then it was dangerous, dirty, criminal, and I did not care because I was
getting what I wanted”.
have, should have made different decisions. And I could have. But these are the
ones that I made. I chose to stay. I didn't care what he did. It never crossed
my mind to care”.
-Bruce Davis at his 2010 Parole
writing you today to ask that you NOT grant parole to Bruce Davis. I understand
that this is a very difficult decision. Times are tough in the state of
California, and there must be many pressing issues on your plate. However, I
ask that you take a moment and hear me out on this matter which is surely going
to set precedents for not only the other defendants in this case, but many
others who may someday consider committing additional crimes of this heinous
nature. To help me make this case- I will point out some common arguments for
his release below in addition to some words that were never intended for my use
to debunk them. I chose to use the words
of those involved so as to make no mistake that my ideas were not made up to
support my claims, and that even those involved make the same arguments as I
do, although again, they never intended to do so. Please take the time to
consider my offering.
decided to be a counterculture dropout and an outlaw. That opened me up.”
-Bruce Davis at his 2010 Parole consideration hearing
You see Governor, Bruce made
this decision to go over to the dark side before he met Charlie Manson or
anyone in his family. Bruce was traveling all over the country, and world,
doing his own thing both before and during his time with Manson. There are several
other crimes out there that coincide with his presence in the areas. Bruce
Davis may have been involved with, or have knowledge of, some of these crimes.
In fact, another one of his co-defendants Steve Grogan led authorities to the
area where one of Bruce’s victims was buried for years. It is worth pointing
out that Grogan had no religious conversion aiding him with his decision to
help. Certainly Grogan had his own motivations, but wouldn’t Bruce Davis with
his search for forgiveness and his desire to make amends to the families under
the light of God have felt the need to do so as well, or sooner in his case in
light of his new belief system? It seems his actions are not as committed as
his words when it comes to easing the pain of his victims families. Letting him
out now would be doing so without having ever forced him to come completely
clean. That would be not such a great precedent to set in this citizen’s eyes. Everything Bruce and his attorney have said leads me to believe that if released Bruce would not be out there preaching, or talking to others about the errors of his ways, as much as sitting on a couch somewhere complaining about how unfairly he was treated.
“apply the law fairly and honestly and
give Mr. Davis the parole grant he's been owed for about 30 years. Courage that
the last 22 Panels with the exception of one Commissioner lacked.”
" Bruce Davis reached his base
term over 30 years ago and has to date been denied 22 straight times based
solely upon the life crime and other unchanging historical factors."
Attorney for Bruce Davis at 2010 Parole consideration hearing
This is my personal favorite reason you will hear Mr. Governor as to
why he should be released. The “time frame” argument. Nobody has yet been able to show me where life
sentence with a possibility or eligibility for parole becomes a guarantee for
parole after a certain amount of time. I wonder- Is there a matrix or time frame for when
Gary Hinman or Jerome Shea get to go home to their families? It seems to me that Bruce is getting frustrated that all these years haven't changed the fact he helped kill a couple of people. You mean after 22 straight parole hearings I still did that? You still want me to pay? Also- I remind you that
Bruce Davis initially fled when charged. He decided when to turn himself in to serve justice
for what he did. Are we now allowing him to decide when he is done based on a certain amount of
time? We OWE him something? My greatest concern regarding this is the message
it sends. If we tell our fellow citizens that taking a life from another may
cost your own- it may make people think twice. If we send a message that simple
math dictates how long you will serve- wont people start making judgments based
on how much time is worth how much damage they want to cause? Do we really want
people to start trying to figure out what is and isn’t worth doing. Don’t we
owe it to each other to make sure people understand that we will not tolerate
behavior which harms others, and if you take a life you need to be prepared to give
up your own? I don’t know a single person who would risk losing their freedom
forever. But there are people out there with nothing to lose and if they get
desperate or angry enough- 7 to 10 may not be the end of the world if they
don’t get away with it. Do we need/want to make the statement that nothing you
do has permanent consequences?
Q: Describe or explain the relationship
between Bruce Davis and Charles Manson.
A: It seemed to me that Bruce was
competing with Charlie. He was trying to be an equal with Charlie or even he --
he was loud-mouthed. Whereas when Charlie would generally speak most of the
people in the family would keep silent and listen, unless he asked them
something directly or he said, "What do you think," or, "Say something."
But Bruce would interrupt Charlie when he was talking and he talked in a real
loud voice, and it seemed like that he like the power that he had when Charlie
wasn't around because he could have one of the girls run and fetch him
Q: You got the impression that Bruce Davis
wasn't subservient to Charlie either?
A: It seemed to me that he had more ego
than any of the other guys I ever saw there. So that he hadn't given it up to
BUGLIOSI: Thank you. No further
-Exchange between DA Bugliosi and Brooks
Poston during Tex Watson Trial
Governor- you will hear many say that Bruce Davis was simply a follower, and
under Charlie’s spell. But again I point out that he was much older, and more
educated than most of the teenage girls following Charlie around. This was a
man in his mid to late twenties during this time who had done quite a bit of traveling
around. This was not some young dumb hick just getting off the farm for the first time. In the Oscar nominated Documentary Manson by
Robert Hendrickson- there is a scene in which Lynette Fromme goes on and on
about a ceremonial vest all the girls made, and contributed their own hair to.
She gleefully points out that only Charlie is allowed to wear it. Not 5 minutes
later in the same film- Bruce Davis is strutting around in this same vest
designated only for the leader. Today they tell us to be weary of the internet
and email- for once words are sent out into cyberspace- they are public domain
forever, and can’t be taken back. So too was this true for video in the early
70’s. What Bruce wants you to believe now about his role then, and his actual actions and words from back
then are very different. If you listen to his words he will tell you he was following Charlie and desperate to please him. Nobody else who was around them says that.
BEAUSOLEIL: Bruce Davis came with Charlie. He's the person who originally -- he
and Dan DeCarlo from Straight Satan's were the two individuals that drove me to
Hinman's place in the first place and dropped me off. Then Bruce Davis came in
with Charles Manson. As the information that you have, that part is true. He
came with Manson. He didn't do anything to Hinman, but the gun that I had was
his gun, and he was concerned about that.
Beausoleil from his 2010 parole consideration hearing
Governor, you will hear people say he Bruce didn’t directly kill anyone himself.
Well to that I would say aside from him personally stabbing Shorty Shea- the murder of Gary
Hinman could not have happened without the participation of Bruce Davis, and
that Bruce Davis specifically had the power to stop the murder from occurring.
He drove them to the scene and gave them the weapon to make it possible. The knife may have done the damage, but the gun set the tone and made escape thoughts much more imprudent. If
Bruce was concerned about the gun- it had to be his own interest he was
concerned about. He did nothing to stop it from harming Gary. He left the gun with them despite knowing the intention of the
visit. He never took it away, or told them they couldn’t have it. In fact when
he got there and saw that Gary was being tortured and held captive in his own
home- instead of offering help- he stole a car and left. Bruce didn’t deliver
the fatal blow, but Bruce did nothing to stop it either and he was in a
position on at least two occasions to do so. If Linda Kasabian was guilty
for driving to the locations at the Tate and Labianca homes, and Susan Atkins
was guilty at Labianca for just being in the car- how can Bruce not be guilty
for driving the car and supplying the weapon he purchased (illegally by the
way) at Hinman, or with Shorty Shea who he physically, personally contributed
to slaughtering with his own hands??
Governor I ask you to take all of this into consideration. I ask you to follow
not only the law, but your heart in making the just choice of keeping Bruce
Davis right where he belongs. In prison, working with others through programs
and correspondence to make sure that people understand what happens when you
get involved with taking lives from others. He will do more good, and can touch more people right there. I understand that with the passing of time it becomes
more and more difficult to remember the atrocities this man helped to commit,
and although he has behaved himself in prison quite well- it is fair to point
out that from Scientology to Charlie to Christianity- he still is seeking for a
higher power to lead him. He has spent most of his adult life searching for the
right answers. Yet, if he would just listen to his own heart and read between
the lines of his own words, the answer and most important issue in all of this
has been there all along. What and who have been the bottom line. This is
not about attorneys or matrix’s. This is about life and death, and what we do
for each other as a community and society to protect each other and look out for
one another and Bruce Davis said it best himself….
I had indeed influenced the others brought out a struggle between my old habit
of denying my influence in general and my conscious awakening to my true
responsibility for my crimes. I struggled with fear of condemnation and pride
as I came to terms with the truth about myself. I had not only done dreadful
things, but I also influenced others to participate in horrible crimes. I
experienced a shattering impact of my crimes when from deep within with my
mind's eye I saw two gravestones, Gary Alan Hinman and Donald Jerome Shea."
"I know that
the real focus of this was thinking about Donald Shea and Gary Hinman and their
families that will never get over it. And the very fact that nothing I could ever
do will ever change that for them.”
Davis Parole consideration hearing 2010
Governor- there is something you can do for others who have yet to have to go through a
tragedy like this. Send a message loud and clear. Let them hear your message
from California to New York, and all places they are listening in between. We will not
forget, and will not tolerate what this man did. We will not make this type of
crime something you can wash away with time, or jailhouse accomplishments. I
agree with Bruce on this one point- some things can never be changed. I am not a lawyer myself. I have no real knowledge of the California correctional system or its guidelines. I am not trying to make a legal argument to keep him in. I am just one voice out here trying to remind you of what Bruce and his Attorneys won't tell you. Just to remind you of two voices you wont hear from.Two lives so savagely taken. To shout one out for the memories of Gary Hinman, and Jerome Shea.
And as Bruce said himself- that should be the real focus…
(Transcripts from Trials and Parole hearings can be read in full at Cielodrive.com)