Monday, July 18, 2016

Does an hour or three make a difference?

Readers may remember our post from the 2015 Tour titled "Benedict Canyon and the Surrounding Areas: Report on Strange Sounds, Gunshots, Indications of Violence, Related by Persons who were in Hearing Distance of the Polanski Residence on the Night of 8-8-69 and the Morning of 8-9-69"

It got me to thinking about the witnesses who heard the "Strange Sounds, Gunshots & Indications of Violence" and the timeline involved. Why are there such wide discrepancies? In the case of Mr. & Mrs. Seymour Kott it's unclear to me exactly when they think they heard what they heard.

Helter Skelter page 24:
At 10070 Cielo, Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Kott had already gone to bed, their dinner guests having left about midnight, when Mrs. Kott heard, in close sequence, what sounded like three or four gunshots. They seemed to have come from the direction of the gate of 10050. She did not check the time but later guessed it to be between 12:30 and 1 a.m. Hearing nothing further, Mrs. Kott went to sleep.
An interview Seymour Kott gave to NBC the weekend of the murders:
REPORTER:    What is your name, sir?

KOTT:    My name is Seymour Kott.

REPORTER::    How do you spell that last name?

KOTT:    K-o-t-t.

REPORTER:    Did you hear anything unusual, uh, the Friday, or the, on Saturday morning?

KOTT:    Yes, I -- there was a little more traffic than usual.

REPORTER:    Did they have many parties, or did they have many parties, uh, at the Polanski house?

KOTT:    Uh, well, I understand there have been quite a few parties.Since we moved here, we’ve only been here a few weeks, there have been no parties.

I met uh, Sharon, uh em, -- the Folger girl, Abigail Folger. I introduced myself to her. And the day I met her, she told me that there was going to be a party that evening. But uh, it must’ve been very quiet because we didn’t hear anything. In fact, we heard some cats meowing and it probably was a cat right. But that was down in the canyon.

REPORTER:    What about the bell on the gate? Do you hear that when it opens and closes?

KOTT:    Yes, every time the gate opens or closes, the bell rings.

REPORTER:    So you didn’t hear any activity after midnight?

KOTT:   None, what-so-ever.

REPORTER:   Now, as far as these parties are concerned, did it have anything to do with the occult, or uh, anything unusual like that?

KOTT:    I, uh, certainly wouldn’t know that, since I wasn’t a participant.

REPORTER:    Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.

KOTT:    You’re welcome.

Compare the above to this Mary Neiswender article Published August 27, 1969 (thanks to
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 27 – The slaughter of actress Sharon Tate and four others at her secluded Benedict Canyon home took place at "2 or 2:30 – no earlier," a neighbor who heard the shots and the screams of one of the victims said Tuesday in an exclusive interview.

The neighbor, from whose home you "can overhear normal conversation" on the grounds of the murder house, asked anonymity because of "possible problems."

Miss Tate, wife of movie director Roman Polanski and one of the stars in "Valley of the Dolls," was slain along with three of her jet-set friends - coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Hollywood hair stylist Jay Sebring, Polish would-be film maker Voityck Frokowski - and 18-year-old Steven Parent of El Monte, who had been visiting the caretaker of the estate, William Garretson.

On the night of the murder, Aug. 8-9, there were two parties going on in the exclusive section of Cielo Drive, the neighbor recalled.

One was at the home next door to the murder house, where a foursome - similar to the ill-fated gathering - had been invited.

"I stayed up late that night," the car-witness said "I was in bed reading and had snapped off the light and just dozed off. Something woke me almost immediately. I reached over and had just turned the light on when I heard a loud shot, a woman's scream, then another shot."

The second shot, he said seemed more muffled than the first - "the first seemed louder."

"At first I thought I was dreaming, but then I heard other noises, so I figured the party was still going on. I paid no attention…what the noises were didn't register. I know all I thought was that the party was still on.

"There's a lot of screaming and yelling in this neighborhood on weekends," he said. You get sort of used to it. It's like living near a freeway - pretty soon you don't hear the cars driving by."

What woke him up, he doesn't know, but he stayed awake long enough after the shots and screams to hear cars driving down the road.

"Where they were coming from, I don't know," he said. "There was a lot of traffic that night - like every weekend night."

The next morning the screaming of the maid at the murder scene brought the previous night's sounds into perspective.

"If I had looked out the window," he said, "I could have seen the murderers cutting the phone wires."

(The telephone wires leading to the home had been cut at the pole just outside the electronic gates of the estate. Police have said that the wires could have been cut either before or after the murders.)

Ever since the Polish-born film director moved into the home "maybe seven or eight months ago," the neighbor said; there was a lot of traffic - both on foot and in cars - going to the home.

"There was a lot of liquor delivered and a lot of air freight - and scripts from the studios, too. Reason I know," he said, "is that they'd always stop at our place to ask how you get into the estate, and I'd always have to show them the way."

The last vehicle he noticed going to the house before the murders, he claimed, was a white delivery truck, whose driver asked directions about 6:30 that evening.

From his home, he said, "you can't miss anything that is done" at the PoIanski home.

"I overheard the conversation between the detective and the telephone man as they were trying to get some clues from the way the wires were cut. But that's not the case," he said, "as far as the guest house is concerned – where the caretaker lived. You can't hear anything that's happening, in front when you're in the guest house."

This, he said he determined from previous with the caretaker and the house's owner, Rudy Altabelli, who both lived in the guest house. At the time of the murder Altabelli was in Europe.

But from his home he said, if your listen closely you can hear the chatter of guests, the music and "even the tinkle of cocktail glasses."

Although he admits he never met the blonde actress personally, they would wave "as neighbors" when she would drive by.

The home, in which he has been an occasional visitor, he described as "looking like a remodeled New England barn."

Since the murder no one but police and a few personal friends of the movie director have been allowed entrance.

A guard stands at the electronic gate leading to the house, taking down names of visitors, but allowing no one inside. The belongings of the Polanskis, the neighbor said, have been removed, but otherwise the house remains as it was found the day following the killings.

"Except." the guard adds, "the blood has dried."


What Mr. Kott said to Neiswender completely contradicts what he said to the NBC reporter, doesn't it? He tells NBC he heard no activity What.So.Ev.Er immediately after the murders, but later tells Neiswender he heard the shots and the screams no earlier than 2:00 - 2:30.

This can't sit well with TLB scholars. Especially considering that Seymour wanted to remain anonymous in Neiswender’s article. That's only logical conclusion a discerning mind can arrive at as to why Kott didn’t tell NBC he or his wife heard shots - is that he later embellished his story to Neiswender.

Prosecutors tend to bring forth evidence that works for their timeline and throw away those that don't work. Did Bugliosi actually ever do an interview with Mr. or Mrs. Kott? I don't know, but if he did, it's quite possible that in separate interviews they gave conflicting timelines to the DA's office OR, they both said something like "I heard screams no earlier than 2-2:30" At which point Bugliosi could have said to Mrs. Kott - who admittedly had been drinking and unsure, "Could it have been closer to 12:30A?" And Mrs. Kott replied "It could have been" which, if coached correctly before taking the stand, Bugliosi knows her reply will be "Around 12:30A" and unless a good defense attorney cross-examines her with, "Well, could it have been closer to 2:30" her testimony of 12:30 stands.

But the mere fact that Bugliosi uses this in his book to manipulate his readers into supporting his timeline (for me) is telling when clearly, Mr. Kott said "no earlier than 2-2:30" because now you have one of four 12:30 timeline witnesses discredited. Did Bugliosi know about Mary Neiswender's article?

Also interviewed by NBC the same weekend as Mr. Kott was Maureen Serot, the step-daughter of Ray Asin:
REPORTER:    What’s your name, Miss?

MAUREEN SEROT:   Maureen Serot.

REPORTER:   How do you spell that last name?

MAUREEN SEROT:    S-e-r-o-t.

REPORTER:    Where you home the night, uh, the murders, here?

MAUREEN SEROT:    No, I got home about 1 o’clock.

REPORTER:    Did you notice anything unusual?

MAUREEN SEROT:    The lights weren’t on. And usually the gate light is on, at least.

REPORTER:    Why would you take note of that?

MAUREEN SEROT:    It’s always been on, as long as we lived here, it’s usually the main light. Because you can’t see the gate or anything, without that on.

REPORTER:    Did you hear the bell on the gate closing, uh, at any time at all?

MAUREEN SEROT:    Not -- Saturday, Friday night.

REPORTER:   How about the people that were involved, were you acquainted with them?

MAUREEN SEROT:    Well, I had met Bill, the young guy they arrested, a couple times, walking the dogs. And my step father had met Sharon Tate a couple times.

REPORTER:    But you’ve never been in the house, uh --

MAUREEN SEROT:    Not since they’ve lived there

REPORTER:    Had you been in prior to that?


REPORTER:    Would you say it was a good setting for a murder?

MAUREEN SEROT:    Yeah. It was a -- it’s a big spooky type of house at night.

REPORTER:    Thank you very much.
So, Maureen Serot told NBC that on the night of the murders she arrived home around 1am and noticed the light at the gate was off and that was unusual. But she didn’t hear anything afterwards.

There are basically 5 Witnesses to the 12:30 timeline:

Garretson and a radio-clock: Considering Garretson's story changed even within the time of his arrest and release, and now, doesn't even remotely resemble his LAPD interrogation I think we could suspect whether he was correct in his estimation of when Steve left.

Mr & Mrs. Seymour Kott (see above)

Tim Ireland who said the screams were around 12:40

Rudy Weber who Bugliosi said encountered the group at 1:00 AM when they stopped to hose off.

Maureen Serot who noticed that the light at the gate was off at 1:00 AM

Verses the 2:30-4:00 timeline:

Emmett Steele (9951 Beverly Grove Dr.) who was awakened by the barking of one of his hunting dogs. He estimated the time to be between 2 and 3am.

14-year-old Carlos Gill,  who had a clear eye-view to the house and sound would travel right to his window who said it was 4:00 AM.

Robert Bullington and Eric Karlson, two security patrol trained to mark the time who both said 4:11am

Mr & Mrs. Seymour Kott: It's interesting that in HS Bugliosi uses Mrs. Kott as an important reference to his 12:30 timeline, but later in the book doesn't list her as a witness to support his timeline at trial. She did not testify.

At the trial Bugliosi wrote in HS: After Kasabian left the stand, I called a series of witnesses  whose detailed testimony either supported or corroborated her account. These included: Tim Ireland... Rudy Weber... John Swartz...

Do you find it telling that Mr and Mrs Kott were NOT called to testify? In two interviews they support both timelines. Bugliosi doesn't call them to the stand, but he features Mrs. Kott 's words in the first chapter of Helter Skelter?

As a SPOOKY side note, Maureen Serot went to the same high school as Patricia Krenwinkel and was a year behind her. ooo-EEE-ooo

*** A special shout out to Cielo and Cindy Lee for input on this post!


AustinAnn74 said...

I don't know why, but I have always believed that the Cielo crime happened between 12:20 and 12:50. It happened fast! I think Tim Ireland DID HEAR it going down. He actually heard a man screaming for about 10 to 15 seconds, "Please don’t…Oh God no…please don’t, don’t don’t…no no" All those other sounds heard by people that night could of been just people partying on a Friday night in the canyons, but Mr. Ireland actually heard a man pleading. That's way different. I don't know if lot of people back then had window unit air conditioners, but if the Kotts had one, they wouldn't of heard a damn thing. I'm sure the screams were louder than the gunshots too. The Kotts are completely out of the equation, as far as I'm concerned. Even Linda heard those screams, and wasn't she way down by the gate? I think Bugliosi, and the other author of HS, Curt Gentry, along with the editors had to change/add some things to the book to make it more interesting for the reader. It was a true crime novel, and couldn't have times or sequences all over the place. This book was written to SELL, but wasn't 100% accurate. The killers (and the maestro of the crimes) were already cuffed & stuffed, so the authors wanted to write a book that would fly off the shelf. Just my thoughts on the subject....Good morning, by the way....

Unknown said...

I wonder if you can match up any of the Family members statements to the screams that were heard. For example Tex says in Will You Die For Me that Voytek said:

As we staggered out onto the front porch, he kept screaming, “Help me. Oh God, help me!”

Maybe going through interviews and parole hearing transcripts from Susan/Pat/Tex/Linda- you can find common testimony as to what was screamed, and then you can match that with what the witnesses heard, to figure out which group was hearing the correct sounds.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Sorry folks, but every time we do this timeline / sounds THING, I start THINKING:

1) Tex cuts the telephone wires so NO body can sound an alarm to the cops, BUT then HE blasts a GUN right in the driveway at Parent so ALL the neighbors can hear.

2) Where are Sharon Tate's dogs ?

3) ONLY "questionable" characters and the queen of B movies are present at the TATE house for the massacre. NO Mr. Polanski, NO Rudy, NO McQueen and NO-body else that was supposed to be there that night.

Seems to ME, if you wanted to mix-up ALL the "evidence" and re-create this murder SCENE for a simple minded jury to convict (even those who were NOT even present), you would have to be some kind of judicial genius.

grimtraveller said...

AustinAnn74 said...

It was a true crime novel, and couldn't have times or sequences all over the place

And yet, that's exactly what the opening sequence presents. A near 4 hour timeline.
Sheer logic alone compels one to conclude that some of the sounds heard were nothing to do with the murders at Cielo. Either that or they mostly were but the hearers were way out with their timings because they were being asked to give exact times in a situation where few of them had actually logged the times. For example with Mrs Kott, we know this much; she doesn't know exactly when her guests left. "About midnight" isn't good enough. What would have made more sense would have been to find out who the guests were and ask them when they left and did they see anything ~ if they weren't actually asked this. We also know of Mrs Kott that she heard what sounded like gunshots. But she never positively could state that they were. It also occurred to me last year that she couldn't have been that alarmed if she just went back to sleep. But the kingpin when it comes to her recollections is that she does not know what time she heard these sounds. She hazards a guess and we are specifically told "she did not check the time."
I remember one night I'd just gone to bed when I heard this incredibly loud boom. The whole house shook with it and I wondered what the heck it was. My wife never heard it as she was more or less asleep. The next morning about a half a mile away, the police had cordoned off the road and when I asked what had happened, they told me a bomb had gone off at our local sorting office. I told them I'd heard it but I couldn't tell them the time. It was in the early hours of the morning. Checking the clock was the last thing on my mind.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Ann wouldn't In Cold Blood have been the role model for Helter Skelter in a way in the sense of liberties taken?

David said...

Here is what Kasabian said at TLB:

A. I heard a man scream out, "No, no." Then I just heard screams, just --- I don't have any words to describe how a scream is. I never heard it before. It was just unbelievably horribly terrible.
Q. Did the people appear to be pleading for their lives?
A. Yes.

And at Watson’s Trial

Q: Do you know what they were screaming?
A: Just like I have never heard. I don't know -- pleading, I don't --
Q: Pleading for their lives?
A: Screams, yes.

David said...

If you believe Kasabian's timeline it also seems to eliminate anything after about 2:30 a.m.

AustinAnn74 said...

I don't know, Grim. I don't feel like debating on the subject much anymore. We won't ever know what happened, much less what time.

grimtraveller said...

AustinAnn74 said...

I don't know why, but I have always believed that the Cielo crime happened between 12:20 and 12:50. It happened fast! I think Tim Ireland DID HEAR it going down. He actually heard a man screaming for about 10 to 15 seconds, "Please don’t…Oh God no…please don’t, don’t don’t…no no"

There's an interesting note attached to the portion in HS that speaks of Jim Asin's call to the police that says "trained by the Scouts to be exact, he noted the time:8:33." He was reacting to live time and live events, recording consciously. Few others, be they killers or people that heard things, were. Tim Ireland says his supervisor gave the time he came to him as 12.40 as he had looked at his watch ~ Ireland originally told the police it was 1.30am. That alone shows that witnesses' timing recollections are not exact but impressions and that they could be way off.
Emmett Steele didn't even hear any shots, just his dogs barking. While we are told that they went wild if they heard gunshots, we're also told that they usually ignored ordinary sounds. "Usually" leaves open possibilities that what caused them to bark were ordinary sounds. He also doesn't know what time it was. He estimates between 2 & 3 am. That's a wide estimate and more importantly, it's an estimate.
The security patrol guy, Bullington, that heard what sounded like three shots at 4.11am can be dismissed out of hand. If he heard Tex's shots, why didn't he hear 4 shots ? And there's a clear gap between the shot to Sebring and the two to Frykowski {I've long found it interesting that no one can remember Frykowski being shot}. Bullington says that each shot was only a few seconds apart. But in order to construct a case for 4.11am Family activity at Cielo, one has to come up with something that is mega spectacular. I've never heard anything even approaching that, yet.
Both Susan & Linda stated that Charlie asked them what they were doing home so early and Rudolf Weber's account meshed both with Susan's and Linda's and both felt that things happened in a short period of time, not stretched out the way they did the following night.
However, I can't see the importance of any of these "witnesses" in establishing a timeline. Even if they all genuinely heard something and just got the time wrong, not one of their reports if they made any were checked out by the police on the night and went anywhere towards police going around looking for murderous or violent activity. Virtually every conclusion reached that ultimately got the killers convicted was reached in spite of as opposed to because of anything that was heard that night.

grimtraveller said...

AustinAnn74 said...

I don't feel like debating on the subject much anymore. We won't ever know what happened, much less what time

I agree. Unless you've got reporters following everyone around, capturing everything live for the specific purpose of showing everyone what happened, then a reconstruction is, at best, hopeful, especially when you're dealing with multiple players. I mean, Linda, Pat nor Susan recalls the Frykowski shooting. It could be for a number of reasons........

Anonymous said...

The Apprentice: TRUMP VS MANSON

"Choo Choo! I know my mind"

DebS said...

We have Rudolf Weber telling law enforcement that it was around 1 AM when he heard water running at his house and he went out and confronted Tex and the girls washing off with his hose. Again the time is not specific but seems to be sometime during the 1 AM hour.

You can listen to the audio file at CieloDrive.

Robert Hendrickson said...

A witness says the TATE house was a "weekend party house" which conjures up a wide range of images and ALL may have relevant implications.

And GRIM brings up a significant question: Did the Police talk to third party witnesses who merely visited the "neighbors" ?

I'll answer that this way: Bugliosi said HE had a "patrol" car scout out the LaBianca house neighborhood for information about the "owners" of the LaBianca house BRFORE the LaBianca's lived in it.

Of course, THEY discovered NOTHING new, BUT it might be interesting to know WHO all lived there before.

AND as far as "hearing" THINGS, that is a mental issue still being researched with VERY interesting results. NOT unlike kids going to LOUD rock concerts and having THEIR "ear" drums damaged, imagine what happens inside the skulls of cops who listen to those LOUD sirens all day long.

So when a BLACK man starts screaming "Don't SHOOT, don't KILL me" maybe the cops didn't even HEAR their own guns a blazing.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

RH: BUT it might be interesting to know WHO all lived there before.

Corina (or 'Chiarina' Liuzzi) LaBianca

Matt said...

Dreath, I can't get into that Dropbox. It requires a username/password.

David said...

I just checked there's no security on it. I think that might be you needing to join dropbox. I could try something else like google docs or e-mail them but it will be a pretty big file. I think Deb downloaded it. Maybe Deb can confirm she got them.

Matt said...

Yes please. Try something else. It won't send me to that box. It keeps asking for login.

David said...

Sent googledrive link and invite. Tell me if that works.

Matt said...

Y'no today the internet was just full of awesomeness. Making America funny again.

Anonymous said...

Trump's the King, man. Trump runs the underworld, guy. Trump decides who does what and where they do it at.

And Hillary is an unlikable old witch who lost to a racist and could barely beat a senile commie.

President Trump, ya dig?

David said...

Ugh, Trump carries his brains in a lunch bucket.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Seems to ME the neighbors looked upon the TATE house as that "house on the hill, beyond the gates" where ONLY the "beautiful party people" get to go. This could have a lot to do with WHAT they heard the night of the massacre. Human nature is what IT is.

But GRIM has just "commented" a MOST significant piece of Susan Atkins Grand Jury testimony on a previous POST article. She was questioned as to the meaning of Helter Skelter and Pigs.

"Charlie, I don't like to say Charlie. I'd like to say the words came from his mouth that Helter-Skelter was to be the last war on the face of the earth. It would be all the wars that have ever been fought built on top of the other, something that no man could conceive of in his imagination.
You can't conceive of what it would be like to see every man judge himself and then take it out on every other man all over the face of the earth. And pig was a word used to describe the establishment."

WELL, well; NO mention of BLACK and WHITE race war, but it does sound LIKE the Holy Bible's Final Battle of Armageddon. Of course, if you later ADD in Paul Watkin's story of the BLACK Muslims defeating the WHITE man - in the FINAL Battle - THEN it sounds like we are getting dangerously CLOSE to today's headlines.

THUS - try imagining this: Hundreds of TRUCKS all over America and the world run OVER thousands of pedestrians in the streets and on the side walks.

ColScott said...

Hey longtime listener here, any chance that the long ass delay could be related to Charlie's alleged visit to the scene hours later? I never believed it but....

David said...

I always had a problem with that idea because wouldn't that man someone was alive there and alone for several hours?

Anonymous said...

Dreath Lloyd Bentsen'd my Dan Quayle.

"That was really uncalled for, Senator,"

Anonymous said...

"longtime listener"


Anonymous said...

I found a transcript of the argument that witnesses heard later that night :

"Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?"

Incidentally, that Manson quote was recently used in a cartoon.

Matt said...

Why would Manson put himself at the scene of the crime hours later not knowing if the police were notified of the crimes through reported screams and gunshots - and supposedly, Watson told him it was total chaos? It's a HUGE risk factor - especially when Manson had worked so hard to distance himself from the murders (and I believe the girls were always intended to be the fall guys). There is only one way in and out of the Cielo house. If the cops arrived while Manson had returned to "see what my children had done" he was trapped. Sure, he could run down the hillside, but what about the car left behind - even at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. And, chances are, he would have gotten caught in a foot chase - he's short and short legs get caught.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Seems like COL $ Matt are on to something, BUR Manson was NOT the one to visit the crime scene later. ONLY someone WHO could pretend THEY knew nothing about the CRIME, but who also had a valid reason to be there (in case the cops came) would dare be there.

AND of course, it could have been a very LATE "partygoer" WHO simply did NOT wish to be connected to murder in any way.

AND then it could have been the 'clean-up' crew and OR the verification person as required for most hired "hit" jobs.

Anonymous said...

IIRC, he (or Nuel Emmons) mentioned the planting of the glasses in the return to Cielo.

Has anyone besides Manson (or Nuel Emmons) admitted to planting the glasses at the scene? Was that part of "Manson In His Own Words" total BS?

ColScott said...


One of the girls was quoted as saying something about the owner being arrested just because he lost his specs

Robert I am used to three $$$ signs after my name brother not one- show respect

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

I believe the timeline of the Tate murders is basically cemented in and around the testimony of Mr. Weber. This is an old guy who never wrote the Ford's licence plate number down, but recalled it when questioned by Vince months later. That guy was sharp.
The part that puzzles me is that upon leaving Cielo, the killers seemingly drove PAST Portola Drive (Weber's street), past both switchbacks on Benedict Canyon Drive, and dumped the bloody clothing just past Wallingford. Of course the TV news crew determined that to be 6:20 in elapsed time. Obviously if the incident at Weber's happened first, that would have blown the TV crew's 6:20. So why did the killers, after dumping the clothing, drive back towards the Tate house instead of continuing away from it and up and across Mulholland? None of the killers mention that the clothing and weapons were still in the Ford during the Weber stop. Therefore they back-tracked on BCD, which is a very strange move.
Tim Ireland may have legitimately caught the closing acts of the murders at 12:40, but that would be getting pretty close to the end if the window of time for the murders to take place. Mrs. Kott's time of the 4 Parent shots is off. Stuff happens.
As for the noises in the neighbourhood much later, I think it's a lot of coincidence. Or as the Tom Petty record says "it's just the normal noises in here". The idea that 'a loud argument' was occurring on the Tate grounds around 4:00 am is absurd. There's 5 slaughtered people lying around and people are having an argument amongst them? Not happening. The 14-year old kid heard something else. The area patrol heard something else. Emmett Steele's dogs heard something else. The three parties might have all heard the same thing, but the chances the noises were coming from 10050 Cielo is highly unlikely.
As for Vince not using Seymour Kott in court, why open himself up to discrepancy? Let the defence counsel do it. (oh, wait...)

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Matt, when I finally got around to considering that Manson and friend probably returned to Cielo afterwards, it was very likely that he parked the car on a nearby street and hiked up or down the hill to the house when he determined that it was safe to do so. He wouldn't risk getting caught near the house with the car, so he parked elsewhere. And then when I finally read Nuell Emmons' book, that is exactly as he laid it out. (yes, Emmons' book has a lot of unsubstantiated kind-ofs in it). Those eyeglasses were planted.

Robert Hendrickson said...

COL: after I realized I commented with a $ typo I actually THOUGHT how appropriate, BUT I stand corrected plus I look FORWARD to America being great AGAIN. So here's to ya $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ IF the "Capitalist" WINS and here's to us * ALL IF the Socialist/Communist WINS.

Hey. I just realized there is NO cent sign on my keyboard - ONLY a star - which we will ALL get to pin on our uniforms IF we are obedient little soldiers.

BTW: My mentor and Sharon's personal counsulor Dr.Hondorus warned Sharon to LEAVE the house, so is that why the "party" was such a NO show ?

AND if the murders ended by 1 am wouldn't you THINK at least one LATE "partygoer" would arrive AFTER that time ? Maybe HE will include HIS surprise in HIS AutoBio.

V.A. Services said...


I don't post here often (work takes up 90% of my time...I think I had time to post once, maybe twice, and probably under a different email address)...but I have to share something with you.

My father passed away back in March, and my sister and I are in the process of selling the house we both grew up in. It's not been fun. Not by a longshot.

I was lurking yesterday (as usual :P) and saw the Trump v Manson link you shared. Watched it and it brightened an otherwise crappy day. In the process of emailing back and forth with my sister over the nightmare that is accepting an offer on the house, I sent her the link...her comment back was that she laughed so hard she almost peed her pants. It helped to bring some laughter into a crapfest of a situation so I wanted to thank you for sharing that...

(And...thanks as well to everyone who moderates, posts and comments this blog for giving me such food for thought over the years, and for proving that you can have an online community with such diverse opinions and who come from such diverse backgrounds, who can, for the most part, get along with civility and humanity...)

going back to work, with a smile and gratitude...

V.A. Services said...

ps a rush and spelled ziggy's name wrong...yikes! I'm offense meant...just the result of an insanely busy women who's insane enough without the busy-ness. :P

Matt said...

Zelda, even if Manson scouted the opposite side of the canyon on Beverly Grove to see if there was any activity at the Cielo house he was at risk of getting caught--these are basically deserted, just shy of one lane, dark neighborhood roads in the middle of the night. If the cops had been alerted and arrived at Cielo, a car (containing Manson/Davis, Manson/Pitman or which ever version you are thinking of) would have been easily detected from almost any sight access to Cielo and could have been pursued as suspect by the police - especially an old POS Ford Fairlane in Beverly Hills.

Matt said...

Jenni, thank you for the kind words, they mean a lot. You are right, we come from diverse backgrounds and opinions around here but we manage to agree to disagree when necessary. Sometimes we even get together and party together. Don't be a stranger!

grimtraveller said...

Robert Hendrickson said...

Sorry folks, but every time we do this timeline / sounds THING, I start THINKING:

1) Tex cuts the telephone wires so NO body can sound an alarm to the cops, BUT then HE blasts a GUN right in the driveway at Parent so ALL the neighbors can hear

I sometimes wonder about that. Right now, I compare his actions that whole night to that of a jazz musician who has a fairly set idea in their mind of the piece that they are supposed to be playing but who also has the freedom to improvise at will~ as long as it doesn't screw up what their bandmates are doing at the time and vice versa. In her Grand Jury testimony, Susan more than once made the point about them all being so together that nothing needed to be said and she specifically charted the togetherness as being from the moment Tex cut the wires. Like a good Susan though, she contradicts herself all over the shop, but nonetheless, it seems pretty clear that at times Tex was thinking with clinical clarity that night and at other times, his head was somewhere else ~ improv mode.

2) Where are Sharon Tate's dogs ?

When I first read HS, I barely noticed Susan telling her cell mate about the dog. She seemed to think "the dog" had maybe gone off with her knife. I also barely registered the LaBiancas' dogs; one of the neighbours says she went into the house to feed the dogs.
But since reading different things with a more critical eye, it leaps off the page at me now, the involvement in both TLB crimes of the owners' dogs. The Cielo front door was left open so Sharon's dog could have been in and out numerous times after the killers departed. And the LaBiancas' dogs were running around after the murderers had gone. Perhaps it's surprising that none of the dogs at either scene had blood on them. Or at the LaBiancas', went for the killers. Pat even remarked that she was surprised that the dog came cutely to her and allowed her to pat it's head.

grimtraveller said...

Robert Hendrickson said...

WELL, well; NO mention of BLACK and WHITE race war

Well, no. Bugliosi asks her if anything was said to her about Black people in relation to Cielo and she says no. But she goes on to relate, when talking about the next night, how they drove around what she perceived to be a "coloured" area and makes a link between the people she saw in the area and the hope that Rosemary's wallet would be picked up and used by someone in the area. She doesn't mention seeing anyone other than Black people so obviously it was significant for her.
That grand jury testimony is interesting. Atkins says very little of a specific nature about why the killings happened {even Bugliosi didn't know why at the time; his infamous search for the motive and connecting link was a couple of months away} but that's kind of consistent with her. I've felt for the longest while that any of us that uses anything Susan said to support whatever view we take does so at our peril. Her fragmented references to the various shards that made up HS are consistent though, because HS was a grand drama comprising of several significant scenes, of which a race war was only one of them. She concentrates on instilling fear in the establishment, messing up the beautiful people, the love so strong that she felt for others that killing them was actually killing herself {being prepared to be killed and therefore having the "right" to kill}, shocking the world, the murders serving their purpose.....HS is effective precisely because it comes over in such a fragmented way. To the acid enhanced mind, that fragmentation is it's clarity.
To me, constantly focusing on the race war aspect is like constantly focusing on crucifixion when it comes to Christ, or Brits saying "we won the war !" in relation to WW2, to the detriment of everything else that is part of the 'package.'

Dreath said...

I always had a problem with that idea because wouldn't that mean someone was alive there and alone for several hours?

Tex reported that everyone was dead at Cielo, but I do ask myself how he was sure. He thought Frykowski was dead at one point; he wasn't. The Family actually had a lame track record when it came to determining death. Charlie & TJ thought Lotsapoppa was dead ~ he wasn't; Bobby, Susan & Mary thought Gary was dead, then he started making noises; Tex thought Wogiciech and then Abigail was dead at one point ~ they weren't. Leslie thought Rosemary was dead ~ she wasn't. Bruce thought Shorty was dead ~ he wasn't.
Tex also says "he believes" Charlie went to Cielo. Now, I'm inclined to not believe he did based on that statement by Tex because it's obvious that Tex has picked that up as hearsay from the future because he said this around 2005. He was big buds with Bruce for years in jail ~ surely he would know. And Charlie seems to have pitted an awful lot of, um, trust / responsibility on Tex in that period. And Tex couldn't say definitively whether Charlie went there, even when he's writing in such a way as to make Manson out to be the conniving, manipulative paragon of evil ? He never said it at his trial. But he also says Charlie was at Cielo the night before the murders.
He doesn't know.

grimtraveller said...

ziggyosterberg said...

Has anyone besides Manson (or Nuel Emmons) admitted to planting the glasses at the scene? Was that part of "Manson In His Own Words" total BS?

The glasses remain one of the mysteries that are hard to account for because their value lies more in what they don't tell us {and the resultant speculations and conspiracies} than in what they do. Susan's words that the Col mentions lend the impression that she hasn't a clue who they belonged to; that they didn't come with them. On the other hand, someone {I think it was Dennis} once said that he had a tape recording that featured Pat saying that she had left the glasses. In George's book, on two occasions, Charlie really lands himself in the shit by admitting that he gave the glasses to Tex to plant as a false clue. In the end the glasses are a bit like the varying elements of the timeline ~ once you've got those fingerprints, Susan's grand jury testimony and Linda Kasabian in the wings, glasses schmlasses ! The only person I can see really damaged by them is Charlie.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

I'd never heard the bit about Tex saying Charlie had to been to Cielo the night before the murders. Unlikely. But it would again cause me to scratch at a long-standing itch I've had: some specific event happened that pushed Charlie over the edge and it was ON. Drugs, a direct confrontation, whatever. But something happened.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

As Grim indicates, HS, stupid as it is, IS relevant. At least 1 of the 4 people (Leslie) who carried out the murders believed it, or at least some form of it. That was her purpose, or so she believed, for being in the LaBianca house. If nothing else, that alone makes it relevant. I never thought it was the sole motive (okay maybe I did for about 10 minutes when I was 15-years old), but I also never dismissed that it was part of the mix.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Matt, remember: the Tate house, even as elevated as it was, was still only mid-hill. The homes above it on Angelo Drive were considerably higher. Remember the story about Col. Paul sitting up above the house after the murders and seeing the two motorcycles come up to the front gate. The house could be easily surveyed from above, and that's what I suspect Charlie did before he went in and rearranged the furniture.
As well, I often think back to what Pat said when later shown the crime-scene photos .... 'It looks a lot different than I remember.'

David said...

Glasses: You know, I'm sure someone here will point out how off base I am (and rightly so) but am I the only one who noticed that every picture of Steven Parent living shows him wearing glasses not dissimilar to those found by the steamer trunks while his 'death' photos and the police property report show/list no glasses in the car?

In his yearbook picture and prom picture he's wearing glasses which would typically be for nearsightedness (myopic)- needs them all the time. If he was driving wouldn't he need them? And if 'yes' where are they? I recall no mention of 'contacts' in the various reports (if they existed in 1969- I don't know. I got them in 1977).

And I would add this: allegedly Manson said his cohort in 'crime staging' had a pair of glasses he used to start fires with and we left them there.....ah....nope.

"The Glasses: There are two main types of corrective lenses: Converging lenses and diverging lenses. Diverging lenses, which are used to correct nearsightedness, bend the light further away from the focal point, while converging lenses, which correct farsightedness, bend the light towards the focal point.

As a result, if you are nearsighted, your glasses won't help you start a fire, because they are actually dispersing the light instead of focusing it."

David said...

Oh and Grim....all those 'thought they were dead' examples would not likely be arguing with Manson and accomplice three hours later as they had been stabbed or shot repeatedly. What I should have asked was: doesn't that mean someone unharmed was alone there for several hours?

And.... you need a second gun because the Buntline couldn't fire after the barrel was bent over Wojciech Frykowski's head unless you assume everyone was a combination of: alive, unharmed and alone at 4:00 a.m. while Steven Parent was shot at earlier.

I just don't see how a return and second engagement is possible.

The Farmer's Almanac places dawn at 4:37 a.m. on the 9th and full dawn at 6:11. That gets pretty risky. Hang around for three hours or come back and start the murders at 4? In less then a half hour its getting light.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Dreath, crime scene photos (you need to look closely) show Parent's glasses still on his face.

Matt said...

Zelda, my biggest problem with this for me has always been that everyone assumes all the killers agreed and testified to the same account. But the reality is that Atkins was the only one (early on) to give a statement of facts (to Bugliosi & the Grand Jury) to what transpired inside the house. Her account then hit the international news.

It wasn't until after the trial and verdicts that Watson spoke his first words about what happened inside the house at his own trial a year later when both Watson and his attorney heard what Atkins testified to, what Kasabian testified to, etc which gave him his diminished capacity defense and an easy series of events to mimic and manipulate for his own sake - same for what he and or his author wrote in his book.

PK gave her version years later at a parole hearing when she basically takes on the role of Kasabian and then lies every year after until she finally comes "clean" and gives Atkins' statement of events, but at that point, she can hardly remember which victims were where and at times, doesn't even remember the victims names.

Anonymous said...

Jenni, thank you so much for sharing that story. I'm glad that you and your sis were able to get a laugh out of that. I'm never really sure when I post these links if anyone is even clicking on them, let alone finding them funny. Thanks again, and I hope that everything is soon better for you and your sis, and that all goes well with the sale of the house. (fingers crossed) :)

Anonymous said...

If Charlie did go to Cielo after the murders and saw the murder scene, it might better explain his reasoning for going with them the second night because “Last night was too messy”. He's been fairly consistent over the years on that being the reason why he had to go the second night.

From the 2013 Rolling Stone interview :

"The mistake I made is I didn't go with them. Tex was scared. A mama's boy. The second night went better, because I had a hand in it. In the situation, not the murders. No, man, I wasn't there for that. But, oh, they made a mess of it the first night. If I'd been there, it would have been a much better scene. I feel I should have did it. I'd have did it right. There's no doubt in my mind."

David said...

Zelda could you link we up with one of those? Not doubting you- just never saw that.

grimtraveller said...

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

I often think back to what Pat said when later shown the crime-scene photos .... 'It looks a lot different than I remember.'

I often find that with photos. I remember in 1979 when I was living in Nigeria, I'd sent a mate who was still in England some photos and he wrote back remarking what a nice place it looked. I hated the the 4 years I lived there so his comments rather stung me and I recall replying that photos lie {well, I said cameras} ! But they did look really good, though much of the surrounds weren't anything great. And years later when I worked on adventure playgrounds, tons of photos, naturally, were taken and some of the angles that pictures were taken from came as a complete surprise to me. I'd look at the flick and think that it looked totally different to how I remembered it and I was on various sites for 18 months, 4 years and 5 years.
Not only that, when I'd been at a football match, then was watching it later on telly, not only did the surround look completely different, the way various pieces of action happened looked different to how I thought they were. Many I couldn't even remember.
I think Pat's reaction to the crime scene photos is not at all unusual. At one point, the light was turned off so they were going by the dim lights outside; out on the lawn, it was night time and the photos were all daylight photos. Furthermore, she'd never been to Cielo as far as is known and even the most liberal stretching of the timeline would only have her there in and around an hour ~ arriving in the dark, processing info that she'd recently been given from Tex, about how they were going to kill whoever they found and take their money, then leaving in the dark, looking for Linda, feeling initial exhilaration etc.....
One other thing, as a keen photographer, I used to spend the year taking shots then the following year, I would do all my developing. Although I would have printed off a contact sheet, I could never get a good gauge of what pictures looked like from them. So when I did my prints on the bigger sizes of paper, frequently, I would catch my breath at the picture because it wouldn't at all be how I thought it was when I was taking it. Sometimes it was disappointing and other times it was a more than pleasant surprise but I became familiar with the feeling that what I was looking at wasn't what I remembered looking at at the time the picture was taken.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Sorry Dreath, the photo was posted on Cat's old site. It was a rather close up photo with his head tilted back and the glasses clearly visible. He seemed to be wearing more of a thinner-looking, more like wire-rim glasses, as opposed to the thick, nerdy ones like the ones in his prom photo.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

From the 2013 Rolling Stone interview :

"The mistake I made is I didn't go with them. Tex was scared. A mama's boy. The second night went better, because I had a hand in it. In the situation, not the murders. No, man, I wasn't there for that. But, oh, they made a mess of it the first night. If I'd been there, it would have been a much better scene. I feel I should have did it. I'd have did it right. There's no doubt in my mind."

Things go better with Charlie. Such a sweet guy.

David said...

Thanks Zelda

grimtraveller said...

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

I'd never heard the bit about Tex saying Charlie had to been to Cielo the night before the murders. Unlikely.

Back in 2005 on Col Scott's site, someone called GLH said that he'd spoken with Tex the month before and this is what Tex had told him. The Col thought Tex had made an error and was referring to the March '69 Manson visit to Cielo which Tex had talked about in some review of "Helter Skelter" {I don't know if it was the book or the film} but GLH said:

"I wasn't alluding to Tex's HS '04 review. That is what he told me....when I met with Watson last month, he told me Manson had been to Cielo the night BEFORE the murders. I debated that with him, saying I'd heard that Manson had been there in March '69. He stood firm on his claim that Manson was there on August 7th (in the evening). You just have to believe it or not. I just relayed what Watson told me.....Watson told me Manson had been there the night before, and Manson was agitated the next day"

Around the same sort of time, Tex put out a "book," which the St featured in a post of his last year, which I call "Right hand man speaks out." It used to be available for free on Tex's website. Basically, loads of questions that people have asked him over the years are used as a basis for what Tex goes on to say. Part of the dialogue runs thus:
"It's believed that Manson was at the house looking for Terry the night before the murders and was offended by the new occupants. As a result he sent us there to kill them and to start Helter Skelter. I also believe that Manson and another Family member went to the house afterward and disturbed the crime scene."

During his trial, Tex said that he'd seen Charlie at Spahn on the morning of the murders and Bugliosi tripped him up by pointing out to him that Charlie wasn't at Spahn that morning. He'd been the day before with Stephanie Schram then headed off to San Diego.
As I said earlier, some of Tex's stuff really dissuades me that Manson went to Cielo after the murders. He told George that he did not and so it makes one wonder at that segment of Nuel Emmons' book, odd because much of Emmons book is pretty supportive and has been verified by Charlie even though he went on to call it bullshit.
I suppose it is technically possible for Manson to have gone to Cielo on the night of the 7th but that then begs the question as to why Stephanie Schram didn't mention it which then leads to more mysteries and mayhem.

But it would again cause me to scratch at a long-standing itch I've had: some specific event happened that pushed Charlie over the edge and it was ON. Drugs, a direct confrontation, whatever. But something happened

Having heard that Bobby was arraigned for murdering Gary Hinman, especially after he'd told Bobby to ditch the car {according to DeCarlo} then hearing Mary Brunner and Sandy were arrested plus the residual paranoia over the Crowe shooting, the police hanging around and Ella Jo leaving ~ that might have accounted for a little agitation.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Grim, as usual Tex sounds confused. Looking for Terry on Aug. 7? Charlie knows he wasn't at Cielo anymore. Offended by the new occupants ... that's essentially what happened on March 23. If Tex knows Charlie was there on Aug.7, then it's hardly a stretch that knows WHY Manson was there. Sebring was upset over being shorted $2,000 worth of inventory on or around that day, so was Manson there to smooth over the situation? Not at all impossible, but if so ... then tell it Tex, and stop being coy.
Of course as you mention, Charlie was supposed to have been in San Diego with Stephanie that night, that's the biggest fly in the ointment.
Naw, Tex is still apparently still having belladonna flashbacks.

grimtraveller said...

Matt said...

Zelda, my biggest problem with this for me has always been that everyone assumes all the killers agreed and testified to the same account. But the reality is that Atkins was the only one (early on) to give a statement of facts (to Bugliosi & the Grand Jury) to what transpired inside the house. Her account then hit the international news.

It wasn't until after the trial and verdicts that Watson spoke his first words about what happened inside the house at his own trial a year later when both Watson and his attorney heard what Atkins testified to, what Kasabian testified to, etc which gave him his diminished capacity defense and an easy series of events to mimic and manipulate for his own sake - same for what he and or his author wrote in his book

Watson says of his "recollections":

"It's not easy for me to talk about or to read about the actual murders as portrayed in my book Will you die for me ? The facts of my book were taken from tape recordings I did with my attorney only 4 months after the crime. These recordings were very accurate descriptions of the crime, play by play. It's very painful for me as I recall destroying so many lives.

These would be the infamous Tex tapes. When he was trying to get them blocked, the court told him that he'd lost any rights to attorney~client privelege by allowing Chaplain Ray to listen to them back in the mid 70s and use what he heard in the book he wrote with Tex.

The thing is, none of his partners in crime really challenged Susan's version of events. Although Linda was never in the house, pretty much everything else she says corroborated Susan and I remember Bugliosi stating that many of the the details she gave had never appeared in the press. And some of what appeared to be different, he had in fact missed. For example, he never picked Susan up on the fact that on LaBianca night, there were 2 separate death squads. But she told this to both Richard Caballero {with Paul Caruso} and the grand jury.
It wasn't so much that the killers all agreed as much as Susan and Linda who didn't physically kill anyone and showed they didn't really have the stomach to do so were more like the troupe's reporters while the two who did the killing just happened to be the two against whom there was physical evidence and whose subsequent accounts have been the sketchiest. Tex's trial testimony tells us virtually nothing about what actually went on in the Cielo house and by then the accepted sequence {as near as dammit} had already been cast. And I can't recall ever coming across Pat go into any detail about what happened though if there is stuff out there, it'd make a fascinating read.

grimtraveller said...

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

as usual Tex sounds confused.....Naw, Tex is still apparently still having belladonna flashbacks

All these years later, his accounts of the murders still sound to me as though he's repeating something he has read as opposed to actual memory, although he does throw in certain little extra details that neither Susan nor Linda gave. For example, he claims he shot Frykowski twice on the porch. Both Susan and Linda who remember Tex coming out of the house never said anything about him shooting because neither remembered it.
It's a good thing that in his book he admits that his court testimony was all self preservatory bullshit because the testimony is almost entirely different from what he says in the book. It's quite annoying reading actually !

Dave1971 said...

Dreath, Garretson was full of shit, its amazing to me that he was able to escape any culpability, here is a guy who admits to sitting through arguably the crime of the century 100 feet away not hearing screams, gunshots, stabbings because his stereo is on level 4 and then somehow escapes Charlie coming back around 3:30 and isnt discovered until the next morning and somehow he gets out of the whole situation with a measly polygraph that cops said was questionable at best, i hope Bugliosi sent him some good royalties from the book

Dave1971 said...

Matt look at the other option which is sit at the ranch on the edge of your seat wondering if or when LAPD is coming to arrest everyone for the murders instead of auto theft, i think he weighed that with taking matters in his own hands and going back up there, hed been there before and knew hed be able to look up Cielo from Benedict Canyon Rd and see if there were police up there, in 2017 hed be nuts for trying it but in 69 there probably wasnt as much of a police presence anywhere like there is today, but i agree it was a HUGE risk just driving around in that 59 Ford in Beverly Hills at that hour, the difference in car body styles was so much different between 59 and 69 and driving that car in that area would have stuck out like a sore thumb, even if theyd been pulled over with no knowledge of the murders yet theyd have been either ticketed or even brought in and harassed and then linked to the murders the next day

Dave1971 said...

Zelda maybe im wrong but i thought i remembered Weber saying something about being "insulted" or something of that nature at the state of mess inside the car referring to clothes or blankets strewn about the car when he looked inside it

Dave1971 said...

Grim i think Dreath was referring to Garretson when he says "wouldnt that mean someone was alive there and alone for several hours"

Dave1971 said...

Grim if you give any stock to Bill Nelson which I do even though he was a weird dude, he claims Susan told him that Tex got so angry at her that he "locked her out" of the house during the murders, apparantly she didn't tell him exactly what set him off, she supposedly told him this in one of their meetings

starviego said...

David said...
"And.... you need a second gun because the Buntline couldn't fire after the barrel was bent over Wojciech Frykowski's head..."

Apparently not:
Watson in his book claims the gun was able to fire after being used to "hammer" Frykowski's head. The reason Watson used the gun in this manner was because he couldn't get a clear shot at Frykowski as he was grappling with Atkins.
"Frykowski was loose.... I would have shot him, but he and Sadie kept rolling and fighting, so I finally threw myself on him and beat him over the head with the butt of the gun until it broke, a section of the grip dropping to the floor....As we staggered out onto the front porch .... I stabbed him over and over, ....Finally I shot him twice and he slumped onto the stone porch. " Will You Die For Me Pg.74
--Bugliosi described ballistics testing on the .22 Buntline.
"After test-firing the gun, Lee placed the test bullets and the Tate bullets under a comparison microscope. Three of the four bullets recovered after the Tate
murders were either too fragmented or battered for the stria to be matched up. With the fourth, the Sebring bullet, he made a positive ID."
Helter Skelter pg. 402