Monday, June 8, 2015

The Files: The Charles Watson Biography

Many of you will remember the website It was a fantastic library of Manson/TLB facts runned by a young man named Bret who lived in Iceland. He prematurely passed away in 2010 and with him went the website.

But now, due to the dilligence of an unnamed blog reader, the biographies that Bret had compiled on four of the killers (Bruce Davis, Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles Watson and Susan Atkins) have been recovered. If memory serves me correctly Bret was working on Leslie's bio when he met his untimely demise.

The bios are long, dense and full of great info. Given the length of each, we will present one per week beginning with Bruce Davis.

Rest in peace, Bret. You are sorely missed...


Charles Denton Watson Biography

Charles Denton Watson was born on December 2nd, 1945 in Dallas, Texas. (Sharon Tate was born in 1943, in Dallas, Texas.) He was raised in the small town of Copeville in rural Texas. At the time the population of Copeville was 150 people. Charles was the third child born to Denton and Elizabeth Watson. His sister, Jeanne Laurice Watson was the oldest, born in 1935 and then came his brother James Melvin Watson who was the middle child, born in 1941. Charles was the youngest.

Charles' parents were very religious and took him and his siblings to the Copeville Methodist Church every Sunday. Early on he would get straight A's and B's in school and was very much a model child. He always looked up to his older brother James who was the High School football hero. Charles wanted to follow in his footsteps and went out for football and basketball. Charles's sister Jeanne got married very young in the Copeville Methodist church and moved with her husband to Dallas.

In the Watson family, his mother Elizabeth was the boss. She was very dominating and Charles never went against her wishes and always did what she wanted, without question. Tex later said, "She expected to be good – the best." His mother selected his clothes, his collage major and later on even his girlfriends. She was very strict and always kept Charles and his brother in line.

Tex's father was a quiet, somewhat passive man who owned and operated a combination grocery store and gas station. Charles spent a lot of time with his father and he often worked at the store. His father taught him to fish, build models and fix automobiles. They often drank beer together but made sure his mother never found out.

As a boy Charles was a boy-scout and was very involved in Sunday school activities. He attended Farmersville High School. In eight grade he entered the track meet and took home many prices. Charles really shone in track and his mother started collecting clippings from the sport papers of the local papers.

As a teenager, Charles worked as a gas station attendant at his father's gas station, and part-time at the local onion-packing plant during the summers. He spent his spare time building models and hot rods. Things like sex were never discussed at the home, it was considered bad, not only by his mother but by the church. Like any young man, Charles was interested in the opposite sex and wanted to get away from his mother and experience life. He felt his mother was holding him down.

Charles Watson graduated with honours Farmersville High and in 1964 he moved to Denton, Texas to attend North Texas State University. It meant freedom, fraternities, beer-drinking and free-wheeling. He became more interested in partying and drinking than his school work. In his junior year he was introduced to Dexedrine which they used while drinking. They would drive to Dallas with fake ID's and go to bars. His grades slowly went downhill and he lost motivation.

At this time the important thing was being cool. He let his hair grow a little and adopted the Ivy League look and started buying new clothes, wide ties, button down shirts and camel hair blazer's. He lived with a room mate in a student resident hall near campus. He soon became bored with school and wanted to try something different.

Through a roommate, Charles got a job as a baggage boy for Braniff International Airlines. He would get free flights and would take girls with him to Hawaii for the weekend. It was around this period when he began smoking Marijuana and experimenting with other drugs. During his senior year in 1967, one of his fraternity brothers had moved to California and he decided to Take advantage of employee passes and go visit his friend in California. He had never been out of Texas before and was very impressed with Los Angeles. Charles came back to Texas only to tell his parents he was moving out west to attend another college. His parents were worried but went along with his plan.

Once in Los Angeles he got a job as a wig salesman and enrolled in a California state college. To keep a promise to his parents to finish college he began attending classes at Cal State in business administration. His cherished frat clothes were tossed away for the cooler hippie look and his preferred "high" switched from alcohol to marijuana. Watson enjoyed becoming part of the group who separated themselves from the establishment and they accepted him.

Though he made some sales, the wig job didn't pay very much. The pressure to earn a living and now pay rent required him to work too many hours to allow time to study and attend classes. After only a few months in school, Charles dropped out. It was at this time when Charles became heavily involved with LSD, amphetamines, marijuana, hashish and cocaine.

He moved to Silverlake, West Hollywood then to Laurel Canyon in a house behind the strip. His mother came to visit him just one time after he was hurt in a serious car accident. Unimpressed with his life style, she begged him to return to Texas and although a part of him wanted to return to his hometown, pride kept him from going. He would not see her again until after he was on the run for killing seven people. . He messed up his knee in a car accident in the Canyon, which kept him out of the Army.

After dropping out of school, he moved to Malibu and opened a wig shop with his roommate. The store was called Love Locks, and it turned out to be a disaster; closing after only a few months. To pay the rent, Watson began dealing pot full time to pay for their new Malibu beach home. His desires to earn money soon dissipated to wanting to get high, go to rock concerts and lay on the beach. He finally evolved into what he thought was a full-time hippie and he felt he had found his place in the world.

Watson's life changed forever after picking up a hitchhiker who was Dennis Wilson, a member of the rock-group the Beach Boys. After arriving at Wilson's Pacific Palisades' mansion, Wilson invited Watson up to see the house and meets the people hanging out there. He was introduced to various people, including Dean Moorehouse, an ex-Methodist minister and Charlie Manson. Wilson invited Watson to return to the mansion anytime to hang out and swim in the Olympic-sized pool.

The mansion was filled with dropouts who hung out doing drugs and listening to music. Watson eventually moved into the mansion where he mingled with rock musicians, actors, and children of stars, Hollywood producers, Charlie Manson and members of the Manson "Love Family." He was impressed with himself, the boy from Texas - rubbing elbows with the famous and he was drawn to Manson and his family, drawn to Manson's prophesizing and to the relationship his family members seemed to have with one another.

Watson began doing heavy hallucinogens regularly and became consumed by a new drug-induced perspective in which he believed love and deep bonds to others were formed. He described it as a "kind of connection even deeper and better than sex." His friendship with Dean had deepened as well as with many of Manson's "girls," both of whom encouraged Watson to rid himself from his ego, and join the Manson family.

Wilson began to pull away from the regulars who were living in his mansion after complaints of sexual child abuse circulated. His manager told Dean, Watson and others living there that they would have to move. Manson and the girls had cleaned out some of his belongings and Wilson paid for everything from dope to dental work. With nowhere to go, Dean and Watson turned to Charlie Manson. Acceptance wasn't immediate, but in time Watson's name changed from Charles to "Tex", he turned over all of his possessions to Charlie and moved in with the family.

For more in-dept information about Charles's life with Charlie and the girls and his participation in the Tate-LaBianca murders can be found in his autobiography. So much has been written about those events that I feel it unnecessary to repeat them here. I will focus more on exclusive information not available anywhere else

In November 1968 Tex left the Mason family and moved to Hollywood with his girlfriend, Luella. The two were financially comfortable drug peddlers and Tex changed his dirty hippie image for a more stylish Hollywood look. As the couple's relationship fell apart, Tex's desire to reunite with the Manson family grew. By March 1969, he was back at Spahn Ranch and back in the inner Manson circle. But the family focus had changed into something sinister - something the family called "Helter Skelter."

Charles Watson was the main killer on those two nights of murder, causing over 85 percent of the stab wounds and all gun shot wounds. Watson maintains to this day that it was him alone that stabbed pregnant Sharon Tate to death while Atkins stood by and watched. Watson has owned up to his share in the crime and been very honest about his brutal participation. Unlike some of the others who try to minimize and put blame on others.

Through the years there have been rumours that Sharon Tate was hung while she was still alive. Watson has been asked about this and his account has been consistent. A rope was placed around the necks of Sharon, Jay and Abigail and went over the rafters in the ceiling. Watson pulled the rope in an attempt to keep them from fleeing. As a result they had to stand on their toes to prevent themselves from being choked. I believe that's where the rope burns on Sharon's neck came from.

Not many people know that Watson participated in one additional murder, that of movie stunt man and ranch hand Donald "Shorty" O' Shae. Both Bruce Davis and Steven Grogan have consistently testified that Watson was the main participant in the murder.

Bruce Davis was in the back seat and Watson was in the front passenger seat holding a knife to Shorty, who was driving. When they stopped the car Watson stabbed Shorty in the car. At that time Charles Manson and Steven Grogan came driving in another car and Grogan hit Shorty in the head with a steel pipe. Then they dragged him down to a river bank and stabbed him to death.

Charles Watson was never charged, tried or convicted for participating in that murder. It was selective prosecution in that sense, like Grogan was never tried for the LaBianca murders although he was in the car with Susan Atkins. But Susan Atkins was charged with the LaBianca murders although she was just in the car with Steve Grogan. It is also common knowledge that Catherine Share and other female family members helped clean up the crime scene and dispose of Shorty's body.

Watson stayed with the Manson family until the first of October then decided to return to Texas. But the dramatic change from when he first left home in 1964 to who he was five years later made it difficult to stay. He decided to go to Mexico but felt the strong pull to go back to Charlie and his real family. He then flew to L.A. and made his way close to where the family was staying, but stopped short because of the realization that if he did return, Charlie would surely kill him

Watson returned to his family in Texas, only this time he cut his hair and began trying to blend into his unfamiliar family world. He reunited with an old girlfriend and his drug use became minimal. The future began to show an inch of promise with parts of his old life returning. All of that stopped on November 30, 1969, after he was arrested for the Tate and LaBianca murders and charged with seven counts of murder, charges his mother took years to accept and believe.

Some of the members of the Manson family had provided the D.A.'s office in Los Angeles with what they heard around the ranch the days following the murders, but it was Susan (Sadie) Atkins who couldn't resist bragging about the Manson family and the murders while in Sybil Brand Institute for Women in Los Angeles. Later she told the same story to the grand jury and described Watson's involvement in the murders. It was not long after that Tex was located in Texas and arrested.

After fighting for extradition back to California for nine months he was finally returned on September 11, 1970. By this time Manson, Sadie, Katie, and Leslie were in their third month of trial. The extradition process prevented Watson from being tried with the group. It also allowed Tex the opportunity to find out who was being blamed for what crimes so when it came time for his trial he knew what to admit to and what was already being blamed on the others.

Once in California, Watson began suffering from acute paranoia and regressed to a fetal state, stopped eating and reached 55 pounds before being sent to Atascadero State Hospital for a 90-day evaluation period to see if he was fit to stand trial. It was not until August 2, 1971, that Charles Tex Watson would finally go on trial for his brutal murders.

District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi had successfully prosecuted the others involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders and now began the trial of the last, and most culpable of all parties involved. Dressed in a suit and holding the Bible, Watson plead not guilty by reason of insanity yet was sane enough to admit on the stand only those crimes which he knew the prosecution was already aware. He failed to admit to killing Sharon Tate or being with Charlie when the LaBiancas were first taken captive and bound.

After two and a half hours of deliberation, Charles "Tex" Watson was found sane during the murders at the Tate and LaBianca homes. For his crimes he received the death penalty.

Tex spent from November 1971 until September 1972 on death row at San Quentin. After California outlawed the death penalty for a short time, he was moved to California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo. There he met Chaplain Raymond Hoekstra and became a born-again Christian. Charles Watson, five years after merciless murdering seven people, was teaching Bible studies which eventually led to his forming his own prison ministry - Abounding Love Ministries.

Watson met his former wife Kristin Joan Svege. An attractive half Norwegian woman from New Jersey. Watson met Kristin after carrying on a long affair with a beautiful young German woman who had pursued him since the beginning of his multiple murder trial. She was the most prominent of a phalanx of group­ies, who smiled, nodded, and fawned over him during the grim proceeding.

Soon the cameras of the news media were recording their exchanged smiles and waves. When the multiple killers' dark-haired admirer wrote to him at the Los Angeles County Jail where he was being held during the trial, he wrote back. That was the beginning of an ex­change of letters between the couple.

Although she returned to Germany for awhile after his conviction, they continued their correspondence. She mailed him photographs and clippings, and wrote of her plans to return to the United States so she could visit with him. Soon after she obtained a new American visa she began visiting him at San Quentin.

The visits didn't end until a couple of years after Wat­son was transferred to the California Men's Colony. The German woman had rented an apartment in Los Angeles, and hitchhiked the roughly four-hundred-mile round-trip between the city and the prison for weekend visits. But she didn't share Watson's growing interest in born-again Christianity, and eventually returned to Germany.

In Will You Die For Me?, a book Watson wrote with Ray Hoekstra, a prison ministry chaplain, the convicted killer said his German admirer had obtained a lifetime American visa and was talking about marrying him be­fore the falling-out. Then Kristin read Watson's book, which was filled with accounts of his return to Christianity and his new­found spirituality. She was living in the southwest when she wrote to him at the prison. He invited her to visit, put her on his visitors' list, and she hurried to San Luis Obispo for her first meeting with the man she was to eventually marry.

When Kristin struck out for California to meet Wat­son, she left a boyfriend behind. He followed her to San Luis Obispo and in an emotional confrontation in front of the house where she was renting an apartment made a desperate last-minute plea to salvage their old romance. She turned him down. Seven years after he was moved off Death Row, he married Kristin. The bride wore an ankle-length gown in traditional white, with matching white shoes, and car­ried a bouquet and a Bible for the ceremony.

The happy couple honeymooned in a trailer after their marriage in the prison chapel on September 7, 1979. A clergyman from the Assemblies of God, the Rev. John S. Milton, performed the ceremony. Watson was a few weeks shy of his thirty-fourth birth­day when he was married. He listed his occupation on his marriage registration certificate as minister and his place of business as the prison chapel.

Kristin was twenty and listed her latest job as employ­ment at a home for the handicapped in San Luis Obispo. Spokesmen at the home told reporters, however, that she was no longer employed there and had held the job only a short time.

They set up a mail-order prison outreach they call Abounding Love Ministries. Established as a nonprofit corporation, the ministry has the appropriate acronym, ALMS.

According to Bill Nelson; with the assistance of loyal friends, the industrious couple has turned the program into a thriving enterprise that has enabled them to collect thousands of dollars. ALMS has operated with a mailing list of five hundred names, and accepts donations for tapes of Watson's ser­mons, and religious songs sung by Kristin.

Kristin also helps to keep interest in the family and the ministry high by appearing at area churches and on ra­dio shows to talk about her husband's life behind bars and to give Christian testimony. The couple also pub­lished an occasional report on their communal activities, which they labeled The Watson Family Newsletter.

Referring to themselves and the children as "bears" and "cubs;' the authors fill the newsletter with chatty tid­bits about such things as family visits with "Papa Bear," in one of the prison trailers. In one newsletter, a typical visit was described as in­cluding family time spent with "Daddy Bear" who busied himself cooking, washing dishes, cleaning crumbs and fussing over "Mrs. Bear" and the "Cubs." Time was also made however for talks, Bible studies and prayer, read­ers were assured.

Some of the items mention "Hiromi Bear." A young woman of Japanese descent, Hiromi Higashi moved into Kristin's home in San Luis Obispo in 1989, and quickly began helping with everything from child care and errands to stamping mailings for the newsletter and for ALMS. By the early 1990s she was listed on ALMS mailings as "secretary." Tex was president, and his wife vice president-treasurer.

A couple of years before her death early in 1992, Sharon Tate's grieving mother, Doris Tate, talked about the revulsion she felt at the knowledge that Watson was permitted to father children. "He took my daughter and her unborn son, and now he has three babies of his own," she complained. "It's not fair to anyone. The kids don't have a full-time father and the father they have is a killer."

Before her death, Mrs. Tate faithfully attended each of Watson's parole hearings, to voice her opposition to his release. At a hearing in 1987 she criticized his use of ALMS to peddle tapes of his sermons and his book. "Not only was my daughter murdered by you, Mr. Watson, but I have to live with the fact that you make money out of the tortures you have inflicted on her," Mrs. Tate told him. That appeal for parole, like earlier ap­peals, was turned down.

Although Kristin and members of Watson's family and friends, where he grew up in the small north Texas town of Copeville, are his most loyal supporters, he has also attracted a sympathetic following through his mail-order ministry. Some of his correspondents and donors write to the California Parole Board pleading for his re­lease so that he can talk to young people about the evils of drugs.

Watson's reputed potential as an evangelist and fighter against drug abuse are subjects frequently re­ferred to in the newsletter and in ALMS mailings. In a letter to the board from Kristin, she wrote: "I feel the state of California and this nation needs to hear from Charles on the issue of drugs. What better example of the fruit of drug abuse do we have?"

Watson reportedly hopes to eventually return to Texas and become a television evangelist.

Despite his generally good behavior in prison, how­ever, the savagery and grisly nature of his crimes have worked against him. Soon after his transfer to the Men's Colony he began working as a chaplain's assistant, help­ing at the chapel, teaching Bible classes and delivering sermons.

But he and Bruce MacGregor Davis lost their jobs at the chapel a few years ago after newspaper reports that other inmates complained the former Manson Family pals were misusing their position and intimidating other convicts. Watson was reassigned to a job cleaning cells.

And late in 1991 Watson and his wife both wound up with explaining to do, when authorities obtained search warrants and seized financial records for the couple's business from his cell at the prison and from her house in Laguna Lakes. Bill Nelson had tipped authorities off that he believed Kristin was violating Medi-Cal regulations, and provided documents showing she had given conflict­ing answers to different agencies about her personal in­come and income from the nonprofit ministry.

State investigators told reporters that they believed Kristin had failed to report income from the nonprofit business she and her husband ran, according to Medi­cal regulations. Investigators said in court documents that she was an officer of the corporation and received an annual salary of twelve thousand dollars. But that income was not reported on a Medi-Cal status report or on a Medi-Cal renewal questionnaire, as required, investi­gators stated in court documents. A little more than four thousand dollars in benefits was at issue.

Sales of Christian tapes and other merchandise through the ministry reportedly generated between five hundred dollars and two thousand dollars per month. Nothing substantial came of the investigation although it received a lot of publicity in the media and charges were eventually dropped.

In 1988, Charles received a letter from a woman who had become born-again also. She was working with prisoners and wanted to come and visit.  The woman did reveal her true identity at first but wanted to get to know him. They corresponded for several months and became close friends. At her second visit to the prison she decided to tell Charles that she was the daughter of Rosemary LaBianca. Watson was stunned and couldn't believe it at first. After they both became emotional and cried, they were able to talk things through. Her name was Susan LaBerge. LaBerge was a name she took from her real father. She was Rosemary's daughter from a prior marriage.

Suzan started working with Kristin and wrote articles for their Christian newsletter. The women became best friends and their children would play together, and together they would all go and visit Charles at the prison regularly. This friendship enraged Doris Tate. A few months earlier, Watson had sent Doris a letter asking her forgiveness. Doris was outraged, especially when Suzan appeared at Watson's May 4, 1990 parole hearing to lobby for his release. Doris walked out of the board room when Suzan began to testify on Watson's behalf. After the hearing, Doris confronted her on the prison parking lot where they exchanged harsh words and Doris called her a "stupid b****."

In 1990, the Board of Prison Terms wanted Watson to be transferred to another institution. They thought he had become too attached to Men's Colony and didn't even consider himself a prisoner anymore. He had complete use of the warden's office, a business in town and had many special privileges. The Board wasn't happy about the situation and recommended that he be transferred.

Manson author and researcher, Bill Nelson also worked very hard to expose Watson's ministry and to have him removed from the Men's Colony. For years he hounded Watson and his wife. He stalked his family and photographed them. He video taped them and sold the footage to various television stations. He worked hard with the media and constantly fed them information about the ministry tax fraud. In 1991, Drew Griffin who was working for KCBS at the time, received an Emmy award for his story on Watson

In April of 1993 Charles Watson was transferred to Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California. The transition was very difficult for Watson because of the visibility of his case and he ran into some troubles at first with other inmates and was attacked several times but he eventually settled in. Kristin and the children had been living in the beautiful town of San Luis Obispo but had to move to Ione to be closer to Charles. However, soon after they moved, California voters put a stop to conjugal visits for life term prisoners. Now Kristin and the children were only able to see Charles during regular, no-contact visits.

At Mule Creek Prison, Charles has been working in the prison chapel, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and baptizing other inmates. His institutional assignment for a while was repairing vocational office machines, a tier tender and he works as a prison janitor, sweeping floors, picking up trash and cleaning windows. Counselors say he's able to maintain a positive outlook and maintain a good attitude and demeanor. He has taken many classes in vocational training and done well in various institutional programs. Although the parole board has often encouraged him to participate in AA and NA he has not done so, claiming "it had a low priority" for him. He spends most of his time following energetic religious pursuits. However, in recent years he has started attending Christian Twelve Step group, a Christian oriented sobriety self-help group which uses similar principles as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Until the mid-to-late 80's, Watson shunned all psychiatric intervention in the belief that Christianity and psychotherapy were diametrically incompatible. His mandatory psychiatric reports from the early 80's were not good. In 1982 he was described as "a walking time bomb." and in the 90's psychiatrist said he still had a lot of repressed hostility and his violence potential was unpredictable.

His psychiatric diagnosis in 1990 was "Axis one; polydrug abuse by history. Axis two; mixed personality disorder with narcissistic, histrionic and borderline features." and in 1995 his axis two diagnosis was "personality disorder with passive-dependent, passive-aggressive, and antisocial features."

Psychiatrists and counselors have described him as having a defensive posture at all times and described similar to PC or what they call protective custody mentality. Watson is very well aware of his unpopularity inside and outside of prison.

Watson claims he wants to become a television evangelic minister on regional TV in Texas once released from prison.

Watson appeared before the parole board on May 10, 1995. There he faced Patti Tate for the first time. She took over her mother's campaign to keep Watson and the other killers in prison after Doris died from a brain tumor in 1992. Since 1984, Sharon's parents, Doris and Paul Tate had attended his hearings to oppose his release.

Patti accompanied Steven Kay to Ione and delivered an hour long tearful statement to the board. For the first time since 1981, there were no television cameras inside the room. Bill Nelson however, worked very hard to get the LA based media to participate and tape the proceedings but with no luck. Watson was denied parole and received a harsh five year denial. He had never been denied for so many years before but it has since then become his standard denial.

In 1996, Charles and Kristin Watson designed a website for their Abounding Love Ministries. Both would write articles and communicated with their supporters. Kristin would do all the input and maintain the site until they divorced. Today, a woman in Texas manages his site. Charles writes monthly columns about his experiences with the Lord. Charles talks very openly about the crimes on his website and with people who ask him questions. Different from the three women who are very careful about what they say and who they communicate with.

At Mule Creek State Prison, Watson's classification score is zero and has been that way since 1987. His current custody level is medium A. His only serious CDC 115 prison violation was in 1973 when authorities found some food and incense that he hadn't signed for and was considered contraband. He did however receive a counseling chrono, CDC 128-B after he arrived at Mule Creek for playing the radio too loud. That is the extent of his prison violations.

Watson was scheduled to appear before the parole board in March of 2000. But in December of 1999, Watson stipulated and requested that he be found unsuitable for parole and declined to appear. His hearing was moved to October 10th of 2001. By that time, the September 11 terrorist attacks were fresh on everybody's mind which is reflected in the record of his 2001 parole hearing.

At that hearing, he was denied parole for 4 years. In a report dated July 10, 2001, his prison counselor states that Watson poses an unpredictable degree of threat to the public. The psychiatrist who examined him wrote a somewhat favorable report. In the report he stated Watson blamed the Devil for his criminal behavior. Debra Tate accompanied Steven Kay to the hearing and read a very long letter that detailed Watson's sadistic participation in the murders. After she read the letter she told him, "My job here is not to forgive; my job is to make sure that you stay here until you take your last breath." Steven Parent's sister, Janet sent a letter to the board which was read into the record. She didn't feel safe to fly after the terrorist attacks that had happened the previous month.

In 2001, Kristin Watson left Charles for another man. Kristin had always hoped Watson would eventually be released from prison but as the years went by and politicians got tougher on crime and punishment she saw that it was a lost cause and he might never get out. She fell in love with another man through her church and decided her marriage to Charles was over and she filed for divorce. They remain good friends.*

Today, Charles remains at Mule Creek State Prison. He is very close to his children whom he has a great relationship with. He claims he is content in his life in Christ and holds no hope of ever being released from prison. His children however encourage him to attend his parole hearings because they want their dad to come home. His older son Josh is in the marines and recently married a fellow marine. His other son Ben (21) lives in Santa Barbara where he attends a Christian college and is in the army reserves. His parents both past away some time ago but Charles is in good contact with his siblings.*

Charles works daily from 06.AM - 01.PM as a janitor where he sweeps, mops and cleans the showers at his unit. Mule Creek is not a high security prison, although it is a prison and very secure. He is allowed to walk around the prison grounds within certain units.*

Charles was denied parole for the 13th time on November 27th, 2006. He did not attend his hearing and didn't send anyone to represent him. The hearing lasted about one and a half hours and the two Board members voted unanimously to deny parole for five years. Patrick Sequeira represented the DA's office and Debra Tate spoke out on behalf of the victims. Jay Sebring's nephew and sister were scheduled to appear but were stuck at the airport due to plane problems.Charles Watson will be able to apply for parole again in 2011.



Charles Watson - Will You Die For Me
Clifford L. Linedecker - Prison Groupies
Bill Nelson -Tex Watson: The Man, The Madness, The Manipulation
Dominic Bosco – Alone With The Devil
Charles Watson 1990 Parole Hearing Transcript
Charles Watson 1995 Parole Hearing Transcript
Charles Watson 2001 Parole Hearing Transcript
* Charles Watson – personal correspondence in 2005.


Sun King said...

I guess the advise one always hears, "Don't pick up hitch hikers" would have possibly put Tex on another path?

Great bio, filled with details. Where did this guy find all this info?

MHN said...

Fascinating stuff. What strikes me is the picture of a man who quite naturally adopts the clothing or attitudes of whatever milieu or group he finds himself in. A chameleon. An empty shell, a surface. As Patrick Bateman ('American Psycho') says, despite his skin-deep resemblance to a human being, beneath the surface "I am simply not there".

I loved this:

"The psychiatrist who examined him wrote a somewhat favorable report. In the report he stated Watson blamed the Devil for his criminal behavior."

Anonymous said...


In his self-serving autobiography, Watson asks whether Charlie could be possessed by the Devil. Pot.Kettle.Black.

I hope the Devil gets paid his overtime rate because he seems to have spent a lot of time personally involved in these crimes.

I nearly choked reading the following quote: "... Watson has owned up to his share in the crime and been very honest about his brutal participation. Unlike some of the others who try to minimize and put blame on others."

No, he has not. Throughout the above mentioned book, he puts the blame on Charlie by insinuation.

Try as I might, I haven't found an official documented reason why Watson wasn't charged in the Shea murder. Or indeed why the others involved in the cleaning up were not charged with accessory after the fact, particularly when they admitted to their involvement.

AustinAnn74 said...

"Referring to themselves and the children as "bears" and "cubs;' the authors fill the newsletter with chatty tid­bits about such things as family visits with "Papa Bear," in one of the prison trailers. In one newsletter, a typical visit was described as in­cluding family time spent with "Daddy Bear" who busied himself cooking, washing dishes, cleaning crumbs and fussing over "Mrs. Bear" and the "Cubs." Time was also made however for talks, Bible studies and prayer, read­ers were assured."-

They forgot to mention in their newsletter that during family visits "Papa Bear" would breed like a rabid dog with "Mama Bear!" -This is truly, one of the most revolting things I have ever read in my life. Watson being allowed the pleasures of life while eight of his victims, including a baby, lie in a graveyard, never being able to experience earthly pleasures again. Excuse me while I go throw up.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Ah, to THINK or NOT to think - that is the question that has plagued man from the days when a cave was considered home.

Imagine a world where simple folks like Hitler, LBJ or Manson are mentally UNable to THINK. BOOOOOORING !

AND what IF "I" couldn't THINK: "What is a rich, good-looking music-star going around picking-up dirty, smelly hitchhikers for ? In Hollywood a guy picking up anoher guy off the street meant ONLY one thing.

There are FACTS and there are CONCLUSIONS. When mixing the two - the result is nothing but TRUTH based upon confusion and distortion of reality.

Oh, maybe that's why GOD created LSD ? To get US back to NOW.

bucpaul2812 said...

These biographies all shared the commonality, in my opinion, of introducing some information I truly wasn't aware existed. I would love to have read what Bret might have disclosed about Leslie.

Jean Harlow said...

"Try as I might, I haven't found an official documented reason why Watson wasn't charged in the Shea murder. Or indeed why the others involved in the cleaning up were not charged with accessory after the fact, particularly when they admitted to their involvement."


I don't know for sure and perhaps there is a memo somewhere on file, I would imagine they didn't charge Tex with Shorty's murder simply because at the time of the Hinman/Shea trial (1971) no one in the Family was talking about Shorty's murder so the DA's office had no idea who was actually involved (Clem started talking to the authorities around 1977). The DA had Bruce Davis's finger prints on a metal box found in Shorty's car trunk with blood on it. The DA hadn't charged Clem in the LaBianca murders so maybe they thought they would get him with Shea's murder - again just a guess on my part. As for being Gypsy being charged, what could they charge with really? Accessory after the fact - again remember at the time of these trials, the DA's office had very little to work with - they didn't even know 100% that Shorty Shea was in fact dead.

However Tex had been convicted of 7 murders and was already on death row - there wasn't any physical proof that Tex was involved in Shea's murder at the time and in reality he wasn't going anywhere. I imagine that if somehow Tex were to get parole, he would immediately be charged in Shorty's murder as they now have a body and they probably could get both Steve Grogan and Bruce Davis to testify against him.

Anonymous said...

Jean Harlow,

Thanks for your perspective on this, it does explain much to me. I fully understand what you are getting at by Tex having already been convicted of seven murders etc. I wonder if Tex hadn't been caught, how many more people would have been killed by him. There is still the question mark over who murdered the elderly man in Olancha. It has Tex's calling card all over it.

Anonymous said...

"... In Hollywood a guy picking up anoher guy off the street meant ONLY one thing."

Mr H,

You're right on the money with that one:)

Anonymous said...


As ever, you say it exactly how it is without any padding!!! Like you, I found the "papa bear" etc to be profoundly repugnant. This man is totally unaware of the irony that he butchered an eight and a half month pregnant woman, and yet he was allowed to subsequently have four children himself. It beggars belief.

When it comes to Tex Watson, I have to express my admiration and respect for the late Doris Tate. She fought Tex all the way on behalf of her stunningly beautiful daughter and unborn grandson.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Ask yourselves again. What could be on the Watson tapes (to his Attorney) that the AUTHORITIES will NEVER let the PUBLIC hear ?

The COPS sure went to alot of trouble to make sure THEY got them - at the taxpayer's.expense.

How about the TRUTH that "Helter Skelter" was really the Prosecution's RACE war - trumped-up by racist COPS.

BUT Mr. H, everyone knows Mr. Policeman LOVES Black folks.

Anonymous said...

Mr H,

Do you think it's possible that if the tapes contain details of other murders committed by the Family (Obviously Tex wouldn't include anything which incriminates himself) that it could include someone who has been released on parole i.e. walking around free? Just a thought.

Matt said...

equinox that's a longshot but an interesting one. If that's the case it would explain why they won't release them.

grimtraveller said...

Jean Harlow said...

"I would imagine they didn't charge Tex with Shorty's murder simply because at the time of the Hinman/Shea trial (1971) no one in the Family was talking about Shorty's murder so the DA's office had no idea who was actually involved"

Possibly. But right from October 1969 Kitty Lutesinger told the Sheriff's office that "Possibly Tex" was involved. If the DA's office by 1971 had no idea who was actually involved, then how did they manage to convict Manson, Grogan & Davis ?

"again remember at the time of these trials, the DA's office had very little to work with - they didn't even know 100% that Shorty Shea was in fact dead"

Yet, they went through the whole event of getting a case to court and got three convictions out of it.

"However Tex had been convicted of 7 murders and was already on death row - there wasn't any physical proof that Tex was involved in Shea's murder at the time"

All of that applies equally to Charles Manson. There was no physical proof he was involved in Shea's murder and he was on death row, having been found guilty of 7 murders. But he was tried & convicted.
Barbara Hoyt's statement of hearing screams at night and never seeing Shorty again thereafter doesn't place anyone at a murder scene, nor does the "suicide with a little help from us {Charlie Beatle reference !}" statement.
I've mentioned it in a couple of threads recently, but from a specifically Christian point of view, I have real problems with Watson's part in the murder of Shorty. Both he and Bruce Davis are brothers in Christ and it's primarily Bruce Davis that places him not only at the scene, but actively involved and possibly the main stabber, certainly the initial stabber.
I just do not understand why he wasn't charged & tried, unless the info didn't come out until a lot later when the convictions had happened and Davis & Grogan opened up in parole hearings. I guess maybe that rule of not being sunk by the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice may have come into play.
It's just one of too many mysteries attached to the whole shebang.....

Jean Harlow said...

Grim traveller I just wrote a huge reply and somehow deleted it off my phone. Augh! I will reply tomorrow. Great comments by the way.

AustinAnn74 said...

I wrote a long reply from my phone too and it got deleted. That's weird!

MHN said...

A very detailed bio of Manson's chief psycho, and only 16 comments. Come on folks!

Matt said...

Blame the Bug, Michael...

mrgroove said...

I agree with Matt. VB's death took the wind out of the sails on commenting on Tex right now.

Anonymous said...

He needs to do an updated version of "Will You Die For Me?" with an additional chapter titled "OMG! I Totally Forgot That I Killed Shorty Shea!".

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

@Matt&mrgroove - I guess so. But you know what? - I'd guess that even had he not died, a post on Bugliosi would still generate more heat than a post on any of the killers. What does that tell us?

ziggyosterberg - that's a beautiful title :) And whereas most of us use 'OMG' in an abstract sense, we know that when Tex uses it he is actually talking to his close confidant and personal buddy.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Michael. I'm enjoying your posts on the blog. I think "Will You Die For Me" would've been more aptly titled "Charlie Made Me Do It", since that's what he asserted throughout that self-serving excuse for a book. Also, it's a little odd that a man born again in Christ (or whatever he calls it), in the process of confessing his sins, would omit to mention a murder, which by all accounts, he committed, that being Shorty Shea. It makes me wonder about all the other things that he left out, both small and large. Good thing he's not Catholic, because he would have to bring a lawyer with him when he goes in for confession. I can only imagine the legal fees that he would incur.

There's a tendency to ignore Tex when it comes to discussion of the Manson Family and the murders. I think it might be because Tex is such a non-entity, personality wise. He's a psycho and a creepy one at that, but he's also an utterly vacant, emotionless drone. Even his eyes have a "Vacancy" look to them. He looks like he's dead inside. All of those things, of course, make him more sinister in reality. If you focus on Tex, Charlie becomes less of a powerful, mind controlling cult leader, and more of a guy who's spending the rest of his life in prison because of the actions of a murderous psychopath named Charles "Tex" Watson.

BTW, I personally think Tex gets his jollies by taunting the families of the victims with all of this "Born Again" "Abounding Love" horseshit.

Matt said...

Ziggy I agree and I've touched on that look in his eyes before. He seems devoid of a soul. I find it unsettling...

grimtraveller said...

Matt said...

"Blame the Bug, Michael..."

Now that VB has shed this mortal coil, I guess CW remains unchallenged as the most hated being in the TLB blogsosphere.
However, I have a certain amount of sympathy for almost every one of the players in this saga, on all sides of the fence. As a Christian myself, Watson's words and concepts to me are not bullshit to dismiss, I can understand much of where he's coming from which is why I take the discrepancies from him, Susan Atkins & Bruce with more seriousness than I might otherwise, because in claiming to be guided by the Spirit of Christ, there is just so much more at stake.
Overall, there were few winners in this case. Charles Watson certainly wasn't one of them.

mrgroove said...

You're right. I think it's fair to say that aside from his family and Rosemary Labianca's daughter, Tex Watson gets little support from anyone else and it's pretty easy to see why.

Watson's bio reads like a suit waiting to be filled by whatever group or individual would do it for him. Or whatever was convenient. There are loads of people like this that walk the earth on a daily basis without doing much harm but Watson, like concentration camp guards, put on a sadistic, and rampaging executioner's suit, got caught and put away, then put back on his old Sunday school suit and expects everyone to applaud when he says Jesus forgives him. I don't take place any more value in believers like Watson (or Atkins, Davis's) words than the non-believers, Krenwinkel, Van Houten, Beausoleil's. It's still almost impossible to distinguish the truth from the self-serving bs.

CrisPOA said...

Matt said...

"Blame the Bug, Michael..."

Isn't it ironic?
Watson seems a lucky guy regarding not being on the public eye for the TLB murders.
Even in TLB blogland, there's always something that ofuscates the public opinion about him.
Even Mr. Bugliosi death.

After all, i am still trying to understand how an "ordinary" guy with no high school bulling past, good looks, some education, etc. still ends up a horrible murderer? Some people (often lefties) try to blame these cases on our society but in Watson's case it seems not. Is it that the evil in the human being really exists as it says in the Bible?
Or was it the drugs? Hmmmm

grimtraveller said...

mrgroove said...

"and expects everyone to applaud when he says Jesus forgives him"

I don't think he does. In fact he says as much. He'd be pretty daft if he expected plaudits. Most people aren't really interested in following Jesus and because of centuries of hypocrisy within the lives of so many of us that claim to follow Christ {and it will be a challenge to anyone at some -many- points}, let's be honest,hardly anyone, whether in the public eye or out of it and among friends and family gets applauded for saying 'I'm forgiven by God'.....from my own personal experience and 30 years of observation, it's the opposite ! If anything, it brings a certain weight of resentment at one extreme and a "so what ?" or "moving swiftly on......" at the other.

"I don't place any more value in believers like Watson (or Atkins, Davis's) words than the non-believers, Krenwinkel, Van Houten, Beausoleil's. It's still almost impossible to distinguish the truth from the self-serving bs"

Whereas, I do. If someone openly claims to follow a code in which lying is supposed to be out then where doubt exists and that doubt seems to indicate lies then I've got problems with what that person comes out with.
By the way, not all self serving stuff is bad, wrong or bullshit. I suspect that most of what we say regarding ourselves is pretty self serving.

CrisPOA said...

"After all, i am still trying to understand how an "ordinary" guy with no high school bullying past, good looks, some education, etc. still ends up a horrible murderer? Some people (often lefties) try to blame these cases on our society but in Watson's case it seems not. Is it that the evil in the human being really exists ?"

Without going into a long one, I'd say that there is evil or darkness in every one of us and it comes out in different degrees at various points in a multitude of ways, often subtle, and if that's true, society doesn't stand a chance. That's why there is no perfect society.
Also, regardless of how a person is brought up, there are no guarantees as to how they turn out. The decisions that each of us make in going down certain paths shouldn't be overlooked and neither should the influences that come our way that may lead us there; both are very strong and either can be the stronger.
In Charles Watson's case, which was it ? I think he was strongly influenced {by the times, the drugs and Charlie} but when it comes down to it, I think that he could have said 'no !' at any given point. After all, he did eventually. He reckons it was his lying to Charlie about the FBI looking for him that put a stop to the murders. But as with Susan & Bobby, it's virtually impossible to be always clear with him as to what is and what isn't.

Anonymous said...

What about this supposed hold that Charlie had over Tex? By all accounts, Tex was back and forth, in and out of the Manson family, usually returning only when his independent drug ventures failed. Tex came and went as he pleased. Tex had friends that he lived with and a girlfriend outside the family that he also lived with for a time, who he later charmingly set up to be held captive by Bernard Crowe and associates after a drug burn.

If there was one thing that was consistent with Tex (other than drug dealing and drug burns) during his association with the Manson family from the fall of 68 to the fall of 69, it was him leaving. For him to make himself to be some sort of dupe, sitting around the ranch, waiting for Charlie to lecture on Helter Skelter is completely ingenuine. He was not unlike Bill Vance or other cynical criminal associates of Charlie's, who were just there for the easy pussy and a place to crash while waiting for the next score. But Tex would have you believe that he was hypnotized by Charlie, buying into some half-baked Beatles influenced "Helter Skelter" race war nonsense.

Tex continually showed that he had an entrepreneurial criminal mindset. He had no problems coming up with schemes and was willing to take any risk to make $. A nice little anectdote in his book is how after meeting and immediately having sex with Linda Kasabian, he tells her that she should steal some money from the man that she had previously lived with, money which he had just inherited (sound familiar?), and the next day she went there and came back with "5,000 she'd ripped off according to my instructions." . Thanks, Tex. I always wondered who they got the "rip off the guy for his inheritance" idea from......

In his book, there's so much that he glosses over and doesn't elaborate on. Terry Melcher, for example. He writes about the first time that he went up to Cielo Drive to pick up Dean Morehouse, to drive him up to Ukiah in Terry Melcher's Jaguar, although he hasn't met Terry Melcher yet. Ok. Then Terry Melcher and Gregg Jakobson come out to the ranch for a dope smoking campfire sing along. Then Charlie tells Tex to go to Cielo Drive to ask Terry Melcher to bail out Gregg Jakobson after Gregg gets busted. While waiting in the kitchen, Tex notes how out of place he feels there. Melcher's "glamorous star" girlfriend (I assume Candice Bergen, though Tex doesn't name her), demands to know what Tex is doing there. Tex mentions Gregg and gets the feeling that the "glamorous star" doesn't think that he belongs there. Terry tells him that he can't help and has his driver take Tex to the bottom of the hill so he can thumb a ride home. All while Tex ruminates on the "plastic, pretty people like Terry" who won't give him the time of day or help a friend in need. Then, for some unknown reason, he thinks it's cool to take a stewardess and her friend up to Cielo Drive to meet Terry, in an attempt to impress them.

So what was the deal here Tex? Did you and Terry have a "Drop in any time you feel like it" type of relationship? Or was it more of a "Don't let the door hit ya in the ass when I send your sorry ass down the hill to hitchhike back to the ranch" type of relationship? One thing we know is, Tex wouldn't have been dealing drugs to Melcher, because he would have readily admitted it, seeing as he's been so forthright and honest about everything else (sarcasm).

Marc said...

55 lbs. at 6 foot 2 sounds pretty impossible. Manson also coveted Tex and not the other way around.

CrisPOA said...

55 lbs. is the weight he lost since his capture.
Is it only me or anybody else have the impression the author seems to sympathize with Tex?

These things are difficult to understand. Maybe Tex had this dark criminal side that eventually got over him, transforming his "petty crimes" in a murder spree.

fiona1933 said...

I really hate how tex's little movie is called "Forgiven" The Labianca girl may have forgiven him but who else has?
Oh yeah...Jesus. I think it is so contemptible the way some of these criminals put their whole crimes onto Jesus. Shift the burden and ah! you are free! that's what Atkins said: her conversion was a big weight lifted.
But that's disgraceful. Its outrageous to just get out from under the remorse like that! What a cop-out! Look how Leslie has suffered: she goes through anorexic periods, obviously starving herself because she feels inside she doesnt deserve to live. She's trying to make amends with her life, and do good things, but her mind keeps trying to kill her. Pat ...her remorse is awful to see. She broke down in a parole hearing once and even Patti Tate knew it was real..she honestly said she knew it but didnt want to accept it because she didnt want to reach for forgiveness and Pat's remorse is so genuine, how could you help it?

But the Christians just walk away. That's because they never had any remorse in the first place..Susan even said so..she only felt bad about getting in the Family's bad books...she wanted someone to play with her!
And as for Tex....yeah, he's really eaten up with it. Look at his big happy smile. Its beyond outrageous.

Roger said...

Although I enjoyed reading it very much, this one didn't seem as long or as detailed as the others. I still enjoyed it very much.

Unknown said...

Tex Watson picked up Dennis Wilson who was hitchhiking, not the other way around.

Matt said...

No, Cathy. Wilson picked Watson up hitchhiking. There were instances that Wilson talked about where he was hitchhiking and I think you are confusing them.

grimtraveller said...

According to Tex in his first book "hitchhikers were pretty common on Sunset, and I pulled over to pick one up. When he told me his name was Dennis Wilson it didn't mean anything to me, but when he said he was one of the Beach Boys I was impressed. I remembered all those surfing songs banging out of my brother's room back in Copeville and grinned to myself, wondering what he would think if he could see me now-with Dennis Wilson taking a ride in my truck and explaining how he'd wrecked his Ferrari and his Rolls Royce so was having to use his thumb.
When we got to his house in Pacific Palisades he invited me in."

And Justice for All said...

What a pity this remorseless and cowardly individual wasnt executed.A consummate liar manipulator and charlatan.An absolute oxygen thief.Die in prison Watson

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Why would Dennis Wilson be hitchhiking? That one never makes any sense to me. Were times really that different then that rich people hitchhiked?

Matt said...

He liked to act like the 99% here and there. Kinda cool, actually.