Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Manson Tour 2015: Benedict Canyon and the Surrounding Areas: Report on Strange Sounds, Gunshots, Indications of Violence, Related by Persons who were in Hearing Distance of the Polanski Residence on the Night of 8-8-69 and the Morning of 8-9-69

"It was so quiet, one of the killers would later say, that you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in the cocktail shakers in the homes way down the canyon."
That's the opening line from Helter Skelter, and we wondered: Is it true?

So, while both Saints were investigating the authenticity of the VW Bus at Murphy Ranch - Matt, ColScott, Julie & Jiri headed out to Benedict Canyon...

Bugliosi based his entire timeline on a clock radio. He surmised that Steven Parent went to Cielo to sell Garretson the clock radio, so he plugged it in to demonstrate. Bugliosi also surmised that before leaving the guesthouse Parent unplugged it, marking the time 12:15AM.

To support his timeline, Bugliosi uses three witnesses.

The first timeline supporters were the immediate neighbors to the Tate/Polanski house at 10070 Cielo Drive where Mr. & Mrs. Seymour Kott resided. The Kotts said that they had dinner guests who left around midnight. The Kotts then went to bed. Mrs. Kott, while admittedly not looking at the clock or noting the time, said she heard, “in close sequence", what sounded like three or four gunshots. They seemed to have come from the direction of the gate of 10050 and she later guessed it to be between 12:30-1AM.

The second timeline supporter was Rudolph Weber—the garden hose guy living on Portola where the killers stopped to hose off the blood. During Weber's police interrogation with Sgt. Calkins, (thanks Weber stated what time he found the killers at his house on Portola: "It must've been about 1 o'clock, I heard the uh, the sound of, running water."

Is it even possible for the killers to have arrived at Weber's by 1AM? With Bugliosi's timeline, Parent left the guesthouse at 12:15 AM and was murdered around 12:30 AM. Could Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel and Kasabian round up, tie up, chase around, and eventually kill the remaining 4 victims, grab their extra clothes, hunt around for the missing Kasabian, run down to the bottom of the cul-de-sac, and drive the (approximate) three minutes to Portola by 1AM? It seems highly improbable. But if so, would that then cancel out the Kott's testimony?

The third supporter of Bugliosi's timeline was Tim Ireland.

Ireland, was a school counselor chaperoning a group of girls during a sleep-over at the Westlake School for girls located at 700 N. Faring Rd. The police report notes: "Between 0100 and 0130 Mr. Ireland was awake, alert and watching the sleeping children. He heard a male voice from what seemed to him a long distance away to the north or northeast shout, 'Oh, God, no. Stop. Stop. Oh, God, no, don't'. Ireland said that the scream persisted for approximately 10 seconds. The male voice was clear and he did not notice an accent."

We drove to the Westlake school to see if Ireland actually had a clear (ear) shot to 10050 Cielo Dr. and we were surprised to find that he did indeed. From the Westlake school we could easily see the guesthouse side of the Cielo property.

10050 Cielo Dr from Harvard-Westlake School on 700 N. Faring Rd

Since the area where Steve Parent was killed was on the other side of that hill and inside his car, chances are that the screams Ireland heard were Woytek Frykowski running for his life. But what about the time? Bugliosi can't have the victims being murdered at the same time Weber said they were hosing off the blood. Therefore, does Ireland's testimony cancel out both Rudolph Weber and the Kott's testimony, or vice versa?

There were other reports that didn't fit Bugliosi's timeline so they were discarded. But, should they have been discarded?  We decided to check out where those witnesses were in relation to 10050 Cielo Drive. And we were surprised by what we found; so surprised that it would be negligent to discount their statements.

At 0400, Bel Air Security Patrolman Mr. Bullington was stopped in front of 2175 Summit Ridge Drive. He was parked facing northbound with the driver's window down and heard what he believed to be three shots.

10050 Cielo Dr. from 2175 Summit Ridge

2175 Summit Ridge is a construction site currently
Note this large auger. We'll get back to it.

"They (the shots) sounded as if they came from some distance to the west. The sequence was one shot, a 2/3-second pause, another shot, a 4/5-second pause, and a final shot. Mr. Bullington contacted Bel Air Patrol by radio (Mr. Karlson, 1-3, states time was 0411) and reported this. (0411 hours) Mr. Karlson was on duty on 8-9-69, and at 0411 was contacted by radio by patrolman Bullington of Bel Air Patrol who had stopped at 2175 Summit Ridge. Officer Bullington reported to Karlton he had heard three shots spaced several seconds apart. Karlton called West Los Angeles (police?) desk a t 0412 and reported this to an unknown officer who stated, "I hope we don't have a murder. We just had a woman-screaming call in that area."

Bullington had an unobstructed "ear-shot" to the front lawn of 10050 Cielo. Following the Steven Parent shooting there were 3 additional gunshots: 1 to Jay Sebring and 2 to Woytek Frykowski. Can it be a coincidence that Bullington heard what sounded like 3 gunshots? And what about the 4:11AM report time? Not just one, but two witnesses (Bullington, Karlson) who are trained service officers for one of the most elite private security forces in the U.S. messed up the time? And what about the third unknown police officer who got the "woman-screaming" call at the same time?

Next we visited the two witnesses who live two houses apart on Beverly Grove Drive, Mr. Emmett Steele, who lived at 9951 Beverly Grove and 14-year-old Carlos Gill, who lived at 9955 Beverly Grove.

Steele reported that he "maintains two trained hunting dogs at his residence. These dogs do not generally respond to ordinary traffic or house noises in the vicinity, but become highly excited and bark and howl when they hear gunshots. On 8-9-69, between 0200 and 0300, both dogs became highly excited, barking and howling. Mr. Steele went out and calmed the dogs, checked the area but could see nothing. Mr. Steele did not hear any gunshots himself, but was concerned about a lavender Volkswagen type dune buggy, XSP 193, and a black foreign-type motorcycle, possibly a Triumph, that have been seen and reported driving about the area for the past six weeks in the late night and early morning hours. These two vehicles have not been connected with the incident at this time."

Carlos Gill reported: "He had been asleep, awoke at 2300 hours and began writing letters in his room. From his bedroom located on the opposite side of Benedict Canyon, it is possible to look directly across the canyon at approximately the same elevation and view the front of the Polanski residence. The distance is estimated as approximately 1/4 to 1/2 mile. At approximately 0400 hours he heard the sound of voices arguing. He believed it was three or four persons. The argument increased in volume and became more heated. It lasted approximately one minute and then subsided abruptly. He indicated that in his opinion the sounds originated from the direction of the Polanski residence. At the time of the occurrence he stood by the window in his lighted room and looked in that direction but could see nothing. He said that the severity of the argument so frightened him that he went immediately to bed after closing the window." What's not noted is the fact that between 11:30PM-4AM Carlos, with an open window did not hear any gunshots between 1-1:30AM.

Zoom in on Carlos Gill's view at 9955 Beverly Grove. 
The auger clearly visible on far left near the blue construction tarps. Tate property on right.

While we were in Benedict Canyon, we checked out one other item of interest. We wondered about the conflicting stories after the killers left the Cielo house, changed clothes as they were driving, hosed off, and then dumped the bloody clothing that was later found by KABC news team and Al Wiman.

Wiman claimed that based on Susan Atkins' testimony, they left from the Cielo house and "We timed ourselves and tried to place ourselves in the same position that the people would have been in that night after they left the Tate house. 6 minutes and 20 seconds of moderate driving up Benedict Canyon led us to this spot." In the later interview that we posted, Wiman says that from Cielo he started a stopwatch and that it took 6 minutes and 30 seconds to changes clothes: "I was changing clothes in the back seat of the car. And at 6 minutes and 30 seconds the first place that you could pull over was exactly that same spot we had been at that morning."

The problem with that theory is that Atkins also testified that they had changed clothes, but made a pit-stop at Weber's house to hose off the remaining blood before driving up Benedict to dump the bloody clothing. This would delay Wiman's 6:30 timing. So, we decided to do a test of our own with me as our Guinea Pig.

The spot where the car was parked during the Cielo murders

We started at the approximate area the killers said they parked the car. I put himself in the same circumstances that the killers would have been in (cramped back seat with 2 others changing next to him). With the car in motion I completed a full change-over in just 1 minute and 20 seconds. We hadn't even made it to Easton Dr.

But, what we did note as we proceeded to the dumping spot at 2901 Benedict Canyon, was that it was the first place between Cielo and Mulholland that had any type of accessible ravine. So, the series of events that happened in between those two locations doesn't really matter because it was the only initial place they could've inconspicuously dumped the clothes!

We did visit one other witness location, 10231 Charing Cross Rd., where at 3:30AM Bel Air Patrolman Mounton heard what he first believed to be three backfires, but on reflection felt that the reports were too sharp and short to be backfires. He said the reports were, two close together, and then one shortly thereafter, which concurs with patrolman Bullington. The location at Charing Cross Rd was at a lower elevation with surrounding high trees so it was impossible to see where in relation to Cielo this was.

For me, seeing the locations of the other 4 witnesses and their audio proximity to the front of Cielo, where 90% of the savagery occurred, gives enough reasonable doubt to the murders not occurring between 12:30-1A. Especially when you consider that Mrs. Kott and Mr. Weber both stated they were guessing at the time as opposed to patrolmen who marked the time. So why was Bugliosi so insistent that the murders occured between 12:30-1A? Did he do it because of the one witness (Weber) who physically saw the killers and therefor placed them in Benedict Canyon on the night of the murders was more valuable than reality?

What do you think?


3 Google Earth screen shots

We were at the base of Sharon's cul-de-sac on Cielo. The killers only describe driving down the hill, parking, and hiking back up to the gate so it could be one of 2 places either where we were or there's a bit of an alcove on the cul-de-sac that would also be hidden and at the time, free of houses.

This one shows you the run of the cul-de-sac with 10066/50 at the top and the V where the cul-de-sac meets with Cielo proper - there's actually a car parked where we were in the screen shot. You can also see the alcove I'm talking about where the orange tile roof is.

This is a closer shot of the base of the cul-de-sac where there's an intersection of sorts between Cielo, Sharon's cul-de-sac, and Bella Dr. - again, there's a car parked in the same spot where we started timing the drive.

This is a closer shot of the cul-de-sac area where they may have alternately parked - where the 2 white cars are parked in the shot.


Anonymous said...

Damn Good stuff Matt... and I too want to go with you all someday.

BTW, I'm glad I don't set [MY] watch from a clock that has been unplugged, driven around town , possibly plugged back in for who knows how long then again unplugged. Dang.

Robert Hendrickson said...

I don't think - I know. There are many varibles regarding sound travel. IF for instance, a person is behind a bush, he will NOT hear the same sound the same as someone just a few feet away and NOT behind a bush.

Even the density of the bush is a factor AND the time, day or night is most critical.

The California drought is changing the density of plants, almost daily - which in turn is changing ALL sound patterns. Even whether there is dirt or grass involved makes a difference.

AND then we haven't even gotten to the personal motivations involved. IE: Is the witness looking for "attention" VS the witness (like me) who may only check for bullet holes the next morning. OR if a burgler tries to get in my house - after I shoot him, I will simply go back to sleep and assume the starving coyotes will have a dinner on me.

REMEMBER it's all about the enviornment AND nature's loved ones have to eat TOO. said...

What is the second circle in the photo of Cielo take from Beverly Grove

Matt said...

The second circle is the Tate house. Of course the original house is gone. The current building is a monstrosity. It doesn't fit at all.

Matt said...

The one on the left is 2175 Summit Ridge Dr. The house on Summit Ridge is gone and it is now a construction site, which turned out to be a blessing because that made it possible for us to walk to the edge and look out.

We had a bit of an ahah moment when we were at Beverly Grove and were able to clearly see both the Summit Ridge spot and the Tate property at the same time. It confirmed to us that the tile roof in the Summit Ridge pic was indeed the guest house area.

Matt said...

Additionally, since Summit Ridge was a construction site, the auger and tarps jumped out at us from two ridges away. I doubt we would have been able to spot it otherwise. said...

Sorry, by second circle I was referring to the one on the left. I'm familiar 10066 Cielo.

But back to the circle on the left. That can't be Summit Ridge Dr. Summit Ridge Drive is on the side of the canyon from where the picture is being taken.

2175 is actually really far away from Cielo Drive. said...

Also, I believe the police report is incorrect. I know it says, 2175 Summit Ridge Dr. However, I think they are actually talking about 2175 Summit Dr. The former is miles north and the latter is very near the spot on Beverly Grove where you took that picture.

Matt said...

Hey Cielo,

We went by the police report, then used GPS to navigate. However if the the police report is in err then you are probably correct about the address. (I added a Google Map of all 3 to the bottom of the post).

2175 Summit Ridge puts it directly behind us and a distance away while 2175 Summit puts it behind us but much closer - either way, the picture can't be accurate, but the Google Map does show that it would have had a direct line to Cielo.

AustinAnn74 said...

The timeline Mr. Bugliosi gave is way off. Everything about his whole case is off, except for having the right perpetrators! Why would the security guards have heard gunshots that late at night? Remember, when they killed Gary Hinman, they stayed at his house for a long time, so they could try their best to get money out of him. Did they do the same thing at the Cielo house? Did they hold the victims' hostage for a long time and then murder? Why was there a total of $119.08 left behind? That is the sum total of all the victims' wallets & purses. Abigail even had $8.64 left in her coin purse. I guess she just grabbed the $70 in a hurry when Susan Atkins was pointing a knife at her. Why didn't they take all the money? Who was the one arguing? Was the argument more of a "scolding" from Tex, or Charlie himself over Susan Atkins losing her knife? Why did Steven Parent's car underneath have paint & wood splinters from the fence? Did he try to flee? This whole thing makes no sense to me. I think Weber had his time wrong as the Kotts did too. I think the killers were there LONGER than a mere 30 minutes. The biggest question I have is "where the F*CK was Garretson when this extremely brutal, LOUD murder spree was happening?" Even if he didn't hear the gunshots, why didn't he hear the screams? If there was a loud argument there, did he not hear that too? I found a sample clip of how the same kind of gun sounds. It is a Hi-Standard Double Nine. It is almost the same kind of gun Tex used. Of course, the environmental factors are completely different. It was a hot NIGHT in a Southern California canyon. I don't even know if there was sea breeze that night.

ColScott said...

AustinAnn- The Magical MaxFrost has spoken to Garretson so ask him but I am certain that Bill heard everything and hid.

Robert- you were missed

Cielo- do not be deceived- there seems to be TWO Summit Ridge Drives, one dead ends at the 1600s and another way different does go to 2175.

From this test it is clear the killers were there a lot later than 1230.

Matt said...

The good thing is that if Cielo is correct and the police reports were inaccurate then our theory is even more plausible.

Awesome cooperation in my opinion.

Unknown said...

Cielo- it would have been really great if you were along.

AustinAnn74 said...

I've always thought Garretson hid too, particularly right at the corner of the property, back behind the guest house where it dropped off. He was hanging on the edge, scared shirtless and shitless!

Bob Abooee said...

Awesome job by all involved! said...

Col - don't get me wrong. I wasn't saying 2175 SummitRidge Dr doesn't exist. I was just saying that, if you look at the distance between it and 10050 Cielo Dr. Then look at the location of 2175 Summit Dr and the distance between it and Cielo. It seems plausible that LAPD or someone wrote SummitRidge instead of Summit, by mistake.

For one, 2175 SummitRidge is several miles north of Cielo and on top of that, it's two canyons over. I could never imagine anyone that far away hearing anything happening at Cielo. The distance is one thing, but the real killer, for me at least, is the terrain. It's in the opposite direction and hills divide the two locations.

While on the other hand, 2175 Summit Dr is directly east of where Matt took the picture on Beverly Grove, and as he said, you could draw a straight line between Cielo, the Beverly Grove spot and 2175 Summit Dr.

A great way to view these locations is with Apple maps with the 3D terrain on. It gives you a great perspective

Saint - I wish I could've been there. Looked like a great trip. Someday...

Mr. Humphrat said...

Good work~!

MHN said...

This is outstanding and, as I said before, it's killing me to be on the other side of the planet while you do this.

There seems to be a consensus that the timeframe is off - and that things took a lot longer than Bug's timeline allows for. But for me it all depends on exactly how much longer. We don't necessarily need to discard Bug's timeline in its entirety.

Let's take Cielo neighbour Mrs Kott - who heard gunshots at what she 'guessed' was sometime between 12.30 and 1.00am. Those are nice round figures that the human mind resorts to easily, and she admits she did not consult a clock. But let's say it was late and she was tired and misjudged a little, let's imagine it was actually 12.18am when she heard those shots. (This makes sense because otherwise we have to explain why it took Parent nearly a quarter of an hour to get from the guesthouse to the barrel of Watson's gun. This surely can't have taken more than a couple of minutes.)

And Weber on Portola merely estimates 'about 1am' for his encounter with the hosing killers. Again, only a round figure estimate. What if it was, say, 1.21 am? That gives us more than a full hour between the shooting of Parent and the ad-hoc shower on Portola.

I think it's a fair assumption that once the running, shouting and screaming began (especially out on the lawn) the killers did everything as quickly as they could, pumped with adrenaline and panic. After all, given the time they took with other killings it's reasonable to think they would normally have showered at the Cielo house and enjoyed a snack, maybe had a sing-along at the piano, watched some of Roman's homemade porn tapes; the fact that they drove away as quickly as they could and hosed down in the street elsewhere indicates to me an unaccustomed level of anxiety.

If Tim Ireland heard W.F. screaming for his life at what he guesstimated was 'between 1 and 1.30am', and we say that it was perhaps 1.02am, then there is no substantial problem.

12.15 Parent leaves the guesthouse.

12.18 Mrs Kott hears gunshots.

The business of entering the property, rounding-up and tying-up the occupants, and drug-burn-related chat, occupies them all for the next half hour. Then things go devilish.

1.02am Tim Ireland hears Frykowski screaming on the lawn.

Once that is done, Woytek and Abigail dead, it could realistically take as little as four or five more minutes to repeatedly stab Tate and exit the property in a hurry.

Approx. 1.15-1.30 Weber sees them hosing off on Portola.

The witness timeline is based on rounded-up estimates only, and only needs the slightest adjustments to make perfect sense.

But of course we're left then with the 4am witnesses. In almost every case I've read about there are eyewitness testimonies that are plain wrong, or that have nothing to do with the case and are discarded. Conspiracists of course latch onto these but they are a fact in almost every serious murder case.

Unless of course we believe that Manson returned with Tex later that night, and Tex became slightly too enthusiastic and detailed in showing Manson exactly what had gone down :)

AustinAnn74 said...

Well, I am not one for conspiracies, but, why would there have been gunshots and a "woman screaming" call that late? That is weird!

MHN said...

And more importantly, it's the most evocative opening line of any true crime work I've ever read. Did one of the killers really come out with that line? Has any one of them ever claimed to be the originator of that line?

Matt said...

Michael, that's a good timeline for Bugliosi's defense :-) But in my humble opinion, it's un-realistic.

12:15 the alarm clock is unplugged 12:18 Parent is shot:

First of all, we have the Kotts dinner guests leaving at 12A on this timeline, to have shot Parent by 12:18 the killers would have surely crossed paths with the dinner guests as they said goodbye at the door, got in their car and left. Remember, the killers initially drove up to the gate to cut the phone wires, drove back down the hill and then walked back up. This timeline also only allows 18 minutes for the Kotts to say good night to their guests, presumably clean up at least drink glasses, brush their teeth, get into their PJs and fall into a sound enough sleep in order to be awakened by the gunfire, not check a clock and roll over to go back to sleep.

Second, you're only allowing 3 minutes for Parent to gather his things, say goodbye to Parent, walk across the estate, get in his car, start it, turn the car around and get to the gate control mechanism to find Watson saying "halt", Parent's beg not to hurt him and then being shot.

12:18-1:30 Kill all and make it to Weber's:
According to Kasabian and Atkins, they (reasonably) waited in the dark for a few minutes after killing Parent to be sure no one in the house and no neighbors were alerted to the shots, then pushed Parent's car back out of site, then scouted the house for an open window. Watson cuts the screen, shimmies up the window, climbs in, does another quick reconnaissance then lets the women in. That had to have taken at least 10 minutes. Now you're down to a half hour to gather up the victims, tie them up, supposedly have Folger go get money from her wallet, scuffle with Sebring who is shot first, fight with Frykowski as he loosens his tie and runs for the front door, have Folger break loose, scuffle with Krenwinkel, run for the back and out the bedroom door where presumably, she too is screaming for her life (the woman-screaming call reported by the West LA division?), kill both Folger and Frykowski outside, go back inside, kill Sharon, have Atkins write PIG on the front door, leave, grab their clothes, look for the missing Kasabian, make sure no neighbors had been alerted before running back down the hill to the car, have a moment of argument as to why Kasabian left her post, get in and drive to Weber's house.

Not impossible, but highly unlikely. Then you have three Bel Air security men who are trained to mark the times--think about what neighbor Jim(?) Asin said when Winifred Chapman was pounding on his door the next morning: he was in some type of police camp training (?) and the first thing they taught him was to mark the time of an incident, which he did. How could these men, plus a real police officer confuse the time? It's law enforcement 101. Plus their times are bolstered by the one and only witness who had a clear shot to the entire front of the Cielo house, 14-year-old Carlos Gill, who at that age wasn't worried about his 15 minutes of fame, only a scared kid telling the truth. And, Gill said he heard the argument around 4A which kinda tallies with Bel Air security hearing gun shots at 3:30-4:11. Because after everyone was dead it's conceivable that the killers argued near the front of the house, perhaps angry that they couldn't find Kasabian? Why the half-hour discrepancy between Bullington and Mounton? Probably because Mounton initially thought he'd heard car backfires, but as he sat there reflecting on it decided they were indeed gunfire, and admittedly, then made a guesstimate of around the time he heard them.

All of which takes us back to AustinAnn's comments or Bugliosi skewing the timeline to fit his clock radio time, and the time his only independent witness gave to physically seeing the killers and therefor placing them in Benedict Canyon at the time of the murders.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Thanks Col.

For me, the gunshots CAN be significant, but mostly because THEY relate to the "Motis-oper-an-di" By taking a "22" instead of say a "38" a killer is usually thinking "low" noise which leads to the question - were the bullets 22 "longs" or "shorts." Shorts are very "low' noise and can easily be mistaken for just about anything. "longs" are louder, but still much quieter than a "38"

The "knives" were obviously taken to "kill." AND the "22" - a tool for "protection." Which, of course, blows the HS theory out the window..

IF, for instance, you want to make it look like Blacks were involved: You simply toss a "mal-toff cocktail" in the window and the B & W race war is ON.

So, the real issue is: How much thought really went into the "massacre."

A week ago I saw an excellant doc on the Mi Lai Massacre with soldiers WHO were there TALKING about IT and NOW IT makes SENSE.

ANN is right, the "KILLERS" were known BUT Bugliosi MADE-UP a motive that HE could relate to.

BUT now we are left with the "situation" where like with the Black mother in Baltimore who "beat" her son for joining the protestors - It's simply a matter of which SIDE do YOU join-up with.

SIDES, SIDES, SIDES, SIDES - Look at BOTH sides carefully or YOU can ONLY be the Momma or the KID!

starship said...

Incredible. Absolutely incredible. Great work too, all of you and I wish I were there too.

This aspect of events has always troubled me. I've long believed the argument Gill heard was the second round of Cielo visitors, but the gunshots heard around 4am point to something else. However I have heard that there were often gunshots in the canyons late at night which no one paid particular attention to until after August 9th, 1969. The opening scene of SHAMPOO comes to mind. The dune buggy and motorcycle thing as well.

For my part, ever since reading HS back in 1976 or so, anytime I hear gunshots, especially at night, and I have long lived in an area where this is not an uncommon occurence with hunters, sportsmen and various yahoos out at all hours of the night, I always stay alert and listen for follow up sounds just in case I feel the need to call the police.

But what is up with Tim Ireland? He hears the man's screams come from the north or northeast, but when he decides to check it out he heads south, then west, and only north far enough to return to the school. I think that's kind of funny, although I don't think he would have been able to help out anyway with the private drives and all.

And two more things: The WEST LAPD guy who says "I hope we don't have a murder, we just had a woman screaming call in that area." Where's the evidence of any follow up? Was anyone dispatched? If so what was the outcome? Why is there no record of this?

And now I forget the second thing...

starship said...

Oh yeah, the Summit Drive vs Summit Ridge Drive thing: Can online or hard copy real estate records be accessed to see who may have owned the properties in question?

Matt said...

Sounds like Starship just volunteered to scare up the real estate records. said...

I wonder if Jackie Treehorn heard anything

ColScott said...

It is MUCH more likely that the clock radio is much ado about nothing. Remember that being gay was a MUCH bigger deal 46 years ago. Parent believes Garretson is, they've met on the Strip before, he says he lives with The Beautiful People, stop by. No one who has been there would ever think Parent just "happened" to be in the neighborhood. He went to that house to hook up with Garretson very late at night. After the assignation Bill smokes a bowl, turns on the music ( I do believe that part) and snoozes. Parent leaves and is killed. Okay. Then the house is creepy crawled- they spend some time hanging out, remember Folger looks up from her book and waves we are told. I think Ann is right. Watson et all spend a much longer time there. I never will believe that somebody went back- much too risky and even insane.

MHN said...

Col Scott I think you're dead right about Parent and that clock radio. A big red herring. And I can't think of another scenario that makes more sense than the idea that Garretson heard it all going down, and stayed frozen, and prayed. I would've pissed my pants.

Matt. If you are giving credence to the 4am witnesses, what do you do with Rudolph Weber's meeting on Portola? Has he got the time off by over three hours? Or do you suggest that in fact Watson and the girls had stopped for a drink on their way to - not from - Cielo?

Am I wrong to say Rudy Weber is clearly the most solid eye or ear witness from that night? He met them, he spoke with them, he noted and memorized the car number plate. That surely trumps evidence from someone who only hears a noise, from at least a quarter of a mile away that he at first does not take to be gunshots, coming from he cannot tell which direction, in a canyon where sounds bounce around and echo. Surely?

On the other hand, regarding the 4am evidence, maybe there is too much smoke for there not to be some fire there... An almighty coincidence if that many people were wrong about 4am.

But.... Rudy Weber. What about that?

Anonymous said...

Weber clearly estimates the time. To me, the only reliable timestamp is in relation to when Parent is in the guesthouse (Friedman stating that Parent called at 11:45, Garretson saying he came up around 11:45 and so on). After that. Anything goes.

MHN said...

Matt, broadly I take your point, but the devil is in the details, and it's the details we're discussing. You say:

"Second, you're only allowing 3 minutes for Parent to gather his things, say goodbye to Parent, walk across the estate, get in his car, start it, turn the car around and get to the gate control mechanism to find Watson saying "halt", Parent's beg not to hurt him and then being shot."

You're quite right, I am, and I stand by it. I'm allowing that it is not at all unreasonable to imagine that Parent has said his goodbyes, got his jacket on, grabbed his things, unplugs and grabs his clock radio at 12.15 as he's leaving, takes a maximum of 90 seconds to reach his car (the 'estate' isn't so huge after all), another 30 seconds to get in and start the engine, another 20 to u-turn (slowly), and ten seconds to reach the vicinity of the gate. To me that is much more true to life than imagining him taking a full quarter of an hour to reach the gate after unplugging that red herring.

Listen, I don't try to defend Bugliosi, especially not to people such as you who know a heck of a lot more about the case than I ever will. And I don't give much credence to this nonsense with the damned clock radio, I just think that you are quite right to demand that the small details be examined thoroughly, and for that reason I think it's wrong to suggest that three or four minutes is insufficient time for a guy to leave the guesthouse, get to his car, turn it round and reach the gates. It's plenty. You're even bulking up the to-do list by including his pleading for his life before being shot. Seriously, he put his hands up and begged please god no, or whatever. We're talking mere seconds.

I'm flummoxed by the 4am thing though. Suddenly no sense makes sense.

Maybe this really was the devil's business.

MHN said...

Senor Robot - "Weber clearly estimates the time".

But they ALL do. That's the problem. It's as though Manson hypnotized the whole canyon into not looking at their watches or clocks the whole night. Well, if he could magically stop Bug's watch at the trial, who knows.....

And why should we make Weber the fall-guy whose estimate is wrong by over three hours while we give everyone else the benefit of the doubt?

Matt said...


I think he's mistaken on the time. It's maybe misleading because we all don't remember that Rudolph Weber didn't come forward with this information( seemingly) until after the killers were apprehended and Bugliosi was on the case. That's a 4 month gap between the incident and him relating it to authorities. During the Calkins interview on, Weber states, "And as I pointed out before, when this story broke, uh, it never occurred to me to connect the two of them together."

Witness accounts can be sketchy just after an incident, let alone 4 months later. Calkins interview with Weber is after Bugliosi and the LAPD went to his house to get his initial statement, take photos, and realize this guy was the real deal. So the bottom line is, we don't know what he originally estimated the time to be. For all we know he said to Bugliosi, "I think it was between 3-4AM." And Bugliosi may have said, "could it have been around 1P?" And Weber then said, "Yes, it could have been,"Between press accounts, Bugliosi, LAPD and whatever other subliminal messages were thrown at Weber, the only thing he knew for sure was that he had seen the killers, so maybe he thinks, "They're all correct about the time and I'm confused", therefore his "could have been" became definitive in his mind by the time he did the tape with Calkins.

ColScott said...


In 1969 people did not have iphones to tell them the time. If they are like me they took their wristwatches off when home for the night to get ready for bed. Digital clocks were new (which is why Parent was able to be excited about them.) The first one I had was not readable in the dark. Back then you estimated time as PRE/DURING/AFTER Carson. Carson was 90 minutes and over at 1am. After that you were asleep or a fucking insomniac.

Was Weber awake when they showed up? Because at some point this all becomes " I heard shit after Carson" and people are winging the estimates

Anonymous said...

I enjoy corroboration. That's part of my evidence-valuation-schtick.

MHN said...

Matt, Col Scott, good points well made. I don't have a word to say against them. It's a shame that iphones have replaced Carson, though perhaps it makes LAPD's job slightly easier.

Matt - I was pondering exactly the scenario you suggest, the subtle powers of persuasion that DAs and cops can exert on witnesses, especially after such a time lapse.

The Weber interview posted on is as infuriating because obvious questions don't get asked. At no point is he asked to describe exactly what the group were doing with the hose when he confronted them. Similarly he isn't asked to explain what, if anything, led him to estimate a time of 1am. (And by the way, if the Kotts were hearing Parent shot anywhere between 12.30 and 1.00am then surely Bug should've been trying to put a suggested time nearer 1.30 into Weber's head, not 1am? As you note, he's cutting things very fine there, that's the kind of thing a defense lawyer can pick up on - how can Parent be shot just before 1am at the beginning of the carnage, if my client was witnessed calmly drinking some water at 1am in another location? etc. If this is Bug's implanted suggestion, he's not left himself much wriggle-room.) So yes, these obvious omissions from that interview, and yet specific questions about tail-lights, and which direction did they turn at the bottom of Portola. Odd.

MHN said...

Are the Kotts the sole source for the claim of gunfire between 00.30 and 01.00? Are there, in other words, more witnesses claiming gunfire at 3.30-4.00am than at 00.30-01.00?

If so, then, interesting...

But then again, IF Parent is shot at approximately 00.30, that does tie-in with Ireland hearing (presumably) Frykowski screaming for his life in the garden between 01.00 and 01.30 - and we need push Weber's encounter back only by an hour or so to have everything neatly tied up.

Until it all really happened. At 4am. Maybe the rehearsal wasn't witchy enough, so the whole thing was done-over more theatrically a couple of hours later. Awful echoes in those canyons at night. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Anonymous said...

It's not even the Kotts, it's Mrs. Kott. The only two sources that somewhat add up in time are Mounton and Bullington who mention shots at 03:30 and 04:00, respectively. My conspiracy theory is that Mr. Kott farted four times in close sequence east of the bed in which Mrs. Kott was sleeping. I'm working on the evidence as we speak.

MHN said...

If the massacre was in full swing at around 4am, and we know that the killers were encountered by Weber at some point after they had left Cielo, then what time is the earliest he could actually have encountered them? 0430?

My question to you Angelenos from here in England, where the seasons are all so uniformly grey and rainy that such questions are moot: in a Los Angeles summer night, what time does light start to become apparent in the atmosphere? Is there a discernible difference between 1am and 4.30am? Is the difference such that Weber would have been hard-pressed not to notice it?

orwhut said...

I like your theory, Senor Robot. Good luck with the evidence. said...

Michael 4:30 is still pretty dark, especially on that street because it's heavily wooded and on the west side of the hill.

However, there's no way in a zillion years I think Weber could confuse 1 for 4:30. This is a guy who is at work in Brentwood at 6am. 4 am is likely his normal wake up time.

MHN said...

Cielodrive - thank you for that. That's what I feared.

I know more than I did before this discussion began, but I feel as though I understand less than ever.

Almost nothing here is straightforward... One can almost forgive Bug his desire to crowbar everything into a neat, easy to digest package.

maudes harold said...

This tour and all the info and discussions is fabulous!! Thanks to all of you that were involved.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Possible Weber could have seen a clock with "hands" and mistook the long hand for the short hand. Or other witnesses could have. In the middle of the night it's happened to me-thought it was 1:20 and it was really 4:05 for instance.
Can someone tell me how far the Cielo driveway is from where they parked the car. I have such a hard time picturing the setup at this place.

AustinAnn74 said...

Did Tim Ireland, the witness who heard a 10 second, hideous scream ever call the police that night to report what he heard? I just used a stop-watch app on my phone to time 10 seconds. That scream, with the "Oh, God, no, please don’t! Oh, God, no, don’t, don’t, don’t…” would of been long & dragged out. 10 seconds doesn't seem like a long time, but it is.That is something you never forget hearing. In the police report, the cops even said it disturbed Ireland so much, he went inside the school to tell a supervisor. Who reported the "woman screaming call" and did that person testify at trial? I haven't read the whole trial transcript in full, yet, because Kanarak made it almost unbearable, but that is a huge window of time that people in the surrounding canyon heard stuff that night. I've always found it disturbing that a lot of dogs were barking that night. Animals know when someone is hurt or dying and that was quite obvious. Lots of weird stuff in the 1st police report, such as a dune buggy being seen late in the eve previously, along with a black motorcycle. Why would that witness think that a dune buggy & motorcycle would stand out enough to report it? Remember reading about a white Rambler being seen parked in front of the gate late at night on the Wednesday before? The paperboy that was interviewed told the police about that car. Was that Steven Parent? Were white Ramblers common back then? I, for the most part think conspiracies are stupid, but again, the time frame of sounds that night is just way, way out there. Then you have the good, ol "caretaker" who didn't hear a damn thing, as if he had ear plugs on. Then we have one of the killers stating that she went inside the guest house and it was empty! How the hell did Garretson pass a lie detector? He was nervous as shit. Was it not so much that he passed it, or was it inconclusive? So many questions.....

MHN said...

All good questions Ann, and they lead to a bigger question: if the police or the DA's office deliberately avoided digging up the real story of what happened that night, why?

And another question: why is there comparatively very, very little discussion of any similar discrepancies regarding the events at Waverley?

starship said...

Rudy Weber. Yeah, he was supposed to be some sort of cop, right? Runs into four strangers in the dead of night and when he wakes up the next day he undoubtedly hears about five of the most heinous murders occurring just a short distance away, but he doesn't think to report his encounter to the police? Was everyone in Benedict Canyon in 1969 just stupid or something?

And Garretson: what everyone needs to realize about him is that he is basically not very intelligent. Never has been. In 1969 he would have been called, at best, borderline retarded. That's how he was able to pass the lie detector test.

MHN said...

starship, very generous comments. Weber stated there were a lot of rental properties in Portola, different people coming and going, and often strange hippie types hanging around. said...

I don't know, Starship. If I run into some twenty-somethings on a Friday night, I'd probably think they are up to no good. But I certainly wouldn't think murder. Especially a guy with three girls.

Weber is a sheriff or a mayor according to Atkins. I don't know about you, but I certainly have my doubts.

"Tex just looked at the old man and old woman. He just looked at them and smiled, and then he said, cool as you please — wow — so cool:

'We’re just getting a drink of water. Sorry we disturbed you.' " - Susan Atkins describing the Weber encounter.

If I were a DDA, I'd bring that up at every Watson parole hearing. This is a guy that just absolutely destroyed 5 people, minutes ago, and now turns on a dime and has a calm exchange with Weber.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Weber said in his police interview "And I work as Stewart {steward?] at Brentwood Country Club, 590 South Burlingame, West L.A"
Was he also involved in kind of police work? said...

According to Atkins, it was something that Weber's wife shouted at them. Depending on the account, Susan has the wife saying that Rudy was the Sheriff, the Mayor, LAPD, or part of the Sheriff reserve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As there are quite a few witness reports supporting both the 12.30-1am and 3.30-4am timelines I think there is a real possibility that both timelines are 'correct'. Therefore the next question is:

Did the killing spree span 3.5 hours ?


Was there two trips to Cielo?

Logically neither make sense in terms of how a rational mind would act in such a situation, but we're talking about crazy, drug fuelled killers - logic doesn't come in to it!

I think the most likely scenario is 2 trips - the return being to 'clean up' the mess of the first one. Charlie went to Crowe and Hinman to sort things out - whether that was out of self preservation or because he genuinely cared about his so called friends is up for debate. Admittedly neither of those were a murder scene when he went there but I still don't think its a stretch to see him go to Cielo to clean up.

Its mad, its insane, its totally crazy - it sounds exactly like something they would do!

starship said...

I don't mean to be ungenerous, Michael, but I just have a hard time thinking after an encounter so out of the ordinary that the next day with the news so out of the ordinary that Weber and his wife wouldn't have looked at each other and went, "woah, hold on here..."

starship said...

I wouldn't necessarily have thought at the time that they were up to no good, but the next day after hearing what went down? I think I would have called the LAPD.

And then I think they would have said, "nah, don't worry, was just a bunch of hippie kids who were thirsty" and then not even look up the license plate number I memorized.

MHN said...

Starship - exactly! Weber said he was reluctant to contact the police because he thought they would say "It was just a bunch of kids using your water - so what do you expect us to do about it!?" I think that kind of reticence is entirely natural - unless you've seen something specifically incriminating. (But maybe that's a 21st century Englishman's worldview colouring my judgment.)

MHN said...

Kevin Marx - as Cielodrive very eloquently pointed out, there was nothing crazed or drug-fueled about their behaviour when they encountered Weber on Portola. Very calm, very calculated, very rational.

Robert Hendrickson said...

So many questions - How could that be ? AND not much has changed. It was just discovered that the police van with Freedie Gray made another STOP that the cops did NOT report.
So NOW the Baltimore cops FALSIFIED a police report. AND we are talking DEATH here. Cities are already on FIRE and the cops - are they just STUPID or what ?

That's WHY Bugliosi was considered a "judicial" genius OR the cop's "garbage man." It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it. I had a neighbor (retired LAPD detective) and during the OJ trial he EXPLAINED it ALL.

YOU folks are NOW doing (investigating) what the LA cops NEVER thought of.

So back then - all Mr. "B" had to do, was lay all the "garbage" out on a nice pretty dinner table for the nimrods to feast upon. AND that same "garbage" is still being RECYCLED even today.

I just saw a doc where long ago Warren Beaty (of movie fame) explained the Vietnam War. He said, even back in 1963 Kennedy revealed HE was going to make Vietnam a WAR, but he (Beatty) was too busy trying to be a movie star, to pay much attention and that WE - the people - let the bad things happen.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Just ask Ronnie Howard or Laurence Merrick: "What's the real value in blabing to the cops OR even going public ?" Hell - just ask yourself WHY nobody (in the know) doesn't come forward NOW.

You all complain because I speak with a cryptic tougne. Well dah, I don't even frequent donut shops - It's too dangerous.

MHN said...

Robert, I don't think anyone is complaining as such.

Riddles are interesting. As long as the solution doesn't get you killed.

Anonymous said...

Michael - when someone is on speed its possible to appear 'normal' but inside be a complete mess.

Holding it together for a few mins in front of Weber does not mean they acted or thought rationally the rest of the time.

Anonymous said...

I would be interesting to know when they left the ranch but it all boils down to "at night" or "after dinner" or whenever. It's a shame Benny LaMarlo, the anal retentive sundial operator of the family, died in that fire which also destroyed his notebooks. A damn shame.

Anonymous said...

"Just ask Ronnie Howard or Laurence Merrick: "What's the real value in blabing to the cops OR even going public ?" Hell - just ask yourself WHY nobody (in the know) doesn't come forward NOW.

You all complain because I speak with a cryptic tougne. Well dah, I don't even frequent donut shops - It's too dangerous."

If I was involved or even close to this case I wouldn't even eat donuts and as for hamburgers....

beauders said...

Ireland did call the police remember they told him to the effect that they hoped there wasn't a murder in that area as they had just received a woman screaming call in the same area.
Weber's wife told the murderers that her husband was a deputy at LAPD, a lie. The next day Weber went to work at a golf course and told a coworker what happened. The coworker called the police who eventually contacted Weber.

MHN said...

Kevin, I understand, but I don't think they merely appeared normal, and they clearly weren't a total mess inside - because they made very rational and sensible decisions. They didn't hang around, they exited Cielo as quickly as they could, they ducked up a very narrow, dark little road, and found a hose with which to remove the worst of incriminating blood. It all makes perfect sense, and to me it doesn't like the actions of a group of people so flipped out that they return two or three hours later to make more noise (including firing gunshots while 'cleaning up'?) and risk capture.

MHN said...

Does anyone know where we can access p.21 of the police report?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Leary 7 just made a very profound "comment" at TOUR Hinman BUS, but it should have been posted here.

To Leary: You're thinking is on track: REMEMBER Jesse James and Billy the Kid. James was actually a pscho killer, but the Kid was a very intelligent thoughtful person. The common denominator seems to be the "media" of the times that determines WHO becomes "infamous."

When I was a teenager (late 50s - early 60s) I got really interested in American Wild West History and in the 50 years since I've seen a drastic change in the media's prception of these "colorful" characters.

There is NO question - what YOU write here on this website TODAY can become History decades from now.

It was 80 years after HIS death that Jesus even began to be somebody

OH that written word - it can be dangerously entertaining. AND homemade videos, I think that could become a NEW drug

Matt said...

Michael, Look Here

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks Cielo, also can anyone tell me how far it was from the Tate driveway to where the killers parked?

MHN said...

Thanks a lot Matt. Robert and Leary - very interesting perspective on our sense of perspective. The more I learn about Watson the more I'm inclined to think harder about what I think I know about Manson.

Matt said...

Hump, I just added a few phone pics off of Google Earth. They show what we believe to be the only viable places they could have parked.

Matt said...

Either way it's only a couple of hundred yards, tops.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Wow thanks Matt. I had no idea it was that far away. I always pictured it being 40 yds down the hill. And the photo you took of the parking spot is much more rustic and dry than I pictured.

Matt said...

The cul-de-sac is very narrow. It's tough to park on it because you'd be blocking other cars from using it.

It looks rustic from that angle, but those hills are chock full of houses.

Robert Hendrickson said...

A bit of triva - Matt likes to call the Tate house REPLACEMENT a "monstrosity," but I call it the birth of "mansionization" which has since become an actual money making INDUSTRY in Southern California.

I also knew the man who actually bought the Tate property (at auction) and developed it. My youngest son and his went to school together and were good friends. HE also was a pioneer in the art of "rehabing" houses / property. I have also made good on some of HIS lessons. So I guess you could say: There are those who see only negativity in bad things and there are those who make better on things that are / were considered negative. Actually, I've done better with things I've learned from him, than with my MANSON films.

Thus, I SEE the "monstrosity" and think genius. He saw the "cursed" property and saw $$$$$$.

YES, it really is just a matter of perception. AND that is the secret to LIFE - if you perceive it that way.

AustinAnn74 said...

No, that wasn't Ireland that called, that was one of the security people.

beauders said...

AustinAnn, which security people? I've always thought it was Ireland.

Mr. Humphrat said...

For the people who think the murders took place much later than 12 to 1, what are your thoughts on the call Parent made to a friend from the guest house. I don't recall if there was a phone record of it to mark the time. Do you think he made the call and then spent much longer at the guest house?

Anonymous said...

As i sit here, drinking my cheap beer and having consulted my vast and impressive bookshelf filled with books on mostly Manson and things having to do with cactus, i realize that in the midst of all this nudist colony bullshit nobody kept time. Atkins mentions maybe hearing twelve chimes or seeing a clock showing twelve when being at the house. Which makes no sense if Steven Parent is in the guest house at midnight. If you follow the narrative, that is. But she mentions many things and many things don't add up even if you ignore her. To me, weirdness begins around midnight but how it unfolded is partly conjecture. What i want to know is when, and if, the people at the ranch have them coming and going. They can't all have been laying around sleeping and eating cheese out of the package, oblivious to the world.

MHN said...

Robert, I just read your last post with an air of confusion, then all became clear when I re-read it and saw that you had written 'mansionization', and not, as I had originally thought, 'mansonization'.

I imagine they are quite different things, and that as you have discovered, one makes more money than the other.

AustinAnn74 said...

Look at Matt's description above in posting that starts with the sentence, "At 0400, Bel Air Security Patrolman Mr. Bullington....."

Anonymous said...

Can somebody familiar with the autopsy / coroner reports tell me what if any conclusions were drawn as to the estimated time of death(s). Were liver temperature test or the like done on at the scene?

Anonymous said...


beauders said...

Thanks Ann

Anonymous said...

Estimating the Time of Death
Body temperature formula
98.6 – 83 /1.5 = 10.4 hrs
[ Sebring temp at 14:00 83 deg ]

10.4 hrs = 10hrs 24 mins
1400 = 2pm – 10 hrs 24 mins = 3:36 am

Anonymous said...

[ Frykowski temp at 14:10 ] found outside

98.6 – 90 /1.5 = 5.7hrs
[ Frykowski temp at 14:10 90 deg ]

5.7 hrs = 5hrs 42 mins
1410 = 2:10pm – 5 hrs 42 mins = 8:28 am

Anonymous said...

Of course the formulated clock stops back ticking once the body reached the temperature of the environment around it. So even at [83 degrees inside and formulated to3:36 am] that would appear to only be the +/- latter end of the scale right? No later than 3:36 am but still possibly hour’s earlier, due to stopping at ambient temperature.
Sorry another bridge to nowhere.

HellzBellz said...

The same I think as XRELES sayd:
12:15 the alarm clock is unplugged at Garettson guest house..Bugliosy says But Parent did have a drive from his house to Cielo ,also with the clock unplugged. So the thing is way outa time...Where can I read in Garettsons police questioning that They (Parent and Garettson) actualy did reset the actual Time on the clock....????

Robert Hendrickson said...

Michael: AND it appears that only "i" distinguishs one from the other. "mansionization" was developed to provide WEALTHY mid-easterners with "homes" be-fitting them and "mansonization" was apparently developed to provide "dirty, smelly, homeless kids with a home "be-fitting" THEM.

"It's ALL just perfect" the Manson Family 1970

AustinAnn74 said...

Has anyone ever given thought to why the Cielo drive murders happened on the 1 year anniversary of one of their music recordings? They recorded part of the LIE album on August 8, 1968. Does that have any significance, I wonder? said...

Not that it makes a real difference, but the time on Parent's clock is 12:19am said...

BUGLIOSI: What did you hear the male voice scream, sir?

IRELAND: He said, “Oh, God, no please don’t. Oh, God, no, please don’t, don’t, don’t” for approximately 10 to 15 seconds.

BUGLIOSI: About what time was this?

IRELAND: Approximately 12:40 a.m.

BUGLIOSI: Forty minutes past midnight?

IRELAND: Yes, sir. said...

WEBER: So, I was awakened by the sound of running water. It seemed to me that something had happened to the plumbing under the house.

So I jumped out of bed in my pajamas --

BUGLIOSI: How did you know it was about 1:00 o’clock?

WEBER: Because I looked at the clock.


BUGLIOSI: Did your wife say anything, sir?

WEBER: Well, in the meanwhile she got a little overly excited and she started to give them h-e-l-l, too. She said,”You have a lot of nerve,” and so on and so forth.

Of course we were more scared on account of this plumbing thing because I thought the pipe was broken.

THE COURT: The question was, “What did your wife say?”

WEBER: Anyway, she said, “My husband is a deputy sheriff and I think we are going to make a report of this.”

In other words, just to scare the people off.

BUGLIOSI: You are not a deputy sheriff?

WEBER: Of course not.

BUGLIOSI: And you never have been?


MHN said...

Cieoldrive - thank you for that. Sounds like it wasn't all a Bug conspiracy after all. But can I ask, what, if anything, do you think of the reports of arguments or gunshots at or around 4am?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Cielo Drive or anyone: The Parent must die, but Garritson lives has always bothered me.

Did the Crime lab ever check the guest house for any relevant trace evidence ? Did they even go in the guest house ?

IF Manson had it out for the Tate "house," why NOT include the guest house - HE knew it was likely occupied - He once met Atrobelli there. What did Garritson "take care of" as caretaker ? Why KILL Parent at all ? Seems like Tex could have let him go without even confronting him and Parent wouldn't have even been a relevant witness.
Sharon just arrived home from Europe a couple of days before being killed. Did the "killers" KNOW she would be home ?
Did Sharon tell Roman that Jacques warned her to get out of the house until the baby was born ? IF NOT - why NOT ?

Maybe the cops should try to question Mr. "P" again. He may remember something relevant by this time.

Matt said...

So either the LAPD are completely incompetent or somehow Bugliosi gets these two witnesses to change their timeline because we go from Ireland stating that he heard the scream between 1-1:30AM to an exact time of 12:40AM.

And we have Weber saying during a police interview, "We, uh - 'cause I have to be at work at 6 o'clock in the morning. So, about - it must’ve been about 1 o'clock, I heard the uh, the sound of, running water." to pinpointing the time to 1A because he looked at the clock?

I'm no conspiracy nut, but the mere fact that the witness testimony changed to exact times is pretty suspicious to me of Bugliosi weaving and swaying his timeline to fit his needs.

starship said...

Well, I am a conspiracy nut, so if Bugliosi wanted to truly hold down the time of the murders to between 12:40 and 1:30am or so, then why even mention the other sounds that were heard much later? Helter Skelter is his book, so he could certainly leave those out and the vast majority of readers would be none the wiser.

For me, why does Bugliosi mention the Bel Air security patrol gunshots and the LAPD comment but then not Carlos Gill?

Anonymous said...

Witness preperation is part if the process. You don't want sone renegade up there who has convinced his wife that he is really the mayor out to stop the ever increasing abuse of private hoses. You especially don't want said renegade to feel unconfortable. Imagine a sweaty hose patrol guy up there not keeping his story straight. By this i mean that the story is refined once it reaches the court. Not really sure what to make of it. Stephanie Schram could have registered the coming and goings from the Manson love trailer.

MHN said...

And clearly there would be nothing exculpatory for the accused in whatever took place at 4am, so why bury it? I don't ask that dismissively, but honestly. Why pressure witnesses to change or solidify testimony just to create a timeline that excludes later events.


(a) The murders took place around 1am-1.30am, and the killers stayed around until 4am for reasons unknown before having a loud argument and firing more shots


(b) The murders started at around 1am-1.30am, but didn't finish until 4am. Maybe Tate was tortured and tormented, chased outside (blood evidence) and finished off inside again


(c) The murderers killed Parent at the earlier time slot, chilled out with their drug-buddies in the house, before killing them at around 4am


(d) They killed everyone around 1.00-1.30am, went back to Spahn, came back with Charlie, did some post-mortem feng-shui, argued, fired shots, left again.

They all sound improbable for one reason or another. And the bigger question: what is it about any such scenario that the DA would want to suppress, to the extent of pressuring witnesses to alter their testimony? said...

Michael... I don't really think much of the 4am shots because there's really not much more to it. To my knowledge, it's the only report around this time. It's entirely possible these shots were totally unrelated. People like to fire their guns. At least where I live, its not usually to hear people shooting. When I hear this late at night, my first thought is not murder. My first thought is someone has been drinking and showing off their toys.

RH.. I don't believe I've ever come across anything that says SID did anything in guest house. Of course, that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Matt.. I agree with your assessment. My personal philosophy is that, I put a greater value on police reports and interviews than I do on trial testimony. Reason being, police interviews are free flowing and more candid. Trial testimony, on the other hand, is very controlled. I tend to view the police interviews like a large picture. And the trial testimony, I view as like a very narrow crop of that picture.

Starship.. I know what you mean, it's strange, considering that Helter Skelter does leave a lot out. So why not that one? I guess Bugliosi didn't think much of it.

Mr. Humphrat said...

If Steven Parent called his friend Jerrold from the guest house around midnight to discuss a stereo he was going to sell him doesn't that lend a bit of creedence to the unlikely scenario that he went to Cielo to show the clock radio to William? Plus they find the clock radio in the car and Garretson states the reason for the visit was the sell him the clock radio. How did he know there was a clock radio in the car. He mustve brought the radio in the house. Parent could have also fancied Garretson and been using the radio as a pretense for the visit. Yes it was around midnight and that is a very odd thing to do when he barely know someone, but maybe that's really what happened. said...

I have a lengthy LAPD interview with one of the girls and in it they are trying to determine when something happened. It starts out very vague, like, it happened in the summer. But the detectives patiently ask question after question to narrow down that date. They reference events that they have documented dates for, and ask if it happened before or after. After awhile they are able to narrow it down to a week or 2.

I have no doubt that this was done with Ireland before he testified. Perhaps, after more lengthy questioning he remembered something to narrow down the time. Or perhaps Ireland was just influenced by their other evidence

grimtraveller said...

"I'm no conspiracy nut, but the mere fact that the witness testimony changed to exact times is pretty suspicious to me of Bugliosi weaving and swaying his timeline to fit his needs."

Matt, I think the timeline as presented isn't as important in the bigger picture because we're assuming that every sound that was heard that night pertains to the events at Cielo Drive. But RH pointed out in another thread that sounds are deceptive in that kind of terrain and some of what was heard may have had nothing to do with the murders at all.
Also, it should be borne in mind that not everyone would have been celeb conscious and therefore when certain people heard the news, they may not have connected it with things they had heard during the night. I think that we're trying to do exactly what Bugliosi was doing, trying to make a neat regular bundle out of an irregular concave polygon.
Combined memories will have many points of overlap but are rarely exact in detail.

Matt said...

Re what Bugliosi included and secluded from his book: I think a likely scenario is that Bugsy didn't want to include any of the 3-4AM material but that perhaps Gentry or the editor told him he'd be called to the mat for skewing the information so he conceded to include Bel Air Patrol's reports, but not the Gill report because (in my opinion) the kid had a direct shot to the house and therefore highly credible. What are the odds of a 2nd loud, angry argument happening in the same proximity, on the same night, within 2 hours of when Parent may or may not have unplugged his clock radio and these murders occurring?

Cielo, I'd be curious to see the West LAPD division and Bel Air Patrol reports throughout the year of suspicious gunfire in 2 of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the country, Bel Air and Beverly Hills. I get that it happens, but the reports span over years--actors, musicians, producers have all been arrested for firing their weapons at various times throughout the years. The thing is, they're always busted by a direct neighbor or someone in the house reporting them.

And while there were probably some crazy parties in the hills on a Friday night, it's my understanding that pretty people in LA (unlike New Yorkers) don't party til all hours of the night due to the drive time home. Most parties end around midnight, 1AM.

That's not to say that it isn't possible, but again, what are the odds that on the same night 5 people are murdered that three witnesses from three different areas hear gunfire at approximately the same time. Gunfire that matches up to the amount of times two of the victims were shot? I find that too coincidental to write off.

Matt said...

Robert Hendrickson said...

Did Sharon tell Roman that Jacques warned her to get out of the house until the baby was born ? IF NOT - why NOT ?

Mr H, please refresh my diminishing memory. Who was Jaques?

Matt said...

grimtraveller said...

I think that we're trying to do exactly what Bugliosi was doing, trying to make a neat regular bundle out of an irregular concave polygon.

Combined memories will have many points of overlap but are rarely exact in detail.

I cannot dispute that a bit. We went up there with debunking Bugliosi's timeline in mind. We have no idea whether we did that or solidified it, especially after hearing the feedback so far...

grimtraveller said...

Something I've long wondered about; Tex, in shooting Steven Parent 4 times, doesn't appear to have been too bothered about anyone actually hearing the shots. Why ? Especially when you consider the bulk of the night's action was still to come.
And if Mrs Kott did hear gunshots, is it unfair to assume that she wasn't sufficiently concerned to call the police ?
Thinking also of Carlos Gill and what he heard, I just can't see that there's anything particularly unusual about hearing {not seeing} a loud argument some distance away. It literally could have been anybody, even on that night. said...

"In literature a murder scene is often likened to a picture puzzle. If one is patient and keeps trying, eventually all the pieces will fit into place.

Veteran policemen know otherwise. A much better analogy would be two picture puzzles, or three, or more, no one of which is in itself complete. Even after a solution emerges—if one does—there will be leftover pieces, evidence that just doesn’t fit. And some pieces will always be missing"

Matt said...

Question for all of you:

I'm kinda surprised that there are those who so easily discount the gunshots and Carlos Gill hearing a scary angry argument.

Has anyone here ever heard arguments and gunshots where you live late at night?

We live out in the country in outside of Redneckville. Gunshots are common, just not after dark. I’ve never heard one at night out there and we live too far apart to hear arguments.

BUT, as a younger lad living in apartments I heard PLENTY. One was in a domestic fight in the apartment below me. It resulted in a gun being fired through their ceiling (my floor) and lodged in my wall. I called the cops. They came up and told me it was an “accidental discharge”. That’s NC for you. In NY where I’m from they would have arrested both of them and asked questions later.

Matt said...

Hey Cielo...

Sherlock Holmes: "You will not apply my precept," he said, shaking his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?"

'It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.' said...

Matt, I couldn't agree more with Sir Arthur's quote. Those are words to live by.

Re Carlos, now that you've been up to Beverly Grove, you know how close it is to 10050 Cielo Drive. Essentially, it's a front row seat for anything going on at 10050 Cielo.

What do you make of Carlos not hearing the gun shots? He's up and he hears the argument. If there were shots at Cielo at 4:00, surely he would've heard them, right?

That's my struggle with the gunshots at around that time.

Matt said...

Cielo, it reminded me of being in a stadium. You look across the field at seats directly on the other side at the same level. You can see what people are wearing and so on but you can't hear them because it's muffled by other stadium noise. However, if the stadium is mostly empty you can hear everything.

I think if those murders took place during the day with the canyon alive with sound I couldn't put stock in witnesses accounts from Beverly Grove. However at night with windows open I completely buy into it.

MHN said...

"what are the odds that on the same night 5 people are murdered that three witnesses from three different areas hear gunfire at approximately the same time. Gunfire that matches up to the amount of times two of the victims were shot? I find that too coincidental to write off."

Matt, you're making good points, I'm undecided on the timeline; but again I want to ask you: supposing the 4am reports of either arguments and shouting or gunshots are connected to events at Cielo, what scenario explains such a thing? The evidence for the c.1am events seems to me at least as solid. What do you make of the totality of the evidence, and why might Bug want to bury half of it? said...

Matt said..

"three witnesses from three different areas hear gunfire at approximately the same time"

Bullington is the only one to hear the shots at 4am, though.

Matt said...

You have Emmet Steele's hunting dogs going berserk between 2-3A, according to Steele due to gunshots, Mounton's report of gunshots at 3:30 AM, Bullington reporting 3 gunshots at 4:11A, then Gilll reporting a fight at around 4AM, and finally a mysterious West LA division desk cop saying they got a woman-screaming call about the same time frame.

As I think we all agree on, the canyon walls do play tricks with the sounds, even depending on which way the wind was blowing. It may be that the wind was blowing one way when the gunfire went off and another when the screams happened. It could be that for whatever reason, the gunfire didn't reach through Gill's window. It could be that each of the witnesses were off just a little on their times. But again, that's a lot of witnesses to discard. And, I'm not saying definitively that the murders occurred in the 3-4AM range, I'm just saying that there is equal if not more evidence of them not happening at 12:30-12:40AM

I do have to say that Ireland and Weber's times that they testified to at the trial seem contrived to me in comparison to what they testified to during their initial interviews. I get that memories can be jarred to remembering a detail, but how often is it that one can go from saying, Oh, maybe 1 AM to 6 months later saying it was absolutely 12:40AM or I looked at the clock?

And, again, I have to go back to the timing of the Kotts house guests leaving at 12A, not running across the killers, or the Kotts being dead asleep within a half hour.

Anonymous said...

This is adversely affecting my general well-being. I began trying to map out the god damn christmas related and non christmas related lights, in order to construct a timeline from the reports on lights being on or off. I'm bailing out. Matt, when do you have the killers on the property? I'm finding it hard to not place them there around midnight. I can't discount that alot of things seem to happen around 00:00-01:00. Some things gyrate towards a second trip to Cielo, if the later reports are related to the happenings.

MHN said...

SenRob: "This is adversely affecting my general well-being."

Haha! Welcome to the club. You should see the bags under my eyes this morning. Goddam police reports...

AustinAnn74 said...

Wealthy people are usually almost always gun owners, but, of course, that's in Texas, not California, especially an area like Beverly Hills. I wouldn't think gun fire would of been a usual Friday night sound in those parts. Where I grew up, yes, it is normal, because I grew up on a ranch, but an extremely wealthy neighborhood in Los Angeles? Na, I don't think so. I could be way wrong, though.

Matt said...

SR, I don't have a definitive time to place the killers there; that's why I put it out as a question because many minds are better than one and I think everyone has put out some good pros and cons.

I think that there are a couple things that we can discount. First would be Atkins placing them inside the house at 12A due to seeing a clock or hearing 12 chimes because that defies all laws of reason for both camps, i.e. she can't place them inside the house for a midnight chime-along if we go with Bugliosi's clock radio of 12:15, as well as the Kott house still being full of guests as they parked by the gate, climbed the pole to cut the communication wires, etc.

The second thing I'm inclined to discount is Mrs. Kott's estimate on what time her guests left. If they left around midnight they would have seemingly crossed paths with the killers. I guess if the gods of destiny were at work, they could have driven away from Cielo as the killers were approaching, but that still leaves only 30 minutes for the Kotts to get ready for bed and be sound asleep for the supposed 12:30AM gunshots. Now, could the Kott's guests have left around 11:30P and they were in bed and asleep by 12:30A? Of course, but that wasn't the testimony we were presented with which brings me to the third thought...

Human error. Susan Atkins at one point said she wasn't sure what time they left Spahn's but it was very late in the night. For the killers to get the "order" from Manson and gather up their kill kits, it would have been close to 11P. It's only a 35 minute drive to Cielo but I think both Kasabian and Atkins said they got lost before reaching their destination. Considering the people at Spahn's supposedly partied late into the night, it seems unreasonable that Atkins would consider 11P "late".

Susan Atkins also said that at some point ended up on the Sunset Strip on their way back to Spahn, which makes no sense because we know the killers path due to their evidence shedding: North on Benedict Canyon, west on Mullholland and north again on Beverly Glen which would have dumped them right onto Ventura Blvd and a gas station in the valley.

Either Atkins or Kasabian said that it took them 1.5 hours from there to get back to Spahn's. Unless they made a pit stop in Burbank, Spahn's is maybe 20 minutes from Ventura & Beverlyglen at 1/2 AM. We also have Linda Kasabian saying that after washing at Weber's they drove for 10-15 minutes before dumping the clothes and another 10 minutes before throwing the gun, but the drive between Portola and 2901 Benedict is about 2 minutes and the drive between 2901 and the Weiss backyard is another 2 minutes tops. And then you have the killers saying the murders happened very quickly. In moments of high stress, time gets skewed. Very fast could have been 2 hours.

There are too many possibilities for human error to be conclusive. Parent could have unplugged his radio 45 minutes before leaving Garretson or he could have unplugged it on his way out the door. The killers could have sat in the dark for 30 minutes after shooting Parent, waiting to see if anyone heard the gunshots before they thought it was safe to proceed, because as many have pointed out, firing four shots before even getting into the house was a ballsy move and hardly a stealth entry.

Finally, I am convinced that it couldn't possibly have happened in the nice, tight package that Bugliosi presented to the jury. And, sadly when he presented that nice tight package of when and how the murders took place, he opened the door to speculation because lets not forget that despite what Atkins first presented to the grand jury (that Tate and Sebring were killed in the living room) we still have their massive amounts of blood on the front porch to contend with and a whole lot more speculation on whether we ever heard a truthful word out of Atkins, Kasabian, Watson or Krenwinkel.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Great post, great YOU joined in Matt.

1. Hondorus

2. I never thought of KILLING "parent" ironic. "Everyone" has a unique perspective.

3. Great point: Tex apparently didn't care about gun-shot noise, BUT that really puts a twist on the massacre. Ever SEE a real "HIT" where the KILLER doesn't care - it's vicious beyound comprehension.

BECAUSE it's "art-work" at issue. The weapon is the paintbrush and the resulting art conveys a MESSAGE

4. Because the Tate house is elevated (up on mountain) and sounds travels UP, those below the "house" level line would ONLY hear very loud noises coming from there. Also, sound does NOT travel through earth, so simply draw a line from where the sounds were actually coming to where they were heard and see if any witnesses can be eliminated.

5. As far as Bugliosi coaching witnesses, just look at what HE did to Watkins, Poston, and Jackobson. None ever even thought of the Family as being involved in the Tate / LaBianca massacre, BUT became Helter Skelter PRIME proponants AFTER talking to Vince. Now that's judicial genious !

Anonymous said...

Serot, in that NBC interview, says that the gate lights were off at 01:00. I believe those are the lights mentioned as being off and running north from the garage, in the first police report. Please correct me if i'm confused. Anyway. The lights mentioned by Serot are the lights that were supposedly always on. There are two sets of assumptions here. First being lights turned off due to action by the killers. Second being Serot having the right time. Not very solid stuff. said...

I agree Matt, those times they testified to at trial seem too exact. No doubt about that.

Some of these reported incidents seem highly suspect to me. I believe Mr. Marceau Mounton and Robert Bullington heard something because they reported it. Whether or not, what they heard had anything to do with 10050 Cielo Drive, who knows?

Tim Ireland, I believe heard something because he took some time to actually check it out. I’m confident believing what he heard had something to do with Cielo Drive.

However, when it comes to Carlos Gill and Emmett Steele, I’m highly suspect. From reading their accounts, I feel it’s a safe bet that they reported these events after learning about the murders. Steele says he didn’t hear anything himself, just that he was awoken by his dogs going wild. He’s not calling the police to report his dogs were barking. So this is just a correlation he is making after hearing about the murders.

And then the problem with Carlos Gill is if you want to believe him, you can’t also believe Bullington. Or at the very least, it would mean, whatever Bullington reported hearing, was not coming from Cielo Drive. Because if Gill is able to hear an argument at Cielo Drive, he surely going to hear the gun shots as well.

Gill and Steele lived directly across from canyon from an unfolding news story of epic proportions. Was what they reported related to the murders or did they just want it to be, so they’d have their little story to tell? I’m not so sure they are any different than the masses of people who reported that they were supposed to be at Cielo that Friday night.

grimtraveller said...

Matt said...
Question for all of you:

I'm kinda surprised that there are those who so easily discount the gunshots and Carlos Gill hearing a scary angry argument.

Has anyone here ever heard arguments and gunshots where you live late at night?
I don’t discount. I’m just saying that all these years later, we’re trying to neatly bundle a package of a rhino on a unicycle !
There are nearly always going to be things that happen in any event that those that weren’t there will have problems with because we like things to read/follow fairly neatly/logically. But real life isn’t always like that. And we tend to fill in what we see as gaps. It occurs to me that the only accounts we have of what went on are from Susan Atkins {depending on which account of hers you use}, Linda Kasabian and Charles Watson {and in his first book, much of his account is so obviously derived from Vincent Bugliosi’s book, whereas the Atkins - to her cell mates, Bugliosi/Caballero & grand jury - and Kasabian accounts are very similar but there’s no sense of one having derived from the other}.
I’m not aware of a Patricia Krenwinkle account close to the commission of the murders of what actually happened at Cielo {if there is one, could someone link me to it, I’d be fascinated to read it}.
So between those three, you have what happened. Everything else {except for Rudolph Weber} that is part of the narrative kind of queers the exact pitch in that they obviously happened, but may have little, everything or nothing to do with the events that night {I saw an interview about 12 years ago in which William Garretson said that he did see some things involving the perpetrators and victims. But I can’t recall the exact time of night being part of the discussion}. So for me, the prosecution timeline witnesses {except Weber} aren’t of crucial importance. Equally, there was little point in challenging the timeline. None of the perps denied being there.

Matt said...

Has anyone here ever heard arguments and gunshots where you live late at night?

I live in North London and because there has been an increase in gun crime here over the last 20 years, one becomes attentive to loud bangs especially at night. In our area, there are a number of festivals that are celebrated with fireworks {various Hindu and Muslim ones as well as Guy Fawkes night, New year, Chinese new year and others} between October and January and you hear loud gunshot type bangs frequently. And we just ignore them, whether it’s 3 in the morning or 8 in the evening.
And loud arguments are part of the backdrop. One is more likely to get involved if one actually sees it, rather than hears it.

Matt said...

Cielo, what you present is certainly reasonable, but a couple of thoughts come to mind:

Yes, Gill and Steele could have fabricated their stories for their 15 minutes of fame, although a 14-year-old kid seems less likely to be looking for that. They may brag BS to their buddies, but when a cop comes knocking on their door asking questions, a kid's facade will usually crumble. So, I believe this kid. And, as I said, I think it's totally reasonable that the kid didn't hear the crack of gunfire but did hear an extended argument. Lets remember that the gunshots did not kill Sebring or Frykowski. There would have been an extended period of time after the gunshots for Frykowski and Watson to be screaming at each other on the front lawn before Frykowski went down.

With human error of the times in mind, the thing that catches for me with the Bullington (and his witness Karlson), Mouton, Steele, Gill reports (as well as the WLAPD desk jockey) all place the times of screams and or gunshots between 3-4A. Both Gill and Bullington match up at 4A, Steele and Mouton, both admittedly guessing on the time put it between 3-3:30A. So for me, it's conceivable with a give or take of 15-30 minutes on both sides of human error that they could be roughly the same time.

And while 6 independent witnesses could have been looking to insert themselves into the crime of the century, all independently and without knowing what any of the other witnesses said, estimated the time between 3-4AM, with 4 of them, Bullington, Mouton, Karlson and WLAPD, logging their time before the murders were even discovered. And the two most likely to fabricate stories, Gill & Steele estimating roughly the same times as the law enforcement officers without knowing their estimates.

Matt said...

grimtraveller said: ...

whereas the Atkins - to her cell mates, Bugliosi/Caballero & grand jury - and Kasabian accounts are very similar but there’s no sense of one having derived from the other}...So between those three, you have what happened.

I'm going to go out on a limb and disagree with you. Atkins was the first to come forward and her story hit the press as the other killers were being apprehended.

Kasabian didn't speak to authorities until after reading Atkins account (and you'll never convince me that she didn't). Atkins testimony is how the the state received warrants for the others to be arrested. And while Atkins eventually recanted her grand jury testimony, I think it was essential for the prosecutors to stick as close as possible to the building blocks of their case.

Enter Kasabian, who had a lot of motivation (immunity) to acquiesce to what Atkins testified to and what Bugliosi wanted to fit his timeline. Contrary to Bugliosi's angelic portrayal of Kasabian, I say she's not to be trusted.

Watson did not speak to authorities. And his trial testimony held a lot of contradictions to both Atkins and Kasabian's testimony. Krenwinkel didn't speak out until years later at her parole hearings and at one parole hearing she couldn't even remember the names of the victims.

Years later, with his book, Watson basically recanted his trial testimony, and mirrored what Atkins said. So really, you have 3 others mimicking what Atkins testified to and, I gotta say, I think if Atkins lips were moving, she was lying.

So how do you put any faith in what these killers say? said...

Points well taken Matt

It just occurred to me that we were talking about Sebring and Frykowski and not Parent. So, in that scenario, both Sebring and Frykowski would have to have been shot outside. Otherwise, it would be nearly impossible for Bullington to hear the shots from so far away.

Matt said... said...

"So, in that scenario, both Sebring and Frykowski would have to have been shot outside".

I think we can all agree that something had to have happened to Sebring outside. His blood documented on the front porch isn't drop transfer, it's a big pool of blood. said...

Right, both he and Sharon were clearly outside at some point

MHN said...

Matt, I think you raise an important point; physical evidence should - if gathered and handled correctly - trump witness evidence. Any homicide cop or psychologist will tell you how fallible even intelligent witnesses are.

This post is about the viability of various earwitnesses, and I think it has done a great job of opening up the possibility that the official timeline might not tell the full story of that night. But it also seems to have led us to an impasse. Nobody seems to trust the Bug, we're all reasonably sure the kill-squad can't open their mouths without self-serving lies coming out, and there is a wealth of contradiction and improbability informing almost all the witness statements. So where do we go from there? They're slowly dying off, and Helter Skelter is an industry, so the possibility of the truth is spiraling away down that plughole faster and faster.

My take on the blood evidence, and the business with the rope, and the rope abrasions on Sharon Tate's neck and jaw, as well as the smaller neck abrasions described as being typical of fingernails, is that things were indeed crazier, more violent, and more prolonged than we might like to think.

But then.... to take their time over this, after having fired shots to kill Parent out in the open near other private residences... It doesn't make sense.

(But then, why would I expect it to make sense? I'm looking for the wrong thing here.)

We're never going to know, are we?

Anonymous said...

Tate had several somewhat superficial stab wounds on the back. I'm by no means a forensics guy but i do know some statistics. Those kind of stab wounds seem to indicate that the victim was pushed over before being attacked, to the effect of the stabbing not occurring where planned. I've found myself speculating whether or not those wounds can occur if a victim is running from someone who's chasing and stabbing. I don't think i've seen the forensics to back it up, though. Schreck i believe, for what it's worth, has her darting to exit the house and being chased down. Am i getting off topic? We should collectively write Watson, Krenwinkel and Kasabian an angry letter demanding a linear timeline. That would show them.

MHN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grimtraveller said...

Matt said...
“I'm going to go out on a limb and disagree with you. Atkins was the first to come forward and her story hit the press as the other killers were being apprehended.

Kasabian didn't speak to authorities until after reading Atkins account (and you'll never convince me that she didn't). ’’

Even if Kasabian had read the Atkins account, I feel it's not of crucial value. The prosecutor states that she gave corroboration to “numerous other details” that hadn’t appeared in the press. Rudolf Weber, for example.
But in terms of what actually happened at Cielo, theirs are the only accounts we have. That's what I was getting at. They may be flawed but it's what we have.

Matt said...
“Atkins testimony is how the the state received warrants for the others to be arrested. And while Atkins eventually recanted her grand jury testimony, I think it was essential for the prosecutors to stick as close as possible to the building blocks of their case.’’

Granted. The recanting of the grand jury testimony is important though. It basically meant that nothing could be used against Kasabian. If the testimony that enabled the State to get their warrants against the 5 was taken away, only Watson and Krenwinkle had any actual evidence linking them to the scene.

Matt said...
“Enter Kasabian, who had a lot of motivation (immunity) to acquiesce to what Atkins testified to and what Bugliosi wanted to fit his timeline. Contrary to Bugliosi's angelic portrayal of Kasabian, I say she's not to be trusted.’’

Did immunity do any favours to Kasabian, though, at least initially ? If Atkins baulked on her immunity deal, there was no evidence Kasabian had any involvement on either night. Yes, there is hindsight here, but it strikes me she would have been better off saying nothing, if her safety was a factor. Other people interviewed {Altobelli, Wilson, Melcher, for instance} who couldn’t really place any of them in the murders were nonetheless scared shitless and didn’t want to testify. One could argue they had little to worry about. But they did. Immunity put Kasabian in danger.
We feel differently about Bugliosi’s portrayal of her. I don’t think it was angelic at all. He portrayed her pretty much as she was. She only ‘looks good’ in the prosecution narrative because she is deemed to have testified truthfully.
To put it another way, taking only what is written about her by Bugliosi, if those words referred to my Mum and her life, I wouldn’t be shouting too loudly about being her son !
I don’t believe she was a murderer. I also don’t believe she was trustworthy or ‘nice.’ I’m sure Charles Melton didn’t, either.

Matt said...
“So how do you put any faith in what these killers say?’’
By weighing up exactly what they have said and trying to evaluate the context in which the statements at various times were made in. And what has then been said subsequently. As a Christian, I really can understand where Watson and Atkins {and for that matter, Bruce and Catherine Share} were at after they were sentenced. But it is also because of this that I find some of their later statements truly problematic. Nothing though, that I’ve seen any of the actual killers say puts them in a good light regarding Cielo. Even Kasabian, while I don’t believe she killed and while I understand her reasons for not getting help {having seen Tex with that gun, I probably would’ve done likewise}, it does not show her in a good light.
That said, for me it’s not realistic to take the view that every single thing from any of them then or subsequently amounts to self seeking bullshit { I’m reminded of the old riddle which runs something like “If I told you that I never ever speak the truth, would you believe me ?”
}. And we are all in the same boat, trying to sift what was true from what wasn’t. As Michael points out, we’ll never know !
Fascinating though, colliding with and having as food for thought, all the different perspectives that people have.

MHN said...

In evaluating what the perpetrators have said or written since their convictions it's also worth remembering that they ALL have selfish reasons to hew rather closely to the prosecutor's version of events.

MHN said...

senor robot - the chase scenario might also explain the curious detail of one stab wound to the back of Tate's knee.

Robert Hendrickson said...

What is undisputable is the fact that those INSIDE the Tate house had the BEST chance of hearing the GUNSHOTS - unless room air conditioners were on.

Which begs the question: Was Tex too stupid to realize that - OR did HE just NOT care who heard the noise?

ALSO, rich or poor, in the hills, have GUNS - unless they are ignorant of the dangerous situation they are placed in. Gun fire, at night, in the hills and YOU think cops are stupid enough to go poking around - IF they have an excuse NOT to.

Time to SEE Roman Polaski's early movie "Cul de sak" Makes you wonder what HE was REALLY thinking when HE boxed HIS beloved WIFE and unborn child in that situation.

Mr. Humphrat said...

RH et al I read in one account that when the killers entered the Tate residence there was loud music on the stereo, but I've never seen that mentioned anywhere else and I guess they would have had to turn it down once they were gathering the residents in the living room. Loud music could explain not hearing gun fire.

Livin The Dream in Harmony said...

Hey! New to the page and I am thrilled with your conversation! I read some place that Parent hit the split rail fence while he was backing up to leave. (Fenced damaged with his paint and his car was messed up in the back) could that add a few min? Also another question. Is it true or am I imagining that Krenwinkel tried the guest house door, found it locked and left?

Livin The Dream in Harmony said...

Hey! New to the page and I am thrilled with your conversation! I read some place that Parent hit the split rail fence while he was backing up to leave. (Fenced damaged with his paint and his car was messed up in the back) could that add a few min? Also another question. Is it true or am I imagining that Krenwinkel tried the guest house door, found it locked and left?

Matt said...

Hi Livin. Welcome to the blog.

My understanding is that the contact with the fence came when the car rolled after he was killed. You might want to read the police reports and report back. I'd be interested in having my memory refreshed on that one.

PK's story is that she tried the door. Whether or not that actually happened is unclear.

Unknown said...

Hi Matt, I admire your work. My .02¢ Are we assumimg that Parent just unplugged the clock radio and left? I was under the impression that he stayed and finished the beer that Garretson gave him after he failed to sell the radio. So, no sale, unplugs the radio, finishes his beer...what maybe 10 min?? It has been years since I got into this. Finding your blog has turned the Sherlock in me back on. I regret not going there in the mid 80`s when I lived out there. Thanks for all the hard work that you guys do. It pre—occupies my insomnia. :0)

Unknown said...

My thoughts exactly. They had an 8:30 El Coyote reservation, spent 15 min at the bar, before eating. What time did they leave El Coyote? What, if anything, were the stomach, intestinal or bowel contents of the four? That alone could pretty much tighten the time line up.

Unknown said...

I just went over Gibby`s autopsy report. It states that here GI tract contained a recently large meal that still had beans and corn but fecal matter protruding from the transverse colon stab wounds. The El Coyote food was still present. If they ate between 8:30,—10, arrive at Cielo at 10:30, I can see a 12:30—1am death, not 4am. Just saying. Also, in the police report it states blood present on the floor inside the open garage...1st I heard that.

Unknown said...

CIelo: (re: Jackie Treehorn comment) April 30, 2015. That's pretty good man. Very clever. I think Im the only other person who thought of that, (10104 Angelo View Drive). I mean, who would've ever thought (or know) that the Lautner house was literally a stones throw away from the 10066 address?! Awesome work dude. Cheers. Ian in Canada.

Unknown said...

Another interesting thing I realized, was, that, both Bugliosi and Manson were both born in the latter half of 1934. August 18/34, and Manson, November 12/34. Hard to imagine that one man could become the LA District Attorney, and another man, of the same age, be a cult leader / social failure, both also hailing from the mid to mid-west. (ie; both 'immigrants' to Los Angeles). The things you find out eh?

Unknown said...

I know this post is years old but people do browse through I'm doing now, after not being here for years. Have missed it! Life takes it's course away from things.

Anyway, I want to add something regarding it taking 30 minutes to kill the victims. I don't see why it would take nearly that long. And something else: Watson and Atkins were on methamphetamine. Their movements would have been greatly speeded up and who knows how it would have interacted with adrenaline.

Kasabian checks the back of the house, Watson climbs in and opens the door...they wake up Frykowski, and Atkins checks for then gets the others. This would take probably the longest time, along with the rope business. The killings themselves would have been very fast, given that Krenwinkel mainly dealt with Abigail and Watson with Woytek..It obviously took a second to shoot Sebring...then Watson stabs Sharon. The frenzy of the knife wounds led the coroner to say immediately: 'this is an amphetamine killing". Watson himself said that his mind was running so fast that he'd think to do a thing and found it already done. And it was he who set the pace.

I think 15 minutes could have covered this.

As for the 4 am sounds I have a speculation. Manson claimed to have gone back 'with one of our circle'. This, it strikes me, would not have been somebody who wasn't in the Tate house. Obviously, if you were he, you'd need someone to show you the fastest way in, where the bodies were, show you what went down...and I think that would be Tex.

Manson could barely stand Sadie and if she was showing off loudly about it, he'd not be able to bear her company. Or she could have been, like Katie, in a state of shock (Patricia was very silent, said Susan, and "I almost passed out, I felt as if I had killed myself" which I always thought rang more true than Linda's descriptions of them acting like it was all a game, or Susan crying "Charlie, we did it! I took my life for you"...Linda, as we know, was blackening the others as much as possible and Charlie was enraged at Sadie for snitching. Withdrawing into shock is far more likely, remember neither girl had been told they would be on a killing spree..and Pat Krenwinkel was a girl noted for a sweet and loving nature. Susan said also she 'thought she made love to someone, maybe Clem" but wasn't sure...also argues a shock state).

This leaves Watson. It just seems more likely Manson would take the actual killer with him. Once Watson told him what had happened, imagine Manson's reaction. It must have sounded a mess. Was everybody even really dead? Could the killers be identified? "The guy you shot in the house [Sebring]...did you check he was dead? You only shot him once, right? He might still be alive...we'll have to go back. You and me..the girls have already passed out. And we'll see if we can't leave some misleading clues".

Manson said they left a pair of glasses at the scene..which were in fact found. And I once saw a post about the bloodstains on the porch where someone made a good argument that Sharon had maybe been dragged outside...and then back in again..maybe simply to muddy the waters and leave confusing forensics..again this argues two men...a dead body is heavy to move.

So, maybe, just maybe, they fired off some shots as well, and collected the shells. To confuse things. Because how can there be such discrepancies in the time..2 and a half hours?

Mess up the scene, drop clues, fire a couple of shots, take off to a car left a short distance away..perhaps could they have coasted downhill, even? It was super risky. But they must have parked and then gone up silently on foot...creepy-crawl style, checking for police..if none have arrived by 4 am then it would have seemed safe to spend some time messing the scene.

starviego said...

"Karlton called West Los Angeles (police?) desk at 0412 and reported this to an unknown officer who stated, "I hope we don't have a murder. We just had a woman-screaming call in that area." "

There would of course have been a record of this call to police by Karlton. And a record of a seperate woman-screaming call. So in other words there was an earwitness even as the murders were being committed. Why didn't the detectives make a beeline to this unknown caller soon after the investigation started?

Lindsey said...

Unknown I agree with your theory. I've read Manson and a partner went to the house around 3 am August 9th. Also, autopsy report states Sharon Tate had been hung besides the stab wounds and was still alive before hanging. How else would Manson have known how messy it was unless he saw it with his own eyes? When the LaBiancas were murdered Manson told Tex and the girls he was going to show them how it's done because the night before was too messy.

Unknown said...

Great write up, unknown

starviego said...

Unknown said...
"The frenzy of the knife wounds led the coroner to say immediately: 'this is an amphetamine killing"."

He did? Source?


Adding this to the mix:

May 2019 issue of Town & Country magazine:
Richard Correll (director):
I was a senior at USC and was helping Harold Lloyd preserve his films at his Beverly Hills estate. Harold knew I was dating his granddaughter Suzanne, but he didn’t know I often parked my car at the lower end of the property late at night and snuck back into the house so Sue and I could have several hours of fun together. As usual, it was about 3:30 in the morning when I left. Everything was so quiet at that hour. I was about to turn right onto Benedict Canyon when I heard and then saw a car driven by a man with long hair, what looked like another man in the passenger seat, and a couple of young women in the back. Their windows were down, music was blaring, and they were carry­ing on so loudly I thought they must be drunk college kids. They were no more than 10 feet in front of me.” .... It wasn’t until later that Saturday, when I heard about the murders, that I thought about that carload of kids again, but I figured murderers would quietly leave the scene of their crimes, not carry on like they were having a party. And besides, if I went to the police I would have to tell Harold I had been there with Sue, and I wasn’t about to do that. It wasn’t until months later, when Tex Watson was arrested, that I knew. There was no question he was the guy I saw driving the car.”

RobertABC said...

the report that a man was heard screaming...oh God no etc...was in english...some have stated Fry spoke Folger was fluent in...leading to believe this was actually Sebring. From the evidence it seems the murders took much longer than believed..and Tate and Sebring were outside on the veranda because of the amount of their blood found. Also, Folger Fry and Parent had the same blood and sub it cant be disproven Parent who had a criminal record wasnt in the house possibly trying to burglarize his M O ...losing his glasses...because his glasses were never located except in the house..

RobertABC said...

the report that a man was heard screaming...oh God no etc...was in english...some have stated Fry spoke Folger was fluent in...leading to believe this was actually Sebring. From the evidence it seems the murders took much longer than believed..and Tate and Sebring were outside on the veranda because of the amount of their blood found. Also, Folger Fry and Parent had the same blood and sub it cant be disproven Parent who had a criminal record wasnt in the house possibly trying to burglarize his M O ...losing his glasses...because his glasses were never located except in the house..

Matt said...

Vincent Bugliosi always stated that he did not believe that Manson returned to Cielo drive later that night. He felt as though the last place Manson would want to be was the sight of a mass murder, just in case the cops were already at the scene.
However some things just dont add up. There was a big pool of blood on the front Porch, the only victim who made it to the front porch was Frykowski and when the blood was tested it was determined it could only of come from Sharon Tate, who according to all the murders never left the house and was tied up for most of the time. So the question is, how does a big pool of Sharon's blood get on the front porch if she was never there during the murder?
I also read that one of the on scene investigators felt sure that the bodies had been moved after death, he stated that the bodies in the house looked staged and as an experienced investigator he would probably know the difference. So how could this of happened if it was not the case that someone returned to the house latter that night.
I read that Manson and an accomplice returned to see what the killers had done and tried to move Sharon to the front porch and hang her over the door but they could not keep the body suspended so they returned the body to the inside of the house and tied the rope round Sharon's neck, This would explain the big pool of Sharon's blood on the front porch. I think Tex Watson said that when they left the bodies the rope was not round Sharon's neck as she had removed it while he and the girls were murdering the other victims. So again how does Sharon have the rope round her neck if Tex says the rope was not round her neck when they left the murder scene.

grimtraveller said...

RobertABC said...

the report that a man was heard screaming...oh God no etc...was in english...some have stated Fry spoke french..

It is a simple matter of fact that Frykowski conversed with a whole load of English speakers. Did Sharon, Jay, Sharon's friends that came to lunch on the 8th, Mrs Chapman, the Canadian drug dealers etc all speak French ?

From the evidence it seems the murders took much longer than believed

Que Paso ? Or to put it another way, how so ?

it cant be disproven Parent who had a criminal record wasnt in the house possibly trying to burglarize his M O

So what's your point ?
Are you saying that Steve Parent was murdered while committing a burglary then dragged out and put in his car ?

losing his glasses...because his glasses were never located except in the house

How do you know this ?
This is false information and it does you no credit. If those glasses in the house belonged to Steve Parent, don't you think they would have discovered this back in 1969 ?

Jennifernorth said...

Hey all new here , This is just a ramble as im trying to get the facts together in my head but I have wondered if Portolas close proximity to Easton drive could mean the killers went to Jay's House for more drugs and or money , who knows maybe they were at Portola before Cielo or during ( I've toyed with this but I understand that doesn't make much sense in that obviously the victims wernt unattended or in the car at Portola ) its a working theory. I've read these boards for 10 years but have been way too scared that im not knowledgeable to post.For some reason I am fascinated by the timeliness at Cielo , yet as someone else stated no one doubts the Waverly ones ; though this is possibly due to a lack of witnesses which in itself is odd given the build up location , even though the neighbouring house was empty the others were not. Great forum , please go easy on me I know you all have vast knowledge I just do not feel we've had the full story or are likely to get it. The Manson family massacre film although a cinematic disaster has the drug burn down to a tea I think that is way closer to the truth and I think they were at the house alot longer than we think .