Monday, September 28, 2015


Villain comes from Anglo-French, and old French Villain, which itself  descends from the Latin word Villanus, meaning farm hand in the sense of someone who is bound to the soil of a villa, which is to say, worked on the equivalent of a plantation in Lake Antiquity in Italy or Gaul. The same etymology produced villein. It referred to a person of less than knightly status, and so came to mean a person who was not chivalrous. As a result of many unchivalrous acts, such as treachery or rape, being considered villainous in the modern sense of the word, it became a term of abuse and took on its modern meaning.

Hello everyone! Your favorite fallen Saint has risen from the ashes. Suffice to say, I have survived my most recent crises and have righted the ship to the point where I feel confident enough to start setting my sights on buying drinks in Southern California for a select group of friends next Spring lol. (wink wink)

Anyway, lately I have been thinking about a few of the less discussed "villains" of the TLB case. I think that it is common for most of the world to visualize Charlie when they think of the Manson Family being "Evil Killers." I think here in the TLB community we focus on Tex and Patricia, and to a lesser extent, Bruce, Bobby, Lulu, and Susan as being the real killers. As well, we try to figure out Charlie's actual role and the ultimate motivation of the crimes. As my mind has been wandering in and out of the dark side these last several weeks- some of the other people, who in one manner or another, had a less than chivalrous role in this tragedy have started to come more into focus for me.

There are some potential villains in this case who most people, both inside the TLB community and out, never seem to hold to any real responsibility for the negative roles they played in this mess, or the role they may have played after it happened in one case. I think that even with the madness of the family, and the savagery of Watson and Kreny, that some of the crimes still could have been prevented if not for some luck, some timing, and - for the purposes of this post- some absolute irresponsibility and disinterest from some of the key people in the life's of some of the victims, as well as some of the parents of the killers. Let's me start with how one villain may have affected a very specific and very pregnant victim.

           Riddle: I am a person from the TLB crime saga in 1969. I gave drugs to and raped underage girls, then later made jokes and laughed about it. when asked to pay for my crimes- I ran. I ignored the court system and disrespected the judge. I have a group of defenders who ignore my crimes and just focus attention on my unrelated virtues whenever my detractors bring up my transgressions. After Sharon Tate and unborn child were murdered- I went on record making jokes and smiling. Who am I?

           Answer: If you said Charlie Manson you would be right. If you said Roman Polanski- you would be as well...

"I am not a fortune teller. I would like to be remembered for my life not my work. If there is any possibility of changing your destiny, it may be only in your creative life, certainly not your life, period."

" Normal love isn't interesting, I assure you its very boring."

              - Roman Polanski

 So let me ask you this question: Suppose you have a wife who is expecting your first child any minute. You are in another country during the tail end of this pregnancy, and she is with you. You have some people staying at your home back in the US. You will later tell authorities you didn't trust the people staying there, and that you knew they could be potential trouble...

So the question is:  what would you do at this point as she gets closer the delivery?? 

How many of you would send her back to the house with people you know might be not 100% safe by herself? Is there a single hand up right now?

If you ask me to pick the very worst bastard in this case- I will answer you ten out of ten times that it is this short little prick- Roman Polanski. Sharon trusted this man and I say that had a large part in getting her killed. Whatever the real motive for these crimes were- I would make a pretty sizable wager that Sans Roman in her life- Sharon probably never goes through that nightmare. Her association with this man could very well have cost Sharon her life. Roman bragged about what a terrible husband he was, made jokes to police, and then later seemed to write the whole thing off as just another tragedy he had to endure in a life filled with despair. Poor guy. It must have been tough to process the fact you wont be tied down or have the responsibilities of being a father any longer as your winging from country to country in private jets on your way to bang the next 15 or 16 year old. I know he gave a few obligatory statements and shed a few tears for the cameras, but Roman was on to the next much younger woman and the next movie in the not so very distant future. Tex Watson and Katie were unique killers. Charlie was a unique ex-con. But, show me a more unique bastard than Roman Polanski.  Roman should have been looking out for Sharon's best interests. The safety and protection of his new family should have been his only, and number one, concern. Had he taken the situation more personally and seriously- who knows?? Maybe Sharon is in the same place today. Maybe the crime happens anyway and it is Roman instead of Voytek, or Jay. I know that is a possibility. But, I would personally want to know for sure that I did all I could do myself, and didn't leave her safety, as well as the safety of my unborn child, to someone I knew was not a 100% risk free option. Would you? To do anything less is not only careless and thoughtless- but in this case possibly a mistake that was fatal for Sharon. And to make any kind of light of these tragic and savage deaths after the fact is the most classless and tasteless thing a husband/father could do.  Shame on you forever Roman Polanski. You are a true villain of the TLB case. What you went on to do later in life with more than one underage girl makes you a complete animal to me, but the thoughtlessness in your care of your pregnant wife and unborn child is just as criminal to me....

Here is another villain of the TLB case to discuss, but this one is more of a group award. I know that Mr. Hendrickson will agree with the nomination if not the reasoning behind it lol The Police...

 " I never worry about action, only inaction"

        - Winston Churchill

For all the talk about how hard the police were on hippies and how badly they hassled the ranch- they sure didn't do much to slow the Family down when it came to crime. If Charlie was the ultimate instigator of the TLB crimes, no matter the reason, then the various LA County Law Enforcement agencies are also villains in the TLB crimes and share some blame. Let me explain why. I could give you a pretty good list of crimes Charlie got busted for- AFTER he was already on parole/probation. Why was he free to order/suggest/direct (whichever you prefer) these crimes in the first place? How many times was he picked up for  various crimes such as theft, burglary, drugs, or stolen this or that?  The authorities knew he was housing underage girls and they knew there were runaways and people with criminal backgrounds at the ranch. But, they did nothing of any consequence to stop any of it until it was way too late. I remember watching a training video clip they made from one of the raids of the ranch. The ranch was under surveillance when the crimes happened for goodness sakes.

Think about this for a sec: They were watching the people who committed one of the most infamous crimes in history during the time they committed it, and and still needed help to figure out that it was these same people they had been watching who had done it...  Sigh

 How ridiculous it is that Manson was on parole and probation, violated them both many times, traveled in and out of his designated area at will, and still was walking free to contribute to these massacres? Shame on the LA crime fighting apparatus. I say they are all villains of the TLB crimes. Even after the crimes had happened they couldn't find the culprits without the help of the culprits. Ouch! Typical of their ineptness, they even arrested the killers a couple of times for other crimes, and screwed those arrests up as well. Mis-dated warrants and such.  Sigh...  Keystone Cops? I say the handling of Charlie Manson and his family by the LA police makes the comparison an insult to the officers from Keystone. All I can say for sure is that in my opinion- the victims of TLB were not properly protected or served by the authorities when an ex-con who is on probation can repeatedly break the law, get caught, and still stay free long enough to contribute to killing them all the while under the specific watch of those same authorities. Sigh....

 This brings me to my next TLB villain for today. This one might come as a small surprise to some people inside of the TLB community as I have defended him at various times regarding his motive. It will come as a big surprise to those outside of the community, as he is seen to most as the Hero who slayed the 'Monsters." Actually, I have mixed feelings about this man. And this one comes with the asterisk that it assumes he knowingly used a motive he knew was false to prosecute Manson. He certainly put his own self interest ahead of true justice a few times, and if he really had been misleading me ( us lol) about the real motive of the crimes all these years, then he was denying truth and real closure to the victims families and that would make him a legitimate villain of the TLB case. I present the Prosecutor:

 "Virtues are lost in self-interest, as rivers are lost at sea."

           - Franklin D. Roosevelt

So let' say for a second that Helter Skelter as an actual motive for the crimes was hogwash. Let's say it was a phrase around the ranch that the family kids used, and Bugs seized on it and ran with it from there. Let me concede that although it was a song they knew, and a concept they talked about, it had nothing to do with why any of them committed the murders. That would mean Bugs had spent most of his life, perpetuating a lie he sold in the name of his own self-interest. He sacrificed his ethics and integrity for publicity and financial gain. He denied the families of the victims the truth, and did not honor the memory of those fallen by doing his job and delivering the truth.He would have had several people sentenced to death under false reasoning and .... wait a minute

 lol- I cant go that far. I think he got it right as to the who, and considering the crimes- I can live without the why as long as those who did it- paid for what they did.  If I had even 1% doubt that those who went to jail were responsible for WHAT they did, maybe I feel differently about this one. But I am sure those accused- did what they were accused of - even if I am still not sure why. That they did it for any reason is enough in my eyes to be happy they got the sentences they did.

But that is just me personally. I am willing to accept that H/S is one of many possible motives, and to consider there is a reasonable chance that Bugs is just what most people "in the know" say he is. A self serving liar who made up a story to sell books and reap benefits in the long term. Certainly, his actions later in life would not serve his overall reputation well.  But, sticking to the TLB case alone- For Bugs to make up a lie, and sell it to the world for over 40 years for self serving purposes and personal gain, would truly make him a villain in this case in my eyes...

My final villain in today's presentation will conclude my own version of the "4 P movement." following Polanski, the Police, and the Prosecutor, I conclude with the final villain(s) I feel don't get enough mention: The oh- so-faceless Parents:

"Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain."

              - John Locke 

After reading all the books and testimony about this case that I have, the only thing I can compare the lack of parental or mature adult presence to life in "The Family" is an episode of a Charlie Brown cartoon. I am not kidding. Where were the adults? We are talking about a group of young people here with parents, in one case, who wrote letters that their underage child had their permission to run around with any group of strays that their child so wished. Really? (By the way, not to go backwards and pick on them again but, Police would just accept that? A 30 year old man gets pulled over with a 15 year old for breaking any law and a note from mom and dad is enough to move past the fact that this 30 year old is with a 15 year old?) After they were arrested for the TLB murders- some of the fathers of the girls in jail said what they WOULD do to Charlie, but let us ask what DID any of them do? They gave gas cards and sent money. Otherwise, not one of them did didley squat to get their daughters back at home, back in school, or away from the bikers and ex-cons twice their ages they were living with. The parents talked after the fact about loving their kids, and trying their best to give them good homes, but had their daughters stayed out of the papers and off the news- I am sure that they would have gone right on living in oblivion, unaware and disinterested in where exactly their kids were, or what they were doing. I can say that with some degree of confidence, because up until their children became embarrassments- there wasn't one case of that I ever read anywhere of any of the parents showing up trying to get their little girls back. The truth to the matter is that some of the kids who joined, or stayed with "The Family", did so because they had no better options with their own families. No secret there really. But, usually people stop there without really holding any of the parents of any of those kids really responsible. Lets look deeper. If it is fair to lay some blame on Charlie for his influence, then lets also give some to those who could have made a difference for there lack of influence. Adults who bring children into the world with no real intention of taking care of them are among the lowest of low on this Saint's scale. But tossing your children aside and allowing them to run with criminals and perverts twice there age is beyond criminal to me. It is in-human. Even in-humans do better than that for their young. I can tell you that for sure because I just watched a documentary called Black Fish about Sea-World. Even Killer Whales fight to not be separated from their young, and to protect their babies. Are you comfortable to think that animals have more compassion and love for their offspring than Humans do? Here is another thing: We seem to give hippies of that generation a pass on parenting skills due to the era and times, and I am not sure that is OK with me. I think young people and kids at a certain age need to rely on their families and parents to look out for them and teach them right from wrong- no matter the time and place. The wierdfer the times- the greater the need for direction. Isn't that one of  our oldest and most important values and priorities? Protect our young? Even the kids who comprised "The Family" seemed to grasp the importance of family and watching out for the babies. Hmmm. They seemed to grasp some things their parents couldn't. Shame on their parents for that. Most of the young people who were at that ranch had nobody looking out for them, so they turned to the only role models they had. As a result, older and more cunning ruled the day. Due to the non- presence of the right type of adult influence, those kids were left with nothing but the absolute wrong type of adult influence to learn from. So, they learned what was being taught by bikers, criminals, ex-cons and drifters. Is it any real wonder then when the wrong type of results is what we wind up getting from the kids in this situation? This is in itself a tragedy. In my opinion, that make these absent parents villains. These weren't really evil kids to begin with in some cases. Some of them were just the sad and predictable product of absentee parents combined with the influence of some really bad adults who filled the void. I blame both sets of adults for not doing better by those kids, but I blame the Parents much more. For example: A grown man having sex with 15 year old Ruth was one thing- and the guy who does that is a villain. Dean, her father, was a much worse villain for allowing it. You know what I mean?  Maybe some do, and maybe some do not. My heart breaks for people like Ruth. I hope she has found peace today.

Double Sigh, long hit, and two slugs of cold coors-lite ( in a can) ...

You know, there was a great post the other day about "What if" Marcia Clarke was around. I have a question of my own along those lines: 

What if Nancy Grace was around back then? Think Roman would be so well received today if he made those post-death smirking comments, and Nancy was playing them every night at 7 o'clock for two months straight? How about court TV? How about all the cable private investigative shows? Think the DA and the Police would get off the hook for all the mistakes, and lies with 24/7 cable coverage? Would people be so much more aware of some of the others involved, in one way or another, who really deserved to answer some questions- because so many more people with so many more resources were looking into every single possible angle of the case to compete with one another for attention and things like ratings?

(Would TMZ find some of these missing videos and movies we hear so much about? lol) 

My how times change. Bob Dylan sure had that one right on. Obviously, the crimes would be much more preventable today. At first thought you would think it is hard to conceive something like that happening in 2015. But, look a little deeper and I guess it still could. Then you turn on the news and you know it still could. The fact of the matter is that although times change, human nature does not. Sloppy police work, neglected/frustrated kids, disinterested husbands, known locations of privilege, vulnerable victims, older trouble-makers prying on younger troubled kids- The ingredients are still always out there. As long as there is opportunity and something to be had, the bad people will keep coming in the night. We have to trust in our community systems and our personal support mechanisms to stay safe in life from the bad guys. A major part of that support is our family and those in the law enforcement community with whom we place our trust. When these people fail us so miserably and for such selfish reasons, they have to share some of the responsibility for our pain and suffering along with the villains that they have not succeeded in helping to protect us from. 

After all- it is sometimes the case that, intentionally or not, those with whom we place the most trust in our lives can end up being the greatest villains of all....

-Your Favorite Saint


grimtraveller said...

Let the feasting begin !

grimtraveller said...

There is so much to comment on and deal with here ST. Lots of it I agree with, some of it I think is really unfair and quite a bit of it is simple to conclude in hindsight, but obviously wasn't back in 1967, '68, 69.
Let me just comment on the scenario with parents and runaways. I totally agree that many parents in the USA were derelict in their duty to their children but that's really a statement that in many cases is a hindsight speciality. Having read tons of biographies and interviews involving Americans that were born between say, 1935 and 1952, I've noticed that so many of them are really critical of their parents, yet if one examines exactly what they're critical about, it amounts so often to those people having been on a different wavelength and those kids {when they were kids} not getting what they wanted which often adds up to their own way.
It was pretty similar in the UK though not as much running away.
Something unique in human history happened after world war 2. For the first time in recorded history, childhood, and by extension, teenage, became a recognized period of it's own rather than just an appendage to "the life of adults." The word "teenager" wasn't even coined until 1947. You might ask 'well, what's this got to do with anything I've written ?' to which I would say 'a heck of a lot.'
Some years ago, I began to notice that in early photos and in paintings down the centuries that contained children, they just look like mini versions of their parents or the adults around. They wore the same clothes, just smaller and posed the same way. But from the 50s onwards, I noticed more and more kids that are wearing things that their parents don't wear and read of more arguments taking place between parents & kids about what kids wear, what music they listen to {whereas before, kids pretty much listened to what their parents listened to} what time they have to be in, what dances they do etc....a change was taking place and children in many parts of the USA were coming under influences that parents had never had to contend with before. The slushy Hollywood movies or epic productions that the family could watch were slowly being moved over by more dramatic films that teens and young people could relate to. Kids were identified as a money magnet by big business and that cemented the thought that they were a group with something to say, money to spend, songs to sing and a lot more besides.
This only increased as the 60s wore on. I feel for a lot of parents because I think that many of them thought that by working hard and 'providing', they were doing what they should be doing. They didn't expect their values to be questioned, jettisoned and replaced !
I was a runaway. Not in the 60s, in 1981. It had been in my mind for 4 years and to be honest with you, there's not a thing my Dad could have done to stop me, short of killing me. He didn't even know when I skipped. Kids running away from home during '67, '68, '69 in America was not isolated to two or three cases here and there, it was pretty epidemic. In many instances, parents did go looking for their kids. In many instances, those kids didn't want to be found. Many of them rejected their parents' values, rightly or wrongly. It was a long way into the 70s and beyond that lessons were learned and by then there were different problems that people with children had to contend with.

MHN said...

Saint, good to see you've overcome your trials and emerged a much more chilled and relaxed Saint than before ;) hehe.

Some little points I thought about while reading your epic post:

Polanski was very typical of his 'set' at that time. He was doing what Hollywood did, and does. The only difference is that his wife was murdered. It is only because of that that his affairs and fondness for younger girls (the list of celebrities who share those peccadilloes is too long even to know where to start) get noted and held up as being especially villainous. However much she felt hurt by it, Sharon Tate knew what and who he was when she cut that cake and exchanged rings with him. He didn't change. Should he have changed because she was murdered? Do we make that Hollywood sex symbol actress out to be some kind of plaster saint because she was murdered, and thereby feel the need to demonize Polanski even more?

Sure, he was an irresponsibly selfish prick not to accompany her when she was heavily pregnant. Welcome to Hollywood! Yeah, he later drugged and sodomized at least one underage girl - vile, and as a parent I want to smash his teeth down his throat for that, then rip his throat open to get them out again, and then use a rivet-gun to fix them all back into his gums, but upside down; but as we're discovering in the UK right now, so many celebrities spent most of the 70s and 80s getting physical with younger girls. Not excusing it, just saying: because Sharon Tate was murdered, let's not imagine Polanski was uniquely villainous in the showbiz world. Sadly he wasn't.

Bugliosi. In discussing incompetence you lump the DA and the cops together at one point. Fact: everything I know about the police incompetence in this case I know from Helter Skelter. Bugliosi was quite prepared to throw the LAPD under the bus in order to highlight his own investigative brilliance and zeal. True, he goes easier on the LASD than the LAPD, but still. I thought the first time I read it - it's interesting how he not only describes his own successes in such detail, but he feels the need to spend the first half of the book making sure the reader knows just how incompetent the LAPD was at that time. He must have been a nice guy...

I love your vehemence, Saint.

orwhut said...
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orwhut said...

Brenda must have been right. That first villain resembles Snidley Whiplash.

grimtraveller said...

On the other hand, it is valid to shine a light into what some of the parents of some of the main players in the Family brought to their kids and ask some serious searching questions without being condemnatory and also recognizing that no matter how brilliantly one brings up one's child[ren], there are no guarantees. I mean, if you looked at Charles Manson and Charles Watson, their upbringings could not be more diametrically opposed to each other if you tried. Yet both have spent the majority of their existences behind bars with little hope of ever seeing the outside.
Having listened to what they've said about their childhoods, I have to say that my heart has long gone out to Charlie, Susan, Pat, Bruce, Leslie, Gypsy and Lynnette. And despite what people say about them, having spent over 30 years working with kids, I can understand where Bobby, Tex and Linda were coming from and why things that others write off as trivial events actually would be magnified within their own experience and go a long way towards shaping them.
It should go without saying, but I'll stress it anyway, none of this in any justifies anything that any of them went on to do in the criminal stakes. But to dismiss their beginnings as irrelevant, to me simply is not realistic.
ST, one other set of villains that you might want to consider at a future date are some of the authority figures in the plethora of boys homes and correctional units that Charles Manson was in during his childhood and teenage and some of the guys he observed in jail as a young, impressionable {and immature} man.

To balance things a little more for some of their parents though, as Pat observed during one of her parole hearings, in the 50s and early 60s, families didn't discuss their problems. I mean, many still don't now but I'm sure many can understand why Bruce would have kept it all in about his Dad or being raped or Pat feeling she was hairy and ugly or Leslie being devastated by her parents' divorce and getting sexually involved with Bobby Mackie or Charlie feeling pissed because Rosalie his wife left him or Susan bottling it up that her Dad just upped & left her {as a teen} and her little brother --> now if there are two family villains who bear much responsibility, look no further than Susan Atkins' Dad and her older brother who, she claims, sexually abused her and allowed his friends to do likewise "so they could find out about girls." In the last parole hearing she was compos mentis in, she said she hadn't spoken to him since way before she was arrested. I'm not surprised !
Actually, I think there are many many villains in this saga whose prior actions helped shape the brew that many ended up drinking as a result.

grimtraveller said...

I think you were harsh on Roman Polanski. Now personally, he reminds me of this yucky place I do one of my deliveries. It's to a Wasabi restaurant downstairs at Hammersmith Broadway station but the goods entrance I have to use is the stuff of nightmares, it's dark, dank, with hot breathy air blowing foul smells, rubbish floating in the wind and a plethora of nasty, insect encrusted pigeons skulking around, heart sinks when they're on my round that day !
But I don't actually see anything unusual about his wife going back to the States a couple of months before him because he had to finish up a movie in London. Pregnant women weren't relaxing and chauffeured around in the 1960s, they just got on with it. It was actually unusual for many fathers to be at the births of their children. They just carried on working. Army wives and wives of businessmen learned a lot about coping during pregnancy on their own, not to mention mistresses and girls or women that had babies out of marriage in those days. We might recognize nowadays that actually, a woman often wants that support from their significant other or that the guy wants to be involved at every stage but that was not the case then. That Sharon was murdered isn't down to Roman Polanski being in London and I think his general nastiness is an entirely separate thing from his wife's killing.

Robert Hendrickson said...

I don't know what to say Saint, EXCEPT you forgot to mention the real 'villian' of this play: LBJ and the Vietnam WAR. BUT you are so far ahead of the pack, I can SEE it's only a matter of time, until YOU are ready to do the "book" thing. A professional editor could easily tighten-up the pace and YOU could finally add YOUR own TRUE personal 'mental' connection to case. And I bet we're maybe even talking "movie" here.

I wish I could reveal MY own true story as it relates to the 1960's - 70's, BUT after all these years, it is even more painful today. AND Orwhut is probably right - it's really about WHO is the REAL Snidley Whiplash.

BTW: "We are what YOU made us." has become the trademark of a generation. A whole generation of young folks that finally said to ALL the insanity: "Fuck NO, we won't go !

Of course, when THAT generation finally dies OFF - the "establishment" will take-over once again. Just pray THEY don't burn ALL the books.

Anonymous said...
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CarolMR said...

Thanks for a great post, Saint. I think you are being a little too harsh on Roman. As someone has already said, he is sadly representative of Hollywood then and now. I was sad to read that you included Bugliosi. I don't know of any other prosecutor whose motives are constantly questioned. The only thing that matters is that they put the right people behind bars and Vince did that. Thank God Marcia Clark didn't prosecute Manson & Co. And remember, legally, prosecutors don't have to prove ANY motive to win a case.

MHN said...

CarolMR - prosecution does not have to prove motive. But the question is, given the hearsay nature of most of the evidence suggesting that CM was giving the orders, could they prove conspiracy without one? For Bug to have proven that CM was giving them orders to kill, which they obeyed, without giving the 'jury' any motive for those orders or for their obedience - think how thin that would have sounded. Every chance Charlie might have walked on some of those charges. But the sensational HS motive tied it all together, gave it focus, gave it a conspiratorial purpose. What is a conspiracy without a purpose? Proving conspiracy without motive is harder than proving murder without motive.

Robert Hendrickson said...

50 years, (5 decades) LATER and we're still AFRAID to discuss VIETNAM intelligently. Apparently I was wrong: The "estblishment" is BACK, but there will be NO book burning - just computer "deletions."

AustinAnn74 said...

Nice post, Saint! I agree with you about all, even Bugliosi!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Saint's take on Polanski.

Let's not forget that this sick fuck brought a photographer from Life Magazine to the scene of his wife, child, and friends death to take pictures of him posing next to their blood for $5,000. In the words of Joe Welch, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?". And this was well before he drugged and anally raped a 13 year old.

On another note, Saint, I'm glad that you left Pooh Bear off your list of 'P' villains. After all, he was the de facto leader of the family. :)

PS. "and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear?"

MHN said...

Ziggy, wasn't the whole photographer thing part of the same mania that saw him on a one-man CSI crusade checking friends' cars for traces of blood? To be fair to him he was a more dedicated hunter after his wife's murderer than OJ was.

Anonymous said...

MHN said...

"...I want to smash his teeth down his throat for that, then rip his throat open to get them out again, and then use a rivet-gun to fix them all back into his gums, but upside down"


You should have pursued a career in dentistry:):)

MHN said...

Equinox, sometimes making sense of TLB is like having a mental root canal.

Matt said...

MHN Said...
I want to smash his teeth down his throat for that, then rip his throat open to get them out again, and then use a rivet-gun to fix them all back into his gums, but upside down

That's so good I may need to commit it to memory...

MHN said...

Matt it's a fairly standard dental procedure around here. You've seen our famous British teeth right?

Robert Hendrickson said...

MICHAEL has articulated the "motive" issue very well, BUT additionally, for a "conspiracy" to occur there MUST be a "leader" of the conspirators. Just open your eyes and you will SEE that we as a people, through-out the world, MUST have a "leader" for EVERYTHING - Good or Bad.

THUS, without MANSON all the Prosecutor had was a bunch of crazies to blame for a mass murder WITHOUT a motive.

Maybe it's NOT so much that Bugliosi was some kind of a wicked judicial genious, but HE simply looked-up rule #101 in HIS collage law book and realized HE needed to fill in the BLANK with something like Helter Skelter.

I almost hate to tell you this, but Mr. "B" wasn't even intuative enough to THINK of a "book" deal until way after the conviction.

ALSO remember this: Bugliosi WON the Case of the Century and still could NOT even get elected as District Attorney. AND one of the defendant's attorneys DID actually get elected for that postion.

Sometimes there is so much writing all OVER the walls, any single message is very difficult to realize.

CarolMR said...

Bugliosi put these cretins behind bars and he's a villain. OK...

Robert Hendrickson said...

CAROL: Actually, the California judicial "system" put the defendants behind bars - with the help of CM, the defense attorneys and 12 moon rocks (as Marcia Clark describes them).

AND the REAL question might be: How come NOBODY asked: "Who or what are these "Black Muslims" Paul Watkins mentions in connection with the Helter Skelter "motive" we are to believe Mr. Manson was possessed with" ?

TracyL7291 said...
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TracyL7291 said...

Wow. With all due respect I couldn't disagree more with this post. Polanski, Bugliosi, and the parents of these killers ( who were young but not what I would call kids by any means) have no blame in the murders. That's just making excuses for the horrific crimes these people did.
Polanski might not have been a perfect husband, but Sharon knew that, she picked him, so maybe she should be blamed as well. After all.. had she chosen a better man to marry she most likely would not have been murdered that night. That's about how much sense THAT argument makes to me.
Bugliosi wasn't there, he didn't stick knives into anybody. He did his job as a prosecutor and convicted the people who are truly to blame for the tragedy. You may not agree with how it was done, and I get that but to classify him as a " villain" is really stretching things. The defendants are to blame for their own life choices and where those choices took them.
The parents? Outside of Susan Atkins and of course Manson these people seem to have had good parents and upbringings. From what I've seen their parents stuck with them even after all the horror they caused. A crime like this affects the lives of the killers families as well, I would think that, at least a majority of the time anyway, the parents are more victims of the crimes their grown children commit than any kind of " villians. "
People need to learn to be responsible for their own actions and stop trying to put the blame on everything and everybody else. Other people also need to stop enabling them by making excuses for them as well. It seems to happen not just with this case but with so many criminals these days. It's everything to my Mommy hit me with a wooden spoon to I fell off my bike 25 years ago and haven't been the same since. Or let's just blame society, that's a popular one too. It's sickens me actually.
Maybe if some of these people hadn't been playing that blame game for all these years they may have had more sympathy from people not to mention the parole boards

Matt said...

Welcome to the blog Tracy.

TracyL7291 said...

Hi Matt,

Not my first post actually but thanks for the welcome anyway! :)

SusanB said...

Well said, Tracy L. I agree with you. I welcome different views, but I think you just cut to the chase. ☺

Unknown said...

Hello Tracy :)

I have spent many years writing many posts about the loathe I have for Tex/Katie/Susan and LULU. I have railed against there parole release. I have made comment after comment about the lack of responsibility they showed, and the contempt I have for all of them for the acts they committed,and they way they behaved after the fact.

Nobody holds those animals more responsible for what they did than I do.

But we have these conversations over and over again...

The purpose of this post was to take a look at some of the others who MAY ( repeat MAY) have been able to make a difference-for a slightly different angle. Now, I had a whole post to make my opinion and now it is time to hear others respond. But, I want to be clear on my position, because your response makes good sense- but its not a response to what I wrote in a sense.

you said: "I would think that, at least a majority of the time anyway, the parents are more victims of the crimes their grown children commit than any kind of " villains." People need to learn to be responsible for their own actions and stop trying to put the blame on everything and everybody else. Other people also need to stop enabling them by making excuses for them as well."

In my opinion: first- again- I am not putting the blame on anyone else for the crimes, but it is fair to point out some of the ways the crime could have been prevented by people who may have been in a position to do so no? If you have read any of my previous posts you would understand -I never make excuses for the killers, and am not trying to do so now, but there were other elements that contributed to the prefect storm of events that led to this catastrophe.

Second- "Parents are more victims of the crimes their grown children commit than any kind of villains"

You think that an adult brings a child into this world- neglects them, and leaves them to fend for themselves, and then can somehow be a victim of that child's bad behavior?

I wonder if you believe an adult has any responsibility to the child itself, or society for another human being that they brought into the world? Or is the work over at that point and anything that happens after is "not on me"?

I was not referring to grown children ( as you called them)- these were kids. Teenage girls for the purposes of this post. A women in her late 20's blaming a lack of attention to mommy for a crime is very different from a girl in her mid to late teens who has no parental involvement at all. If you take a closer look at the families of LULU, Patricia you will see that you are not correct about the way they were raised. Both of them had alcoholics in the family and came from broken homes as well. These are not reasons to commit murder by any means. But, was that another small ingredient which led to the melting pot of elements which created the ultimate mess? Had these girls had parents that looked after them and cared for them- would they have been in that environment in the first place? Would those crimes have happened without them? I think it is fair to ask...

All I can say with much due respect is that if you feel a guy like Dean was a victim of his daughter Ruth's actions- and not the other way around- we just dont see eye to eye on this topic.

but that's o.k.- I dont write them so everyone will agree :)

Unknown said...

sorry- one last thought as maybe I am not expressing my thought clearly. Maybe this make is more understandable...


If Ruthann was 15 or 16 years old and she gave someone a hamburger laced with a drug and it had killed that person.

I say Ruthann needs to go to jail for the rest of her life- no ifs, ands or butts.I would lock the door myself and bury the key. See ya- and no problem doing it.

BUT with a father figure like hers who not only allowed bad behavior, but encouraged and participated in it himself....

when something goes wrong do you blame the 15 year old kid for embarrassing dad, or do you blame dad for not keeping his daughter out of the way of problems??

I mean isn't that very different from a grown person blaming bad acts on a lack of attention from mommy when she was growing up? When a 15 year old girls dad is doing drugs with her and trying to have sex with other girls her age in front of her do we just say:

"People need to learn to be responsible for their own actions and stop trying to put the blame on everything and everybody else."

Wow- we dont have more sympathy than that for a young child in a sea of older trouble makers??

Again- if she does wrong, then she needs to be punished. But lets mix in a little understanding as well as to what may have been done to prevent somethng like that from happening.

so it doesnt happen again ;)

I mean this seems like an easy one to me lol- but again- please feel free to differ


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

For the rest of you:

Thanks for all the comments. I am not blaming any one in the post for TLB. I chose the word villain and displayed the specific working definition for one particular phrase.

"not chivalrous"

The people I picked on were those who I feel MIGHT have made a difference had they acted more appropriately. ( exception being Bugs- one sec on that)

We know who the " bad guys" were. But what about those on the peripheral who might have made a difference had they been more inclined to do the right, responsible things.

As for Bugs lol- who takes more heat from defending him than I do over the years as far as H/S being a possible motive? Go back and look a few months where I wax poetic making the case for H/S on this very blog :)

But if he knew it was not the real motive and pressed it anyway for personal gain( I stressed this was a big IF)and pushed his own agenda ahead of the truth for the victims family and community he was assigned to serve...

well that's not very chivalrous is it???

Those who defend Polanski will never cease to amaze me, but you can still have one of my cold coors-lights if you want one anyway. I know that he was not an untypical husband of the 60's. I know all that. Again- the working term of the idea was Chivalrous. I ask what if Roman was a great husband? Maybe it wasn't that him being a bad husband helped killed her as much as him being a really good husband might have saved her. Had he just cared a little more about her condition and where he was sending her in that condition. Cared more that she was in that place with those people. Was it the very best he could do for his own family? Was it Chivalrous? I say not..

That's all folks- off to find a new house, a new job, and a new girl. ( I still have some money lol)

Not to worry. I will be back with a new post soon ;)

Robert Hendrickson said...

ST: I thought YOU were perfectly clear about what you were saying regarding possible villians having, at least, some enfluence on the subject circumstances, but I read your post TWICE. I have found that when we read something ONLY once, we respond in a reactionary manner, but IF we re-read, a new and improve sense of understanding usually evolves.

I think Samantha (Polanski's little victim) was only 13 at the time of HIS raping HER, which to me really is significant. I know in many countries 13 year old girls are sold off into sex-slavery, as part of the culture, BUT in America not so acceptable.

AND I thought Hilary had a good point when SHE proclaimed that "it takes a village" - to raise a "good" child. BUT, of course, it ONLY takes one ex-con to change that "good" child into an EVIL, dirty, smelly KILLER.

Today's headline is: The POPE secretly met with the woman who refuses to issue marraige licenses to gay people and praised HER for HER courage.

So for ME SAINT, you actually fell short with YOUR list of those (names) who contributed to ALL the hate in this world. AND if LBJ / the Pope didn't actually contribute to ANY of the 1960's problems - what the FUCK were THEY even put on this earth for ? Entertainment ?

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

"BUT with a father figure like hers who not only allowed bad behavior, but encouraged and participated in it himself....

when something goes wrong do you blame the 15 year old kid for embarrassing dad, or do you blame dad for not keeping his daughter out of the way of problems??"

I am in total agreement with you there. But Dean Moorehouse and Diane Lake's parents have always been flagged as obviously having a lot to answer for and being highly irresponsible in the care of their daughters.
But they are exceptions to the parental rule.
I'm tempted to have a go at Pat, Leslie & Linda's parents, for not making more of a go of their marriages or taking a guiding, firmer hand in their daughters' lives when the divorces did happen -> but is that reasonable or fair ? I wasn't a fly on their walls and plenty of people have split up, initially wrecking their childrens' worlds. Charlie, Bruce and Susan's parent[s] are far easily identified as negligent but that's too simplistic. I think Charlie was actually wrong in many instances when he claimed to be helping kids that were tossed out and unwanted by their parents, equally so with the likes of Brenda who said "we are what you have made us." Running away isn't the same as being tossed away. Watching war and detective violence on TV doesn't equate to having no value for life. But paradoxically, there is also some truth in both assertions.

St Circumstance said...

"But what about those on the peripheral who might have made a difference had they been more inclined to do the right, responsible things"

I wouldn't mind betting that there are a number of people in that position that can never see that they bear some {not all} responsibility for the way some people turned out. And I agree with you on this one. Even one unreasonable cop or teacher that couldn't be bothered or warden in a correctional unit that was abusive are further links in a chain that ended with a number of people in the grave and their killers' lives effectively done at too young an age.
The moral of the rant ? Every moment matters.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

"As for Bugs...if he knew it was not the real motive and pressed it anyway for personal gain( I stressed this was a big IF)and pushed his own agenda ahead of the truth for the victims family and community he was assigned to serve...

well that's not very chivalrous is it???"

Although in the years following the trial Bugliosi modified his position on the killers and wasn't at all sure Manson believed all of HS, to assert that he put forward such a fantastic tale like HS knowing it to false defies belief. It's easier to believe HS itself than to believe VB went with it knowing it to be untrue. I'm not saying people in positions of responsibility don't lie or self serve or seek gain. They do. Too much of the time. I just don't think this applies to VB in this specific case.
I will forever continue to point out 2 things that cannot be ignored though they frequently are -> he stated quite blatantly in his opening argument, quote, "we believe there to be more than one motive." You cannot get clearer than that. And secondly, he went with the evidence that came his way. Now that we have access to these police interviews, reports, lawyer interviews etc, it is as clear as pigeons fly and crap on the earth that HS kept coming up again and again and again in one guise or another and it was every time connected to Charles Manson. Stuff was appearing in interviews even before VB was even handed the case. Just check out interviews & reports that occurred in 1969 and the picture emerging. Few believed the copycat because it never came up from any of the main players !
I don't care if VB went on to try and stage a helter skelter himself in 1980. Or about his actions involving the mistress or the milkman or his failure to make it to any big jobs. On this specific case he can be summed up as "I didn't ask for this, Charlie. This is my job."

St Circumstance said...

"Those who defend Polanski will never cease to amaze me....I ask what if Roman was a great husband?"

As Charles Manson would undoubtedly concur, even a bad wolf needs defending when surrounded by a brood of angry bears, snow leopards or mountain lions.
Roman Polanski might have been a great husband and the same thing might still have happened. I mean, Leno LaBianca was at home with his wife, no dangerous druggy friends, no degenerate sexy Hollywood scenes and yet, the LaBiancas are no longer with us. By the hand of the same folk.
I don't think highly of Roman Polanski, but as future revelations showed us, many people involved in this saga had the kind of 'doggy deeds' in their lives that could be spun to sensationalize. I reckon if every one of us that contribute to this blog were found dead tomorrow and writers and the police investigated, in time it may emerge that we were less than stellar too. Or at least the details of our lives could be spun that way.

grimtraveller said...

Robert Hendrickson said...

"I have found that when we read something ONLY once, we respond in a reactionary manner, but IF we re-read, a new and improve sense of understanding usually evolves"

So true. It's rare that I'll read something once, especially books. My wife used to ask me why I don't just get books from the library and I said I keep my books for reference and understanding purposes. Even when I did use the library or borrow a book, if it was good I'd search it out and buy it. I still do. My kids and I will watch stuff over and over again and my wife'll say "haven't you already watched that ?" to which, we'll just give knowing smiles, just like the acid trippers used to do.
Much of the Family believed in HS and the surrounding philosophy because they heard it so many times. Their new and improved sense of understanding evolved through repetition. Charlie was like their own private library, book collection and internet all rolled into one dynamic package.

CarolMR said...

"I will forever continue to point out 2 things that cannot be ignored though they frequently are -> he stated quite blatantly in his opening argument, quote, 'we believe there to be more than one motive.' You cannot get clearer than that. And secondly, he went with the evidence that came his way. Now that we have access to these police interviews, reports, lawyer interviews etc, it is as clear as pigeons fly and crap on the earth that HS kept coming up again and again and again in one guise or another and it was every time connected to Charles Manson. Stuff was appearing in interviews even before VB was even handed the case. Just check out interviews & reports that occurred in 1969 and the picture emerging. Few believed the copycat because it never came up from any of the main players !" - grimtraveller

Very true! I was in high school when the TLB murders occurred. I had already been a fan of Sharon's and thought it rather exciting that she ended up married to an up-and-coming European movie director (although I felt sad for Jay). So her murder really shocked me. I read everything I could about the case. I remember reading so much about something called "Helter Skelter" and about a guy named "Charlie" who was referred to by his "family" as Jesus, love, daddy, leader, teacher, inspiration, you name it. This was before anyone heard of the name Vincent Bugliosi. Vince many not have been everyone's cup of tea, but I will never believe he invented the motive of Helter Skelter. Helter Skelter and Manson were practically handed to him on a silver platter!

MHN said...

I agree, Grimtrav: Helter Skelter as the motive for the killings is as clear as pigeon crap.

TracyL7291 said...

Hi St.-
I have read many of your posts. I've been reading this blog for a long time. I've been reading most of the Manson boards since the internet came out. Back when Nelson ( ugh) had a site and I used to post regularly on my buddy Denise's Killed The Sixties yahoo group. That must have easily been a dozen years ago. I only bring that up to let you know I'm not a new reader about TLB.
I just disagree that the examples you gave...Polanski, the Police, Bugliosi, or as I said the MAJORITY of parents could have in any way prevented this crime.
You said "you were trying to point out the ways that the crime could have been prevented by people who were in a position to do so." That is what I was/am responding too.
I wasn't referring to the "teenage" girls such as Ruthann Moorehouse, that's a whole different subject. I was referring to the actual TLB killers which is who your original post was about. At least that's how it read to me.
Nobody has a perfect upbringing, we all know that. I grew up with alcoholism and abuse myself we also all know that regardless of their childhood some people do great things with their lives and others take a different path. That kind of goes without saying...
But again I am only talking about the actual killers in this case.
I don't see how Polanski is in any way to blame or could have prevented what happened. You may think he should have been home with his pregnant wife, I get that completely, but how would that have stopped the killers from coming to the home? Even if as you say he didn't completely trust Voytek or others around the house that makes him guilty of having bad judgement. Unless you know something more I don't think he could possibly have ever imagined that people were going to break into that home and slaughter his wife and everyone else there. So no, I don't think he could have in any way prevented what happened.
The police and prosecutor obviously weren't aware the crimes were about to happen so I don't see how they could have made a difference at all. Again I'm going by your said in your post you were "trying to point out the ways that the crimes could have been prevented by people who were in a position to do so." That's what I was responding to. The crimes themselves.

TracyL7291 said...

That didn't publish my whole comment...more to come. Sorry!

TracyL7291 said...

As far as the parents go...I stand by my words that outside of Atkins and Manson the killers seem to have had a GOOD upbringing- I didn't say perfect. I do know that the parents of VanHouten, Krenwinkle, and Watson stood by them even after they were convicted of these murders.
Lastly, when I said I think parents are more often victims than villains when it comes to their grown children committing crimes what I meant was even if they are/were good parents ( and not all are I realize that) their name and reputation is often tainted by the criminal acts their grown children do. ( For example would you want the last name Bundy or Dahmer?) They have to deal with the knowledge that their own child did such a thing, they in a sense also lose a child, not by death but to a life behind bars. So in that sense I can definitely see some parents of these and other murderers as victims and not any kind of villains.
That's what my response was to...your four P's who you seemed to think could have somehow changed what happened. Polanski, Police, Prosecutor, and Parents.
So for you to say I don't have any sympathy for a young child in a sea full of older trouble makers. ( in direct response to what I had posted) actually makes no sense at all. I wasn't referring to any young children. Only the actual killers, which your post, (that I did read more than once by the way) to me seemed to be about. Maybe I misunderstood something, it’s certainly possible. My comments are just my opinions anyway and nothing personal against you.

TracyL7291 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris B said...

Surely the villian of the piece is Johnny Swartz for lending out his car.

grimtraveller said...

MHN said...

"I agree, Grimtrav: Helter Skelter as the motive for the killings is as clear as pigeon crap"

As the motive, yeah. As one of the motives, naw.
You know the problem with the legal end of things ? The law looks for specificity. Most of the time it gets it. A shot B. Z robbed Q etc. In this case, looking for a specificity that satisfies is going to be a headache. Charlie himself made the point in many ways, repeatedly throughout the trial period and indeed, has continued to do so for close to half a century. He tried to avoid 'specificity' in things he said and that's the mind you have to wear to catch things that he did say. Simple black and white won't do it {no pun intended}. Once one works out some of the codes a person speaks with, they're easier to understand. I remember when my son started secondary school. For the next 4 weeks no one could understand what he meant half the time ! Now, I can most of the time.

By the way, some pigeon crap is actually pretty clear !

grimtraveller said...

christopher butche said...

"Surely the villian of the piece is Johnny Swartz for lending out his car"

I had to laugh good and hard at that one ! Priceless.

Unknown said...

Tracy- you seem a good person to me. I understand and respect your points and passion.

Its nice to meet you and thanks for taking the time to make such thoughtful comments on my work..

Its ok to not agree lol especially when you do so in such a classy manner :)

Robert Hendrickson said...

I was supicious of Johnny Swartz all along. A 59 Ford that was NOT an Edsel ? AND "they" had to borrow a car that actually ran - to ignite the world wide B & W RACE War ? A 22 caliber pistol and some knives to begin a fuck'n WAR ? AND the "new" girl had the ONLY valid driver's license - so SHE drove the battle wagon ? AND "cap" wanted to go, but there was NO more room in the car ?

AND the "Commander in Chief" of the San Fernando Valley command, stayed back in the Saloon, because HE was apparently TOO embarrassed to be seen with this bunch of broken "jar-heads" ?

My GOD this is sounding just like LBJ and HIS band of merry men, peeing on the floor in the Oval office, cause THEY couldn't recognize a modern day bathroom.

grimtraveller said...

Robert Hendrickson said...

"AND the REAL question might be: How come NOBODY asked: "Who or what are these "Black Muslims" Paul Watkins mentions in connection with the Helter Skelter "motive" we are to believe Mr. Manson was possessed with" ?"

I think the Black Muslims are something of a red herring, incidental at best. Apocalyptic thinking was in the air and had been for certain groups for a very long time.

Chris B said...

I notice that the Nation of Islam since 2010 are encouraging the study of Dianetics and training up auditors with the help of the Church of Scientology.
As clears it's a shame that both Manson and Davis aren't made more use of.

Ajerseydevil said...

St. Glad to see you doing well again I for one look forward to drinks with you & the rest of whoever goes on next April's tour

Ajerseydevil said...

St. Glad to see you doing well again I for one look forward to drinks with you & the rest of whoever goes on next April's tour

Proteus1816 said...

You know, it really makes me so mad when people want to invest some sort of infantile persona on Sharon as if she was some sort of brainless "Anna-Nicole" kind of bimbo. She wasn't. People who make such blanket statements about Polanski refuse to admit the one thing that one of the commenters above did: Sharon was not an angelic, untouchable child. She knew what and who she wanted and went after it with gusto. Her statement to Gene Gutowski should be noted: "Gene I know Roman is fucking around on me, but he's my Roman and I love him." Polanski said he wouldn't change for her when they married, then she was upset he didn't. There is one thing that is not being said here though, and that is he DID change. He changed when he met and married his third wife Emmanuelle Seigner. They've been married for almost 30 years now with two children, both of whom Polanski adores and loves. Would he have changed back then? Who knows. He wasn't given that chance because of what happened that night on August 9, 1969. No one knows what would have happened because that "chance" was taken out of his hands.

Now onto the whole issue of the 1977 charges. It's a little hard to feel for the so-called "victim" in this case when she openly admits that she slept with at least six other guys over the age of 18 and none of them were charged. If it's "rape" with one, it has to be "rape" with all. To anyone saying Polanski "anally raped that girl and gave her drugs...." I say bullshit. Samantha Geimer didn't have a mark on her as per the examination done on her that night and the forensic tests conducted on the swabs and stains taken from her body showed ZERO fluids from Polanski. There just weren't any fluids, she was clean. When asked in the Grand Jury hearing whether she "bathed, showered, douched or took an enema" she answered "No" to all. Yet how were there no fluids on her entire body that denoted they came from Polanski? Further, the panties that were obtained had a chain-of-custody issue. The stain that was tested from the crotch came from a sterile man, as testified to by forensics tech Lee Mann. I have the transcript of the hearing. He clearly states that the sample came from a sterile man. The panties came from the laundry room where Det. Vannatter sent Samantha on her own to get. He did not accompany her. There is no proof those were the panties she was wearing that afternoon. Then there's the issue of both her and her mother not wanting any jail time, nor Polanski's deportation. Or how about the almost two decade long campaign Geimer launched to clear the case, no in her words "exonerate" Polanski? Believe me, no rape victim wants their rapist cleared, let alone exonerated if he didn't commit a crime. Most of them want their rapist to burn in oil or hell for all eternity. But here she is supporting Polanski. Unheard of.

Back to the issue of Sharon, how many other men went on business trips leaving their pregnant wives home, or even sent their wives home to give birth at home and who are not reamed at every chance? Did Polanski screw around on Sharon? Yes, he did. Was it right? Only Sharon can answer that. If she was hurt, as some people say she was, then there was a remedy for that. But she chose not to. She was waiting for Polanski to return to attend Lamaze classes. Sharon clearly was waiting for his return home. And the only ones who know the status of the Polanski marriage as of 12:30 AM, Saturday August 9, 1969. And they are/were Roman and Sharon Polanski. Polanski is someone who uses humor to try to handle a bad situation. I do that to. I did it when my mother died in 2015, and the same when my partner of 30 years had to be taken to the hospital and have an extended stay due to a respiratory infection. I need the humor or else I would go insane with everything that has happened to me in my life. Unless you've walked a mile, you cannot judge.