Monday, March 25, 2013

An Interview With Karl Stubbs' Neighbor

On Sunday, March 17, I spoke with Kathleen Costello (not her real name), who was a friend and neighbor of Karl Stubbs in Olancha, CA.

Starting at the beginning: The assault on Mr. Stubbs happened on November 12, 1968. He died on Nov. 15.  Our impression at Eviliz was that Karl Stubbs was blind, but according to Kathleen, Mr. Stubbs was a strapping 6’+ man (even at age 82) who got around just fine on his own. He was not blind. After the attack, his eyes were swollen shut and his head was swollen, which is what contributed to the myth that he was blind. He was also completely lucid the day after the attack.

According to police reports, there was a white car containing 2 young men and 2 young women with Indiana license plates seen in Ridgecrest 1 hour after the report of the attack. Karl Stubbs described his attackers as being 2 young men and 2 young women.  

According to Kathleen, Karl made his living during his prime as a railroad worker and now lived on a pension. He walked to the nearby store and paid for his groceries, etc. with cash that he kept in his bib overalls. The assumption may have been that these 4 young people may have seen him in the store and thought he had a lot of money and made him a robbery target. But, according to Kathleen he had very little money, and survived by selling small amounts of his acreage over the years -some of which Kathleen and her husband purchased.

On the morning of the attack, on her way to work, Kathleen drove past Mr. Stubbs’ driveway and saw a white car there. She took notice of this, as Mr. Stubbs did not drive or often receive visitors. Another woman, Clara Castner, who with her husband owned the service station, used to bring Mr. Stubbs’ mail to him daily. On this day, there were people in his house: 2 young men and 2 young women. Stubbs said they were there to get water or something.  Helping people was normal for him, and she didn’t think he was under duress at the time, so she felt comfortable leaving.

After he was attacked and beaten, Mr. Stubbs crawled to Kathleen’s house. Her husband Jim (Jim died in 1990) and Clara Caster (also a neighbor) found him in the driveway.  They called 911, then sat with Karl until the ambulance arrived. He told all parties present that when the men kicked him, the girls laughed. They thought he had money hidden somewhere, but he didn’t..

Over one year later as the TLB trial became national news, Clara recognized Tex as being one of the ones in the house.  That’s when it clicked for her. A lot of people thought that Clara Castner was nuts. “But she wasn’t crazy. Her religion was odd and she talked about things that people didn’t understand. But she was not crazy. She was a school teacher for a long time. She just had religious beliefs that were different than ours”.

As far as Hannum Ranch is concerned, Kathleen does not remember it as ever being a working ranch but more as just a property spread. She remembers David Hannum (who worked at Spahn, hence the connection with the Manson Family) very outgoing and verbal. Not crazy. He was just a nice young man. Joy and Roy Hunter who owned and lived for a time at Hannum Ranch were his aunt and uncle. She says David, their nephew could not have possibly been involved in the nefarious activities surrounding the Family. She also firmly believes that David had the authority to allow them to park the tractor trailer(s) there to use it as a staging area to run supplies to Barker Ranch. He was also the person that was able to allow Tex & Snake the ability to stay there after the TLB murders although he had no knowledge of those crimes. Although Kathleen said might be able to find David through Joy (his aunt), the MansonBlog staff has found evidence that he died back in June of 1998.