Wednesday, July 22, 2015

THE MURDER OF GARY HINMAN: Drug Burn or Robbery? by D. LaCalandra

One of the most often debated topics of the life, times and crimes of the so-called 'Manson Family' is that of the murder of 35 year old music teacher Gary Hinman and the true circumstances leading to his death at the hands of his friend Bobby Beausoleil on July 27th, 1969. Was it, as the official record states, the result of a thuggish attempt to rob Hinman to "finance Helter Skelter" as ordered by Charles Manson? Or was it the result of a drug deal gone sour in which Beausoleil was acting as a middle man between Hinman and the Straight Satans MC club?

Before we examine the details of the Hinman case, let us first look at an event which took place only 27 days earlier on July 1st. The near fatal shooting of Bernard "Lotsapoppa" Crowe at the hand of Charles Manson. We know, beyond any reasonable shadow of a doubt that the shooting of Crowe was the result of a botched drug burn in which Charles "Tex" Watson had ripped him off of $2,000. But let's look at what some of members of The Family had to say of the crime, including one that the Prosecutor of the Tate-LaBianca murders, Vincent Bugliosi, would used as a star witness and go as far as saying was Charles Manson's "right hand man", Paul Watkins.

Dianne "Snake" Lake: "Gypsy told me Charlie had shot a black leader to start the revolution" (LAPD Police Interview)

Brooks Poston: "and he’s talked about killing a negro, militant leader in Los Angeles" (October 3rd, 1969 interview with Inyo County Sheriff Don Ward)

Paul Watkins: "Just because he said he was fuckin' little white girls. He says, "don't fuck with the white woman", BAM! He said he shot him with a 45 right through the heart" (Interview with Lawrence Merrick)

..and what did Watkins say of the Hinman murder?

"He said uh...Gary wanted to come with the Family, see, ah uh, he says that Gary said uh, "Can I come with you and the Family?" And old Charlie, "Sure, how much we have in our bank account?" And uh, Gary said, "what do you mean in our bank account? And Charlie says, "Well, what's mine is yours, so what's yours in mine" And old Gary said, "Well uh, no thanks". Charlie told me had ten thousand dollars in his bank account"

Again, Paul Watkins is the man Vincent Bugliosi lead the public to believe was one of Manson's "right hand men". Now, if we had gone by what these individuals in this supposedly tight-knit "Family" had said of the Crowe shooting* we just might be arguing today as to whether it was was really over a drug burn or just because he was "fucking little white girls" and now a great deal of the testimony regarding the murder of Hinman has to be put to the question. Clearly, many involved in the Family were kept in the dark about the true nature of the crimes of July and August of 1969.

* Various different motives for the murder of Gary Hinman have been given. Inheritance, stocks and bonds, Hinman wanted to join the Family, Manson wanted Hinman to join and the best, as given by Mary Brunner: Manson wanted Hinman to join his pop group. Leslie Van Houten in her interview with attorney Marvin Part claimed the reason was to get money for Dune Buggies.

Now let's look at the murder of Hinman. Rarely, if ever during debate about the crime is it mentioned that in early October of 1969, Danny DeCarlo and the Straight Satans were suspects in the case. This fact never made it into any homicide report and was obmitted from Bugliosi's Helter Skelter. Mark Arneson who had purchased Hinman's Microbus from Charles Manson, sold it shortly thereafter to a person by the name of Louis Puhek. Puhek was pulled over in Venice, California (HQ of Straight Satans) after an all-points bulletin was put out for the vehicle on October 5th or 6th. After questioning Puhek, it was learned that a Danny DeCarlo was one of the possible owners of the vehicle. A request was then made by Hinman detectives to locate DeCarlo and for general information about him and the Straight Satans.

Before that requested was fulfilled however, they had received information on October 12th that a girl named Kitty Lutesinger in Inyo County. who they already had interest in upon learning her name from Beausoleil himself, had information about the Hinman murder and thus an investigation into the involvement of the Straight Satans was temporarily put on the hold.

In Helter Skelter, Bugliosi writes that Kitty told LaBianca detectives:

"Manson had tried to enlist a motorcycle gang, the Straight Satans, as his personal bodyguard. With the exception of one biker named Danny, the group had laughed at Manson. Danny had stuck around for several months. Only learning that the motorcycle gang hung out in Venice, California, the LaBianca detectives asked Venice PD if they could locate a Straight Satan named Danny"

Bugliosi doesn't tell us that Hinman detectives, who had passed what Lutesinger said on to the LaBianca detectives, were already looking for him. It's safe to assume they too received this information, on top of what Puhek had told them, which was significant enough for them to consider DeCarlo a suspect. Was Bugliosi twisting the facts on behalf of one of is golden boys?

During Beausoleil's first trial, Sgt. Paul Whiteley, head of the Hinman investigation said on the stand:

THE WITNESS: "He had nothing to do with this car, as far as I know. In other words, I originally received information fourth hand that Daniel Decarlo had possibly been in possession of a Volkswagen bus at some time. Just about the time that I received this information, I was called to Independence, California, where I talked to other witnesses who told me that Daniel Decarlo had nothing to do with the car; that it was another person, and I just completely dropped him at that time"

THE COURT: But it subsequently revealed that he actually did have something to do with it?


But what? There were no further questions and by this point, DeCarlo was already in bed with law enforcement and Bugliosi. Granted, he states that upon interviewing Lutesinger, that he learned DeCarlo wasn't involved. But whatever information he learned later that revealed he did, he does not elaborate on.

It was Lutesinger who implicated Susan Atkins in the Hinman murder. According to Helter Skelter, it was Atkins who revealed they went to Hinman to get money he "supposedly inherited". But as Bugliosi points out, she wasn't being totally truthful (was she ever?) and Hinman detectives suspected such. Because unlike Kitty, Atkins did not mention Manson, nor did she admit to stabbing anyone. If she was smart enough to leave out Manson, Brunner and Davis, all whom were eventually charged and convicted in the Hinman murder, it's safe to assume she was keeping her mouth shut about the possible involvement of DeCarlo.

Let's examine Lustenginger for a moment. She, the pregnant girlfriend of Beausoliel didn't learn until "several weeks later", according to Helter Skelter that he was even arrested and "much later" that it was for the murder of Hinman. Even she was kept in the dark, so if the crime it's self was kept from her, how could she be a reliable witness as to what the motive was?

On November 12th, Vence Police Department contacted the Parker Center and told them an Al Springer, member of the Straight Satans and his friend Danny DeCarlo had information about the Tate LaBianca murders. In this interview, Springer talked about everything from the shooting of Crowe to the murder of Shorty Shea and implemented Manson, Watson and Grogan in the murders. Despite this, detectives were unimpressed. Though Springer testified in the Hinman/Shea trial, he was not asked to testify in Tate-LaBianca trial as it was unclear as to weather he had heard about these things first hand or just repeating things DeCarlo had told him. Still, Bugliosi considered his taped interview with detectives to be of great, yet overlooked importance.

In regards to Hinman, Springer says something very interesting:

"this other girl kitty, or Patty or something like that. She not only probably has talked to ya, but once she sees Danny, her on her own, from what he hears, she's going to let it all hang out too. Everything she knows right to a T, So I figured I'd get the ball rolling. because I don't want to see Danny get in trouble for something he didn't do"

Right here we have evidence of a possible conspiracy involving DeCarlo and Lutesinger to establish a story that absolves Straight Satans of any involvement, or perhaps Lutesinger was strong armed into establishing the story she laid out. Clearly, they KNEW Lutesinger talked to police. Did they know before or after? Was there more to them squealing than pending charges? Did Venice PD tell them Hinman and LaBianca detectives were looking for them? What exactly was Springer worried about Danny getting in trouble over? Whiteley said he learned DeCarlo wasn't involved, but as pointed out, Lutesinger and DeCarlo were talking to each other at some point and they knew she would "let it all hang out" again.

The day after they had interviewed Springer, they spoke with DeCarlo. One week later, Bugliosi would be assigned the Tate-LaBianca case and Decarlo would be his personal tour guide of the Spahn Ranch. A little less than two weeks after DeCarlo's police interview, Bugliosi would be assigned the Hinman case after Beausoleil's first trial ended in a hung jury, thanks in part to the jury not believing DeCarlo.

Back to Atkins, why did say inheritance? We know, that Gary Hinman wasn't the hippie in Topanga Canyon to inherit $20,000. It was Charlie Melton. While it's safe to say that many of the Family weren't the brighest bulbs, I still think that they, especially those involved in the actual crimes weren't so stupid to believe that not one, but two hippies in the Topanga area connected to the Family had inherited a large lump sum of cash at the same time. So we can cross the idea that anyone really believed that Hinman had $20,000 off the list of possibilities. Could it be, Atkins substituted Melton with Hinman under pressure in an attempt to conceal the true motive, so to not incriminate Danny DeCarlo? She did, after also tell Ronnie Howard she stabbed Hinman while Bobby held him (sound familiar?) and that she stabbed Sharon Tate, when we know it was actually Tex Watson. Role reversal seems to have been a staple in the Fanciful story telling of Sexy Sadie.

Ronnie Howard: "She says he was a hippie too and I asked her, I said, "Well, why did they do it?" She said, "Well he owed them some money or something. He owed this Bobby and her some money and some other girl. I heard them talking on the telephone. I heard them trying to kill him. So they got him out for a ride. He thought he was just going out for a nice drive" (November 25th 1969 interview with LAPD)

Owed is the key word. Granted, Susan was obviously engaging in her aforementioned fanciful story telling during her jailhouse confessions. It's also possible Howard got her facts mixed up, since her statement contains clues of the Shorty Shea murder and not that of Hinman. But Atkins was clearly going for shock when she opened up her mouth to Howard and Graham, So why no mention of an inheritance rather than a mundane scenario involving Hinman owing money to Bobby? Again, owned is the key word.

"Kid come to me and said Hinman owes me" - Charlies Manson (1992 interview with Bill Murphy)

Ella Jo Bailey is one ex-Family member who's testimony is often used by people who favor the official record. However, what they fail to look at, is that Bailey wasn't interviewed in regards to the Hinman case until March of 1971. After Manson was already sentenced to death in the Tate-LaBianca trial and needless to say, long after the Manson myth has already been established. She was, yet another example of somebody with pending criminal charges of her own. So it's more than safe to assume she was simply telling them what they wanted to hear. Ella, also never said anything about any inheritance. Her reasons were stocks, bonds and the two junk vehicles Hinman owned. One overlooked comment from her interview though, is that fact she mentions Susan saying something about drugs before they left for Hinman's house. She claims Bill Vance left because he didn't want to go out on any "Capers". Yet we know the ex-con already was engaging in criminal activity on the ranch. As we'll see later, there might have been a reason she mentions Vance in regards to the Hinman case. Further more, did in fact confirm Hinman supplied the Family with mescaline.Those who claim the topic of drugs in relation to Hinman never came up during any of the trials, can no longer say that.

From the People Vs. Davis on January 12, 1972:

GEORGE DENNY: They got some of their mescaline from Gary Hinman; is that right?

ELLA JO BAILEY: I believe so, yes

GEORGE DENNY: And you got some of it for the Family from Gary Hinman; is that right?

ELLA JO BAILEY: I don't recall ever --Gary Hinman turning over any mescaline to me.

GEORGE DENNY: But you used that which had been gotten from him; is that right?


GEORGE DENNY: He manufactured it for the Family and others; isn't that right?

ELLA JO BAILEY: I don't know if he manufactured it.

In Death to Pigs, Lawrence Merrick asked Mary Brunner if Gary Hinman "was into dope dealing" and her reply was, "yeah". What did Hendrickson and Merrick hear at such an early date that prompted them to ask about Hinman and dope dealing?

"Hinman deserved to die. He was selling bad dope" - Charles Manson (1971, Hinman/Shea trial)

In 2012, a relative of Gary Hinman, or somebody claiming to be so, made a letter from Beausoleil available to read online. This letter has been used as "proof" that the Hinman murder did not involve a dope deal by those in favor of the court's findings. But let's look.

"However it would be hypocritical and disingenuous to say that Gary was a drug dealer. The story about the drug burn was just something put into my head by others, and there are plenty of reasons to be suspicious of the story considering its source. Gary wasn't the kind of guy to burn anyone in a drug deal or otherwise. I chose to buy into the story and allowed it to be part of the internal narrative I used to justify my decision to rob him. And later to rationalize some lame reasons for what followed."

Beausoleil says somebody "put into his head" by others, but doesn't say if it was before or after the murder nor does he name these "others". He then goes onto say:

"Back in the 60s everyone I knew traded in such things as pot and capsules of peyote cactus among friends and neighbors, and this includes me. None of us thought of one another as drug dealers"

So Bobby doesn't deny some sort of transaction too place, he only apologizes for the characterization of Gary as a drug dealer. A term that needless to say carries a lot of negative connotation.

Of the five people charged in the murder of Gary Hinman, only two have said that the that the true nature of the crime was drug-related. That is Charles Manson and Bobby Beausoleil. It's often questioned as to why this is the case and why none of them made this be known at trial. What must be understood is that Bobby Beausoleil was tried and convicted in a separate trial* in which his defense strategy was to lay blame on Charles Manson. Despite his efforts , he was convicted and sentenced to death in the slaying. Manson, Susan Atkins and Bruce Davis were tried together directly after the Tate-LaBianca trial. Atkins plead guilty having already been sentenced to death in the Tate-LaBianca trial and did not wish to go through with another trial. She received life in prison for the Hinman murder. Mary Brunner turned state's witness and testified in exchange from full immunity.

* Beausoleil had two trials. In both, he tried to beat the rap and deny any involvement.

..and what of Mother Mary? It should be said that Bobby Beausoleil has stated that neither Susan Atkins nor Mary Brunner were told why he was going to Hinman's home and maintains to this day that they were not sent by Charles Manson, they simply tagged along. This could very well be true. There is a more than likely chance that Beausoleil had too much pride to tell the girls he was more of less being pressured to recoup money for a group of tough guy bikers. Initially, Mary claimed that when being questioned by detectives, she was more or less pressured to repeat what Atkins had already told them and had threats of her son being taken away from her and being sent to the gas chamber. With the help of a good lawyer, she was able to strike up a deal to testify against her co-defendants in exchange for immunity. She then recanted her testimony against Beausoleil and claimed she was coerced into testifying and that the purpose of her testifying against Beausoleil was an attempt to absolve Charles Manson of guilt. Her initial reason for the murder? Hinman refused to join Manson's pop group. Another question one could ask is, why no mention of Danny DeCarlo if he was involved? In her police interview, she claims it was Bill Vance who accompanied Manson to Hinman's residence, rather than Bruce Davis. Obviously they were all very selective and careful as to who to name.

*Later on, her lawyer was able to maintain the deal made using the excuse her copporation helped the prosecution's case and charges were once again dropped.

Susan Atkins nor Bruce Davis have ever said that the murder of Gary Hinman was anything other than a botched attempt to rob him. However, both Atkins, before her death and Bruce Davis worked hard to get parole. In the eyes of a parole board, reality is on paper under the heading of "Statement of Facts". Parole hearings are not retrials and to go against what the records say are the facts is taken as deception. This is why Bruce Davis has been granted parole for a three years in a row* and Beausoleil denied at all 17 of his hearings to date. Atkins, claimed that after the shooting of Bernard Crowe there was a desperation to flee into the Death Valley and that money and Dune Buggies were needed, thus an idea to get funds off Hinman went into effect. If the murder of Gary Hinman was indeed not over a drug dispute, then this is most likely the true motive. But selling stolen property of a dead man is too risky of a business venture, so it's safe to say that murder wasn't apart of the original plan.

*Davis was granted parole in 2010, 2012 and 2014 but the decision was reversed by governors Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 and Jerry Brown in 2012 and 2014.

The changes in the story as presented by Beausoleil over the years has been a big reason people often cite that he and Manson have been lying about the drug angle. But has he really changed his story? The answer is actually no. Since 1981 the story has remained the same with the exception of some minor discrepancies and details. In his 2010 parole hearing, Beausoleil actually gives a logical explanation:

"Well, initially, I was too ashamed to admit to my parents that I had killed a man, and I made up a story that Manson had done it. And then later, in my first parole hearing in 1976, I wanted to accept full responsibility, but I wanted to do it without being perceived as a snitch*, because that would have been a death sentence in California at that time. So, I took responsibility for everything that had happened. I said that I had done it all, including slashing Gary across the face, and so that was the second version that I had told that wasn't entirely true. It was true other than that one part. And then subsequently, Manson himself admitted in this book that he had been involved in, admitted that he had slashed Gary's face, so I no longer felt an obligation to try to protect myself, and, you know, and being thought of as a snitch, because he'd already said that. So, I felt at liberty at that point to say exactly what happened, and that was, I think, in 1980"

*This may sound like a silly excuse to some, but in defense of Beausoleil, unlike Charles "Tex" Watson and Bruce Davis, he at that time was in San Quentin. A much harsher environment and he has, in the passed been involved in violent situations, one in which he was stabbed by another inmate.

In a 2009 documentary, Bugliosi dropped somewhat of a bomb shell when he said:

"Gary Hinman furnished drugs for the Family. He was not a member of the Manson Family, he was an associate"

In the end, it can not be proven for sure if drugs played a role in the death of Gary Hinman. But when one takes into consideration all that has been said and the progress and circumstances of the investigation and trial, I believe that there is good reason to believe there was in fact a drug transaction that escalated in a violent and deadly situation.


The Family, Ed Sanders

Helter Skelter, Curt Gentry and Vincent Bugliosi

Death to Pigs, Robert Hendrickson

Police interviews, parole hearings and other documents found at


Patty is Dead said...

Welcome Dennis

Robert Hendrickson said...

YES Sir, but is it NOT more fun and exciting to THINK about a world-wide Black and White Race WAR - Final Conflict - the Battle of Armageddon AND how patriotic WE are for OUR admiration and respect for a government "Prosecutor." ?

orwhut said...

I'd rather think about some of the prettier girls. They're about my age.

Anonymous said...

On 20 July, Bobby's entry on Twitter stated: "My neck surgery went well". Maybe they were renewing the brass in his neck:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Patty.

It's more fun and easier too. Not to mention the soundtrack is better.

Robert Hendrickson said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here, so your comments will be appreciated.

I have mentioned before that I am very interested in WHY folks are still interested in the Manson Family case - decades after it supposedly ended. And I think I have now realized a common CAUSE that binds us all.

It is a profound interest in "defective" human beings, not unlike ourselves. Of course, ALL people are flawed, in one way or another, BUT apparently WE somehow recognize, to some extent, OUR frailties and want to better understand them.

Just re-read this POST. It is really about Bobby B. and "what the Hell were you thinking."

Mentioned is his 2010 parole hearing - where HE mentions HIS reasons for changing his story so much.

It makes sense.

Then I realized, I am really becoming interested in the David Decovany "cop" character in "Aquarious."
HE is real and HE is FLAWED. The Manson character is "ho-hum" interesting, BUT David is finally the REAL cop TV needs for a sense of reality. HE actually got a new female cop to LIE, in order to prosecute the BAD guy. AND when HE beat Manson's face-in to promote HIS own agenda, at first I was stunned, until I realized, it's merely a common practice in every police force. Cause there are "defective" cops, just like there are "defective" priests and judges and school teachers, etc, etc.

The fact that WE are interested in "human frailties" is a very POSITIVE thing. It very well may determine the future of mankind.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Ella Jo Bailey had a felony charge (which I believe carries a minimum of one year in prison) dropped in exchange for testifying. So you can add her to the list of people telling law enforcement what they wanted to hear. My quotes from Paul Watkins come from interviews with Lawrence Merrick, not anyone from law enforcement. For a girl supposedly so upset, she didn't make any effort to come forward until she was facing jail time.

Bill Vance and Charlie, you know the guy people like to say didn't like to get his hands dirty, were committing burglaries together. Yet in her police interview, Ella makes it sound as if Vance ran off into the wind when the topic of crime came up.

I should have double checked Brunner's interviews. In her interview with Stovitz, she mentions that Bobby said they were going to Hinman for two or three grand. That's a specific dollar amount that is close to what Bobby and Manson later said in regards to the mescaline sale. It's not $20,000, $10,000 as Watkins said, nor is it stocks, bonds, etc.

With credit card and auto rings, drug deals, etc. ...the idea Manson sent those three to rob Hinman when he knew them by face, name and current whereabouts just simply doesn't add up with reality. Especially when you taken into consideration the last thing he wanted was police presence at Spahn. Strongarmed robbery of somebody who knows you is too risky.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Robert Hendrickson said:

"...It is a profound interest in "defective" human beings, not unlike ourselves."

Hi Mr H,

Yes, indeed, and what makes the Manson Family case so compulsive is that they were more defective than most people. In their own haphazard way, they outshone the movie starlet, the celebrity hairdresser, the Polish "writer", and the coffee heiress. I also find interesting the lesser known members of the Family and the associates like Gary Hinman, Bernard Crowe etc.

We are all defective, but we put a rein on our behaviour, and exercise responsibility towards others, but the Family seemed to be only caring towards each other. I suppose they were disillusioned with the US society they found themselves in during the 1960s. said...

Apparently, Gary was quite taken with Ella and wanted to marry her.

Unknown said...

Interesting read. Well done!

Matt said...

Cielo, her life might have turned out worlds better if she had.

Anonymous said...

In her first book, Susan Atkins said Gary Hinman was a homosexual who had a crush on both Bobby Beausoleil and Charles Manson. Years later at one of her parole hearings, her attorney Debra Frasier told the board there was a homosexual relationship between Beausoleil and Hinman. But yet we have Ella Jo Bailey who joined the Family with Atkins saying Hinman wanted to marry her.

I'm not saying I know which is telling the truth, but it goes to show how many conflicting stories there were among these people. said...

Dennis, Ella thought the same

Anonymous said...

I was going to add that both could be truth. So, there ya go. I wish the quality of her tape was better or there was a transcript.

AustinAnn74 said...

When cowardly, lying murderers start having their idiotic lies being spread all over the place, so people will feel sorry for them, it's time for me to take a hike from this subject matter. I will repeat what I said in my posting about Gary Hinman's murder I did just a few months ago though: Bobby Beausoleil murdered Gary Hinman, because Manson told him to go over there and get money from him. There isn't any evidence to suggest otherwise. Something, anything would of come out to prove otherwise in the years since it happened, but alas, nothing has, except for the hot air that has come out of BB's mouth, which he cannot even keep straight. He's trying to divert attention away from the Manson connection, so he can get out. I don't know why this is so hard for some people to accept. He probably would of had a chance to get out of prison, if he hadn't done a few questionable things during his incarceration history, such as requesting to be housed with Manson, opening his yap to Capote, lying any chance he can get, smoking dope as recent as 1999, oh, and let's not forget his Sassy Bottoms catalog business for perverts. Come on, man! The parole board hates him too, because he's argumentative, a know-it-all and comes across acting like the whole thing is a big mix up, like he was railroaded; a victim of circumstance. The only victim in this is laying at rest in a cemetery in Colorado.

PS: Bikers obtain their own drugs and don't need a "go between" to score, ever! It never happened. Not in 1969, not in 2015, either.

Anonymous said...

There is however plenty of evidence to suggest that they based this case upon the words of people who either A: didn't know what the hell was going on at that ranch and B: people who's asses were on the line and we can easily rule out more than half the motives these people gave.

Two girls, one of which had no idea the murder even happened till weeks later and two %1 bikers, one of which was named a suspect in the case and there is "evidence" that two of them had a discussion before or after one went to the police. Then what they said was corroborated (partly) by a girl who had federal charges dropped. Is that good, "evidence" to you? Everything we know about the motive for Hinman, is based on what these people have said.

I like your tone of finality, especially when it comes to what bikers do. 1% bikers generally aren't supposed to run and tell the cops and turn informant. But the Straight Satans did. Shortly after they were named suspects too, what do ya know.

Anonymous said...

Al Springer: "my club brother said this Dan, I mean this Charlie has some arsonal up there".


Anonymous said...

D.LaCalandra said:

"...1% bikers generally aren't supposed to run and tell the cops and turn informant."

I think they would if there were seven dead bodies lying around. They wouldn't want implicated in that.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Maybe I can make it easier to understand the 1960's "Biker" situation. At the time "Biker" clubing was coming of age because of all the "Hell's Angel's" media attention. BUT there were all kinds of levels associated with Biker Clubs / Gangs. The Hell's Angel's were on top of the "GANG" list (and rightly so) and at the botton you may have a club for sissys like a "Jan Leno and the Lenoettes".

In "Inside the MANSON Gang" is the only known footage of Danny DeCarlo at the Spahn Ranch. You can see what a shorty non-dangerous character, but President of the Straight Satins, he is. Upon seeing HIM, I thought the "Satins" were a club for little people. On the other hand, the "Angels" were "bad-ass" all the way.

While filming the Manson Family I was also involved in filming a documentary with Laurance Merrick about "Bikers." I still have all the footage from that, but never put it all together. Could really show the wide spectrum of "Biking." back in the day. From beer and cool-aid drinkers to the "killer-dillers."

Anonymous said...

There isn't much information on Straight Satans. Most of it revolves around the Manson connection. I originally had the impression they were a bunch of wannabes. Weekenders who talked the talked, but couldn't walk it. But when looking at the few photos of other members besides DeCarlo, they didn't look friendly at all and there are a few old news articles about them and violence, including murders.

My personal opinion, based on my own looking into the case, is I suspect they sensed Bobby was an eager to please kid and the burn was directed at him. I think they knew they could get their money back easily just by telling them the drugs were bad or using a little intimidation and I think he knew this and was embarrassed he was being played, thus didn't tell Brunner nor Atkins just why he was going to get that cash and then Straight Satans wiggled and jiggled to keep their name out of the picture when they learned he killed Hinman.

As far as evidence, what is on record, why this person wasn't named, etc.

Well, why weren't the various accessories to the murder of Shorty Shea never named? There is a lot that was said and never documented here.

ColScott said...

Not sure what Austin Ann is being didactic, A good researcher keeps an open mind. Saying "something would have come out" is not good logic. It is belief not fact. I believed in the drug burn. Ann's discourse made me rethink it. LaCalandra made me re think it. I just came back minutes ago from the largest collection of Straight Satan materials in the world. I have no doubt anymore and never will again. Bobby killed Gary over drugs. 100%

George Stimson said...

Yep, 100%

Robert Hendrickson said...

I'm not sure what the "issue" is:

A) Charlie told Bobby to go get some of Gary's "drug" money.

B) Charlie told Bobby to get get some money from Gary for Helter Skelter.

C) Bobby went to go collect Gary's monthly "dues."

D) Bobby went to go "ignite" Helter Skelter at Gary's FOR Charlie - as a presnt for HIS favorite guru.

E) Etc., Etc., Etc.

WHERE the Hell is Bugliosi when you need HIM ?

Anonymous said...

@Robert Hendrickson: what did you first hear of possible drug involvement with Hinman? As I pointed out in the essay, I mention that Mary Brunner was asked by Merrick about Hinman dealing in dope. I wonder what prompted that question.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Great question LaCalandra: and as Bruce Davis would say: The "Answer" is IN the question. Just as YOUR question has it's answer in YOUR question.

In the English Language, a question can actually be a "statement" intended to draw a response. On the other hand, at the time, because most everyone in certain classes were on drugs, this was not an unusual question. But "drug dealer" - obviously Merrick KNEW something !

AND not unlike the Bernard Crow situation, many things were not kept secret.

BUT that's what helps to make the Manson Case Story so interesting. Anyone can easily "spin" the story anyway they want. Just take a look see at the new Aquarious TV show. Which really tells alot about the story "spinner."

Jesus, just look at the true life story of the guy who walked into a Jewish Temple and beat the shit out of folks. He's NOW a world-wide hero ! Does anyone ever ask: "Was HE on drugs on what" ?

Robert Hendrickson said...

I forgot, but YOUR comment re-reminded me. Merrick had a very good friend in the D.A.s office. IE: He got us Nancy Jordon, who was the FIRST person Susan Atkins talked to - about the murders.

In my films you might also notice WE got access to C. M. and others where NO news cameras were allowed.

Anonymous said...

You think Ronnie Howard or Virginia Graham were plants, don't you? Which did she really tell first? aside from Nancy Jordon? Because both claimed Atkins told them first. My money is on Howard. recently uploaded the conversation Atkins had with Caberello and Caruso and a few of Caruso's questions are odd and very interesting. It's clear to me, his real interest was in his other clients of his and how they MIGHT be connected to what happened. Names only mentioned in passing in Helter Skelter.

Anonymous said...

PAUL CARUSO: Do you remember where Frykowski’s pants were? Did that make an impression on you?

SUSAN ATKINS: Where his pants were?

PAUL CARUSO: Do you recall if his pants were up around his abdomen or did they fall, do you recall?

This struck me as odd. I then looked at a hi-res version of the crime scene photo and never noticed until then that his pants were pulled down a bit, almost with his butt exposed.

Then I thought back to Schreck making the claim that Watson was designing the scene to pin it on the three Canadian drug dealers, one of which was said to have been "video buggered" as they put it by Frykowski.

Of course it's highly possible that happened during the struggle, but it does make a bulb light up and makes one wonder if Schreck might not be so crazy after all.

Chris B said...

Great thread.

Dawes, I believe Mary got involved with the Hinman murder because she had a previous relationship with him (not necessarily sexual) with regard to his address being used as her address when the authorities took an interest in the welfare of her baby. Beausoleil I believe stayed with Hinman for a while.

Robert Hendrickson, one of the things that keeps me coming back to this case is the variance between truth (say of an event that actually happened) and truth in law (what is recorded in to a legal document as being true). Added to that is the legal pressure put on potential witnesses and the offers of immunity. Bugliosi did as he was expected, using all the advantages of his profession and the California legal system. So, Ella Jo Bailey, Danny DeCarlo, Linda Kasabian, Mary Brunner, Kitty Lustesinger, Dianne Lake and Susan Atkins to name but a few were offered carrots and/or sticks to testify. Offers of immunity, the dropping of federal charges, the lose of their children, taking a death sentence away, the loss of immunity from prosecution, these all remain tactics available for a DA to use.

On an aside, Beausoleil, if he had been convicted in Dec 1969, may well have served 13-16 years and been released. Or, without the late inclusion of the testimony of DeCarlo may have been found not guilty. I do wonder if he was ever approached about becoming a star witness for the Tate-LaBianca trial.

His second trial, for me, demonstrates the snow-balling effect of convicting the Manson family. It was Brunner's testimony from that trial that was used as the truth for Manson's later Hinman trial. In effect, the DA simply read from the transcript of what Brunner had said in another trial, legally it was already true (bear in mind she was given immunity from prosecution for her part in the Hinman murder (for which Atkins pleaded guilty and received a life sentence), recanted her testimony, un-recanted it, then recanted it and faced a lengthy appeal against her loss of immunity which was eventually upheld in 1973 when she was in prison for the Hawthorne shootout).

Another exampe would be Dianne Lake with her perjury. The maximum sentence for perjury in a capital case is the same as that faced by the accused. So technically she could, had she been charged and later convicted, faced a death sentence. That said she was an underage pregnant runaway who was placed in a mental institution before giving evidence on behalf of the prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Since we want to go by what Ella Jo Bailey said, this is rather interesting:

From the actual case file:
That night at about 6 p.m. Bailey saw Manson talking to Beausoleil and Davis. Beausoleil had a knife (People's exh. 18) and Davis had a nine millimeter Radom gun (People's exh. 30). Subsequent investigation by officers established that Davis had purchased the gun under an assumed name. Bailey saw Brunner and Atkins dressed in dark clothes. Bailey saw Brunner, Atkins, Beausoleil and a fourth unidentified person drive off in [71 Cal. App. 3d 14] a ranchhand's car which was driven by the fourth person. Davis was still in the parking lot.

So Ella Jo basically saw and heard everything. She knew it all to a "T". But when it comes to that fourth person, suddenly they are "unidentified" and Davis, who was said to be the still in the parking lot?

Funny how the gun was found to belong to Davis who purchased it under an "assumed name". Because correct me if I'm wrong, but DeCarlo had a pending charge for the same exact thing.

Didn't Beausoleil have DeCarlo hand him the gun and drive them to Hinman at one hearing?

Certainly the State of California wouldn't white wash the involvement of a witness of theirs, would they? ...and switch his role with Davis? Considering how DeCarlo was one of the first to run to cops, seemed to know every detail of the Hinman murder, it gels with what Beausoleil rather said. Who else could that fourth person be?

I got to do an updated version of this.

AustinAnn74 said...

What's heartbreaking to me more than anything else is that killing Gary Hinman has negated all of my creative efforts." -Bobby Beausoleil

Notice that BB's only freakin concern is about HIMSELF.....I need not say more.....

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

D. LaCalandra said...

"Since we want to go by what Ella Jo Bailey said....."

"D", are you Pheonix Rising ?

grimtraveller said...

I was thinking about Bobby's version and the legal definitions that California had about conspiracies, co conspirators, murder and murderers when a thought struck me in regards to this case.
Let us suppose for a moment that everything presented in Bobby's latest version of things is absolutely true. It makes absolutely no difference to the eventual outcome. The prosecution's version or the "official version" isn't even needed. Bobby's version will do.
It matters not one jot nor tittle whether or not Charles Manson sent the three musketeers to Hinman's with instructions to get his money. In fact, in Charlie's case the motive couldn't be less relevant because; a)He went to and inside the house of Hinman, b)He struck Hinman with a blow that the medical examiner wrote up as "possibly fatal" and testified in court what that meant ¬> that unless Hinman had received proper medical attention, his wound was possibly fatal. In other words, had Bobby's stab wound to the chest not killed him, Charlie's sword strike {which Susan Atkins wrote up as Charlie trying to behead Hinman, though I don't believe that} would have, c)He arrived with Bruce in one car and knowingly departed in the same car while Bruce departed in Hinman's car.
All of these things ring fence him in as a co conspirator. According to the law, he didn't even have to know that a killing was going to take place. He didn't have to say to Bobby "finish him off, Bob" or any kind of command for a kill to take place. He didn't even have to be at the house at the time of the actual murder. All that was needed was a phrase like "you know what to do" to be able to argue that there was a high degree of probability that a death was likely to occur.

"Malice is implied when the killing results from an act involving a high degree of probability that it will result in death, which act is done for a base anti social purpose and with a wanton disregard for human life or when the killing is a direct casual result of the perpetration or the attempt to perpetrate a felony inherently dangerous to human life"

[Instruction given to the jury by Judge Charles Older to assist in deliberations during the Tate LaBianca trial]

That's why Charlie was convicted. In George Stimson's book, he actually makes that observation, adding that he would have said that {"you know what to do"} to anyone. But even without all that, points a & b have Charlie well and truly caught by the short & curlies.
If you accept Beausoleil's version that this crime is mitigated by his fear of reprisals due to Gary Hinman selling bad mescaline to these vicious bikers and Hinman going to the police about the current events, then you absolutely must be consistent and take all that he says and part of what he says is that Charlie "slashes him [Gary] across the face with the knife. Walks in the room, says something like he's showing me how to be a man. And I'm just, I'm dumbfounded...."
Showing Bobby how to be a man signed Charlie's death warrant.
By the way, Charlie Manson himself {Quoted by George Stimson in "Goodbye Helter Skelter"} claims that he "agreed with everybody, I got along with everybody and I did everything that everybody asked me ~ up to a point. And that point was when I cut Hinman's ear off. And then I started pulling back, saying 'whoa, man. This is all going into insanity.' And I told everybody there 'you're all putting me back in the penitentiary. I'm getting out of here.'"
Charlie being portrayed in the media as the hippie cult leader in control of the mindless lackeys that had to be put away regardless of guilt or innocence is the true myth here and is the myth that needs to be put to bed once and for all at least in relation to the Hinman case.

grimtraveller said...

Reading the instructions that the Judge gave the TLB jury {Found in William Zamora's book "Trial by your peers" it's an eye opening 78 point document to assist the jury in it's deliberations} and applying that to Hinman, I was surprised at how complicated and wide the definition of 'murder' is. Now, whether it should be or should have been so wide is another discussion for another time but at the time of the killings, trials and convictions, it was. That's why Bruce Davis & Susan Atkins were convicted for the murder of Gary Hinman, even though they didn't lay a death hand on him ~ indeed, neither even witnessed the murder. Davis wasn't even there. But Davis furnishing the gun, being there for the sword strike and driving off in Gary's Fiat, Atkins remaining after all that had up to then transpired & wiping the house down for prints, this made them both legally culpable. Mary Brunner was equally culpable and more so than Atkins for nicking $27. Beausoleil says he hadn't gone to the house intending to hurt Gary Hinman and I believe him, whatever the original intention for going was. I don't believe Manson "sent killers to kill Hinman" but whether it was robbery or going to try and straighten things out so the Satans wouldn't come and whip Bobby's arse is moot.
According to the law, they were guilty and got their just deserts. Except of course, Mary who received immunity.
All immunity meant at the end of the day, where she was concerned, is that because she could help the prosecution, her guilt is set aside. Had she actually killed Hinman {putting the pillow on him didn't kill him} she may have received immunity that meant life in jail but no gas chamber. It wasn't unusual for an actual {as opposed to a legal} accused murderer to be given immunity {check out Billy Goucher in relation to the murder of James & Lauren Willet} in exchange for testimony but I doubt Mary would have been spared just to "get Manson." The State already showed it had no qualms about executing women.

If the drug deal gone wrong is what happened, as the essay puts forth, the only thing of significance that changes is Danny DeCarlo's place in it. And given that nothing Bobby, Charlie, Susan, Mary or Bruce could say to implicate him as a co conspirator/defendant could be used in the absence of corroborating evidence and given that absolutely nothing other than Bobby's word even has DeCarlo as involved and there is no corroborating evidence, even DeCarlo's place does not change.
So ultimately, the status quo remains whoever's version of events you want to run with.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

"I have no doubt anymore and never will again. Bobby killed Gary over drugs. 100%"

George Stimson said...

"Yep, 100%"

Well that's not what your book says. According to "Goodbye Helter Skelter" you, through what Charlie quotes, point out that Hinman had paid up, with the two cars {though Charlie couldn't recall if the pink slips were signed when he was there} and everything was cool and then three days later, Hinman gets the gun {Bruce's gun, how, we're not told !} and decides that he's going to Spahn to kill Charlie and so Bobby says that he can't do this because Charlie was defending him and it's not cool so as Gary walks past, Bobby stabs him, after first offering his own life by handing him the knife and saying "kill me," a Charlie trick, if we are to believe him, but a Bobby one ? Now, you use Charlie quotes in all of that and that has nothing to do with drugs.
So which is it ? 100% drugs or Bobby protecting the man who supposedly saved his life ? Which he denies, incidentally. In fact he goes further than that, he says Charlie's entrance into matters is what sent things spiraling out of control, a situation that he had under control.
What I find really interesting about the Hinman case is that when you start to put together the various accounts of what happened, it turns out to be just as, if not even more, fantastic than......Helter Skelter.

grimtraveller said...

D. LaCalandra said...

"Al Springer: 'my club brother said this Dan, I mean this Charlie has some arsenal up there'.


Well, everyone can make a slip of the tongue. From "Trial by your peers" by William Zamora:

"'Charles Manson & these defendants cannot be tried for their behaviour as hippies ~ even if they were right wing hippies. I have confidence that you will have the courage to declare the verdict of conviction.' Mr Fitzgerald promptly excused himself and smiling, half embarrassed, corrected himself, 'I mean, the verdict of innocence.'"

That was Paul Fitzgerald !

D. LaCalandra said...

"There is however plenty of evidence to suggest that they based this case upon the words of people who either A: didn't know what the hell was going on at that ranch and B: people who's asses were on the line"

Those in category A actually make for really powerful witnesses. They have no axe to grind or story to fit into. In fact, they might even wonder why their testimony is necessary. The prosecution of course, see the completed jigsaw. The witnesses only see their little piece.
The B category come under the heading of "Get real, people." If you're dealing with a host of people whom you want to testify and they have somewhat dodgy lives and are or have been involved in crime or criminal cases, some current, then you're just going to have to get real and accept that to fry a much larger, more lethal fish {like a suspected murderer}, you might have to let a smaller fish go {like a woman that forged a cheque or a guy that supposedly stole a motorbike engine}.

Dan S said...

Bobby didn't want his folks to know he was a murderer; how would he feel about them knowing he was a gay prostitute for Charles Manson? I have no corroborating evidence as such, but the Manson m.o. and this possible relationship between GH & BB is the only thing that makes this nonsense make sense. Bobby tells Charlie Gary owes him for three BJs two handies and 4 toppers; that's gotta be a thousand easy