Thursday, February 28, 2013

Did Manson Return to Cielo Late on August 9th???

In a previous thread, Starship & I were debating whether or not Charles Manson may have returned to Cielo the night of the murders. My response is too long for the comments, so here it is:

Short of Bruce Davis taking a polygraph when he's paroled and writing a million dollar tell-all book, you can't disprove the theory nor prove it.

You can make anything fit any scenario if you try hard enough. I think the evidence easily supports many scenarios.

My opinion? No, Manson didn't go to Cielo that night...

The first logical question I have to ask is why would Manson put himself at the scene of the crime hours later not knowing if the police were notified of the crimes through reported screams and gunshots - and supposedly, Watson told him it was total chaos. It's a HUGE risk factor - especially when Manson had worked so hard to distance himself from the murders (and I believe the girls were always intended to be the fall guys). There is only one way in and out of the Cielo house. If the cops arrived while Manson had returned to "see what my children had done" he was trapped. Sure, he could run down the hillside, but what about the car left behind - even at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. And, chances are, he would have gotten caught in a foot chase - he's short and short legs get caught.

If the crime scene were at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, busy with people and a gazillion escape routes, maybe, but not at the Cielo house. Even if Manson scouted the opposite side of the canyon on Beverly Grove to see if there was any activity at the Cielo house he was at risk of getting caught--these are basically deserted, just shy of one lane, dark neighborhood roads in the middle of the night. If the cops had been alerted and arrived at Cielo, a car (containing Manson/Davis, Manson/Pitman or which ever version you are thinking of) would have been easily detected from almost any sight access to Cielo and could have been pursued as suspect by the police - especially an old POS Ford  Fairlane in Beverly Hills.

The next logical question I have to ask myself is if Manson returned, why would he cover Jay's head with a towel? According to experts, covering a victims head is done for only a couple of reasons: Avoid identifying the perpetrator, keeping a victim from knowing a location, or the fact that the killer knows his victim and uses a cover to depersonalize the victim. None of those reasons fit Manson (or Davis) covering Jay's head - But, think about who might have one of those reasons and who did cover the LaBianca's heads the next night.

Starship wrote: And, no one ever accused CM that he went up there after the murders. He offered up that info himself...more than a year later too I believe? It is only with that premise in mind that the scene that was found in the daylight makes any sense at all.

I may be wrong here, but I thought Manson admitted going to Cielo in Emmons' book which was years later and a lot of speculation on blog sites. Did he state it in another interview just a year after the murders?

Starship wrote: And the tales the killers tell, which are consistent enough, don't explain it all either.

The biggest problem with this for me has always been that everyone assumes all the killers agreed and testified to the same account. But the reality is that Atkins was the only one (early on) to give a statement of facts (to Bugliosi & the Grand Jury) to what transpired inside the house. Her account then hit the international news.

It wasn't until after the trial and verdicts that Watson spoke his first words about what happened inside the house at his own trial a year later when both Watson and his attorney heard what Atkins testified to, what Kasabian testified to, etc which gave him his diminished capacity defense and an easy series of events to mimic and manipulate for his own sake - same for what he and or his author wrote in his book.

Then there's Krenwinkel who tells her version years later at a parole hearing when she basically takes on the role of Kasabian and then lies every year after until she finally comes "clean" and gives Atkins' statement of events, but at that point, she can hardly remember which victims were where and at times, doesn't even remember the victims names.

Then, you have Kasabian testifying to what happened, but she never entered the house and could only testify to what happened outside for a very brief window of opportunity. AND, the biggest question for me in her testimony is that the blood evidence doesn't support her testimony either - She said Woytek came out onto the porch drenched in blood with Watson stabbing him and hitting him over the head with the gun. He hung onto the post for an extended moment - enough time to look her in the eyes and plea for help before tumbling into the bushes - yet there was no blood evidence of Woytek's collected from the front porch or (for that matter) what would have been his path from the living room leading to the front porch.

So, saying that they all "agreed" on what happened during the commission of the crimes is a non-starter. I think they all (lawyers, writers, etc) just later mimicked what Atkins originally said and used it to their advantage. And we all know how many times Atkins changed her story about what happened inside the house.

Other points Starship made:

The steamer trunks.

IMHO the trunks were stacked in an orderly fashion against the inside wall of the living room and knocked over and into the position they were found during a fight with one of the victims - easy explanation - it's just the way the cookie crumbles. If they'd been ripped open to look for drugs they would have been flat on the ground--and did the killers really take the time to repack Sharon's belongings in them and then set them at an odd angle?

The blood smears on ST body 

Again, in my humble opinion those smear marks on an exposed body could just as easily be consistent with a struggle while she was being stabbed. Her hands, the killers hands, the carpet, etc all causing swirling marks on the skin making it appear that she was moved--and she was, just not by Manson hours later. It could be just as easily explained that Sharon was on her stomach for a  period of time, then pushed back by Atkins to dip the blood in her chest blood. It's as plausible a scenario as dragging Sharon to the front porch and then returning her to the living room.

The killers not wiping anything down but then it's pretty well wiped. 

Actually, it wasn't pretty well wiped because they got 2 fingerprint matches. Any cop will tell you that the odds of lifting a fingerprint from a crime scene are really low even in an un-wiped house. Yet at Cielo they got lucky enough to find two. Chances are, Cielo was never wiped down for prints. Watson realized his mistake (as did Atkins when she told the inmate she left a hand print on the desk at Cielo) and made the effort to wipe down the LaBianca's

The glasses. 

A mystery for all time. But lets remember that hundreds of people were in this house in the time between Sharon & Roman's residence from February through August. Those glasses could have been left in the house at any point by anyone and knocked under a piece of furniture or whatever. Months later they were kicked out during the commission of murders as furniture was bumped, victims scrambling on hands and knees reaching for anything to grasp. Again, just as competent and explanation as Manson/Davis leaving them as a false clue.

Starship wrote: 

The blood map. How accurate is that blood map? We know that Granado did a crappy job at the scene on the blood analysis even from Bugliosi's perspective - he often didn't sub-type or even type at all, missed many blood spots, or made an assumption that a blood spot was the victims' due to vicinity. Sloppy, sloppy work that makes for great (eventual) conspiracies.

I'm not saying absolutely that someone didn't return to that house, I'm just playing the devil's advocate and saying that sometimes evidence can be manipulated into any scenario, one as plausible as the other to suite one theory or another. One thing that we know for sure is that LAPD did a really crappy job of first securing the scene and then processing it, leaving more questions than answers and opening the door to many conspiracy theories.


Leigh said...

I'm pretty much in full agreement with all of this. I just don't see Manson going back up there without knowing the lay of the land, whether the police had been alerted, etc. To have done so would have been reckless and potentially self-defeating. (Nevermind that the entire trajectory of the Family was ultimately reckless and self-defeating; I still think Manson's self-preservation instincts would have prevented him from doing it.) Then again, as has been pointed out, we'll never know for certain one way or the other. A part of me probably just wishes he didn't go back and move anyone or do anything else because it's too much to contemplate.

The glasses have never signified much to me for all of the reasons Matt outlined. The same goes for the trunks. As ever, I remain open to persuasion.

Doc Sierra said...

I'm not so sure he didn't go back. For two reasons. One, he said he did and I don't know why he would lie and two, he has made some stupid decisions in the past when it came to crime and after all, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Again, I'm not sure but I tend to believe that he went back.

Leigh said...

Doris Tate, I believe, thought Manson talked in riddles but rarely lied. I'm not sure I agree. I think Manson spins whatever story he feels like spinning at any given time. His motivations are anyone's guess - to keep people guessing? To continue to command attention? Genuinely remembering things differently as more time goes by? (Though whether or not you revisited a bloody, horrific crime scene is not something even Manson is likely to misremember.) I just don't know. But I am hesitant to give it credence merely on his say-so. Also, if the initial source is Manson in His Own Words - well, Manson and his continued supporters have poured a lot of cold water on that book.

wengr said...

Agreed on the little likelyhood of a return. Imo the reason he said he went is because it fits in with his "it was their idea" line of bs. Well, that and the fact that he is a nonsense talking idiot.

Leigh said...

I have often thought that a big part of Manson dispatching others to commit the Tate murders was to insulate himself and give himself plausible deniability, and that going back would have flown in the face of that. I'm aware that doesn't completely square with his willingness to be present at Hinman, LaBianca and Shea though. Back and forth, back and forth...

ColScott said...

You're leaving aside one basic reason why he didn't go back- travel time. It takes thirty minutes MINIMUM between Spahn and Cielo today. Chapman is at the house at 8:30 but there's no way you want to be there at dawn which is about 6:10 am. So I guess the question is what time do they return to the Ranch. My guess has always been around 2. Then how long does it take Charlie to organize his "visit"? Instantly? 2:30? 3? Then he gets to Cielo 3/3:30? How long does he stay? Ten minutes? An hour? It's possible certainly. But unlikely.In addition, what about the "valid driver license" shit? Have you BEEN to Cielo. That's some secluded shit, granted but how do you know those side houses are not going to wake up when another car full of people show up? Did Charlie climb the hill again, since Tex's print on the button is solid? Nah. Charlie was always a pussy- he didn't go back.

AustinAnn74 said...

The crime scene techs really screwed up the evidence. I don't think Manson went back. We will never know. He told that story about going back to keep people intrigued. Remember, he seems to love the spotlight, and when he can keep people speculating, it gives him a sense of importance. Then again, there isn't really proof that he actually said that. The author of the book could of added that to make the book more interesting for the reader.

starship said...

Charlie volunteered to one of the lawyers during the trial that he had gone to Tate post massacre. "I had to go see what my children had done" is what he said. Confirmed in Emmons book. Also, is it in Emmons that he admits planting the glasses too?

Tex's print on the button is solid? No, it is assumed since the cops wiped that one out.

As to opinions, well you have yours and I have mine. And some of yours are based on assumptions which may mean one thing to you and something different to me and vice versa about my assumptions as well. I believe that many more prints would have been found had the scene not been wiped. You believe the steemer trunks were knocked over during a struggle, but none of the killers ever even mantioned that ever, correct? And they're covered in Jay and Sharon blood type too. Check out the first report at this link:

it includes the strange sounds too which only make sense in this scenario.

For the record, I used to ponder these inconsistencies of the scene as well and often wondered about it. It was only years later when blogging that i had ever even heard the theory that CM had gone back. I was as incredulous as you all too at first...I have no idea why he would take a risk like that. But the more I ponder it by trying to make sense out of the stories that those on scene told, it starts to make sense.

leary7 said...

holy crap, applying logic to the actions of a delusional schizo sociopath is really pissing into the wind.
Charlie might have agreed to go to Cielo simply because Brenda really wanted to. There was no rhyme or reason those nights.
But this really shouldn't be that much of a mystery. You gotta believe if Charlie etc went up to Cielo that night it would have been talked about to some degree within the Family. Were any Family members asked about it during testimony. Is there any Family member that could be asked about it now??? Maybe Gypsy or Cappy or such.

Unknown said...

Yeah, whatever happened to Gypsys book she was supposed to write. She was starting that when I was born.

Cuntry Trash said...

If what Manson said about being shocked at the mess Tex left, why would he NOT go-- Manson was paranoid that they left evidence behind. How did Manson know that the first scene was so bad that he had to go the second night to make sure everyone wasn't going to act the same and create the same scene. Manson was at the Shea murder (as he was at the Hinman and Bernard), so the whole theory that Manson intentionally placed himself AWAY from the scenes is sort of weak.

Matt said...

Starship, I know where those trunks are and have spoken with the owner of them. They're not now, or were they ever "covered" in blood. Two large drops only.

Matt said...

Regarding that report: Argument sounds & gunfire & screaming? I don't think anyone has truly definitely gotten the time right or length of time they were there. Bugliosi's 1/2 hour estimate of the murders is awfully fast to kill five people. Kott's time frame of party guests leaving at 12:30 would have run them into the killers by Bugliosi's time frame. And wasn't it 1:30A when Tim Ireland heard sounds? The kids' time of hearing the argument? Ten bucks says the kid said around 2 or 3 or 4 and had no clock in his bedroom. And we don't know for site who or what he heard. Again all speculation that I can turn any way to suit my case.

daniel said...

Too much thought is being put into anyone involved thinking logically at the time.

Charlie floated under the radar for so long that I can't picture him giving a damn about going to the house to try and cover his own ass.

Paranoid people do strange things without thinking about the consequences.

Unknown said...

Was Brenda the one present when Manson told them to go get a change of clothes? And was cappy present for the Tate labianca ordering?

Cuntry Trash said...

Charles was also feeling a bit invincible. He'd just been arrested for kicking Danny's wife and got away with it, right. Manson did have the thought "if they did it, they are responsible."

I see no reason not to go to the scene after, especially having Tex telling him it was choas. Manson was at three other scenes (that we know of.)

Manson's account was that he called Sadie "A stupid little bitch" or whatever, and I believed that. I believe that when he saw them come back with no money (Tex says they went there specifically to get money for bail) and both saying the scene was a disaster, and of course Sadie dropping her knife, etc, it all makes sense.

Brenda and Manson were together, they both went and I wouldn't doubt it if Bruce, Grogan, Gillies, and others went.

All of these people were crazy, not just one or two, they all were off their rockers and especially Brenda and Tex.

Cuntry Trash said...

I also feel that if asked, Brenda would have taken them all (Tate and LaBianca) out herself. Manson liked Brenda and the people who killed were ALL expendable to the Family. I think if Manson wanted REAL work done, Brenda Gypsy, Bruce, and MAYBE Sandy would have gone. However, ironically, Brenda and Gypsy were the first to really turn on him (aside from the defendants).

Unknown said...

If 'Mary wasnt in jail, she deff would have been up at Cielo Drive. She probably would have replaced Linda, as Mary had basically proven herself at Hinmans and she was really loyal to Charlie too. Her credit card theft was a blessing in disguise.

rfoster1 said...

If Charlie went back, I believe his reason for doing so would not have been to "see what his children did" so much as to see what they fucked up, as in what damning evidence did they ignorantly leave behind. I think it's quite possible that paranoia about that very well could have driven him to go up there.

The window of opportunity was certainly there. Sharon's body was moved, whether by a return visitor or Tex and his crew.

Cuntry Trash said...

I still say Linda was there because Tex loved her and she (may) have had ties to the Tate home, thus knowing the area as well as Tex.

Linda did not drive, so she was not needed as a driver. Tex said he drove and that makes a lot more sense. They ALL should have known better letting the new girl do a deed like that.

I agree that if they went back, it was to clean and stage the scene.

Manson once hinted that it was "a motorcycle gang" that went back (what interview was this-- I forget) or was there or suggested it may have been.

It's obvious that the participants were so high and speeding that they have no clue who did what. I have heard Krenwinkel admit she carved war on Leno, but then Tex says HE did and on another hand, Krenwinkel says she doesn't recall doing it.

I think that these people are so used to reciting the story they feel makes them less responsible, and the story given by the DA, they they have lost the real story.

DebS said...

This one is a wobbler for me. I can see both sides of the argument. Manson by that point was arrogant enough to have gone to the crime scene. I think that his success in his abilities to con his people to do his bidding gave him a feeling of invincibility, he could get away with anything. He had been charged with rape, robbery, drugs and none of it stuck or sent him back to prison. His ego was inflated to the max.

On the other hand he was a seasoned criminal who had to have known his luck would run out eventually and going to a crime scene purposely was pushing the envelope as far as possible.

Unknown said...

I'm with Doc on this one. The Emmons book version seemed believable. But anything is possible, especially in this case. I have never understood why the victims didn't fight more? I am just assuming, since I don't know for sure. But I like to think if someone attacked me, I'd at least dot an eye or knock out a tooth before they killed me. Especially if my attacker was a scrawny vegetarian vagabond. I know they had a gun and knives, I'm just saying.

daniel said...

Heidi, the first person who protested was shot. I think they gave all they had. You don't think like a prize-fighter in those circumstances. Knives to the chest in the presence of a gun that's already been proven that it was willing to be used will scare the flight into you.

I respect your point, though.

Staceey L. said...

For some reason I had always thought one of the girls planted the glasses to throw the cops off.

Unknown said...

Weren't some of the victims (I think Frykowski and Folger) supposed to be on mescaline or MDA the night of the murders? That might account in part for their lack of fight.

Even if I wasn't high on illicit substances, I'm not sure that if a group of bloodthirsty hippies woke me up at knifepoint in the middle of the night I would put up an active struggle. It's quite possible I'd just lie there sobbing and soiling myself, as depressing a notion as that is to consider.

Unknown said...

I just thought about how that would be, as an experience... being accosted in your own home by knife-clutching acidassasins while you yourself were in the middle of a hallucinogenic drug experience. Absolutely horrible. Christ.

orwhut said...

I thought I'd found the owner of the glasses when I read that Zodiac victim, Paul Stine's glasses were never found. Then I discovered that he was killed 'after' Cielo. So much for that theory.

Jenn said...

Matt, I'd sure love to hear the story about who owns those trunks!

starship said...

Hey, Matt,

Ok, two splotches of blood on the steemer trunks that we can see from the photos. Look where they are placed...that's pretty odd.

For me, Sanders, that Fug, pretty well points out all the things I wondered pages 219-221 for his account. Those aspects were always the things I wondered about for years...and I didn't read Sanders until about ten years ago at most.

Also, as for the timeline...what about Rudy Weber? If he and his wife had an estimated time I think that would indicate about what time the killers were out of there.

Suze said...

I'll throw my hat in with with Col. Time would have been a great concern for Manson. Those kids got back late. 30-45 minutes each way in the wee hours is a lot, and no one wants to be the only car on the street near a crime scene like that.

Unknown said...

We think in logical terms about the actions on the 8th and 9th but this was an emotional crime not a logical one. In such situations the participants are unlikely to think as we would think.
Both crimes had minimal planning-the key is someone went with him to that house but not suprisingly are keeping very quiet about it.

Unknown said...

It suddenly dawned on Manson that there would be prints all over the Tate house-and those prints would lead the police to Spahn-self preservation-he was in more danger if he did nothing-also curiosity got the better of the possible danger.

starship said...

from newspaper archive:

"...the prosecution called graduate student Timothy Ireland to the witness stand to establish the approximate time of the murders at the Tate home.

Ireland said he worked last summer for the Westlake School, about three-fourths of a mile from the murder scene.

He said he was outside during the early morning hours of Aug. 9, 1969. At about 12:40 a.m. He said he heard a man screaming:

“Oh God, no. Please don’t. Oh, God, No. Please don’t — don’t — don’t. Please don’t.”

He said the screams came from the direction of the Tate home.

Although he drove around the neighborhood, he saw nothing, he said.

Defense attorneys asked Ireland how he could remember the exact words.

“You don’t forget things like that,” he said. “I said them over many times to myself.”

Also testifying were Rudolf Weber of 9870 Portola Drive, Beverly Hills, and 16-year-old James Asin, a student at University High School, who lives two doors away from the Tate home on Cielo Drive.

Weber corroborated Mrs. Kasabian’s testimony about the alleged murder party stopping at a home after killing the actress and the others.

She said they stopped at the home to hose blood off themselves.

With her, she said, were Miss Krenwinkel and Miss Atkins and Charley Watson 24, the remaining codefendant who is still fighting extradition from Texas."

orwhut said...

Unknown said... Matt, I'd sure love to hear the story about who owns those trunks!

Me too.

toocrowdedinthishouse said...

I have never thought Charlie returned to the scene of the crime. Maybe he sent someone else to poke around in there, but even that seems far-fetched. He did prefer for others to get their hands dirty, and, as an experienced criminal recently released from prison, too risky for him to have personally returned to the scene of the crime. It makes a "good" story though, so horrific.

Sun King said...

I believe it was a possibility that Charlie went back there with someone. I don't believe Charlie was afraid of cops and probably felt he could talk his way out of a stop. Besides the cops had no idea a crime had taken place. Had they stopped him and made a F.I.R. it's likely they would have caught on sooner to who was responsible.

A 2nd visit would explain a lot of the curious findings such as the glass, blood in areas, etc. but there of course could have been other reasons that would explain those.

Of course it's all speculation but one can only hope that someone with direct knowledge will tell all before they die. Not holding my breath though.

Saperstein said...

I think he went back for a few reasons. One, he admits to doing it. Two, his own morbid curiosity, and three, the buck knife. Imagine Charlie's reaction when Sadie tells him she lost her knife there. I think he went back mainly to look for that knife, and obviously didn't find it.

Saperstein said...

I think he went back for a few reasons. One, he admits to doing it. Two, his own morbid curiosity, and three, the buck knife. Imagine Charlie's reaction when Sadie tells him she lost her knife there. I think he went back mainly to look for that knife, and obviously didn't find it.

hendythefifth said...

Pardon me if this strays away from the question at hand, but the topic, and something Ole J.C mentioned, got me thinking about how arrogant, and good (for a time) Charlie was, in the Spring and summer of '69, at dodging bullets. I mean, being a parolee and living on a rundown ranch with underage girls, committing statutory rape with a 17 year old girl (according to Sanders), possessing stolen cars and firearms, drug violations. Wow! The one that really baffles me is How in the World Charlie got away with kicking Donkey Dick Dan's wife. It just stands to reason, to me, that Charlie , in theory, should have ended up as a bloody mess on some trail behind the ranch, maybe sporting a gunshot. I just always thought it was a huge no no to mess w/ a member of an outlaw bike club, or one of there associates/family. ( I once knew a close associate of the Salem, MA chapter of the Hell's Angels, and told myself at the time "Here is a guy I will NEVER argue with or piss off!")Someone enlighten me if I'm forgetting some obvious part of the story/"myth". Did DeCarlo drop or not press charges??

Matt said...

Hendy, DDD participated in the beating. She came to Spahn & told him she would take their baby away from him. Decarlo began beating her & Charlie (ever the gentleman) helped out with said beating.

Matt said...

She initially pressed charges against both but then declined to follow through.

hendythefifth said...

Hey Matt,

Thanks for the info. I now seem to remember reading about Danny's role....Was it on this blog some time ago? Anyway, thanks again.

ChristianHD said...

I think Manson went back. It's one of my favorite questions about the crimes. It doesn't make sense for him to have done so but:

What if Manson didn't believe Tex and the girls? They came back with little or no money, wearing clean(ish) clothes and having washed off most of the blood. Maybe Charlie thought they'd killed an animal and made up the rest.

I don't think Charlie sent out his A team that night. I think the only people he trusted were Brenda and Squeaky.

Also, wouldn't it be possible for Charlie to see the police activity from afar at Cielo? I could see him and Brenda driving partway and when they get closer and still there's no police, no activity, maybe they thought Tex and the girls were pulling a fast one.

By the time they get to Cielo enough time had elapsed from the crime -- which Charlie still may not think happened to begin with -- so that if the police weren't there by 4 am they wouldn't be coming anytime soon.

Charlie and Brenda soon realize everything the crew said was not only fact but an understatement. The argument the neighbors testified to hearing at 4 am or whatever could have been exclamations of surprise or a psychotic celebration by CM and Nancy. They left soon after.

Any possible footprints from CM and Brenda were destroyed by the bungling LAPD.

Either way, this has been a fascinating discussion...

ChristianHD said...

Or, at the very least, Manson had two reasons to go back.

One was to see what "his children" had done. It must've been a rush for him to know those mindless robots would do anything for him including something so evil.

Two, would he really be able to contain himself from seeing the carnage at Cielo Drive? Especially if he felt such rancor toward those who live there.

This assumes he ordered Tex and the girls to go to Cielo that night.

I understand it makes little sense for him to put himself at risk but I think he'd be able to see from afar if there were police activity at Cielo or not.

And I understand the point about the time machine but in another way the time element might give him a reason to go:

If the police hadn't arrived by 4 a.m. for murders committed hours earlier, they wouldn't be coming anytime soon. Right? Who would hear screams at 1 a.m. and wait three hours to call the police or what police dept. would get a call from an upper-crust neighborhood and wait three hours to respond?

Samskara Impressions said...

I think ColScott has the timeline pretty accurate. This is the exact same argument I went through when I communicated with Greg King. King says he believed Manson went back. I argued the travel time would have made it difficult to return. I'm pretty much on with Col's timeframe, but one other factor has to be remembered. The paperboy who peddled his bike up that drive that morning at about 4:15 or 4:30 AM didn't see anything when he placed the paper in the mailbox that morning. The only thing he saw remiss was the power line hanging over the gate. He also said he heard nothing. If we call Watson/Krenwinkle/Atkins/Kasabian's return to Spahn at around 2:00 or 2:30, Manson would have had to have taken time to get his return gang together and the travel time would have been the same as Watson's driving time. The earliest he could have returned would have been no later than 3:30/4:00. If he and Davis or whoever were moving around the property and moving bodies, then one would have to believe the paperboy would have reported hearing something when he slipped the paper in the box at about 4:30/4:45.

Then there's the question of Garretson. He would have had to have heard something coming from the main house that night. Flaky or not, he either couldn't have heard anything because there was nothing to hear, or he wasn't there after Steve left.

Adam T said...

Two points:
1.I don't know whether Manson returned to the house or not. At the beginning of Helter Skelter Bugliosi makes it clear that it was impossible to tell where the shots were coming from with the hills diffusing the sounds. Of course, whether Manson realized that is another matter.

2.I don't know that there being no blood found of Woytek outside the house proves much. Bugliosi complains in Helter Skelter that the coroner Thomas Noguchi only took 'samples' of blood splatters and assumed that all the others blood splatters nearby were from the same victim. It's entirely possible he merely missed outside blood splatters from Woytek.

Archaelogists state in the same way, that just because something hasn't been found yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

Susan Atkins said a "fake clue" was left behind and it was 'pair of glasses.'
None of them said they left glasses behind as a 'fake clue.'
1) CM tells Emmons
"My only concern was whether it [Tate killings]resembled the Hinman killing."

2.) Did the 'drugged' out kids " ..avoid leaving prints or evidence of their identities."
He "...doubted the slayings... happened as they... described."
3.) Most importantly ,did they leave a trail that would lead to the ranch?"
4.) "Concern for clues...caused CM to go to the scene..."
5.) "Returning to the scene of any crime is risky they drove past and looked up the hill to see if there was any activity that might indicate the police had arrived. Everything was quiet. Still not wanting to be too obvious we parked the car a short distance away and walked to the premises."
He followed the route his people had and "...jumped over the fence." After seeing the Parent car he says he, "...carefully wiped the car clean of any fingerprints."
CM had anther reason to go there as thought about the scene looking like a " against white - retaliation...but he says he ..."lost heart in carrying out my plans. "

6.) He then says. "The two of us[i.e. his "partner"]took towels and wiped every place a fingerprint could have been left. I then placed the towel I was using over the head of the man inside the room." False clue? Same towel that was used to wipe the prints was lain over a vics face.
7.) "My partner[BD?] had an old pair of eyeglasses which we often used as a magnifying glass[they were very thick strong lens the police said]...
or as a device to start a fire when matches weren't available. We carefully wiped the glasses free of prints and dropped them on the floor, so that when discovered they would be a misleading clue for the police. "
Certain details, and REASONS-ALL legitimate then, etc.; all show to me it was a true account.
In an interview with Rolling Stone he refused to talk about going back to the crime scene the implication was 'I am not going to talk about it. 'There was NO explicate denial.
He was trying to disconnect or break any evidence that might lead back to the ranch and to all important HIM! Makes perfect sense to one with a criminal mind in that unusual crime murder scenario.

He entered the Waverly residence and 'tied up both victims' so he was not too worried about being close or involved in the crimes then.
He wanted to "show" them how to do it this time and get the scene 'readied' so the vics would not fight or run and fight them this time thus causing a great disturbance (and with houses this time very close to the vics home).The last scene was too "messy,"etc.

Unknown said...

pretty good conversations. First, the blue steamer trunks in the living room had been delivered that day to Sharon by Roman from England. They were Sharon s clothes from the 6 months or so she had just spent in Europe. Roman owned a townhouse in London. He was still there at time of murders. When Sharons father went to Cielo to clean up the murder site and to pack Sharon s things up and vacate the premises...he talked about the trunks. Sharons perfume had been packed with the clothes and it had leaked all over the contents. I cant figure one way on another whether Manson went to the murder scene or not. Due to the location of the house he could tell from a distance whether the police had been called to the scene or not. There would have been ample time for him to go, so the timeline works. His ego is such I doubt he would have thought he might have gotten caught. One thing tho...........he had been inside the property once before , 6 months before the murders. He knew and had been to the back guest house and the owner of the estate had been residing there when Charlie visited first time. If the lights were blazing in the guest house I cant imagine he wouldn't have gone in and found Garretson alive and murdered him???? On the other hand neighbors reported loud voices arguing in the way middle of the nite coming from the property, supporting the theory maybe Manson did go back. One other comment, Manson s original orders were to kill the people in the 2 neighboring houses also........he was supposedly furious when they returned to Spahn ranch and hadn't followed his orders precisely.He might have gone back with the intention of finishing the job.

Peter said...

Nobody seems to have mentioned a more obvious motive. Didn't Charlie tell Tex to kill and rob everyone in the house? Isn't there also an alternate account that Charlie told them to kill and rob everyone in that house and then work their way down the street house by house until they collected a certain amount of money, like $1500 or something that they needed to get someone out of jail or something like that? If the motive was to get money, maybe Charlie returned to Cielo Dr. because Tex and the girls didn't come back with any money and he went back to see if there was anything to steal?

This would make the most sense if money was the motive. But I don't think that was the case. The family didn't seem to have a problem raising money in the past without having to resort to mass murder.

Unknown said...

Your a fool for thinking as much

Unknown said...

Seriously. .in a situation such as this your fight or flight system kicks in ..frykowski put up a god fight.why do you think he was the most brutal beaten..I'm shocked at your ignorance

Bobby said...

At Manson’s 1992 parole hearing, assistant D.A. Steven Kay asked Charlie if he went to the scene at Tate’s after the murder and he simply answered “no”. Suppose that may have been a lie

shoegazer said...

"Also, wouldn't it be possible for Charlie to see the police activity from afar at Cielo? I could see him and Brenda driving partway and when they get closer and still there's no police, no activity, maybe they thought Tex and the girls were pulling a fast one. "

Not if they (Manson and others) came by a direct route from Chatsworth.

To see any activity up there you have to come north from Sunset, up Benedict Canyon Dr. This would force them to take an indirect route, taking more time.

This would add more time and make for a later arrival at 10050 Cielo.

...and once you're up there, if the police come *then*, you're in the bag, basically...

shoegazer said...

"I understand it makes little sense for him to put himself at risk but I think he'd be able to see from afar if there were police activity at Cielo or not. "

No, not coming a direct route from Chatsworth. You'd be coming from the wrong direction. To see the 10050 Cielo lot, you need to come north from Sunset, up Benedict Canyon.

Me, I'd come from Chatsworth but take 405 thru Sepulveda Canyon, exit east at Sunset, then go to north on Benedict Canyon Drive. You could then see the slope where 10050 is.

However, this is a one hour drive, most likely. Makes it 'way late.

Tragical History Tour said...

I think he went back. Quite probably with another male in tow to keep an eye out.

It's his nature to want to see if what he ordered to happen went down as he wanted.

He wasn't in as much danger of being caught as people think. Manson knew how to disappear if he had to.

He did a little post-murder scene rearrangement, but not enough to leave clues. I believe the kid that heard arguing. Kids can be better witnesses than adults.

And his visit easily fits into any timeline issues others have postulated. A paperboy CAN deliver a paper without seeing anything. And Garretson CAN miss an atomic bomb going off outside the guesthouse. He proved that.

The probability of being caught never featured much with Manson. He never thought his luck was due to run out because he never believed he had any luck to begin with.

Charlie's arrogance and ego would not have allowed him to stay away. He was there.

Unknown said...

Yep I agree w tragical history tour,
Manson went back
One - he didn’t lie
Two this would make the second time Manson had to clean up Tex’s mess - the first time was meeting w Lotsa - Tex messed that whole deal up .
I believe Charlie returned w Bruce
Wiped the place down as he Surly did not want the cops showing up again at ranch or Barker - dropped the glasses made a few changes and they split . My thoughts .

shoegazer said...

Yesterday, 16 Sept, 2021, I did a mapping of Watson's trip back after the killings, as noted by both Atkins and Kasabian.

This means a drive from Cielo to Portola, to hose off, from Portola to Benedict Canyon Drive to dump clothes, and from Benedict Canyon Drive to Longview Valley Rd, to dump the gun.

Then to the ranch.

All of these points points were either testified to by disinterested witnesses (Portola), or by physical evidence found at the site (Longview, Benedict Canyon).

The most direct route that connects all of these requires 1 hour 16 minutes, according to Google maps. This assumes no stop for gas (Atkins testified to this), and knowing the most direct routes back.

If we assume that the killers left Cielo at, eg. 12:45, they would have gotten to the ranch at approx 2AM, but remember: no stops--and we know they stopped at Portola and talked to the witnesses there, and they stopped at a gas station according to Atkins/Kasabian.

Now on Manson's hypothetical return trip, we have to remember that Google maps will calculate the direct route using state 118, but this did not exist in 1969. They would have to have used surface streets to get to 405, and this would likely be Devonshire for several miles. This would add time to the most direct route, assuming Manson knew the most direct route and tried to take it.

So with ZERO stops or delay, Manson would have arrived not earlier than 3AM. If you include stops, and preparation to go back, it would be later--maybe 3:30.

Where would he park?

Would he use the outside button to get in thru the gate, or go over the fence on the hillside? Did he use the button to leave? If so, remember that every time the gate opens/closes, it will tend to drag and entangle the downed wires, creating quite a mess. The housekeeper would have opened/closed the gate as well. making it worse still.

Then the police.

Is that what we see in the crime scene photos, evidence of up to 6 or 8 opening/closing of the gate, with a big tangle of wire?

AndyTaylor said...

I don't think he went. Only one way in and out, not knowing if the cops (or anyone else) would be there or show up while he was there and the knowledge of the caretaker still being there. A living witness and a potential additional murder in killing the caretaker would probably be too much. I think Manson liked the spotlight and this is why he refused to give any sort of credible explanation for the motive, even though he said for decades he could have explained it in ten minutes if the judge had given him the chance. He had `50 years and never offered a coherent explanation. Probably because the mystery kept him in the spotlight and the subject of endless interviews and speculation. He kept changing his story, too. Questionably mentioning he went there makes the whole thing even more of a mystery. Clem could probably know since Sanders wrote he said "we got 5 piggies" when asked what he did the previous night, the night of the murders. But he'll never tell. I wonder if he's got a book to be published upon his demise.

Dave said...

There is something about the "bloody fingerprint" on the gate button, which the detective supposedly obliterated, which I have not seen addressed. IMO, it is more than likely that Chapman needed to hit the button to leave the property. Security gates are self-closing, I find it unlikely the gate still been open by the time she went in the back door, tried the phone, walked to the front of the house, etc.

shoegazer said...


I think that's right,and I'd thought about it--and how many times the gate opened and closed after the communication and phone lines were cut--but came to the conclusion about the button that once *anyone* subsequent to Watson touched it--Chapman was, as you say, probably the first--the print was lost.

So the idea that it was ruined by a detective is irrelevant. It's kinda a part of the mythology now--that, irony of ironies, a detective ruined it.

Anyway, that's what I think.