Thursday, March 13, 2014

Long Time Blog Reader has a Theory on The Steve Parent Clock Radio

Here is my clock radio theory; not that it matters much, but nobody has ever accepted the reason given:

Parent wasn't going there to sell it; he was going there to pick it up. He left it with Garretson the first time he drove him home, which is why he knew how to get back there. First ride home he offered him the radio and Garretson wasn't sure he wanted it. So, they went back to the guesthouse and Steve showed him how it worked and told him to hang on to it, try it for a few weeks, and if he likes it he could pay then or just give it back. If he really was gay, he was also setting up another meeting with a guy who lived with rich movie stars and maybe he could get to know him better. Leaving the clock was his "in", guaranteeing another meeting.

That's why he had the gall to show up so late, and knew the way back there - he probably couldn't get a hold of Garretson and was going to either get his money or the clock back. Also kinda explains why Garretson said he made a phone call to find out the time: the clock he had now gotten used to wasn't there so he (being not exactly the brightest candle in the menorah) decided to call.

In the Bug’s book Helter Skelter he says that a phone call was made from Cielo at around 11:45 and that a friend of Parent’s ended up coming forward that it was to him. Parent was gonna stop by to help him design or decide on a stereo system. The Bug actually says that during that phone call, Parent asked him the time, and that’s probably when he set the clock radio he was showing Garretson. Well, that makes zero sense because Garretson did not want the radio, and Parent was wearing a watch as we know, because Watson cut it off of his wrist. So could he have been comparing the times on his watch to the clock radio because it was off from his last visit (and was wondering what one was off)? Or, was the Bug just seeing more into it? Simply a conversation like we all have:
    Q: "what time you think you will be here"?
    A: "not sure, what time is it now?"
One thing we do know is, Garretson NEEDED a clock or he wouldn’t have said he tried to call to check the time later. Either, he left Bill the clock on the first visit so he could try it out, or it came up in conversation and he promised to bring one by when he got one. Whatever clock was there in that room, Rudy probably took with him. But it wasn’t out of the blue, it WAS something that Garretson needed.

When originally talking to the cops he explained Steve was there to sell a clock radio but didn't explain he already had it, Steve was just getting it back and since it didn't matter, he never corrected it.

    Police: "Why did Steve come to your house that night?"
    Bill: "to sell me a clock radio."
    Police: "what time did he arrive?"

The Bug could have known it but by then it wouldn't have mattered anyway, so why correct it and make police look dumb if it’s what really took place? They already looked dumb on several points.

Think of all the things Steve had to do: drive up there, find the button, know where to park, where the path is, where the guesthouse is. Makes no sense he would do that out of the blue like that unless he had been back there before and had a legitimate reason to return.

Also explains why the time was set. He wouldn't plug it in to show Garretson how it works if he didn't want it. And setting the time makes no sense anyways just to show someone it works, unless you stay for a day to see it keep proper time you would just show that the numbers roll over. Why set it?

He unplugged it and the time was set because it was being used for a week or weeks already. "Time to go, better grab my clock" - unplugs it at the precise moment he left, he didn't set it. It was already set and in use for weeks.

This just hit me one day when a friend did the same thing with me with a tablet. He said, "Just keep and try it a few weeks. If you don't like it just give it back" and it was like lightning stuck me.

So I really think all these years of speculation on what a crazy and unbelievable thing it was for a guy to show up out of the blue with a clock radio to sell to someone he barely knew might not be so crazy after all. He sold and serviced radios and stereos. Garretson needed one. Could be no more complicated as either, "try this out and if you don’t like I will just take it back", or " I will keep my eyes out, when a clock radio comes available I will bring it by your place".  I think he left it there the first time he was up there, because finding his way back late on a Friday night would be very nervy and kinda hard to do. So either way, he really must have been at the guesthouse before. He probably hadn’t heard from Bill and just wanted his clock or his money.


ColScott said...

This ignores the core point- that being no one comes by that late at night to sell a clock radio. Just as no one comes by to retrieve a clock radio that time of night. People behave a certain way, consistently. Life is not the movies. What this post is saying is irrelevant- the clock was NOT The reason why Parent was there with William G. Parent was there to hook up with William. Since the reason why Parent was there AT ALL is completely irrelevant, the police didn't pursue it.

Look, when was the last time anyone came by your house late in the evening to sell or retrieve ANYTHING at the last minute? And you let them?


Matt said...

I T IS ... A L I V E !!!

Matt said...

Col, when I was 18 it was nothing out of the ordinary for me to drop by a friend or acquaintance's place for any reason and vice-versa no matter the time. If the light was on, It was cool to knock. I see no difference here.

ColScott said...

Have you learned nothing young Matt? I took you up there. That house has always been fucking secluded. It wasn't even William's house. You don't just drop the fuck by.

Andorian323 said...

You might be inclined to drop by if it's on your way home, and you know he's still awake; especially if you want your radio back.

The police interrogation of Garrison is overwhelmingly focused on his possible proclivities, to the point of "WTH is their problem?" It's no wonder he clammed up. If they had evidence that the two of them were together, they would have pursued it (relevancy be damned,) announced it publicly, and enjoyed ruining young Garrison's life.

Jenn said...

Cielo is a good ways away from El Monte. Of course, IIRC, Steve worked at Jonas Miller, a high-end audio store (and a great one, I might add), in Hollywood, so he might have been in the area.


Robert Hendrickson said...

Whether the "clock Radio" is relevant or not may be secondary to the "act" of someone actually taking the time to "investigate" and "contemplate" the complexities of the MANSON case. Other than Bugliosi, was there anyone else who actually "thought" about the possible facts concerning the "Crime of the Century." ?

ColScott said...

Robert- ME

Jenn- Hollywood is way the fuck away from Bel Air

Unknown said...

Touché, Col!

sbuch113 said...

Parent's car was damaged.....backed into a fence on the property.

Could those have been his specs found inside the main house?

sbuch113 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenn said...

Col, good to read you.

Yes, Hollywood is a bit away from Cielo, but far, far closer than El Monte.


Jenn said...

Distance from Jonas Miller Stereo to Cielo: 4.3 miles.


Matt said...

Col, your only point is that it is secluded. So what? if you know how to get there and are invited to stop by if in the area and you are pissed about not getting paid for a radio, you stop by.

What you don’t do is offer any points as to why his sex hook up makes any more sense, and why Garretson would need a cover story of a radio for it. The radio obviously was involved, or else how the hell would Bill have even known why it was in the car? Just saw it and decided to make up a story that the guy was trying to sell it to cover what? A sexual hook up late on a friday night? Why not cover it with "he came by for a quick beer".

I have had lots of people drop by at all hours, especially back then, and he did admit to inviting him to drop by if he was in the area. If it was for a sex hook up why so fast? Bill had nowhere to go or be, Parent had nowhere to go or be (till he called his other friend and almost begged to stop by. He obviously had nowhere to be).

Why wouldn't Garretson just say Parent stopped by out of the blue for a beer if it was a hookup? Not like two guys need a cover story of a clock radio to cover having a beer together on a friday night.

If it was a planned hook up, there was no reason it was that fast. If he dropped in out of the blue hoping for a hookup its no different than dropping in out of the blue to sell or pick up a clock radio. You l say dropping in out of the blue for sex makes sense but to get back property you are pissed about not getting paid for doesn't? At least the clock radio exists.

If you gave a radio for someone to try and then they didn't call you, or did not return your calls, eventually you go and knock on their door if you know where it is. It might not have been Bills house, but he admitted to inviting Parent to stop by. Sooner or later he had to knock.

You have no proof it was for a hookup and the hookup theory does not make any more sense. Garretson did pass the polygraph part that said he wasn't gay, for what that matters.

Parent may have had ulterior motives for going up there, but the clock radio was involved or else Bill grasped at one of the strangest straws ever by saying he was there to sell it. So Garretson sees a clock radio on the car seat of a dead guy and decides "oh, i will just tell everyone he came by to sell that radio" because it makes more sense than dropping by for a beer in order to cover a sex romp that was over before it began?

Again, you have zero proof of a gay rendezvous. Planned Friday night hookups between two consenting adults in a private home when neither one of them has anywhere to be or to go to or anyone to expect to interrupt it wont start and end in a half hour. Gay or straight.

Most interesting is the thing Bill said Parent was trying to sell him was precisely what he needed. People with clocks don’t call to find out the time.

AustinAnn74 said...

Hry, remember the post I did a while back about the first Tate police report? The newspaper boy SAW a white Rambler, or very similar-looking car parked outside the gate VERY LATE on the Wednesday before the murders. Was that Parent again? Why would a guest of someone in the main house have parked outside the gate? Why would anyone have parked outside the gate?

Robert Hendrickson said...

To Col:

Just as my finger was pressing the "send" button I realized someone may NOT think I am referring to 1969-1970, but for all time. Obviously, YOU and even others all over the world are NOW "thinking" about the facts of the MANSON case. There are college courses dealing with not only the MANSON "murder" case, but the DMCA and Hendrickson vs eBay and Amazon. There is even a German college professor who tells his students that YOU cannot understand the 1960s America without learning about the MANSON case.

There is a PBS doc now out that purports to reveal that Charles Lindburg was highly involved in the kiddnapping of his own BABY. This is a case that has baffled the world for over a half a century, and NOW the new re-examination finally makes sense.

It is NOT a matter of WHO from back in the day will come forward and "talk", but what kind of a NEW mind will re-examine the MANSON semi-cold case.

IE: Most everyone likes to imagine Bruce Davis traveling to England to "off" Joel Pugh, but have you ever known of that same person to realize that Bruce-Sharon and Roman were also in England. Then, Sharon comes home to the US and days later is massacred, while Roman stays in England - SAFE.

I'm just say'in - LOOK at ALL the factual possibilities !

AustinAnn74 said...

Mr. Hendrickson, you always manage to get the rusty wheels in my head spinning....I have never thought about any of the things you've mentioned, but I am going to start. I never though Joel Pugh was murdered, until I read an interview with Bruce, in which he said that he knew how to make murder look like suicide. He was going to wack Manson at one time, when he found Manson asleep in a barn. Weird!

Unknown said...

Sorry, Matt & Jen, but I agree with ColScott.

The importance of the clock radio is important to one person and one person alone: Bugliosi, because it is/was integral to his timeline of when the murders occurred. After that, its importance has been blown out of proportion.

A: Jen: An electronics store closes at around 8-9pm. That leaves roughly 2 hours for Parent to “drop by” because he was in the “vicinity”. 4.2 miles in LA traffic on a Friday night from Hollywood to Benedict Canyon would take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour due to the HEAVY traffic of people cruising the only two routes: Hollywood Blvd and the Sunset Strip. In my book, Parent doesn’t just “drop by” not knowing if Garretson is going to be home.

B: Matt, I think we all had people who dropped by at all hours, but for me, they were friends not acquaintances. In this situation, you’ve got a kid from El Monte who barely knew Garretson. I don’t think Parent would have the balls to show up, unannounced at a house that is not only buried deeply in the hills with a winding, private cul-de-sac, that (at the time) had only 2 additional houses on it, but a gated house at that. This is not a house that you just “drop by”. Once you turn off Cielo and onto the cul-de-sac, it’s an intimidating drive up that hill if you’re not invited to be on it.

And, more important, let’s remember that it’s proven that Steve Parent doesn’t seem to be the “drop by” kind of person since he made a point of calling the dude in SM before going there.

C: It’s apparent to me that Parent did not know his way around the grounds to even know about the lower path leading to the guesthouse. I don’t have the transcript in front of me, but Garretson stated in his LAPD interview something to the effect that Parent had asked upon arrival at the guesthouse who the beautiful woman was in the main house which would be indicative of him crossing the upper lawn to be able to see through the windows of the main house. It’s also indicative, that during the hitchhiking encounter that Garretson had not gone into details of who (famous or not) lived where on the premises.

If Parent had been to the guest house previous to that Friday, Garretson would have walked him across on the lower path because he told the police that he wasn’t privy to what was happening inside the main house, because at Altobelli’s instructions he was to always cross on the lower path for the privacy of the main house residents.

D: Matt, we are living in very different times. But even in our “enlightened” age, two gay guys were recently beaten to a pulp because a group of straight guys in a car saw them holding hands and didn’t like it.

If a gay man was outed in the sixties, his career was over and he would forever more be a social outcast. Hook ups between gays (outside of perhaps the Hollywood community) were clandestine hook ups. Guys cruised specific areas known to gays. I’m told there were even things like “colors” or “flags” that would be worn to indicate what type of gay hook up they wanted so that there would be no embarrassing questions, confusion, or even beatings if a gay accidently approached a straight guy.

Where there’s smoke there’s fire. A: Friends of Parent's thought he might have been gay or at least had gay encounters. That’s a big suspicion to throw out there to the police if there wasn’t some truth behind it. B: Garretson doesn’t deny to the police that he’s had sex with a man. Both of which leads to circumstantial evidence that Parent picks up Garretson hitchhiking (perhaps his GayDar working, perhaps Garretson sending signals) and they pull off to a secluded area for some oral copulation. Afterward, Parent drops Garretson off at the gate to Cielo, never seeing beyond the garage. Garretson, a lonely boy from Ohio who was clearly desperate for friendships (as noted in his interrogation), probably said to Parent, “call me” and gives him his phone number or vice versa.

Unknown said...

During Garretson’s interrogation, you’ve got a young kid, perhaps unsure of his sexuality, being grilled and even bullied by LAPD officers trying to get a confession out of him. When they asked Garretson if he’d ever had sexual relations with a man, he wavered, which would be very indicative that he had indeed either previously had a sexual encounter with Parent, had one that night, or had planned to have one that night. Any heterosexual guy (especially in the sixties) would have responded to that question with a “Fuck no, man. Are you kidding?”

Matt, when you say, “Bill grasped at one of the strangest straws ever” I would remind you that it is a known fact that when people lie, they come up with mundane “straws” to corroborate their lies.

For the sake of argument, the scenario goes something like this if Garretson and Parent hooked up: Garretson is waiting alone in a room about to be interrogated for murders at his home. He knows he’s innocent of killing anyone, but terrified of being outted, (as crazy as it might seem now) so the thought at the top of his head is therefor, “how am I going to explain why Steve was up there?”

We are all guilty of “canonizing” the dead, especially victims, but we know for a fact that Parent was busted for B&E. My guess is that he probably stole this (new gadget) clock radio and was trying to fence it to someone he thought could afford it: i.e. a previous hook up that he dropped off at a house in Beverly Hills.

That Friday night, Parent called Garretson or vice versa for a 2nd hook up and they made plans for him to come to the house. Along with a sexual encounter, Parent has a stolen clock radio that he wants to sell. He parks along the side of a large house, and thinks: I’ll take it with me and try to sell it to Garretson or someone else in the house. He fails with Garretson, sees that he will not be meeting anyone from the main house and makes a call to the next person he hopes to sell it to.

crash said...

Leslie I think you agree more with Matt and the original post than with the col. You DO believe he was selling a clock radio but you somehow believe he stole it in a b&e instead of getting it at the store he worked at where they happened to sell them.
The original post does say he may have offered the clock the first time they met as a way to get to guarantee another meeting, if he was gay. Garretson might have seen it then and said it was nice, he needed one. So Parent gave it to him to try and told him he would be back in a couple weeks to pick it up or get his money. Garretson did not call, so Parent finally just went up.
It is interesting that a clock radio was something Garretson needed, or why did he try to use the phone to check the time? Rudy probably took the clock.
It was a last minute visit, parent had nothing to do that night. He had dropped by his friend at 11pm to ask if he wanted to go for a ride. I doubt he would do that if he had gay sex planned within the hour. The friend declined. He probably figured it as good a time as any to go back to bills house and either get his clock back or his money and either called first, or went right up.
He didn’t stay long.
I think its as good a theory as any I have seen. And nothing in it removes the sex angle.

Sun King said...

Any chance Garrison still has enough cognizance left to set the record straight on this? After hearing that last web/radio interview he did I kind of doubt it but maybe he might?

Matt said...

He sounded like he's permanently orbiting the Pleiades. I doubt it, man...

Vera Dreiser said...

Well, all of you people's theories supporting the Bug clock radio scenario with little twists -- ie: he'd given Garretson the clock in the previous encounter and returned to get it, or the money, back in the second -- would mean, then, that Garretson lied about the original facts of the clock exchange to the police and later at trial. Why do that?

Nonymous said...

Why would Garretson lie? Well, he is pretty weird. Remember when he was hanging out with a girl that claimed to be Sharon Tate's baby that survived (which made no sense, the baby was boy) and they went on TV shows. It was a real freak show. I don't trust anything that guy says, or said, after seeing that.

Nonymous said...

What Leslie was saying is making a lot of sense to me. Damn, I'm going to thinking about this all night now

Robert Hendrickson said...

Again, the Clock Radio may NOT be connected to murder, but imagine YOU are that "radio" that fateful night and YOU can HEAR and SEE from inside that radio. Where are YOU? Why do the killers NOT touch YOU? The killers kill your owner, BUT ...

Kill everyone in the MAIN house, but ignore the guest house - maybe NO sense actually made sense afer all.

Mr. Spudnut said...

Sorry I'm off topic, but did Eric Monfort get paroled? His parole hearing date was March 3rd.

crash said...

Every other theory involves Garretson lying under oath also. When Garretson told the original story about Parent coming up to sell the radio he had no idea what the murders were about. He wanted as little involvement as he could have with him. The "he just showed up" story just made it simpler and more random, lessened his involvement. Just like telling the police he didn't know who he was when he saw him dead in the car. Even though he had just seen him only hours earlier and had been in the car before.
His testimony at trial was coached by Bug also and the Bug wouldn't care to correct something so little. Wasn't like a huge lie and he doesn't actually say when Parent brought it. "He brought a clock radio with him and he wanted to know if I wanted to buy the one that he had, buy it or one he could get from the store, you know. He worked in an appliance place or something that dealt in radios and stereos "

DebS said...

Mr. Spudnut I just checked the Oregon Offender Search and it says the earliest he could be released is 4/2/14. Whether or not that means he had a hearing and was granted parole, I don't know. I'm not sure if they put a definite release date on his prisoner info but you can check on his info at this link-

starship said...

Mr. Hendrickson,

A quick review of the timeline proves that your "facts" are not at all factual...

so nothing more to consider there really.

fiona1933 said...

Garretson was a hippy-type who certainly stayed up late, in fact, all night, such as on the murder night, writing letters.
He was involved in drugs, at least he smoked weed, still relatively rare then...he was a night-time type guy!
So no use going round at 2 pm, when G would be asleep.

Steve worked 2 jobs: he may have only had time at night.
Maybe, Steve took a little speed....
wooooo. or even oo-ee-oo
Steve had a girlfriend: no-one has ever come forward to say he tricked with Steve, there is no evidence.

In my young day, I lived as if day were night and so did lots of others.

What i found interesting is that clean-living Steve knew a guy like Garretson. Look at Garretson's other associates and the general drifter-typeness of the guy. How did Steve know him?
Also, I think if you are showing someone how a clock works, you'd do exactly that, set it to the right time. I think that is a natural thing to do. It sort of makes the clock seem 'right'. "Let me show you how to set it. Erm..what time is it now?"

Donna said...

Garretson himself said that Parent had stopped by to sell him the radio. Really, why does it even matter why he was there?

Vera Dreiser said...

Your theory doesn't work, or, it does, Garretson was lying at his polygraph because he clearly states he BROUGHT the radio with him that night.

Garretson Polygraph:
"...About a quarter of twelve or something like that, Steve came up and, you know, he brought his radio with him...
I didn't expect him or anything, and he came up and asked me how I've been and everything, you know, and I told him all right...

Vera Dreiser said...

"Or, IF it does, Garretson was lying..." that was supposed to say.

Matt said...

Vera, about 30 years ago I worked at a furniture store. A guy worked there who was stealing is butt off. Eventually management became concerned and sent us all for polygraphs. I asked "Joe" if he was going to quit first. He replied, "No, there's no machine that can tell if I'm lying".

He went in there and passed just like the rest of us.

I've had zero confidence in polygraphs since then.

Vera Dreiser said...

My point is if this person's theory holds true, BG lied when he said Parent brought the radio that night. Why not just say SP gave it to him the week before to try it out if that's what happened, and which is more believable, than he brought it up so late that night to sell??? The "theory" is more believable than the "truth," which is why I believe neither. And by the way, he repeated the story that the clock-radio was brought up on the murder night many times -- including in his first interviews w/ police, pre-poly, as well as on the witness stand. He never wavered on that.
I am reluctant to say it but I stand w/ the Col on this one.

orwhut said...

When I worked in a department store, everyone in the store was polygraphed regularly. I don't remember anyone ever being caught except, one new guy refused to take the test. He left soon thereafter . I sometimes wonder whether frightening thieves away was the owners intent when they hired the polygraph company.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Ahhh. to be relevant or not to be, that seems to be the question, but what does the word "relevant' mean to you. If Steven Parent was there - that night - because of the clock radio, HE is dead because of it.

IF Parent was there that night - NOT because of the clock radio - does that dismiss HIM from the circle of events now known as the "Crime of the Century?

Because Charles Manson was NOT there during the "Crime of the Century" does that dismiss HIM from the circle of events known as the "Crime of the Century" ?

Because Roman Polanski was NOT there during the "Crime of the Century" does that dismiss HIM from the circle of events know as the Crime of the Century" ?

crash said...

Garretsons polygraph was a mess on pretty much everything he says except that he wasn't involved in the murders. And he was minimizing his involvement with parent right from the start, he didn't want anyone to think it was anything but an out of the blue drop in. Whether for a quick 15 minute sex thing, to sell a radio he brought that time, or to sell a radio he brought last time, garretson definitely didn't want them to know parent had been there before. Thats why he said he didn't know who the dead guy in the car was, a car he had been in before and a dead guy he just had a beer with 6 or 7 hours earlier who had the radio right on the seat. Minimizing all the way.

Robert Hendrickson said...


What can you tell us about Terry Melcher. The latest MANSON book reveals that HE was banging Charlie's Girls. AND HE lied about that to the cops. Like Garrison HE thought HE had to lie.

AND then, there is the reason that Melcher likely walked out on his Cielo Drive lease, BECAUSE he was AFRAID of staying there any longer.

YOU can't escape the fact that IF Melcher / Atrobelli had - at least - warned the Polanski's about the MANSON Family danger, maybe Sharon would be alive today, growing old like the rest of us.

The real question is: Was anyone (witness) completely TRUTHFUL with Bugliosi ? And why didn't the cops simply beat the TRUTH out of ALL the witnesses?

CarolMR said...

Why didn't any of the Hollywood crowd who knew/were afraid of Manson (Melcher, Dennis Wilson, etc.) clue the police in about him after the Cielo murders?

Matt said...

Unfortunately both took the answer to their graves.

Their memories about that time period would be priceless.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Howard, Merrick and maybe Shorty DID talk to the cops AND look what it got them !

Bill Vance, Nancy Jordon and others kept quiet and they are likely still alive.

Sonetimes it's called a NO Brainer !

As for Dennis Wilson, how did he DIE ?

Vera Dreiser said...

Oh Robert you are so tedious. Well, someone had to say it.

Terrapin said...


shoegazer said...

Matt said:

Think of all the things Steve had to do: drive up there, find the button, know where to park, where the path is, where the guesthouse is. Makes no sense he would do that out of the blue like that unless he had been back there before and had a legitimate reason to return.

I heartily agree, and would add that this was at night, during a waning crescent moon. Very little ambient light, though we might surmise that the lights were on along the walkway.