Monday, October 6, 2014

Coda: The Mendocino Murders

Coda - a passage that ends a 
musical piece following 
the main body.
Judging by comments in the Witches of Mendocino Files posts we think there are some readers who aren't completely familiar with why that incident is important to the overall story - that many people still believe that the Manson Family may have been responsible for the murders of Clyda Dulaney and Nancy Warren.

Here is a recap of the entire story.

As you may remember, Manson sent a group of Family members up to Mendocino County to scout for a new permanent residence. This happened around May of 1968. Sadie, Mary and the gang were zealously trying to gain young recruits. They were dirty - they stunk and the bus stunk - they were also high profile with their drug use, even though they had infants in tow. The locals branded them the "Witches of Mendocino."

On June 21, 1968 they apparently dosed 17 year-old Allen Rosenthal on some acid. His mother called law enforcement. When they responded Allen was babbling about his legs being like snakes. Mom pointed the finger at the "Witches" and the raid was on.

The Manson Family (although they weren't called that publicly yet) were now the biggest story in Mendocino.

Here's something interesting we learned while researching the Mendocino fiasco:

In Mendocino County, Boonville and the Anderson Valley has its own language called Boontling. Here's the wiki on it as well as a video. They're not a definitive on the language but they give us a good idea of how it works. The Wiki article has references if any of you care to learn more. We wonder if the Witches may have picked up on Boontling and used a variation they created themselves. ZuZu's for candy comes to mind. The Family was well known to cackle in a language that only those in the know would have any idea what they were talking about. Is this where it began?

Law enforcement now began to run down leads in the case. Here are two articles from the Ukiah Press Democrat from October 15, 1968:

The second article tells the story of Clyda Dulany's children and what happened the morning the murders were discovered by her oldest son Johnny, who was seven years old at the time. Johnny having seen the bodies of his mother and grandmother woke his brothers. The grabbed their piggy banks and ran to a neighbor a quarter of a mile away.

This spurred Manson Blog to locate Johnny Ussery if he were indeed still living. We was and we did. He agreed to an interview. Our then Southeastern US Correspondent (St Circumstance) was dispatched to Johnny's house. Here is some of what he told Saint in his own words:

"I knew I was late because I could see the sun shining through my window, and that normally hasn't happened yet when I wake up.  I went out to my mother's bedroom and I immediately noticed the bed was still made, which I thought was weird. Her purse was open and dumped out all over the bed, which nobody had slept in. None of it made any sense. I went outside. There was a gravel walkway between our trailer and my grandmother's trailer. My grandmother lived in one trailer by herself, and mom, me and my brothers lived in another trailer right next door. We always went over there for meals and stuff. I went outside and right away I saw mom lying on the gravel between the trailers. The thing I'll never forget is that she was blonde, and her face looked the same color as her hair. She was all white. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I screamed like crazy and ran into my grandmothers trailer. The first thing I noticed was that the television was still on, but the screen was fuzzy. Then I saw her lying there the same way as mom. I ran out of there.  I didn’t want to pass back by my mother, so I went out of the back of my grandmother's trailer and went around the back to ours. I got up my brothers and dressed them and started to get them out of there. I will never understand why, but something made me stop and grab the three piggy banks we kept on top of the refrigerator. With one each in our arms, we ran to a neighbor’s house where I told them mommy and grandma are dead. I remember after a little while looking across the field at the trailer and seeing all the cop cars. I remember everything up to that point crystal clear."
"To my knowledge, nobody ever asked me a single time about the crimes. not one police officer ever. But remember what I told you earlier, after I got to the neighbors and told them what I had found, the next few years are mostly a blur. I don't remember almost anything. That lawsuit was really instigated by one person and any details of number, or sex, didn’t come from me. This person is the one who always pushed that stuff."
"You know what, you might think this is interesting too. My father did an unusual amount  of time in prison back in the day. You know how Charlie Manson is in Corcoran Prison now? Well, he used to be in this prison called Vacaville. Well, dad was at Vacaville for a while, and he told me he was walking down the halls one day with a bunch of guys, and they see Charlie Manson sweeping one of the floors. That was his job at the time - sweeping floors. Anyway, my dad sees he is not looking at them and shouts over to Charlie, 'Hey, who did that thing up in Ukiah?' Now dad told me there was no way Charlie could have known exactly which guy yelled it at him, but he looked up and looked dad right in the eye. He said back directly to dad, 'You'll never know will ya?' Then he looked back down and went back to sweeping without another word. Dad said it was eerie having him stare right into his eyes like that..."
"I’d love to find out who killed my mother and grandmother", Johnny told St. C. "Many others do as well", St. Circumstance replied back.

One result of publishing that story was that a childhood friend of Johnny's (Ginger) was able to make contact with him and now Johnny has pictures and home move clips of his mom that were presumed lost. That if nothing else made the endeavor worthwhile:

Clyda Dulaney

These murders were never officially solved. The presence of Manson Family members at the time in Mendocino County have led many to speculate that they could have been the culprits. Here is a 2008 Anderson Valley Advertiser article discussing the Dulaney/Warren murders. The Warren/Dulaney case begins about midway down column 1 :

Our posts on this topic were eye-opening to the authors of this blog. Not mentioned in the posts in any detail was that we also found and spoke to detectives and reporters from Mendocino County. Those contacts and other clues formed our personal opinions on what may have really happened. For now, we'll have to keep those cards close to our chests.


Unknown said...

One result of publishing that story was that a childhood friend of Johnny's (Ginger) was able to make contact with him and now Johnny has pictures and home move clips of his mom that were presumed lost.

I didn't know that..... Very Cool!

What I remember most about that story was that it was my first experience with Deb.

In my humble opinion- the best researcher I have encountered in the TLB community and an excellent person to add substance to the style!! ( not that she doesn't have style as well lol)

Matt/Ann/Patty :) All the very best!

I would always correspond for you in the Southeast if you need me ;)

Matt said...

Pretty cool, huh Saint? Ginger had been looking for Johnny and found him here. They got in touch and got caught up on their lives.

She had pics & home movies since their parents were friends.

We are glad you had a hand in it.

Doc Sierra said...

Zu zus is prison slang for candy. I don't know the date of origin but it was used long before there was a Manson Family.....

HellzBellz said...

Leather Thongs.... Now where did I heard that before...???

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine waking to the Horror of finding your Mom & Grandmother dead like that, and especially at seven years old!

CrisPOA said...

After reading those documents DebS posted i was wondering why this case was known as The witches of Mendocino. Got my answer, thanks Matt.

About the leather thongs, hard to be a coincidence but my guess is the men could be involved, not the girls. Again the motive is a mystery.

Wow amazing information and those videos, very nice memories...They seem happy and good-humoured - i love the skirt scene - she wasn't expecting him to do that!

Chatsworth charlie, i can´t imagine that either. Johnny must be a strong man.
That story about his father talking to Manson in prison gave me the creeps. He was not the only person to sense Manson was a strange person.

DebS said...

Aw shucks Saint! Thank you. I have totally enjoyed my time here at the blog.

Meeting Johnny, if only on the phone, was a real highlight for me, too. The Warren/Dulaney murders were so tragic and it seems like they should have been solved.

CrisPOA said...

Sorry, "He was not the only one to sense Manson was a strange person."

Mr. Humphrat said...

It's weird the boys didn't hear anything. Thanks for all the work.

Cuntry Trash said...

As interesting as this case is, I really don't think they had anything to do with the murders - at least not Sadie, Mary, Ella, Patricia, Suzanne...

The zuzus connection is fascinating, but like what was said - it's slang that's been around for a while.

I know Hendrickson once pointed out that the Mansons used slang also used by black Muslims - if you read Zebra you will catch many things - but it doesn't make a connection between M and Muslims, but just prison slang he caught wind of and used.

Matt said...

@ Cuntry Trash

Thanks, I think the Boontling connection - even if it's just coincidence is very interesting.

We don't think the Family committed these two murders either.

orwhut said...

Is a leather thong different from a leather boot lace? In the 60's girls used to wear leather ankle bracelets with a love knot connecting the ends. They appeared to me to be made from leather boot laces.

orwhut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orwhut said...

Maybe the thongs were cut from the same buckskins that family members were wearing. If those buckskins and the Ukiah thongs are still in police posession, they might find a DNA match. Does anyone know whether DNA can survive the tanning process?

Robert Hendrickson said...

YES Trash, but I have audio tape of Manson's best friend in prison ( who says HE and Manson discussed WITH the Black Muslims) the Black / White CONFLICT. AND Paul Watkins (the STAR witness regarding Helter Skelter SPECIFICALLY mentions the BLACK Muslims as the ones who would lead the FINAL Battle against the White race. (SEE and read Watkin's TRIAL testimony)

Unfortunately, the Internet has ONLY provided a means for the TRUTH to be muddied FOREVER.
Just like the "established " GOVERNMENT intended !

PS: the "New Nation of Islam" (ISIS) are decendants of the original Black Muslims out of Egypt.
AND the Black Muslims in PRISON are still recruiting HERE in the US.

MHN said...

Never realised before that the musical symbol for a Coda resembles the visual signature adopted by the Zodiac killer, who was himself something of a habitual coder.