Thursday, October 22, 2015

Losing Sight Of Victims' Families

From past postings I have done, you can probably come to the conclusion that I am not a "fan" of Manson, Tex, Susan, Pat and the others. I am also not one who thinks of conspiracies when analyzing this tragic, horrendous case either. It doesn't matter what I or anyone else thinks anyway. Nothing we write on here is going to bring back any of the victims or make anyone feel better. With that being said, I think, over the years, as people continue to discuss, analyze & debate different aspects of this case, we have lost sight of the fact that the Manson Family killers/helpers/perpetrators (whatever you want to call them) not only stole the lives of the victims, but they completely devastated & ruined the families that were left behind. How did the families function when they had to plan funerals, clean & sort through their loved ones belongings, deal with estate/inheritance issues, lawsuits, and financial losses, including IRS bullshit all the while knowing their murdered loved one suffered in the most brutal of ways? The LaBianca family, for example, went through so much unnecessary estate problems, because of all the debts & issues with Leno's financial problems. Not to mention the greed that came out of the woodwork too! What about the Tate family? They had been extremely excited about the upcoming birth of the new baby and had been planning accordingly,  but instead had to endure a VERY PUBLIC funeral in place of welcoming a new member of their family. These are just two examples of what some of the families went through. It would take a whole book to mention all the others. The heartbreak & loss was unimaginable, I am sure. On top of the severe depression & devastating loss, these people had no privacy to mourn in peace. Their loved ones were not only butchered, but then they were BLAMED for their own deaths. This is the stuff of nightmares. These people really, truly lived it and I, for one do not know how they survived. We've all probably seen this show, but watch how Patti Tate explained to Maury Povich how horrible it was the morning they found out about Sharon's murder:

Now that the 46 year anniversary of these horrible crimes has happened, I would like to just let our readers know that I hope we can continue respectful discussions over this case without losing sight of the victims and the victims' families that were left behind. We will not ever forget what this is about, which is the incredible, brutal loss of MANY lives......

Frank Struthers Jr-Rosemary LaBianca's son

 Suzan Struthers-Rosemary LaBianca's daughter

Jay Sebring's sister

Steven Parent's mother & father + sister

Abigail Folger's brother & sister

Wojiciech Frykowski family

Tate Family & Roman Polanski

Shorty Shea's wife

Kay Hinman Martley-Gary Hinman's cousin


SusanB said...

Well said, Austin Ann. A poignant and sobering post. Thank you.

AustinAnn74 said...

Thank you, SusanB. I wrote this post a long while back after coming across that YouTube video of Patti Tate's description of what her family went through after Sharon's murder. It was horrendous.

Unknown said...

Well said!!

Patty is Dead said...

For the record Kay is a second cousin.

Robert Hendrickson said...

YES Ann, and the photos are especially disturbing, BECAUSE they are of folks just like YOU and ME and ALL of US, EXCEPT the "bad" boys and girls.

So how do WE solve the problem of "bad" guys hurting the "good" people ?

It's taken me years of research and contemplation to actually discover that "hurting" good folks is also a "business" and it is a "big" business.
It involves a "good living" for judges, lawyers, jailers, policemen, politicians, doctors, nurses and the list is mind blowing.

BUT maybe we can reduce "hurting" good people to a minimum.

For instance: Let the surviving "victims" decide the "punishment." IF some "bad" guy like the person who recently SHOT the little girl riding in the bed of her father's pick-up is convicted, let the grieving father execute the "punishment" HE decides upon. IF he says "hang-um" HE gets to actually pull the botton floor out which causes the "bad" guy to HANG.

IF he says "death by firing squad" HE gets to be that "squad." And IF it takes HIM a dozen bullets over an hour to KILL the "bad" guy - so be it.

AND if a religious person wants to "forgive" a "bad" guy for KILLING his loved one - so be that also.

Of course, you'll have a whole lot of "law enforcement" employees lining up at the "welfare office" VERY soon.

Can YOU just imagine - say 50,000 guns all blazing in unison at some mother-fucker like LBJ ? Like - NO more radical WARS, unless WE the people actually want IT.

AustinAnn74 said...

In our family, my 2nd cousins are my cousins, period. We are all close.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks especially for posting the photos of the various family members who had to go through their grief. Despite our fascination with the Manson group we are decent people, trying to live good lives. I hope casual visitors to this site can see that.

AustinAnn74 said...

I think they can, Hump. I think there are a lot more people who are fascinated about this case than we know. It's all good. This is just a tribute, I suppose.

CarolMR said...

Thank you so much for this, AustinAnn. There was an interesting line in the Patti Tate video - when she said she had spent the day before the murders with Sharon at Cielo. I was always under the impression that the last day any of the Tates actually saw Sharon was when they all went to Cielo to watch the moon landing on 7/20/69.

candy and nuts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trilby said...

I think of Col. and Mrs. Tate, & Patti Tate, as incredible human beings. (After reading "Restless Souls", my admiration for them became infinite. But I've wished many a time that Col. Paul had okayed a hit on Watson, Manson, et al., when he got that annual phone call.).
I feel sorry for all the other families' suffering and grief.
But the reason Leno LaBianca's family suffered the financial devastation in the wake of his murder was because of HIS actions in life. His embezzlement, cooking the books, etc. Compulsive gamblers have no conscience and are known for stealing, lying, etc.
Everybody else I feel sorry for. Him - no. He robbed his family in death, just as he stole from them while alive. HIS actions cost them the business.

Anonymous said...

I can be most sympathetic with the fact the Tate family allowed themselves to be used by so-called friends who just viewed them as dollar signs. Such as Geraldo, who'd place his hand on the shoulder or Doris Tate and ask her to relive the death of her daughter, while spicing up another program taking about how the baby was cut out of the womb and it was always on an going blood and guts horror show thinly disgusted as trying to raise awareness of victim's rights or whatever.

Jenn said...

Robert, as I'm sure you must know, your remedy is unconstitutional.

MHN said...
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Robert Hendrickson said...


BUT the U.S. "Constitution" was renedered "obsolete" when COLT created the 45 - nick-named (The Equalizer). From then on it was "BAN" the Equalizer and replace it with an industry that makes for good paying jobs like Policemen, jailers, lawyers and judges.

AND you only need a JUDGE to decide that the "surviving victim" is entitled to be an "executioner" under "equal opportunity" LAW.

YEARS ago, you only needed to be an "electrician" to pull the switch that sends "electricity" through wires to electricute" a convicted person sentenced to death.

Apparently, it's ALL in the "interpretation" of the Constitution OR more simply - in the "hands" of a JUDGE.

Robert Hendrickson said...

I hope the only reason there aren't many "comments" attached to this POST is because WE are ALL in shock to SEE these folks 'humanized," instead of just reading about them via various letters of the alphebet arranged in a certain way.

Bob Abooee said...

Austin Ann...Great post. Amongst all the political bs goes on that around here, you have a real way of cutting through to the humanity of it all.


RH...truck on brother.

Back to lurk mode. Baba Booey Y'all

Bob Abooee said...

*that goes on around here

damn alcohol.

MHN said...

You're not wrong Robert. I agree, it is a shock to see all these faces. Also, what more can we add to what Ann has expressed? Well said Ann.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Shorty's wife was cute as a button. Poor girl.

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

Did Shorty and that particular wife have children?

Robert Hendrickson said...

OMG MICHAEL: You just made me think - NO words are even necessary - the photos say it ALL. EXCEPT - then the faces could be of the KILLERS families OR even of loved-ones who lost THEIR boys in Vietnam.

MHN said...

Robert it's an interesting thought. We visited Auschwitz once, during a trip to Krakow. The most moving thing was a room of images, formal and organised, in rows. Children's faces. Striped camp uniform. Left profile. Frontal. Right profile. Some had fear in their eyes, all looked numb. Those eyes looking right at the camera, and now at us, eye to eye. It broke my heart, ripped it up, and put it back in again, forever changed.

Killers' families are an odd case aren't they? There is no culture of sympathy for killers' families. Interesting.....

Matt said...

These children that come at you with knives. They are your children. You taught them. I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up...

MHN said...

Damn it Matt, that was sharp.

AustinAnn74 said...

I definitely have sympathy for the parents of the killers as well. I cannot imagine what they felt about what their kids had done. I think most of the parents put 100% of the blame on Manson completely though. I think it was too painful for them to realize that their kids had something deep down inside of them that was capable of doing what they did, especially Tex Watson. Leslie Van Houten's dad was the worst about putting blame on someone else. He even told Larry King that if Leslie hadn't smoked her first marijuana cigarette, this wouldn't of ever happened! He also blamed Manson for it all, which, of course, is a little true in a way, although I am convinced that Watson & Atkins were very capable of murder, even if they hadn't ever hooked up with Manson. Tex Watson, basically, scares the ever living shit out of me and I will always be of the opinion that the Tate victims were not his first. I saw a documentary on Netflix a while back called "Lost For Life" that reminded me of this whole subject matter. In this documentary, which is about men that killed when they were teens and how they are in prison for life now. There was one case, in particular about two high school kids that murdered their classmate Cassie Jo Stoddart in Pocatello, Idaho. They had filmed themselves planning it and killed this young girl in a horribly, brutal way just for fun. Well, now that both of these "boys" are in prison for the long haul, one of them has his parents arrogantly placing blame on the other guy. He has basically cast all the blame on his co-defendant completely, while his parents are mouthing off the same kind of crap. Basically, they are blaming the other guy, saying their son was innocent and really didn't do anything wrong, even if there is videotape evidence that he was VERY guilty! It is a sickening documentary, and frankly, I don't feel any kind of sorrow for the parents of this guy, simply because they are so thoughtless & arrogant about themselves. They never once mentioned the victim the whole time they appeared in the documentary. A young, beautiful girl was stabbed to death by their son and the other loser and all they talk about is how their son is being victimized by spending his life behind bars. Unreal! Their son participated in a horrible, vicious murder for sport, and instead of feeling bad for the victim and the victim's family, the parents of this little asshole feel sorry for their own situation and are blaming the other guy only. It's sick. If you want to read up on it, or look at the documentary, it's on YouTube too, but under a different title, "Teen Killers: Life Without Parole." In closing my comment out, I must say that YES, I do feel sorry for the parents of the Manson Family killers, but I feel more sorry for the parents & other family members of their victims. They never got to see their loved ones again. The family of the murderers at least got to visit their family in prison. They even got to have conjugal visitation, as we just recently discussed. The families of their victims didn't get any visits, except at the grave yard.

Anonymous said...

This got me thinking about something. The "Manson Family", particularly Red and Blue used the spotlight they received to...wait for this....GOOD, just as the Tate Family did.

They used the fact that society and the media saw them as vicious lunatics who mean business as a means to put "fear" in people and to raise awareness to issues they cared about. From their (what I believe, empty) threats I bet they actually DID get a lot of people thinking about the environment and corruption. Both jailed for it, yet fear has been, continues to be and always WILL be the main motivator moving us.

Imagination if they stopped BP from just empty threats before that massive oil spill?

Robert Hendrickson said...

YES D. LaCalandra It's always about "control" by FEAR. Paul Watkins even talks about IT being a controlling factor in the Family. Michael gives a very REAL example in his comment.

Three hundred men with GUNS can march a million good folks right into a camp and in South-East Asia THEY did exactly that. 300 went into a Capitol city and rounded up everyone - then marched them a mile down the road.

BUT there must be GUNS involved. Without something more powerful than a human being, there is NO "control." THUS, like it or NOT, everytime there is a "mass school shooting" the message is clear. EXCEPT, the U.S. has discovered a possible new way in order to "control" it's people - the FEAR of Climate Change.

CarolMR said...

Does anyone know why every publication, and Greg King's book, state that no one in Sharon's family saw her after 7/20, but Patti said she spent time with her the day before the murders? Could Sharon's family have been so traumatized by Sharon's murder that they are not remembering details exactly right or is everyone else get this detail wrong?

Anonymous said...

@Austin Ann

Ann, thanks for another great post with your trademark common sense and down to earth approach. I was particularly pleased that you included the families of both Steven Parent and Shorty Shea in your article, because these two often seem to be forgotten due to them not being wealthy or having celebrity status.

What I felt was particularly pertinent was that you highlighted the practical problems that these families faced in addition to the emotional trauma, after the slaughter of their loved ones. It is one thing to make funeral arrangements when a close relative has died of natural causes, but quite another when they have been butchered by persons unknown (at that point in time). The Parent family did not strike me as being particularly affluent, and it is unlikely they had life assurance out on young Steve. Just because Sharon and, to an extent, Jay were in the public limelight didn’t mean that their families were equipped to deal with the world’s media.

Who we did see rising from the ashes like a phoenix was the magnificent Mrs Doris Tate. I don’t know what they put in the water in Texas, but you Texas girls sure has some backbone!! One of my all time favourite TLB video clips is the one where Doris attended Tex’s parole hearing, threw down her pre-prepared speech and let him have it with both barrels! He couldn’t look her in the face. I am presently working my way through ‘Restless Souls’ and have come to the part where Doris visited a state penitentiary and Bobby B was standing staring at her in an intimidatory manner. He ended up having to bow to her and walk away.

I do agree with your sentiment that these tragedies affected the killer’s parents, but LVH’s parents came across to me as being arrogant in the court room. I didn’t hear too much regret or apologies directed to the victims’ families.

I still believe that Barbara Hoyt should keep away from the parole hearings. She was a member of the Family who was trying her best to escape from Bugliosi's subpoena. There are enough living victims' relatives to either attend the parole hearings in person, or make their representations by phone or letter. Ms Hoyt is surplus to requirement.

Chris B said...

Equinox, I too find Doris in Tex's hearing a wonderful vision of courteous righteousness. When she stares down Tex and asks when will the dead be paroled from their graves is a standout moment that reminds me a mother's love is a powerful bond.

The law of unforeseen consequences in that one of their random victims parents should end up being the person responible for enacting legislation to hinder them is particularly karmic.

A formidable woman whose strength of character was built on tragedy. Perhaps because she was primarily acting in the role of a mother of a murdered child I find her one of the few characters in the whole saga it is churlish to criticise.

Anonymous said...

@christoper butche

Yes, Christopher, she was a magnificent lady. I truly wish that she hadn't met such a tragic end herself. I don't know how, when facing down Tex at the parole hearing, that she held back from attacking him. She made Watson look like what he is - a pathetic, spineless individual, with no excuses accepted.

Obviously, after the death of her stunningly beautiful daughter and unborn grandson, she went into a very bad state. But she emerged stronger than ever to fight on behalf of all those families whose lives are torn apart by callous murderers.

CarolMR said...

"Obviously, after the death of her stunningly beautiful daughter and unborn grandson, she went into a very bad state. But she emerged stronger than ever to fight on behalf of all those families whose lives are torn apart by callous murderers." - Equinox

Absolutely. I remember watching a 60 Minutes-type show and Doris was the subject. She said that for 10 years she was in a "very bad state." But after all those years of anger and thoughts of revenge, the Lord told her to "let it go." That's when she decided to put her energy into something for good, such as victims' rights.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Christopher thank you for reacquainting me with the word "churlish" I like it.

Fiddy 8 said...

Since 1960, there has been approximately 920,000 murders (and intentional manslaughters) in the United States of America.

If you spent 10 minutes of your time on each these *other* cases to express your sympathy for all of these 920,000 murder victim's families, you would need 8 hours per day, each day of your life, for 50 years, to do so.

Chris B said...

Austin Ann, a book published last month may be of interest to you: Media Circus: A Look at Private Tragedy in the Public Eye by Kim Goldman.
Imagine losing a loved one in the public eye.

"A media frenzy ensues and spreads your family name through the news. Reporters ambush you, and across the country, strangers gossip about your personal loss.

Welcome to the circus.

No one understands better than Kim Goldman the complex emotions of individuals suffering a personal tragedy under the relentless gaze of the media. During the famed O.J. Simpson trial, Kim, whose brother, Ron Goldman, was brutally murdered, became the public poster child for victims suffering in the public eye.

In Media Circus, Goldman, now a dedicated victims’ advocate who works with families across the country, presents the first collective look at these ordinary, grieving victims—forced to manage their very private trauma and despair in a very public way.

Through candid interviews and detailed, original reporting, Media Circus delivers riveting, humanizing, and inspiring stories from the victims and survivors of violent crimes who found themselves the focus of national media attention. Its heartfelt narratives showcase the unique challenges of coping with and healing from grief when the whole world is watching.

In these pages, the families of other victims tell their stories, including:
Esaw And Emerald Garner, wife and daughter of police brutality victim Eric Garner (2014)
Scarlett Lewis, mother of six-year-old Newtown tragedy victim Jesse Lewis (2012)
Debra Tate, sister of Charles Manson murder victim Sharon Tate (1969)
Judy Shepard, mother of gay hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard (1998)
Mildred Muhammad, ex-wife of the DC Sniper (2002)
Tere Duperrault Fassbender, survivor of family’s brutal murder at sea (1961)
Collene Campbell, sister of murdered NASCAR driver Mickey Thompson (1988)
Marie Monville, wife of the Amish Shooter (2006)
Dave And Mary Neese, parents of teen murder victim Skylar Neese (2012)
Scott And Kathleen Larimer, parents of Aurora theater shooting victim John Larimer, and
Shirley Wygal, mother of Aurora theater shooting victim Rebecca Wingo (2012)

Media Circus goes beyond the names and faces to show the real victims behind the stories"

AustinAnn74 said...

Christopher, thank you for the reading suggestion. I'll check it out, although I bet it's depressing as shit.

Proteus1816 said...

How can anyone take Debra Tate seriously when she confabulates so much of her "story" even conscripting much of Patti's memories as her own. She also states that only SHE went up to Cielo to identify the bodies. SHE called Roman Polanski in London. SHE made the funeral arrangement for Sharon. SHE was the only one who saw the baby. SHE was the one to pick out the gown Sharon was buried in. All of that is bull when we all know the true facts of the case. We know now that PJ Tate went up to Cielo after Bill Tennant had been there to identify the bodies. PJ had arrived after all but one of the bodies had been removed. It was PJ who made the funeral arrangement. It was Gene Gutowski who went up to the house and got the Pucci print MINI that Sharon was buried in. While I can feel a modicum of empathy for her, I cannot say I like her much. She has none of the class her mother and sister had considering that she's allowed most of Sharon's belongings she has mildew and rot. That Inside Edition program where she allowed a model to put on Sharon's clothes I just about lost it. While those things were in Patti's possession no one touched them but the family, and they knew the preciousness of them. Also having read The Col's blog, and finding out she has yet to bury PJ Tate's remains with Sharon, Doris, Paul Richard and Patti.... I can't feel anything for her. Spite is a hell of a thing to hold when you're a petulant child refusing to carry out your father's last rites.