Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vern Plumlee

Vern was the AWOL Marine who spent time at Spahn from July 1969 to September. He was "recaptured" by Uncle Sam and spent enough time in the brig for prosecutors to identify him as a witness and plan to use him during the trial. He escaped from the brig but was recaptured - again. He brashly bragged about killing 3 people and also said that he witnessed Manson and Grogan killing someone in the desert. He was a master of changing stories, it seems. Plumlee was convicted and sentenced to 5 years to life in an unrelated robbery stabbing.

After parole, he worked as a welder and raised a family.

Origins of the Black Bus

On page 18 of Ed Sander's latest release of "The Family," he writes that "It was in Sacramento where they seem to have traded the Volkswagen bus as down payment for an old yellow school bus...On October 16, 1967, at the Stewart E. Miller Standard Chevron Station...they outfitted the school bus with a thirty-nine dollar battery and two sets of 825-20 tires costing $216.20." Panamint Patty found an old reverse lookup Sacramento phone directory from 1968 and located the gas station which is now a plain vanilla used car lot at 6401 Stockton Boulevard in the part of town now known as "Little Saigon." This was a surprise, since she expected the gas station would likely be on a freeway on- or off-ramp. However, In 1967, Stockton Boulevard was the main way in and out of town to the south: there was no 99, no 5 connecting Northern and Southern California. And today, there is no Stewart E. Miller Chevron station: So you may say that Patty's adventure was a bust. But then again...So many of these sites are disappearing into the mist forty years later. She hopes that some of you may be inspired to do a little sleuthing of your own and perhaps one of us will find something truly amazing...