intelligent interest to this bizarre case.

Anonymous said...

Honestly ? Do people believe that it was Russian roulette? Really!!!