Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Questions & Answers with filmmaker Robert Hendrickson

Welcome to a Question & Answer session with filmmaker Robert Hendrickson. Please post any questions you may have for him in the comments section. He will respond as time allows.

For those of you who are not familiar with him, Robert Hendrickson is the co-director of the Oscar nominated documentary MANSON about the Manson Family which he directed together with partner Laurence Merrick. He also made the film,  INSIDE THE MANSON GANG and published the book DEATH TO PIGS.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this Mr. Hendrickson!
First off, let me say I enjoy BOTH films very much, especially the Spahn Ranch footage.
Now on to some questions that I have:
1.) In "Manson" When Brenda describes her first Garbage Run, a Gateway Market sign is shown and then footage of the girls rummaging through the bins.
Do you recall the name(s) of any of the markets you filmed the girls at and was Gateway one of them?
2.) During "Inside The Manson Gang" you say that you went to Mark Ross' the day after Zero's death and he (Mark) shows you the bloody bed & gun.
Are you saying the gun was not taken as evidence????
3.) During the "Music Video" portion, you say that you were instructed to keep the people in the back in darkness so they couldn't be identified.
Was there anyone of note & are you able to now tell us any names of those people?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. H.,

My question is really very basic, but I can't seem to find an answer from looking at Amazon or the Exclusive Films webpage.

Is the MANSON DVD available for purchase in Region 0 or Region 4 formats? I live in Australia and so DVDs geared for US machines won't work for me, but I would still love to own a copy that I can actually watch.


Max Frost said...

I would like to interrupt this program to encourage the lurkers to emerge from the shadows and SPEAK UP please...

Don't be shy...ask questions - make this a great one!

Max Frost said...

Hey ST. C...!

YOU gotta have a a question or two handy in your TLB shoebox...?

Calculated guess.

John Seger said...

Mr. Hendrickson, did you ever feel unsafe, or spooked during the filming of "Manson?" I would have been spooked. Especially Clem. He looks cray cray

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr H,

1) Was there any member of the Family whom you particularly liked (irrespective of any subsequent criminal charges which they may have accrued)?

2) Were you and Mr Merrick actually living at Spahn during the filming, or did you go to another locstion to sleep/eat?

3) Did you see anything illegal going on while you were filming, but had to keep quiet about it?

4) How long were you filming for?

5) Was there a Family member out there that you really didn't csre for?

6) Who, in your opinion from being there, was the 'number two in charge' at the ranch?

7) From any contact you were able to have with Manson, what was your opinion of him as a person? Did he come across to you as giving off 'evil vibes'? Is he unpleasant?

8) Did the Family stop you from filming anything?

Robert H, Thanks for doing this Q & A.

Anonymous said...

Mr H,

While you were there, did any of the Family object in principle to you being there and filming?

Anonymous said...

Mr H,

Since the release of your films and the book, have you received any threats or objections from those whom you believe to be Family members?

Anonymous said...

Mr H,

I believe you got an Oscar nomination, but it looks like you didn't win. Do you think that this was due to the controversial nature of the Family. It might have been OK to acknowledge your work with a nomination, but there might have been an outcry if it had won?

What were your feelings when it was banned at one point (I believe, correct me if I am wrong) in California?

Anonymous said...

Mr H,

Was there any footage you left out of the final films because you believed the content would be too controversial, considering the times?

Max Frost said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, Equinox has left the building...

Rock on Equinox - GREAT questions!

Suze said...

Yes thank you Mr. Hendrickson for doing this. I appreciate you!

Was there any Family member that you feared? I would imagine that you had your guard up I mean who wouldn't but was there one in particular you kept one eye on?

Anonymous said...


Forgive me for asking this, but..... did any of Charlie's girls come on to you while you were in their company? Would you tell me anyway, if you are following Charlie's "no snitching" rule?!!!

Best wishes to you, Robert.

CalebNefarious said...

HI Mr. Hendrickson,
I saw your Q&A at the premiere of Inside the Manson Gang at the Sunset 5 a few years back and you said that you were pretty sure you saw Clem once while driving. I was wondering if you have run into any other family members, or other people related to this story (intentionally or not) since then?

Vera Dreiser said...

Where oh where to begin?
Well, why not at the beginning?
Why have we never seen the footage w/ Family members shot long before the murders for your film about the 2nd coming of Christ: "Well Here I am"?

Marshall Terrill said...

Looking back, do you view The Family as a cult or as a murder/crime organization?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Chats- Charlie:
1) Gateway - No, it was nearest Spahn Ranch
2) Evidence of what - NO CRIME, according to police. There's a real story here, BUT at the time cops were too busy busting Commie Protester to investigate deaths of Hippies.
3) I did NOT recognize them & did NOT want to. Story in Death to Pigs.

MANSON DVD is all region. Have sold to Austraila with out a problem.

1) Squeaky
2) Merrick did not join the project until after Spahn Ranch footage, but we filmed burnt-out ranch later together. I made a point of sleeping at home. A familiar bed and a warm gun does make for a good night's sleep.
3) LOL
To be continued:

Suze: Bruce - until I got to know him.

Gypsy - in Court on Geraldo case, but that person denied being her.

Vera: See just AFTER murders ( commune scene in "Inside the MANSON Gang" - with Mark Ross.

Terrill: The more I view the whole Manson Family experience I realize there does NOT exist any ONE description that fits. "The MANSON Family" is / was truely UNIQUE. I've found, over the years, that just one piece to the puzzle can drasticly alter any previous established perception of them.

Now the question is; "Is this by design OR by accident / circumstance ?.

Patty is Dead said...

Robert, besides Stoner's beer can, have you seen some of the things he has dug out of the earth at Spahn? And if so, does any of it look familiar to you?

crash said...

Thanks Mr Hendrickson,
I think(maybe) during the filming the members already knew little paul was talking to the d.a., did they show any outward signs of resentment to him in front of you?
thank you.

Unknown said...

Good day all :)

Mr. H- I could ask you questions all day but as you are the first and only person I have ever, or may ever talk to who was actually at the ranch- I would like your thoughts on the children...

Most of this story is like a Charlie Brown episode to me. Where were the adults?

What are your thoughts about the young children and babies who were left exposed to the life, filth, and drugs at the ranch? Did anyone ever consider or talk about the defenseless ones stuck in that mess?

Do you think that any adult who came across that situation had a responsibility to make others aware of what was happening there to the babies/kids and they way they were being left to live?

Your movies were fascinating and well made. I owned them all and have watched them as many times as any movie I have ever seen :)

Patty is Dead said...


orwhut said...


Thanks again for your attention to the following questions.

Questions from Inside the Manson Gang:

Where you speak of Jock Honduras, a friendly wrestling match takes place between two men who end up in the water. The spectators seem to have been shown for a reason but I don't recognize any of them except possibly the girl being pulled backward as she sits on a chair. This girl resembles Cappy. Were the spectators part of the "Family"?

Where Squeaky and Sandy are shown helping "Old Man Spahn" , Sandy wears green pants with a top made of diamond shaped material in shades of blue, green, orange, and white. The costume reminds me of one a court jester would wear. Do you know whether this is a coincidence or whether she was trying to look like a joker?

When the gang is "spooked" by the helicopter and hide, they seem to be smiling and don't look frightened. Was this a reenactment?

Questions from Manson:

In the scene where Phil Philips talks about a discussion with Charley about killing Philly's ex wife there's a girl seated to Phil's right and slightly behind him. Can you tell me who she is?

maryecronin said...

Where there any Family members that you didn't get a chance to meet and wanted to interview or chat with?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Real busy and will answer later, BUT two really jump out.

Crash: Not until the Mark's van burn incident, BUT it has always bothered me WHEN they realized and HOW did Paul play it so straight. First night in Gyspy wagon, on film - Paul almost "blows-it". months later Paul is filmed with Clem (together in same shot) and he either KNOWS the story about Shorty is controversial or he KNOWS Clem can KILL him IF they find out he is going to be a traitor. Was Paul on a DEATH trip or what ?

Vera: Are YOU a cop ? Great observation ! WHICH gun are YOU referring to. That has bothered me to no end. Do YOU see all the possibilities ? Where is the gun now ? Why would they take the gun IF no crime was committed. Then you have the possibility that I only THINK I saw the gun - which happens all the time. Witnesses THINK they see all kinds of things. I'm wondering WHY Mark even had a gun !
Do I only think I saw the bed with blood stains. AND even IF these were ONLY imagined images, WHY the Hell would I get involved with DEATH and things like that ?

How about this: the MANSON Gang has already done human massacres and tried to ignite WW3, but they had to borrow Mark's gun for a rather simple suicide. Don't be looking for SENSE in a world where the greatest nation on earth has to start a WAR cause the President has a hard-on for commies.

Robert Hendrickson said...


Mark Ross (in the water) brought a few (including kids) to be extras and some were actors I got from Merrick's studio. I would have to dig through old records to identify individuals.

The Family had a whole wardrobe of costumes so anything is possible. I'm sure it meant something to her.

Re-enactment ? ( kind-of ) BUT even the Tate / LaBianca massacre was a form of "performance art."

To Manson:

She and the others at Dune Buggy scene came at Paul's request. It is Little Paul's bedroon in shoshone where that is filmed. If you think you recognize her, give me her name and I will look through records.

NOW: Please answer this for me. Is it possible that the Beatles got ANY ideas from you (directly or indirectly) for any of the songs on their White Album ?

Anonymous said...

Robert, was there anything you filmed but were told not to use or you chose not to use out of fear for self-preservation?

Matt said...

Vera, don't you have puppy you need to kick?

Suze said...

Why is Vera allowed to live?

Max Frost said...

C'mon Vera's okay.

Robert Hendrickson said...

St Circum:

I am taking longer to answer questions that really give me pause to think AND yours concerning the kids hits the ball out of the park. So let me try this: The other day, I was in the store and I overheard a man ask where the "door stops" would be. The clerk didn't really know if they had them, but said they would be in asile 3. Trying to be helpful I said: look on the bottom rack that I's seen them there before.

A little later the man found and thanked me, as he showed his "find." I just had to mention that I too was looking for them a while back cause I realized that with all the school shootings, apparently NO teacher had thought of simply sliding a ready made "door-stop" under the door to their classroom, thus preventing ANY gunman from entering and shooting students.

You could see his brain spinning wildly and then he said. "Did you tell the PTA" I almost burst out laughing. You see, the great American answer for most every question is: "Did you tell the proper authority." Well, Mr. Saint, you should read Death to Pigs, especially where I tell the story of the Priest in the hospital when I told HIM of the MANSON Family situation.

Unknown said...

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. As I said- I could ask you things all day lol

But as you have been gracious enough to take one- I will let others have a chance, but would like to leave you with one comment.

My favorite scene in either of your Documentaries is the one in the field where the girls are sitting in the grass sewing the vest while Brooks sings " Your just a young girl" in the background. It is mesmerizing to me.I watched that scene over and over. They look so happy, young an innocent. I try to contrast that with the girls holding the rifle in the first scene of Manson with that "long gone" look in there eyes, and the violent, angry words they are throwing out into the camera...

It is hard for me to believe that the same people can go from so sweet and nice, to so aggressive and angry....

And then I think about my own actions sometimes on these very blogs lol I guess anything is possible when the right buttons get pushed.

Your movies made me think quite a bit.

Sometimes that's as scary as anything in the movies themselves...

Thanks for the time :)

beauders said...

Mr Hendrickson thank you for doing this. My questions
Do you still have contact Mark Ross, if not what happened to him?
Did Steve Grogan have any obvious pedophilic tendencies when you were around him? Do you know anything else about the mysterious 'Kevin'? Did Brooks Posten appear to be gay and possibly in love with Paul Watkins? Could this be why he could "never make it with the girls?"

Unknown said...

Hello Mr. Hendrickson and Manson blog members. I really appreciate the time you take to answer my dumb questions, LOL. Did the Family still do they're acid orgies? Where was the camp by the waterfall in relation to Spahn Ranch? Did you ever have any talks with Mr. Spahn? If so, were they about Manson and the family? Or were one of the girls always around listening? Did you ever go there at night to see what they were up to? Did you ever film any of the crime scenes or any of the other locations that the Family was known to have lived or visited? Thanks again.

Robert Hendrickson said...

I'm going to get to ALL questions, BUT I must comment on very relevant "comments" by you folks FIRST.

Thank you Saint - YOU have revealed the Manson Family mystique - to the extent the GIRLS are involved.

GIRLS with GUNS vs. same GIRLS "sewing" (like for hundreds of years girls were expected to do.)

It is as significant as fish coming out of the water to become reptiles. It is as significant as "the end of slavery." etc., etc. AFTER a CineFamily showing of MANSON last year, a Black man also explained that "Girls with Guns" has two major attractions: One - they are GIRLS with GUNS and the day is NOT far off when ALL GUNS will be banned and the Manson Girls with Guns scene will eventually become a significant piece of America's HISTORY.

VERAS's comment removed: I certainly appreciate the blog's concern for my feelings, BUT my feelings are not as important as VERA's claim that I should not be so critical of Bugliosi's MAKING STUFF-UP, as I do the same. The difference is: As a filmmaker I embellish. A PROSECUTOR (lawyer) distorts and twists the truth to the extent his claims are out-an-out LIES. BUT that is his JOB. The more successful his un-trueful ARGUMENT is, the BETTER lawyer HE becomes. That is the way the JUDICIAL SYSTEM works. Thus, Bugliosi's so-called Race-WAR motive THEORY is but a perfect example of HIS judicial GENIOUS..

Vera Dreiser said...

Thanks, Mr. H., I thought you'd see it that way and also note the irony of Matt's censorship.

Trilby said...

Hi, Mr. H!!
I have an odd question, one that I've run by Matt before -
According to police interview sheets, etc., Voytek Frykowski was supposed to meet with an actor friend named "Mark Fine" on Wed 8/6. Mark Fine had a producer friend, & he was going to speak with him about Voytek and a possible screenplay, IIRC. He wanted to set up a meeting. Voytek declined the invite, saying he wasn't available that afternoon as he had to meet friends at the airport (part of the Canadian smuggling crew.).
Do you think there's any chance that Mark Fine is really actor Mark Ross? Do you think Mark Ross could be a link/connector between Cielo and Spahn?

leary7 said...

If someone were to give you the money to film "The Manson Family at Fifty" would you do it?
Would you try a new slant or would it just be reflection?
Who would you most want to talk with, in order?
Would you want to talk with Leslie, Pat or Tex? Would they know you?
What would you do for an opening 'arresting' scene?
Is there really anything of substance new to say about TLB?

And like most American males, I would like to know if Ruth Ann is dating?
Just kidding. Maybe.

leary7 said...

for that matter, did any of Leslie, Susan, Pat, Tex, Bobby or Charlie ever see your films and comment on them directly?

Mr. Humphrat said...

Mr Hendrickson.
I love your films. What amazing time pieces they are.
A couple questions come to mind which you or others may answer:
Was Ed Sanders around the Ranch/family at the same time as you?
Also, was it true that only Manson was allowed to sleep with Squeaky (with the exception of Spahn?)
And Little Paul's claim that the family encouraged him and Squeaky to sleep together since Charlie was in jail?

Matt (Mr. Humphrat)

dawnn said...

Mr Hendrickson Your film Inside the Manson Gang was amazing.It allows us to see some of them who where free at the time and later where put in prison..How much influence did you feel Catherine Share had on the family at this time.Who did you feel was the most dangerous of them all.Did they offer you or your partner free love and did you take it or where you every tempted.What was Sue Bartel like and who was the Rocky guy.There is so much beautiful footage in your film the surrounging area of the waterfalls and the highway when some of the family gets pulled over by the CHP.Your work is priceless.Thanks.

AustinAnn74 said...

Mr. H, I have some questions too. I know it's not as deep as some of the other ones, but it is something I have always wondered. Was there more than one shower available at the ranch? How about bathrooms? Was there hot water hooked up out there? Where, exactly was the back ranch house? I've only seen two photos of the back ranch house. One more: Was there an active spring flowing through Spahn ranch?

Max Frost said...

Hey ST!

I've always been extremely fond of that "Young Girl" montage you are talking about. That song, and the REALLY brings the entire movie "home" for me...

Robert Hendrickson said...

I only have a minute, but I need to say: There are NO dumb questions, to the extent you all have put me in more difficult position. YOUR questions are deserving of more thoughtful and lengthy answers, so please be patient - I will get to all of them AND keep them coming.

TomG said...

If the United States of America had a less adventurous foreign policy, and fewer attempts to reshape the world in its own image, would they maybe have a more peaceful citizen, such as in Canada or Norway or Great Britain?

Unknown said...

Hey Max :)

Absolutely a haunting melody- it puts me in a trance...

of course the ganja helps that along as well.

I should watch Manson straight one time to see if the experience is different...


Mr. Humphrat said...

Dear Saint and Max:
I love all the footage and music with Paul and Brooks. I truly admire their bravery during that period even though Paul went back and forth. Those scenes of them playing make me think I'm seeing a glimpse of what the family was like before the hate.

Max Frost said...

EXACTLY Mrs. Humphrat!

That's exactly what I've always thought.

And yeah ST - haunting melody to the backdrop of a utopian adventure.

Unknown said...

I concur....

Hello Mrs. Humphrat its a pleasure

TomG said...

People can go on the internet and describe 8 seconds of Leslie Van Houten's life and what scum she is...
Why so quiet on the atrocities of your own country's failed brutal imperialistic efforts all over the world?
Could some lives have more value than others?

Max Frost said...

I feel ya TomG but save it for another thread.

This one is already complicated due to the nature of questions and delayed answers and then more questions....

TomG said...

I'm cool with that. A little boy getting blown apart in the Gaza Strip ain't as important as a fat ass woman in Los Feliz. Got it.

AustinAnn74 said...

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path!

Max Frost said...

TomG I'm well aware of what's happening in Gaza, and REPEAT "I feel ya." I don't disagree with what you are saying.

But this thread is just a Q&A with Hendrickson - or TRYING to be anyway.

sbuch113 said...

Hi Robert,
Links between the Family and the occult have been written about in nearly all accounts.
In the time you spent with these folks did you witness anything that would raise suspicions?


MHN said...

Tom G: how right you are - no other subject should ever be discussed on internet forums until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is settled. Thanks for reminding us. So, folks, why don't we stop discussing the work of Mr Hendrickson and listen carefully while Tom G tells us what his preening online moral outrage has done to resolve the various crises in the Middle East, (crises caused by those cuddly *European* powers drawing lines on maps, not by the Great Satan, incidentally).

Tom G - we're waiting. Anything to contribute except anti-American bigotry? Done anything in the real world to sort out that Gaza problem you want us to agonise over? Or just too busy posting bile towards people who have the temerity to object to things like murder despite being Americans?

"People can go on the internet and describe 8 seconds of Leslie Van Houten's life and what scum she is...
Why so quiet on the atrocities of your own country's failed brutal imperialistic efforts all over the world?"

Answer: this blog is called 'The Manson Family Blog'. We tend to use it to discuss things to do with (have a guess, go on) the Manson Family. You see how that works? Makes sense, yes?

I'm pretty sure there are blogs out there concerned less with the Manson Family and more with Gaza's endless UN-sponsored Theatre of Victimhood - try - where you might happily find your own geo-politically worthy attitudes fully reflected.

In short, if you resent reading discussions of the TLB murders while conflict rages in Gaza, what are you doing here? Nobody has a gun to your head, mate. Get over yourself.

Robert Hendrickson said...

EQ: You have a lot of questions that many were answered in a "ULTRAVIOLENT" magazine interview I did a few years ago. It's issue number 10 and can be ordered at

Patty: I see the photo on the blog, but I do not specifically recognize anything.

Crash: When he became an official prosecution witness, they made negative remarks and HE said they threatened him.

Maryecronin: Great question - Bill Vance, Christopher Jesus, Dennis Wilson and Mark Ross.

Chatsworth Charlie: NO - which leads to the question: Why on earth would Charles Manson ALLOW me such freedom.

Beauders: Mark showed-up at one of the Cine-Family showings. We had a long talk, but did not resume any kind of relationship. I doubt any old associates of the Family are ever going to talk publicly unless they are on their death beds. It is fun for folks to discuss the Manson Family story, but for most all those involved it was a dramatic life altering experience. NOT even something they can relate to anything the rest of us go through.

About Clem: You mean, did he ever act like a Priest ?

It's been rumored that Kevin was sent in to watch over me. Maybe?

If you read Death to Pigs, Brooks trys to explain his "girls situation" and relationship to Paul.

Anonymous said...

Robert Hendrickson said:
"Chatsworth Charlie: NO - which leads to the question: Why on earth would Charles Manson ALLOW me such freedom."

Maybe that was Charlie's way of making sure everyone stayed on the "Up & Up" IE:"Somebody's Watching You"

"It's been rumored that Kevin was sent in to watch over me. Maybe?"

By Whom?
Charlie or "The Man?"

Anonymous said...

Thankyou Mr. H! Know my question was the most boring in the whole thread, but your answer still made me smile. Great to hear. :)

Robert Hendrickson said...

NO They had already gotten to NOW !
Just a mile or so across the highway
Not really
The Girls always "walked" him outside. He was blind and had to use a cane.
Night - YES
By crime scenes - you mean houses ? YES - even LaBianca at night - very spooky.

Trilby ??? Don't know. Anything is possible in Manson case.

Oh Leary - just had to: I've thought about it. If THEY put-up the money, THEY would want it slanted one way or the other. My slant would be a dramatic version of the TRUTH, but that would only sell depending on the times.

I would want to talk with LBJ. I would go to his grave and ask him WHY !! I think a photo of each of the killers behind bars would speak more than any words.

The FIRST scene: A normal contemporary family on vacation (SUV with luggage rack on top) gets a flat tire on old Santa Susana Pass Road. While mom and dad ponder the dilema their teenage daughter and her younger brother wonder in the tall grass along side the road. She picks and smells a pretty wild flower and he stoops to examine the top of an old can visible on the ground's surface. Intent on retrieving the rusty object, Jr. begins tugging away. There is a rumbling sound and then the earth begins to shake. An earthquake ? As the young boy continues to excavate an old beer can from sacred ground, all Hell seems to be breaking lose. The sound resembles a thunderous earthquake, but now something mysterious is emerging. The entire Spahn Ranch is rising up from the earth.

The "Legend" would come alive AGAIN in a new an improved world.

Cuntry Trash said...

Here are some:
I know you are for the whole Black Muslim/Family angle, and I kind of agree with most of it.

1) Are you aware that Manson MAY have had ties to Geronimo Ji Jagga while being celled at the LA Jail during trial? Geronimo wrote about it in his book, called Manson a "friendly face" when they were re-united at San Quentin. Also said Manson saved his life in SQ. Geronimo's attorney was Chas. Holepeter (msp?) who Manson fired earlier, and we all know Geronimo was found innocent of murder charges 27 years later, that the FBI and LAPD held back evidence during the trial that proved him not guilty.

My question is that, do you think the Family may have been communicating with Geronimo during the trial? They started to hold up those BLACK POWER signs around that time.

2) Paul Watkins said that he talked to you when you passed through Shoshone during the filming of the Manson Gang movies. When passing through, did Paul seem afraid of Clem? Did he openly speak to him? Did he have any desire to come with you to Barker? I am assuming Don Ward was keeping very close ties to him at that time. I only ask because Paul seemed to be under the spell of Bugliosi and I feel that Paul had no animosity towards the Family, but was playing that role to be in good graces with Bugliosi (to avoid any criminal charges).

It seems like as soon as Clem was paroled, Paul called him and spoke to him like a long lost friend - despite Clem trying to burn him alive.

Lastly, 3) When filming the Manson Gang movies, were there any other Straight Satans who came to Spahn besides Danny DeCarlo? Did Danny come often, or just the time you filmed him? Did yo speak to him yourself, and if so did he seem like he was there spying on the Family for the prosecution?

IMO, Danny was a snitch and I feel like he was funneling info to the prosecution, and came there to do so.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Hendrickson,
Thank you for doing this. I'm not sure if you can really even answer this, but with all the people you've talked to over the years about Manson & crew(the main "family" members) do most people seem horrified or intrigued by them? I wonder this because even on these blogs 45 years later there are so many differing opinions about them. I would have nothing positive to say about them myself but am curious to the reactions you get from others. I admit being intrigued with their story due to my interest in 60's history. One more question please- While you were there with the group did you see them practice protecting the environment since that was something they were always promoting? It didn't look like it from pictures you see, it looked like there was trash and junk all over the place but sometimes pictures can be deceiving. Also- did they really seem to treat the animals well? Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

leary7 said...

ah Robert,
the truth...the times...the legend...they...LBJ?
you truly are one spellbound muddha. one of a kind for sure, bless ya.

Max Frost said...

Dooger, when you say Paul called Clem after he was paroled....where are you getting that info from?

Did you read a short transcript in which Clem mentions the importance of parents standing by him? And do you recall Paul mentioning he is living in Tecopa (I think)?

If so that was not Paul calling him. That was someone PRETENDING to be Paul.

HellzBellz said...

Hellow Mr Hendrickson,first of all I wanted to say that I am always fascinated by your comments here on the Blogg. Then I have a maybe strange kinda question. I found Manson and Inside Manson Gang on Ebay, but was credited and even signed by Ed Charles... Is He a kinda Compagnon, or Co-writer from/with you ? ? ? I send the URL/Link I found it a bit strange, but also you wrote you were in a legal fight (court)for the Movies. So maybe Ed Charles is kinda ghost-writer name of You ??

Anonymous said...

HellzBellz, that Ed Charles stands for Limited (ED) ition (CHARLES) Manson.

Matt said...

Or Ed Charles who played 3rd base for the '69 Mets!

Mr. Humphrat said...

Mr Hendrickson,

Did you find Sandy Good to be prickly, defensive, self-righteous,
contrived, contrary, obstinate, or was she really cool when you got to know her? (I hope she can't find me)

Anonymous said...

Robert, in your two films I saw poor "Elf" flipped, spun, held in the air by the ankles & balanced by one hand. (the Flying Wallendas were more careful with their children!)
You must have been HORRIFIED while filming that, especially at first.
Did you ever witness any unfortunate "accidents?"

orwhut said...

Thank you for answering my questions.
As for the Beatles getting ideas for White Album songs from me. I don't think so. I've never met the lads.

Max Frost said...

I think he means something along the lines of society and the times influencing the White Album - rather than the White Album influencing society and the times.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Mrs. Humpfrat

I only saw Ed at the ranch once, but he came along with us when we went to Death Valley first time.

CM & Squeaky ?? Little Paul & Squeaky ?? Who was sleeping with who ?? I just assumed everyone did their own thing. I saw Gypsy & Paul kinda lovey-dovey in the Gypsy wagon (It's on film)

Marlene: Gypsy was a very dominant figure. My soundman nicknamed her "Mother" Damgerous in what context? I suppose under certain circumstances several could have slit my throat.

NOT "free love" It would have cost me my film. Tempting, but NOT worth it.

Sue was very nice, but was just there. Kind of non-significant

ANN: On that I know of, but then there was the Devil's Canyon waterfalls. Bathrooms - just the one you see George coming out of. Back ranch hose ??? could have been where the camera peeks in and was where we were told NOT to film. Active spring - YES and very inviting (RE: swimming hole where Jaun is naked.

sbuch 113 That;s a loaded question. The Catolic Church is CULT as is the Boy Scouts. At the time "Yoga" was considered an occult practice by the Big Three religions. If you mean something like human or animal sacrifice upon an alter - NO. If you mean "questioning" organized religion and developing metaphysical powers - YES. Watch an listen to the mirror image scene in MANSON.

Chatsworth: "Somebody's watching you" VERY perceptive

watch over "by whom" - maybe the good folks that MAX seems to dislike.

DOOGER: I'll get to your questions next:

Anonymous said...

(Sorry to interrupt the thread, but for anyone who is unaware, 'Col Scott' is back blogging over at

Mr Hendrickson,

Thanks for taking the time out to answer all of our questions. You are so special in that you were there at Spahn, and met main players in The Family. I believe that your films are an important part of documenting modern US social history.

It is interesting that you are so affected by the Vietnam war (as were many US citizens), and that your films were shot in a decade when the US was in internal turmoil.

Robert Hendrickson said...

DOOGER: Of course it's possible and very likely. Charlie's rep with the Black Muslims would have been his introduction.

Am I really the ONLY one who has researched and investigated the Black Muslim ANGLE in depth ?

Bugliosi claims right on his Helter Skelter back cover that "We have the Answers." But Vietnam is NOT even mentioned. Eventually, over 50 thousand young American boys shed their blood in malaria infested rice pools with lifeguards like JFK and LBJ, on the side lines, cheering THEIR torture on.

The "Black Muslim Angle" is left unexplained BECAUSE it brings attention to the whole BLACK issue(s).
AND let's be honest - if for only a while - Blacks Folks got really fucked over by their supposed heros JFK and LBJ. AND now the Democrats really NEED the Black vote, BUT you'd think someone
would be interested in some real TRUTH. Or are those days a thing of the past ?

I did NOT see Paul "when passing through." the first couple of times. Only later when we did the Dune Buggy scene in the sand dunes.

I think MAX explained the Paul / Clem "speaking"

LASTLY: Only Danny Decarlo. They wouldn't let me get close to him. Awhile later Gyspy and I stopped at a Biker Gang hangout house in Acton, CA. Don't know if they were Satans or not - just knew it was a very bad place to be. So hard for me to believe Danny was the "leader" of such Bad-ass real-deal bikers.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Mr Hendrickson,
Thank you for answering my questions before. Since Ed Sanders was around a couple times with you can you recollect if he ever got anyone's hackles up with probing questions?
I can't recall from the films but was Paul Crocket ever around when you were in Death Valley.
By the way I think an intesting movie would be to focus on the period with Paul Crocket, Paul, Brooks and their interactions when the family came up there.

TomG said...

Something I have understood, and if one of you geniuses could enlighten me to.....
Why is a person physically sick with say, diabetes or cancer, worthy of our compassion and help?
While someone with a mental illness or addiction is seen as a morally failed human being, a consequence of their own actions?
In both cases, no one wanted what happened to them?

Max Frost said...

Stay away from domestic beer and the mystery will reveal itself...

Dilligaf said...


A person with a mental illness is absolutely deserving of compassion and assistance. The challenge comes in when you cannot help a person who clearly needs help until they commit an act which causes an involuntary commitment. That tends to cause negative reaction from those who want to help. It may be unfair, but the unintended law of consequences include no longer being able to commit a person who clearly requires help, but refuses it.

Similar to addiction. Society is typically willing to help those who need it, but only those who are willing to take the first steps in the battle to face their addiction. You cannot change, nor help, anyone who does not want to change...

TomG said...

Let me ast you all a question....

If God and Jesus himself favored America and American policies, wouldn't America win some of these skirmisches!
And why wouldn't a kid in 1969 not protest war to warn a dumb fucking ass kid in Kentucky in 2014, with an IQ of 96, that he shouldn't fight for his country, because they have no idea of what they're doing.
So he doesn't come home brain dead and Trace Adkins doesn't ask you for donations for wounded warriors for something that was advoidable all along?

sbuch113 said...

Much thanks Robert.

dawnn said...

Great comment St Circumstance About the girls in the field it is such a contract when I saw it It reminded me of a part in the book Lord of The Flies when the author discribe this beautiful field with flowers and butterflies and that kind natural lighting of the sun that only nature can give us and suddenly the pig is slattered by this gang of young boys.Does not seem possible this could happen in this picture of sernity.

dawnn said...

Thanks for answering my question.I always felt the Gypsy was a leader.I also felt the Sandra Good during this time was trying to be like Gypsy.Also glad that you answered the free love question had you not we all would have assumed a yes.I am quessing that some in your film follow this blog lol so you had no choise but to answer truthful .Also I would like to know where to get your films and your book.

Max Frost said...

Hey Dilligaf - nice to hear from you.

MHN said...

Tom G - "If God and Jesus himself favored America and American policies, wouldn't America win some of these skirmisches!"

Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth closed and have people wonder whether you're a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Every possible opinion under the sun. The most understood one I heard was from a Latin mailman who said: Oh, he's the guy who wanted to kill all the minorities.

Protect the environment ? I'm not sure how one does that. If you're talking about the Spahn Ranch, most of the junk (old cars, etc) was there long before the Manson Family arrived. I never saw any destruction of nature, but for a Death Valley trip, Craig made some bologna sandwichs and they just took the meat out and tossed it on the ground. Apparently they left quite a mess a some other people's houses also. Fortunately, I Never saw any animals mistreated - cause that could have become an issue.

Mrs. Hump:
I like to think each Family member was unique in their individual characters. You know how some people - anything they say is bland and devoid of emotion. Well, Sandy is one of those who seems to convey emotion all around her words. Of course, this is a director's dream. Even Sandy's silence spoke volumes. When last year I viewed MANSON on the big screen, for the first time in decades, I could still FEEL Sandy's temper in places. AND that's NOT acting - it's LIVING the part. She could go from laughing to a death stare in a half a second.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Hendrickson. I would love to see you do more of these- I'm sure the questions would keep coming!

Robert Hendrickson said...

Chatsworth: Long ago dads used to do all kinds of antics with their kids. Babies- a little extreme, but it does break some fears - like flying through the air. No accidents that I know of.


Charlie, I really meant "in-directly". Guys like the Beatles and other songwriters get their material from other sources. The White Album is all about revolution. "There's gonna be a revolution..." If you talked to folks in Laural Canyon, they talked to others and so forth and so forth. The Beach Boys obviously USED your music ideas. You see, "I wanna hold your hand..." and other teenie-bopper stuff just doesn't fit with "Helter Skelter." and the LADS never got even close to any revolutionary activities - at all. Someone else had to of been, at least, an inspiration for the White Album. Listen again to the whole album and see if you hear what I'm suggesting. Maybe you didn't hear the Beatles talking to you, but they heard what you were talking about. It happens ALL the time. We know now - LBJ got the idea for a Vietnam WAR from JFK .

EQ: Thank you for the kind words. YES - Vietnam is my demon - it was great therapy for me to discuss it with the Family, but WAR is forever.

Humphrat: Ed was not the type to agitate anyone - especially dangerous people.
Crocket - not at Death Valley, but Merrick Studios.

Marlene: DVDs and book available on Amazon and eBay.

I think I answered all the relevant questions

Thank You ALL for a great internet experience.

Max Frost said...

But Robert...JFK wanted to end the war (one of the reasons he was killed) and LBJ wanted to escalate it. Howard Hunt named LBJ as one of the responsible parties involved in the assassination. Makes sense.

The military industrial complex had more power than either of those guys.

Robert Hendrickson said...

BUT Max, there was NO war while JFK was alive - only US military advisors in Vietnam. LBJ "IGNITED" the Vietnam war with a "LIE" that North Vietnam bombed two American warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

I agree with you that the CIA has more "control" than the President, but it is well documented on audio tape and in his personnel "Pentagrass" letter that HE was in support of a WAR in Vietnam.

Where is the documentation that HE "wanted" to end a WAR that had not yet existed. Maybe HE, at some point, "wanted" to END sending military advisors there. Remember a guy named Obama (who wanted to end the WAR in Afganistan and Iraq)

Because the bridge between "wants to" and "reality" is usually many years long - is proof that a US President is not much more than "a game show host". HE "wants" someone to WIN, but has little "control" over WHO will.

Max Frost said...

Robert, your Obama comparison made me laugh out loud. The only thing Obama WANTED was to be believed. He didn't WANT to actually do any of the things he PROMISED to do. The proof of that, is that everything he promised to end has only escalated ten-fold (as planned). Amazing how all his jive turkey supporters are totally blind to that obvious "reality." That guy, like the guy before him, is the ultimate puppet's puppet.

We are in an age now where the so-called "President" really, honestly IS nothing more than a "game show host" as you so appropriately put it. Things were a little different back in the JFK/Nixon era. There was at least the appearance of more involvement and influence by a President (the Nixon tapes certainly prove that).

You're right. There was no war, as we understand the word WAR (at least in relation to Vietnam) at that time - but the pot was definitely starting to boil over.

JFK was a hawk at first...until he realized who was actually running the show and how many deceptions were happening way over his head (His Father really kept those boys in the dark - because "business is business").

He was like any other politician for the majority of his career. He did however do an about face, after the veil was lifted, and decided to dismantle the power structure (I.e., CIA, MIC, Federal Reserve), and systematically shift the best interests of "we the people" back to their rightful owners - to us. He was naive and still didn't understand how powerful the forces were (are) that he was up against. He learned the hard way.

And here we are...

Robert Hendrickson said...

BTW Ms Humphrat: Paul Crocket held the secret to Manson's "brainwashing" process. Spent hours talking with him.

Mr. Humphrat said...

thanks! that's very interesting.

Robert Hendrickson said...

VERA: I just saw your comment on the Col's blog. I answered you before, but your GUN question raises several relevant questions. IF the cops really did take THE gun, that would - at least - suggest there may have been a crime committed with it. Given the REAL Manson Family was actually there in the house, wouldn't that have, at least, been cause for further investigation? Was Bugliosi right - the LAPD are incompetent ? That's a scary thing, especially when they were dealing with the Crime of the Century. Do you know anything about this Paul Tate the Army intelligence officer? Did HE approve of his Daughter's friends, like Sebring, Votchek ? Given his being an Army vet and what happened to his daughter - how is it that the "killers" are still alive. IF I were he, I would have erased their DNA before they ever got to court - without a second thought. OR was HE estranged from his daughter ?

CrisPOA said...

Hello Mr. Hendrickson,

Unfortunately i have not seen your films yet - i live outside of the US. But i discovered i can order your book at Amazon since they have international shipping.

If you have the time, i would like to ask you a question.
It's about Tex Watson.
Did you ever heard anything about him at the ranch? What were the family feelings toward him? What kind of human being - the impression - you had about him?
Tex is a misterious character for me.
Thank you.